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Old 06-05-2019, 02:56 PM
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Leaking brake lines

I'm building a 1951 Studebake PU, warmed up SBC, 70 Nova posi,4 speed, fat man front end. Time for brake lines, all new nickel copper and new fittings. All most every one of the damn things are leaking. This isn't rocket science. Screw'em together. I've replaced all the new lines and fittings with new lines and fitting, still getting leak every where. I've got a 20" line out of the Master into a 3 way tee and I can't stop this one. The proportioning valve in the rear has been a pain in the rear. I've tried tightening and loosening, tightening and loosening , and still leaks. Bought line from different parts stores and I've run out of parts stores to buy them. GROWL

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Old 06-05-2019, 06:10 PM
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I agree...something isn't right. Lets start with the lines. First, are they inverted flare and not bubble flare? If you are doing your own lines are they double flared SAE and not AN? Are the fittings machined for inverted flare? If all your joints are leaking there is something consistently inconsistent. Are the lines 3/16"? Just trying to think of things that would be common to all joints.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:13 AM
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leaking brake lines

I'm not making my own lines. I thought these were double flare, yet the little sticker on the line called them a standard flare. The tee has a cone in it and the lines ares inverted. The proportioning valve came with 2 adapters that I assume are compatible. The calipers have a round receptacle for the rubber brake line , yet the rubber line is square, so I ground down the edges, brass washer on both sides of the banjo bolt and I'm having a terrible time trying to stop them from leaking. Next time I go to the parts store I'll get another container of bake fluid, when I get back to my shop I'll just pour it all over the floor and get it over with.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:35 AM
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So you’re buying those already flared lines from the parts store and hoping they’re gonna seal.
Good luck with that.
You might get 0ne in ten to seal!
You need to buy a flaring tool and make your own lines.
Get a 50 foot roll of brake line and learn how to flare.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:09 AM
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Leaking brake lines

I've got no problem making my own and I do know how. I thought these pre-made were the latest and greatest. I believe your correct with the 1 in 10.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:18 AM
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With flared fitting did you snug them up and back them off a few times before a final cinch? I find that helps and on the banjo bolts I prefer the sealing rings with the o-ring in the center. I'm not fond of the pre-made ones either.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:28 AM
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thread sealer

When I was an Engineer at Ford we had a problem with leaky fittings , I think it was mustang or Fairlane. The fix was a couple drops of thread sealer on fittings during assembly I don't remember the sped on the sealant we used. all fittings were tightened with a full contact snap open wrenches.
here's a link
https://www.amazon.com/Line-Wrench-D...=asc_df_B06ZZ4
When Ford shut down the Calif Mustang and Truck factory I still had my old Id badge and got in to the "garage sale" and bought a bunch some have torque handles

Last edited by timothale; 06-06-2019 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:40 AM
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I’ve read that these washers help seal lines too.

CNC Machined Copper Flare Gasket Flare Fittings (S.A.E. 45°)
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothale View Post
When I was an Engineer at Ford we had a problem with leaky fittings , I think it was mustang or Fairlane. The fix was a couple drops of thread sealer on fittings during assembly I don't remember the sped on the sealant we used. all fittings were tightened with a full contact snap open wrenches.
here's a link
https://www.amazon.com/Line-Wrench-D...=asc_df_B06ZZ4
When Ford shut down the Calif Mustang and Truck factory I still had my old Id badge and got in to the "garage sale" and bought a bunch some have torque handles
Those are pretty slick.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hipster_G View Post
Those are pretty slick.

Those are pretty clunky, tuff seeing those used in a limited space.


https://www.amazon.com/Hurricane-Pie...-1-spons&psc=1

A more practial tool/wrench ^
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:46 AM
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It kinda -is- rocket science, where part of what makes very high-dollar and very critical rockets work is very careful assembly of sometimes easy-seeming things. Like a rattlesnake behind a rock, big problems can jump out from where you didn't expect...and any braking problem is a big problem. That sounds like a kinda random line of thought to present here but I wryly note, during a period of time where I worked metal fab for a medium-size aerospace vendor starting there as a lowly machine operator, I brought my best hot rod to the company picnic and a couple months later found myself invited to review the manuals and do final hardware and plumbing assembly on one of the shop's flagship contracts, a particular large and expensive rocket assembly. If you believe aerospace skill translates down to the hot rod world, know that it sometimes translates the other direction too but the important thing with either is careful work and intolerance of any possible condition that could cause an issue later, no matter how complex or in this case simple. The funny thing is, it's not really science or engineering as that was all handled by the people who design and make the parts you're putting together. At your (and my) level, it's more like arts and crafts now, as I say sometimes. Very careful arts and crafts.

Every one of those fittings that's having a leaking issue has some inner problem preventing proper seal. It could be improper (possibly off-center?) flaring or machining, the nut machining may not be concentric which is a vital thing and I sometimes have to correct that on a lathe when I get a sloppy part. There could be dirt, or a welded seam of the tubing causing a bump in the sealing surface. I wish you were down the street, I'd probably be able to pull one of those apart and tell you in a minute but the thing to do is to disassemble a leaking fitting, get the best possible light and vision magnification you can and look over the actual sealing surfaces for witness marks etc. to see what happened. If you can't tell anything, clean it all up and use a Sharpie marker to color up the end of the brake line, screw it back together then disassemble again to see where the ink was smeared or transferred. If it looks all off-center you may have the problem with the nuts I mentioned, which there is nothing you can do about except cut it off the line and re-flare over a new one you've confirmed is concentric and if you have the room left on the line length. If the flare was done off-center, you'll be able to see it by looking down the end but I hafta say I've never seen a bad flare on a parts-store line, happily. If the fitting your are screwing into is swaged into or damaged you should be able to see that too.

For general problem-solving I would consider the soft-copper sealing washer linked to above as a possibly-useful band-aid but it looks like the smallest available is 1/4" and it shouldn't be necessary anyhow. Once you've confirmed even, concentric sealing and the problem looks like it could be a rough surface or the weld seam on the tubing you might consider using something like a 90 degree x half-inch single flute countersink on the end of a variable-speed drill with light pressure to put a good sealing surface on the tube and don't forget to blow compressed air across the end afterward to suck out debris. If the machined surface on the fitting is jacked up at all from either re-use, forcing together ill-fitting surfaces or any other reason you're pretty-much stuck with replacing it.

Finally when mixing-and-matching fittings I sometimes run into the problem where one just doesn't run far enough down into the other and there's only a few threads engaged to hold things together, or also sometimes threads may engage too much and bottom before the sealing surfaces get hit which you can detect with the Sharpie-ink method. Both problems fixed on a lathe...or another trip to the parts store if you have to.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:23 AM
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THIS ^^^^!


What is happening I believe is that you are not using parts that are compatible with each other. Banjo fittings work perfectly but you have to have the correct bolt and fitting for that to happen. The same with store bought tubing - I have used it for years and no issues but at the same time, all of the connectors and fittings on master cylinders or wheel cylinders have to have the same type of fitting for the flare. Don't just walk in and pick up something, verify the stuff - bring a part with you, make sure. I can tell from your post that you are frustrating yourself over this. Sure, a fitting here or there on a new build might give you a headache sometimes but it's usually something easy to correct. Hell, you haven't even gotten to the bleeding part yet.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:50 AM
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Leaking brake lines

Thanks chasracer, I've thought the same, that I'm using incompatible parts. But, whats a guy to do, speedway has a mounted tee, but no nickel copper lines. Advanced has nico but no tee. Napa has a tee but no nico. Auto zone's nico lines are all bent, like they've been returned. I've got to find one place that has all the stuff I need and make sure they match. How bout these adapters speedway sends with the proportioning valve, what the hell do they match ? You got it right I'm vey frustrated, if I had any spare hair I'd pull it out.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:44 PM
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Thanks KSO, it's going to take me a couple of readings before I try to implement some of your possible solutions. I appreciate your reply.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:55 PM
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Pick a company and buy from that company.
Less variation in the manufacturing processes.
You can buy from a reseller such as speedway or granger if it reduces the price but maintain the same manufacturer for your fittings.

Each fitting is a weak link. The fewer you can have the better. For instance you can have the through frame and solid to flexible lines be one fitting held in place by clips on either side of the frame. Place your portioning valve with incorporated
switch down where your front lines T. Run a single line all the way back to your rear axle then go into a single flexible line to a T to your rear cylinders.

This leaves you with fittings at the master fittings at the portioning valve, fittings at the flexible lines, a T in the rear, then fittings at the 4 cylinders.
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