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General Tech Brake Failure--The Line Split

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KVH

KVH

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This really surprises me. I've never had a brake failure in 50 years of driving except once when I had a badly leaking master cylinder. This time a relatively new hose simply cracked about an inch from the fastening bracket, right near my front caliper. I thought those hoses had some kind of internal meshing or added strengthening element. I'm seeing some kind of fiber or rubber internal lining, but whatever it is sure didn't do its job.

This seems really weak and makes me question the design. All I see on the hose is a slight mark and a hole that is exposed when I bend it.

Has anyone experienced this? Seems really dangerous, even for a 1966 LBC. A brake hose should last darn near 20 years if not longer. The location of the hole or crack is on the top of the hose, toward the bonnet, so I'm ruling out rocks or road hazards.

Can't say where I got it, but there are only two credible sources.

You're all likely too young to remember when Bruce Dern cut the brake line on William Devane's car in the 70's movie, Family Plot, but I've ruled out malicious mischief, too.

Thanks all, and I hope the New Year is treating you well.
 

lram59

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I'm not sure I trust any parts from the usual suspects anymore but the stainless hose might avoid a catastrophic failure. It is just a cover though. And I do remember Family Plot. Knew Bruce Dern was going to be the bad guy. I had already seen The Cowboys. He shot John Wayne in the back.
Larry
 

LarryK

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Like tires rubber brake hoses should be replaced occasionally, i know some seem to last forever, but a split is from being old.
 
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I finally finished replacing the line and bleeding the brakes. The bleed took 2 1/2 hours. About an hour with the one-man bleeder pump kit from HF before I tossed it in the garbage. I then turned to my "elite" one from the cool shop we all know--and that is now in the trash, too. I finally bled the brakes the old-fashioned way, with my significant other holding the pedal to the floor, lifting and depressing again. Except "my significant" other was a 22" piece of wood, a 1 X 2 tightly fitted against the driver's seat. I think someone here once told me to do that and to forget the other options. I was just a few years late taking the advice.
 

DrEntropy

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Just for future reference, the Gunson EEz-I-Bleed system has served us for decades in home and shop brake work. One man brake bleeding made easy. Even the one I got back in the late '70's is still performing as it should. A good substitute for the lumber.
 
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I’m thinking of buying those stainless steel brake lines, but curious if the inner flexible components are any stronger than original, or whether only the exterior sheathing is different.
 

Sarastro

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Well, if this is your first problem in 50 years, your earlier hoses have done fairly well. I'd just replace it with whatever looks good and go from there.

The conventional wisdom among the early Porsche community (which I don't really agree with) is to avoid the hoses that are reinforced with stainless steel braid. The reasoning is that the hose can deteriorate without it being obvoous; the rubber ones will get hard or bulge. After listening to this for a long time, I replaced the stainless-steel hoses on my 912 with rubber, and immediately regretted it. The brake pedal "feel" with the rubber hoses was noticeably different--softer. Not hugely so, but definitely noticeable.

So, I'd suggest using whichever seems attractive to you. Also might be a good idea, if the failed hose is not old, to bring it to the attention of the supplier. Probably won't do any good, especially if the supplier was Moss, but it's not impossible that it might.

And, whichever you use, I agree that it is a good practice to replace them periodically--maybe with each brake job.
 

mrv8q

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Just for future reference, the Gunson EEz-I-Bleed system has served us for decades in home and shop brake work. One man brake bleeding made easy. Even the one I got back in the late '70's is still performing as it should. A good substitute for the lumber.
Does it come with the correct TR3 combo reservoir Girling cap? I looked on Amazon and someone said it wouldn't work with the TR6 brake reservoir cap…
 

DrEntropy

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Does it come with the correct TR3 combo reservoir Girling cap? I looked on Amazon and someone said it wouldn't work with the TR6 brake reservoir cap…

The caps it has have fitted onto any British car we needed to bleed the systems on. No idea what would keep it from working with a TR6 as well. Pretty sure we used it on TR250's and TR6's too.

Even made an adaptor cap for ATE master cylinders for Alfas.
 
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WOW, now I'm seeing leaking around the bleed screw threads. I can buy new cylinders I guess, but does anyone think a little teflon tape would be good enough. I'm using new bleed screws, so that likely isn't the problem. thx
 

DrEntropy

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Just a WAG here, but possibly the taper angle of the new bleed screws' tips is different than the cylinder seat?
 

CJD

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Teflon tape probably wont work on a bleed screw. The seal is made by the point on the screw seating into the metal in the cylinder. The threads where you would wrap the tape don't seal anything.
 
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I agree. Just thought I say—folks here were right. Now that I fixed the driver side with a new brake line, the increased pressure put the passenger side to test and it burst last night.
Both lines must’ve been fatigued and rotted by age. I’m going to order the stainless steel ones.
 

Geo Hahn

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I used the braided hoses on my TR3 when TRF was out of the rubber style and Albert sent me stainless for the same price to get me back on the road. They made the already pretty good brakes much firmer.

...curious if the inner flexible components are any stronger than original, or whether only the exterior sheathing is different.

I believe the insides of the braided lines are Teflon. The strength comes from the outer steel.

Can I replace a steel bleed screw in my rear wheel cylinder with a brass one?

My English teacher Miss Handley would say 'You can, but you may not'. Actually I don't think I've seen brass ones but even the steel ones are pretty soft and deform over time. A new one may take a little more torque to seal in an old cylinder - but don't overdo it.

On my other car I added remote bleeders and could not get the bleed screws to seal. I finally trimmed to pointy end off and used a 5/16" ball bearing in there. Worked well but you shouldn't have to go to that extreme.
 
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