X-frame brake line vendor? - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Amman, Jordan
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X-frame brake line vendor?

Good morning. I am slowly working my way through my new (to me) 1959 Impala. As I was disassembling the frame, I noticed that the rear brake line runs down the passenger's side and is all part of a single master cylinder. I want to install a dual master cylinder and Wilwood discs on all four corners and would like to find a vendor that sells pre-bend brake lines for the driver's side of my X-frame. My internet search has only yielded rolls of tubing and vague descriptions of other tubing.

Any leads would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 01:52 PM
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You can buy prebent tubing, but shipping cost nearly as much as the lines as they require a big box. Mild steel (unlike stainless) is easily bent with a mandrel hand operated tubing bender. You can cut it with a tubing cutter and double flair it with hand tools. When you get into stainless tubing a hydraulic operated flaring tool is the better option, not so much because the tubing is hard to form; but because the forces involved make the tubing hard to grasp and hold in place with a standard flaring tool.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 06:34 PM
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Question: Why do you want the brake line to run down the driver's side of the car?

1967 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible - Ermine White C1
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BigDogSS View Post
Question: Why do you want the brake line to run down the driver's side of the car?
Didn't see that comment. You can not attach the brake lines to the body unless you place a flex hose at the end w=her it hops over to the frame. Body and frame are isolated by an inch of rubber that bends and twists as the car is driven.

The master cylinder has a two full coil of brake line that acts like a bellow to movement, and a flex hose where it attaches to the frame to prevent bending the brake lines. The brake lines run on the inside of the frame to protect the lines from debris off the road (where exposed the brake lines are armored with steel wire). All to protect the brake hydraulics from leaking.

Biog Dave
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Amman, Jordan
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Big DogSS: In case you didn't know, a dual master cylinder has separate reservoirs for the front and rear brakes. So in my mind, by running the rear lines on the driver's side, I don't have to run two lines on the cross member.

To Big Dave's comment: on my 64 Nova and my 65 Chevelle SS, I used steel tubing "sticks" from the local auto parts store to run the rear lines and I am not really a fan of the look. it was clean but the connections were unsightly and an area prone to leaks. On my 55 5-window truck, I used SS tubing that was in a coil from SSBC. Maybe because it was SS, but it was very labor intensive to uncoil and straighten. It took time and patience to bend the tubing for my application but it was manageable. Manually flaring the SS tubing was also a chore. So in the end, given the more complex shape of bending the tubing to rout around the X-frame is why I was asking for a source for pre bent lines for my 59 Impala.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 09:21 AM
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Yup; I agree completely. I used to design and supervise the construction of commercial dish washers (all 304 stainless steel). It took 40% more effort (psi in a press) to bend stainless than the same gauge mild steel.

I bought my hydraulic tubing flaring kit because the stainless tubing kept popping out of the forming die when I tried to press the cone in the end with the screw type. The hydraulic version gripped the tube wall with the same force as the cone pressing as the clamps were hydraulic as well as the ram. Over $300 bucks for the tool but everyone in the shop used it once I bought it.

Big Dave
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