We’ve been using the standard line of fittings from Jiffy-tite Motorsports on Project Biting the Bullitt – our 1,000 horsepower 1965 Ford Mustang street/strip build–for a while now with great results, but there are some places where these larger fittings can’t be installed. So in the interest of utilizing a quick disconnect system in tight spots, we’re now adding Jiffy-tite’s new Pro-Compact Series line of fittings to the mix as well.
These fittings still have all the benefits of the company’s no-tools-required quick connect design, but the internal valves that are installed in the standard fittings are absent in the Pro-Compact Series fittings in order to reduce size, making these a great option for use in spots where space is very limited. This is a problem that pops up quite often in hot rods, race cars, off-road vehicles and other custom builds.
There are many advantages offered by the new Pro-Compact Series in terms of size and fitment. We’ll also look at what factors to consider when choosing between valved and non-valved fittings and how to choose the correct seals based on the type of fluid the fittings will be used with.
Quick Connect Vs. Traditional Threaded Fittings
Regardless of whether you need fittings with or without valves, both of Jiffy-tite’s lines carry inherent advantages over traditional threaded fittings since both the standard and Pro-Compact Series fittings from Jiffy-tite utilize the company’s quick connect system.
Aside from eliminating the potential for stripping, cross-threading and over tightening, the quick connect system is ideal for lines that need to be disconnected and reconnected frequently; not only because of the speed and ease of use of Jiffy-tite’s system, but also because it eliminates the potential to forget to re-tighten the fitting. Simply pull back on the collar fitting, insert plug, release the collar, and you’re ready to go.
Also, in terms of aesthetics, while frequently connecting and disconnecting traditional threaded fittings will cause scratching and wear from constant wrenching, the quick connect design eliminates this potential damage from the equation entirely.
Jiffy-tite’s standard fittings feature internal valves that prevent fluid leakage from both sides of the fitting when disconnected. This makes servicing parts like carburetors and other fluid systems much easier, but it does come at the cost of a little extra space required over a traditional AN fitting.
“The valve fittings are a great option for use in systems where you want the speed and ease of use of quick connect system and not lose any fluid,” says Duane LaFleur, Motorsport Sales Manager for Jiffy-tite and veteran drag racer. Because the connector design of all Jiffy-tite’s fittings feature a positive-click engagement, there’s no guesswork when it comes to whether the fitting is properly sealed or not. “It’s either connected correctly or it just isn’t connected at all,” says LaFleur.
However, in certain applications, space and clearance takes a higher priority than the requirement for valve technology to eliminate any potential fluid leakage when the fittings are disconnected. For those situations the Pro-Compact Series is an ideal choice, as removing the internal valve from the equation allowed Jiffy-tite to design a fitting that works in just about any circumstance you’d normally find. “We designed these to be more or less equivalent in size to the standard AN fittings on your vehicle,” says Steve Zillig, owner and CEO of Jiffy-tite. “They fit in the same space as an AN fitting and still use the quick connect system with zero-restriction flow.”
So, if you’ve wanted to use
a quick connect fittings with your vehicle but have been forced to make do with traditional AN threaded fittings because of limited space to work with in a particular application, the Pro-Compact Series fittings, which hit the market earlier this year, could be your ticket out of “where did I put that damn wrench?!” purgatory. In fact, you might even gain some extra wiggle room beyond a traditional AN fitting. “The Pro-Compact Series is the same size–or even smaller, in some instances–as a traditional AN fitting,” LaFleur adds.
The Pro-Compact Series is the same size – or even smaller, in some instances – as a traditional AN fitting. -Duane LaFleur, Jiffy-tite Motorsports Manager
Beyond size considerations, deciding between valved and non-valved fittings largely comes down to what type of fluid will be running through the lines for which the fittings are installed. While using a valved fitting is pretty important on fuel lines that lead into the carburetor, which are often disconnected frequently for tuning and maintenance in high performance/race builds (and are typically installed right above a potentially very hot intake manifold), it may be less of a concern in other applications like transmission lines and cooling systems, where space is often at a premium, but the fluids running through the lines are not volatile.
Speaking of fluids, when choosing the right fittings for your application, it’s important to make sure you choose the right seals for the application as well. “FKM [Fluorocarbon] is the most universal seal,” says LaFleur. Since we’re running E85 in the Biting the Bullitt Mustang, we initially weren’t sure if we would need to change over to a different type of seal for proper compatibility, so we took a look at Jiffy-tite’s seal compatibility chart to make sure everything was copacetic.
Fortunately, it in turns out that FKM is not only compatible with both E85 and gasoline fuel systems, it’s also the correct seal for diesel fuel, oil, water, transmission fluid, and applications that use polyalphaolefin (PAO), which can be found in certain types of synthetic motor oil.
The Buna Nitrile (NBR) seal is for use with fittings connected to vehicles running on alcohol fuels like Q16, while the Ethylene Propylene (EPDM) seal is for use with nitromethane, methanol (methyl alcohol), ethanol (ethyl alcohol), and brake fluid. LaFleur also points out that the latter should be used in clutch system applications rather than on brake lines, as the maximum operating pressure recommended for Jiffy-tite’s quick connect fittings is 200 psi, and brake systems will exceed this level of pressure.
For those who are already using Jiffy-tite’s standard fittings, be aware that the Pro-Compact Series fittings are not compatible with Jiffy-tite’s 2000, 3000, and 5000 series of sockets and plugs, so you’ll need to install the new fittings on both ends of the line to make it work.
Whether you’re an enthusiast who’s tired of stripping threads and skinning knuckles when making adjustments in the garage or a competitor who knows that every second counts at the race track, Jiffy-tite’s Pro-Compact Series can make your life a lot easier without taking up any more room than a standard AN fitting.
Like Jiffy-tite’s standard quick disconnect fittings, the Pro-Compact Series fittings are constructed from aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum and are rated for use in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees all the way up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 degrees / 177 degree Celsius). It’s also worth noting that they are approved for use in competition by the NHRA, IHRA, and SCCA, and they’re made right here in the USA.
The Pro-Compact Series fittings are available in straight, 45–degree and 90–degree configurations in AN sizes ranging from -4 to -20 and pipe thread from 1/8 to 1-inch male NPT, and are available in either black or gold anodized finish. Click here to find a distributor in your area.
Got a question about Jiffy-tite Pro-Compact Series fittings that isn’t addressed here? Check out this tech Q&A at the Jiffy-tite website or drop us a line in the comments!