Register now to get rid of these ads!

Bulk brake line

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by eheine20, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. eheine20
    Joined: Nov 2, 2010
    Posts: 43

    from WI

    Wondering if anyone has used the rolls of brake line before and how it turned out. Im getting ready to plumb my 47 chevy coupe. It has 70 camaro front brakes, 66 el camino rear drums, and a mid 80s monte carlo master. What is the best size, option, for my ride? Please keep in mind that i have a tight budet, but if you feel the roll is a poor option, let me know. I want the car to stop, so i guess i want to spend the money and do it right the first time. :)

    E. Heine
  2. rogmoseley
    Joined: Jan 7, 2009
    Posts: 58


    I have bought it by the roll and made up my own, if you have a good flaring tool and bender, it's a lot cheaper and neaterr than trying to by made up pieces that usually don't fit right. 3/16ths is a good size from my expierence. my 2%.
  3. Captain Kirk
    Joined: Mar 20, 2010
    Posts: 82

    Captain Kirk

    I have used the 25' roll of 3/16" from speedway on my 48 Plymouth and bought the double flare tool from HF. So far so good, bit of a challenge to straighten the line from it's rolled condition without kinking it, patience is key. Plus speedway has the fittings and residual valves I needed.
  4. Dakota Boy
    Joined: Sep 8, 2010
    Posts: 173

    Dakota Boy
    from Racine, WI

    Go to Napa and get a 25' roll of thier nickel/copper brake line.
    It's sorta brown colored, instead of zinc-coated.

    You wont even need a bender for it.

    Great stuff.

  5. R Frederick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 2,658

    R Frederick
    from illinois

    I bought a roll of that in 3/16" at O'Reilly last week for $20. It's the only way I'll go from now on. I bent it all by hand, it bends real nice without kinking.
  6. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531


    The local NAPA store sells bulk brake tubing in 25' lenghts and works great. You can also order it from Speedway and other sources. Buy a decent bender and double flare tool and you should be all set.

    A little practice with the double flares and it will look factory. I have a problem remembering to put the fitting on first sometimes but I just call it practice and make another flare.

    3/16" tubing works well for most applications and there are lots of fittings and adapters available.

    Make sure you get the correct residual pressure valves and proportioning valve if needed and place them where you can get to them later if you need to service anything. Take your time, keep it neat and clamp the line to the frame every few feet.
  7. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    from Atl Ga

    I got one of these bulk line straighteners from Inline Tube.
    It's not cheap, but it's a lot of tool for the money, too.

    and Oh My God is it great to use! Feed the coil into one end, and pull an arrow-straight length out the other.
    I heard "This is fun!" from my kid, and he had 5 feet of straight line before I could stop him.

    I'll never buy straight line from the store again, or even pre-bent kits.

    Between that, my Imperial Eastman tubing benders, and my Blue Point flaring kit, I could make lines all day long, and enjoy it.

  8. eheine20
    Joined: Nov 2, 2010
    Posts: 43

    from WI

    Thats what i wanted to hear. You think 3/16ths is fine for my 16app? So many forms on here saying "use 1/4, use 3/16." Hard for a new guy to keep it straight.
  9. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    The size does not make any difference in the brake's operation. The parts you are using came with 3/16 orignaly. The threaded ports ,at least in the rear W/C ,will be sized for that size line.
  10. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,665


    I use 3/16" on everything, save where I am doing a partial re-fit on something that already has a different size.
  11. badsco
    Joined: Jun 11, 2009
    Posts: 104


    I seem to think that for the master cylinder you mentioned that the output for the rear to and from the proportioning valve will be 1/4. It will change to 3/16 at the rear tee/flex line to the wheel cylinders.

    A tip on the double flaring tool. When setting the tube in the clamping part of the tool, if you turn the double flaring button upside down and place it next to the line, that is a gauge as to how far to stick out the tube for a perfect double flare (edge of line level with shoulder of the button).
  12. from what ive learned about copper and hydraulic fluid, copper actually helps oxidize the fluid which then attracts water which means rust. i guess it just gives you a good reason to change your brake fluid as often as you should and not as often as you already do. :D
  13. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    That is how it is from the factory on a 85 suburban, Jaguar and many thousands of other gm cars. 3/16 all around might work, but to say it makes no difference is simply not the case.
  14. gsport
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 678


    i just did my brake lines, and pricing each fitting and a roll of tubing from speedway, i found it cheaper to use their pre-made lines. i bought five, 60" straight tubes with fittings on each end, and when i had to cut a line i already had the fitting for it
  15. mustang6147
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,847

    from Kent, Ohio

    I have done many vehicles with Bulk tubing. Its really the only way to go for me. I bought the coated bulk from NAPA. use a good flairing tool, and double flair the ends. It is so easy and convenient.
  16. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    The job can often be done with no bender. Even some pretty tight bends can be successfully done with careful hand bending. An advantage of hand bending is freedom from the fixed bend radius bends your bender(s) can make.
  17. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    The main reason they use 2 different sizes at the M/C is to make it idiot proof on the assembly line,same reasoning for the nuts on the tube at the M/C being different sizes. As far as actual hydraulic operation there will be no difference between the 2 tube sizes. You only moving a VERY small amount of fluid in a already full line. Now in a fuel line etc. where you are moving volume size DOES make a difference.
  18. bobbyb
    Joined: Jun 28, 2009
    Posts: 151

    from ohio

    I went to my NAPA store, they have s.s. line in rolls. BUT they sell it by the foot, straighten it and flair it for you. Just measure the length you need have it made up. Did my whole car that way, no waste, no tools to buy.
  19. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,438

    blue 49
    from Iowa

    I have used bulk line from J C Whitney and their's comes with an assortment of nuts too. Flared alright too.
  20. crs36
    Joined: Feb 17, 2008
    Posts: 67

    from Alberta

    So in the same line as the OP what is a good flaring tool? Many suggest it but manufacturer's + prt #'s would be good too.
  21. eheine20
    Joined: Nov 2, 2010
    Posts: 43

    from WI

    ^^^^You beat me to it. This info would be great
  22. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,665


    I use a manual flaring tool, made by KD Tools. The one I use has been discontinued and replaced with #41860. The difference appears to be in the yoke. I bought this one to replace another previous KD tools model, which I wore out, over about 7 years of hard work in the shop. This one, and the previous one retailed for $50-$60. Money WELL spent.

    I use this tool constantly in the shop. It works perfectly. I used it yesterday to make 14 flares. Not a single one of them leaked.

    The key with this, and any other flaring tool is to take a small file and make sure that the tube is absolutely square with the tube bar, and de-burred.

    Lots of folks might direct you towards some sexy expensive hydraulic tool. Sure, those are really nice, but you don't really need one. I build custom cars for a living, and even I don't have one.

    If you are a hobbyist, get a good manual one. The extra money is better spent somewhere else.
  23. Gerry Moe
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 498

    Gerry Moe

  24. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771


    I tried several flaring tools with limited success. KD was one of them.....they work pretty good for awhile...then they don't grip the tubing very good and it just pushes through unless you clamp it in a vise. I even rented one from the auto parts store and it sucked also. So I finally bought a $50 one from Classic Performance Products and it is really nice and works well also.
  25. Soviet
    Joined: Sep 4, 2005
    Posts: 729



    3/16 Copper nickel line


    Mastercool 71475

    Done deal.
  26. I used
    tm Brake Line from Fedhill, bends super easy and suppose to be corrosion resistance. I bought the fare tool from Eastwood that clamps in my vice and does it in a few easy steps.
  27. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    I don't like it! Even with hours of straightening it still looks like shit. IMHO I was steamfitter and ran an ass load of annealed copper tubing. No way in the world to make it look as neat as hard tubing with fittings.

    I lay out the connections and measure between the fittings to get a longer piece of hard tubing. I cut the ugly long flare nuts off and replace them with the normal ones, flare and install. I have used a T in the long line to the rear for a hydraulic brake lite switch to act as a coupling. Even a brake line coupling in the middle looks netter than wavy brake lines. That is the only place where a long run is necessary. Many of the guys that did not work in the trade will not have as critical an eye as I do.

    No I don't use stainless steel. I buff the tubing and hit it with some rattle can clear and install.
  28. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,273


    The Cunifer type line (Cu = copper, Ni = nickel, and fer = iron) is really great. Easy to bend and flare as others have said. I straighten rolled tubing by placing a board over the cut length after some initial straightening then roll the tubing with the board over the shop floor. Kind of like a rolling pin. Works well.
  29. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,184

    from NY


    Mastercool 71475

    Done deal.[/QUOTE]

    I use the same mastercool set with 25 foot rolls as well. I hate splices so the long rolls work great. Even withthe mastercool I cant get 3/8" tube to stay tight in the fixture, gets pushed out while doing the first part of the double flare. Tried lubing the dies, no help.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  30. bobscogin
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,761


    Your confusing petroleum based hydraulic fluid with brake fluid which is glycol or silicone base. No reaction with those.


Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.