For those of you using Russell quick disconnect fittings on your fuel rails and regulators, check the engagement of your fittings! I have been using these fittings for the last couple of years after using Swageloc fittings for several years, but I had 2 failures of these fittings recently and am lucky not to have lost my latest build in the process.
I had the fuel rail fitting come off at full throttle on the Chevelle a few weeks ago and hosed down the engine and headers with about a gallon of gasoline before I got it shut down. When I inserted the line back into the fitting and pulled on it, it pulled off again. After looking at the fitting, I realized that the locking clip was not fully engaging in the fitting because the clip was not springing out. As a matter of fact, the clip actually springs inward slightly when removed from the fitting. I pulled another brand-new fitting off the shelf and removed the clip from it and found it to have the same inward angle to the retaining clip.
If you install the fitting and then manually press outward on the ears of the clip, the fitting will lock and can not be removed. Unfortunately, even the slightest touch on either of the ears of the clip will make them disengage from the groove in the fitting! Clearly, the engine vibration was sufficient to make the clip disengage from the fitting and blow the line off.
I then went and looked at two other cars that I built recently, as 65 Corvette with a LS2 and a 59 Corvette with a LS1 and found that both these fuel rail fittings had disengaged, but luckily, both these engines had the a hard line clamped securely to the engine, so they did not blow completely off.
While awaiting a response from Edelbrock on a solution of the problem, I developed a quick solution to assure that these fittings will not disengage in the future and have included it in the following pics.
The first pic is of a retaining clip from a brand-new fitting off the shelf that had never been used. If you look, you will see that the clip does not spring outward, but rather springs slightly inward, which makes engagement in the locking groove of the fitting iffy at best. http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...PIC02_0651.JPG
The next pic shows the fitting with the lock pressed fully into the fitting. As you see, one side of the locking clip is not engaging the locking groove in the fitting. http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...PIC03_0656.JPG
In the next pic, you can see that after applying outward pressure on the ears of the lock tab, that it fully engages the groove. Unfortunately, even the slightest touch makes it disengage from the groove. http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...PIC04_0654.JPG
Next is a pic of the fuel rail of the 65 Corvette that I built last year and you can see that both ears are disengaged and the fitting has moved about 1/4" off the line. Luckily, the line was clamped securely and it would not come completely off the fuel rail. http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...PIC09_0663.JPG
Next two pics are of a solution that will keep the fittings from releasing under any circumstances. I took a short length of thick wall vinyl tubing that has a 3/8" i.d. and slit it lengthwise and slid it over the line and up inside the locking clip. after the tubing is in place, just take a tie-wrap and secure the tubing to the fuel rail to keep it from coming out of the locking clip. http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...PIC06_0661.JPG http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...PIC07_0660.JPG
This is will absolutely prevent the clip from moving inward enough to disengage from the groove in the fitting unless the tubing is removed.
I contacted Ebelbrock technical support and asked for a permanent solution from them for the problem and was told that the fitting was fine and that it was clearly installation error. They also said that they had never had any complaints about the fittings disengaging before. Since that time, I have had many people relate to me that they have had the same problems and have just pulled the fittings off and discarded them.
I held off on posting anything until I had exhausted all efforts with Edelbrock, because I thought that they would eventually step up and do the right thing, but clearly after many weeks of back and forth with them, they are not going to.
They would only inspect the fittings if I pulled then all of them off and sent them to their engineers, leaving several cars out of service until they made a determination. They would not ship me new fittings to use while they inspected the ones that failed. I even offered to just send in a couple at a time so they did not have to ship me a a whole box of fittings, but they said no, that they wanted all the fittings back and were not going to send me any new ones until a determination had been made on the failure of the old fittings.
At this point, I told them to go screw themselves and I would just cut my looses and install new Stainless Swageloc fittings at all locations that I used the quick-disconnects at and throw their junk in the trash. I'll be damned if I will spend another dime buying fittings from them when the last ones failed! I will spend my money on new Swageloc fittings which I KNOW will not come off and cost no more than the Russell junk!
It is truly sad that after almost 40 of being an Edelbrock customer, they are willing to **** me away as a customer over such an insignificant issue. I will never buy another Edelbrock product again if there is an alternative from another vendor. I hope I see Vic Jr. at SEMA next year so I can tell him just what I think of his technical support and customer service.
I hope that all of you who have these fittings on your cars, inspect the fittings and install a fail-safe lock, similar to the one I made, on the fittings, as I would hate to hear that any of you lost your car to a fire due to a failure of this fitting.
Regards, John McGraw