Doin’ Lines

A couple of calls to local shops looking for somebody to duplicate brake lines lead me to a hydraulic line manufacturer a few miles from my house, Royal Brass. The online reviews were excellent: custom work and service while you wait. I took down my original right rear line and sure enough, twenty minutes later I had a perfect duplicate.

The only downside is that they don’t work with stainless steel, so the line they made was done in soft steel. I’ll still send my original off to be duplicated in stainless for installation some other time.

New Right Rear Line, Installed
New right rear line, installed.

With a proper fitting right rear line, I was set to get to work. Pre-bent brake lines, at least in my experience, are not simple bolt-on replacements. Even those that look to be exact duplicates take some reworking during the installation process.

The soft steel right rear went on ok–made easier by the fact that the distributer block was not yet bolted down–but had to be massaged a bit to lay flat against the axle and fit into the clip there.

I had to get out a bending tool to make the stainless left line fit into the distributer block. Once that was in, getting the other end into the wheel cylinder was a struggle, probably made more difficult by the fear I have of cross threading a fitting and having to start all over.

Left Side Line, Installed
The left side, in stainless, installed. A decent fit.

One the ends were in, there was a lot of extra bending and massaging to make sure the new line would not interfere with suspension, particularly the bump stop. I was able to clip the line to the axle, but could not attach the clip on the differential.

The last piece was attaching the new flexible line to the existing feed from the master cylinder, which was relatively simple. As for replacing that long line (which appears to be in two segments) and the left front, I’ll leave those for another day.

There was no one around to help bleed brakes, so I used the extra time to pull the carburetor and base plate, getting ready to install the heat shield I hope will fix the vapor lock issues I’ve been experiencing.

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