Does anybody know if prebent brake lines are available for a 1969 Chevy C50 (or a similar model)? Specifically the short ones with a tight bend radius that go from the lower to upper brake cylinders located on the back of the rear wheels. I am in the process of redoing all the brake lines on my truck, but my bender will not make this tight of a radius and the brake lines will stick out past the rim which is not very desirable (the originals didn't). I would imagine that that was a fairly common setup of the different medium duty trucks of the day and was hoping that an aftermarket company might make something really close (or something for a more recent model that might be a bit larger that could be bent in the middle to make work), but don't have much knowledge of the different styles of braking systems.
Hy lcc123, the GM part numbers were either 3901214 or 2476694 or Wagner FD34415, I tried crossing those numbers at Napa but nothing came up. A member here I believe 54 3600 may be able to track down the GM parts if they are available, hope that helps.
3b thanks for the info! I will see I can get somebody at Napa that can cross to something in stock. All I really need is a piece of tubing a minimum length with the bends immediately after the 7/16" inverted flare fittings--as it is now if i put flare fitting on tubing and make double flare end, then bend, the radius is approximate 2"+ and sticks out past rim and tire, or if I make bend first then cut off excess straight pipe in front of the bend, then there is not length of tubing left to slide flare fitting back to be able to create a double flare on the end.
78buckshot, I thought about that and I think it would work. But I was going to try to see if anybody knew of some more recent medium duty trucks that used a similar 2 cylinder drum brake setup that I could just purchase a prebent tube. I know that there is likely one out there, but the parts stores in this area require a specific model and year to find a part--unfortunately no mom and pop places with an old guy willing to walk in the back and pull random parts off the shelf until a suitable one was found. I was also considering making some type of a tighter bend radius tool that could get an approximately 3/4 bend radius on the the 1/4 tubing without crimping line--this looks to be about the correct dimension of the tubes presently on it. I went and measured and the length of the lines are approximately 16" long with 7/16"-24 inverted flare nuts on each end. But as I mentioned before, if there was one available from an 1980's era dump truck that was say 22" long, I would just bend an "S" shape in the middle to take up any excess.
78buckshot, You can see from picture that the C50 I have has them on the back of the drum--they look to have never been changed. I have not pulled them yet, but all the others were in poor shape and nonreusable--mainly due to the sludge on the inside, but also because I had maybe one brass fitting that actually came off with normal force using a flare wrench, the rest required vice grips, cheater bars, brute force, and cussing.
Wrenchbender, Yes am using the copper nickel alloy. They problem is it is soft and without a small radius die/bender to support sides wants to collapse or kink during bend.
Mike, No. I didn't know that they would provide a service like that. After spending 3-4 hours scouring the internet trying to find obscure/discontinued part #'s with no luck, I gave up and went to my shop and made a couple of dies and a crude bender. This took less time than I had already wasted and was alot more rewarding. I don't know if anybody else will have this problem or bother with worrying about the brake lines sticking out, but my solution was the following (see pictures): 1. Ground down a piece of carbide tooling to approximate profile of 1/4" tubing. 2. Looking up charts it is claimed that you can make 2.5X bends in soft copper without kinking, but measuring the ones already on truck, they were approximately 3/4" diameter (3X) so i went with that and found a drop piece of 1" aluminum round stock. Turned down stock to approximately 7/8" diameter, then used standard tooling to machine out a couple of "V" shaped grooves in round. Drilled a 1/4" mounting hole in center. Then used carbine tooling from step #1 to cut profile in round that is just barely larger than the od of straight 1/4" tubing, and a depth a bit less than 1/2 the tube (< 1/8"). 3. Parted the two pieces and made sure the each die had one side that was approximately the same height as the other to the start of groove (this probably isn't critical as you could always just shim to get centerlines of grooves aligned). 4. Found some drops of flat bar and drilled holes to mount dies. Since each groove depth is not exactly 1/8", the center to center was whatever the resulting dimension was from center of die1 to center of die2 with a piece of copper tubing inserted between the two. 5. Mounted a small piece of angle to the side to act a holder/stop for the start of the tubing bend. 6. Took string and measured length of old lines on truck. They are approximately 16" with 1/4" tube nuts on each end, with a bend past 90degs (say 120+ deg) on each end, and slight reverse bend immediately after to get back to a 90 deg angle of pipe relative to the tube nut. 7. Cut tubing, installed tube nuts, double flared each end, then bent. NOTE: I did have to take apart and remove 2nd die to get bent tube out of bender after bending past 90 degrees, but this just involved removing the 7/16 nut and removing bolt so that die separates from flat bar handle. Hand bent 8" radius shape to follow axle and shape of original lines.
While a crude tool, I was quite pleased with the quality of bends and other than being made from copper alloy vs steel are almost identical--and I would even say better than the original ones that came with the truck.