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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, last weekend I woke the XL from winter slumber and got it fired up. I washed and oiled the air filter, changed the oil and needed to top up the brake fluid for the rear brakes. I still need to check the bearings, lube the chassis and all the basic service stuff, but I had to run a errand Tuesday evening, so I thought it would be good to give it a little drive. It didn't take long for the brake pedal to go to the floor and I did notice a puddle under the car when leaving the parking spot at my errand stop. It looks like I need a new brake line before driving the car again, D'oh! The break appears to be in the middle of the car and I should probably be pleased that they lasted 51 years.

I'm thinking that I'll replace the hard lines from the proportioning block back. I am looking to give the Nicop tubing a try as I've heard good things about it. What experiences have any of you had with that material? I have not gone under and measured the existing line, but I assume 3/16" is the size I need. Anyone want to confirm that?
 

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Are those the bendable, flared tubes you can get in precut lengths at AZ or anywhere? They are awesome. Just be sure you get the right flare.
 

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Nicop is the bomb! I am a concours snob, and I still would hardly think to use any material but nicop for brake lines. It bends very easily (even by hand) without crimping. Takes flares very easy. It's important to remember that it is softer than steel, so just don't use gorilla-force on your flaring tool, because you can smash it too far. It has that slight copper color that makes it look different than steel, but only slightly so. I feel like it is far less prone to leakage at the fittings, because the metal is more malleable and will adapt to the shape of the flare better than steel and/or stainless. It has the added advantage of being corrosion resistant too, so you won't end up with rusty looking lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Found the leak. I peeled off big chunks of undercoating from the line at these bends. I haven't driven the car in the winter for the last 20 years and for the past dozen years it doesn't go out in the rain, but I imagine some cracks in the undercoating allowed water in and held it there. The lines on the axle are in great condition, but if I can't undo the fittings to the flex hose, then it becomes difficult to avoid wholesale replacement. The mid line running up the chassis to the master is buried under a thick layer of under coating, making access to the line and clips a much bigger job. Grrr!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Finally got some material and time to work on my rear brakes. Jazzmeister is correct about the Nicop brake line, it is great to work with. I got a kit with 25' of 3/16 line and a bunch of fittings. I ended up replacing the line from front to back. I did not get finished on Sunday because I need another 7/16 flare nut to connect to the distribution block below the M/C.

I used the old rear axle lines as templates for forming the new.
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This Nicop material bends easily and flares nicely, even with my cheap flaring tool.Old on left, new on right.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Woohoo! Finally got the new brake lines bled and completed some regular service checks and went for a good drive. Pedal is firm, and stayed firm the whole time, no leaks, or surprises. I didn't take any pictures of the completed installation, but I am pleased with how the new lines turned out with the Nicop material. The car just runs and drives so nice, I really enjoy it, even without A/C. The driving season is short enough without repair delays. Now that the "have to" work is done there is only the "want to" projects to think about. :)
 
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