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Original steel brake lines. Can they be successfully acid dipped and re-used?

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  • Brakes: Original steel brake lines. Can they be successfully acid dipped and re-used?

    My 1940 Studebaker Champion was very complete and original when I acquired it. I've been taking it down for a complete restoration and have meticulously removed each brake line successfully. I tried blowing them out with solvent but only see dark blackish tar goo coming out slowly over time. I was thinking about having them acid dipped to save on time re-making them.
    Is there a good source for pre-bent steel brake lines or should I just try the acid dipping process or make them?
    What would you do?
    Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    I would make new, but I'm a CASO! I would never trust seventy-one-year-old brake lines!!!!
    I procure stainless line from Dillsburg Aeroplane Works in Dillsburg, Pa.
    Last edited by rockne10; 05-23-2011, 06:31 PM. Reason: can't subtract
    "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.
    '33 Rockne 10,
    '51 Commander Starlight,
    '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
    '56 Sky Hawk

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    • #3
      Buy the right lengths of line and use the originals as a pattern to bend your own. It isn't hard to do. The brake system is the one place where I wouldn't take shortcuts.

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      • #4
        Try www.OldTimeParts.com. $50.00 got a complete set of brand new lines, ready to install. Very happy with their service.

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        • #5
          I replaced mine with the copper alloy lines. It was easy to cut, bend and flare. Can be buffed to a chrome shine and will not corrode. I even used a Harbor Freight flare tool with no problem....

          Here is a link to where I got the tubing and connectors: http://www.fedhillusa.com/
          Last edited by JohnM15; 05-24-2011, 01:11 AM.
          1948 M15A-20 Flatbed Truck Rescue
          See rescue progress here on this blog:
          http://studem15a-20.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Barn Find View Post
            My 1940 Studebaker Champion was very complete and original when I acquired it. I've been taking it down for a complete restoration and have meticulously removed each brake line successfully. I tried blowing them out with solvent but only see dark blackish tar goo coming out slowly over time. I was thinking about having them acid dipped to save on time re-making them.
            Is there a good source for pre-bent steel brake lines or should I just try the acid dipping process or make them?
            What would you do?
            Thanks for your help.

            I would either make your own new ones (using your old ones as a pattern) or else send the old ones off to Classic Tube and have them do it for you (in which case you could have them make them in stainless, which is nice.) I would not reuse any brake lines that have been acid dipped or have had anything but brake fluid and/or alcohol (recommended solvent for flushing brake lines) in them.

            nate
            --
            55 Commander Starlight
            http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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            • #7
              I would bet that the lines on there are not factory. If the car was driven for even 10 years it probably had some brake lines replaced. NAPA has the flexible hoses by the way. The fuel and brake lines are pretty easy to bend yourself if you still have the front clip off. If you don't have the service manual I would get one from one of the Stude vendors. The non-self-centering brakes on these cars have some quirks!
              _______________
              http://stude.vonadatech.com
              https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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              • #8
                Yeah man - I understand the desire for originality, but you do NOT want to take shortcuts on brakes.

                Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  OOhh.. I love their flaring tool.
                  I could do 14 Stude's worth of FLAPS brake lines before it'd pay for that tool...
                  But it's a neat tool...
                  Jeff

                  Originally posted by JohnM15 View Post
                  I replaced mine with the copper alloy lines. It was easy to cut, bend and flare. Can be buffed to a chrome shine and will not corrode. I even used a Harbor Freight flare tool with no problem....

                  Here is a link to where I got the tubing and connectors: http://www.fedhillusa.com/
                  HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                  Jeff


                  Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                  Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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                  • #10
                    Thanks friends. Even though it's tempting to use what looks like perfectly good steel lines, I think you are all saying the right thing! It's better to play it safe.
                    Thanks for the help!

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                    • #11
                      Jeff,
                      That isd the same flaring tool that Eastwood sells, as does BrakeQuip, I bought one from Eastwood a few months ago, YES, it's that easy! Eastwood puts them on sale every so often for $179.00 with free shipping.

                      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

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