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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Brake line time

1973 Spider USA......Everyone please give me your experience with the vendors who supply the hard brake line packages.. I am looking for a package that will bend and have all the fittings in place..AND NOT BE SHORT. Centerline says theirs is modeled after a Euro car .. already a yellow flag.. I don't want any excuses from a vendor when I start this game. I know the cunifer is easy to work with but bare pipe needing flares which are funky to Alfa and strange to me and bell fittings and tube fittings that are 40 years old just don't add up to being in my wheelhouse. I'm not going there.

Comments are really appreciated... you guys were terrific helping me through the clutch minefield . i beg the mods to let me post this twice.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 10:38 AM
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I have no direct experience - but have read it here on the BB (so it must be true) - that a company called Classic Tube can supply pre-flared, pre-bent brakelines for Alfas. See: https://classictube.com/products/pre...ng-automotive/

Their homepage does list "Alfa Romeo" (see the lower RH corner), and they even spell it correctly, which I take as a positive sign.

Let us know what you find out - I'm contemplating replacing some brake lines on my '67 Duetto.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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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....https://video.search.yahoo.com/searc...b887de54725d6d

Last edited by divotandtralee; 03-28-2019 at 12:14 PM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
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.
Yea, I hear what you're saying - installing rigid lines on an assembled car isn't easy. But it may be doable with cunifer; it behaves more like flexible wire than rigid pipe.

Good luck with splicing. It has been my experience that it's difficult to get leak-proof flares using old lines with minor rust pits.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alfajay View Post
Yea, I hear what you're saying - installing rigid lines on an assembled car isn't easy. But it may be doable with cunifer; it behaves more like flexible wire than rigid pipe.

Good luck with splicing. It has been my experience that it's difficult to get leak-proof flares using old lines with minor rust pits.
Yeah, I know ... I gotta really have to survey the terrain before I get cuttin'.. If i can't get a nice clean end after scotch brite I'll just keeps a cuttin' it back until i do..there is fine print overlooked by many. It won't set me back any farther in the process. Once the Genie is out of the bottle it's all hands on deck.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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I know I'm talking to an audience of one, but I thought I would add that is amazing how the transition from crusty to solid "as new" lines occurs on the car. It's very abrupt and easy to see. I'll post some pics. It's also amazing how PO's will change out calipers and over look the flex lines and even the associated adjacent hard line that is awful and they are paying reputable shops to do it. I'm sure the shop points out that fact it should be done but it might cost $300 more in shop labor to do it right and the owner says to skip it.. I can't say how stupid that program is. The car I have is littered with clues this was going on in many functional area s of the car. The PO had a fist full of receipts all right but when I spoke to one shop comments sounded exasperated and like it was a rite of Spring every year to kick the car out the door every year for 7 years and 700 miles along the way and the cycle would start again the next year.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 07:54 AM
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How's this project going Rick?

I looked at the Centerline lines, might be a good option to begin with. Not much dough and you should be able to tell pretty easily if the 3 you want to replace would work. Send them back if they don't.

I assume your trying to keep this original? If not, perhaps try braided lines from a company like Earls?

Tad
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 08:55 AM
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for my 1968 duetto I went to Classic Alfa and bought the copper/nickel lines(after reading that's what Aston uses) and the bending tool. Easy to use and usual great service from Classic.
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