[LCML] Stainless Steel Brake Line
bford at coastside.net
Tue Jul 12 14:57:38 CDT 2011
I lived in Mass. for years and last year, after 20 years, I just replaced the brake lines I made way back when I built my FJ40 Cruiser.
Here's what I did to ward off the snow/salt/rust of Massachusetts winters, Cape Cod salt water beaches, and muddin':
Buy 6 foot sections of brake line with the correct fittings on each end.
Buy 4 foot or longer sections of shrink tube (used in electronics work) which comes in about 8 colors. Take a 6" section of brake line with you to get the right diameter. Probably 1/4" or 5/16" if I recall. It needs to slip over the line easily, but it also needs to shrink airtight so don't get it any bigger than whatever size diameter just slips right on.. I I recall, 4 ft. sections were less than $3.00 each.
In Mass (or online) go to U-Do-It Electronics off Rte. 128 in Needham for the shrink tube. Be forewarned, if you need any connectors, wire, stereo stuff, speakers, alarm stuff, lighting, rope light, etc. you will come out of there with a lighter wallet...lol
Whack ONE end of a brake line and take off the fitting from the end you cut. Slide a length (or two) of shrink tubing over the length of brake line and trim so that you can get your brake line connector onto the finished line. Slip your connector onto the brake line and "scrunch up" the shrink tube a few inches so that you can get your flaring tool onto the end of the line. Flare the end of the line. Smooth out the scrunched up shrink tube and use a razor or Exacto knife to cut the shrink tube as close to the fitting as possible (make it 1/4 inch too long if you can because when you shrink the tube it will lose 1/4" in length). Now use a heat gun or propane torch (don't get to close) to shrink the tubing you've slipped onto the brake line.
If all goes according to plan, you'll have a brake line that is completely covered and airtight with a fairly hard plastic coating over the length of it. Now bend your tubing. You can bend your tubing before slipping on the shrink tube, but it doesn''t look as good as the shrink tube will have ripples where any tight bends are.
I did my front lines in neon pink shrink tube and my rear lines in neon green shrink tube. Clutch line was done in yellow. This trick makes it easy with a quick glance to know which line you are following when checking for problems, leaks, etc. in the future. And it makes it very easy to see if you've banged up a line 4 wheeling because the shrink tubing will have a scuff mark or possibly a tear in it. Repair any tears with "Plas-T-Dip" liquid plastic rubber; just dab on with a small brush and it reseals any tear or scuff, though in 20 years I never had to do that.
Another tip...Use anti-seize on the fittings that screw into the brake cylinders or disc brake assemblies. You'll thank yourself for that in a few years when you have to fix/replace something.
When I did over my whole system last year (new master cylinder, lines, brake cylinders, etc.) I razored off the shrink tube on some of the lines to see how they looked underneath. Like spanking shiny new.....not a speck of rust.
Color coated, rust-proof, custom brake lines for much less than the cost of stainless steel.....
68 FJ 40 with '79 2F and 4sp. running gear
Front & rear tube bumpers that hold 150 psi. for airing up after the beach
Con-Ferr roof racks
Magnesium slotted wheels
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."
- Hunter S. Thompson
lemc. s, leaks, et
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