DIY: Brown And Miller Makes Building Your Own Hoses Easy

Brown & Miller offers AN fittings from size 2 all the way up to 20. And despite the added complexity involved compared to a simpler crimped fitting, Brown and Miller's reusable hose ends aren't any more expensive than their crimped fittings.

Brown & Miller offers AN fittings from size 2 all the way up to 20. And despite the added complexity involved compared to a simpler crimped fitting, Brown and Miller’s reusable hose ends aren’t any more expensive than their crimped fittings.

Brown & Miller makes building your own hoses easy with their innovative reusable hose fittings

It is a simple fact in racing if you can make a component lighter without sacrificing durability you are almost always going to be better off. That’s definitely true for the plumbing in your race car, which helps explain why lightweight hoses have become so popular.

Brown and Miller's reusable fitting is a three-piece design. Instead of biting into the hose material, an olive (center) fits between the fitting (left) and the collar to clamp down on the hose, securing it in place.

Brown and Miller’s reusable fitting is a three-piece design. Instead of biting into the hose material, an olive (center) fits between the fitting (left) and the collar to clamp down on the hose, securing it in place.

Brown & Miller has a wide range of reusable fittings, but it's nothing compared to the vast array of crimped fittings it keeps in inventory. If you need a unique fitting--or you don't know the final length of the hose you need--Brown & Miller can crimp a fitting on one end to the hose and leave it any length you require for installing a reusable fitting later.

Brown & Miller has a wide range of reusable fittings, but it’s nothing compared to the vast array of crimped fittings it keeps in inventory. If you need a unique fitting–or you don’t know the final length of the hose you need–Brown & Miller can crimp a fitting on one end to the hose and leave it any length you require for installing a reusable fitting later.

One of the leaders in motorsports when it comes to lightweight high-performance plumbing is Brown & Miller Racing Solutions. Unlike many other companies in the plumbing market, Brown & Miller produces all of its own hoses and fittings specifically for racing and high-performance motorsports. Much of the company’s business is in NASCAR Cup and Formula 1 racing, but more and more dirt racers are utilizing their ultra high quality hoses and fittings on their cars.

All of Brown & Miller's hoses are constructed from PTFE, making them impervious to practically all fluids, and the polyester braided convoluted hose shown here is some of the lightest available anywhere, making it quite popular. It is also quite easy to cut. Brown & Miller's John Harper showed us how racers without specialized tools can simply wrap some Scotch tape, or any other tape with very mild adhesive (don't use duct tape), around the hose to prevent the braid from fraying. Then just cut it with a pair of scissors. For Brown & Miller's lightweight steel braided line you can use a large pair of hose-cutting shears or an abrasive cutoff wheel.

All of Brown & Miller’s hoses are constructed from PTFE, making them impervious to practically all fluids, and the polyester braided convoluted hose shown here is some of the lightest available anywhere, making it quite popular. It is also quite easy to cut. Brown & Miller’s John Harper showed us how racers without specialized tools can simply wrap some Scotch tape, or any other tape with very mild adhesive (don’t use duct tape), around the hose to prevent the braid from fraying. Then just cut it with a pair of scissors. For Brown & Miller’s lightweight steel braided line you can use a large pair of hose-cutting shears or an abrasive cutoff wheel.

After cutting your hose to length, slide the collar over the hose and remove the tape.

After cutting your hose to length, slide the collar over the hose and remove the tape.

In the last issue of OneDirt Magazine, we took at look at the unique construction of Brown & Miller’s lightweight hoses and crimped fittings. But we understand that for many racers operating essentially out of their own pockets, lightweight plumbing–even though it is a real advantage on the track–can be quite an investment. That’s one of the reasons why many prefer to go with reusable hose-end fittings: If anything changes or a hose gets damaged, you can simply remove the fitting and install it on a new hose.

The olive slides between the hose and the outer braid. You can see how the leading edge of the olive is actually threaded, so instead of having to be pressed on, it actually threads into position and won't slide off.

The olive slides between the hose and the outer braid. You can see how the leading edge of the olive is actually threaded, so instead of having to be pressed on, it actually threads into position and won’t slide off.

The olive simply threads onto the hose underneath the braid. Harper uses a pair of pliers with tape on the jaws to protect the olive. With the polyester braid you can usually get by with using your fingers instead of the pliers, but if you are working with steel braided line you definitely want the pliers to protect your fingers from the sharp ends of the freshly cut steel wires.

The olive simply threads onto the hose underneath the braid. Harper uses a pair of pliers with tape on the jaws to protect the olive. With the polyester braid you can usually get by with using your fingers instead of the pliers, but if you are working with steel braided line you definitely want the pliers to protect your fingers from the sharp ends of the freshly cut steel wires.

Brown & Miller’s reusable hose end fittings are interesting because the design is quite unique. Most fittings marketed to racers use a design that bites into the hose. Because all of Brown & Miller’s lightweight hoses utilize a convoluted hose, they were able to engineer a three-piece reusable hose fitting that “threads” onto the hose before locking down, making the process of installing the fittings much easier while ensuring you will also get a good, strong connection.

Thread the olive onto the convoluted hose until a little sticks out beyond the end, like you see here. The braid should be on the outside of the olive.

Thread the olive onto the convoluted hose until a little sticks out beyond the end, like you see here. The braid should be on the outside of the olive.

Now use a razor blade to cut the hose so that it is flush with the end of the olive.

Now use a razor blade to cut the hose so that it is flush with the end of the olive.

The unique system is difficult to explain, so check out the process of installing fittings on a various hoses in these photos, and you’ll see what we mean.

A little light lubricant on the threads of the fitting will help protect them and aid assembly.

A little light lubricant on the threads of the fitting will help protect them and aid assembly.

Slide the fitting in place until the collar is flush against the olive. Next, slide the collar up over the olive and thread it onto the fitting as much as you can by hand. The end of the braid should be covered by the collar.

Slide the fitting in place until the collar is flush against the olive. Next, slide the collar up over the olive and thread it onto the fitting as much as you can by hand. The end of the braid should be covered by the collar.

The easiest way to finish assembly is to secure the hose end of the fitting in a vise (Lightly, remember, we are dealing with aluminum here.) and tighten the fitting with a wrench. When it is tight the gap between the socket and the fitting should be no more than one millimeter, or about the width of a credit card.

The easiest way to finish assembly is to secure the hose end of the fitting in a vise (Lightly, remember, we are dealing with aluminum here.) and tighten the fitting with a wrench. When it is tight the gap between the socket and the fitting should be no more than one millimeter, or about the width of a credit card.

Here's our finished fitting (left) on the hose with one crimped fitting. The reusable fitting can be removed from the hose and used again, but Brown & Miller recommends using a new olive each time.

Here’s our finished fitting (left) on the hose with one crimped fitting. The reusable fitting can be removed from the hose and used again, but Brown & Miller recommends using a new olive each time.

And for comparison's sake, here is a swivel fitting reusable hose end fitted in place on a hose. Like Brown & Miller's crimped hose ends, these fittings are machined from a single piece of aluminum where the fluid flows--no brazing--which makes for a stronger, more durable fitting.

And for comparison’s sake, here is a swivel fitting reusable hose end fitted in place on a hose. Like Brown & Miller’s crimped hose ends, these fittings are machined from a single piece of aluminum where the fluid flows–no brazing–which makes for a stronger, more durable fitting.

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About the author

Jeff Huneycutt

Jeff Huneycutt has been in the automotive industry long enough to collect more project cars than he can afford to keep running. When not chasing electrical gremlins in his '78 Camaro, he can usually be found planning unrealistic engine builds.
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