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Brake Line dos and don'ts

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HotRodTruck, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. When installing new lines on any setup what are the dos and don'ts?
    I've seen rubber lines comeing off the Mc for 12 inchs then going to steel,
    I've seen the steel lines with a few twist comeing off the Mc
    Then a Straight line comeing off the Mc going to the Ts.

    Im getting ready to put in a lot of new lines on a few cars n trucks.
    I bought an old, "I think!!! "CAL VAN' Double flareing tool from the 60s or 70s at a yardsell. So i've been Double flareing on some stuff just to see if I can do it! Im to the point where there is no leaks from the flares! HAHA

    so i was just wanting to know the dos and don'ts.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Do remember to slip on the fitting before you flare the line!
     
    mario711 and wandi harry like this.
  3. striper
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 4,482

    striper
    Member

    And don't forget to slip on the fitting before you flare the line.
     
    mario711 and wandi harry like this.
  4. striper
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 4,482

    striper
    Member

    Fix hard lines to something rigid at regular intervals. Use flexible lines where there is movement. Should be obvious...but it's not to some. Don't run a brake line under a chassis member. Don't over tighten the flaring tool when doing the second part of a double flare. Let it seat and finish as you tighten the line into it's final position. 3/16" is fine for about any application. 1/4" looks more period on older cars if you care that much, but slightly more likely to kink. How's that for a start?
     
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  5. I use wire coat hangars to map out my bends before making them on the brake line; this greatly reduces the chance of making a bend the wrong direction.

    Make a few practice bends before you start your first line. Mark the tube with a sharpie every 1/2 inch, line up your first mark with the 'zero' mark on the bender and make the bend. This shows you how much tubing gets used in the bend, so you can make your lines go exactly where you want them.

    Take the time to thoroughly deburr the line inside and out once you cut it, and put a chamfer on the inside about 1/2 the thickness of the line. This makes for easier flaring, and more consistent results.

    I also keep a short scrap piece of flared line in my flaring kit. I can drop a fitting onto this line, screw it into the wheel cylinder or whatever, and measure exactly how deep into the part the line goes. That way I avoid the "I cut it three times and it's still too short" syndrome.

    Finally, when cutting that line mentioned above, remember to add the line used in the flare to your measurement, or it will end up too short after all.
     
  6. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    Don't use copper tube.
     
  7. joee
    Joined: Oct 9, 2009
    Posts: 472

    joee
    Member

    use as much pre flared line as possible
     
  8. when your new flares leak, and they will. Tighten and loosen repeatedly.
     
  9. reefer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2001
    Posts: 730

    reefer
    Member

    Nothing wrong with copper tube .if it is affixed to a rigid frame and not subject to movement....a better option is Kunifer, a tin/copper alloy.

    For bending nice bends, I used a 6" nail and silver soldered a male fitting on one end and a female fitting on the other.This can then be screwed into/onto the fitting and a nice bend can be pulled over the end of your thumb due to the extra leverage.
     
  10. Hot Rod Grampa
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 83

    Hot Rod Grampa
    Member

    Avoid high spots that can trap air. You may see a spiral near the MC but it is flat, not vertical. Highest spot should be the MC. Hydraulics are a combination of volume and pressure, and following basic guidelines as designed by Detroit will help avoid major issues.
     
  11. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    Sorry to disagree but copper will crack behind the flare even when held rigidly, Seen it many times, Kunifer far superior and for the cost involved why would you use copper.


     

  12. In the US, saying "copper tubing" automatically refers to soft copper coil used for refrigeration systems and is a 100% no no for brake lines.
    There'something entirely different about European version of "copper tube" when speaking of brake lines. I dont know what it is.
     
  13. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    We have the same copper tube here mate and there are those that use it as brake pipe hence my warning, the stuff your meaning is Copper/Nickel and known as Kunifer, Excellent stuff for brakes, so good Volvo cars are fitted with it.
     
  14. charlieb66
    Joined: Apr 18, 2011
    Posts: 549

    charlieb66
    Member

    Can you please give us a better desctiption of the few cars and trucks that you will be installing the new lines on just in case we are in Arkansas so we may BOLO for these vehicles. I cringe to think you think you will be doing this with no experience and with a yard sale tool on a few cars. Brakes are the most important part of the car. My motto is make sure it will stop before it will go.
     
  15. When you run the rear lines.....shift them to the back side (rear) of the axle. A lot of older cars run the lines in front of the axle. Back in the day, tow trucks used to snatch cars from the front, so this was not an issue. Nowadays everyone uses a flatbed with winches and binder straps. First thing a younger tow truck driver is gonna do is throw those hooks around the rear axle and cinch the car down. Many an old car has had stainless (sometimes high dollar) lines flattened this way, which adds considerably to that repair bill. Better for peace of mind to put the lines, where the hooks cant smash em.
     
  16. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,464

    19Fordy
    Member

    That's a great idea. What year and model car will you be working on and is it stock or modified...........like having an 8 inch rear. On cars with rear wish bones the lines run along the top of the wishbone not across the rear axle housing. Wouldn't it be a good idea to install that "spring like coil" that wraps around the brake line in front of the rear fitting?
    I think its purpose it to prevent flexing.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  17. Built mine
    Joined: Jan 10, 2012
    Posts: 24

    Built mine
    Member

    Undoubtedly the reason Cord went out of business.
     
  18. reefer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2001
    Posts: 730

    reefer
    Member


    Why would it crack there ? it is where the pipe is not subjected to any viabrations being as it is either at a bracket where the hoses are fitted, a three-way for a switch,or a master cylinder...so the viabration theory is out.It can`t be due to expansion and contraction because the rubber hoses and seals take up any excessive volume under load.

    I`m pretty sure in these "Health and safety" days, that if there was an issue with copper brake lines, then the good old Nanny State would ban it overnight....as it is, it comes over the counter complete with British Standard Kite Mark certification.

    Agree about using Kunifer....it`s a no brainer as regards cost.
     
  19. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    I know what your saying mate but the fact is that it does happen, A while ago on the UK NSRA forum i was having the same discussion with somebody else and guess what, 2 weeks later he came on and posted that his copper brake pipe had fractured behind the flare, I just wouldn't take the chance myself.

    I suspect its to do with the copper possibly thinning when stretched in the first flare but i don't know for sure, just an educated guess.



     
  20. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,662

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    And remember to have it facing in the correct direction. It was a great looking flare too:rolleyes:

    I've got probably six different tube benders in my tool box and still can't get the perfect bend I want every time.

    Laying out the tubing and getting the perfect bends in just the right spot is a bit of an art in it's self.
     
  21. 1951Streamliner
    Joined: May 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,872

    1951Streamliner
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    Do get too many pieces of brake line, and take back what you dont use... because even if you think you don't need it, if you dont buy it, you will indeed need it.
     
  22. Have lots of patience, it takes time to do a nice job. And you will forget to put the fitting on at least once!
     
  23. Willy301
    Joined: Nov 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,426

    Willy301
    Member

    I just buy the 25 foot coil, it takes a bit of work to get it straight, but the fewer connections you have, the less likelyhood of a leak.
     
  24. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,662

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

     
  25. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,787

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Add a drop of oil to the tube before compressing the flaring tube.
     
  26. Thats just what I did! I went to http://sherco-auto.com/
     
  27. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    I like small alternator pulleys for bend brake line around, In the old days we used to bend it around the neck of a Milk bottle.
    For really tight bends i use a pair of pliers made for the job.
     

  28. LOL Thats what my cop buddys in town told me! BOLO! And the FireDept im with said we are gonna have to come cut ya out of your stuff! HAHA + im glad im on 5 miles of dirt road so I have room to test my brakes befor I get on the highway!

    I've done my 1971 F350 DRW awile back, No Porbs yet! I need to do two FIRETRUCKS of mine and a 66 Galaxie 66 F250.. Srry there not HAMB type of cars but owell!



    I've done a Search for Brake lines like how not to install a line but no luck. So maybe this will help a few people, Thanks guys!
     

  29. HA! I like that one! alternator pulleys!
     
  30. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,025

    The37Kid
    Member

    Yes, and be sure the threads are on the flared end. Before buying any line or fittings by an Eastwood Brake Tube Flaring Tool part # 25304, they work GREAT!:)
     

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