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Copper nickel brake line

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Has anyone tried the copper/nickel brake lines. I was always under the assumption that brake fluid absorbed copper, in addition to moisture.


I hate to say that we have been using it for years, but I never thought about the brake fluid absorbing copper. I will have to find out about that. As far as using it, we have been very happy with it, it bends easily, flairs nicely and resist rusting.


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The Copper Nickle Alloy line has been out for some time now, and it is all I will use at the shop, I don't even stock steel line.


- It does not rust

- It is difficult to kink

- It is easy to bend

- It is easier to cut & flare



It is the one product where there are no negatives, not to mention it is only $4 more a roll through my supplier then traditional steel line.


I have never heard of these lines absorbing brake fluid and I have never had one customer complain about break fluid loss. Copper may absorb brake fluid (?) but this is Copper Nickle Alloy, not a standard copper line.

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While on the subject of easy to work with lines, and rust resistant lines, another excellent product that is easy for technicians to work with and will not rust again are the SUR&R nylon/plastic Fuel Line kit. It gives you all the common fuel line fittings (but improved design, easy to disconnect, no more disconnect tools) and the appropriate size line and compression fittings to do nylon patches on steel lines (if only a section is rusted out), or to run complete lines from the tank to the engine.


It saves a lot of time from having to source OE replacement lines, is safer and more professional then high pressure rubber with high pressure fuel clamps, and it will not degrade like rubber over the years, and it will never rust! I will never run metal fuel lines again, and all of my patches are done with this stuff.

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  • 3 months later...

I prefer steel lines of coarse, however on the other hand I keep a roll o the copper/nickel on had for those tedious jobs with little space to work. Just like we had to fab alot of line on a car the other day and I was easier to use the c/n.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

ATS covered it, all lines are made with copper. The process of rolling the metal into lines is a procedure of wrapping and welding copper and steel and other alloys. Bundy tubes or Bundy pipes, are a type of double-walled low-carbon steel tube manufactured by rolling a copper-coated steel strip through 720 degrees and resistance brazing the overlapped seam in a process called Bundy Welding. It may be zinc- or terne- coated for corrosion protection. It has been used in automotive hydraulic brake lines, for cars manufactured in the USA, since the 1930s.


Interestingly a 1969 study by the SAE recommended the replacement of Bundy tube with 90-10 copper-nickel alloy (UNS C70600 or Kunifer pipe) because of the corrosion concerns. The Kunifer pipe concept has since been adopted by European automakers Volvo, Rolls-Royce, Lotus, Aston-Martin, Porsche and Audi. Bundy pipe retains the advantage higher rigidity, which means less volume expansion under pressure.


As to Joe's concerns, brake fluid does not absorb copper. Rather it simply is a carrier of copper particulate that is abraded off the lines as the fluid deteriorates. The slipping additives and anti corrosives are the first item to break down in the fluid, based on aggressiveness of the driver and age of vehicle. We have no way of telling when the happens so techs must test with our Copper Test Strips ( www.BrakeTestStrip.com ), they instantly ready the Copper concentration in PPM (parts per million). A copper content of 200 ppm or greater indicates a depletion of corrosion inhibitors in the brake fluid, so reach 200 and you need to flush per MAP's UICS procedures.


It is a known fact that brake fluid is designed to protect against corrosion of the system materials it contacts, and that those corrosion inhibitors deplete over time. Additionally, test data shows that this increased presence of copper contamination predetermines the rapid growth of iron contamination and corrosion that has been shown to impede future brake system performance. The valves in ABS pumps just love copper and the platting process that takes place over time is the number one cause of pressure failure.


Hope this information helps, it is critical to replace brake fluid before it looses it protective additives. Please let me know if you need brake strips for testing the fluid, we can offer you a special price since you are members of ASO. Note they we just brought out the newest strip, you can now determine the type of brake fluid in the system, 3, 4, 5, or mixes that must be removed and replaced.


Thanks for this site Joe and the ability to bring tech info all who are members. Please let me know if anyone has additional questions or comments on this subject.


1(800) 266-4497

[email protected]




Here is a great article about the addition of Copper, Zinc, Nickel and other alloys used over the years...


Worldwide Data On Wear


In 1965, 251,000 automobile accidents in the USA involved brake failures. In that same year, at a major meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the problem of brake loss due to steel tubing damage was identified as both dangerous and costly. By 1969, the SAE published a study, Hydraulic Brake Line Corrosion: An Initial Investigation of the Problem (A.G. Imgram and D.K. Miner, Paper 690530, Mid-Year Meeting, May 1969). Indications were clear: corrosive deterioration of steel brake tubing created maintenance problems and could be a hazard to safety. The report revealed that steel brake tubing was highly erratic after 4-6 years in service. It also identified copper-nickel alloy C70600 tube as outstandingly superior to conventional steel brake line tubing in laboratory salt-spray-exposure burst tests. Copper and four copper alloys also out-performed the double wrapped steel tubing in the tests.

Sweden, with a national program of vehicle inspection since the mid 1960s, has been a consistent source of the most accurate data on the problem. The Swedes frequently ban vehicles from the road due to badly corroded steel brake tubing. As in the USA, roads in Sweden during the winter are salted for snow and ice removal.

In spite of corrosion-retarding coatings that are applied in accordance with specifications requiring a minimum coating weight per square foot of tubing surface area (not an overall coating thickness), little protection may result in local areas.

Since the 1970s, observed brake tubing faults have diminished with improved coatings. Still, in 1988, over 90,000 Swedish vehicles failed testing due to damaged steel brake tubing, most of which was corrosion related. West Germany, which instituted mandatory vehicle inspections in 1970, has collected data in line with Sweden. Data from the United Kingdom reveal 20% failure rate of brake systems. However, there is no indication of what part of that is attributable to tubing damage.

Fig01.jpgFigure 1. Results of brake tubing inspections of Volvo vehicles with different brake tubing materials.

The Swedish data cover the period during which Volvo upgraded the material it used for brake tubing. Prior to 1971, Volvo had used terne coated steel tubing. In 1971 they changed the coating to zinc. The zinc coating was eventually supplemented by epoxy, and in 1976, Volvo adopted copper-nickel alloy C70600. In Figure 1, the performance of these four materials are compared on the basis of the percentage of observed occurrences of corrosion damage to brake tubing over 12 years of service. Copper-nickel is shown as the most reliable material by far.

Users of copper-nickel brake tubing in addition to Volvo include world-class vehicle manufacturers like Rolls Royce, Lotus, Aston Martin, Porsche and, most recently, Audi. Copper-nickel is also used in military, fire fighting and other heavy vehicles



Ive been asking my local vendors for years to carry test strips! Now I have a source! Thanks for the great info!


Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2


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Please send me an email or give us a call on the 800 number and I will be glad to help you get some test strips for your shop. They really are the only way to know exactly when to change brake fluid and eliminate any liability on the shops part, they are the only MAP and BAR approved or endorsed test.


We also manufacture test strips for all Radiator fluids, your can check them out at..


Additionally our OE Approved FluidRx program tests fluids in transmissions, power steering units, differentials and motor oil right in your shop and in just 1 to 2 minutes.



Talk to you soon, I look forward to being of assistance.



P.S. Love NC, we have summer cabin on east side of Asheville up near Warren Wilson College.

We're not that far from there, we're in Blowing Rock.

I'll pm you my email tonight!

Thanks for such a great article!


Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2


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      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
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