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 Post subject: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 27, 2016, 9:10 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
My question is about possible brake line options. In my (ancient times) hot rod days, hard brake lines were the only option. Is that still true? I see advertisements for various flexible, braided line products saying they will safely contain 2,000 PSI with minimal loss of pressure through expansion, and handle brake fluid among other fluids.

There have been flexible lines for short distances between the chassis and the brakes as long as I've been working on cars. But, can you now use them as you main brake lines for the chassis side of things? If so, does anyone have experience with any particular product line?

Thanks in advance,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 27, 2016, 10:43 pm 
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Joined: January 28, 2016, 7:59 pm
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Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Flexible lines will work just fine, but they will be a lot more expensive than hard lines.

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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 27, 2016, 11:42 pm 
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Joined: March 30, 2011, 7:18 am
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Location: central Arkansas
Some of the track sedan guys are running braided line for everything. They claim you can't feel any difference at the pedal.

Considering what a good quality flaring tool costs now, it's probably cheaper to run hose than hardline...


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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 28, 2016, 12:48 am 
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Joined: December 24, 2007, 5:11 am
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Location: Seattle area
Lonnie,

I used this product. Even rented their flare tool. Very happy with the results.

http://store.fedhillusa.com/

I think using all braided would a bigger pain than it would be worth.

YMMV

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 28, 2016, 7:37 am 
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Joined: August 31, 2015, 2:24 pm
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Location: Delaware
You can get a roll of hard brake line from any local auto parts store. I've used "Poly-Armour PVF Steel Brake Line" from pepboys with good results and it's 25' for about $20. Regardless it's worth getting a good flare tool. You just need to decide if you are going 37deg (AN) or 45deg. Ridgid makes a nice non-ratcheting version of both that can be had for a decent price if you shop around. My preference is to go AN with re-usable ends for anything I make and to avoid using double flares when possible.

https://www.ridgid.com/us/en/precision-non-ratcheting-flare-tool


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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 28, 2016, 8:20 am 
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Joined: February 28, 2009, 11:09 pm
Posts: 1310
Location: Connersville, Indiana
Barry, over on the SAOCA site is an engineer for a company that provides materials for the aftermarket and OEM brake industry. He swears that the stainless braided steel lines swell more than the OEM braided rubber hose.

I will never, ever, buy another steel brake line. The copper-nickel tubing, available at any auto supply store, is superior in every way. It resists kinking, will never corrode and no need for bending tools. The ease of bending (or rebending, if necessary) justifies the additional cost.

Aesthetics aside, is there any reason why preflared tubing and couplings would not work?

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 28, 2016, 8:49 am 
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Joined: April 12, 2012, 11:56 am
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Location: Pemberton, BC
Lonnie,
of all the sub-projects of the build, the brake line fabrication was by far the most frustrating. I've built aluminum fuel and oil lines with AN fittings before, and it was a breeze; I was actually looking forward to making the brake lines. I used bulk steel line from Speedway, made some test flares with their cheap flaring tool, which I didn't like; then made more flares with a better NAPA flaring tool, which I still didn't like, then bought an expensive Snap-On flaring tool and made even more flares. I deemed them to be acceptable, but not overwhelmingly so. I spent hours researching the subject, to see if my technique was at fault, but I was more careful and accurate than any of the instructions I could find. In the end, I've come to the conclusion that it had to do with the quality of the steel line. By closely examining the flares I could see hairline cracks in the material. And that didn't seem to change with variations in making the flare (all were the double type).
When I compared my flares to the pre-made ones at the parts store, I could definitely see that they were superior to mine. So to make a long story short, if I were to do it again, I would purchase pre-made lengths and accept a few more joints. With some careful planning (which you are so good at) it should be a breeze.

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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 28, 2016, 8:58 am 
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Location: Duxbury, MA USA
BBlue wrote:
I will never, ever, buy another steel brake line. The copper-nickel tubing, available at any auto supply store, is superior in every way. It resists kinking, will never corrode and no need for bending tools. The ease of bending (or rebending, if necessary) justifies the additional cost.

That makes two of us. I am a convert!

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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 28, 2016, 12:04 pm 
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Joined: January 27, 2010, 1:11 pm
Posts: 415
Location: Jefferson City, MO
BBlue wrote:

Aesthetics aside, is there any reason why preflared tubing and couplings would not work?

Bill


Every single one of my brake lines was built using the pre-flared ones at the auto parts store. It took multiple trips as I worked through the routing and had to get creative to get the preset lengths to end where I wanted, but it worked out well for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 28, 2016, 12:58 pm 
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Joined: October 24, 2008, 2:13 pm
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Thanks everyone for the great responses. I have a lot of new information to sort through, but clearly, there are hardline choices available now that I just wasn't aware of. That's very valuable information for me and part of the great value of this site. You get the benefit of the experience and knowledge of others.

@Omaha Vette Graveyard
Thank you for the response. I'm at the point where I really do see my time as scarcer than the Locost budget. If I can save days of work (and frustration) versus, say $100-$150 in cash, then I'm ready to throw down mama's grocery money so I can get this car done. Besides, eating a little less for a few weeks might be a good thing for me. :lol:

@TRX
My past adventures with flaring brake lines and fuel lines is exactly what makes me interested in the flexible hoses. Let's just say that I had to do-over some lines multiple times befoer I got them both kink free and with no leaks at the joints. Ugh!

@benny_toe
I did a quick check-in on their website, Larry. Their stuff looks very interesting. I'm wondering how similar it is to the materials mentioned by hfmaxi, BBlue and JPS Europa? I'll have to see if I can figure that out. They caution about similar "knock-off" products of lesser quality. Over all, their material does look very promising. Brake lines are a good place to have the highest quality products.

@hfmaxi
Thank you for that information. I have a Pep Boys very close to me. I'm going to go over and check out that material. As reinforcement to your input, several how-to articles on the Internet also say the Rigid tools are the best, just not the cheapest.

@mgkluft
Thanks for the detailed response, Martin. As I mentioned above, past troubles with flaring is a big motivator for me. I had incredibly cheap tools back then, and not as much patience as I have now, so my troubles may have been self-induced. On the other hand, you are an excellent craftsman, so I'm thinking I will have at least as much difficulty as you, and probably a lot more.

@BBlue
@JPS Europa
@FieroReinke
Thank you each and all. I wasn't really aware of the availabilty of generic, pre-flared parts, to be honest. I'm going to have to look into that and see what's available. I'm a little fussy about things and would like to have total control over where all the joints are, if they are necessary at all. But, I'll take a good look at those components. It pays to keep an open mind, especially if the resulting quality of the parts and final assembly might go up too.

Cheers all,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 28, 2016, 12:59 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
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Lonnie, if you go with stainless steel hard line, by the time a good flair tool are added in, it adds up to more that just going with braided -3 AN line. I've used both and there was no difference in pedal effort, and the ease (and no leaking) of the AN hose was infinitely easier and more pleasant. BTW, you can get all your AN fittings from VW Paradise over in San Marcos, who cater to the offroad guys. They can make them on the spot to length.

If OTOH you insist on going hardline, I have a proper flaring tool you can borrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 28, 2016, 6:29 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
KB58 wrote:
Lonnie, if you go with stainless steel hard line, by the time a good flair tool are added in, it adds up to more that just going with braided -3 AN line. I've used both and there was no difference in pedal effort, and the ease (and no leaking) of the AN hose was infinitely easier and more pleasant. BTW, you can get all your AN fittings from VW Paradise over in San Marcos, who cater to the offroad guys. They can make them on the spot to length.

If OTOH you insist on going hardline, I have a proper flaring tool you can borrow.


Thank you for the info and the offer on the flaring tool, Kurt. I will be in San Marcos early next week and I'll stop by the VW Paradise store. They have a very nice machine shop too, as I'm sure you know. I'll see what they have for securing the AN lines as well. That's an immediate issue for me as I'm trying to nail down my transmission tunnel infrastructure ASAP.

Thanks again,

Lonnie

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 29, 2016, 3:58 am 
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Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
Hey Lonnie!

All good responses to your question.
I've never really gone into it that deep, just bought bulk brake line tubing and double flared either AN or Metric. I've used braided SS lines on my front calipers (the OEM hoses were to short). Guess after 30+ years I don't give this a second thought, just do it right so that you're satisfied with the results and it's safe.

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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 29, 2016, 8:39 am 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
@horchoha
Thanks, Perry. Awesome job on that convertible top, by the way.

Best,

Lonnie

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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 Post subject: Re: Brake Line Options?
PostPosted: October 29, 2016, 9:52 am 
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Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
Posts: 5985
Location: SoCal
Be aware there's a third choice, hard line that uses AN fittings.

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Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


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