A born entrepreneur, Robert G. Zillig sold farm fresh eggs door-to-door, bottled and sold bleach and was a real estate salesman in his early years. In 1963 Robert, better known as Bob to his friends and family, was a fairly successful supplier salesman to the automotive OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), however there was a problem; on a regular basis he was unable to fulfill orders for specialized fluid transfer fittings. That’s when he decided to strike out on his own and start a company called Jiffy-tite.
Using the cellar of his 150-year-old farmhouse as his research and development lab, and beginning with only one employee, his wife, Shirley, Bob designed and created the first Jiffy-tite® Quick-Connect Fluid Fitting. The result was a compact, snap-on, leak proof fluid connector that exceeded every OE customer’s requirement. Bob’s connector set the benchmark for innovation and quality in the fluid transfer fitting industry, and is still setting the benchmark for OEM customers including General Motors, Mercedes Benz and Chrysler.
What is a Quick-Connect?
Quick-Connect style fittings can be connected in seconds with no tools. Quick-connects are made from various aluminums, steels or plastics and are designed to join tubes or hoses to different serviceable devices. Designs used for OEM applications require the use of a disconnect tool for added safety. Just press the tube into the fitting. An audible “click”, a visual engagement line and an optional assurance cap help ensure that a leak-proof connection has been made.
The Motorsports Connection
In 1999, drag racer Duane LaFleur, approached the CEO of Jiffy-tite, Steve Zillig, Bob’s son, about the potential to market a new Quick-connect/Quick Disconnect version of these fittings for use in the race industry. Because these fittings connect to many types of lines including fuel, water, engine and transmission oil, and are safer than traditional threaded fittings, LaFleur felt confident that there would be a ready market of racers that would want to use this cutting edge technology to save time, on and off the track, especially with the added safety component of a Quick-Connect.
With traditional threaded fittings there is always a risk that fluids can leak. Jiffy-tite’s unique, high-flow valve technology in the plug and socket assembly automatically interrupts the flow of fluid when disconnected to protect against hazardous gas leaks or potential hot oil spills. Tested and proven to have a 100% leak proof seal up to 200 psi, Jiffy-tite fittings provide unsurpassed performance under extreme racing applications, thus making it a natural solution for the drag race market.
What is a Motorsports Quick-Connect?
Made of lightweight, 6061-T6 aluminum, brass valves, and stainless steel ball bearings, the Jiffy-tite Motorsports Quick-Connect Fluid Fitting is designed for an extra long life. These Quick-Connects can be connected in seconds with no tools. Just slide back the socket collar on the female end and push the male and female ends together to attach. Pull the socket collar back to disconnect.
Supplying the World
Now, some 49 years later, Jiffy-tite, Inc. has grown into one of the largest fluid transfer fitting companies in the world, supplying more than 140,000 fittings every day on six continents to OEMs and automotive enthusiasts alike.
Headquartered in a 70,000 sq. ft. facility in Lancaster, New York, Jiffy-tite Quick-Connect Fluid Fittings have become the industry standard in oil cooler fittings for radiator and transmission applications. Jiffy-tite fluid fittings have been discovered and are used by racers of many different drag classes including Pro-Stock Champion, Warren Johnson. It is the only fitting on the market today approved for use in all categories of NHRA and IHRA.
Jiffy-tite Connects With Racers
In 2008, Jiffy-tite announced that the company would step up support of NHRA racers with a product contingency program for the 2008 season. To date, Jiffy-tite has posted thousands of dollars in contingency funds for all categories at both the NHRA Lucas Oil events and Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Contingency requirements include use of $200 worth of Jiffy-tite product and a proof of purchase, decals displayed on both sides of car, and the signing of a release to promote wins in Jiffy-tite promotional material and/or public relations.
For more information about Jiffy-tite’s contingency program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about this dynamic company that is staying on the cutting edge of fitting technology with new products including their safety lanyard fitting, go to www.jiffy-tite.com.
Text by John DiBartolomeo
Duane LaFleur, Super Gas/Super Comp Racer
Duane LaFleur, Jiffy-tite’s Sales Manager, participates in drag racing in the Super Gas/ Super Comp category. Duane started his race career in the early 90’s in a ’67 Pontiac Firebird purchased for $100.
Debuting in the Super Gas class with Duane behind the wheel, the family chose to run in the ultra-competitive 9.90-indexed category in both NHRA and IHRA trim. Duane scored the Can-Am Super Gas Series Championship in 2002, along with several other late round finishes.
In 2006, the year started out rather innocently. Earlier in the year, they had scored a runner-up finish at an IHRA Pro-Am event and a semi-final finish at the NHRA national event in Columbus, OH and were looking for more success. It was in June, at the K&N Filters NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, New Jersey where the number three cylinder connecting rod decided to exit, oiling the tires and flipping the car 9 times. After the smoke had cleared, the Firebird was a total wreck.
Less than a year later, Duane returned with a state of the art 1968 Chevrolet Camaro roadster built by Russ Farmer of Race Tech Race Cars. Larry Sexton of White House, TN built the power plant starting with a Merlin block and filled it with a Lunati crankshaft that equaled up to 540-cubic inches. A set of Brodix cylinder heads seal up the cylinders, while a COMP Cams camshaft is driven by a CV Products belt drive that opens the valves by way of a set of T&D shaft rocker arms. An Edelbrock intake manifold tops off the assembly, while a Moroso oil pan and pump hold enough Valvoline oil to keep it all lubricated.
And of course, a DRE engine diaper seals off the bottom end. Behind the engine, a BTE torque converter sits in front of a Powerglide transmission. The 108-inch wheelbase chassis utilizes a four-link rear suspension that’s supported by a set of AFCO’s newest external canister coil-over shock absorbers. Jiffy-tite Quick-Connect fluid fittings were used throughout.
In 2007, the Jiffy-tite car was voted Best Engineered at LODRS Maple Grove, PA and at the Torco Race Fuels Nationals in Chicago, IL. Duane was the number one qualifier at the 2007 U.S. Mac Tools U.S. Nationals with a 9.900 E.T.