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Even if you are racing in a class with minimum weight limits, the weight of individual components is always critical. The more pounds you can shave off the car, the more lead you will have available to move about the car as a tuning tool. One area where the opportunity to shave a little weight is often missed is the various plumbing lines run throughout the car. It may not seem like much at first glance, but when you add it all up there's over 40 feet of tubing running through the typical stock car with a dry-sump oiling system. Fuel lines, oil lines, coolant lines, power steering, the list goes on.

Light is Right That's why several different companies have developed lightweight hoses for racing purposes. XRP (Xtreme Racing Products) calls lightweight hoses the HS-79 line. It's a smooth-bore Teflon hose that is not only lightweight, it's also fire resistant and features an extra large inside diameter (id) compared to standard steel-braided hoses for increased fluid flow. Also, for more abrasion and fire resistance, the hoses can be purchased with a protective coating, known as Hypalon.

The biggest drawback to this stuff? It's expensive-as much as twice the cost of regular steel braid. But it also represents a significant weight savings-although the exact amount varies depending on the size of the hose, weight savings average around 50 percent. It's up to you to decide where this fits on your priority list.

HS-79 has a thin wall but is still resistant to collapse because of it's multi-layered construction. The interior wall is Teflon, which is in turn surrounded by a silicone outer tube, a layer of wire-braid reinforcement, and finally a Nomex(r) outer braid. Hypalon, if ordered, is the final layer. It's also slightly more flexible than conventional steel-braid hoses. (Note: As a general guideline, if a plumbing hose is forced into a bend so tight that its circular shape begins to deform or flatten out, you've gone too far.) The Teflon inner hose makes it suitable for all engine fluids, including gasoline, alcohol, or nitromethane.

Get To Work To get a better idea of how lightweight hoses should be installed we traveled to Heintz Performance in Concord, North Carolina, to watch the guys in the shop perform a complete plumbing install on a dirt Late Model. Located in the heart of stock car country, Heintz Performance sells and installs lightweight hoses for a number of Cup, Busch and Truck teams as well as the Saturday-night racer. The car they were working on when we arrived is a new dirt Late Model chassis that a team plans to run locally. The race team has already installed everything but the sheetmetal, which makes it easier to run everything exactly where it needs to go.

The first step is to make sure all of your racing hardware is exactly where you want it. This includes the fuel cell, oil tank, oil pump, remote filter, coolant reservoir, etc. It's not impossible to move these items later, but it probably will mean cutting or buying new lines. If you are doing a complete plumbing install like we are, it's a good idea to do each system individually. Break them down into what they carry-fuel, oil, or water-and work on one until that circuit is complete. That way you can concentrate on each system and make sure the fluid flow is efficient (and you don't miss anything).