Sticking fuel valves (again)

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 sometimes sticks! 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 distributor.

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