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Pipe junctions


Ken G
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I don't think I have asked this question before; if I have, I didn't get an answer.<P>In my 1925 Rover 16/50, there are many junctions between copper pipes and other fittings, both in the pressurized oil paths and in grease feeds to certain otherwise inaccessible bearings. They all use gizmos known as olives in England; I think they are known as ferrules in the U.S. However they are not like any in common use today; assistants in hardware stores (plumbing departments) look at them in disbelief!<P>In modern usage, the fitting has a tapered recess, surrounded by a male thread. The pipe has a sort of nut (female thread) and then a ferrule slipped over it. The ferrule has a taper that roughly matches the fitting's recess. When the nut is screwed up against the male thread of the fitting, the ferrule is compressed down on to the pipe and into the recess, sealing the joint. (At least, I think that's how it works).<P>In my Rover, there is again a nut slipped over the pipe, but the end of the pipe is flared outwards, and the olive/ferrule fits inside the flare. In other words, the olive is more or less symmetrical, fitting into tapered recesses both of the fitting and the pipe. When the nut is tightened, the pipe is compressed down on to the olive rather than the other way round.<P>I need to find a source of such olives/ferrules, because some are missing. They look like short pieces of thick-walled copper pipe, perhaps 1/4 inch outside diameter and 3/8 inch long, with shallow tapers both ends. Given copper pipe of appropriate diameter and wall thickness, I could probably make some merely with a hacksaw and file, but I would prefer to find a real source. I assume that the material should be soft so that it gives as the nut is tightened and takes up the space. The only alternative would involve replacing the flared copper pipes by straight ones, and clearly I would rather not have to do that.<P>Does anyone know what I am talking about, and have any suggestions?<P>Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50

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could u use copper line compression fitting ferruls as used in plumbing?????? THATS exactly what it sounds like u r describing. These compression fittings w/ ferruls r available at nearly any good hardware store.

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From your discription, it sounds like the same design used on some early take apart spark plugs from the 1910 era. There must be someone in the UK that has these bits, I'd try there before having them made. Does your car use Tecalamite grease fittings?

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Thank you for your comments.<P>1. Yes, certainly using a lathe would be better, but I don't know anyone who has one. I think that I might be able to improvise using an electric drill to smoothe away file marks.<P>2. I don't understand your reference to "copper line compression fitting ferrules as used in plumbing". I was trying to describe how mine differed from those readily available in hardware stores, and it was the staff in hardware stores who were so surprised to see what I had and who were unable to help.<P>3. I have searched many internet sites, including some in the U.K., without success. I shall be in England in September, and intend to take an olive with me to see if anyone can match it. I don't know what Tecalamite grease fittings are. The grease fittings are button nipples, hexagonal flat-topped, dozens of them. I cannot remember the dimensions off hand (11/16 inch?). I have the required adapter for my British grease gun, but frustratingly so far I have been unable to find a way to fill the gun. I understand that cans of grease in Britain come with a plastic fitting that somehow allows filling the gun, whereas American guns assume the use of a cartridge, of a size that doesn't fit my gun ... and of course my adapter is the wrong thread for an American gun!<P>Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50

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Ken, What you have are Tecalemit (correct spelling)fittings. These were all over Bugattis, and pre WWII MG's. Ckeck the MG-TABC web site for a supplier. The greas gun you have may be the old take apart and pack with grease style. Messy but they work just fine.

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