Don’t Brake It
by Pat Goss
If you own an older car or truck, you might have a dangerous situation lurking underneath it. And that’s in the form of the steel brake lines that transmit the hydraulic pressure to the wheels. See on older vehicles, these brake lines were made of just mild steel, without any kind of coating on it. So they easily rusted. Newer stuff has a coating…sort of this black plastic coating…that helps prevent it. It doesn’t always do away with it, but it helps prevent it. Now, the thing that you have to do is, a couple times a year, if you have one of these older vehicles, you should get up under the vehicle and examine the brake lines from front to rear. Now you’ll probably need a mirror to do that, because lots of times they’re going to be up under a frame rail or something like that where you can’t see them anyway but with a mirror. And don’t think that because part of the brake line is good, that all of the brake line is good, because that’s not the case.
Alright, now if you find that your brake lines are rusted, what do you do? Well, here’s the best solution that we’ve found: this is stainless steel replacement brake lines. Now these are all pre-formed, you get all the little pieces and so on, that would take you days to manufacture if you’re going to do it yourself. Now, stainless steel. This particular kit came from Doormen Products, and like all of these stainless steel brake lines, they have mild steel flair nuts on the ends. And once you put these in, well these mild steel flair nuts can still rust, so you need an anti-rust agent, such as what we have here in the can. You spray each and every one with it, just liberally coat it with it, so that it can’t rust.
Alright, now, another thing: to ship these things, some of them are way too long. So what they do is they bend them, they put this real gentle bend in here, but that means you have to straighten them out. So don’t just grab a hold of it, because if you do that, well you’re probably going to kink the line down here below the bend. So you do it very very gently, work your way around it, till you get it straight.
So by doing that, well you can have a brake line system that will probably last longer than the car will. The other thing is, if you have the older style brake lines and they aren’t rusted, that same anti-corrosion material should be applied to every inch of the brake line at least once a year. And that’ll keep the rust from forming.
And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line, right here at MotorWeek.