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brake lines

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  • brake lines

    I am in the process of replacing all brake components on a 57 silver hawk. Can I buy new brake lines? If I can buy them, how can you bend them without putting a kink in them? It seems like it will be very difficult to bend stainless steel lines and not ruin it. Some very tight 90 degree turns in the old lines. Thanks

  • #2
    There are several styles of tubing benders that do a pretty good job. Experience makes the job easier, buy a couple of extra pieces and play with them learning how to bend what and where you want it.

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    • #3
      I did my own on my 58 Hawk (no prior experience); Tom's right, buy a couple of extra lines, you'll probably mess up one or two before you get
      them right. They're cheap enough. Go slowly,there's a learning curve.

      Joe D.

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      • #4
        In Line Tube dot com, I bought a set of pre bent in stainless for less than $200 bucks.

        Jim
        "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

        We will provide the curb for you to stand on and clap!


        Indy Honor Flight www.IndyHonorFlight.org

        As of Veterans Day 2017, IHF has flown 2,450 WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans to Washington DC at NO charge! to see
        their Memorials!

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        • #5
          you bend steel tubing like pocupines make love. Very carefully.

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          • #6
            If you are thinking of using stainles steel lines you need to buy premade ones. You need a special double flaring tool that cost at least $300 to make the flares if you would try to make your own. If you can buy standard length lines that have standard 3/16" fittilngs you could bend them yourself and use adaptor fittings to screw onto the standard fittings to get them to be the sizes that you would need if required. I have never seen stainless lines for sale on standardized lengths that have the fittings on them like you buy at a auto parts store. The "new" thing is brake lines that you buy at a parts store that have a dark brownish finish on them that is like a plastic coating to prevent rusting. Brake lines rust a lot of times from the inside out so if you are not using silicone fluid you should change the dot 3 or 4 fluid every couple of years. There is no trick to bending a brake line besides not bending them tightly just using your fingers. Tight bends need to be done either bending the line around a pipe or other round object that is at least 1-1/2" in diameter, using coiled springs to place over them to help bend them or best to use a good line bending tool.

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            • #7
              I have redone a number of vehicles with stainless steel brake and fuel lines and you learn as you go for sure. As Packerbacker notes you will need a special double flairing tool. When I started I used a regular tool from Mac or one of those automotive tool places. I could make it work but it was very difficult due to the hardness of the SS, and had to do them over on many occasions. I finally got a special tool from the UK that makes factory perfect double flares every time and it was worth the $150.00 I paid for it, it only makes 3/16" flares however. I now see that Eastwood has a multiple size tool for $180 on sale now (http://www.eastwood.com/professional...ring-tool.htmlhttp://www.parker.com/portal/site/PA...0032a71dacRCRD
              Dan White
              64 R1 GT
              64 R2 GT
              58 C Cab
              57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

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              • #8
                Thanks to all of you for all of the input.

                52Ragtop, I checked Inline Tube.com and all thet show are brake lines for Champion, Lark and Advanti. Do you know anything different? This would be an easy way to go.

                Packerbacker, From what I have read on this forum, stainless is what you should use. However, I do not want to buy an expensive tool that I will never use again (hopefully). I have not talked to the local auto parts houses yet. Maybe if I bring in the old lines, they can make the flares and provide the fittings. Of course if I screw up the bending It would just be a bigger loss. Can you bend them first and then have the flares and fittings put on them? I guess I need to talk to them.

                Dan White, Boy, you explained a lot, thanks. If I have no luck with the auto parts house, I will look at the Parker A-Lok fittings. I have read a lot here about brake fluids. What would be the best type to use after you have replaced everything? Thanks

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                • #9
                  Factory lines are steel. The tubing you get at the auto parts houses are steel, not stainless. Hand bend most of the bends you need and use a bender for the tight bends.
                  Use a regular [good quality] flaring tool if you can't find lengths that you need. Stainless and the special tools required aren't neccessary, but are nice.
                  South Lompoc Studebaker

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                  • #10
                    I got aircraft grade stainless in bulk from Dillsburg Aeroplane Works in Dillsburg, Pa. Bent it by hand and am very satisfied with the results.
                    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                    sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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                    • #11
                      To answer your question can you put the fittings and flare after bending, maybe yes maybe no. From my experience standard flaring tools only grip about 1/2" to 1" of tubing to hold it while you apply the anvil and punch. For SS the grip is a lot more (since much more pressure is applied), perhaps as much as 2" or more depending on your tool. So with regular steel you should be able to flare afterwards on most bends. However, on stainless you will be able to only if the bends are not too close to the end of the tube. It just depends. Don't forget that you need to subtract the length of the ferrule from the area on the tube you need to flare. Take a look at the old lines and you should be able to tell right away if you will be able to flare after bending. The Parker A-Lok fittings are only going to help you connecting two long runs like from the front to back. It sure makes easier to run the lines (fuel and brake) in two pieces instead of one. As for the flaring tool, you have some choices. The tool you use for SS can be used for other materials as well or you could resell the tool, with little money lost. You never know when you might need one again. Not only that, these higher priced tools are a lot easier to use than the run of the mill double flare tool kit.

                      As for brake fluid since you are using stainless it really will not matter. I being a belt and suspenders type of guy use silicon, not for rust protection, since it will not matter with SS, but for the gelling that can happen once moisture mixes with the standard brake fluids. This is a whole other topic with much disagreement and I don't want to get that started here.
                      Last edited by Dan White; 11-26-2010, 04:32 PM.
                      Dan White
                      64 R1 GT
                      64 R2 GT
                      58 C Cab
                      57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm not trying to talk you out of using stainless lines but unless you are going to drive the car in snow or in a ton of rain and are not willing to change your brake fluid every couple of years (except silicone which doesn't absorb water) regular steel lines will last longer than you will. If you do use silicone fluid, be aware that all of the rubber in the system needs to be new and you need to thourougly flush the system with alcohol and dry it out. If you decide to buy stock lengths of brake lines from your local parts house do not worry too much about them being a little long. The rule of thumb is that you can run them anyway you want to get the ends from point A to point B as long as they do not get near any moving parts. Even the auto manufacturers sometimes ran loops in the lines before running the line into a master cylinder. If you do want to make the lines with the same exact bends as the originals do not be too concerned about doing the bending, it is not that hard using regular steel lines. Making a good straight double flare is hard to do with most flaring tools but if you have the right tool it can be very easy. I found a thread one time about using a Moprod flaring tool that is made in England. I got one off of Ebay and it makes the sweetest looking double flares that I have ever seen and it can even do it while the line is on the car. The only thing bad about it is that it can only do 3/16" lines and not stainless steel lines. I'm sure that you can find a good flaring tool if you just check around and ask friends or maybe a mechanic for their input.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Packerbacker, I agree with you about the stainless. It is the best and if I were building for show or as an investment, i would go with stainless. However, I am just building a Sunday driver. Hell, at my age I can use some of that plastic aquarium tubing and it would probably last me out. I am glad to hear that you do not have to make the exact same bends. I can tell the lines are original and were probably installed before they sat the body on the frame.
                          This place makes lines for a Studebaker. The delivered price of $55 is not bad. Do you know anything about them?

                          http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...TQ:MOTORS:1123


                          I am trying to get more info on the lines but they are a consideration. I checked for a Moprod flaring tool but none available.
                          Thanks for all of the good info.

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                          • #14
                            The brake line kit on Ebay is kind of neat but a bit pricey compared to just buying the lines at a parts store. When you buy lines they come with standard 3/16" fittings on them so you can fit them directly in most cases if they are long enough. If a fitting is larger than 3/16" on the original line, you can buy adaptors that will screw right onto the 3/16" fittings to make them the size that is required. If the line is longer than 60" you can piece another line on using a union, do not use a compression type. Use the kind that you can just screw the 3/16" fittings into to connect the lines together. You can buy these brass unions cheaper at a large hardware store most of the time. This looks like a pretty decent looking double flaring tool on ebay. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/HOT-R...item3a5eba658f but is a bit pricey. There is a good chance that you might not need one at all since brake lines come in various lengths so you can usually find a length or combine lines to be close enough. Do not put anything on the threads of the fittings to seal them. The lines seal at the flare.

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                            • #15
                              We ordered one of those Old Time Parts brake kits from e-bay for our Hawk. Considering all the different lengths, brass unions, and that the lines are already flared, it seemed like a good deal. We are also in a remote area, and it's miles to the nearest FLAPS. My wife was able to easily bend the lines by hand in most cases. We had to get a little creative with some of the lines, as it's not a perfect fit, and you will end up with some lines that are too long. We put a couple of "S" loops in and were happy. We even had enough short pieces in the kit to connect the hill holder. If I had to do it over again...and I do on another car...I would recommend getting a tubing cutter and a flaring tool. You can do a much nicer looking job that way. After it's all said and done, and you bleed the brakes, have an assistant stand hard on the pedal while you look for leaks at the unions and T's.

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