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Old 06-19-2017, 06:33 PM   #1
Rocart07
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Default Teflon tape on steering rack fittings

I recently developed a leak from the pipe that in drawings is referred to as the "repair kit" on the steering rack, ( picture of the hoses is shown in this link: http://subaruidiots.com/atf-power-steering-fluid-replacement-subaru-stiwrx/ )

Does anyone know teflon take is needed on these flared fittings? I'm trying to take this on tonight if possible
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:13 PM   #2
mrsaturn7085
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The only thing Teflon tape will ever help is a taper fitting (NPT or otherwise). Applying Teflon to flare fittings increases the risk of leakage and messes up your fitting torque if you apply standard rules of thumb (such as finger tight + 1/4 turn on Aluminum AN/JIC fittings).
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsaturn7085 View Post
The only thing Teflon tape will ever help is a taper fitting (NPT or otherwise). Applying Teflon to flare fittings increases the risk of leakage and messes up your fitting torque if you apply standard rules of thumb (such as finger tight + 1/4 turn on Aluminum AN/JIC fittings).
Yup, 100% accurate. The flared end should mate to make it leak proof.

Be careful taking it apart. Have replacement parts if this is your only car. Even with a flare nut wrench, you can strip or break the line.

How bad is the leak: weeping, dripping, or Niagara Falls? How much fluid do you add weekly?
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:12 PM   #4
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It is possible to very carefully apply Teflon tape to the flare-meets-seat area. You have to wind/stretch it around starting below the flare. But you don't want the Teflon to stick into the actual flow area, it can cause restriction or make its way into small passages.

Very hard to describe this procedure -- and my liability is limited to what you paid for this "advice."

I'm not recommending it, just saying it's possible. Years working with plumbing allowed me to figure out this approach -- it's not easy to do properly. Again, you are probably better off using whatever standard procedure is actually recommended.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dave D. View Post
...it's not easy POSSIBLE to do properly...
Fixed it for you.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Every aviation standard will tell you NOT to use tape on flared fittings for numerous reasons. There are no upsides to using Teflon tape on flared fittings, but plenty of downsides.

Teflon tape is reserved for fittings where deforming threads are the sealing surface. The Teflon's purpose is to fill imperfections and lubricate the deformation during tightening.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:37 AM   #6
Dave D.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsaturn7085 View Post
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Every aviation standard will tell you NOT to use tape on flared fittings for numerous reasons. There are no upsides to using Teflon tape on flared fittings, but plenty of downsides.

Teflon tape is reserved for fittings where deforming threads are the sealing surface. The Teflon's purpose is to fill imperfections and lubricate the deformation during tightening.
I find your lack of faith disturbing.

We are not talking aviation, here. Clearly you lack pipefitting experience. Pressure contact seals can be ameliorated with teflon -- in your own words above, "they fill imperfections."

If it were my car, I would teflon the mating surfaces, the threads, and the piping out beyond the threads. Sometimes combinations of imperfections can be successfully battled this way.

But then it's not my car. I'm just spouting successfully tested results.

Again, without pipefitting experience I don't recommend it. I just said it's possible. It's not impossible at all.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:58 AM   #7
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I referenced aerospace standards due to the associated safety requirements and my own personal engineering experience in aviation/aerospace. Tight-tolerance machined flare fittings form a concentric sealing ring when tightened. Adding tape (or otherwise using a dirty seating surface) that reduces tolerance and adds high spots is asking for leaks. The concentric ring formed by the seal will also likely cut internal part of the tape which can cause FOD. Flare fittings need to be clean, lubricated, and properly torqued - adding tape fails the clean part immediately.

I don't care how much pipe-fitting experience you have, you cannot dimension the thickness of tape applied by hand better than the cutting tool that formed the flare.

You're welcome to continue doing it your way; certainly no sweat off my back... but everyone reading this should know that your way is more prone to failure and incorrect.

Last edited by mrsaturn7085; 06-21-2017 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:31 AM   #8
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... but everyone reading this should know that your way is more prone to failure and incorrect.
And I agree with you.
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