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MG TD TF 1500 - Flexible brake lines

My brake line broke at the three way junction attached to the rear differential. The line going to the passenger rear wheel has failed twice now at the junction.

I'm considering making some flexible lines that will not require bending. It's a tight fit around the hog's head and a pain in the neck bending the copper / steel alloy lines in the confined space.

I think rigid lines have a lot of stress and flexible lines would alleviate that.

I appreciate any input. Thank you in advance.
R C Flowers

Did the pipe fail at the union? Did you do the proper double bubble flare? I've never heard of this before.
D. Sander

Do your lines run around the axle straps or through them?
MG LaVerne

RC, Check out the Cunifer lines. They're used on Rolls Royce, Bently, Astin Martin, Volvos & Porsches & other top of the line cars. Available from Fedhill in the States. State of the art copper nickel (Cu Ni) alloy & can be bent around your finger without the wall collapsing & they will never rust. Suggest bending the line to shape before you install it & just tweak it with your fingers from there. Fedhill also sell the BSF flare nuts. Surprisingly inexpensive. Ask for the ones suitable for double flaring. Exceeds the present standards. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

These lines are copper nickle from Moss. The axle straps to secure the lines are not on in this photo. Easy to form and work with. PJ

Paul S Jennings

The lines are copper. They were flared properly. Just broke at the union.

I've got the car on jack stands and will pull the failed line in the morning.

The lines run through the straps along the axle.

I'll check out the Cunifer lines shortly. Thank you.

Paul, I would enjoy bending the lines if the body was off the frame. Nice looking job by the way.

D. Sander, I did the proper flaring and did the installation, bled the brakes and adjusted them.

I'm taking some heavy wire and will bend it as a template if I go with the Moss line. I just thought that a flexible brake line from the three way to the rear wheel slave cylinder would make easy work in a tight place, especially around the hog's head.

Again, thank you all for your input.

R C Flowers

I had the same thing happen many years ago and found that I didn't have one of the straps around the axle fastened securely. Vibration will stress the brake line, usually where it is fastened into a fitting such as the three way or at a wheel cylinder. Always creates a little excitement, sure glad the handbrake was set up correctly and there was little traffic.

Once fixed and fastened securely to the axle tube it has never happened again.

Brian Smith (1950 TD3376)

My heart in the mouth moment in 1970 was caused by the side curtain box rubbing on the brake line at the widest point of the diff. Combination of sagging SC box & poor installation of that brake line by the DPO. (NOT the guy before him). Even with very snug bending there is surprisingly little clearance! Pedal went to the floor in the mountains. Minor damage to the pasenger running board after a moderately successful 180 approaching a 25KPH corner at speed. Moral of the story; ensure a secure SC box & adequate clearance. I followed the brake line path shown by the dotted line at the rear of the TD Driver's Handbook in the lubrication chart. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

The lines should run around the straps and not through them. You might be putting some unwanted stress on the lines when you drive over rough roads or bumps. Just a possibility for you to look at.
MG LaVerne

Hello all
This makes me very nervous. My request...
Would someone who is 100% certain of placement, post a good photo of the CORRECT way to secure the brake lines to the rear axle?
Thank you very much.

'54 TF
T Norby

Agree with LaVerne. Definitely NOT through the straps The path shown in the lubrication chart in the Drivers Handbook goes around them but requires more bending than Paul's route. Call me anal but after my experience I wanted to ensure the line was firmly secured & not stuck out in the ether at any point. They should also be strapped to the rear of the axle & NOT on top, as the line could be crushed by the rubber stop if ever she bottoms out. Have actually seen the installation illustrated below (I took the pic) on a professionally restored car! See pic & weep. Cheers
Peter TD 5801

P Hehir

My TF has the aluminium clips holding some of the brake lines. However I can't get them really tight and am concerned about the lines rubbing on the clips or axle casing. I have seen plastic clips that look like a bowler hat in section with two slots just where the vertical sections start. The clip is placed over the pipe an a tie wrap fitted through the slots. OK very "non original" but it is a well engineered solution. I have pushed small pieces of plastic pipe over the brake lines where chassis clips are used to prevent chafing. The "P" clip in Peter's photo looks ominous as does the sharp bend in the flexi hose.

Jan T.
J Targosz

I agree with Peter, you don't want brake pipes waving about in the breeze but secured properly.
The photo in The Original mgtf Gallery shows factory fit if you are to show your car.If you are going to use it then as tight as possible.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

There are a few earlier threads on the subject of that brake line and the side curtain box. I'd suggest that it's worth doing an archive hunt to see what's there. Keep in mind that the rear axle moves relative to the side curtain box. The Cu-Ni tubing from Fedhill is a dream to work with. Bud
Bud Krueger

I don't know if the brake lines were ever changed in the past, but I mirrored the original steel lines that were on the car, which did look original. They were solid rust! Don't know, but possible, TDs and TFs might be a little different? PJ
Paul S Jennings

Were they pure copper, or the copper/nickel alloy? Unless kinked or under movement, no way they should break. Even short flex hoses are a pain, can't imagine one that long. Lots of good ideas above. George
George Butz

I went to Allied Hose and Tube Works in Greensboro. I took the failed copper line, (the flare had broken off inside the 3 way junction), and they made a stainless flexible line that I just installed.

The connection had a four inch neck and that was so I could use the pipe bender to make the necessary adjustments to the line to work it around the hog's head.

The side curtain box, as referenced in a post above, makes going around the back side of the hog's head very tight and difficult.

My solution was to bend the pipe upwards 90 degrees with a slight 10 degree angle towards the hog's head so as to miss the bolts on the hog's head, and I then ran the line over the top of the hog's head and then along the axle to the passenger rear wheel slave cylinder. I used heavy duty cable ties to snug the line against the axle and there is plenty of clearance with no chance of any other surface rubbing against the line.

I was unable to take any beneficial photos but will get better illumination and make another attempt. If it works out well, I'll post them if anyone has any interest. Or if all else fails, I simply draw them.
R C Flowers

This thread was discussed between 18/08/2014 and 19/08/2014

MG TD TF 1500 index

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