Carefully inspect all hydraulic hose and fittings at regular intervals to ensure airworthiness. Investigate any evidence of fluid loss or leaks. Check metal tubes for leaks, loose anchorage, scratches, kinks, or other damage. Inspect fittings and connections for leakage, looseness, cracks, burrs, or other damage. Replace or repair defective elements. Make sure the hoses do not chafe against one another and are correctly secured and clamped.
a. Replacement of Metal tube. When inspection shows hydraulic hose to be damaged or defective replace the entire line or, if the damaged section is localized, a repair section may be inserted. In replacing aircraft hose, always use tubing of the same size and material as the original line. Use the old tubing as a template when bending the new tube, unless it is too greatly damaged, in which case a template can be made from soft iron wire. Soft aluminum tubing (1100, 3003, or 5052) under half-inch outside diameter may be bent by hand. For all other tubing use an acceptable hand or power tube-bending tool. Bend tubing carefully to avoid excessive flattening, kinking, or wrinkling. A small amount of flattening in bends is acceptable, but do not exceed 75 percent of the original outside diameter. Excessive flattening will cause fatigue failure of the hydraulic tube. When installing the replacement tubing line it up correctly with the mating part so that it is not forced into alignment by tightening of the coupling nuts.
b. Hose couplings and Tube Connections. Many tube connections are made using flared tube ends with standard connection fittings: AN-818 (MS 20818) nut and AN-819 (MS 20819) sleeve. In forming flares, cut the tube ends square, file smooth, remove all burrs and sharp edges, and thoroughly clean. The tubing is then flared using the correct 37-degree aviation flare forming tool for the size of tubing and type of fitting. A double flare is used on soft aluminum tubing 3/8-inch outside diameter and under, and a single flare on all other tubing. In making the connections, use hydraulic fluid as a lubricant and then tighten. Overtightening will damage the tube or fitting, which may cause a failure. Under-tightening may cause leakage which could result in a system failure.
CAUTION: Mistaken use of 45-degree automotive flare forming tools may result in improper tubing flare shape and angle; causing misfit, stress and strain, and probable system failure.
c. Repair of aircraft hydraulic Metal Tube Lines. Minor dents and scratches in tubing may be repaired. Scratches or nicks not deeper than 10 percent of the wall thickness in aluminum alloy tubing, that are not in the heel of a bend, may be repaired by burnishing with hand tools. Replace lines with severe die marks, seams, or splits in the tube. Any crack or deformity in a flare is unacceptable and cause for rejection. A dent less than 20 percent of the tube diameter is not objectionable unless it is in the heel of a bend. A severely-damaged line should be replaced; however, it may be repaired by cutting out the damaged section and inserting a tube section of the same size and material. Flare both ends of the undamaged and replacement tube sections and make the connection by using standard unions, sleeves, and tube nuts.If the damaged portion is short enough, omit the insert tube and repair by using one union and two sets of connection hose fittings.
d.Replacement of Flexible Hose. When replacement of flexible hose is necessary, use the same type, size, part number, and length of hose as the line to be replaced. Check TSO requirements. If the replacement of a hose with a swaged-end type fitting is necessary, obtain new hydraulic hose assemblies of the correct size and composition. Certain synthetic oils require a specially compounded synthetic rubber hose, which is compatible. Refer to the aircraft manufacturer’s service information for the correct part number for the replacement hose. If the fittings on each end are of the correct type or sleeve type, a replacement may be fabricated. Before cutting new flexible wire braided hose to the proper size, tape the hose tightly with masking tape and cut in the center of the masking tape to prevent fraying. The use of a mandrel will prevent cutting the inside of the hose when inserting the fittings. Install hose assemblies without twisting. A hose should not be stretched tight between two fittings as this will result in overstressing and eventual failure. The length of hose should be sufficient to provide about 5 to 8 percent slack. Avoid tight bends in flex lines as they may result in failure. Never exceed the minimum bend radii.
(1) Teflon hose is used in many aircraft systems because it has superior qualities for certain applications. Teflon is compounded from tetrafluoroethylene resin which is unaffected by fluids normally used in aircraft. It has an operating range of -65°F to 450 °F. For these reasons, Teflon hose is used in hydraulic and engine lubricating systems where temperatures and pressures preclude the use of rubber hose. Although Teflon hose has excellent performance qualities, it also has peculiar characteristics that require extra care in handling. It tends to assume a permanent set when exposed to high pressure or temperature. Do not attempt to straighten a hose that has been in service. Any excessive bending or twisting may cause kinking or weakening of the tubing wall. Replace any hose that shows signs of leakage, abrasion, or kinking. Any hose suspected of kinking may be checked with a steel ball of proper size.The ball will not pass through if the hose is distorted beyond limits.
(2) If the hose fittings are of the reusable type, a replacement hose may be fabricated. When a hose assembly is removed, the ends should be tied, so that the preformed shape will be maintained.
(3) All flexible hose installations should be supported at least every 24 inches. Closer supports are preferred. They should be carefully routed and securely clamped to avoid abrasion, kinking, or excessive flexing. Excessive flexing may cause weakening of the hose or loosening at the fittings.