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  #1  
Old 10-06-2010, 10:01 AM
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Question Braided Stainless Steel Brake Lines Question

I posed a question in another thread about how to improve my brakes. I received an excellent answer from RamTech Randy, to which I responded:

"I'm down with all your recommendations including the braided lines, if for no other reason than they look trick - so I will no doubt be putting them on along with your other recommendations.

This question: When all is said and done what do the braided lines get me performance wise? "


I'm sure he has a perfectly valid technical reason, it's just that, "Inquiring minds want to know" - Can someone enlighten me on the performance issue a bit?

Thanks in advance. Wes

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  #2  
Old 10-06-2010, 12:46 PM
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Performance wise very little. They are flexible but that's about it.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:41 PM
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Yeah, if anything, they're just a higher quality of make than OEM, but it won't do much performance wise.
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:59 PM
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Back in the day the major difference (so I've been told) between SS braided lines and rubber lines was that the rubber lines would tend to expand (think long skinny balloon) under high pressure. The braided lines act more like a flexible pipe allowing the pressure to be transferred more directly through the brake fluid rather than expanding the lines. It led to more responsive/efficient braking. With today's better materials and computer controlled ABS systems, I doubt you see that much of a performance gain though. Much more of a cosmetic gain IMHO.
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2010, 05:19 PM
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I'll say they make a major difference and it ain't about looks.

Consider this:

the stock rubber lines will weaken over time, expanding with pressure of repeated braking, and leading to braking efficiency loss and a soft, weaker pedal feel.

the braided steel line will not expand over time with repeated braking, maintaining braking efficiency and pedal firmness.

of course, this is a bit esoteric and has more of a race application but I always change my brake lines out to braided steel lines pretty early in the ownership cycle. And I've never had to replace them after installation except once I damaged one (and I could only get a set for the rear) while racing my 350Z.

I have braided lines on the RAM and the SRT currently. I also tend to replace the brake fluid with a step up in DOT ratings.

Brake fluids are classified by both “dry boiling point” and “wet boiling point”. They are also classified by US Department of Transportation (DOT) rating, DOT 3, DOT 4, DOT 5, and DOT 5.1.

As we would expect the dry boiling point is just that - the temperature at which a given brake fluid boil when it is fresh out of the can. This is the rating by which most high performance drivers and all racers select their brake fluid – from the standard racing 550 degrees Fahrenheit to the 600+ degrees Fahrenheit offered by the extreme use fluids. As a point of interest, even though they may have the same DOT rating, racing fluids are less compressible than street fluids, especially after they have been overheated.

For high performance street car use, the wet boiling point is at least as important as the dry. DOT 3 DOT 4, and DOT 5.1 brake fluids are ether based and, as such they are hygroscopic in nature - i.e. they adsorb water at every opportunity. Since water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) the adsorbed water dramatically lowers the boiling point of the brake fluid. A minute amount of water suspended in the fluid decreases the boiling point as much as 1/3. Damn!

The fluid in the system absorbs water through the breathers, through the caliper piston seals and by magic. Not only does this reduce the boiling point, the entrained water leads to corrosion of both ferrous and Aluminum internal parts. Double Damn!! So buy your brake fluid in small containers and don’t save the leftovers.
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:43 PM
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Maddog has pretty much summed it up. Braided steel lines will give you improved performance as well as firmer feeling brake pedal.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:07 PM
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Great post Michael.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:20 PM
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One thing you don't want to do is use DOT 5 or 5.1 in a system that requires DOT 3 or 4.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:13 AM
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I totally agree with Randy on that ^^^^. Most passenger vehicles are rated at DOT 3 and a step up to DOT 4 is all you really need, especially if you tow a lot.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:47 AM
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That and the fact that DOT 5 fluids are silocone based and will NOT intermix and could cause damage to the brake system seals.
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