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MG MGB Technical - Any significant difference

Going to replace front brake hoses. Any significant reason/difference between steel braided and regular rubber hoses? This is a regular driver.
Bruce Cunha

One reason first, you will probably never have to replace them again! Second, One may feel a firmer pedal pressure,( I could never tell, to be frank, because instead of a rubber hose it is a hard silicon hose covered with a stainless steel braid.) Third, They look good, less liable to damage, don't perish. If one goes for telescopic dampers, you will find them included in the kit as the rubber ones are not long enough. Can anyone find a reason NOT to put on braided brake lines, apart from the 'non-original' point of view? Mike
J.M. Doust

With a braided hose you can't tell what condition the inner hose is in, which is a very good reason NOT to fit them. Hoses should be replaced periodically (every ten years or so) and are not a "fit and forget" item. The braided ones are for racing, where such items are regularly replaced anyway.

dominic clancy

Only fit braided hoses if you "need" the performance gain.
If you go through the braiding it is quickley over with the brakes.
And a rim only needs a few hours of contact to wear through the braiding.
Ask me how I know....

I run braided hoses but check them regular and replace every 5 to 7 years.
I do the fuel lines at the same time.

The braking is supurb though
Onno K

The added stiffness and the bling factor are the only advantages. Braided brakes lines wear out (degrade) just like non-braided ones. They are both made of rubber.

Personally I find the added stiffness minimal, and I don't like that you cannot see the condition of the rubber. I used to have braided lines in most of my cars but I have slowly replaced them all with rubber.

As a side story, I once suffered a failed rear brake hose when the steel braiding rubbed through the rubbernear the end fitting, after a few years of flexing.
Steve Simmons

Braided hoses should not be rubber but silicone.
And degrade a lot slower than normal hoses.
Onno K

Interesting thoughts from all of you. I guess those of you against braided have not spoken to the manufactures of their 'braided' products! They would be most upset! Incidentally, I am speaking of the reputable companies. But it boils down to individual circumstances. I bearly cover 500kms a year, and under good 'conditions'. Bad conditions may be; hard all year, all weather driving, mixed roads etc, then All parts of a car get a beating, therefore frequent inspection of all punished parts is essential. A catastrophic failure of any component is hard to forsee. But in fairness to the original question, one needs to decide the use of the vehicle and choose components on their merit. The thread tended to rule out braided lines outright, when in fact they are probably the most common brake modification. Actually, of our membership, whose has braided lines? Mike
J.M. Doust

Originally developed to handle the higher line pressures inherent in disc brake systems, stainless steel-braided brake hoses (flexible pipes) will not expand under pressure and result in a firm brake pedal with greater “feel”, enabling you to more precisely modulate braking forces and more easily tell when the brakes are about to lock up. Due to their resistance to expansion, they also result in swifter brake system reaction time, a definite plus during hard driving on twisty roads or when forced to make a panic stop. In addition, their Teflon lining has the advantage of being impermeable to air, thus largely overcoming the problem presented by the hygroscopic properties of most brake fluids. These can be obtained from Brit Tek at (Part # ABK103). Be aware that it is not the Outside Diameter (O.D.) of the brake hoses (flexible pipes) that is important, it is the Internal Diameter (I.D.). Usually brake hoses (flexible pipes) are made with -3 AN line that has an Internal Diameter (I.D.) of 3/16". Some use -4 AN which has an Internal Diameter (I.D.) of 1/4". The braided stainless steel over Teflon brake hoses (flexible pipes) is of a smaller Outside Diameter (O.D.) because it does not take as much material to give an even greater burst strength than those brake hoses (flexible pipes) that are made of the more common reinforced rubber.

A final comment about Teflon brake hoses (flexible pipes): they may not be seen as having a legal place on your street car, so do not make the mistake of bragging about them to the Motor Vehicle Inspector when you go to get your annual inspection sticker renewed. Many of the Teflon-lined brake hoses (flexible pipes) that you can buy pre-built are probably not D.O.T. approved. The first, as well as the main reason for this lack of approval, is that the manufacturers of such racing-oriented equipment usually do not care to incur the expense that would be required in order to get their hardware approved by the D.O.T. They are building brake hoses (flexible pipes) that are intended for racing applications. The second reason is that the D.O.T.’s expected lifetime for approved brake hoses is five years, which is longer than most racers will continue to use them, and the prudent owner will replace his or her brake hoses at least that often. However, there is an exception to this lack of D.O.T. approval: the Goodridge company has taken the time and effort to obtain D.O.T. certification for their stainless steel-braided, Teflon-lined brake hoses, thus making them street-legal in all 50 states.
Stephen Strange

Thanks you Stephen. As usual a well researched and un-biased answer to the original question. Mike
J.M. Doust

Since, as Stephen says, you can get the Goodridge ones legally in the States, then I would personally recommend them - on one midget I have them, on the other I don't - and the same with the Bs (and the one which doesn't has a servo), and, I way way prefer the cars with the Goodridge hoses ....., not scientific granted, but, hey - nothing better than personal experience sometimes ;)


Sure any company would say it's products are the end all be all..
Cars driven so little are usualy in worse state and less reliable than the ones used daily.
So they need the best parts available.
Onno K

Goodrich hoses are, in my opinion, too short. At full lock the hose is pulled over hard at the fitting. After numerous complaints from owners of various MGs, they have yet to change the design.

I've used several sets of Goodrich hoses with good results, until that failed rear brake hose. It was a Goodrich as well. Between the short length of the front hoses and the failed rear hose, I have stopped using them. In my opinion you can have a better hose made locally by a qualified hydraulic hose shop.

"I guess those of you against braided have not spoken to the manufactures of their 'braided' products!"

Well, I did speak to the supplier about the failure. I'm not "against" braided hoses, I just don't think they are as appropriate for a road car as they are for a race car.
Steve S

Oops, this is begining to feel like a court room. Some nerves have been touched! (My patients tell me this all the time, I say, I am no-where near the pulp.) Granted, Steve of California, I have found Goodridge a little short, and was pleased about the altered length when I changed to telescopics and obtained new one with the kit. Yes I drive the car sparingly, only because I am not retired yet so frankly haven't the time. Sure I could drive it to work, and some goon in the car park would ultimately trash it. I do tinker with it all the time so, 'Onno K of Netherlands ' cars driven so little are usually in a bad state' is an unfair comment. It is not a bling car and not everything works, but it could have made the drive from Victoria, (south Australia) to Queensland (north east) Many kilometers, out Australian members would confirm this as a fair drive. So Bruce, of Wisconsin you question, 'does a braided line make a difference?' I thinks it does, in more ways than one it seems!!!!
J.M. Doust

Thanks All. Did not mean to touch off any major controversy. Appreciate the information. Since this is not a show vehicle, I think the braided with close attention to what they may have contact with, are worth a try.
Bruce Cunha

I fitted Goodridge s/s brake hoses in 1995 and they're still good, although I note that the front ones are 1/2" shorter than OE ones. I have some more ready to fit to my roadster - these have a Goodridge 'Forever Guarantee' warranty card which states 'this product is guaranteed forever'.
Brian Shaw

Rubber brake hoses eventually break down, usually in the inner liner, which can collapse and 'valve' the brakes.

Teflon/braided hoses also break down. The inner liner rubs against the outer woven steel when it moves a tiny bit relative to the sheath and eventually can wear through. Don't tell me it never happens, I've done it on one of my race cars. The inner liner pinholed while I was bleeding them before a race - much better than during a race.

People never seem to service their brakes often enough. I do not use braided hoses on the street as they are not approved and can fail in the mode I have indicated. The harder pedal is not an invariable result and not normally worth the risk, IMHO.

For racing, I wouldn't run anything else.
Bill Spohn

Exactly what happened to me on the rear, Bill. It happened while backing out of a friend's driveway. I was lucky to get the car stopped before it rolled out into busy traffic. Had it happened ten minutes before, I would have been coming down the freeway off ramp at 70 MPH.

That was when I finally decided to stay with rubber on all street cars.
Steve S

I have had braided hoses on for 20 years. The extra feel is mentioned abave I would go with them again for that reason. I dont like the fact that you cant see the hose, but mine have been faultless. They came from Moss but had to be shortened locally.
Stan Best

This thread was discussed between 05/12/2011 and 10/12/2011

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