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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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divotandtralee's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Cape Cod, MAssachusetts
Posts: 7,292
Jay, thanks for starting the conversation..I know everyone thinks this might be a redundant subject but if you do a search on "brake lines" you do not have the time in a week to read all the archives.

I''ll start from square one. This '73 is really a solid 70,000 mile car but early in it's life it saw plenty of salt in NJ. Not enough to cause any real body rot, believe it or not but things like the trailing arms, original exhaust and front spring pans can't hide that fact. After doing inventory under the car, I discovered three brake lines that were the equivalent of a house match ash after it is put out. The front left and rear right and about a foot of the long front to back section around the rear bulkhead.. The rest of the lines show almost no corrosion and are solid. It's just these that are really on borrowed time and would flunk any real DOT inspection. They are so bad, I'm afraid to touch 'em.

I thought it would be cool to do the whole system but on reflection it's kind of stupid. I've had cars before and restored them but never saw anything like this that had to be changed.

I saw the vendors sold whole kits for the whole car for like 100 bucks and thought that was the way to go but coils in a box don't make the job easier.

The reality is 90% of the lines are solid as the Rock of Gibraltar. The only ones I have to change are the two corners mentioned, both with easy to get to fittings ends and part of the long line that is maybe 18 inches bad. I was not aware of splicing techniques for the long one which would be a bear to switch the whole thing and while on jack stands..It's not like stringing wires or cables and it is in a tight spot most of the way to the back of the car with double fuel lines and such. (The fuel lines are perfect!)

So I investigated splicing in the 18" and just doing the shorter ones from scratch.

I've changed my tack. I'm only going to replace the offenders with CUNI ( easy to bend) and make one spice on the long one. I can borrow the tools.

Splicing sounds crude but for practicality it is the way to go. If the car was on a rotisserie and bare naked I'd still keep the rest of the lines and replace the long one in one piece. Splicing used to be done with straight cuts of the lines and compression fitting like on your ice maker. In most states (including mine) that technique is illegal but backyard mechanics still do it. Some swear by it, others die by it. It was done that way for many years until big brother stepped in. The legal way is to flare the two lines you are splicing together which works just like every other flare connection.. There are mini flare tools that allow one to lie on his back and get the job done in situ. I've see some U-tubes on it and the results are there. Most flare kits have a rack tool designed for bench work. That type won't work in a tight spot. So I'm going to do it this way.

As for Classic Tube.. yes I wa aware of that. Wicker my bud in PA did his Silverado with them.. ( Chevy SUV's are notorious for line failure and it cost me $800 twice in my Tahoe). The vehicles should have been recalled like the 737 Max 8 but Detroit said it was a maintenance issue so it was not their problem.. I digress. CTube only has a limited ALfa list like two CARS from the 60's in the catalog. They will do a copy of yours that you send them even if it's only one piece. I'll have mine done before i go to them and they are pretty pricey but it's only money. Great work though. If you want to pee your pants watch this... It is both informative and hilarious. This guys cheats a little on a different splice technique which looks good and performs to 9000 psi ( Brakes are like 2000) (and eschews the ice make type as unsafe). There are some u-tubes on the proper way to flare and splice. Thanks for asking. Crack open a beer or a glass of wine and enjoy....

Last edited by divotandtralee; 03-28-2019 at 12:14 PM.
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