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Technical STAINLESS BRAKE LINES

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Rod Blowers, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. Rod Blowers
    Joined: Jul 21, 2021
    Posts: 1

    Rod Blowers

    STAINLESS STEEL BRAKE LINES, I have read for hours, on this site and others, how to make stainless steel 3/16 double flair brake lines, everyone says PITA, they cracks on the finished flair, I can under stand, I am one never to quit until it works, enough said now! OKOK hear we go, I did did NOT NOT deburr or chafer the tubing!!!!!!!, re-read the last sentence!!!!! AND AND I used standard everyday tubing cutter, cannot work harden stainless steel when going slow with cutter, I used eastwood tubing flaring tool. I would go from tubing cutter right to the eastwood doubling flaring tool, understand I kept practicing over and over making double flairs using 2 inches at a time until I had the system down to perfection, So I discovered that deburring and chamfering did NOT WORK !!!
     
  2. So, what is the conclusion?
     
  3. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 2,297

    nochop
    Member
    from norcal

    Mine are all s.s. double flair, never again. Not worth the trouble
     
    dan31 and saltflats like this.
  4. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,215

    Budget36
    Member

    One of the reasons to deburr after using a tubing cutter is to eliminate that thin little ridge that is left by the cut.
    That little thin stuff can come off later and then it’s in your system, be it air, etc.

    And yes, I’ve cut lots of SS tubing (never for double flairs).

    But if it works for you, awesome!
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.

  5. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,869

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    I'm impressed with the length of that string.o_O
    I guess.:confused:
     
    TagMan, Bandit Billy, Tman and 3 others like this.
  6. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 7,496

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I've done 100's of chassis with 3/16th stainless line but after doing a few with double flairs I went to doing all of them with AN fittings, much easier. Also learned to not cut it with a tubing cutter. I use a die grinder with a stainless cut off wheel, then file the edges and de-burr the inside. Does not harden the ends. Also have a premium flaring tool.
     
    trollst, pitman, Fogger and 5 others like this.
  7. Plumbed race cars with stainless for years. Should NOT double flare stainless. Typically cracks. Single flare only with collars installed first and AN fittings as Krylon stated. No sweat.
    cheers Tony
    Also as Krylon stated you premium flaring tool.
     
  8. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,638

    anthony myrick
    Member

    I’ve double flared em.
    Ive cussed em to no end.
    cranked down on the fittings until I couldn’t budge em.
    only did em at work cause they made me.
    I use galvanized at home.
    I cuss much less.
     
    57 Fargo and lothiandon1940 like this.
  9. TRENDZ
    Joined: Oct 16, 2018
    Posts: 310

    TRENDZ

    Double flare on annealed stainless hundreds of times here. I cut with cut off wheel, use a small centering drill to deburr the inside, a fine file for the outside. I have the Eastwood flaring tool. Great tool that repeats perfect flares consistently.
    I had a guy tell me that you can’t double flare stainless. He brought over his line to show me it’s not possible after telling him I had a tool that could.
    We both ended up being right. The tubing he brought over would not double flare with my technique or tools. I showed him with the tubing I have (sourced from Summit racing) that it is simple and straightforward using my normal technique.
    Part of my regular job is building stainless steel tubing for hydraulic systems. One of the first things you learn is not using a rolling style tubing cutter. It absolutely work hardens the edge, and makes it very tough on the deburring tooling. Your results may vary.
     
  10. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,949

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I am not a professional, but I play on on the internet.

    All three of my current rides are wearing SS 3/16th brake lines that I installed. They are all double flairs. None of them cracked or split. More important, none of them leak. I cut them with a slow band saw, file if needed, deburr and use Eastwood vice mounted flare tool.

    Plenty of easier to use material on the market but none that look better than polished SS.
     
    chevyfordman, Just Gary and Paulz like this.
  11. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,936

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    Krylon is correct. When I plumbed the brake system in my Deuce roadster I had a heck of a time with cracking. I purchased all my supplies from Godman Hi Performance. I called Godman and they asked me to describe what I was doing. When I told them that I was using a brand new tubing cutter he said, "stop, that's your problem". He told me that the cutter wheel was work hardening the end of the stainless tubing and to believe it or not to use a fine tooth hacksaw. After the cut to use a lathe centering cutter in a hand drill to deburr the inside of the tube and to use lubrication on the flairing tool. Worked every time.
     
    Just Gary likes this.
  12. I’ve never tried to flare ss tubing but i have bought pre bent/flared sets. What i found was the stainless can be hard to seal at the flare, the flaring process must work harden the tube a bit.
     
  13. 1ton
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 578

    1ton
    Member

    No more stainless lines for me. Initial cost is high. Hard to work with. Because of the hardness of the stainless, the flares can have a tendency to weep. The stainless lines will outlast the car, the driver/owner and will allow you to submerge your car in the ocean until the end of time without fear the lines would fail. Even on my DD, which sees salty roads in the winter, I would not use stainless. In reality, there is no advantage to use stainless unless it's for show. We don't drive our hot rods and customs in the winter and rarely in the rain, so why go through the expense and hassle of using stainless when the steel lines will work fine for years to come. My old suburban blew a line recently. I hope to get a few more years out of it. Odometer is at 230,000 and rust is starting. Did I use a stainless line to fix it? Oh hell no. That's all I have to say about that.
     
    bobss396 and Beanscoot like this.
  14. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,895

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    been streetrodding since 1982 never had a plain steel brakeline fail or rust out...
    is your reason for SS its looks ?
     
    nochop, anthony myrick and KiWinUS like this.
  15. TRENDZ
    Joined: Oct 16, 2018
    Posts: 310

    TRENDZ

    Brake lines/ plumbing can be looked at as a necessary evil, or an art form. No one’s opinion is wrong, just different. It drives me crazy to see clearly hand formed bends in brake lines. Or unfastened brake lines. Or mis-matched tubing with stickers partially peeled off of them. All of the above will work, probably for the life of the car... But it aint coming out of my garage like that. So few people put in the effort and extra cost into the plumbing aspect. I feel it just shows attention to detail.
     
    pitman, Just Gary and Bandit Billy like this.
  16. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 6,219

    A Boner
    Member

    Why bother dealing with stainless.....NiCopp, nickel/copper brake lines for the win!
     
  17. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 745

    cfmvw
    Member

    Years ago I had a couple of metric bubble flare stainless steel lines made up for my VW. I can't remember the name of the company, just recall that they were in New York. Must've had a hydraulic flaring tool to perform that one.
     
  18. dart4forte
    Joined: Jun 10, 2009
    Posts: 101

    dart4forte
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Mesa, AZ

    My experience with SS brake lines was when I built a 64 Dodge Dart. They looked really good when finished however I spent hours chasing leaks. In the end I determined that the flares need to be done by a machine flaring tool. Hand flaring just didn’t work.
     
  19. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 792

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    I know this stuff is expensive, however Swagelok tube and fittings are darn near bullet-proof. One of its best features is how many times it can be disassembled and reassembled and not leak.

    I was first introduced to this brand in the 70's when I was an industrial mechanic/millwright. We used it on hydraulic systems working at 3000 psi.

    When I finished my engineering degree and worked at a research firm, we used it at pressures of 5000 psi and above (this is technically above its recommended working pressure).

    The only drawback is that you have to get it from a Swagelok distributor.
     
    loudbang, 33Doll, CME1 and 1 other person like this.
  20. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 2,297

    nochop
    Member
    from norcal

    To me, nothing looks as clean and simple as the inverted flair system.
     
    KiWinUS likes this.
  21. TRENDZ
    Joined: Oct 16, 2018
    Posts: 310

    TRENDZ

    You use the same tool as a double inverted flare, less the last operation.
     
    46international likes this.
  22. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,570

    Fogger
    Member

    When I built my 3W back in the early '80s I bought a 37 degree single flaring tool and used AN fittings with 3/16" stainless hard lines. It was time consuming but I still feel that the effort was worth the time. I gave the flaring tool to a friend because I didn't think I'd need it again. Since then I double flare all the hard lines and use nicopp or double flared tubing from the local supplier.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
  23. Fabulous50's
    Joined: Nov 18, 2017
    Posts: 344

    Fabulous50's
    Member
    from Maine

    I too use NiCopp and have never looked back. That said, I can see why SS would be desirable for polishing as the rose colored NiCopp would stick out on a chromed out hoodless engine bay.
     
    33Doll likes this.
  24. Jkmar73
    Joined: Dec 1, 2013
    Posts: 52

    Jkmar73
    Member
    from Tulare, CA

    I just got done plumbing the brakes on my model a. All stainless with single 37 degree flare and AN fittings. Was a lot of work, but worth it. Now on to fuel lines.
     
    Just Gary likes this.
  25. I just use the Napa stuff with the green coating. You have to develop your own process for doing brake lines and stick to it. I made up a steel block to cut it with a fine hacksaw blade in a vise. Then I file the cut end flush with the outside of the block, deburr it inside and out.
     
    pitman and nochop like this.
  26. 33Doll
    Joined: Sep 27, 2019
    Posts: 988

    33Doll

    Im using the Ni-copp right now, and I like its malleability, so Far. Well See If I have leaks!
    I been working the fittings back and forth, to seat them better. Plus
    i can hand bend some of the wonky curves and angles, its kind of Wavy here and there, but My whole build is supposed to look Homebuilt 60’s Style.
    7D70D49C-ECDF-42BD-BE29-CD1E5F15516B.jpeg F25A3F1C-AD66-4403-A957-FB6A4284A9D6.jpeg
     
  27. Flathead Freddie
    Joined: May 9, 2021
    Posts: 187

    Flathead Freddie
    Member

    Hi
    In the 70s belief was that stainless had no elasticity thus MAY produce an unforgiving hard shallow pedal when brakes get hot so what gives here ? Functionality or Showboating ?
     
  28. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,895

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    i double flare,
    but i measure carefully and buy pre flared lines the right length, then connect them with the brass unions...
     
  29. Flathead Freddie
    Joined: May 9, 2021
    Posts: 187

    Flathead Freddie
    Member

    Hi
    When brake fluid gets hot it expands thus needing a place to go and stainless tubing has a reputation for withstanding heat so cannot expand at the rate of the brake fluid and eventually you MAY experience a shallow pedal when your brakes get hot on that mountain road . Every ace with a state brake repair license knows this and DOT sets standards as SAE does . If you want to play fiddle sticks with your brakes that's your life and when they pull the remains of your homebuilt pride and joy out of the ravine I'll be here to buy it because I use brake line only flexible pliable elastic under temperature so when you play God well God be with you
     
  30. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,021

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Freddie, I'd have to believe that you didn't actually read through the thread because your rambling post is referring to braided stainless flexible lines as apposed to regular brake hoses and has not one thing to do with the actual subject of the thread. It's always wise to read all the way though a thread before tossing out an "I KNOW" answer that isn't pertinent.
     
    57JoeFoMoPar, rockable and Budget36 like this.

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