Summershandy

Prebent brake lines

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I received the brake lines for my '54 Pontiac from the supplier. I don't know if it's good etiquette to mention them. I do realize that they may not have the identical shape due to the vehicle's age and what not. They recommend shipping the originals for them to make but living in Canada doesn't make that happen. There's 6 pieces in total. I've matched up the first 2 to the originals and found MOSTLY correct bends. Both have the incorrect bends at the end and are much longer. Bending them back into shape isn't a big deal but now I have to get a flare kit, cut and flare. Could be worse and the lines could be shorter. Chances are the rest will be incorrect also. I'm wondering if it was even worth the cost now seeing I have to do some bending and flaring anyway. This is what I was trying to avoid. Anyone else have this issue and is it a typical thing? I haven't flared in over 40 years but a least there's some videos out there now!

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Never bought them in fact I seldom buy parts store premade lines. I prefer to make my own from a roll of tubing. I can get the exact length I want, making long ones in one piece and can have them in a day.

 

There is a technique to doing this that I could tell in a few minutes if anyone is interested.

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I knew someone like you would make them old school. I did make my own fuel line from the original but it doesn't need to be flared so much. It's too late for me now but, if I was to do it again I would go your route. 

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The new copper nickel brake line makes it easier than ever but you do need to invest in a flaring tool and bender.

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 I prefer to use the straight flared lines that I buy from NAPA.

 You just use a tape measure and follow the path of where you want the lines to go and then buy multi lengths of tubing that add up to the length needed.

 The shorter lengths make for easier and more accurate bending and installation.

 Just couple them together with couplings and bleed!

 

 The whole setup comes out straighter and better fitting that using roll tubing, and it's quicker!

 

 The only exception is the gas line that I prefer to use a one piece unit with flexible high pressure fuel injection hose on each end, using flares to make sure it doesn't slip off.

 

 Ps, if you still want to use a roll of tubing, step on the loose end and unroll the tube by pushing it down firmly on the floor as you unroll, stepping on it all the way.

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1 hour ago, Roger Walling said:

buy multi lengths of tubing that add up to the length needed.

 

I guess I failed to mention although they aren't really seen, I was trying to keep the car original as I could and thought this would be another way. I'm also not a big fan of multiple joints thinking more of a chance to leak. But ya, definitely easier to install. Had fun doing a 15 foot fuel line! 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Never bought them in fact I seldom buy parts store premade lines. I prefer to make my own from a roll of tubing. I can get the exact length I want, making long ones in one piece and can have them in a day.

 I'm with Rusty. Bought a good quality single/double flaring tool many years ago, and it has had a lot of work. My bender not so much, as I only use it on tight bends. The rolls of steel tubing here are 7 metres, from memory. That copper nickel tubing sounds good. There was a time when copper was not allowable for brake lines in Australia, due to it's tendency to crack with vibration, which is my reason for selecting steel. I guess not having a parts store down the road makes a difference, as well. 

 

51 minutes ago, mike6024 said:

What I did was buy the NAPA tubing and bend it. It was a few inches too long so I cut it and flared with a plumbing tool, the same one I've used to flare copper plumbing tube. But when I flared the brake line with it a crack developed so that's no good at all. Brake line is not the same flare anyway, it is doubled over.

 

So I went back to NAPA, bought another brake line the same length, too long. I bent it and took up the excess by using extra tube in one of the bends. No need to cut it this time. It's just one of the bends sticks out more.

Mike, the cracking is probably due to too much material standing proud of the flaring tool. Did that twice this week. (Single flare, where the steel pipe joins the flexible hose). A real pain when the length is tight, and you are working under the car.. 

 

Edited by Bush Mechanic
clarification (see edit history)

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Copper Nickel is great. Not the same aminal as pure copper. Sold under brand name Cunifer. Used as OEM brake lines on Volvos and others. 

 

Way easier to flare and bend and does not rust out. 

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Posted (edited)

Have you contacted the supplier and given them the opportunity to make this right?  If it's the company based in Michigan, I have seen cases where they supplied lines that didn't fit but they made it right when given the opportunity.

Edited by Writer Jon (see edit history)

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19 minutes ago, Writer Jon said:

Have you contacted the supplier and given them the opportunity to make this right?

 

 

Ya I think they are from Michigan. They have kind of a disclaimer and if you need them exact to send them the original lines. I just assumed they have made many for my style car. 

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Posted (edited)

Possibly the lines were longer because the Canadian Pontiacs after the mid thirties are built with a Chevrolet chassis and an untrimmed Chevrolet body.  Fenders and grill adjusted to be similar to American Pontiacs. 

Edited by Tinindian (see edit history)

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I believe that I used the same vendor and had no problems they fit perfectly. They did need a little 'tweaking' but for the most part they were dead on

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13 hours ago, Summershandy said:

 

 

Ya I think they are from Michigan. They have kind of a disclaimer and if you need them exact to send them the original lines. I just assumed they have made many for my style car. 

You know what they say about assume ? 

I used Fine-Lines for a 62 Dodge and they were great ! 

Did you not send the supplier your original break lines because of the cost ?

I would definitely contact the supplier and give them a chance, but I think I know what they are going to say.

 

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1 hour ago, Curti said:

You know what they say about assume ?

 

Yup....shipping the lines wouldn't be cost effective. It really isn't that big of a deal as I'm getting handy at line bending now. I'm matching them to the old line and going from there. Cut the excess and flare. They've made most of the bends and I haven't confirmed the main line and rears yet though the one on the axle looks OK. If the rest are good, I suspect the confusion lies where they meet up at the junction block under the master cylinder. There must have been a few different configurations. I was really asking if anyone else shared the same experience. 

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The more or less immutable Law of Repro is: "If it's re-pro it's going to need re-work".............................Bob

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I am just guessing but would the be the same lines as a Chevrolet?

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23 hours ago, Summershandy said:

I suspect the confusion lies where they meet up at the junction block under the master cylinder. There must have been a few different configurations. I was really asking if anyone else shared the same experience. 

 

NAPA sells 6" adapter lines for the master cyl. connections.

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Posted (edited)

I bought a set for my 1950 Buick and they came in a box that was pushing the limit of what UPS would carry.  The gas line had 1 bend in it that you had to unbend and one of the rear brakelines had the same.  For the most part they fit but there was some adjustments that had to be made.  Bought Stainless line and they looked nice.

Edited by Bill Stoneberg (see edit history)

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15 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

I'm curious how they send prebent brake lines through the mail.

 

LIke Bill said, my lines came in the same way with 2 of them bent with approximately 6" radius. Very easy to straighten. I expected a large box as I paid for oversized shipping. I was surprised when I got them. I've seen much bigger boxes shipped. Think I got hosed there on shipping. I did the main brake line to the rear last night. I have a metal heater duct that goes through the frame and comes up under the seat. It looked to me they bent the line to go under this duct. The original line went over the duct which enabled it to be fastened to the original clips on the frame. If I followed their bends, the line would have to be reconnected with new fasteners. Some of the bends I still don't understand, some seem opposite. Left when right and up when down. So, I rebent that line to match the original, fastened them to the clips and thankfully was long enough to reach the bracket where it meets the rear brake hose. I guess the end of the story and if I had to do it all over again, especially with an older car, I would do my own. Matching the original bends make for a good fit IMO.  I just paid more money to have lines roughly the correct length already flared....mostly. 

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Finished removing and matching the rest of the lines. Just those 2 up front were too long. The rest look good. Brake lines have to be the messiest even when you try your best. The last line removal I had cut up plastic bags and elastics at the ready! After I bled them empty of course.

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