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Technical Copper-Nickel Brake Lines

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jaw22w, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,451

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    I have another thread going, "Bleeding Brakes?!". During the thrash to get my brakes working properly, I tore out all the brake lines and re-ran them with Copper-Nickel brake lines. I had never used the stuff before. Bends nice and flairs nice. Kinda hard to keep straight, it is so soft though. Looks real nice. too. My question is what will it look like in a couple of years? Will it turn green? Or a brown like old copper? Could a guy possibly clear coat it before installation? Would that really help preserve it looking nice?
    Some of you guys must have older copper-nickel installations. What's it look like now?
     
  2. Driver50x
    Joined: May 5, 2014
    Posts: 192

    Driver50x
    Member

    Mine is about 2 years old. It’s starting to look a little green in some areas and dull looking in other areas.
     
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  3. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,421

    PhilA
    Member

    I find, in dry parts it just turns a dull brown. Quite pretty, like old bronze.
    As with most copper alloys, it buffs up easily.
     
  4. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 7,468

    BJR
    Member

    It sure is nice to work with compared to the old stuff!
     

  5. kabinenroller
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 788

    kabinenroller
    Member

    I use it exclusively, as mentioned it is easy to work with and very seldom does a properly formed flare leak. If it is treated with a satin clear finish it should look the same for years to come. I also use it for fuel lines.
     
  6. SEAAIRE354
    Joined: Sep 7, 2015
    Posts: 424

    SEAAIRE354
    Member

    I’ve used tons of it that is in pretty harsh environments. I’ll see if I can get some pics. And on my last resto project I covered it with the stainless spring wrap to match what the OEM did. It looks pretty nice.
     
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  7. I used it on the drag coupe, Buffed it out a little, still looks great but this car rarely sees any harsh weather.
     
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  8. SPEC
    Joined: Feb 1, 2021
    Posts: 502

    SPEC
    Member

    That is the only Brake lines that you can use in the UK.
     
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  9. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,421

    PhilA
    Member

    Also in quite a few states here, too. That and steel.
     
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  10. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,755

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I use nicopp lines on everthing. Its so nice to work with. My diesel ot pickup has had nicopp lines in it for like 8 years. I drive it through salt and slush. The brake lines are a dull brown but not at all green. More like a flat bronze
     
  11. I'm still using traditional steel!:cool: I'm old what can I say!:eek:
     
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  12. Duke
    Joined: Mar 21, 2001
    Posts: 730

    Duke
    Member

    What brand of line is good?
     
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  13. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,295

    Lone Star Mopar
    Member

    Nicopp is the brand we used.
     
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  14. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,492

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    NiCopp is all I’ll use now. Good stuff, easy to work with, and it doesn’t rust. That’s less a problem for the nice car than for my DD rusty truck in northern Illinois where they deploy tons of salt on the roads.

    It gets kinda dull, but doesn’t turn green in my experience. Just stays copper colored.

    You could probably polish the stuff with Brasso or maybe Flitz if you wanted to. Can’t say I’m that ambitious about detailing, but I’m sure it’s been done. Just this morning I read a post on GJ from a guy that spent yesterday polishing his stock steel brake calipers and ceramic coating them so they’ll stay shiny.
     
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  15. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,492

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    The Stop Shop seller on Amazon is where I get coils. They have the SS spring cover as well, protects from road debris damage.

    For smaller pieces, AutoZone has straight sticks, various lengths. The counter kid rarely knows what I’m talking about, but they’ll let me behind the counter to go find what I want.
     
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  16. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 2,819

    oldiron 440
    Member

    How does it double frair?
     
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  17. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,492

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    Easily.
     
  18. phoneman
    Joined: Dec 5, 2010
    Posts: 98

    phoneman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Missouri

    I double flairs real well. Forms easier than steel.
     
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  19. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,451

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    I just made 16 flairs for the whole new system. I was amazed at how easily they formed compared to the steel lines I am used to. The only one I had to cut off was because I forgot to put the damn fitting on!
    I think because they are softer they seal better also.
     
  20. Fitnessguy
    Joined: Sep 28, 2015
    Posts: 1,698

    Fitnessguy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Did my coupe in nicopp. Hands down the nicest to work with. I bought the straitening tool from Eastwood when I bought their flaring tool. Makes it nice and straight for sure. I bought a roll of steel fence wire and use it to form up a template of the brake line I am going to make then I bend up the line after flaring the ends. Simple but effective
     
  21. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,546

    Fortunateson
    Member

    That stuff is actually made of the alloy CuNiFer as in Copper, Nickel, Iron (see periodic table). And as everyone has stated easily formable and will outlast anything on car!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2022
  22. I was able to find some on straight pieces, so I used one to fix a bad line at my master. It definitely flares easier over steel.
     
  23. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,372

    Dan Timberlake
    Member

    CuNiFer - all the corrosion resistance of stainless, but with none of the work-hardening that makes SS flaring tough, and reliable sealing iffy.

    A bud got a name brand SS preformed brake line kit for his Vette. Some sections are larger than 3/16" up by the MC. Even what should have been minor alignment-tweaking of the bends required disturbingly high effort, and much spring-back. A couple of joints leaked badly, and were tough to get to seal.
     
  24. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,237

    Kiwi 4d
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Why would you use anything but cupronicke, i don’t care if it ages i just want reliable brakes. Hope steel or S/S doesn’t leak ,cursing when it naturally does .
     
  25. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,868

    Jeff Norwell
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Love the Ni-copp
     
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  26. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 6,732

    Marty Strode
    Member

    I have never had a problem bending or flaring the steel stuff, and like it for it's looks and rigidity, no need to straighten it. IMG_7649.JPG IMG_8300.JPG
     
  27. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 8,707

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  28. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 8,707

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I use stainless steel for all my car's brake lines, and fuel lines, and exhaust pipes. I hate working with it, it isn't easy but nothing cool seldom is. I use an Eastwood flaring tool mounted in my vice and I do have to use a cheater length of pipe on the handle for increased leverage. Besides looking cool polished I get a good upper body workout.
     
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  29. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,451

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    I never had any problems using steel lines either. I had just heard about the copper-nickel and thought I would give it a try. It does form easily, but it is so soft that once I get it straight, by the time I get it bent and flared, it isn't straight anymore. And the straightening process is a pain. I wasn't about to spend 100 bucks or more for a straightening tool for one job. My longest piece was 32", so I just straightened it rolling it on the welding table and tapping straight with a dead blow.
    Actually, with the time I spent straightening and re-straightening, I probably could have done the job much quicker with straight sticks of steel tubing, like I always did in the past.
    If you have good flairing and bending tools, the softer c-n is not really an advantage.
    The only real advantage I can see to using the copper-nickel is its durability. No rust.
    I did take some 0000 steel wool and quickly polished the new lines. Gives it an almost chrome appearence. It looks really nice... for now.
     
  30. I used it on my 32 Tudor survivor car and just finished doing my 41 pickup with it.
    I like it’s ease of flaring and bending, but it’s also easy to inadvertently nick the surface.
    I like the copper look.
    I buy straight lengths locally from Advance Auto Parts, and if I need to, can straighten it in my bench vice lined with a towel, without scratching it.
     

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