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Copper Nickel Brake Line
#1
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JeromeSolberg
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While I am working on the engine compartment it seems like the best thing to do is to replace the hard brake lines (eventually replace/rebuilld all the other components and move to DOT5).

Called NAPA and they have pre-made Copper-Nickel Brake line but only out to 72" or 84" (I have gotten conflicting information on that), but I measured the line that goes from the Treadle-Vac to the rear brake hose is 9' (108") long.

So people must buy this tubing and cut and flare it themselves, or buy the premade stainless steel lines from the Packard vendors which sound nice but are $$ and I understand stainless steel is very stiff so perhaps the installation process is difficult, as it is so tight down there.

Do folks have any suggestions on sources for the tubing, tools for cutting/flaring, etc? From what I can gather the Autozone rental flare tool is no longer available in my area.

Posted on: 5/30 15:31
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Re: Copper Nickel Brake Line
#2
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HH56
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Flaring takes a good quality tool and some skill to do a proper job with the double flares used on brake lines. So far making a decent flare even with a pro flaring tool has not been one of my skilsets but maybe you will have better luck.

I did use Cupronickel tubing on a new fuel line and while it does bend easier than steel, it still requires some work and finesse.

Rather than tempt fate flaring brake lines I chose to join a couple of lengths to make the long run to the rear. Napa and most parts stores have or at least did have any number of different lengths of coated steel lines. On the 56, brake lines run on the frame but up close to the body. I used two lengths to reach the back and sized them so the inline tubing connector that would join the two lengths fell almost in line with a body outrigger. I was able to position the connector above an outrigger where it is almost invisible and the few extra inches I had to absorb to get that position were taken care of with a couple of creative or slightly generous bends at the ends.

On the 47 I used a premade set of stainless lines supplied by the vendor Kanter uses. As you mentioned, those are a real pain to bend. There are some spots that is very hard to work a length of tubing through when trying to feed the prebent shape around or thru items if the body is on and keep it more or less the same shape. Some hard to remove component -- mostly in front and suspension related -- bolted on the frame will invariably be in the way. It was definitely easier to work and bend the regular straight steel as needed rather than try to unbend and rebend stainless.

Posted on: 5/30 16:06
Howard
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Re: Copper Nickel Brake Line
#3
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JeromeSolberg
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Thanks very helpful!

Posted on: 5/30 16:41
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Re: Copper Nickel Brake Line
#4
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kevinpackard
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I just used the pre made coated lines from Napa. Cheap and easy to use. You can bend then up just fine with your thumb. I rented a tubing bender but never used it.

Two premade lines from front to back, with a junction in the middle up along the frame rail. Much easier to work with two separate lines then one long one.

I had to cut and double flares a cult smaller lines. Double flare takes a good tool. I rented one and it was trash. I ended up borrowing my neighbor's good tool and was much more successful. If I can do double flares, anyone can. No leaks from the ones I've done.

Kevin

Posted on: 5/30 18:10
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Re: Copper Nickel Brake Line
#5
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Ken_P
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I bought a 25’ roll of the copper nickel, and a good flare tool and did them all myself. I found the Cu-Ni very easy to work with, and by starting from a roll, I had no extra joints.

Eastwood has a pro flaring tool that looks really good, although I haven’t used it.

Good luck, whichever way you go.

Posted on: 5/30 18:47
1937 120 1092 - Original survivor for driving and continued preservation.
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1937 115 1082 - Total basket case, partial restoration, sold Hershey 2015
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Re: Copper Nickel Brake Line
#6
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BigKev
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It's nearly impossible to replace the entire brake line in one piece with the body on the frame. These were installed by the factory before the body was mated.

Buy a flaring tool and bending tool, both of which are pretty cheap, and some extra fittings. My line runs as two pieces with a connection at the midpoint on the frame rail.

I used the lines from NAPA for both brake and fuel without issue. See my project blog for more info and pics.

Posted on: 6/1 11:20
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