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Tips and tricks for brake lines?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by TurboX2, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. derpr
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 257


    I like to use a sharpie to mark where to bend. and keep away from the exhaust.
  2. leon renaud
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,936

    leon renaud
    from N.E. Ct.

    yes and make real sure it is on the tube in the correct direction!
  3. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,260

    from Missouri

    After you get started and have some fun you will want to do the fuel,PCV,dist vac,and plug wire looms.
  4. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,930


    BAD advice. Teflon tape has no place in brake lines. All fitting connections in a brake system, whether flares or pipe thread or crush washers, need to be tight metal to metal.
  5. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,199


    Absolutely correct ! Teflon tape has its place in plumbing, but NOT in brake lines.
  6. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,260

    from Missouri

    I thought you would use tape or dope on pipe threads??
  7. Kirk Hanning
    Joined: Feb 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,603

    Kirk Hanning

    On a pipe thread the male to female threads are doing the sealing with pipe dope and or teflon tape as an added measure. On brake lines the barrel does no sealing its just a clamp for the flare pushing it into the fitting which creates the seal.
  8. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 6,489

    A Boner

    If you have a flaring tool and can make GOOD flares, do yourself a favor and use the copper/nickel brake line. It comes in 25 & 100 foot rolls (bought mine at NAPA). The 25' roll should be enough for a hot rod. Also it is easy to straighten out from the Roll, flares and bends real nice, and is also quite rust will really like it.

    You can also use brass fittings and they are only about $1.00 each. Be sure to put them on the tube BEFORE bending or flaring the tube!
  9. paleot
    Joined: Aug 29, 2011
    Posts: 232

    from louisiana

    Horrible Freight sell a set of brake line pliers, they make the short bends that tube benders wont. I did not know the tool existed until a friend showed me one.
  10. kiwicowboy
    Joined: Nov 28, 2008
    Posts: 349

    from linwood nc

    here is one of mybrake lines

    Attached Files:

  11. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219


    why not do it the way the pros&the gov't does it

    &get back some of your tax $'s back at the surplus store.......

    Attached Files:

  12. 6-71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2005
    Posts: 542


    Yeah, that copper-nickle line is definately the way to go.I bought a 25 foot roll,and plumbed my T-Bucket,with about 3 feet left over.That line double flares very well and bends without kinking..It is a little more costly than plain steel tubing,but it is well worth the slight extra cost.
  13. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,260

    from Missouri

    Gasserjohn nice work. Iam not worthy.
  14. Planning is the most important. Is the driveline (suspension & steering)
    installed? Can you operate the suspension thru full travel (ups & down),
    the steering lock to lock(full left & right). Check to see how clearances
    change as the suspension and steering moves. You mentioned that you
    are going to use thru-frame fittings, sometimes an extra 1/2" -1" will make
    a lot of difference in how the lines and bends fit. Are you going to run
    a 3 line or 4 line system? What kind of brake light switch(hydraulic inline
    or a mechanical one) are you going to use?
    Is the exhaust system done yet? It is easier to route the 3/16" brake
    and 3/8" fuel line around the 2"- 2 1/2" exhaust system, rather than the
    other way around. Is the battery mounted yet? Where are you going
    to run the cables, any other wiring to route thru the chassis.
    Jack up the chassis and look at it from the bottom one time, this is the
    view you will have once the body is installed. I have seen plumbing where
    you could not reach some of the connections from the bottom.
    Buy the best tubing bender and flaring tool you can afford to, try to
    stay away from some of the imported ones, both Imperial-Eastman and
    Rigid make good ones, it you get a double flaring tool that use a double
    flare adapter, buy some extra ones. They seem to crack without warning
    and a lot of auto parts stores do not carry them.

  15. TurboX2
    Joined: Oct 1, 2012
    Posts: 207


    This is all good info. I will be using all of these tips except teflon tape. This is not my first brake job but, tips help everybody now and later. Thanks guys for the info.!

  16. I have used this method with excellent results-
    I have bent and flared lines-but I prefer to buy pre-flared lengths and plan the joints in the system to reduce the number of flares I have to do-just cant get 'em as nice as the machine does.
    To make plain steel lines look good-rub them with fine steel wool and shoot them with rattle can clear coat-they stay nice looking forever.;)
  17. An earlier poster said to run front brakes to rear outlet of the master cylinder, and rear brakes to the front of the master cylinder. What gives? I've always plumbed mine the intuitive way.
  18. irondoctor
    Joined: Jan 7, 2007
    Posts: 558

    from Newton, KS

    All very good tips!
    I also have trouble with my cheap flaring tool putting marks or gouges in the back side of the flare. I use a small fine tooth file to smooth them out then a drop of oil before assembly
  19. 53 COE
    Joined: Oct 8, 2011
    Posts: 688

    53 COE
    from PNW

    Stainless steel is much easier to form than the standard steel lines - Did the Dart last Fall with a pre-formed kit. Sure made it easier to make adjustments, including 1 extra full 360 degree loop at the master cylinder. I could never of done that with regular hard steel ines.

  20. J.A.B
    Joined: Sep 3, 2012
    Posts: 7

    from PA

    we sell SUR&R lines copper/nickel supper stuff and there flairing tool is super, flairs in 15 sec and good very good
  21. dondogarage
    Joined: Nov 25, 2011
    Posts: 86

    from richmond

    what is the copper colored tubing.
  22. YoungGunn
    Joined: Nov 17, 2010
    Posts: 40

    from Camas, WA

    Doing my 32 frame right now with dual master, proportioning valve and residual vavles so lots of bends and different lengths of line.

    Best advice that others have said also, is to mark with a sharpy and start the bend on 0 degrees on whatever bender you use and then mark at the 90 degree so you can then measure the length of line it takes to do the bend.

    Also I used welding rod as a template before using my line and just bent my line to match the welding rod.
  23. mammyjammer
    Joined: May 23, 2009
    Posts: 505

    from Area 51

    I read thru this thread before I bent up my trans. cooler lines. Lots of good info here!!!
    I now have 3 tips to add regarding the flare tool:

    I thought I could cheap out and use the double flare dies on my old single flare tool.The throat is too small on the single flare tool for the dies, so I had to buy a double flare tool.

    Photos and instructions always show the flare tool being clamped in a vise horizontally.
    I clamp the tubing in the flare tool when it is horizontal and then rotate it to vertical to do the flare. it is much easier to see what you are doing.

    I took the wing nuts off the flaring tool and replaced them with nuts. A ratchet and socket is much quicker than them damn wing nuts..
  24. 32dreamer
    Joined: Nov 19, 2005
    Posts: 42


    GREAT point! Thanks for sharing.

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