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my dad is telling me to not do my own brake lines and take it to a shop to do it.....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by luvzccr, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. rod rialto
    Joined: Apr 10, 2011
    Posts: 59

    rod rialto
    Member
    from rialto, ca

    I've bought prebent brake lines that were bent in a mirror image of what they were supposed to be...I'm sure they were bent on a computer, but a person programmed it...Guys that bend brake lines put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you. there's no magic about it, just take your time, and make sure there are no leaks when you are done, and you should be good to go.
     
  2. ol'chevy
    Joined: Nov 1, 2005
    Posts: 1,283

    ol'chevy
    Member

    Draw out a map and get basic measurements. Go to NAPA and buy 2-3 of each length line in whatever size you decide to use. Buy up several unions, 2 "T" fittings and a pack of brake line hangers from the hot rod shop. Start at the master and begin running. If the line is just a tad long, you can bend in a "Z" pattern to loose a little length. You can bend 1/4" line by hand easily, but a nice tubing bender shure is helpful. Plan ahead as you go and select the length line you need next in order to have as few joints as possible. Make your runs and hand tighten connections as you go, then come back and tighten everything, check for leaks, bleed the brakes...I go around at least twice....and go for a ride. Take back everything you didn't use.
     
  3. I can't imagine that anyone with any mechanical ability would not be able to master
    double flaring steel tubing. The most important first step is to either buy or borrow a good double flaring tool, most of the cheap sets from the chain stores and Harbor Freight will cause you trouble than they are worth. Get a couple of lines and practice a little and it will come to you.

    You don't really need a bender; but they are handy if you need some tight bends.

    Once you have the skills covered, make a plan of your system, and build it, following
    all the good installation advise already provided in this thread.

    I don't know what kind of shop your dad was recommending; but I would would be
    leery of taking it to the corner auto repair shop, jobs like this are not what they usually do. I have heard of some pretty bizarre "expert advise" related to repairs
    on "old" cars at some shops.

    Besides it more satisfying to learn a new skill and do the job yourself.
     
  4. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way
    Member

    Growing up,.. My Dad was a Test Driver for Ford DPG,.. Though he had a good knowledge of cars, he wasn't a car guy or mechanic,... ( He was a WWII combat vet that was dedicated to his family, He liked to read the newspaper and listen to sports on the radio).

    He would come out to the garage some nights when my Brother and I were wrenching away on our latest "Lost Cause",.. look over our shoulders with concern and ask us if we were sure we knew what we were doing,.... We would assure him we knew what we were doing (even when we didn't have a clue). And after he went back in the house, Rick and I would grumble to each other about how Dad didn't trust us, And how he must think we were Idiots.

    When it came time to test out "said project" He would come outside and ask us if we were sure we did everything right,... And he would get really nervous as we backed out into the street,.... and watch us from the front porch as we drove off in our new creation.

    As we rounded the corner to come home,.. We would see him still out on the porch,... With his radio playing, and sitting on a glider that was out there, with a newspaper. Sometimes when a car didn't go so good ,..... And we didn't quite make it back,.... within a half hour or so,.. we would hear Dad pull up behind us in his car,.... (Dad always kept a chain in the trunk,.. Imagine that !)

    Later in life, After Dad was gone for many years, My Boys had just finished up a 66' Mustang fastback project,... And they were backing it out of the driveway,.. I walked outside and asked them if they felt the car was ready for a Test Drive,.... They assured me it was,.. Then they told me,.. "Dad, you micro managed every part of this project, and double checked everything we did with us,... yeah,.. it's ready ".

    As they pulled away onto public streets,... I was proud,.. and nervous, until I seen them pull back around the corner and pull into the driveway 20 minutes later,... I found myself sitting on a bench next to the garage,... thinking about the new 20' tow strap I had in the back seat of my truck.

    Dads are such a pain in the butt!,... Especially when they love you enough to worry about you, and not want to see you get hurt. I really wish could have had my Dad there that day,... so I could tell him Thanks, and how now I understand,.. And how much I miss him.



    Tell your Dad you want to do it yourself,.. and if it makes him feel better have somebody check out the job you did. IMHO


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
  5. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668

    luvzccr
    Member

    just got home from the gym to let out a little steam and glad to see the majority of you have either done it yourself/ agree with me wanting to do it. i respect my dad, dont get me wrong, but he's always wanting me to take it to somebody else to get something done and it really really bothers me. and i hate when he says "well jay have you ever stopped to think if maybe YOUR the wrong one and im actually right about this? i've been doing this alot longer than you" and its as if im 5 years old again when he says something like that, having no faith in me...

    so far since mid march, i have bought a 460 c/6, put in the custom crossmember, put the engine and tranny in by myself with an engine hoist that sucks -__- i've put the disc brakes on, i've completed about 80 percent of the new wiring harness after reading about it for WEEKS before tackling the project. all of these little things im proud to have done by myself, and each time he has said "maybe you should take it to an electrical shop jay and have them finish it up" or "i dont think this is gonna work jason you should really take it to steve (local mechanic) and just have him look at it"... so aggrivating.

    i've been reading about brake lines and looking up photos, the correct tools, EVERYTHING, for a couple of weeks now. i had him come over this morning with me to help simply bleed the brakes once i put the lines in! but before i even could start bending them he went off on his tyrant. maybe i'll head back over there today or tomorrow and finish them without him.

    then i'll look into how to bleed brakes. ive seen him do it before on his old 63 ranchero and other cars too, but im gonna learn to do it myself. i refuse to have any mechanic touch my car after everything i've done.
     
  6. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668

    luvzccr
    Member

    p.s. i love my dad and said nothing hateful towards him, i just made it clear to him i wish he would have faith in me. i realize brakes are the important part of the project and cannot be fiddle farted around with, but when i believe in myself and get ready to take on the project then he says no take it to a mechanic, it makes me stop believing momentarily..

    also i love the wire hanger idea, ill give that a shot!

    i know my grandpa jd would laugh and smile and tell me 'if you think you can do it jason go for it! might take you a while though..' i know he'd get a kick out of it
     
  7. gnarlytyler
    Joined: Feb 2, 2007
    Posts: 1,004

    gnarlytyler
    Member

    Tell your dad you understand its simple physics and when he's ready to disprove Pascal than he can tell you NOT to do it yourself.

    In the physical sciences, Pascal's law or the Principle of transmission of fluid-pressure states that "pressure exerted anywhere in a confined incompressible fluid is transmitted equally in all directions throughout the fluid such that the pressure ratio (initial difference) remains the same."<SUP id=cite_ref-0 class=reference>[1]</SUP> The law was established by French mathematician Blaise Pascal.

    [​IMG]

    oh and have fun!
     
  8. Beyond what others have said; Are you paying for all this? If it's your money that has to be spent I'd say you can do it anyway you'd like to. No disrespect to your dad but if he wants to bank roll it then do it his way but he hasn't taken a car in for auto electrical work lately has he? He better own a bank.

    Best thing my dad did for me and my brother was buy us a set of rebuilt torches for 50 bucks in 1979. Got some tanks through a friend and said have at it. I still have the torches. I've glued quite a few cars together with that set along with every other busted thing that can be brazed back together.

    You can do anything you set your mind to. What makes a mechanic any better than you? He didn't know jack schitt once upon a time. Learning is a lifetime deal. Never stop. AND don't let anyone tell you not to START! even yer old man...
     
  9. nsra_23
    Joined: Oct 7, 2011
    Posts: 27

    nsra_23
    Member
    from Indiana

    Brakes are the MOST critical part of the car, but with that being said there is NO reason that you can't run your own brake lines. It has been said a few times but some things to remember are to keep the lines away from heat, to use double flair fittings and NOT compression fittings. a couple other things that i dont remember if they were said or not but where ever your hard lines connect with rubber lines needs to be securely mounted to the frame, and if you have to cut and flair lines remember to put the flair nut on the line before you flair and that your flair nut is facing the right direction. I have installed countless lines and i still have to remind myself about those damn flair nuts :). If you are not comfortable in flaring lines then there is no shame in taking the lines that you bent yourself to someone that is comfortable in the process and having them show you the inn's and out's to doing it.
     
  10. Morrisman
    Joined: Dec 9, 2003
    Posts: 1,600

    Morrisman
    Member
    from England

    Secure it every 8 or 10 inches, is more like it.

    People always talk about copper brake lines 'work hardening' from vibration, but more likely because they are not secured enough and bounce up and down with every road bump. Steel won't 'work harden' but sure can get weak or broken from bouncing around.
     
  11. Morrisman
    Joined: Dec 9, 2003
    Posts: 1,600

    Morrisman
    Member
    from England

    And I've spent most of my life being advised 'you better let a professional do that, just in case'......

    Everything from welding to building, roofing to tiling, wiring to plumbing, everything, there is always some old sage who tells you that something might go terribly wrong.
     
  12. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,022

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    the most important thing about doing brake lines is getting a quality flaring tool. I dicked around with the cheapies too many times.. last time I did lines I bought one from a brake vendor at a swap meet, boy what a difference.
     
  13. Morrisman
    Joined: Dec 9, 2003
    Posts: 1,600

    Morrisman
    Member
    from England

    I have a cheap one, but the secret is to put a blob of oil on when you swage, and it all goes swimmingly then. :D
     
  14. knotheads
    Joined: Jan 4, 2007
    Posts: 498

    knotheads
    Member

    do it yourself and learn a new skill and save a little cash at the same time!
     
  15. Old&Low
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 410

    Old&Low
    Member

    Just remember . . . everyone has a 'first time' they do anything. You're already ahead of the game because you're asking questions. You'll do fine; do your research, don't take anything for granted, practice a little bit, then do it. Like any 'critical' part of car building, this IS a damn site more important for you to get correct than the more 'cosmetic' aspects. Hope to hear your next post all about your safe-stopping ride, and what you're planning on conquering next!
     
  16. A Rodder
    Joined: Jul 13, 2008
    Posts: 2,477

    A Rodder
    Member

    Introduce you dad to the HAMB and show him you have a thread with 44 posts giving encouragement and offering specific help if you run into any hang ups. You obviously are looking into each part of the project from a research standpoint beforehand rather than just winging it. I think he will let you do them. Joe
     
  17. nsra_23
    Joined: Oct 7, 2011
    Posts: 27

    nsra_23
    Member
    from Indiana

    Speaking of good flaring tools this one is the best i have ever used! it flares standard double, metric bubble, and also quick connect for fuel lines! i bought it when they first showed up on my local tool truck and even though they are a little spendy it, to me, is well worth the money IF you flare brake lines more than once every blue moon
    [​IMG]
     
  18. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,903

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I can't do anything that I have done for the last 30, or so, years.;)

    Never listen to anyone that says you can't do something.
     
  19. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,481

    Special Ed
    Member


    This is some of the best advice you'll ever get from anyone... :)
     
  20. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford
    Member

    You never learn anything by paying someone to do the work. Everyone here had to do thier first brake line project. I am a Dad and I do not know everytrhing.
     
  21. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668

    luvzccr
    Member

    alright guys i just got home and spent the past few hours workin away at the front brake lines because i wanted to see if i can do this. now... i have photos. and i am totally aware that i will see some positive, and perhaps many negetive feedback about my lines i have SO FAR.... but, im willing to take in and absorb the punches and blows you give me. alrighty lets start out with this:


    i DO have my proportional valve in place on my fender.. this was my best location i could find a spot for it. it works for me and im okay with it there.
    also i have the passenger and driver side lines in place:
    (please note i do not have the lines fastened down to the fender/ frame yet, ill be buying clips soon to make sure they are secure and tightly in place)

    [​IMG]

    now... here are some shots from each side as its entering into my engine compartment.
    again, i do not have them strapped down, they are simply setting in place and they are not in the way of anything...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    now.. problem:
    on my master cylinder... the fitting is too small.
    on the front-in- part of my proportional valve, the fitting fits just fine:
    is there any adapter i can get to solve this problem??

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    moving along... i wanted to replace the line that goes from my rear to the front. there is a union fitting right under my driver side door. i was gonna replace the line running from the union up to my proportional valve, but this is stuck solid. i had no wd40 laying around so i took some carb cleaner to it thinking it'd help.. no luck. any ideas on how to get a stuck fitting lose like that?

    [​IMG]


    and for good measure just a shot of it smiling at me:

    [​IMG]




    please note also, that i did not rush any of this. i honestly took my time, used the bending tool, as well as my hands for bending in some areas. i did mark with sharpies where to bend and what not.
    i fully understand if some of the stuff i did is not correct and im open to opinions on what to fix.
    if you guys can shed light on this i'd greatly appreciate it.
     
  22. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668

    luvzccr
    Member

    oh and the photo of the line and the captions saying "fits here" "doesnt fit here", with the loop... that was a mistake line, im not using that one, before anyone spots it and says something :p
     
  23. Mark in Japan
    Joined: Jun 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,466

    Mark in Japan
    Member

    Do them yourself, THEN get a PRO to check it over.

    Also, get the PRO to OK the components mix BEFORE you go doing it.

    Then your old man can sleep at night...
     
  24. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668

    luvzccr
    Member


    this is what i had in mind too.. like if i got it running and driveable, took it out for a test drive and it stops okay... take it somewhere reliable and trustworthy, THEN.. have someone check out my work. just to get the a-ok so my dad can sleep well at night
     
  25. If you don't have flair wrenchs get them. Next on that stuck fitting tighten it a little first. That should do the trick.
     
  26. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,903

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What you need is called an "oversized tube nut". They can be had at NAPA, or other good auto parts stores, in the little bins.

    Cut off the end of the line, put the new tube nut on, and re-flare.

    There are adapters too, if you don't want to flare. I prefer as few connections as possible.

    BTW, I have used a KD Tools manual double-flaring tool in the shop (also from NAPA), and have for over 20 years, long enough to have worn one out. It was about $70, if I remember correctly. You need not get more than that to make good flares.
     
  27. bigfive
    Joined: Oct 3, 2003
    Posts: 648

    bigfive
    Member
    from south L.A.

    hahaha
     
  28. 1 redo all ...front to back
    2 reuse "none"of the old stuff
    3 use the old as templates for ease of redoing new stuff
    4 your doing fine ...once routed make sure that all lines will not rub , get heated, hit by moving parts ... every fitting you need is handy at any auto parts stores
    5 if need be remove w/c and spin them off the old lines..same as hoses
     
  29. 6-bangertim
    Joined: Oct 3, 2011
    Posts: 400

    6-bangertim
    Member
    from California

    I never had to fool with brake lines until I upgraded with power discs on my '57 150. Here is a few tips I can offer:

    1) Shop around for lines. Lengths will vary by brand by a couple inches, so take a pad and pen with you to write down what they have in stock and at what store.

    2) Go to Lowe's or H-D, in their electrical department. Look for a 10-12' length of single strand of copper wire. Ask for any "cut-offs". I used the wire as a template for bending my lines. I cut them to the same lengths as what I found in the stores, +1". Strip back the insulation 1/2" on each end so you can plug it in and tape it to your componets, then route the wire. Then, you'll know what to buy in lengths and how to bend it. You might luck out and not need to cut any lines and double-flare them!:D

    3) A late club buddy loaned me his BITCHIN' tubing bender that let bend down to a 1" radius, made by WEATHERHEAD. Ask around, see what you can borrow or I can loan you mine - bought from my buddies' estate sale. PM me and I can send it up from 'Dago in a USPS flat rate box or FedEx!

    3) If you do need to make a double-flare or two, it might be easier to seek out a buddy or a shop to make the flairs for you. If he has one of those hydro tools, they can do it in SECONDS. Cheap or worn-out tooling is a major waste of time and a BIG PITA. Valve lapping compound will help keep the tubing from pushing through the clamp on a hand tool. Just make sure that your cuts are filed square and de-burred INSIDE AND OUT.

    4) I routed my line behind the crossmember to keep it away from engine heat, but struggled with how to bend it. The front half of the rear fender on my '53 Chevy PU worked PERFECT!!! The line I used was a PITA to work with (40" long) under the car. Maybe use two lines with a union in the center of the x-member.

    5) Maybe get your dad involved in giving you a hand. I would give anything to have some garage time with mine now - lost him to cancer 10 years ago last month.:(

    Gotta run. GOOD LUCK, Tim
     

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