Stainless steel braided line

Woodsman341

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This is part curiosity and part "settling a discussion". When I bought my car, the previous racer removed the rear brake internals, cylinders, and hard lines all the way back to the tee mounted on the axle tube. It's an 8.75 in a Dart Sport, so no easy way for me to tell what car it came from. Anyway, my brother-in-law suggested using stainless steel braided from the tee all the way to the drums. Honestly, I've been out of rebuilding these old girls since the late '80s, and I don't know the latest and greatest methods...my old school side says "No way, run nicop or something", but maybe he's right? It would certainly make it easier to have a length made for each side and not have to worry as much about getting all the bends exactly correct and all that.

So I'm asking for the experience of the Mopar hive mind for thoughts, warnings, and things that neither he nor I may have considered.

Thanks, as always.
 

ACME SS

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I would recommend using the nickle copper line you mentioned to the bracket where the rubber line would clip in and then use either ss braid from there to the wheel cylinders or OEM rubber. Nickle copper bends super easy and will not kink. You can purchase a tubing straightener from Eastwood or similar supplier for the straight portions. I first learned about nickle copper when I was standing at the order desk at Brake Equipment Warehouse in Minneapolis, Mn a few years ago. There was this 6" piece laying there...I picked it up and the sales guy says "kink it!". I tried and tried and could not. The most amazing thing is that it does not work harden but stays soft. "That piece has been bent back and forth for 2 weeks", he said. I ended up walking out with a spool of the stuff.

Another means of straightening tubing is to put a little pull on it. I used to train power plant mechanics for a large utility. We would straighten very long lengths of tubing of all sizes that way. The important consideration is wall thickness as you do not want to thin it out. Swaglok company has charts with wall specifications but if you only put a little pull on it, you will be fine. If anyone is interested, I can sketch a drawing of a homemade stretching tool we used for short lengths. For long lengths we used comealongs.
 
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bobsgtx

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Run hard lines except where suspension travel needs flex. 40 years of working on high pressure (1000 to 3000 psi) hard lines are always better when possible. Flex lines are just a lazy mans way of fixing like clamp on battery cable ends.
 

Woodsman341

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I'm sure it's not
Run hard lines except where suspension travel needs flex. 40 years of working on high pressure (1000 to 3000 psi) hard lines are always better when possible. Flex lines are just a lazy mans way of fixing like clamp on battery cable ends.

I laughed at the clamp on battery cable ends. :)
 

Woodsman341

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Okay folks, ice decided that OEM style hardlines are the way to go. I just need to learn how to bend and flare them with the available rental tools, because there's no way I'm investing a ton of money in a one-off scenario. :)
 

LO23M8B

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Glad you decided to with the steel lines. I purchased some of that other stuff and there is no way I'd use it.
 

Woodsman341

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Glad you decided to with the steel lines. I purchased some of that other stuff and there is no way I'd use it.

Which stuff are you talking about? Just so I'm clear. I'm planning on using NiCop, as I've heard steel can be harder to get the flanges correct on, is harder to straighten, bend, etc.

I'm definitely only using braided flexible line at the flex points, though.
 

Woodsman341

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Nickle copper lines bend and flare easily. As for 3/16" lines, this tool works great for the tight bend going to the wheel cylinder.

Flaring tool at HF work well enough on it.
Deluxe Flaring Tool Kit
or
Double Tube Flaring Tool Kit


I thought our lines were 1/4"? I'm certainly not expert, but I remember reading somewhere that the lines (at least for the '75 Darts/Sports/etc ) were 1/4". Power brakes, disc front, drum rear.
 

67Dart273

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The simple answer is, hoses expand and make the pedal travel longer and softer. Use minimal hoses.
 

LO23M8B

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Which stuff are you talking about? Just so I'm clear. I'm planning on using NiCop, as I've heard steel can be harder to get the flanges correct on, is harder to straighten, bend, etc.

I'm definitely only using braided flexible line at the flex points, though.
Yes I personally would not use nicop. I never could find any engineering papers on it and it's soft as hell. The steel stuff is not that bad to flare. Buy an extra piece and keep cutting it and flaring soon you will be a expert. ps it needs to be double flared just follow the instructions and make straight cuts.
 

ACME SS

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Be sure to make DOUBLE flares, NOT single flares. Double flares are DOT required. With nickle copper lines you can bend the tubing around large sockets if you wish to save a little money on tools but even so they can easily be bent by hand.. This does NOT apply to steel or stainless steel lines. Just nickle copper line.
 

Kendog 170

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Steel brake lines rot out pretty quick up this way with winter salt. They don't allow it in NH. I'm sure steel will be great in your area. I've been using nickle copper for quite some time now with no issues.
 

LO23M8B

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Steel brake lines rot out pretty quick up this way with winter salt. They don't allow it in NH. I'm sure steel will be great in your area. I've been using nickle copper for quite some time now with no issues.
I'm just asking because I want to know. Have you done any real hard panic stops on them?
 

LO23M8B

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Steel brake lines rot out pretty quick up this way with winter salt. They don't allow it in NH. I'm sure steel will be great in your area. I've been using nickle copper for quite some time now with no issues.
I'm in Michigan. Lots of salt and other **** on the roads. Most of the lines become problematic after about 20 years. I've done some stainless lines on customer cars, but you want to talk about a ***** to flare these are tough, but you don't need to double flare them. Does NH require nicop to be used?
 

340sFastback

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Me and my son are restoring a non-mopar vehicle. My son researched and landed on nickle copper due to ease of bending/flaring and corrosion resistance. Stainless steel too difficult to work with. My son bought a tubing straightener and some high end expensive double flare tool.

Brakes 2.jpg
 

340sFastback

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Also, companies such as Inline Tube make great pre-bent ready to install hard brake lines for the classic mopars.
 

Kendog 170

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I did all stainless on my Hardtop. Never again. As said very tuff to work with. Had to rent a top notch flaring tool which I broke the flare adapter. Got lucky and saw a snap on truck at a Bodyshop and bought a replacement for $15. Better than having to buy a broken rental.As for hard braking. I used copper nickle on my ragtop and skid tested in a parking lot a few times. Been 3+ years now. If it wasn't safe I don't think Autoparts stores could sell it? I live in Mass. but I was told steel lines were banned there due to rusting. but have not confirmed.
 
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