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32vicky 04-27-2003 06:51 PM

Flaring SS Brake Lines for AN Fittings
I built some beautiful SS brake lines for my '32 using AN fittings. But looks are deceiving. They leak everywhere. Anyone have experience or suggestions on what to do? I have ordered some fitting seals from Spruce Aircraft to try and seal the flares. I've never used them before, but am willing to try anything. Any other ideas on fixing the lines I have already built?

Are there any companies out there that can duplicate my custom lines? Minus the leaks, of course!


drgnwgn289 04-27-2003 07:07 PM

Those use a "double flare". You can get the tool to do it at napa.

46_stvblt 04-27-2003 08:22 PM

I have to disagree on the double flare...Stainless lines require 37 degree flares and AN fittings. If you use 45 degree flares they won't seal against the ferrel properly and then they leak, but then you already know that. double flaring stainless is just too iffy. you may get a good flare and then you may not. the stuff is just too tough and wants to split. Get a 37 degree flaring tool from Speedway Auto for about 50.00 or so...thats my experience and nickels worth.......GlennK :)

drgnwgn289 04-28-2003 11:36 AM

quality flaring tool = good flare.

6567GTO 04-28-2003 12:37 PM

Agree with the 37 deg. and a good flaring tool kit - no cheap versions.

badA31 04-28-2003 02:00 PM

Had the same problem with my hand made stainless carb fuel lines. The little flare seals worked. The place I bought them from told me it's not unusual to need them with stainless lines.

32vicky 04-28-2003 04:34 PM

Thanks everyone for your comments. I did the flaring with a 37 degree tool that I borrowed. It was not a cheap tool, but then again it could have been operator error. My guess would be lack of experience plus stainless is tough to flare since I was warned of this potential.

After I try the flare seals, I'll post to let everyone know how they worked out. Thanks again.

Limey Simon 05-01-2003 01:03 AM

I'm suffering the same problem - though hapilly only one joint is leaking. I'd like to know more about these seals & how they work - please give us an update, Cheers, Limey

Limey Simon 05-01-2003 01:24 AM

32Vicky - I can't find reference to these seals on Spruce website - can you help me with a part# please?
Any exprets out there know if these are OK to use with brakes? - presumably much higher pressure than on fuel lines?
Thanks, Limey

pasadenahotrod 05-01-2003 01:32 PM

I'm not the expert of the century, but I do know that brakes keep you and your loved ones and neighbors alive.
I have never seen any reference anywhere in the last 4 decades referring to using any seal rather a double-flare for brake lines and fittings.
To the contrary, every source I've ever seen makes it very clear that this is the ONLY way to make and use proper brakes lines and fittings.
I've seen exhaust and muffler shops use compression fittings on brake lines when they "accidentally" cut them removing old exhaust systems. If I found one on any car I owned, I would hunt that guy down and shoot him like a rabid dog!

32vicky 05-01-2003 06:36 PM

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These seals are a pretty simple concept. They are basically a thin (.010") aluminum preform. They aren't a compression fitting, but rather a thin layer of aluminum that fills in the imperfections of the flare when the fitting is tightened.

I have them installed, but didn't have time to try bleeding the brake system yet. I pumped them quite a bit and didn't have any leaks. Once I get all the air out, I'll know for sure.

It should be noted that these are used for aircraft line repair (commercial, private and military).


46_stvblt 05-01-2003 07:45 PM

32vickey: you are correct. Thats how they are installed. My thoughts on the difference between double flare and AN fittings is, Detroit has been using double flares for ever and if it has been good enough all these years its good enough for me. That being said, the AN fittings are stonger if installed properly, and the only way I would go if I was using Stainless lines. I would take the ones that are leaking and cut them off and reflare....Good luck.....GlennK :)

32vicky 05-09-2003 11:30 AM

I have had the brakes bled for several days now with no problems. It's a very firm pedal with no leaks. I have really stood on the pedal trying to get the pressure up to see if I could get it to leak and I have let it sit for several days to see if it would leak or suck in air. After about a week, all looks good. appears that the flare seals do work, however, everyone needs to go with what they are comfortable with.

ibuildm 05-10-2003 08:25 PM

We use SS tubing only at my shop. We single flare whether using inverted flare with 45 degree flares or AN with 37 degree flares. Stainless steel does not split when making the flare like regular steel brake tubing does if not double flared. On occasion we have a leak problem and to solve it we use a cup shaped copper sealing washer that we get from our local hydralic hose and fitting supplier.

Limey Simon 05-13-2003 01:18 AM

32 Vicky - thanks for the feedback - sounds like I should try these as I still have a couple of troublesom joints on my SS lines using AN 371 flares.
One point - were they tricky to fit, or any advice?? - presumably you just position them on the 'male' part and then carefully drop the pipe end over & tighten?


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