Oil Hose Pressure Testing

I purchased some surplus reusable hose ends from B&B Aircraft Supplies a few years ago at Oshkosh, so I figured I would use those. They were new and very inexpensive ($5 each), but I didn’t know much about them. It turns out that they were Stratoflex 676 fittings. A few hours of research turned up that they are designed to work with Stratoflex 156 hose, which is a braided stainless type of hose. I ordered a few feet of hose from the Sacramento Sky Ranch and assembled the lines. Since I was operating on intuition instead of instruction, I thought it would be prudent to pressure test the lines before installing them.
With an afternoon to kill in Charlotte, I sat down with Google maps and started calling hydraulic shops around the area. The first few weren’t set up to do any testing at all. One would test them at their hourly shop rate of $100 per hour, with an estimated test time of 1.5 hours. Another would test them for $35, but wasn’t sure when they would have time to do it. Eventually a shop put me in touch with Rick White, at Brown and Miller Racing. On the phone I asked Rick if he was set up to test lines, and he said “Sure.” Did he have 1/2″ 37-degree flare fittings? “Of course.” How long would it take? “A few minutes. You can come back into the shop and watch.” When can you do it? “When can you be here?” That was all of the convincing that I needed. The only problem was that I was in Matthews and he was in Concord, and it was 4:00. Their closing time was 5:00, so I headed over there directly. I arrived at 4:45 to find a very polite and accommodating Rick. He showed me his test bench and explained how it worked. It uses a specially filtered water to apply a specified pressure anywhere up to 5,000psi, then closes the valve to check for loss of pressure. He tested the lines up to 500 psi and they held fine, which was a relief. It’s always nice to have my own work validated! I also needed a flexible fuel line for the firewall-carburetor connection. Rick priced a fire-sleeved Teflon line with crimped-on ends at just under $30. Then, he made it with his fancy machinery (and pressure tested it) in about 3 minutes. In short, I was impressed with his capabilities and amazed with the level of service he provided, even though I walked in the door a few minutes before closing time. If you are in the area and need to test some hoses or have non-PMA hoses made up, I’d recommend giving Rick a call at 704-793-4319. His shop is next to the Charlotte Motor Speedway is certainly worth a visit.

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Hours Logged This Session: .5
Total Hours: 1883.75