replacing brake tubing


Old 05-17-05, 09:50 AM
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replacing brake tubing

I need to replace a portion or the entire length of 3/16 steel tubing from the front to rear of my '96 ford crown victoria. Factory tube has many sharp bends, won't be possible to faithfully reproduce the original shape or path. Some have told me to use special compresson coupling fittings, others said stick to double flare to join. I used some hard steel compression couplings some years ago for drum brakes,but for these disc, I was concerned about the high pressures. Never made a double flare before, but I guess I could learn. Any advice?
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Old 05-17-05, 10:01 AM
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I have never tried to repair a brake line so I can't help you on that. I have always replaced the whole line. A tubing bender makes the bends easily although I have also used a spray can [wrap the line around it] to make the bends. Parts stores sell already made up lines in various sizes. If you have to get one that is longer than the factory one, just put some extra bends in it to take up the slack. Hope this helps.
Old 05-17-05, 10:32 AM
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I've done it before and I'm in the middle of one brake line job now.

If you're talking about compression fittings like you see on small diameter copper tubing connections -- forget it. That's not the way. All brake line ends should be finished with a double flare.... a single flare is unacceptable.

Replacement brake line is readily available from your local auto supply house. Only this tubing should be used to replace brake lines. Rarely is it the exact length you need. So you should invest in a tube flaring kit that has adapters to make the double flare which you'll need to make custom lengths. My kit came with instructions. It is worth investing in this kit even for just one job.

Couplers are sold to join short lengths to make one long line, which sounds like what you'll be doing.

I bought a tubing bender - I haven't used it... don't waste your money on that. I simply use pipe sections which I can use as a mandrel. Don't make sharp bends by hand, you'll kink the tube rendering it useless. Making the bends takes a bit of practise and creativity. Your job won't come out perfect, but it'll be just fine for what you're doing.
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