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Stainless steel brake lines


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I am looking for new stainless steel brake lines for my 1955 Roadmaster 2-door hardtop.  Previous work was not done correctly and one of the lines is touching the exhaust.  I am unable to bend it enough to get it off the exhaust, and have been advised not to drive the car until this problem is corrected.  Thanks for any suggestions.

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You will probably need to buy straight tube off the shelf and fab it yourself. You can buy brake likes that are straight but already have the flares and b-nuts so all you need is a little tube bender.  Sounds like the guy who did it previous bought a straight line that was too long, so bends were added that sent it over to the exhaust (no, I wouldn't drive it either).

 

Kanter *might* be able to help you out, but when we ordered new lines for our '56, they stalled for months before admitting they couldn't help us.  Maybe they can actually do a big body '55, I donno...

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We all know about steel lines and also stainless.......in one of my clubs, a fellow was redoing the lines on a motorhome....he said the problem was they installed the lines then built the body on the chassis making it almost impossible to install long sections.  He found some DOT approved lines made of a special material (I think it was a bronze/steel) strong but more bendable than steel.  He was able to feed long sections thru the frame and replace the lines on the motorhome.   Wish I could give you more information (ps double flare was also very easy to do)

 

I purchased stainless fuel lines for a Corvair from In-Line tube in Michigan.  Quality of the lines was very good, but they screwed up the order, sending me some of the wrong parts, the guy I was working with left the company and I had to start the replacement process from scratch, and when they were finally sure the had what I needed they wanted me to pay the shipping for the replacement parts.......had to escalate that.    Good parts, bad service

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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I don't understand the meaning of this comment.  I am reading all of the replies and considering the information.  I do appreciate the suggestions and did not know the protocol for this forum.  I apologize if anyone was offended.

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I was a bit quick on the trigger. My Bad. The thing is, many times help will be asked for and the folks here will end up wasting their time and good efforts because the guy asking for help never bothers to reply or offer thanks. There is no real protocol but a reply early on lets everyone know you are not a "one post wonder".

Glad you are getting some help with the problem...................Bob

 

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I have worked with SS line in the 1/4" size range on industrial process equipment. It is hard to work with and sometimes difficult to seal a joint. I have also found the ready made auto parts store lines are made from an alloy that makes them easy to bend, but more susceptible t o corrosion, especially at clamping points or where it touches frame rails.

 

My preference is to buy a roll of steel line and make my own. You can also be faithful in replace the wound stone guard. I have a couple of good double flaring sets and a pretty good selection of benders.

 

On long hidden runs, like X-frames for Buicks and Caddies, I like the fish the length through the rails, establish the clamping points, then leave it loose and form my final bends and flares in place. Do a '59 or '60 Cadillac front to rear line and you will see..

 

I bought a set of ready made lines for a '55 T-Bird project a little over 20 years ago. The lines were truly inspirational; they inspired me to keep making my own. I'm such a fussy PIA about detail I have to do my own.

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Just patience and stuborness

Bernie

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The car was bought the last of October.  It stayed garaged until March, when a friend who is a retired mechanic, began working on it. It had to have a new wiring harness and new glass, along with re-chroming of a few window pieces.  It was in the body shop for a month until last Friday having some cosmetic work.  When we drove it home, my husband noticed the brakes felt spongy at times and took it to our local  dealer to see if there might be a leak in the brake line.  They put it on a lift and found no leaks, but noticed the brake line was right against the exhaust, which was boiling the fluid. They tried to bend it, but it wouldn't budge and you can't even get a piece of paper between it and the exhaust.  Now we can't drive our car until something is done.  The garage said they can't do the work. A seller on EBay has the power brake lines, but we are not sure if this is what we need.

 

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Maybe stainless is not the way to go?  Our mechanic friend is now on the Power Tour and will be back Saturday.  He said he will look at it.  He wishes he had noticed the problem while he was under the car replacing the wiring harness. We do, too. 

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Just take it to a good exhaust shop and have them bend the pipe over. Judging from the trees in the background you live in a part of the country where they wouldn't even charge you. Take a $20 to tip the mechanic who does it. It could be the beginning of a wonderful relationship.

 

I have a shop like that where I have had little things done since 1978, same place, two mechanics.

Bernie

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34 minutes ago, dkassner said:

Maybe stainless is not the way to go?  Our mechanic friend is now on the Power Tour and will be back Saturday.  He said he will look at it.  He wishes he had noticed the problem while he was under the car replacing the wiring harness. We do, too. 

 

The Power Tour will be here Thurdsay.  Tell me who to look for; I'll hunt him down and make him feel bad for leaving you stranded!  ;)

 

 

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Well, I won't relentlessly hunt him down, but if we cross paths, I'll give him a nudge.

 

What part of the country are you from, dkassner?  And do you have a name we can call you that rolls off the tounge a little smoother than dkassner?  I'm going to guess yer in the north if you bought it in October, but managed to keep it mothballed until March.

 

One of the neat things about this forum that a lot of other forums don't have is that "Like this" button at the bottom right of each post.  If someone gives you useful information (or tells a funny joke), you can give it a like to acknowledge your appreciation without having to type out a personal response to every post.  Also, you might consider adding a signature, introducing yourself, show us some photos (of your Buick), and telling us a little about you and your Buick.  There's lots of folks here who are glad to help perfect strangers, but it's nice to know we're not just typing to the wind.  Most of us don't bite, but Dale in Indy will probably tell you that you need to paint some SCALLOPS on that fitty-five (good thing you don't have a VISOR).

 

One of us might even offer you 20% off your first year to join the BCA, but that pitch usually gets tossed in the introductions thread..

 

 

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Stainless steel is over-kill for a car that will lead a "sheltered life".  In addition to being difficult to bend it is impossible to flare with hand tools (I bought a kit that generally fit well, but one section had the wrong flare nut...no big deal, just cut the flare off, replace the nut, re-flare and move on --- cracked every time).

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1 hour ago, old-tank said:

Stainless steel is over-kill for a car that will lead a "sheltered life".  In addition to being difficult to bend it is impossible to flare with hand tools (I bought a kit that generally fit well, but one section had the wrong flare nut...no big deal, just cut the flare off, replace the nut, re-flare and move on --- cracked every time).

 

300 series SS will work harden. If you need to do that again, Willie, heat the end of the tube to bright red and let it air cool. ..............Bob 

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Hi,

 

Stainless tubing is a real bear to work with--it tends to crack on the re-bend as you make the flare.  If you're doing a whole brake line replacement, use CuNiFer brake line (available anywhere nowadays) and buy an Eastwood flaring tool.  Yes, it's a couple hundred bucks.   But after you make your first flare, which will be perfect, you won't care what it cost.  And you get to keep the tool for the next car!

 

http://www.eastwood.com/professional-brake-tubing-flaring-tool.html

 

--Tom

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You can buy a complete set of stainless steel brake lines, pre-bent and ready to install for about $200 from inline tube. www.inlinetube.com

 

I have put a set on both of my 1957's and they fit is great, the come complete with spring wrap on the correct areas. Heck of a lot easier than bending and flaring your own. Probably the same cost by the time you get the tools and lines. 

 

Just my experience.

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On June 14, 2016 at 9:40 AM, old-tank said:

Stainless steel is over-kill for a car that will lead a "sheltered life".  In addition to being difficult to bend it is impossible to flare with hand tools (I bought a kit that generally fit well, but one section had the wrong flare nut...no big deal, just cut the flare off, replace the nut, re-flare and move on --- cracked every time).

 

…. well ya gotta use heat with stainless or it will crack almost every time….

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