BAMF
BAMF HalfDork
7/20/13 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
ransom UltraDork
7/20/13 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
Woody MegaDork
7/20/13 1:17 p.m.

Yup.

NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
7/20/13 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
7/20/13 1:33 p.m.

Agreed, don't bother.

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones HalfDork
7/20/13 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
BAMF HalfDork
7/20/13 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
GameboyRMH UltimaDork
7/20/13 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
Sine_Qua_Non Reader
7/20/13 2:23 p.m.
BAMF wrote: I figured they probably had more impact on older cars than on newer ones.

This.

Tyler H
Tyler H SuperDork
7/20/13 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
bludroptop SuperDork
7/20/13 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
Dashpot Reader
7/20/13 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
Woody MegaDork
7/20/13 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
7/20/13 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
7/20/13 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
Slippery Reader
7/20/13 3:26 p.m.

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

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH UltimaDork
7/20/13 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
irish44j UberDork
7/20/13 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
irish44j UberDork
7/20/13 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
irish44j UberDork
7/20/13 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
Curmudgeon MegaDork
7/20/13 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
mad_machine MegaDork
7/20/13 9:08 p.m.

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

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy Dork
7/21/13 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
AngryCorvair PowerDork
7/21/13 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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