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Old 10-29-2012, 11:08 AM
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44BZ 44BZ is offline
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Location: oregon city, or
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DIY steel brake line replacement

It seems I have so many Jeep irons in the fire right now I'm in the process of overhauling the braking system; rears are done. I managed to snap the steel line at the passenger rear wheel cylinder, so the 12" or so of line from the tee to the cylinder needs replaced. I'm leaning toward replacing all the hard lines at this point, but have some questions.

1) What size are the stock lines? I'm looking at a kit from Eastwood that includes 25' of steel line and I think 16 fittings consisting of long and short lengths, for $17.99. Seems like a good deal.

2) Bare steel or coated? Looks like brake lines come in bare steel or coated with something (AVS maybe? I can't remember now) to prevent corrosion. Are bare steel lines adequate or is it worth the extra money to get the coated variety? I don't have to worry too much about rust in Oregon...

I think that's all for now. Never run brake lines before so I'll have to get familiar with a bender and flaring tool. Still collecting parts at this stage
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2012, 12:00 PM
joe joe is offline
 
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If you're not running on salt water beaches uncoated are fine in OR. Unless you're bathing your rig in salt water or rock salted roads your steel lines are more prone to rust/corrode on the inside from not changing your brake fluid often enough.
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2012, 12:17 PM
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austinaubinoe austinaubinoe is offline
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im in the process redoing all the hard line on my 55 pickup. I just sprayed them all with a can of rust proof semi gloss black.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:37 PM
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tgreese tgreese is offline
 
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Most factory lines are 3/16".

I don't think there's such a thing as bare steel lines. I believe you can get plated lines (which look like bare steel) or coated, which have a olive drab plastic coating - though I suspect that's on top of plated tubing.

Supposedly the best line to use today is Cunifer (copper-nickel-iron alloy), which is easy to bend, does not corrode, and makes nice flares. More expensive though. I'd avoid stainless, because it's hard to work with.

For patch-ups, I try to find pre-made lines about the right length and bend them to shape. You can join the available lengths with unions and make up almost any length you need.
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2012, 03:59 PM
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44BZ 44BZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgreese
Most factory lines are 3/16".

I don't think there's such a thing as bare steel lines. I believe you can get plated lines (which look like bare steel) or coated, which have a olive drab plastic coating - though I suspect that's on top of plated tubing.

Supposedly the best line to use today is Cunifer (copper-nickel-iron alloy), which is easy to bend, does not corrode, and makes nice flares. More expensive though. I'd avoid stainless, because it's hard to work with.

For patch-ups, I try to find pre-made lines about the right length and bend them to shape. You can join the available lengths with unions and make up almost any length you need.

Thanks for clarification on the line size, I think the kit I was looking at is 3/16". You're probably right with the plated vs coated, I was trying to recall from memory what I had read about the different products. What should I expect to pay? $17.99 surprised me as I was expecting to pay quite a bit more for a roll of tubing, but that may be for stainless. Does stainless not bend as well?
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  #6  
Old 10-29-2012, 04:04 PM
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tgreese tgreese is offline
 
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Stainless is harder than mild steel, which makes bending and flaring harder.

Steel tubing is pretty cheap. Even the pre-flared sticks with fittings on both ends that you get at the parts store are inexpensive.

Check out Cunifer if you want to make custom lines. http://www.fedhillusa.com/
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Maine beekeeper's truck: '77 J10 LWB, 258/T15/D20/3.54 bone stock, low options (delete radio), PS, hubcaps.
Browless and proud: '82 J20 360/T18/NP208/3.73, Destination ATs, 7600 GVWR
Copper Polly: '75 CJ-6, 304/T15, PS, BFG KM2s, soft top
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2012, 04:38 PM
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JERSEY JOE JERSEY JOE is offline
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brake lines

Also contact Classic Tube and buy the rock gurad which is a spring outer coating. it's cheap and really makes the lines look OEM. It's like 10 cents a foot
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2012, 04:39 PM
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Thomas792 Thomas792 is offline
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Going through the same process with the rear lines for my J10 axle going into my GW. The lengths I measured are 18" for the drivers side and 57" for the passenger side. I'm not 100% sure of the exact shape so I gave it a little extra.

Tried yesterday to bend the lines for the driver's side. What a pain to get everything to line up. I guess slightly shorter, say 16", might have been better.

Lines are in fact 3/16 as I had a small portion of the original line to work with.

BTW I got my lines from NAPA as they seemed to have the greatest selection.
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2012, 04:41 PM
MtnYJ MtnYJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44BZ
It seems I have so many Jeep irons in the fire right now I'm in the process of overhauling the braking system; rears are done. I managed to snap the steel line at the passenger rear wheel cylinder, so the 12" or so of line from the tee to the cylinder needs replaced. I'm leaning toward replacing all the hard lines at this point, but have some questions.

1) What size are the stock lines? I'm looking at a kit from Eastwood that includes 25' of steel line and I think 16 fittings consisting of long and short lengths, for $17.99. Seems like a good deal.

2) Bare steel or coated? Looks like brake lines come in bare steel or coated with something (AVS maybe? I can't remember now) to prevent corrosion. Are bare steel lines adequate or is it worth the extra money to get the coated variety? I don't have to worry too much about rust in Oregon...

I think that's all for now. Never run brake lines before so I'll have to get familiar with a bender and flaring tool. Still collecting parts at this stage

Might as well replace all the hard lines and get it over with. We started down the "just replace the bad ones" road, then quickly realized they were all in about the same poor condition.

Once you get the hang of the flaring tool it's not to bad. AutoZone or similar store will rent you the flaring tool, but it's hit and miss if it'll be a good one. It's really frustrating trying to learn a new task and not knowing if errors in your work are operator error or the tool.

I fought with the rental units for a few years, then broke down and bought a Craftsman flaring tool. It made a huge difference. When I tighten down the Craftsman tool I don't feel like I'm going to break it!

A couple pieces of advice, I recommend using a flat file to remove the coating from the end of the tube where it'll clamp in the flaring tool. It'll be less likely to slide through the tool as you crank down on it to form the flare...

It's also worked out well for me to pay real close attention to the end of the tube after you cut it, making sure it's cut square, slightly beveled and burr-free.

Hope this helps, if you already knew this stuff sorry for the repeat!
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2012, 06:09 PM
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Dens71TA Dens71TA is offline
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Just replaced some of brake lines on my '86 Jeep J10 over the weekend. The majority of them are 3/16" but the line that runs from the proportioning valve to the rear axle flex hose is 1/4"

You can get brake line with the factory style armor(spring around the line) from Napa or Car Quest.
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