Lets investigate the best types of fuel hose.
Fuel hose can be manufactured in a large range of materials and surfaces finishes which can often sway our choice. Of course a sharp looking engine bay can be really set off by some stunning looking hoses but sometimes a more stock look is required and most importantly function/longevity. Not only do we have to consider the aesthetics and functional aspects but budget is always to be considered.
Stainless steel braided fuel hose
Stainless steel braided fuel hose is certainly a popular choice and comes with 2 main internal tube materials. The first being Nitrile rubber and the second being PTFE (Teflon) lined steel braided fuel hose. Both require special fittings and adaptors often referred to as AN fittings, these are anodised aluminium fittings which can look stunning but certainly make an install at the higher end of a budget. The PTFE lined option is without question one of the best types of fuel hose in regards to quality and lifespan, we ourselves have PTFE lined hoses older than 15 years old on our super pro drag car.
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However the Nitrile option I personally wouldn’t recommend, in fact despite our huge stock of hoses at Hydrahose Service Ltd we do not sell this variation. Why? Quite simply when used on petrol systems the additives and ethanol in the petroleum breakdown the rubber. This can not only lead to leaks but more commonly you will smell the vapours escaping through the outer steel braiding. A high price to pay for a hose with far less lifespan than the PTFE lined option. Care must be taken when fitting the AN fittings to both as a crossed thread can make costly work in terms of flexibility it is best to avoid harsh bends.
Cotton/polyester over braided fuel hose
Cotton/polyester over braided fuel hose is hugely popular, it may not be one of the best types of fuel hose but it certainly offers incredible value for money and looks stock which makes it highly sort after. The nitrile rubber internal tube offers the same resistances as its far more expensive stainless steel braided counter part. However it is lighter, more flexible and far more suited to more classic looking cars/bikes.
At around only 20% of the cost of the steel braided version its no wonder why we sell such large volumes of both the 6mm and 8mm cotton braided fuel hose. There is a huge range of internal diameter sizes available with the most common being 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm and 10mm ID. Overall this a good value for money and easy to install but not of the quality of a PTFE lined hose. It is worth mentioning that this is not for fuel injection systems.
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Not the most of commonly seen but nylon tube fuel lines are both great on budget and very good on function. Depending on the tube size flexibility is pretty good up until around 10mm OD, anything after is quite rigid but can be great in the correct application. Not all nylon tube is fuel friendly most nylon tube is more commonly used on air systems, but pay a little extra and you can get the fuel rated version which is money well spent. You are more likely to see nylon hose systems on more modern vehicles with specially designed fittings.
Another PTFE lined option is the Supalite fuel line, it has all the superb fuel resistant qualities of a steel braided PTFE lined hose but with added extras. The extras being it is around 50% lighter, it is far more flexible and the AN fittings are swaged in rather than screw together ensuring a better fit and removing some human error.
This hose also has a fire retardant over braiding which not only looks stunning but more importantly makes it great for those involved in motorsports. Not only one of our personal favourites but on quality alone is one of the best types of fuel hose on the market, only downside being its not cheap and will require a swaging machine.
SAE J30 R6 Fuel Hose
Another commonly used fuel hose is often referred to as R6, there are 2 types of R6 however so be sure not to purchase the wrong one for your purpose. Only SAE J30 R6 is suitable for fuel systems the SAE 100 R6 is better suited for low pressure oil hose systems such as power steering returns and oil cooler hoses. Similar to the cotton braided fuel hose it is made from a nitrile rubber however has a smooth finish rather than a cotton/polyester/steel over braid. Incredibly popular and budget friendly its used in automotive, agricultural and plant equipment. Unlike its similar cotton over braided cousin this hose is suitable for fuel injection with pressure ratings varying on the hose size.
Last but not least on the best types of fuel hose we look at R9
Each hose has its own appeal but when asked about the best types of fuel hose the champion if there was one for me would be the R9. More specifically Continental R9 fuel hose formerly manufactured by Goodyear this hose has it all. Made from the finest flouroelastomer/Nitrile and conforms to CARB requirements this fuel injection hose has a single braid aramid yarn for added reinforcement and is both light and flexible. Suitable media includes gasoline, ethanol, extended fuels, diesel and bio diesel fuels.
The Continental branding on the smooth black finished hose doesn’t look out of place in any engine bay and is even used on air gliders such is its quality. Very easy to install but by no means as cheap as the R6 or cotton braided nitrile however better value than the PTFE lined options.
If you made it this far then well done you have completed our brief do over of the best types of fuel hose. If you wish to see more of our work or discuss further please drop us a message at our Facebook page. For any orders please feel free to use our web shop or please call us on 01245 267381.
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