DIY brake lines from scratch (why not put them inside the cabin?) - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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DIY brake lines from scratch (why not put them inside the cabin?)

Hey folks...

As I prepare to make my Fleetwood faster, I am faced with the reality that my brake lines are old and rusty. I figure I should probably replace them. I also want to get rid of the entire ABS/traction/cruise monster that lives under the hood. Here are a couple of questions:

1) Would it be easier to use a pre-formed kit, or buy a roll of tubing and make my own lines?

2) If I make my own lines, can I put them on the inside of the car? Seems logical to me to avoid rust entirely.

Thanks,

Matt

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Caddylack View Post
Hey folks...

As I prepare to make my Fleetwood faster, I am faced with the reality that my brake lines are old and rusty. I figure I should probably replace them. I also want to get rid of the entire ABS/traction/cruise monster that lives under the hood. Here are a couple of questions:

1) Would it be easier to use a pre-formed kit, or buy a roll of tubing and make my own lines?

2) If I make my own lines, can I put them on the inside of the car? Seems logical to me to avoid rust entirely.

Thanks,

Matt

Matt. Why would you want to open up your cabin to possible problems? A kit would include all the lines for the ABS, traction & cruise. Eliminating those will cause you to Roll Your Own. Now you have the chance to put stainless steel in. A roll of 3/16th inch SS https://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-S...1Kss:rk:1:pf:0
I got a line straightener for about $100. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Metal-Coile...w5h9:rk:3:pf:0 It will do up to 1/2 inch. I did have to touch up the spot welds in it though. There are some others on Ebay. Eastwood has one for around $80. Single size only. And too you will need a good flair tool.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 09:14 AM
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In all likelihood, even prebent set of new steel lines will out live the car.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 09:28 AM
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Two things:
1. Look up Nickel Copper (also known is cunifer) brake line. If I was in the rust belt again I'd use that, or buy pre-bent stainless.
2. ABS allows you to continue steering while still full braking. I would keep the system if it's still working. I know many disagree on that, and that's ok, just something to consider.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 10:22 AM
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And, the ABS provides the function for the unique D body four channel traction control. Just replace the bad lines.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 11:50 AM
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I think it was my Subaru that had brake lines run inside. I thought it was a pretty interesting idea. The lines inside were in terrific shape compared to everything else.
I've bent up my own lines out of rolls of stainless for other projects. It is kind of tough to work with. Hard to bend. Hard to flare. You need very high quality flaring tools. I was happy with the results, but to do it over again, I'd probably try the nickel copper / nicopp as mentioned by sherlock9C1.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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In all likelihood, even prebent set of new steel lines will out live the car.
That may be true. I'm just paranoid because the power steering lines I bought 2 years ago are already rusted.


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And, the ABS provides the function for the unique D body four channel traction control. Just replace the bad lines.
The traction control on the Fleetwood is stupid and dangerous. All it does is kill the throttle when the tires start to slip, which effectively leaves you stranded in the middle of the road all the time like a dumbass. It makes driving in wet conditions nearly impossible.


Just to be clear, even aside from the brake line issue, I absolutely want the ABS and traction control gone from my life.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 08:53 AM
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The traction control on the Fleetwood is stupid and dangerous.
All it does is kill the throttle when the tires start to slip, which effectively leaves you stranded in the middle of the road all the time like a dumbass.
It makes driving in wet conditions nearly impossible.
The Caddy Fleetwood 'foot fighter' traction control system is a pain in the @$$. A good limited slip diff is SO much better than the footfighter.
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Just to be clear, even aside from the brake line issue, I absolutely want the ABS and traction control gone from my life.
Nobody needs the footfighter; so stipulated.
The 3channel ABS on the rest of the B-bodies is hot garbage, even with the improvements made in 95, but is the Fleetwood's 4Channel ABS really THAT bad?
(It's been over 10yr since I owned a 94 Fleetwood, from which I deleted the footfighter, but left the 4Channel ABS alone.)

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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The Caddy Fleetwood 'foot fighter' traction control system is a pain in the @$$. A good limited slip diff is SO much better than the footfighter.Nobody needs the footfighter; so stipulated.
The 3channel ABS on the rest of the B-bodies is hot garbage, even with the improvements made in 95, but is the Fleetwood's 4Channel ABS really THAT bad?
(It's been over 10yr since I owned a 94 Fleetwood, from which I deleted the footfighter, but left the 4Channel ABS alone.)
From memory, I was thinking the ABS and TC systems were tied together, but maybe I am getting them mixed up. Is it the TC and cruise that are tied together?

Anyway, I just hate ABS in general. I don't care if the Fleetwood has the greatest ABS system ever designed.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 01:13 PM
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I sprang for the $200 Eastwood flaring tool and haven't regretted it. If there is any chance you'll need to repair brake lines on another vehicle, I think it's worth having the tool - especially if it's comparable to the price of a set of pre-bent lines.



Also went for the bender/forming units for $35 together.



The NiCopp stuff is easier to work with than steel, but it's also doing that green copper rusting thing, and I'm in the mid-atlantic. Not sure how well it'd last in the rust belt, even though they claim it's better.
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