#6 lines are standard for most setups. If your setup has 1/2 ports use #8 lines. Use straight fittings on your cylinders and if you can use them on your pumps do that too. Hoses should be very secure under the car and inspected for chafing, if they are rubbing you can use some garden hose or heater hose with clamps to protect the hose. Because it sucks when your hopping and your line blows fluid all over the ground and you can’t lift your car.
The typical lowrider hydraulic system has two 15′ hoses, two 5′ hoses, and four 1′ return lines. Almost all kits come with female JIC 37 ends on the hoses.
Standard in kits sold by most hydraulic companies, the soft hose has it advantages and disadvantages. On the good side they are easy to run and hook up. Also they hold up very well in hopping and extreme use of the hydraulic system. One the down side they don’t look as good as hard lines and may cost you show points.
Hard lines are on almost every feature vehicle in the magazines. Nice chrome plated lines or polished stainless lines will get the show points from the judges. Hard lines will take some work and figuring out to do. You will need a tubing bender, bur remover, and a flaring tool to do hard lines. If you are going with stainless it is recommended to have a hydraulics shop at least flare the ends because the ” do it yourself ” kits will flare the wrong angle.
These fittings have normal pipe thread. You can see that the tread is tapered on this type of fitting. The tapered end allows the fitting to seal tightly. Teflon tape can be used to seal this type of fitting. Make sure that when using the teflon tape that you skip the first couple of threads. Skipping a few threads prevents debris from being introduced into the hydraulic system.
BOSS or SAE Fittings
A boss fitting is not to common on most standard hydraulic setups. BOSS fittings are used on some dumps, check valves and slowdown valves. Teflon tape is not needed because these fitting seal with an O-ring. When using these fittings make sure the O-ring is under the fitting when it is tightened down. You should not see any of the O-ring when the fitting is cranked down.
JIC 37 Fittings
JIC 37 fittings are used on most fittings that lead to a hose. Do not over tighten a JIC 37 fitting as it will strip very easily. This type of fitting is self sealing so teflon tape under no circumstances should be used.
Sizing of lines and fittings
- #2 = 1/8″
- #4 = 1/4″
- #6 = 3/8″
- #8 = 1/2″
- #10 = 5/8″
- #12 = 3/4″
#12 = 3/4″