BAMF HalfDork
July 20, 2013 12:59 p.m.

I'm going to be doing some brake work on my Mazda3 in the next week or so. It's getting fresh rotors, EBC green pads, and fresh fluid. Since I'm doing a fluid change, this would be the time to move up to SS braided hoses, if that's worth doing.

This is just a DD. My commute is half city, half highway. My interest is being able to stop well, and have really nice brake feel. Are upgraded lines actually worthwhile? Second part of the question, this is a 6 year old car with 70k miles. Should the current rubber lines be replaced at this point, even if I don't go to stainless?

ransom UltraDork
July 20, 2013 1:13 p.m.

I don't know what the 3's brake feel is like, but after having them on my old 2002, I think every car I pay much attention to will be getting a set.

Woody MegaDork
July 20, 2013 1:17 p.m.

Yup.

NOHOME Dork
July 20, 2013 1:18 p.m.

It made a ginormous improvement on my MGB GT, but on the newer cars I have never felt the need to change from stock.

I would not expect any improvement in stopping distance.

kb58
kb58 HalfDork
July 20, 2013 1:33 p.m.

Agreed, don't bother.

Kendall_Jones HalfDork
July 20, 2013 1:39 p.m.

I worked on a FP miata (that holds the lap record at waterford hills) - He had stock lines & couldn't tell the difference when the braided lines were put on. He probably set the lap record by not using the brakes...

BAMF HalfDork
July 20, 2013 1:44 p.m.

I figured they probably had more impact on older cars than on newer ones. I'll leave it be for the time being.

GameboyRMH UltimaDork
July 20, 2013 2:14 p.m.

Yeah they won't help stopping distance, they help brake feel (not that important on a street-only car, especially one with ABS) and can help reduce fade when the hydraulic system heats up.

Sine_Qua_Non Reader
July 20, 2013 2:23 p.m.
BAMF wrote: I figured they probably had more impact on older cars than on newer ones.

This.

Tyler H SuperDork
July 20, 2013 2:44 p.m.

There is a local place in town that will build stainless brake lines for $12 apiece in 10 minutes. If you have a car >10yrs old, why not?

bludroptop SuperDork
July 20, 2013 2:58 p.m.

OEM quality is generally pretty good.

Aftermarket SS quality is all over the map. I've heard plenty of stories about SS lines coming apart without warning.

I think they make little sense for a daily driver.

Dashpot Reader
July 20, 2013 3:03 p.m.

In reply to Tyler H:

Because they are a wear item & your local shop does not subject them to any testing procedures. The commercially available flex lines (the decent ones) are DOT tested & approved.

Don't cheap out on brake parts, they're too important.

Woody MegaDork
July 20, 2013 3:19 p.m.

I suppose I should quantify my response by adding that the newest vehicles that I have added them to were made in 1996 and they were track cars.

z31maniac
z31maniac PowerDork
July 20, 2013 3:22 p.m.

I've done it to numerous cars and my old sport bike, I've never been able to tell a difference.

I keep doing it now because on older cars the SS lines tend to be cheaper.

z31maniac
z31maniac PowerDork
July 20, 2013 3:25 p.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: Yeah they won't help stopping distance, they help brake feel (not that important on a street-only car, especially one with ABS) and can help reduce fade when the hydraulic system heats up.

How?

When the fluid heats up (expands) it raises the level in the reservoir.

Slippery Reader
July 20, 2013 3:26 p.m.

I have see a couple fail at the track. Since then, I only buy factory brake lines.

GameboyRMH UltimaDork
July 20, 2013 4:30 p.m.
z31maniac wrote:
GameboyRMH wrote: Yeah they won't help stopping distance, they help brake feel (not that important on a street-only car, especially one with ABS) and can help reduce fade when the hydraulic system heats up.

How?

When the fluid heats up (expands) it raises the level in the reservoir.

Part of the fade is from rubber lines expanding & softening slightly with heat, meaning more line swell.

irish44j UberDork
July 20, 2013 4:46 p.m.

I've done them on my last 5 or 6 cars. They improve feel a bit, and I like them since many of my vehicles see track. gravel, dirt and general abuse and that's one less thing I have to worry about being broken by a piece of debris kicking up.

In my experience they don't actually improve braking distance, and I guess they could affect fade in a small way, though good fluid and pads are what really will fix that issue.

irish44j UberDork
July 20, 2013 4:48 p.m.
Slippery wrote: I have see a couple fail at the track. Since then, I only buy factory brake lines.

I've seen one fail at the track also, but it was because it was chafing against a suspension piece and eventually broke. SS lines are vulnerable to that if they aren't the kind coated with a rubber protective liner.

I would never buy SS lines that have the bare mesh on the very outside.

irish44j UberDork
July 20, 2013 4:49 p.m.
bludroptop wrote: OEM quality is generally pretty good. Aftermarket SS quality is all over the map. I've heard plenty of stories about SS lines coming apart without warning. I think they make little sense for a daily driver.

I would suggest only Goodridge lines or ones from a well-known brand/distributor that has a long history of quality. Not ones bought from "some guy who sells them on the forumz"

Curmudgeon MegaDork
July 20, 2013 5:32 p.m.

SS braided lines on my J-H, the race car and the bike dramatically improved control feel. For that reason alone I'll keep using them. I tend to stick with lines from well known suppliers (Russell, Pegasus, etc) and have never had a problem.

The Trooper is still on OE rubber lines, maybe one day I'll upgrade them as well.

mad_machine MegaDork
July 20, 2013 9:08 p.m.

just new hoses will make a big difference. Older hoses fall apart inside and restrict fluid movement.. plus they swell

July 21, 2013 10:40 a.m.

lines are good.....

but Id also check for firewall flex. have a friend operate the brakes with the hood up look to see if the M/C moves... if it flexs... look to brace it.

depending on the car it can be the difference between feel and vague

AngryCorvair PowerDork
July 21, 2013 10:53 a.m.
GameboyRMH wrote:
z31maniac wrote:
GameboyRMH wrote: Yeah they won't help stopping distance, they help brake feel (not that important on a street-only car, especially one with ABS) and can help reduce fade when the hydraulic system heats up.

How?

When the fluid heats up (expands) it raises the level in the reservoir.

Part of the fade is from rubber lines expanding & softening slightly with heat, meaning more line swell.

pretend i'm from missouri. show me the data. while i do not disagree with the theory, i definitely disagree with "heat = line swell that is perceptible to the driver"

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