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Old 05-19-2019, 03:56 PM
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Stainless steel brake line repair

What: 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500HD, 92k miles. Grandpa special.

The problem: brake lines replaced with stainless units. One of the lines has been worn through and there's a pinhole leak now. Looks like whoever replaced these lines didn't consider isolating the lines from the frame very well...

The repair: So far I cut out a section of the stainless line, in areas that are workable for repair. To do it really, really right, I'd replace the SS section of hard line. My mechanic best friend can't flare stainless with his Matco flare tool, so patching in a new section of line with flare nuts is not going to be an option...

My Options:
A) Replace the bad line with new prebent, or make my own. Looks like a big project considering it's from the ABS module to the FR wheel.
B) Replace section of line from 'above break' to the ABS module. Not as intensive as the whole hard line, but I save myself a connection- a chance for leaks. But I'd have to mess with possibly lifting the cab and such. I don't have a lot of resources at the moment being about to move... sooo...
C) Patch in section of line. Bummer: SS line doesn't flare for crap.

In summary: Do compression fittings work well to patch stainless brake line? They're hacky, I feel, but it'd be the easiest fix, and if they're as good as I'm told (personal feelings on them aside), I'll be golden if it works!

Thanks guys,
Matt

Fun side note: It looks like a FI spray pattern when my buddy hits the brake pedal. Cool.

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Last edited by ChevelleSS_LS6; 05-19-2019 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:10 PM
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Call these guys, exercise option A.
https://ssbrakes.com/
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:56 AM
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Personally, I'd use a stainless steel Parker-Hannefin compression union. We used these in the refinery, they are rated over 10k PSI. Brass, being softer, prolly won't "ring" into your SS lines like it needs to...

Russ
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:43 PM
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Buy prebent line and be done with it.

Usually if the lines go the frame is not far behind.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:55 PM
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Brass compression union is more than strong enough, and will seal up just fine....the brass union's ferrule will have no problem conforming and sealing to a stainless line, no different than sealing to a plain mild steel line.

You can buy the expensive stainless compression union if you want, but you don't actually need it.
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:59 PM
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Thank you guys!

I'm getting as many different opinions as if I asked "So I have a built sbc and run it on the street and track sometimes, so what's the best oil to use?"

Oh man.

Thinking its prudent to go with a roll of brake line, and making my own replacement. Everything in the line is new, only places for it to leak are at the fittings, and less expensive than prebent.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:04 PM
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NiCopp (nickel/copper alloy) line has become the way to go anymore, close to as corrosion resistant as stainless but far, far easier to work with.

Volvo been using it for years, and they don't under-engineer anything.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:55 AM
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Yes NiCopp is simple. It bends to any shape with your bare hands. No bending tool needed. And of course flares (double flares) are much easier than stainless or even plain steel lines. It's so soft that for some loops at the proportioning valve I just wrapped it around one of those tiny butane refill cans.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:47 AM
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If you're having a problem w/ flaring stainless line, address that problem. Stainless is not much more difficult to work than the other materials, if your mechanic friend can't do it try it yourself. It's really more of an arts-and-crafts skill than an engineering challenge. My off-the-Mac-truck flaring set works fine on steel or stainless up to 3/8ths", just follow the instructions, do the de-burring, and wiggle things in as the tool sets.
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Old 05-23-2019, 01:52 PM
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For what it's worth.......

My daily is a 2005 TrailBlazer. I've had issues with both of the power steering lines as well as a trans cooler line and these pinhole leaks. Spliced in repairs to both of them using brass compression fittings instead of going through the grief of replacing the entire line. All three of them have held up so far.

Brakes are another story since they are so vital to safety. If one of these lines on my rig blew apart I'd still be able to stop. But I'd be pretty confident using this type of repair.
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