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STICKING FUEL VALVES (AGAIN)From CP57, Page 13 (October, 1988)
On at least three
occasions, we have brought up this subject in past CP's. We continue to hear from EZ
builders and flyers that they are still experiencing occasional problems. Thanks to
Long-EZ builder/flyer, Jim Evans of Yorktown, VA, we have what we believe to be an
excellent alternative to the present brass valve with the tapered brass cone that
Jim tells us he has over 80 hours on his new Long-EZ and has used
a "Whitey" valve which has a stainless steel body, stainless steel ball and stem
and uses pure teflon seals. Stainless and Teflon are not affected by fuel and these valves
are easily available - and they turn smoothly! We obtained one of these valves and Mike
has installed it on his Long-EZ and is extremely pleased with it.
The valve body is machined from solid 316 stainless steel bar
stock, as is the one piece ball/stem. The ball, itself, (not a cone) is encapsulated
between teflon seals which can be adjusted without removing or disconnecting the valve.
There are several sizes and fitting styles available. The
Swagetok fittings look good but are not what we are used to in "aircraft style"
fittings. The valve we are recommending for all VariEzes, Long-EZ's and Defiants, is
Whitey's catalog number SS-44xF4. This valve has an orifice through the stainless ball
.281" in diameter, has female 1/4" NTP pipe threads in the inlet and left and
right outlets. These will accept the AN 822-6D 900 elbows. The one piece stainless
ball/stem eliminates any backlash and the black plastic handle has positive stops for left
and right positions. The "off" position is in the center and does not have a
positive stop. The handle points left for the left tank and right for the right tank. We
checked the flow rate through this valve, using gravity and a 6" fuel head
(simulating the worst case, low fuel in a gravity feed VariEze). We measured almost 30
gallons per hour, more than adequate for any VariEze and, of course, for the pumped
systems on Long-EZ's and Defiants - probably an "over kill" -however, keep in
mind that there have been two incidents that we know of where the pilot had a forced
landing due to a stuck valve.
These valves can be obtained from your local Whitey distributor.
We obtained ours from Bakersfield Valve and Fitting Co. in Bakersfield, CA. Contact Whitey
Co., 318 Bishop Rd., Highland Heights, OH, 44143, for the name of your nearest