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Hot Rods 1955 Ford f-100 start from scratch brake lines...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by SDS, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. SDS
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 98

    SDS
    Member

    Had a bunch of kids and stopped working on my cars for almost a decade...now I'm back, so hello again everyone.

    I have my 55 f100 fully disassembled and am had everything sandblasted - so I'm essentially staring from scratch on some things...
    383 small block Chev, Ford 9", Fatman Fab front suspension, modern underneath, old school custom outside.
    Question: I have a CPP under-floor brake pedal/booster/master cylinder setup, standard Ford 9" drums out back, Mustand 2 calipers (of some sort) up front...
    I was hoping to plumb the brake lines with stainless, do I do AN or standard fittings?
    Double flares on stainless is a PITA if I stay standard - But I suppose I'll have to use a lot of adapter fittings if I go AN.

    Your thoughts and recommendations?
    Thanks!
     
  2. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,955

    stuart in mn
    Member

    Look at using copper-nickel brake lines instead. It's a lot easier to bend and flare than stainless, and resists corrosion pretty well too. You can get it at many auto parts stores these days, NAPA and O'Reilley's carry it among other places.
     
  3. 01mikep
    Joined: Jul 26, 2014
    Posts: 125

    01mikep
    Member
    from California

    The last car I did from scratch was with the copper-nickel line. Flared really nice. Not a single hint of a leak.
     
  4. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,054

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Unless you plan on making your truck a "show car" or you are concerned about rusting out the brake lines over time I wouldn't go to the trouble or expense of SS.
    I had planned on doing my 66 Suburban in SS but even after I bought the tubing I decided not to use it, but plan to use what my other two cars have.
    On both my roadster and 67 Nova, I used the "fitted" lengths of brake line from NAPA and Autozone, these have the blackish protective coating but more importantly they can be bent by hand and if I remember correctly, the lengths come in 10 inch increments, up to about 60 inches.
    You need to have EVERY component in hand before starting, such as master cyl. proportioning valve, junction blocks, etc.

    It does take some layout planning and thought on connectors and fittings (straight, 45, 90 degree) to make the various lengths all work in the available run space.
    Also, the flex hoses and where they are anchored need to be predetermined but this would be the case no matter what tubing is used.
    It helps the planning process if you scan the book at the parts store to see what is available for fittings if you are not familiar with the hardware.
    I'm very pleased on how both of mine turned out.

    Edit
    Forgot to mention that if you get to the last connection and find a tube a little too long you can easily cut and flare this tubing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    ferus88 and Truckdoctor Andy like this.

  5. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,398

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    Get the copper nickel line. Locally, AutoZone stocks it in 25’ rolls for less than I’ve seen anywhere else. Flares and bends easily, seals easier than steel, and doesn’t rust.


    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  6. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,594

    J. A. Miller
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Central NY

    Another vote for copper/nickel line - same reasons as above.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  7. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,733

    FrozenMerc
    Member

    I have done both Stainless and standard Copper/Nickle Lines.

    For a decent driver, or even a nice show car, the copper/nickle lines work well. The tools are cheaper, the lines bend nicely, and get double flared, and your favorite local parts store has everything fitting or adapter wise you will need.

    The 2 cars I did stainless on were both high end show cars/trucks, and the owners wanted everything polished and pretty. Single flare stainless, the flaring tools are more expensive because they need to be hardened (stainless is much harder than copper/nickle line and will quickly destroy regular flaring tools). You need more specialized adapters and fittings to connect to everything, and you will probably have to special order them, and that all adds up to more cost.

    That said, I didn't find stainless any more difficult to work with, but the right set of tools goes along ways. It is fun to polish it up and make it look good as well.
     
  8. GirchyGirchy
    Joined: Mar 17, 2011
    Posts: 232

    GirchyGirchy
    Member
    from Central IN

    I used Cu-Ni on my OT truck based on a recommendation from a friend, and loved it. First time making my own (rather than using ones which came with fittings) and had no trouble double flaring them.

    Go with SUR&R from Summit, nice US-made heavy-wall stuff, and good fittings.

    https://www.summitracing.com/search/brand/s-u-r-r
     
  9. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,937

    LM14
    Member Emeritus
    from Iowa

    Not many double flare stainless successfully. They generally single flare it and use AN fittings with sleeves and nuts on the 37* male fittings. I wouldn't have done stainless on my current build except it was a deal with buying the rolling chassis already plumbed in stainless. If I were doing it myself, I would have probably gone with Copper-Nickle. Less fittings to buy, parts available locally, etc., etc.

    SPark
     
  10. I use the NAPA stuff with the coating, very forgiving. I'll buy longer pieces, chop it in 2 pieces and it cuts my flaring by half. But I've been flaring lines for a long time and there are tricks you learn along the way. Something like a popular Ford truck, you may find it already made up.
     
  11. SDS
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 98

    SDS
    Member

    DO you have to double flare it?
     
  12. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,789

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Or buy a good flaring tool, good bender, SS line, polishing compound, and get after it!
    upload_2019-9-11_14-2-25.png

    upload_2019-9-11_14-2-51.png

    upload_2019-9-11_14-3-21.png

    upload_2019-9-11_14-3-46.png

    Someone on here said once that cool is neither cheap or easy. X2
     
  13. Ralphies54
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 750

    Ralphies54
    Member

    Billy, that looks more like a bubble flare rather than a 37 or even a 45 degree flare. I was always under the assumption that SS was to hard to double flare therefore a single flare and the need for sleeve under the nut. School me if im wrong!!Ralphie
     
  14. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,789

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    No, that's a double flare. I aint saying they were easy to flare, I had one foot on the bench for leverage most of the time. I was careful cutting the SS so as not to harden it, that prevents cracking to the tubing during the double flare process. That tool made it pretty quick, set it to 0 to set the tube in the jaws the correct amount (no guessing), then set it to operation 1 and pull the handle, then operation 2 to double flare and pull the handle again, done. Unless you forget the fitting, then you get to do it again.
    I built the entire brake system (3/16 SS with double flares) and the fuel system (5/8 SS 45 degree AN delivery and return) with that tool. I'll do the same to my PU build. I just like the way it looks.
     
    Ralphies54 likes this.
  15. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,398

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    Yes, standard double flare. Use with regular fittings and tubing nuts.



    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  16. I borrowed a hydraulic flaring tool (Mastercool) when I did my Ford. But there was a hitch, I had to touch up some of his dies as they were dinged up. Important to cut the line square, I made up a split die from aluminum bar stock, clamped it in the vise so I could file the line square, also deburr the inner & outer diameters. I use a spritz of WD40 so everything slides easily and doesn't gall, essential on SS line. Like I said, I use the green-black NAPA stuff and it bends nicely, for some reason all of my radii are the same size as a floor jack handle...
     
    Happydaze likes this.
  17. SDS
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 98

    SDS
    Member

    Thanks for all the good advice, I've done lots of brake lines on hot rods before but haven't done any for about 20 years. I'm planning on driving this thing a lot when I get done with it, and I'm not driving it in New England winter, but I am still concerned with rust over time.
    If I do stainless I'm definitely not going to polish it... I was leaning towards stainless, but I'm now leaning towards of the copper nickel stuff... If I get paranoid about rusting, I'll just paint it.
    What are the fittings on the copper nickel stuff made of? Do they have some kind of coating on them to prevent corrosion?
     
  18. SDS
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 98

    SDS
    Member

    In addition, do any of you guys who run your brake and fuel lines on the inside of the frame rails, put any kind of shielding over them in the bell housing area? NHRA for example mandates this.
     
  19. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,398

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    Painted or not, Cunifer / Nicop brake lines don’t rust. That’s what this alloy was designed to prevent. It uses regular steel tube nuts you can get at any parts store. Easy to cut, bend, and flare with regular tools you would have used on steel lines.

    I can see doing stainless on a full polish show car. For everything else, I’m totally sold on Cunifer. I’ll never do steel brake lines again.

    If you have a local AutoZone, go buy a 3’ piece of this stuff to play with. Make a few cuts, bends, and flares with it.



    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     

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