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Old 06-10-2005, 06:05 PM
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Questions about stainless steel brake lines

Lost the brakes on my Allante today. Have a pretty serious leak somewhere in the firewall where the line runs to the front right caliper.

The car's at work, and I didn't have a jack so I couldn't crawl under to see, but I"m assuming the line rusted out.

Since I'll have to repair/replace the line anyway, I'm wondering if stainless tubing wouldn't be the way to go, but I've never worked with it before. I've read that you need a good quality flare tool because its harder than normal steel lines.

I was also surprised to read, that stainless doesn't need to be double-flared because its seamless, and that its almost impossible to double flare it anyway.

Is this true?


Also, anyone have a good online source for stainless lines and fittings - presumably they are metric fittings as the brake system was made by Bosch (its ABS). I'll have to check Summit Racing as they're within driving distance from my place.


Any advice for a newbie on forming and flaring stainless? I have a pretty decent craftsman tubing bender, and I've bent and flared the normal mild steel lines before.
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Old 06-10-2005, 06:52 PM
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i believe you have to flare the line at like a 37*?? flare, or something like that, where as a normal flare is like 43*?? im not definite on those two #'s but i know there is a difference and if you don't do it right you will have leaks.
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Old 06-10-2005, 07:05 PM
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I've read that most auto applications are a 45 degree flare, but -AN fittings use a 37 degree. Allantes are odd birds, so I can't assume its a 45.

The car's at work, and I've decided to rent a U-Haul car trailer (not a dolly) and bring it home myself rather than having it towed, so I will be able to spend time working on it in the garage and I can do a little research before buying anything.

Of course, now I need a class 3+ hitch for my truck, but its a good excuse to buy one (that way i'll already have it if another project comes along...)
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Old 06-10-2005, 08:40 PM
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You have to flare stainless at 37 degrees and use AN fittings. Automotive non AN flare fittings are required to be double flared. Stainless tubing cannot be double flared. Do not be tempted to use a single 45 degree flare on your brake lines, they MUST be double flared per DOT.

Vince
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Old 06-10-2005, 09:10 PM
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SS if used with conventional fittings needs a double flare. The fittings are Inverted Flare (I/F, sometimes IFLR or INF) which might have a 45* flare but are not interchangeble with SAE 45* flare fittings. Only I/F fittings should be used with double flared tube, and are usually marked "hydraulic brake".

Regular steel tube I think is also supposed to be seamless. The double flare gives it a slight compression tension, which makes it less likely to leak/fail.

SS is very difficult to double flare without annealing, so people use a 37* single flare with an AN (Army/Navy) fitting instead. Most are -3AN.

Some vehicles also use 'bubble flare" (ISO) and maybe even other fittings/threads or flares that I'm not aware of. Like the pressure operated brake light switch on Jeeps uses an NPT fitting.

Make sure you know what you have. The Allante might have regular I/F or it could have ISO. I/F on Detroit Iron is usually SAE thread for brakes, but could be metric. ISO is usually metric.

Clear as a box of pudding?

EDIT:
302/Z28 sure said that a lot better and faster than I could
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Old 06-11-2005, 05:46 AM
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If you lost one, I'd take a hard look at all the others. My kids' 87 Jeep -- we were fixing a rusted emergency brake cable and took a look at the lines, by accident, while underneath. Long story short I retubed the whole thing. Northern Ohio salt is car cancer....
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Old 06-11-2005, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmeisel
Northern Ohio salt is car cancer....
Don't I know it. My Allante spent most of its life in Florida, then a couple years in PA before I got it.

I lost my storage last winter and had to leave it outside. Worse, my old truck died and I actually had to drive it for a few days. Really took a toll on the undercarriage. Everything's rusted. I already snapped a bleader off because it "became one" with the caliper and the e-brakes are now useless.
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Old 06-11-2005, 06:08 AM
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Oh, thanks for all the advice guys.

I still haven't actually looked at the line. Should get to it this weekend.

Word on the Allante board is the fittings are metric. Summit Racing sells stainless tubing and stainless inverted flare fittings, but they aren't metric.

I'll post back when I get some more info on what I'm really dealing with...

BTW, I've fixed brake lines in the past with a new section added by a compression union fitting. Since then, I've heard that that is not the way to go. Any thoughts on that?

Being June, I'd rather fix it and drive it and redo all the brakelines over the fall/winter.
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Old 06-11-2005, 06:20 AM
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Using compression fittings on a brake system is a way to "go", but probably not in the same meaning of the word you are using.
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Old 06-11-2005, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesgo
SS if used with conventional fittings needs a double flare.
D
You CANNOT double flare SS tubing, it will work harden and crack on the double flare.

Vince
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Old 06-11-2005, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
You CANNOT double flare SS tubing, it will work harden and crack on the double flare.

Vince
I believe you, and will pass it along. I try to recommend againt SS tube anyway, and here is another reason for me to give not to use it.

It is unfortunate that so many musclecars and hotrods are out sharing the road with double flared SS lines.
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Old 06-11-2005, 10:29 AM
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check out www.inlinetube.com, very helpful bunch of guys. they should have everything you need and may even carry a pre-bent line for your allante.
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Old 06-11-2005, 02:51 PM
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Just to add fuel to the fire, this is what http://www.inlinetube.com/ says about double flaring stainless on their FAQ page.

Quote:
Can I double flare stainless steel tube by hand?
Yes you can double flare Stainless bought from Inline tube. Our tube is fully annealed and is very easy to work with. We recommend a good flare tool: Ridge ,Imperial Eastman or Blue Point. Follow all the instructions that come with the tube and the flare will be perfect every time
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Old 06-11-2005, 08:49 PM
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Annealed SS tubing is an entirely different animal. It is as soft as mild steel tubing. I personally would not use it on my car. I prefer 316 SS with AN fittings. That way all you do is one single 37 degree flare.

Vince
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Old 06-13-2005, 07:26 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the advice.

Got myself a class 5 hitch for the truck, rented a car hauler from U-Haul and carted the thing home. Its now in the garage.

Surprisingly, I had enough brakes to get it up onto and off of the trailer.

Its too darn hot in Cleveland right now - 90's every day and humid, which is what August normally is for us. I'm hoping to get some cooler weather Wednesday, and I'll try and see what's really happening under there.

Right now, I know brake fluid is dripping off the engine cradle right in front of the firewall, but I don't remember the line routing, and I can't get my head under there until I get it up on jackstands.

I was going to let it go, but then I remembered I have to get emissions testing by the end of next month. Unfortunately, in Ohio, you can only have 3 30-day tags over the history of the title. I used all three up getting the car originally, and when I had problems getting it to pass emissions.

I understand the reason for limiting 30-day tags to a reasonable level, but the way its been implemented is pretty stupid, IMHO.
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