Fragola’s New Convoluted Design Improves P.T.F.E. Hose Applications

New applications for plumbing your racecar for dry sump oiling systems and new race fuel chemistry are constantly being developed. The need for new hose and hose ends that can handle these fluids are also in growing demand. The technology that offers these benefits rely upon polytetrafluoroethylene (P.T.F.E.) or “Teflon” hose liner technology.

Impervious to all racing fluids that can eventually break down rubber and synthetic rubber hoses, this Teflon-lined design is also ideal for use with dry sump engine plumbing and and other high vacuum applications.

The P.T.F.E. plumbing is less of an exotic and more of a new normal, which has intensified the challenge to improve some of the shortfalls offered by “the first generation” P.T.F.E. hose.

We talked with Brint McLellan with Fragola Performance Systems about its relatively new Race-Rite and Race-Rite PRO lines of P.T.F.E. hose and hose ends. One of the most notable features crucial to racers is the new uniformity of the hoses’ inside diameter.

The Fragola Series 6000 P.T.F.E. hose is a proven performer through recent years. Its solid lining and braided sheath is durable, but restrictive when it comes to its bending capability. The new Race-Rite hose also has the smooth P.T.F.E. lining, but with a convoluted core design accompanied by a wound spiral wire. This new design is capable of a tighter bend radius and higher flow rates.

Improvements With The Inside Diameter

McLellan explains, “If we look at the older generation 6000 Series P.T.F.E. hose, the inside diameter is only 1/2-inch for a -10 AN hose and fittings. The standard for a -10 AN system should be all 5/8-inch. With the new Race-Rite lines, you get the properly specified inside diameters that racers are accustomed to, along with standardized braided steel and nylon braided hoses.”

One of the biggest differences is that the new Race-Rite hose runs true to size. So, for example, a -6 Race-Rite hose has a true-standardized AN measurement of the inside diameter of 3/8-inch, unlike the older P.T.F.E. hose designs that have a smaller inside diameter. – Brint McLellan, Fragola

Bending radius Improvements

Though already a well-made and popular product offered to this day, one improvement we see when comparing the Fragola Series 6000 to the Race-Rite hose is the improved bending radius. When we plumbed our Project Rover Chevrolet Camaro bracket car for E-85 fuel use in a previous article in Dragzine, we were limited to a 4 1/2- to 5-inch bending radius, as we used -10 AN hose and fittings on the Camaro’s recirculating fuel system.

“With the Series 6000 hose, the smooth-bore inner liner is thicker and restrictive for some tight bends,” McLellan exemplifies. “One of the key updates with the Race-Rite hoses is still a smooth, but thinner P.T.F.E. liner that is housed by a convoluted core. The Race-Rite PRO hose has a stainless wire wrapped between the layers. These hose designs prevent kinking; you can really tighten-up your bending radius a little bit.”

Another benefit related to the new Race-Rite and Race-Rite PRO hose design is the ability to survive 28-inches of vacuum. Dry sump and fuel system plumbing can collapse lines in extreme situations where they can suck shut on the inlet side of high volume fuel and oil pumps.

Crimped vs. Reusable Hose Ends

Both styles of hose ends are available for the Race-Rite hoses. Many racers have mastered the increased complexity of installing the “olive” design; reusable hose ends inserted onto P.T.F.E. lined hose. Still, the popularity of the crimped hose ends is gaining in popularity, as well.

You may be able to find a local Fragola Performance Systems dealer who has outfitted their shop with the hydraulic crimping system. Regardless, McLellan comments that many racers follow the measurement instructions within their catalog and order custom factory crimped hoses without problems.

It surprises many that the crimped and reusable hose end options are very comparable in price. With that, enthusiasts are getting more comfortable with the process to carefully measure and order the very durable crimped ends. Fragola sees an increased number of orders for crimped AN fittings for P.T.F.E. hoses.

“Many guys will remove their old plumbing system from their vehicle and send it to us,” McLellan explains. “Then, we just duplicate each hose in the Race-Rite series…as easy as that.”

The crimped fittings also offer the benefit of a more compact fitting compared to the reusable fittings. “It may not be a huge issue in many applications,” says McLellan, “but it is a benefactor in dry sump oil systems and some tight spots in fuel plumbing.”

Weight And Heat Benefits

McLellan says that many racers have reported 40- to 60-pounds of overall weight savings when re-plumbing an entire car.

“A system consisting of feed and return fuel system, some oil lines, and possibly some nitrous or turbo inner coil lines can see those savings,” he says. “With a dry-sump oiling system added, you will see even more weight removed.”

Another listed feature of both hose lines is the temperature durability. Specified with an operating range of -65 to +500-degrees Fahrenheit, it may be overkill for many applications in the automotive market, as McLellan states.

“But when it comes to the drag racing automatic transmission related to external cooling systems and external dump valves in use, it is useful,” McLellan says. “Many have jumped onto the product usage for those applications.”

Fuel Durability

The Teflon-lined plumbing was popularized with the advent of ethanol-based fuels in racing. More and more often, many teams are making the P.T.F.E.-lined hose upgrade for a variety of performance fuels.

McLellan explains that standard synthetic rubber hose can last from up to seven-years to as little as two to three seasons based on usage with various gas, methanol, oxygenated, and maybe some exotic diesel fuels. Combined with expensive fuel pumps and fragile electronic fuel injectors, racers could instead make the switch to P.T.F.E. and not get a surprise.

The reusable hose ends fittings for P.T.F.E.-lined hose use an “olive” assembly design. With these fittings, this assembly process is more complicated, but can be mastered like any standard hose and AN fitting.

“The VP Racing Fuels M1 has been cited in recent times for really breaking down fuel lines at a rapid rate,” discloses McLellan. “We solve lots of racer problems regarding fuel line breakdown by utilizing P.T.F.E.- lined fuel systems.”

Fire Resistant Exterior

Another feature within the spec-sheet for the new generation P.T.F.E. hoses is the black aramid braided cover. McLellan explains, “Aramid is defined as “a lightweight but very strong heat-resistant synthetic aromatic polyamide. This outer weave on the Race-Rite hoses acts as a firebraid material.”

Long List of Benefits For Motorsports

This newest generation of plumbing can flawlessly take on any fluid transfer while also achieving the benefits of better bending characteristics and a heat-resistant braid cover.

A combination of early and new P.T.F.E. hoses may be the ticket with a fresh racecar install. The durable braided steel sheath in the 6000 Series hose may be restrictive in bending, but works fine in under-car fuel plumbin, such as in our project Camaro. The new Race-Rite hoses offer far superior bending capabilities shown here, and come with an "aramid," or heat-resistant braided cover.

The increased inner diameter of the hoses that now match proper -AN fitting specifications also benefit critical flow rates while adding up to considerable weight savings over your overall plumbed systems.

It is a no-brainer that P.T.F.E.-lined hoses and related hose ends are here to stay as a viable application. Racing fuels will continue to change in chemical makeup; and more extreme pressures and temperatures will need this next-generation plumbing to keep the fluid flowing without breaking down your hoses.

Article Sources

About the author

Todd Silvey

Todd has been a hardcore drag racing journalist since 1987. He is constantly on both sides of the guardwall from racing photography and editorship to drag racing cars of every shape and class.
Read My Articles

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