How to install compression fittings on steel brake lines

Written by robert morello Google
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How to install compression fittings on steel brake lines
Stainless steel brake lines require compression fittings. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Steel brake lines are designed to withstand far greater pressure levels than normal rubber brake lines. When you jam on the brakes in a car with normal rubber brake lines, the response can be soft and pressure can be lost as the line stretches in response to the force within. With stainless steel lines, the extra pressure is directed towards the calipers instead of being lost on the way. In addition to better braking response, stainless steel lines will also provide a firmer feeling brake pedal. Attaching steel brake lines will require you to install compression fittings.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Razor blade
  • Metal snips
  • Three piece compression fitting
  • Stainless steel brake line

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  1. 1

    Cut your stainless steel brake lines to the required length using a metal snips to cut the steel braids and a razor blade to cut the inner rubber tubing. Place the compression-fitting cap over the metal braids without removing or altering them in any way. Twist it onto the line making sure to leave the threaded portion of the cap facing outward. Slide the compression cap down the brake line away from the cut end.

  2. 2

    Unravel about 1/2-inch of the stainless steel braiding at the cut end creating a small cone shape. Place the ferrule or brass ring over the rubber portion of the brake line but under the feathered stainless braids.

  3. 3

    Slide the third and last piece of the compression fitting onto the brake line, through the brass ferrule and into the rubber line firmly. Bring the compression cap up and over the other two components and tighten the threads to create one solid compression fitting. Do not allow any metal braids to get into the threads.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure your brake line is cut straight. Any angles may result in a faulty compression seal.
  • Try not to scratch the interior fitting components during installation or you risk a faulty compression seal.
  • If air should get into your brake lines, the entire braking system may fail. Make sure to bleed your new brake lines, removing all air before taking the car on the road.

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