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How Long Can My Brake Lines Be?


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After removing the front calipers on my '70 1600, I of course broke all 4 lines going from the rubber flex hoses to the caliper.  I measured them to be about 14" long.  Of course the local auto parts stores only carry 12" or 20" lines.  My question:  Can I get away with using the 20" lines?  The 12" lines look just a little too short to fit.  Also, what is the best way to bend the lines?  The last time I put lines on this car was about 20 years ago and I don't really remember how I did it!  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I am trying to get it fixed before the Grand Prix Vintage Festival next week at the Glen.  I am usually one of the few (and sometimes only) '02 at the festival.

1970 Granada 1600 "The 16",  2000 528i Siena Red "The 5",  1968 Mustang 289 Muscle Car Blue, 

1999 318ti M Package Green,  1982 633CSi 5 speed Blue,  2011 550i M Package Black (6 speed manual)


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My friend and I just did the rear brake lines/hoses on our project car. We used nickel copper brake line (easily bends by hand) and flared the ends ourselves with a borrowed tool- it really wasn't super difficult and none of the lines have leaked (knock on wood). If it's possible, cutting them to your own length is probably the best option, especially on the front where excess brake line doesn't have much place to go! If you go with the harder metal lines, I know that without the proper bending tools it is pretty easy to kink the lines. On a side note, if your brake lines broke, you may want to double-check the condition of your other lines/hoses for safety. Our brake lines were similarly fragile and the hoses were definitely unsafe!

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