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Monday, September 29, 2014

I Can Build that Brake Line in 4 Notes...

...or, no I can't. So, today I didn't really have anything to do on the car. Hopefully, this is the last full week that I will have to work on the car and will be starting my job next Monday (yes, I know this sounds like I'm crazy, but a steady income stream would be nice).

Without any new parts or new learned skills, there wasn't much that I could do (or much that I wanted to tear into). I will eventually pull apart the transmission (another job I've never done) to see what the metal squeal is about in 1st gear. I'm pretty sure it's a synchro or something, but we'll see once I get the guts to tear into it.

Though I had a perfectly good brake line provided by a kind gentleman from the forum, I wanted to see if I could make one myself. First, I started with renting a flaring kit from Advance Auto. This was a P.O.S and didn't work at all. I had to tighten the thumb screws so much to hold the pipe in place that I ended up pinching said pipe, preventing the unions from seating properly.

A vise and some vise grips...still not good enough!

The evil kit...may just have been too worn out.
I took that back and lodge a complaint...they didn't see any problems with it, of course. Then off to a local machine shop to inquire about converting the head to "unleaded" valves, guides and seats. They will do no problem. However, they don't turn rotors or drums (this surprised me, but I learned why later). They said they farmed that out to the local Bumper-to-Bumper. So, I went there to see what they had for flaring tools. No different than my FLAPS. I also inquired about turning my drums and rotors. While they will turn rotors, it turns out that the price of both has come down so much that it's just not cost effective to turn them anymore. As a matter of fact, the counter guy said they sell about 10,000 sets of rotors a year, but only turn about 20 or so.

While I thought that the argument to buy new rotors/drums was because it was "safe"...turns out that another reason may also be because it's hard to find anyone to resurface them. Kind of a bummer for me, in a nostalgic way, because I used to be able to turn my own rotors and drums on a lathe in auto shop when I was in high school...sad that this skill has been lost to modern auto mechanics (probably not the restoration shops, though).

Anyway, I went to Harbor Freight and bought their flaring kit, fully expecting it not to work. However, I was pleasantly surprised and turned out what I thought was a few good flares.

My final product...as long as it doesn't leak.
By the time I got that all done and got the line installed, however, it was pushing 5pm. Weeknights are bad to get work done because of soccer, so I bolted everything up and I'll try to bleed the brakes tomorrow to see if I have any leaks. Of course, now, I can bolt down the 3-way splitter, which was the whole point in the first place.

New brake line installed...whether it leaks or not is, as yet, unknown.


  1. No worries my friend. The new one looks good from my point of view. ;)

  2. Well, we'll see. My wife is working tomorrow so I've lost my brake bleeder...just hate to purchase a "one-man bleed kit". I was the kid that always help pump the brake pedal. I'll have to wait until the kids get home from school to know for sure, I guess.