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Brake Line dos and don'ts

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


  1. Whats a
    garage floor? Hell im still working outside on 90% of my stuff!
     
  2. bfink55
    Joined: May 31, 2007
    Posts: 247

    bfink55
    Member
    from Turlock CA

    not to hi-jack but ive got a brake related question ....im a first timer at running brake lines . im running all new lines on my 55 chevy truck (m/c under the floor) i think ive got everything right , vette m/c , stock camaro discs on front , wilwoods on a ford 9" out back , 2lb check valves , prop. valve . my question is the camaro front discs have a rubber line going to the calipers which i understand for movement . i also have a rubber line with a T that go's to the rearend ......can i come strait out of the rear calipers with hard line ? or do they need a rubber line too ?
    thanks !
     
  3. Ragtop
    Joined: Nov 17, 2001
    Posts: 1,260

    Ragtop
    Member

    I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid! He says he's not and can stop any time he wants. Seriously though, another tip is to put a small "Z" in the line so you don't need to make your line exactly the right length - which is hard to do sometimes. The "Z" will open up or close a bit to allow you to tighten your fittings without bending the line or trying to strech it.
     
  4. hoggyrubber
    Joined: Aug 30, 2008
    Posts: 572

    hoggyrubber
    Member

    i used the coathanger trick on the first page today on a 6' piece, thanks for that. my 61 chevy c60 had what i believe were factory copper air brake lines. still worked fine when i had it. i know it doesn't have the pressure of hydro brakes but they hadn't split in 40+ years. i'm not saying use copper i sure wouldn't, but it might not be as scarry as you might think.
     
  5. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,904

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That spring like coil is a spring, but a weak one. It is not to prevent flexing. It is there to facilitate bending the tubing without kinking it.

    I keep a foot-and-a-half of it around the shop, for the purpose of making hand-bends. I pull it off before flaring.
     
  6. Lotek_Racing
    Joined: Sep 6, 2006
    Posts: 690

    Lotek_Racing
    Member

    You can go with hard line to the rear calipers, they don't move around enough to have any problems.

    Some noob will probably pipe up and say I'm wrong, just to be an internet badass.

    My O/T Trans-Am has hard lines to the rear calipers from the factory. So do plenty of other rear-disc cars I've worked with.

    Shawn
     
  7. I have become a fan of having warmth when I work, outside does happen alot but not this time of year around these parts.
     
  8. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    Some calipers are sliding calipers and move so need a flexible going to them, there are others like Willwood dynamites that don't move so don't need flexibles, it should be obvious on inspection.




    Sent from my iPhone using TJJ
     
  9. If you put an "S" in the line as it comes off the axle housing, you should have enough flex even for a sliding caliper. Seen them run that way on race cars 100s of times with no problems.
     
  10. Gerrys
    Joined: May 1, 2009
    Posts: 327

    Gerrys
    Member

    If the calipers need to be taken off to replace pads or to replace the rotors, a flexible line will make it eiser to replace without having to bleed the brakes each time you remove the caliper.
     
  11. Haha that IS true. Our pads go in from the top...:p
     
  12. twilloug
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 115

    twilloug
    Member
    from Omaha

    Just got done replacing all the brake lines on my coupe. I know it has been said by others but here are my lessons learned:

    1. Use factory flared lines from auto parts where possible. I used two couplings in my system to get the right length lines.

    2. Thought I had all lines tight, and they were tight enough to pump up the brakes and NOT squirt brake fluid. But they did seep fluid enough to get the fitting wet. So if you can't get the brakes to stiffen up, check all the fitting even if no fluid is dripping.

    3. The other issue I had was with bleeding. I ran brake fluid through lines until I didn't see any air in lines. Did the old fashion way with the tube in submersed jar of brake fluid.
     
  13. KROWN Kustoms
    Joined: Oct 12, 2007
    Posts: 193

    KROWN Kustoms
    Member

    DO NOT! Try to bleed them with no brake fluid in them! wont happen, and if you do,,,, you need better freinds! Been There!
     
  14. This and a good power bleeder and now I actually enjoy running brake lines. If you can afford it , it's well worth it.
     

  15. No,. but if you have a power bleeder you can pump the system with air and watch the pressure gauge. If it doesn't drop in 10 minutes your good to go. If it drops, re-tighten the line ends and try again. This way you don't leak fluid or waste it.
     
  16. KROWN Kustoms
    Joined: Oct 12, 2007
    Posts: 193

    KROWN Kustoms
    Member

    Im pretty sure my brake lines are ok; but my freinds do leak fluid and drop and they dont get tight untill the sun comes up. And the fluid, you gotta put it in to waste it!:D
     
  17. 6-bangertim
    Joined: Oct 3, 2011
    Posts: 400

    6-bangertim
    Member
    from California

    Here is what I figured out when I did the lines for front discs on my '57 Chevy:

    1) Pick up a cut-off piece 6-8' of single-strand copper wire for template material. Cut the wire 1" longer than your length of line and strip back 1/2" of insulation. You can plug it into a existing line or component and bend to taste.

    2) Shop around for lines and take notes on the lengths available at each store. Lengths will vary between manufactures by an inch or two. It could save you extra work making flairs.

    3) Use GOOD TOOLING for double flairs. I used a wore-out POS I borrowed from a neighbor, looked older than me (I'm 54), was more trouble than it was worth. Practice several flairs until you can't tell the difference between
    yours and a mfg flair. Borrow a good tool or have a shop do the flairs.

    4)DEBURR after each cut INSIDE AND OUT.

    5) A dab of valve lapping compound will keep the tube from pushing through the clamp when you start the flair.

    6) Large bends require thinking outside the box. I used the front half of the rear fender on my '53 Chevy PU for the run along the rear of the cross-member, worked slick! Make a cardboard pattern, then outline the shape on a sheet of plywood with nails for a jig to bend by hand. If the engine is in the vehicle, split the difference and use two lengths across the x-member. Much easier to handle and fit-up under the car.

    7) HF has a copy of Eastwood's hand bender - worth checking out. A club buddy loaned me his 3/16" Weatherhead bender, worked slick. Think NAPA sold them...

    8) Use the stock clippies to secure the line or make your own from soft aluminum sheet and sheet metal screws. When in doubt, add a clip.

    I'll also add that bleeding the brakes solo was a snap with a MIGHTY-VAC hand vacuum pump.

    Good Luck, Tim
     
  18. leon renaud
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,934

    leon renaud
    Member
    from N.E. Ct.

    to straighten out coils of tubing drill a hole just barely larger than your tubing through a 2x4 the 4 inch way. Now you unroll just enough tube to push it through the 2x4 with the 2x4 clamped in a vice or to something solid pull as long a piece of tubing as you need through the 2x4 it will straighten it right out.
     
    wandi harry likes this.
  19. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    You can straighten wavy tube by rolling in between 2 sheets of plywood.
     
  20. rattlesnakehoey
    Joined: Jun 4, 2008
    Posts: 131

    rattlesnakehoey
    Member
    from Australia

    If the flaring tool you bought at the yard sale causes you to cuss, create crappy flares or has some idiosyncratic flaw, chuck it to the shizenhausen. Blupoint & Snap On sell high quality flaring kits at a reasonable price. Perfect flares every time. No one regrets buying quality.
     
  21. 37gmc
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 61

    37gmc
    Member
    from upstate ny

    dont know about other states but in ny compression unionsr are not legal either , only use flare unions for line to line connections
     
  22. striper
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 4,498

    striper
    Member

    First one I had was a Blue Point, Hoey. Piece of shit was impossible to make a centred flare. I insisted on a refund and bought a KD. That tool has done a lot of cars now.

    Must say I'm looking with envy at those hydraulic units. Could be one for the list.
     
  23. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,904

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Compression fittings have NO PLACE in a brake system, ever.
     
  24. AHHHH im sick of my Flaring tool! Was useing it today had nothing but problems! It was ok the last time I did it tho!
     
  25. 40sketter
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 54

    40sketter
    Member

    i replaced the ones on the 57 lincoln and used new lines from napa that u can bend with ur thumbs have ends already on and come in measured lengths and fairly cheap
     
  26. chrisntx
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,791

    chrisntx
    Member
    from Texas .

    How do you get the clamp to hold the stainless? Every time I try it pushes thru the clamp.
    Where can I get stainless fittings?
    Carson, go close my gate the next time You pass by.
    Thanks
     
  27. HAHA! why? Be a long drive from arkasnas to tx to close your gate! I did about 10 Flares today and every one was off to one side or the other and would drip out my dot5 IDK if it was just me today or the tool!
     
  28. 6-bangertim
    Joined: Oct 3, 2011
    Posts: 400

    6-bangertim
    Member
    from California

    Try a dab of valve lapping compound inside the clamp. Better yet - find someone with a hydro flairing tool like was posted earlier here!!!

    - Tim
     
  29. This is such a small town, no one will have one i can use! I would love to get a hydro flairing tool, But I can't get one untell I can find some work for sum $$$$$
     
  30. Lotek_Racing
    Joined: Sep 6, 2006
    Posts: 690

    Lotek_Racing
    Member

    I had the same trouble until a guy I work with taught me to file the cut end of the tube exactly square.

    Cut the tube, de-burr and then file. You'll get every one.

    Shawn
     

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