Made a start on the brake lines today.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been dreading doing these! I’ve sorted the new kit in order of what pipe does what and labelled the original pipes with numbers to match the new ones. There’s five short lengths in the new kit so I did it that way to avoid bending the wrong pipe.
Here’s the old ones.
These ones are mostly original steel ones. There’s one short one connected to the T piece for the RH front flexi hose that is a hand made MOT type replacement.
So far I’ve started with the short RHF pipe, that bent up very nicely and seems fine. Then the master cylinder to T piece pipe. Again, easy and went nicely.
Then the long pipe from T piece to LHF wheel. This was an epic twat! Once the long rolls are uncoiled it becomes a right pain in the arse to keep bending it and moving it as your going along copying the original. In the end I decided to use masking tape to tape the new and old pipes together so I could get the profile about right off the car. Bend up about a foot long section then tape it down and so on.
I did try straightening the new pipe before bending everything to shape but it doesn’t work very well in this case as there’s shit loads of kinks, bends, direction changes etc. Its just pointless really.
The big pipe actually looks pretty good so far but one end is not finished. It’s got to simply bend 90 degrees and go into the T piece on the inner wing. But to get the bend in the right place I needed to clips that hold the pipes in place onto the bulkhead. These were in a bag somewhere!
Took an hour to find them, they were minging so the plastic ones have been scrubbed clean with soapy water and refitted to the bulkhead. The three steel ones were cleaned and are soaking in some rust remover overnight before getting a coat or paint tomorrow.
For now then I’ve cleaned the original T piece, this was filthy but now it’s shiny brass. Bolted that to the inner wing loosely and screwed the two short new pipes into it and the master cylinder. They fit very well if I do say so!
The master cylinder pipe needed a slight tweek as it was fouling the servo to start with. It’d likely have started rattling if I’d left it but so far so good.
I’ll still need to straighten a couple of sections once everything is in place permanently but I’m happy so far.
I do like the bare copper and brass look tbh! I think painting the pipes green would look a bit shit on a blue car so my plan is to loosely assemble everything to prove it fits then remove it all again, tape over the unions and threads then spray them all with clear lacquer to preserve the copper colour! I like the colour against the blue paint. Then reassemble more permanently.
So far I’ve found the kit to be pretty good. Only difficulty comes if your original pipes are missing (my rear most pipe across the rear axle is) or if someone has replaced an original pipe. It means the original profile can’t be simply copied to the new pipe and the MOT style pipe replacements are rarely done to a high standard! The shape only basically resembles the original.
It’s taking a hell of a lot longer to do all this than I thought it would too. You’ve got to be so careful with the new paint. Keep everything clean and of course find all the little clips and fittings.