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Brake lines for Chevy C50
#1377086 Tue Sep 15 2020 01:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 20
L
lcc123 Offline OP
New Guy
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.

Attached Files
C50 Rear brake line_.jpg (20.73 KB, 137 downloads)
Re: Brake lines for Chevy C50
lcc123 #1377109 Tue Sep 15 2020 04:43 AM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 5,763
3
3B Offline
Master Gabster
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.

Re: Brake lines for Chevy C50
lcc123 #1377175 Tue Sep 15 2020 07:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 20
L
lcc123 Offline OP
New Guy
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.

Re: Brake lines for Chevy C50
lcc123 #1377204 Wed Sep 16 2020 12:46 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 414
7
Shop Shark
Can you use a brass elbow in place of the bend, then run straight tubing between the el's.


1957 Chevrolet 5700 LCF 283 SM420 single speed rear, 1955 IH 300U T/A, 1978 Corvette 350 auto
Re: Brake lines for Chevy C50
lcc123 #1377311 Wed Sep 16 2020 05:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 20
L
lcc123 Offline OP
New Guy
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.

Last edited by lcc123; Wed Sep 16 2020 05:52 PM.
Re: Brake lines for Chevy C50
lcc123 #1377325 Wed Sep 16 2020 07:17 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 414
7
Shop Shark
The cross-over tube on the rears in my truck are inside the drum, both were saved and re-used when I rebuilt the brake system.


1957 Chevrolet 5700 LCF 283 SM420 single speed rear, 1955 IH 300U T/A, 1978 Corvette 350 auto
Re: Brake lines for Chevy C50
lcc123 #1377327 Wed Sep 16 2020 07:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,219
W
Master Gabster
Have you tried the new copper alloy tubes that are out there now? They are easy to bend & don't kink too easily.

George


They say money can't buy happiness. It can buy old Chevy trucks though. Same thing.

1956 Chevy 1/2-Ton Pickup

Re: Brake lines for Chevy C50
lcc123 #1377341 Wed Sep 16 2020 09:24 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 20
L
lcc123 Offline OP
New Guy
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.

Re: Brake lines for Chevy C50
lcc123 #1377370 Thu Sep 17 2020 01:21 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,628
M
Shop Shark
Have you contacted any of the brake line kit suppliers like "Inline Tube" to see if they would bend them for you if you supply a line they can copy?

https://www.inlinetube.com/

Mike B smile

Re: Brake lines for Chevy C50
lcc123 #1378307 Thu Sep 24 2020 06:05 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 20
L
lcc123 Offline OP
New Guy
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.

Attached Files
20200917_231222.jpg (191.06 KB, 70 downloads)
20200917_231258.jpg (204.3 KB, 72 downloads)
20200923_232557.jpg (81.04 KB, 72 downloads)
20200923_232707.jpg (118.41 KB, 71 downloads)
Last edited by lcc123; Sun Sep 27 2020 04:05 PM.
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