Brake lines - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Carl
 
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Brake lines

Hey All,


I am about to undertake replacing all my old brake lines and 'tubes' on my 67. The old 1/4" metal line running from the distribution block to the rear axle is rusted and has developed a leak so I thought I might as well go ahead and replace all those old rusted metal lines. I'm thinking of going with stainless steel lines/tubes (not the braided stainless hoses attached to the caliper...but the main lines running from the Master Cylinder to all 4 corners.


Does anyone have any thoughts on going stainless vs going back with the old OE style?


Thanks
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 12:39 PM
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Rick
 
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Re: Brake lines

I regretted stainless because of how hard the metal is and tough to get it to seal at the joints. I finally gave up at the drivers side rear brake and replaced that stainless section with new but original mild steel. No leaks now.

If I were to do it again, I would go with the newfangled copper-nickel lines everywhere.

Rick

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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 1:51 PM
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Hank
 
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Re: Brake lines

I went with the all regular steel prebent brake lines because of hearing the stainless steel was hard to seat. I look at it this way the original stuff lasted about 45 years and was out in all types of weather. Now the car is a fair weather car and the next time it needs to be changed I won't be around to change it let the next guy worry about it.

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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 3:45 PM
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Re: Brake lines

I have all pre bent Stainless on my 70 El Camino. No issues at all....
Bob


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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 20, 3:54 PM Thread Starter
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Carl
 
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Re: Brake lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by HKalin View Post
... the original stuff lasted about 45 years and was out in all types of weather. Now the car is a fair weather car and the next time it needs to be changed I won't be around to change it let the next guy worry about it.

Believe me...I thought that too.... Then I thought as long as I'm doing it why not go all in.... But I'll admit there are concerns about lines seating and waking up at night with nightmares of trying to make figure-8 bends in stainless....
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 20, 4:01 PM Thread Starter
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Carl
 
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Re: Brake lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by B52bombardier1 View Post
I regretted stainless because of how hard the metal is and tough to get it to seal at the joints. I finally gave up at the drivers side rear brake and replaced that stainless section with new but original mild steel. No leaks now.

If I were to do it again, I would go with the newfangled copper-nickel lines everywhere.

Rick

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Yeah...this is why I was casting a line for opinions.... But, since I'm replacing master cylinder, calipers AND rear wheel cylinders I figure there will be a good, 'unmated' surface on the receiving components so I was hoping that would reduce the chances of bad seals. From what I've read it's trying to seal new stainless flair ends to a fitting that has been sealed previously is where most problems lie.


I was hoping to go with a pre-fitted set of lines to eliminate most of the potential bending problems. Did you go that route and still experience your bending issues or did you just buy a roll of stainless tubing and make your own?
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 20, 4:26 PM Thread Starter
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Carl
 
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Re: Brake lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinls5 View Post
I have all pre bent Stainless on my 70 El Camino. No issues at all....
Bob
Nice ride! the 67 and 70 are my 2 favorite Chevelles of all time....


Did you have to do a lot of tweaking/bending to your pre bent lines? One of my biggest concern is having a line just a touch too short and having to lengthen it myself.....
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 20, 5:35 PM
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Post Re: Brake lines

If you are going to replace them yourself get a 25' roll of Ni-Cop 3/16 and a 10' length of 1/4'' Ni-Cop.That is enough to replace all your 66's lines.Remove each line one at a time and use the old ones to copy off for the new lines.All the fittings are available on line or at the home stores.Or at this place if you want:
https://www.amkproducts.com/GM_Master_Kits.asp

Are you also going to disc/drum or 4 wheel disc or staying with drum brakes ?
If you decide to go with stainless pre-bent lines then use the best flare-nut wrenches you can find and tighten them as much as you can without stripping the fittings.

John
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 20, 6:04 PM
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Re: Brake lines

I put stainless once on my GS but went with steel this time around. My son who is a Master ASE said don't go stainless unless you want leaks. I didn't have any leaks with my GS but it is much harder to work with.
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 20, 6:21 PM
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Re: Brake lines

As HKalin mentioned the mild steel will last most likely the life of the vehicle and anyone reading this. It is cheaper and easier to work with. My vote is for pre bent in mild steel. They are really not that expensive in pre bent so I don’t see the need to make them out of a roll. That being said I did install pre bent stainless lines on a Silverado and had no problems with them sealing however that was a vehicle that was driven in all kind of weather therefore justifying the stainless.
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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 20, 7:13 PM
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Re: Brake lines

I got rolls of stainless line, fittings and spring armor-all found on Ebay. The armor protects the line from rocks kicked up by the tires.

I bent everything by hand and for small bends, I used brake line pliers (10 bucks at Harbor Fright).

I used a Cal-Van flaring kit.

All went well, it looks great and no leaks.
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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 20, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Carl
 
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Re: Brake lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by 71350SS View Post
If you are going to replace them yourself get a 25' roll of Ni-Cop 3/16 and a 10' length of 1/4'' Ni-Cop.That is enough to replace all your 66's lines.Remove each line one at a time and use the old ones to copy off for the new lines.All the fittings are available on line or at the home stores.Or at this place if you want:
https://www.amkproducts.com/GM_Master_Kits.asp

Are you also going to disc/drum or 4 wheel disc or staying with drum brakes ?
If you decide to go with stainless pre-bent lines then use the best flare-nut wrenches you can find and tighten them as much as you can without stripping the fittings.

I really hadn't thought of making my own...but I can see how it would be easier with Ni-Cop than stainless.... I'll ponder that.


It's already disc/drum from an upgrade I did back in 1992...I scavenged a wrecked 70 Monte Carlo and took all the power front disc stuff and put it on my EC....worked like a charm. I thought this time I would upgrade from single piston caliper to a Wilwood D52 and go with a 2 piston caliper. I think the last time I replaced the drum brakes on the rear was back in 1982! But I only drive it maybe 50 miles per month. The master cylinder is giving me a 'long' pedal so I thought I'd go ahead and tackle that before I end up in a ditch....so while I'm at it I'll just redo everything with all new parts....


I've got new flare nut (line) wrenches on my parts list....I learned that lesson a long time ago....
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 20, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Carl
 
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Re: Brake lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billdini View Post
My son who is a Master ASE said don't go stainless unless you want leaks.

Ya know....I was suspicious myself about that...that thought crossed my mind several times.... Your post reinforces the fact that my concern was valid. Sounds like you might have been lucky or maybe you swapped back to steel before the leaks showed up....
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 20, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Carl
 
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Re: Brake lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by blm View Post
I did install pre bent stainless lines on a Silverado and had no problems with them sealing however that was a vehicle that was driven in all kind of weather therefore justifying the stainless.

More reason to go back steel as this EC is a 'garage queen' that gets driven maybe 50 miles per month....
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 20, 12:30 AM
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Re: Brake lines

No matter which brake line you use you might want to use copper flare washers at each connection. Best thing since sliced bread. Stops a leak every time.
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