Mention DIY brake lines and chances are most people will run off quivering, but it’s actually dead easy – here’s how to make your own braided brake lines.
Rally Design’s UK-made system of Euroquip braided hoses is extremely comprehensive; with a massive range of fittings to suit virtually every application. From Metric to Imperial, it really isn’t difficult to get exactly what you need, and to the length you need it to make up your own braided brake lines.
Braided lines make far more sense than the standard rubber type — they don’t perish in the same way, they’re armoured since they’re covered in stainless-steel braid and, pun aside, they’re flexible, too. So if you need a conversion hose with Metric at one end and Imperial at the other, you can do it with careful choice of Rally Design’s huge range of components.
However, this system uses olive compression fittings, which are not necessarily road-legal in some aspects of kit-car construction. So before you go wading in and plumb the whole car, make sure it’s OK to do so!
The brake lines and fittings aren’t exactly dear and the hoses surprisingly easy to make up — literally minutes. However, if you don’t fancy doing it yourself, Rally Design’s
Scott Gillespie reckons they can do the job for you. Plus, they can make the more kit car-friendly, permanent-type, too.
What you have to remember though when working with any brake components is cleanliness — this is an hydraulic system and it works far better with no dirt!
Rally Design’s brake lines come in a roll and are cut to the rough length you need — your task is to measure and chop to size, but…
…since the outside case is stainless steel, you need a good sharp pair of cutters to do so. These are Scott’s preferred type with nice long handles for a decent amount of leverage.
However, once cut, the ends tend to be crushed down a bit so they need a touch of careful straightening with a decent pair of pliers until roundness is restored.
Don’t forget this bit as it’s dead easy to do so and you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t: fit the first part of the fitting — the part that screws into the outer — over the braided hose.
There are two ways to do the next bit — either with the correct splaying tool that automatically makes a lovely job of spreading the braided covering outwards…
…all you do is slide it into the end of the hose and it
…if you don’t want to invest in the right tool, you can adapt a screwdriver by rounding the tip over…
…and individually bending the outside of the braid over; splaying it out. Scott does warn that you will stick the ends in your finger tips though — and it does hurt!
Once splayed, you can insert the brass olive into the end of the brake line. It obviously goes over the PTFE liner but…
…it needs firmly pushing home. You can do this on any hard surface but the whole lot needs to be kept clean! There’s no going back from this bit as the olive has an interior-gripping barb.
Next insert your end! Note the fine section of inner pipe slides inside the PTFE liner…
…and is firmly pushed home. It’s pretty straightforward.
After that, you can bring the threaded fixing nut that you’ve already slipped over the braided hose, and loosely screw it up…
…followed by nipping it up with an open-ended and a ring spanner. Don’t do it up as tight as it’ll go, you only need to clamp it shut.
Job jobbed! Now you can carry on and do the rest of the car.
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