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  • Brakes: replacing flexible lines

    Okay, I'm in the process of removing the flexible lines from my front brakes. I held the steel line's nib in place with a wrench and turned the flex line. Brake line still broke off. So... most likely, as per usual, I was doing it wrong. The Shop Manual isn't any help with the brake lines (or I'm looking in the wrong place) so I thought I would send up a SMA flag.

    Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
    Ron Smith
    Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

  • #2
    Lines were probably pretty rusty and broke from the strain. Measure the line length to the next union/master cylinder and buy a new one from your local FLAPS with ends already in place. Just a few bucks apiece.

    A set of these are helpful in holding the line nut.


    Bob
    Last edited by sweetolbob; 09-30-2018, 03:31 PM.

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    • #3
      Bob is right. You should always use tubing wrenches on Brake lines. Also, when reassembling, you should start them with fingers and go several turns before applying a wrench to them. This is especially important with brass females. If they don't start, wiggle them with your fingers while turning.
      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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      • #4
        Remember, the Shop Manual was intended for experienced mechanics working on cars that were, say, less than 10 years old. As we work on cars that are 50 or 60 years we have to use much more finesse.
        In the case of the steel brake line I always wire brush the area clean, then spray it with penetrating oil, and then walk away from it for a while. I might spray it again and walk away.
        Usually then the tube nut will turn. In the worst case, I have put a little heat on the tube nut. This really helps if the nut is stuck on the steel tubing.

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        • #5
          Just as well, because the steel lines are probably corroded to a point of being dangerous to others on the highway. Those old steel lines either corrode shut or get weak and start leaking when you need them the most.
          sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
          1950 Champion Convertible
          1950 Champion 4Dr
          1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
          1957 Thunderbird

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          • #6
            Thanks for the info fellas. Looks like I will have to make a trip to the FLAPS. So this will not be finished till next week. The left side went better. As to the manuals, I have long since noticed they are written with competence in mind (a competent mechanic I am NOT)... Often things are assumed (like competence) as going without saying. Hence, no mention about how to install the flexible lines I suppose.

            On a side note, I bought new flexible lines from S.I. along with kits for all four cylinders and the master (forgot the hill holder and am considering removing it). They sent me one front line and two rear. No matter as a longer hose works just as well as the shorter one in the front. Might have been a problem if they'd sent me three fronts.

            Thanks for the quick response!
            Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
            Ron Smith
            Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

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            • #7
              Be careful, that longer hose may bite you if it rubs or gets pinched somewhere. Studebaker did not spend money or create part numbers casually. If they thought it was acceptable to use the same length front and rear they probably would have.

              Nathan
              _______________
              http://stude.vonadatech.com
              https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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              • #8
                The longer rear hose my rub a tire in the front. Be Careful of that.

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                • #9
                  Finally got under the wagon for a few moments today. Got a nasty (rather unsuprising) surprise!


                  To quote the inimitable Gomer Pyle, "Well, sur-prize, sur-prize, sur-prize!!!" I rather suspected the line was mashed somewhere. However, this was even worse than even I imagined. It's even flatter than the thinness of the pipe's walls! Amazing what a careless handyman can do in yanking a car out of a shed it has resided in for thirty years or so. I'm ashamed it took me this long to discover.
                  Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                  K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                  Ron Smith
                  Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

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                  • #10
                    In any case, one should hold the fitting on the flex line stationary, and turn the flare nut on the steel line. Some of the flex line fittings are made to engage a hex or toothed hole in the tab to prevent them from turning. Replace all the steel lines. They need it, and they are cheap.
                    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                    • #11
                      Clunker if you havent already bought steel lines look for NiCop lines. they are much easier to work with,especially that short line on the left front. no bending tools needed! Luck Doofus

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                      • #12
                        I will enter my plea once again: It doesn't matter how nice your original car is, all steel brake lines should be replaced. They are at least 52 years old and are rusting from within and without. This is the cheapest and best safety improvement you can make. A dual master cylinder is not a substitute for this as they are often ineffective if say the fronts blow out and the rears are even slightly out of adjustment.

                        The NiCop lines make the job very easy.

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                        • #13
                          The NiCop lines make the job very easy.
                          Yes! Also known as Cunifer. I use Cunifer from SUR&R and Brake Equip. Summit Racing carries SUR&R brand and also Stainless Steel armor (spring like brake line guard) and flare nuts.
                          Frank DuVal

                          50 Commander 4 door

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                          • #14
                            Thank you for the hints and help. I will look into a new set of brake lines for the car.

                            Here's a question to throw out there, my Hill Holder (no-roll) is sticking. Would it be difficult to just bypass it?
                            Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                            Ron Smith
                            Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by studeclunker View Post
                              Thank you for the hints and help. I will look into a new set of brake lines for the car.

                              Here's a question to throw out there, my Hill Holder (no-roll) is sticking. Would it be difficult to just bypass it?
                              I have not done it, but the way I see it, you have more than one option. My approach would be to first take the unit off, come up with an appropriate brake cleaner solution (smarter folks chime in on what to use) and thoroughly flush/clean the unit. Give it a try and if really clean, I suspect it will function just fine as long as the linkage is properly adjusted. Another option is to open it up and clean it that way, but from reading past posts on the subject, getting it apart and back together is difficult due to the torque required to remove the cap, and reinstalling it against heavy spring pressure. (I have seen rebuild kits offered.)

                              If you feel confident you have it clean, and it does not function, you can always adjust (or remove) the linkage actuator rod to keep the valve open and that will ensure it stays open and bypass its function. Lastly, since you are thinking about replacing all the brake lines anyway, remove the hill holder and tee off the rear of the master cylinder just as you would with any car that did not have the hill holder. Happy tinkering!
                              John Clary
                              Greer, SC

                              SDC member since 1975

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