Hoses and Fittings
Hoses and fittings, like most things, come in a wide price range. However, you don't want to risk blowing an engine or transaxle because you went cheap. There is a great article here on hoses.
Just because it has stainless braiding and anodized aluminum fittings doesn't mean it's good. IMO, Aeroquip StartLite hose and fittings are the best to be had. Other than cost, I haven't seen anyone say anything bad about them. That's certainly not true with Russel or Earl's.
The StartLite hose has the same AQP inner tube as their stainless braided hose, but has a Nomex blended outer cover. This makes it up to 45% lighter and significantly more flexible (i.e., tighter bend radiuses) than stainless braided hoses... and stainless hose is just so last year. Of course these benefits means that it also costs more their stainless hose... funny how that works.
The instructions show an optional FT1258 Pro-Crimp Cut Off Tool. How much could that cost? MSRP $1,332.84... NFW. Looking around the street price was about $600. Tool junkie or not, still NFW. I eventually found a new one on eBay for $87. It's probably worth that much because of my severe OCD, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet. If you don't have OCD, don't bother.
When it comes to fittings their aluminum crimp line is the best cost-no-object solution. The primary benefits are lighter weight and the best possible seal not to mention cool looks. The primary downsides are that they require a $3k hydraulic crimp machine (the top of the line is $14k), a tool die for each size connector and the connectors aren't reusable. I looked, but I couldn't find an affordable used crimping machine.
Another option would be to order custom-made hoses, but real men don't eat quiche (yeah, I had to look up how to spell that) and they make their own hoses. More importantly, if I sent them out I wouldn't have an excuse to buy more tools.
The next best solution is their reusable aluminum line. To facilitate installation I bought their aluminum vice and the two sets of Koul tools.
AN Hose Fittings
|AN||Tube Fraction (in.)||Tube Decimal (in.)|
Not great: Earl’s, Russel
Pegasus PFTE Hoses
Pegasus Auto Racing sells a super-flexible, ultra-lightweight PTFE hose with a Black Aramid braid. It's compatible with all types of racing fluids (coolant, oil, brake fluid) and all types of fuel (gasoline, diesel, E85, alcohol, and nitromethane). It is also fully resistant to fuel vapor penetration. Unique semi-corrugated liner design is much more flexible than other types of hose, but the smooth bore retains optimum flow. The hose ends require no special tooling to assemble. I am using these hoses for the brake, clutch and hydraulic lift reservoirs. Installations instructions are here.
Aircraft AN (Army-Navy) fittings seal with a 37- degree tapered seat, while brake lines and household appliances use a 45-degree tapered seat. The 8-degree difference isn’t much, and may seat temporarily in some cases, but the sealed surface area on the flare is very small when using the improper flare. It’s guaranteed to leak as soon as there are any vibrations present. It’s sure to cause the flare to slip, and the fluid that leaks out may catch fire.