Running the Brake Lines

Front brake line

Front brake line to new position of flexible line mount

Had to move the front brakes' flexible brake hose mount forward about 3 inches so that the stock Toronado flexible brake hose would be long enough for turning and suspension movement. Drilled out the spot welds which were very hard and dulled quite a few bits :-( Spot welded them in place and ran the brake line on the drivers side only. Followed the conture of the firewall and frame. Found out that the inner fenderwell interferes with the tubular upper control arm. Couldn't run the brake line to the passenger side yet as the rack n pinion is not mounted and I don't know where exactly its going to be positionned (most likely in the way of the brake line!).

The rack is mounted and I ran the passengerside front brake line sitting on the outside of the frame lip. Then across the front crossmember under the oil pan. It was tough to do as there seemed no nice way to run the line.

For the rear brake lines, the first thing that I did was try to find a long rear brake hose at the junkyard. This is the rubber hose that goes from the diff to the frame. It flexes when the rear axles go up and down. The 76 Camaro hose was about 13" end to end and I figured I needed about 15". I found that a 1980 Chev 1/2 ton pickup (any model), had one that was 15". I picked up a new one at the parts store and trial fit it. I had to bend up the mounting tab on the diff and will probably end up bending the original 54 frame mounting tab for everything to fit. I have plenty of hose for when the axle is the upper end of travel but it could be tight for the bottom end of travel.

Brake hose

76 Camaro - top hose, 80 Chev 1/2 ton pickup - bottom hose

Armored brake line is used for connecting the calipers across the rear axle. Armored brake line is encased in a coil spring. It's used to protect the brake line from rocks and debris thrown up from the wheels. You can use a tube bender for the normal brake line. The armored line is easy to bend by hand. The springs stop the line from kinking.

brake lines

Normal and armored brake line

Tube bender

Handy tube bender (must have!)

I purchased what I thought was a good quality double flare tool for flaring the fuel and brake lines. A double flare tool bulges out the tube than folds the outside in so that the flared portion has twice the material. Unfortunately, the anvil broke after about 6 flares. I wasn't happy with the quality of the flares either. The flaring tool head seemed to be wearing way to quickly. I returned it.

Flare tool

Double flare tool

Broken flare tool

Broken flare tool

The following is a pretty good picture showing the driver's side rear axle and brake assembly from the inside. This was taken with my head just under the driveshaft. You can see the blue gas shocks, the 80 Pickup truck rubber hose from the axle to the frame mount (its out of focus), the silver back of the 85 Toronado's brake caliper plate on the right which is bolted to the axle flange by four grade 8 nuts and bolts (two are showing).

back of brake assembly

Back of brake assembly and axle

Something else that's worth mentioning in this picture is that I use dual U bolts to hold the axle to the springs. The stock configuration uses 1 U bolt and two bolts (weaker method). You can also see the back of the black 1 1/2" lowering block between the spring and axle also. It raises the axle up an extra 1 1/2" from the spring which in effect lowers the body.

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Copyright July, 2011 Eugene Blanchard