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New stainless steel brake lines--now leaking, need flare seals?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Mike328, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    Oct 19, 2002
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    Boulder, CO
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    Mike
    So I got all of the lines on last week, and started the car up a few days ago to work on the carbs.

    The next afternoon, large puddles of brake fluid lay on the ground by my two front tires.

    Inspection showed that fluid was leaking from behind the nut assembly on the hydraulic hard/steel "s" line that connects the caliper to the new brake hose (inside the fitting at the end of the hose). None of the others were leaking, just the two front lines at the older S-line connection.

    I called Orme Brothers, and they basically finished my sentence for me. This, apparently, is a common problem/occurance when fitting new lines to old hard line fittings.

    This issue has to do with the tapered flare of the S-line not forming a perfect union/seal against the new fitting in the new brake line.

    Orme Bros is sending me out some copper flare seals, which go inbetween the new brake hose female fitting and the old s-line male fitting.

    Is this a traditional solution? Safe, permanent?

    Two additional things. The front s-lines are going in a bit of a weird andle to the new brake hose, because the new brake hose fitting extends out about another 1/2in than the original did, causing the s-line to be slightly angled fundamentally (but the rotating nut assembly is threading true, straight inside the caliper). This could be part of the problem.

    I'm hoping that the leaks are due to imperfections in the seal, which can be corrected, as opposed to fundamentally different seal "angles" (45 degrees vs. 37 vs. whatever). One is a fixable problem, the other is an incompatibility.

    Thoughts or experience with this?
     
  2. bob_briley

    bob_briley Rookie
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    May 11, 2003
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    So. Cal.
    Mike,

    This is the problem that I had that I responded to awhile ago. I made new S-bends and flared the ends to mate with the new lines. The bends were tighter than any of the bending tools that I could find, so I made a special mandrel on my lathe and a fixture to set the distance. Just a standard double flaring tool had the correct angle.

    Bob
     
  3. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    Oh jeez... I remember thinking that if I was going to have a time as Bob did, then it probably wasn't worth it. (sigh)

    So, what was the main problem? Are the angles of the flares vs. the s-bends different?

    The S-bends--you fabricated these yourself? You can buy them new, of course, but you do have to bend them yourself into whatever shape necessary...

    Why did the S-lines give you trouble, but not the "inner mounting" on the car's main hard lines against the other end of the brake hose?
     
  4. kdross

    kdross Formula Junior
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    Feb 10, 2002
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    Ken
    Will new OEM rubber hoses leak too if replaced?

    Ken
     
  5. bob_briley

    bob_briley Rookie
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    May 11, 2003
    45
    So. Cal.
    Mike,

    I re-made the S-bends and the inner lines for a total of eight new lines (sixteen new double flares that are less forgiving than standard flares). The inner lines were easy, but still work. The S-bends had to be much more exact. It was clearly the seat angles of the fittings on the new lines that was much different than the old. Maybe the standard has changed. It was visually different, the angles are that different. I don't know if a standard bender will make the bends without flattening the line some. I had to make mine tight before it held a nice round shape. It was a full Saturday's work to make the new lines, so I was really disappointed with the Goodridge product.

    Ken,

    The OEM stuff I had was ATE. I would imagine a direct ATE replacement (from Porsche or Mercedes) would work without the hassle. I just thought that if I was going to do it, why not use SS lines. I always seem to get burned with aftermarket stuff.

    Bob
     
  6. Jax8308

    Jax8308 Rookie

    Nov 12, 2003
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    Jack B.
    Mike,

    One of mine did the same thing. All I had to do was really tighten it to force a new seal. The "S" line will have an impression from the old fitting. I made sure the fitting and "S" line were lined up correctly and tightened it pretty firmly and it stopped leaking.
     
  7. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    That's good to hear. From what I can tell, the fitting angles are the same. Joel from Orme insists that this is a common problem vaused by the old "marriage" of the old seals, and how they were formed for 25yrs to fit eachother.

    I should say on the one line that *was* leaking, the s-line was going in at an angle. I'm going to try to get that right on and use a fair amount of torque to get the seal, and I may also use the copper flare seals that Orme is sending me (they said I should get the seals today).

    Will report back...
     
  8. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    This, I don't know. It's possible, I'd say; I think the goodrich lines are made to the right spec, just need a better seal. Orme Bros said that this happens frequently with new lines vs. old lines made to the same spec, so I imagine it could be possible...
     
  9. seschroeder

    seschroeder Formula Junior

    Apr 25, 2002
    251
    Alexandria, VA
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    Steve Schroeder
    While rebuilding the front and rear suspension on my 82 308 GTSi I decided to replace the brake lines with stainless steel - also rebulid the brake calipers. Purchased Goodrich from Damon Tweaks (UK) and now have the same flair issue as with Mike Procopio's ones from Orme Bros. Once the hard lines are attached to the stainless lines there is slight play (in and out) and I'm certain they will leak. Did the new flair seals solve the problem. Suggestion would be most gratefully received.

    Thanks in advance.

    Steve Schroeder
     
  10. carlrose

    carlrose Formula Junior

    Nov 25, 2003
    295
    Hi Mike,

    Don't know if this will help you out or not -

    Replacing the original TBW (tinned bundy weld) lines on midyear Corvettes with stainless lines (appearance, periodic maintenance not required) can lead to leaks as apaprently the stainless tubing flares are not as "deformable" when tightened & thus do not form a good seal.
    Solution always was to tighten a bit more until no futher leakage.

    :) Carl
     
  11. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    Excellent timing. As Carl's response suggests (see below), leaking is not uncommon with new brake components mating with old ones.

    Bottom Line: The "Copper Flare Gaskets" from Orme Bros. solved the problem. I put these guys in, and tightening things VERY tight. Leaks gone.

    I'm going to post a separate thread about this, but I wasted say four to five hours installing them WITHOUT the copper flare gaskets. Really, they should be considered a mandatory part of these kits, in my opinion. In the end, though, I've got the brake lines on, the brakes feel great, and it's important insurance and preventative maintenance to replace 25 year old original brake lines.

    So get some of these guys (if you're in a jam, call Orme Bros. and they'll send some out--you may have to pay--I did not). What I found was, while their "execution" was a little rough, they stood behind their product, were always there for me on the phone when I needed them, and as we developed a relationship became better to deal with.

    As I was the Guniea Pig (Mike Charness was really, but he didn't have any problems), future 308 brake lines from Orme Bros. should go much more smoothly. Best bet is to actually SEND in one of your front and rear brake lines. Make sure they ship out the new 24mm nuts AND a full set of copper flare gaskets, and you'll be set. They're an excellent product.
     
  12. seschroeder

    seschroeder Formula Junior

    Apr 25, 2002
    251
    Alexandria, VA
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    Steve Schroeder
    Mike:

    Thanks for the prompt help and advise. I'll contact Orme Bros. today and see if I can get a set for flair seals heading my way. I hate to come this far and not finish the job correctly.

    Again, thanks.

    Steve Schroeder
     
  13. ferrarifixer

    ferrarifixer F1 Veteran
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    Jul 22, 2003
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    Phil Hughes
    When I make new "s" pipes, I make sure they are long enough to clear access to the caliper bolts with a socket, without having to remove the pipe.

    This also allows the mounting bracket to be removed from the upper ball joint nut, rather than diconnecting the hydraulics every time you take a caliper off to change discs. You need to gently bend the "s" pipe to do this, but if you make it long enough it causes no fatigue.

    This saves so much time and hassle.

    The same princile applies to the rear....just remove the bracket from the hub ring nuts, rather than disconnect the hydraulics. Make the "s" pipe to clear the caliper bolts again.

    In the UK, the "s" pipes can be copper, or cuniper. Which is an alloy of copper and tin, But in US and Australia, the pipes have to be steel. Which makes them harder to fabricate and flare, but still possible.
     

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