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Thread: Seeking Advice on Hydraulic Pipework

  1. #1
    Owners Register Admin & Euro-Nova Supporter BlueNova's Avatar
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    Seeking Advice on Hydraulic Pipework

    Hi all,

    I'm about to start connecting up the brakes. I've got new discs and calipers for the front, new drums for the rear, and a new dual circuit master cylinder, and I'm going to buy a brake bias valve to allow me to balance the front/rear stopping power.

    I've always left any brake hydraulic issues for the daily driver to the garage, so I'm looking for some advice. I can see that there are VW Beetle brake pipe kits available from the usual VW suppliers, so my head is saying 'just order one'.

    However, as folk like Dirk will appreciate, my heart is saying 'thinking ahead, wouldn't it be good to be able to transfer newly gained skills and tools to the daily driver as well?' so I'm wondering about buying the bare pipe, connections and bending and flaring tools, etc, instead.

    Just looking for views on what you think is the best way to go, bearing in mind the VW kits aren't that expensive and going 'DIY' would probably be more expensive in the short term.

    Also, should I be going 'Cupro Nickel' rather than steel?

    Cheers, Alistair

  2. #2
    Easy job - in-expensive tools (get a good flarer but not worry too much about a bender as the tube forms very easily) (unless you play with it too much and work-harden it!) Always cupro-nickel (not just copper) as there's no point in doing all that work more than once due to rust....

    I have various flarers of the 'sliding-bridge-over-a-hinged-drilled-bar' type from Sykes or Girling but usually reach for a simple Mopar unit (don't think they make them any more but just like this: https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-on...16-tubing.html) I bought nearly 40 years ago(!) practice the double flares as they are the tricky ones and DON'T forget to feed the fitting on before doing the flare!
    Last edited by Alzax3; 22-02-2020 at 07:26 AM.
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  3. #3
    Owners Register Admin & Euro-Nova Supporter BlueNova's Avatar
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    Thanks Alex, very helpful. My ethos in the restoration is to do as much as possible myself so Iíll give it a go!
    Cheers, Alistair

  4. #4
    Senior Member Phill's Avatar
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    I would do it yourself. The standard VW kit would need altering to accomodate the Bias valve so you would have to do a bit of DIY anyway. When I did mine I used a cheap kit off Ebay - and beleive it or not it did the trick (though would have been easier with a quality flaring tool). I used the softer copper pipes as they are more forgiving when it comes to flaring and even if imperfect will form a decent seal when the unions are tightened up. With harder steel you would definately need a good quality flaring tool.
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  5. #5
    Owners Register Admin & Euro-Nova Supporter BlueNova's Avatar
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    Excellent, and thatís a good point about the bias valve ... thanks Phill

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    I've worked in some fashion or another on cars since I was twelve thanks to my old man, including brake pipes etc and have never seen the point in getting premade kits.

    Making and installing your pipes will always be more satisfying and since you can get a flaring kit at a reasonable price, I see little point in getting a pre-made set when you're more than capable of doing it yourself for less

  7. #7
    Owners Register Admin & Euro-Nova Supporter BlueNova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaisa View Post
    I've worked in some fashion or another on cars since I was twelve thanks to my old man, including brake pipes etc and have never seen the point in getting premade kits.

    Making and installing your pipes will always be more satisfying and since you can get a flaring kit at a reasonable price, I see little point in getting a pre-made set when you're more than capable of doing it yourself for less
    Thanks Rory!

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    You know my opinion :-) It's not a difficult job and cheap enough to start with just a hand held flaring tool, I bought mine 30 odd years ago and still use it today. Its something similar to this

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HAND-HELD....c100005.m1851

    Much the same as the one Alex mentioned you can always build up your collection as and when you need to, for years that was all I had, but over the years I have built up the collection to include the other type Alex mentioned This is a bit more awkward to use but if you need to flare larger size pipe as I have done on some of my machines.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/IMPERIAL-...EAAOSwk3Fa8xsc

    then there are all sorts of bender's and,straightener's and pipe cutting tools.

    Dirk

  9. #9
    Owners Register Admin & Euro-Nova Supporter BlueNova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    You know my opinion :-) ..... Dirk
    You're a star Dirk!

    Although we've not yet met, I know how passionate you are about building your capacity of equipment and doing it yourself! A man after my own heart!! I'm actually on ebay just now ordering everything I need!

    All the best, Alistair

  10. #10
    Senior Member Phill's Avatar
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    Another thing I would suggest is to get one of those fluid reservours that plug straight into the top of the master cylinder. That way you can bleed and test the system out before you fit the bodywork. Any leaks or issues can be more easily recitified when you have easy access before the body is fitted. When I did mine it was months after before I was able to test the system as I used a standard VW fluid reservour that needed to be mounted to the body before I could bleed the brakes. And although there were no leaks in the system, I still had to adjust the brake pedal mounting plate and the pushrod before the brakes were set up properly, which is not so easy to do when the body and dashboard are fitted
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