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  #1  
Old 08-15-2014, 11:25 PM
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Brake Hose Advice

I need to replace all three hoses on my '52. Been looking around and there are certainly some cheap prices out there from Argentina and elsewhere, but when it comes to safety, I refuse to cut corners.

Am curious to know who folks use for new rubber hoses. I found a company in Michigan called Brake Hoses Unlimited who either makes or has their hoses made here in the USA. The ends look a little heavier than the typical crimped on type. They're also more than double the price of the cheaper hoses. In this case, I don't mind paying more for something that is built well or better.

Just wondering if anyone here has used their hoses and if not, where's a good place to get a set?

Thanks.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:54 AM
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Believe that mine came from LMC, as the local NAPA didn't seem ready for business. They are crimped style ends and likely imported. No issues. Are you replacing wheel cylinders as well?
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:44 AM
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Hey Boomer! I was just thinking about you.
I'd expect Classic Haulers have them. Flex hoses are basically all the same, just the length is different. If you have the old ones you could measure them then go to a NAPA that has a helpful clerk who can check their catalog listings by length. The cheap imports on ebay etc are likely not DOT certified, make sure whatever you buy have the DOT cert # printed on them. I assume you are changing the 60+ year old steel lines as well?
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:10 AM
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Duane, I got all three hoses from NAPA in the Falls, I had to have them order one.

I will admit I did order the hoses from the guy on eBay from Argentina. Money was tight and I wanted to get the truck on the road. I had the truck up on the lift, checking things out before heading down to Truckstock '12 and found the hoses had cracks in one of them, replaced all with the ones from NAPA.

I like to deal with NAPA, or a local store, even it if it's a McParts store, before I go on line. I just like the control I have to inspect the part before I pay for it and it's also easier to return if I have a problem.

NAPA is kind of funny, at least the one in the Falls, I have never had a problem getting a part from them, even for the '37 Buick, but my son seems to have trouble with them getting parts for his F-1. I can usually get the parts from them when I go in or they can order them and have them the next day. A few parts I had to wait a few days because they came from a warehouse in another state. I usually will run down to their State street warehouse if they have it down there.

The McParts stores seem to be getting better at getting parts as long as you have a part number they can work with. Their computer system usually won't have much listed for old cars and trucks. It also depends a lot on the counter guy, both at NAPA and the McParts stores. At the McParts stores I've found the older guys are the least helpful, they tend to think they know everything and don't want to listen to a guy off the street. The younger guys, while less knowledgeable, tend to be more willing to help find a part.
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  #5  
Old 08-16-2014, 09:41 AM
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That's pretty much what I needed to know. I didn't know if all the crimped on hoses were made in China or Argentina and prone to failure from cheap construction or materials. The seller in Michigan builds them as they are ordered, to DOT spec on DOT inspected machinery apparently.

The brake lines themselves look like new under the paint. There are places that look like rust but are really grease or oil with red dirt crud built up. They scrape off with a fingernail to reveal a clean line.

Wheel cylinders look good too, even found an old NOS NAPA cylinder still in the box down inside one of the doors. So I'm thinking the PO got at least that far. May still need to rebuild if they leak from sitting. Linings look fairly new as well. Only thing I'm not sure about is the Master, but I'm having strong thoughts of replacing the original with a dual chamber anyhow.

Chuck, let's chat sometime this weekend. Think I've got your number somewhere. My time gets severely limited as you know by the Queen Crumbcrusher, but lately I'm able to eek out a little time on weekends. Though Jen has me painting a bathroom this weekend so we can get the house ready to sell. Sheesh!

At least I got the rear shocks on!! Photo belong along with my other, long-term project.
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  #6  
Old 08-16-2014, 01:43 PM
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What a cutie!!!!
Here's my 2/5s of a nickle:
First, brake lines typically rust out from the inside since the brake fluids are very hygroscopic (readily absorbs water/vapor) the water vapor then condenses out and settles into low spots in the lines and in the wheel cylinders. The longer they sit the more water accumulates (in normal operation the brakes get hot enough to boil off the moisture before it can collect) resulting in weakened or perforated lines and pitting in the wheel and master cylinder bores. See additional comments below.
Second the wheel and master cylinder seals are cup shaped rubber with a very thin flexible edge that depends on the fluid pressure acting on the inside of the cup to press the edges against the cylinder bores. a miniscule amount of fluid remaining between the bore and the rubber edge acts as a lubricant. There are three potential failure reasons: first any rust pitting of the bore can result in leakage past the seal and damage from sliding over the roughness. Second, upon extended sitting the bores can dry and because the cups are stationary the thin edge of the cups can/do "weld" themselves to the bore and/or harden/crack from age ("dry rot"), then when operated the very edge tears free resulting in weeping, and the debris in the bore soon causes failure of the seal. This can happen in new cylinders that are not stored properly. This is especially true here in the heat of summer. Third you don't know if the bore is "true". Quite often in the past wheel cylinders were "rebuilt" when leaking or frequently simply as a way to pad a brake job bill (BTDT). Rebuilding consists of using a "fly out" 3 abrasive stone hone in an electric hand drill to smooth and polish the bore then replacing the seal cups. An unskilled/lazy/rushed mechanic often honed the bore "dry" with whatever grit stones were in the hone. (you were supposed to dip the hone in brake fluid and not run it dry, as well as use two or more grit stones, a coarser one to remove any pits and a very fine one to polish out the scratches the first one left. The stones were a pain to change, and they would get misplaced, worn, dirty, chipped from mishandling, thrown in the toolbox or onto a dirty workbench.) The result was that the "rebuilt" cylinder bores were left with stone or dirt scratches, were bored oversized and/or tapered by overhoning either to remove deep pits or from using too course stones and/or the passages were not flushed of grit and dirt after honing. This all leads to premature failure, sometimes in a few hundred miles. Of course that gave the shop another repair to bill to replace the leaking, (now "defective") cylinder and the new brake shoes that got soaked with fluid.
I personally would not risk using "aged" wheel cylinders even if still in the box or 60+ year old brake lines. They all are inexpensive and would be so easily replaced with the truck stripped to the bare frame. I would also put in a dual circuit master cylinder for safety. I had the unfortunate experience of a brake line failure on a single circuit system, I wouldn't want to experience it again!
I definitely would not want to risk that little cutie or making her an orphan to save a few bucks and/or a day's work.

Boomer you've got a PM.
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Old 08-16-2014, 05:25 PM
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I bought some Raybestos new ones and they're made overseas now too. I would like to know if the parts are made here also (hose and ends) or is it just put together here.
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  #8  
Old 08-16-2014, 06:45 PM
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If they have the DOT cert # on them they have passed the Dot certification test and are legal for street use no matter where they have been made (sorta like an appliance made overseas having a UL certification). If you use a non DOT certified hose, no matter how good it might be (there are racing suppliers making steel braid covered flex lines to aircraft specs for racing, but because they are not submitted for DOT testing and certification, an expensive process, they are not legal for street use. If you were in an accident where it was determined the cause was a non DOT hose failed, the insurance co could (and likely would in a high $ claim) deny the claim. It's the same with seat belts: a set of racing harnesses certified for NHRA or NASCAR are not legal for street use because they are not DOT certified, and wearing them could result in a no seat belt ticket.
Besides the legal aspect, how much can you possibly save over a legal hose that you can buy (Raybestos brand at Rock auto for example) for < 9.00??? Is it worth the risk?
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:21 PM
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It looks to me like the PO did at least the front and back lines over and never put fluid to them. No wonder, you can see the hole in the back hose in the photo above. I do need to check the frame line though, can't remember if I inspected it or not.

No I won't cut corners on the brakes. If the cylinders end up leaking, I'll likely replace them and rebuild them later as spares. I've had good luck over the years with cars that had been off the road stored or otherwise not driven for years. Never had an issue with bad seals, which means I'm probably due.

Just found out that my radiator saddle won't get done as the guy can't get to it, so I'll need to address another issue I thought was taken care of. Sheesh!
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:33 PM
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What is the problem with the saddle?
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:39 PM
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Nothing serious. This one came with the primer cab I picked up last November. The seller included the inner fenders, saddle, and a few other small parts in gray primer. Unfortunately he had left them outside for nearly a year and rain collected in a couple nooks of the saddle causing it to rust. The fellow I brought it to has a flap wheel and I figured he could just clean up the spots but he said he'd just re-blast the whole thing. Then he didn't/couldn't/whatever.

So I've got a small wire brush for my drill that should get into the spots needed. Yes, I'll wear goggles so I don't end up looking like this. I used it to clean up the shock studs last week and it worked pretty well. Goggles fogged up but I kept them on.

I just need to get it done so I can re-prime the spots and paint it black. Then I can get it installed and the radiator mounted. When I finally find some time it seems like the little things crop up and stop me.

Got home late tonight and just finished dinner Ax, so I'll give you a holler tomorrow.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:14 AM
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I don't use wire brushes except by hand. My brother is blind in one eye thanks to a power wire brush. I found a much safer and better alternative at ACE hardware. The have disk and cup style rotary brushes with abrasive impregnated nylon filaments. They come in 3 "coarseness", fine, med and coarse in fluorescent colors distinguishing each and making them easy to find on the bench. They work and last far better than wire, and don't shed. I then spray the piece with "Rust Reformer" by Rustoleum. It can be found with the Rustoleum spray paint, at your local big box DIY store, usually on the bottom row. It's a little pricy, but it goes a long ways and really works, keeping the rust from growing under the top coat of paint. It is not a paint and has no affect on rust free metal, and is painted over after 24 hrs.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AXracer View Post
If they have the DOT cert # on them they have passed the Dot certification test and are legal for street use no matter where they have been made (sorta like an appliance made overseas having a UL certification). If you use a non DOT certified hose, no matter how good it might be (there are racing suppliers making steel braid covered flex lines to aircraft specs for racing, but because they are not submitted for DOT testing and certification, an expensive process, they are not legal for street use. If you were in an accident where it was determined the cause was a non DOT hose failed, the insurance co could (and likely would in a high $ claim) deny the claim. It's the same with seat belts: a set of racing harnesses certified for NHRA or NASCAR are not legal for street use because they are not DOT certified, and wearing them could result in a no seat belt ticket.
Besides the legal aspect, how much can you possibly save over a legal hose that you can buy (Raybestos brand at Rock auto for example) for < 9.00??? Is it worth the risk?
I should have re phrased the question, all that I bought ever were DOT approved (I didn't know that there was non DOT ones). My comment was more towards the made in USA ones from Brake Hoses Unlimited or others, I was just wondering if the products they use to make the hoses (bulk hose and ends) are also made in the USA. I would pay extra to have a USA made hose, would be even more of a bonus if it was all made here. For the next build I'll email him first.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:54 AM
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Here's the ebay store for Brake Hoses Unlimited.

Rubber and Braided Stainless, Flex Line items in Brake Hoses Unlimited store on eBay!

Look around, read, ask questions if you can't find the info you need. His email is posted online as goodbrakes@brakehoses.biz
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:02 AM
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Raybestos hoses at Rock auto are 1/2 to 1/3 the price (average < 9.00) the guy on ebay is asking! All you need to know is the length and look them up by length in Raybestos catalog to get part #. Here they are for your truck:
Front# BH36801 Rockauto.com price 17.08 ea

Rear# BH11146 Rockauto.com price 14.33
shipping 8.43
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:02 AM
 
 
 
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