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 Post subject: Brake lines
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:42 pm
Posts: 53
Year and Trim: 1998 SLE
Hi Guys!

Hope everyone is doing well. It's been a looooong time since I've been on, so you probably won't even remember me. That's okay, I deserve it for being so neglectful. I am going to check out the posts now to catch up....

Anyway, I have a 1998 Pontiac Bonneville SLE ("Benny"). Well, today a brake line broke again and I had to get AAAA to tow me to my mechanic. He repaired it, so all is good again. I am writing because I have never had a car rust/rot out so many times: brake lines three times plus fuel lines. I have always lived in Brooklyn, New York, so it is not my location. No other car has ever rusted out like this one.

So I am over 100,000 miles now--well, the car, not me--but the car is still going and I intend to keep fixing if things are within reason. Body is decent with only a few rusty spots.

Cat =^..^=


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 Post subject: Re: Brake lines
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:02 am 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 11:47 pm
Posts: 6015
Location: Philly
Year and Trim: 95 SLE
Use copper nickel brake lines and they'll out last the car. Typical aluminized steel lines (and exhaust) will only last a few years in salt states. Stainless brake lines will last long also but they're harder to manipulate and flare.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
05 Suzuki DRZ400S
83 Yamaha IT175K
74 Yamaha DT175: brap brap, brap
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: Brake lines
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:02 am 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 11:47 pm
Posts: 6015
Location: Philly
Year and Trim: 95 SLE
Use copper nickel brake lines and they'll out last the car. Typical aluminized steel lines (and exhaust) will only last a few years in salt states. Stainless brake lines will last long also but they're harder to manipulate and flare.

_________________
Image
95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
05 Suzuki DRZ400S
83 Yamaha IT175K
74 Yamaha DT175: brap brap, brap
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: Brake lines
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:53 pm 
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Posts like an LG3
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:53 am
Posts: 328
Location: Margate, England.
Year and Trim: 1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88

1989 Buick Le Sabre
Why would anyone NOT use cupro nickel brake pipe?. Every repair shop in the UK I have ever seen has a tool to make their own pipes. I have formed and installed miles of it over the years. I have not had one failure due to corrosion to date...

Roger.


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 Post subject: Re: Brake lines
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 4425
Location: Dearborn, MI
Year and Trim: '93 SSEi
'05 STS-4
'97 Camaro
'97 LeSabre
The US market for the longest time was using lower grade stainless steel for things like brake/fuel/exhaust tubing - because it met regulations and outlasted the warranty.

The cheap steel junk you have in the auto parts stores is because people are cheap and don't want to spend money for tools to bend stainless tube, and pre-bent lines are more expensive to carry, etc. Just check out SSTubes.com and see what a complete pre-bent stainless kit costs, then consider how many times plain steel lines have had to be re-done and the cost. If you're only keeping the car for a year or two it doesn't make sense, especially if that car is a rotted out beater to begin with.

Copper-nickel is nice for the DIY because if you plan ahead and order online, the overall cost is not that much more than using steel, you can still bend it by hand or with the same tools used for plain steel lines, and it has good corrosion resistance. But for the average person who gets stranded on the side of the road and needs the car done so they can go to work tomorrow, CuNi is really expensive and the auto parts stores don't carry it. Most people are probably a little too shortsighted, or see cars as an appliance, to bother planning ahead or spending the extra moneys.

It's nice that we even have a stainless steel option at all for the Bonneville, I can't SS for my '97 Camaro, but my problem is I do too much custom stuff and need to be able to bend my own lines anyway. Bending stainless at home is not really something most people are set up to do, you need a mandrel bender.

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Blow all the things! Wait, I meant boost. Boost!
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Runs:
'93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi - Twincharged, manual, and lots more! Build thread
'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim


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 Post subject: Re: Brake lines
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:53 am
Posts: 328
Location: Margate, England.
Year and Trim: 1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88

1989 Buick Le Sabre
Cupro nickel is expensive and autoparts stores don't carry it????? Really?. It's more expensive than stainless steel?.

I simply find this staggering. So your car has a brake pipe rust through, don't your cars have mandatory safety inspections?. You need your car tomorrow, so you have to buy steel replacement pipes because nobody makes NiCu ones.

Over here rusting brake pipes would be noted at our compulsory safety inspection, and making & fitting a replacement is a job an apprentice would be expected to be fully conversant with in their first year.
Does anyone have any ideas as to why America is so reluctant to use NiCu?.

Roger.


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 Post subject: Re: Brake lines
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:58 am
Posts: 3
Year and Trim: 2000 SSei
No problems finding it here. Walk into parts store. Ask for it. Pay for it. Go home and bend lines.


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 Post subject: Re: Brake lines
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 4425
Location: Dearborn, MI
Year and Trim: '93 SSEi
'05 STS-4
'97 Camaro
'97 LeSabre
Not every state in the US has mandatory inspections, and something like brake lines on a new vehicle are subject to the bean counters. I don't know if there is any current government regulation on new vehicle brake line materials right now, I don't deal with that in my job, but I wouldn't be surprised if low grade stainless is the norm still. I do know that steel is considered acceptable replacement and that cheap low-pressure compression fittings are illegal for use on brake systems but that doesn't stop people from buying them or stores from putting them on the shelf next to the brake lines.

Yes, CuNi is expensive in the parts stores, around here ranging from $50-$100 for a 25ft coil (vs. $15 for steel), if you can even find what you are looking for. Then the parts store have cheap tools to do the job that will basically ruin the CuNi lines and any kind of flange you try to put on it, resulting in leaks. Then, it gets better. The '92+ Bonnevilles all use bubble flares, but none of the parts stores have a bubble flare tool. So you're stuck buying 5' lengths of pre-made generic pieces at $12 each, plus adapters, and you guessed it, you need four and the store only has one. Then right next to the slim, picked over, barely stocked CuNi section is the coated steel, and they have a ton of that in rolls or pre-made with all the right fittings... Guess which one people buy? From the fully stocked steel lines that cost 1/3 of the price. The auto parts stores simply don't maintain the stock on the CuNi because it doesn't sell. I've been to probably half of the auto parts stores in the Detroit metro area, a place where you think you could find anything, and I can count on my hand the number of places that actually sell a roll of CuNi, and they were all closer to the $100 price point. That was like 4 years ago, though, and since I found I can get it on Amazon for less than a roll of steel line in the box stores I haven't been back other than to pick over the meager selection of brake line fittings...

I'm sure the biggest issue with the CuNi out here is that it's not popular to use, so supply is low and cost are high, making it even more unpopular. But one thing to consider is that half of the US doesn't have to deal with salt on the roads, and the brake lines almost never rot to begin with. Why buy CuNi for 3x's the price if you don't *need* it? That brings us back to the original topic - steel brake lines basically guarantee a shop that there will be a return customer in a few years. It's in their best interest to use steel lines that will rot in the salt belt, and they can show a cost savings to the customer when they do.

_________________
Blow all the things! Wait, I meant boost. Boost!
Image

Runs:
'93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi - Twincharged, manual, and lots more! Build thread
'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim


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 Post subject: Re: Brake lines
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:49 am 
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Posts like an LG3
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:53 am
Posts: 328
Location: Margate, England.
Year and Trim: 1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88

1989 Buick Le Sabre
4carb wrote:
No problems finding it here. Walk into parts store. Ask for it. Pay for it. Go home and bend lines.


Where is 'here'?.

Roger.


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 Post subject: Re: Brake lines
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:05 am 
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Posts like an LG3
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:53 am
Posts: 328
Location: Margate, England.
Year and Trim: 1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88

1989 Buick Le Sabre
I see your point Matt. However if cars are leaving USA production lines with stainless steel brake lines then surely they would only need replacing due to accident damage.

It's different in the UK, cars nearly always have regular steel brake lines, cheap to make and easy to install on a production line, they will almost certainly outlive any manufacturers warranty.
Replacing rusty lines is a regular part of any repair shop work, apart from possibly new car dealers who rarely see cars older than their warranty. Working copper/nickle tubing is easier than steel, and a durable high quality flaring tool costs around $300 or less at current exchange rates, so it has become standard practice here.

Roger.


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