Lotus Elan

stainless brake hard line

PostPost by: rdssdi » Wed May 27, 2009 8:12 pm

Has anyone had experience bending and flaring stainless steel hard line?

Does the stainless require different flaring tools? Does this hold true for bubble flares as well as 37 deg. and 45 deg. double flares? What size brake line is used?

Bob
rdssdi
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1417
Joined: 30 Sep 2003

PostPost by: alaric » Thu May 28, 2009 2:28 am

Hi. Are you intending to replace the brake pipes with stainless ones? I used an easy to bend copper pipe as it isn't likely to fracture or corrode. Regarding flaring tools, I bought a heavy tool that mounts into a vice and has blocks to clamp the pipe and forms the flares with force from a lever operated cam. It's 100% consistent. I tried a couple of the cheaper hand held things and they were hopeless; very frustrating to have spent hours carefully forming a pipe to the right shape, trim it, then have the flare fail! Happy to post a pic of this if of interest - that's the sort of tool you'd need for stainless, if it's possible to form flares that way with stainless. I don't know if it is of not.

All the best.

Sean.
alaric
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 900
Joined: 07 Apr 2005
Location: South Dorset, UK

PostPost by: gerrym » Thu May 28, 2009 1:06 pm

Bob, I've used CuNi brake pipe material which is much stronger than Copper and doesn't suffer work hardening. It's use for vehicle brake pipes was pioneered by Volvo around 30 years ago.

Compared to Stainless (presumably 304 or 306), its much softer and has much better ductility. This makes it much more suitable for the bubble flares used on the Girling system components.

I'm using the Automec vise mounted flaring tool for consistent flares. It's not rated for stainless steel. As a point of comparison, Rol-Air tools rated for stainless JIC flares tend to be many times the cost of those suitable for annealed tubing. You might even struggle to a home use tool that would form the flares at all.

Regards

Gerry
gerrym
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 894
Joined: 25 Jun 2006
Location: Aberdeen Scotland

PostPost by: TomR » Thu May 28, 2009 3:04 pm

I've done both SS and CuNi. I agree the CuNi is much easier to work with and can be resealed several times. SS tends to leave deep ruts in the steel or brass hardware it connects to and has little ability to reseal multiple times without overtightening. I use the same cam-drive tool and it works beautiful on either. Eastwood in the US sells a very nice version for $220 #25304.

Does anyone know where to get the correct male bubble flare fittings in SS? I can get the short ones in the US, but Lotus uses extended nose ones I can't find in stainless.

Tom
TomR
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 19 Sep 2003
Location: Vernon, CT US

PostPost by: gerrym » Thu May 28, 2009 10:50 pm

Tom, I know you are asking specifically re US supply for the SS fittings, but here in the UK I've only ever seen plated steel or brass.

I tend to use the brass fittings with the CuNi pipe material. Makes for easy to seal, corrosion resistent system. A little red rubber grease on assembly prevents corrosion against the steel castings (as in the calipers) or aluminium (as in the master cylinders.

Regards

Gerry
gerrym
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 894
Joined: 25 Jun 2006
Location: Aberdeen Scotland

PostPost by: jkolb » Fri May 29, 2009 12:14 am

I just made up new lines for my Elan in CuNi. Looks as good as stainless and bends much easier (by hand). I also used the Eastwood vice mounted flaring tool. Stainless is hard to cut, hard to bend, and difficult to flare. I have flexible stainless lines to each caliper and found a bulkhead fitting from Longacre (longacreracing.com) that works with the existing frame tabs. A little bit of fettling required, but they worked well.

Jerry
64 26R clone
07 Exige S
jkolb
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 137
Joined: 13 Sep 2004

PostPost by: stugilmour » Fri May 29, 2009 12:39 am

Sorry Bob, not sure if you are located USA or UK?

Anyway, the brake line size is 3/16" as per Dave Bean catalog, which has a pretty good write-up on the topic. Fittings are standard 3/8" - 24 UNF thread swivel nuts. I was looking through the list archives quite a bit to scope out brakes for my Plus 2, and got the drift Elan's use banjo fittings in some areas, but my Plus 2 Federal is all nuts.

The clutch may use 1/4".

Also might need 1/4" for some outlets on dual master cylinder set-ups, which Mr. Bean says is done just to prevent miss-routing of the lines.

Got a bit confused, as the Gordon Lund book recommends against steel lines. In the US, they seem to call up Bundy tubing as the material of choice. Wondering if there might be a minor terminology bust, and the Bundy tubing is not straight steel. Can't believe the entire US industry would have a product subject to corrosion in this application, but who knows?

As above, I tried with a cheep flaring tool, and it did not work on the standard line material at all. Broke the flaring die, which I expect was miss-sized for heavy wall brake line anyway. Replaced it with a Ridgid brand unit, and seemed to do the job OK on some tests I have made. Note it is specifically NOT rated for SS. If I was not returning the broken one for credit and just looking for a tool on it's own, I thought the Eastwood one mentioned above looked great. Also check out their bending pliers; have a set on order but not received yet. They look perfect for fine tuning the bends.
Stu
1969 Plus 2 Federal LHD
User avatar
stugilmour
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1751
Joined: 03 Sep 2007
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Fri May 29, 2009 10:54 am

Topic from late 2007
viewtopic.php?t=15759
Cunifer suplier in the U.S.A. , there may be others
http://fedhillusa.com/
Flaring tool as nice as needed (top of the line?) for the money you have to spend
http://store.fedhillusa.com/flaringtools.aspx
User avatar
garyeanderson
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 3128
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.A.

PostPost by: rdssdi » Fri May 29, 2009 11:41 am

The last car I replaced all the brake lines on was my Elan +2. I used mild steel zinc coated 3/16 line from Summit Racing. I felt this would be easier to bend and flare than stainless. I purchased a "Blue Point" flaring tool from Snap On. It was expensive and worked but not as easily or consistently as I would have liked. It also left ridges in the tube where it "griped" the tube for flaring. The tool resembles most inexpensive flaring tools but works better.

I have heard here and from others that the Eastwood cam action flaring tool works well. It is a bit pricey but I will purchase one.

It appears that the copper alloyed brake line is commonly used in the UK but I have not seen it in use here in the U.S.. I wonder if it is not certified by the U.S. DOT (Department of Transportation)for use on cars in the U.S.

I was interested in stainless line as it is corrosion resistant. The added difficulty in flaring and bending should be manageable as many after market brake lines are fabricated from stainless.

I also want to use stainless for a fuel line that will require a AH double flare at each end. I believe AN is 37 degrees.

I will buy the Eastwood tool and do a trial flare on some stainless line.

Bob
rdssdi
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1417
Joined: 30 Sep 2003

PostPost by: rdssdi » Fri May 29, 2009 1:04 pm

I spoke too soon. The link previously provided is for a cunifer line supplier in the U.S.. Interesting product.

I wonder why it is not widely available in the U.S.? The supplier says it is DOT approved.

I will get some and see how it works.

Thanks all!

Bob
rdssdi
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1417
Joined: 30 Sep 2003

PostPost by: TomR » Fri May 29, 2009 5:15 pm

I bought my CuNi from Fedhill - actually dropped by his shop to get it. He had a beautiful AC Ace in his shop at the time.

Tom
TomR
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 19 Sep 2003
Location: Vernon, CT US

PostPost by: mikealdren » Fri May 29, 2009 5:39 pm

Kunifer has been around for a long time (I used in the 1970s) so it has a good history and I think it was designed for the job, it's flexible, corrosion resistant and not too expensive.
I don't understand why people use copper although my +2 came with the pipes made up so I won't bother changing them.

Mike
mikealdren
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1024
Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Location: Surrey England

PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Fri May 29, 2009 6:08 pm

As is often the case (see: brake fluid) I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. I researched Cunifer, found the FedHill site, priced the stuff, then bought a coil of good old aluminum-coated steel Bundy tube from the local auto parts store. I bought a typical "cheap" flare tool from the same store, and a less-cheap AN tool and a nifty tube bender from an aircraft supply house. I practiced a lot with the tools before starting on the actual lines, and I was very very careful. Result: No bad flares, no wasted effort, and a perfectly sound set of hard lines that will outlast me. I agree that the cheap tools leave ridges on the tubing; I smoothed them out with a file and coated them with anti-seize before assembling.

If I were in Europe or the UK I'd probably use Cunifer. In the US, Bundy tube is abundantly available and seems just fine to me.
Andrew Bodge
'66 Elan S2 26/4869
I love the sound of a torque wrench in the morning. Sounds like... progress.
User avatar
RotoFlexible
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 681
Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Location: Eastern Massachusetts

PostPost by: rdssdi » Fri May 29, 2009 6:41 pm

The cam action flaring tool sold by Fedhillusa.com appears to be a Sealey unit made in the UK. It is available for far less at Europa spares etc. . The turret version that is sold through Eastwood in the U.S. appears to be another Sealey unit. I wonder if Sealey makes the unit or if it is made in China for them or manufactured in the UK by another company.

The information I have been able to gather does not say whether or not these flaring tools are suitable for mild steel or stainless steel lines.

The Kunifer line looks very promising as it is easily formed and is also available from a variety UK suppliers. Many of these suppliers also offer a variety of fittings needed. I will have to put a list together of what I need. Shipping from the UK to the U.S. by Parcel Force is quick and not too expensive.

Bob
rdssdi
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1417
Joined: 30 Sep 2003

PostPost by: patrics » Sun May 31, 2009 8:08 pm

Hi,
I have piped mine in Stainless with stainless fittings.
Flares okay - just expensive

Regards
Steve
Attachments
Photo 04.jpg and
Photo 05.jpg and
patrics
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 539
Joined: 21 Sep 2003

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests