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  #1  
Old 05-20-2004, 09:37 AM
Chiketkd's Avatar
Chiketkd Chiketkd is offline
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Zip Tie Brake Lines!!!

After seeing svxhunter use this mod successfully in the Grass Roots Motorsports Competition this year, I consulted with him and decided to do an install on my front brake lines.

I used some 11" zip ties which I got in a pack of 100 from Tractor Supply for a couple of bucks. Each tie was about 3/16" in width and had a tensile strength of 50lbs. Installation was very straightforward, and took about 1/2 hour per brake line. On svxhunter's advice, I lined them up next to each other, and I used exactly 50 zip ties per brake line.

Brake Lines - Before:


Brake Lines - After:


Observations: On my drive to work, I had the opportunity to do a few hard stops and the 'pedal feel' is markedly firmer! Seeing that my '96 SVX L has 97K miles, I wouldn't be surprised if my brake lines have never been changed and were getting a little 'soft' with age. The zip tie mod is a definite plus - especially for those members looking to get into AutoX or those who flog their cars often on twisty mountain roads!

I'll probably do my rear brake lines on Sunday...

-Chike
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2004, 01:55 PM
mark10t
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That has got to be the most novel use of tie-wraps I've ever seen. Why not just go with a stainless over-braided line?

-Mark
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2004, 02:04 PM
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Chiketkd Chiketkd is offline
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It's a long story Mark, but since I want to compete in G-Stock SCCA AutoX next year, vehicles manufactured on or after '92, can't use steel braided lines. This is the only way to get around that rule while still keeping my car 'legal'.

If you want to read more, check out this thread: SCCA Solo II Stock Class

-Chike
Quote:
Originally posted by mark10t
That has got to be the most novel use of tie-wraps I've ever seen. Why not just go with a stainless over-braided line?

-Mark
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  #4  
Old 05-20-2004, 02:27 PM
deruvian
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Soooo, what's the purpose of this? Firmer braking? I'm a wee bit lost.
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  #5  
Old 05-20-2004, 02:36 PM
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Chiketkd Chiketkd is offline
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I'm sure Mr.Pockets, SVXRide or Svxhunter would be able to explain this better than me, but here goes:

During repeated high speed braking, the brake fluid in your lines will heat up causing a 'balloon' or expansion effect when the brake pedal is depressed. This expansion of the lines will be one factor that will lead to your brakes becoming ineffective - i.e. brake fade.

-Chike

Quote:
Originally posted by deruvian
Soooo, what's the purpose of this? Firmer braking? I'm a wee bit lost.
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  #6  
Old 05-20-2004, 02:42 PM
LarryIII LarryIII is offline
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Thanks Chike,

The braking in our '97 Outback wagon has always been mushy.
This may be a cheap and effective way to get firmer braking.
I'm going to try this on the OB.
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  #7  
Old 05-20-2004, 02:50 PM
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Chiketkd Chiketkd is offline
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Larry,

PM SVXHunter. He can give you the 'skinny' on doing this mod. Just be sure you zip tie the brake line and not the ABS relay cable! These ties run like $2-3 at most hardware stores!

-Chike

P.S. I'm not speaking from experience of course!
Quote:
Originally posted by LarryIII
Thanks Chike,

The braking in our '97 Outback wagon has always been mushy.
This may be a cheap and effective way to get firmer braking.
I'm going to try this on the OB.
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  #8  
Old 05-20-2004, 03:45 PM
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Now that is interesting!
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  #9  
Old 05-20-2004, 04:35 PM
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This looks like a cheap mod that iam going to try out. Do you use any specal zip ties to deal with the heat. It seems like real hard use of the brakes would produce tempurtures that would melt the zip ties?
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2004, 04:55 PM
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Talk to SVXHunter. He competed in several days of performance competition at the Grass Roots Challenge, and as far as I know, his zip ties never melted.

I'm sure it's possible for them to melt - but only under really extreme heat! (>500*)

-Chike
Quote:
Originally posted by svxsubaru1
This looks like a cheap mod that iam going to try out. Do you use any specal zip ties to deal with the heat. It seems like real hard use of the brakes would produce tempurtures that would melt the zip ties?
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  #11  
Old 05-20-2004, 07:33 PM
deruvian
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I'm definitely going to try this one!
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  #12  
Old 05-20-2004, 07:38 PM
oab_au oab_au is offline
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Not for Hi-way use.

This mod should only be done for 'off the Hi-way use'.

Brake lines are designed to withstand pressure, heat and flexing. This mod will interfer with the flexing ability of the hose, that can cause failure. I am a registed Auto inspector In Aust. and would fail any modification to break lines. They are just too important to mess with.

Approved steel braded lines, can be fitted here. They give less pedal movement due to the stronger wall, They won't improve the braking ability of the brakes, just a harder pedal. They also have a limited life.

Harvey.
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  #13  
Old 05-20-2004, 07:42 PM
svxhunter svxhunter is offline
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There is no real secret to this- it's just a poor man's option to stainless steel brake lines.

Rubber lines expand a tiny bit under pressure- like a balloon. When the lines expand, the pedal is a bit soft (just like squeezing the balloon). Stainless lines resist this expansion- harder pedal.

Cost of stainless steel lines- about $100. Cost of a bag of zip ties- less than $4. Plus you don't have to bleed the brakes.

It is kind of a goofy way to accomplish this- it doesn't have a whole lot of class. But keep in mind, I've got an SVX completely stripped of anything luxurious built to race for less than $2000 including the purchase price. I'm not too proud.

If you have more class than me and a bit more money to spend, buy the stainless steel. I'm doing them on my street driver.

Chike is also trying to stay under the radar for SCCA classing. Stainless steel lines are an after market mod not allowed in his class. If anyone asks, he is in fact using factory brake lines.

BTW: Chike, I should have mentioned earlier- Look at your brake fluid. It should be golden in color- virtually clear. If it is brown (like most) it is contaminated and you would benefit also from replacing it and bleeding the old out of the system. Contaminated brake fluid also compresses more than fresh. We saw a big difference.

Regarding melted ties- while it is possible, if you are working your brakes THAT hard, you're are asking for much bigger problems than a melted zip tie.
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  #14  
Old 05-20-2004, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chiketkd
I'm sure it's possible for them to melt - but only under really extreme heat! (>500*)

-Chike
The higher quality zip ties (read expensive) are made of polyamide 6 (aka nylon) which melts at approximately 525F. Some of the lower quality zip ties I've seen have been made out of polypropylene which melts at a much lower temperature (370F) and has much lower ultimate tensile strength.

If either of them melted while on the car, you've got other problems to be worried about

Todd
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  #15  
Old 05-20-2004, 09:07 PM
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Chiketkd Chiketkd is offline
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Thanks svxhunter! I'll check my brake fluid tomorrow. If it is brown in color, I'll probably use it as an opportunity to switch to a a better brake fluid like Motul...

-Chike
Quote:
Originally posted by svxhunter
Chike is also trying to stay under the radar for SCCA classing. Stainless steel lines are an after market mod not allowed in his class. If anyone asks, he is in fact using factory brake lines.

BTW: Chike, I should have mentioned earlier- Look at your brake fluid. It should be golden in color- virtually clear. If it is brown (like most) it is contaminated and you would benefit also from replacing it and bleeding the old out of the system. Contaminated brake fluid also compresses more than fresh. We saw a big difference.
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