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Repair Brake Lines with BrakeQuip

Posted: 2/23/2022 12:00:00 AM

Today we’re going to stop and take a look at one of the most important hydraulic systems, so let’s lay off the “brakes” and get started.

Brakequip

The estimated lifespan of a typical rubber brake hose is 6 years. After that, they have the potential to become a safety hazard. Sure, the brake hoses will probably work just fine from day to day, but in an emergency brake situation… Well, think of brake hoses like arteries in the human body. A person could live a normal life with hard and clogged-up arteries, but if they expose their heart to stressors, the symptoms could be extreme. The same logic applies to brake hoses. A brake hose could function well day-to-day, but, it’s when that “emergency stop” is necessary that peak operating condition is needed.

Factors that Deteriorate Your Brake Hose

Some factors that could influence how quickly your brake hose deteriorates includes:

Brakequip
  • Moisture absorption through the hose
  • Abrasive particles inside the hose
  • General deterioration and weakening from expansion and moisture
  • High brake operating temperatures
  • Constant flexing from steering and suspension
  • Natural swelling of the hose with age.

Let’s talk about that last one for a minute, and it’ll become clear why it’s important to replace your brake hoses when they get older.

As your brake hose ages, it will naturally begin to swell. This swelling may not be apparent just by looking at the line, since it occurs inside the hose. This causes the inner tube to shrink, which means that less fluid is flowing through your brake line. This flow restriction typically happens after the brakes are applied.

How to Check Your Brake Hoses

There are, of course, other factors that might cause your brake hoses to need a replacement. Follow these easy steps to check the condition of your hoses:

  1. Start by making sure the engine is off and the hydraulic system is not on or pressurized
  2. Then check the “feel”of the assembly. Brake hoses shouldn’t be hard and brittle or soft and spongy, but firm and flexible.
  3. Visually check for cracks in the outer skin, blisters or bubbles, chafe marks, wet stains where the hose is starting to leak, obvious bulging or expansion, loose brake hose mounts, or twists in the brake line.

Other symptoms that might mean your brakes are wearing down include a low or spongy brake pedal, your vehicle pulling to one side during braking, brake drag, or an intermittent brake problem. These are all symptoms of a bigger issue… and it just might be your brakes!

Replacing Brake Hose

When replacing a brake hose on a front brake, for example, it’s recommended to always replace the brake hose on both sides of the vehicle. To be really safe, you should replace both the front and the back brake hoses at the same time. This is to ensure the performance is the same over the life of the car. If the brake hose has only been replaced on one side, it can cause uneven brake wear or force the car to pull to one side.

Our Offering of BrakeQuip Brake Hoses

Today’s modern cars are more powerful than ever and constant, heavy braking puts huge strains on the brake system. A brake hose failure under these conditions can spell disaster. While traditional rubber brake hoses are still popular in the marketplace, these Stainless Steel Braided Brake Hoses can improve safety and enhance performance.

Difference between Stainless Steel Braided and Rubber Brake Lines

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But what’s the difference between stainless steel braided and rubber brake lines? Well, the main differences are resistance to tearing and damage, a firmer brake pedal “feel”, and aesthetic appeal. Visually, the stainless steel has a much cleaner, “sporty” look, especially with all the color options that are available—but for something that virtually no one will see, why would you want stainless steel over rubber? While both the stainless steel and the rubber hoses have good general resistance, if you find that you’re doing a lot of off-roading, the stainless-steel structure will hold up better against a constant bombardment of debris.Now a firmer “feel” of the brake pedal is where things get complicated. When you press the brake, the fluid in the brake line forces the rubber brake line to expand slightly. This means that the feedback through the line onto your brake pad is slower. With the steel line, the PTFE core doesn’t allow the line to expand, which means you get close to instant feedback when you hit the brakes.

A stainless-steel braided line is made with four layers: a PTFE core, a protective layer between the stainless steel and the PTFE so that the PTFE isn’t damaged by the braid, the stainless-steel braid itself, and an external layer (which is usually clear) that protects anything the line comes into contact with from the abrasive steel. Every BrakeQuip hose is tested to 3000 psi to ensure the highest level of safety and performance, even under sudden-stop conditions.

Inverted Flares and Banjo Bolt Fittings

Brakequip
Banjo Adaptor

Common fittings found on brake lines are 45° inverted flares and banjo bolt fittings. These fittings are used to control the flow through fluid delivery lines and other components. Why are they called a banjo bolt? Well, it’s because one half of the design has a strong resemblance to a banjo, and that has a way nicer ring to it than its technical name: “internally relieved bolts.” The hollow interior allows fluid to flow in and exit at a 90° angle. The bolt can lock into a system to control fluid performance and pressure, like in your brake system. This fitting design is great because it allows movement on a horizontal axis in a jostling engine without snapping the fitting or creating an environment where it is constantly under pressure. Banjo bolts are also ideal for tight configurations to give you the best fit possible.

When installed with a fitted washer, banjo bolts make an incredibly tight seal, preventing leaks and other issues. Over time, the washer may fail, requiring a replacement to prevent any future leaks. The banjo bolts are corrosion-resistant and are made from high tensile steel for that extra strength in a high-pressure system.

Well now, I hope we didn’t “brake” your brain with that information overload! If you don’t find the brake fitting or style you are looking for, be sure to contact us here. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list so you can stay up to date with things happening here at ohcanadasupply.ca!

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