The electric future for agricultural equipment

electric tractorCar manufacturers are making great strides in electric drive technology and the death of diesel and petrol engines is on the horizon. This revolution is happening for larger vehicles too. For some types of farm vehicles, like loaders and mixer-feeder wagons, electric drive is already here. Soon there will be tractors, with three companies planning to sell electric models in the next two years.

According to Professor Peter Pickel, deputy director of John Deere’s European Technology Centre, the electrification of tractors offers three key advantages.

First is increased efficiency. A diesel engine achieves about 35% efficiency in converting thermal to mechanical energy. Compare that with the overall efficiency of charging batteries at 80%, while electric motors have an efficiency of 90%.

Second, he says electrical power offers greater controllability and opportunities for automation. One example is precision seeding. The Exact Emerge system from John Deere for single seed placing uses electric motors to place seeds within 1cm accuracy.

Professor Pickel sees it as a complete system where the battery is removable and is part of the farm’s electricity grid. This would bring battery utilisation up to 96%.

So with these benefits, German manufacturer Fendt and India-based firm Escorts have just launched electric models. However, both are at the lower end of the horsepower range, with Fendt’s e100 Vario being the more powerful, offering 67hp.

How to measure silicone hose diameter

Our silicone hoses are sold by internal diameter (ID) not external diameter. We measure this internal diameter with measuring calipers from internal edge to internal edge.

measuring silicone hoses

In order to select the correct hose, measure the outer diameter (OD) of the pipe you want to connect it to. This will be the same as the Internal Diameter of the silicone hose. For example if the outer diameter of the pipe is 76mm then you need to choose a silicone hose with a 76mm internal diameter (ID).

Internal and Outer diamenter

Take a look at our silicone hose range here.

Y piece silicone hose connector

y piece hoseThe Y piece silicone hose is ideal for making any split connections. There is a main body, which is the larger of the diameter, reducing and splitting down to two equal branches.

Beautifully moulded and made by hand there is no “flashing” of silicone inside the join, for am excellent air / water flow.

We are proud to be the ONLY manufacturer currently offering Y shaped silicone hoses. Bringing you a very useful connector otherwise impossible to obtain.

Take a look here: Y piece silicone hose

Straight Hoses 1, 2 4 meters

straight hosesOur straight silicone hoses offer excellent build quality with 3 to 5 ply reinforced construction. We stock hoses from 6mm ID meaning almost every size is catered for, and in stock!

Our small diameter straight lengths are very flexible and achieve a very good bend radius. Diameters from 6 to 19mm are often used for water connection, breathers or heater matrix. The flexibility of our hoses offers good piping solutions for many applications.

Bigger diameters offer good value for money as they allow you to cut to length or use as they are. Ideal for coolant, intercooler or air intakes.

We have 1, 2 and 4 meter options available. The longer 2 and 4 meter lengths are fantastic for a continuous run with no joins.

1 meter straight hose

2 meter straight hose

4 meter straight hose

How often should hoses be replaced?

engine bay with hosesMost automakers and belt manufacturers recommend having your hoses replaced once every 4 years. Of course, this will vary with mileage – a car that’s heavily driven may need to have the hoses replaced much sooner.

How can you tell if your hoses need replacing?

There are several key things to look for to see if your hoses are coming to the end of their lifespan.

Look for:

  • Kinks
  • Stiff or brittle texture
  • Surface cracks
  • Bulges or bubbles

Inspect the hoses and note any kinks or obvious signs of wear. Squeeze the radiator hoses (when cool ONLY) and see how they feel. If hoses are soft and pliable, there is no need to replace them. However, if hoses feel stiff, crackly, or brittle, they will need to be replaced.

While squeezing the hoses, inspect the surface for small cracks. These can easily become big problems, as they’re the primary point for a “blown” hose.

You can also check where the hoses connect to the inlet or outlet pipe. Look for bulges or bubbles around the hose clamps, as this is a sign of impending failure.

Hoses can last a long time, but replacing them before they fail is always the better option. Once you have identified that the hoses need replacing then consider whether you want to opt for a straight rubber replacement which will likely need changing again in 4 years or click here to see what difference do silicone hoses make.

Last few RS MK2 Focus Silicone Hose Kits available

Looking to improve the performance on you Ford Focus RS MK2? Why not take a look at our range of silicone hose kits for this model currently at a special clearance price.

We have 3 different kits for this model including induction, turbo and ancillary hoses. All Viper hose kits are carefully hand crafted and designed to improve on the original rubber parts, thus providing better performance, lifetime reliability for track days, racing, and fast road use.

Ford Focus Silicone Hose KitKit 064 – Induction

Intake, Airbox, Induction & Acoustic Hoses. Thick Quality Build to prevent hoses from collapsing which can be a problem with the original plastic hoses. 1 blue left

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Kit 066 – Turboturbo hoses for Focus Mk2

Turbo to Intercooler hoses, moulded from one piece (no joins). Quality built with 5 ply and NOMEX. Available in blue.

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mk2 silicone hosesKit 068 – Ancillary

3 blue 1 red 1 white 1 green left

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If you’d like to see how silicone hoses could make a difference to your car head over to this blog post what difference do silicone hoses make?”

The best materials for Fuel Hose

braided hoseIn our popular blog “Are silicone hoses fuel resistant?We discuss the various options for fuel hoses but what is the difference between NBR and PTFE and what exactly is the best material for fuel hoses?

Placement of the fuel hose

The best way to decide is dependant on the placement of the hose itself. Nitrile rubber hoses (NBR) should only be run in areas such as underneath the car, or under the hood. They should never be run inside the cabin as fuel fumes can permeate through the wall of the hose. For hoses that need to be run inside the cabin, PTFE hoses are ideal, as fuel fumes will not permeate the hose walls.

Flexibility

Nitrile rubber hoses offer an excellent bend radius. This means that you can create the desired system without the need for extra fittings and angles. The hoses can be bent and fixed as needed, resulting in a sleek and tidy fuel system. PTFE hoses have a significantly reduced bend radius, more angle and end fittings may be required, which increases the chance of a leak occurring in the system.

Cost

While PTFE hoses are generally cheaper, the savings are often offset on the extra fittings that are required.

Weight

An additional to PTFE hoses are their lightweight nature. If weight is a concern, PTFE hoses might be the ideal solution for your fuel line.

To see Viper Performances full range of fuel hoses click here.

New electric cars 2021. What’s coming?

electric car chargingOver the next few years, you can expect the number of electric vehicles (EVs) offered by manufacturers to rocket. The car industry’s biggest players have been transforming their businesses and plunging millions into the design and development of electric cars. Here is our run down of what you can expect in 2021…

Audi

e-Tron sportback
The electric Audi e-Tron is now available to buy. This is only the beginning of the Audis electrified plans. Earlier this year a Sportback version of the eSUV was spotted.

e-tron GT
The new Audi e-Tron GT continues the new, electric design language introduced on the e-Tron SUV, and transposes it onto an A7-style body – though at 4.96m long, 1.96m wide and 1.38m high, it’s both lower and slightly wider than that conventional grand tourer. And although it uses the Taycan’s J1 platform – and keeps the same roofline as the Porsche – this is unmistakably an Audi. It’s a concept for now, but its understood to be pretty much production ready.

Q2
Audi is on an electric charge, and it is now suggested the Q2 is latest model to swap fossil fuel for batteries. A new emissionless version of Ingolstadt’s baby SUV has been seen in testing, and there are a few changes compared to the ‘standard’ Q2.

BMW i4

Munich is desperately ramping up its electric car ambitions and the i4 will move the sub-brand into a more high-volume, family-friendly part of the market. The production-spec i4 saloon will use two electric motors, all-wheel drive and torque vectoring. It’s likely that BMW will follow Tesla’s lead in offering different versions with a choice of power outputs.

Nissan Infiniti

Nissan’s upmarket premium wing Infiniti has pledged to launch electrified cars by 2021.

Jaguar XJ

The polarising XJ luxury saloon is due for replacement in 2020 and its suggested that it will be a pure electric car. Traditionally the XJ has battled the likes of the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8, but its successor must move its cross-hairs towards Porsche’s Taycan, Audi’s e-Tron GT and, in particular, Tesla’s now-venerable but highly successful Model S.

Seat

Seat el-Born
The Seat el-Born is the first car from the Spanish brand to put on the VW Group’s MEB trousers. It made its debut at the 2019 Geneva motor show and follows on from the rather Twizy-esque Minimo car shown at MWC 2019. The Seat el-Born has a total system power of 201bhp, capable of launching the electric hatch to 62mph in 7.5 seconds. Up to 260 miles can be gleaned from its 62kWh battery pack, and it can be recharged via a 100kW in around 45 minutes.

Seat Minimo
The Seat Minimo is a new concept car not unveiled at Geneva, but at Mobile World Congress (or MWC). Seat says the all-electric concept has been developed to meet the challenges of ‘city driving and emission regulations.’

Tesla

Tesla Cybertruck pick-up
Not content with electrifying saloons, SUVs, sports cars and – soon – articulated lorries, Tesla has now unveiled its radical new Cybertruck, the first all-electric pick-up from Fremont. With a range of up to 500 miles, three different power outputs and seating for six, the Tesla Cybertruck is one of the most exciting trucks on the market.

Tesla Roadster
If performance is your thing, the new Tesla Roadster v2 due in 2020 is hard to ignore. In typical Elon Musk fashion, the entrepreneur has decreed that the first open-top Tesla will also be the world’s fastest car – with 0-60mph in a claimed 1.9sec.

Tesla Model Y
The Model Y is the more upright, SUV-style version of the smaller, cheaper Model 3 – and it could arguably be an even more important car for the pioneering EV company.

Do Silicone hoses stretch?

can hoses stretch

It has previously been suggested that if you buy a hose, which is the wrong size, you could put the hose in boiling water to stretch it. This will not work. You cannot stretch our silicone hoses. Our polyester reinforced silicone will NOT stretch between temperatures of -40C and 180C so water from a kettle will have no effect. If fact the whole point of silicone as a raw material is that it does not shrink, expand or crack at these temperatures.

Hoses are sold by internal diameter not external diameter. You need to choose the hose with the internal diameter matching the outdoor diameter of the pipe you are wishing to connect to.

It is imperative that you ensure you do not buy a hose which is too small. Even a few millimetres could result in shearing of the inner liner which can mean pieces of silicone make their way into your system.

It is also worth noting that buying a how which is too big will result over clamping which will damage the hose and create bulging for water or air to escape.

To check out our full range of silicone hose sizes click here.

Get the temperature down with Exhaust Wraps

Viper Exhaust wrapsAn exhaust wrap is a fantastic heat protection product. Ideal for reducing engine temperatures and improving exhaust gas temperatures. This is an essential product where your car needs reduced engine under bonnet temperatures and the hot exhaust gas dispersion time needs to be improved.

By providing just the right amount of insulation, exhaust  wraps keep the hot exhaust gases at just the right temperatures to move quickly and efficiently through the exhaust system all while retaining lower intake temperatures.

In a dyno test by Hot Rod Magazine they found exhaust wrap significantly reduced engine temperatures. On unwrapped headers, the temperature near the cylinder head was 1,156 degrees Fahrenheit. After the wrap was applied, the temperature dropped to 972 degrees Fahrenheit.

Not only did the exhaust temperature decrease, but so did other areas of the engine. On their test they found that the valve covers on their 600 horsepower small block Chevy test engine dropped from 750 degrees Fahrenheit to only 619.

Selecting the correct heat-shielding product is important. We have several specialist turbo exhaust wrap systems and heat shielding products to suit various applications, temperatures, and budgets, at very competitive prices.

Click here to see products