Aside from advantages offered by aftermarket brake rotors, brake pads and other fitment bits, another critical component relating to the creation of enhanced ‘driver feel’ in performance scenarios relates to upgraded brake lines. It should be understood that the majority of OEM brake systems typically utilize flexible rubber hoses in order to marginalize costs in volume manufacturing.
While this particular mechanical approach may serve admirably in ‘daily driver’ situations, the needs of street or track performance activities demand more than just ‘average’ solutions. In these cases, it’s best to focus any upgrade effort on enhanced hose systems such as integrated metalized components, or more exotic materials like Kevlar.
However, since our brake systems primer isn’t really oriented to encouraging users to spend $10,000 on a single brake line set, let’s simply focus on the best and most cost-reasonable solution for the typical performance user – stainless-braided solutions.
Stainless-braided brake lines are comprised of two central components; a rubberized core wrapped in a metalized flexible sheath. In general, the hose integration is designed to direct pressurized hydraulic fluid away from a storage reservoir, and toward a set of brake calipers.
In turn, this fluid movement activates a caliper piston complex; that drives a set of brake pads against the system’s brake rotors. The event ultimately creates pedal-actuated pad friction, thereby marginalizing, and/or stopping the system’s rotation as desired.
Brake lines experience various pressure differentials depending on how a particular system is used. In daily driving heavy braking is atypical, therefore non-metalized hose sets are generally acceptable.
However, in performance driving hard braking is necessary as part of the process of controlling how quickly you want to stop; when; and that means more, not less pressure on brake lines. Consequently, increased hose expansion is the norm, and the critical take away from that evolution is a tendency toward rubber failure.
Over time, repeated over-pressurization wears rubber hoses out causing leakage and reductions in pedal effectiveness. Conversely, however, stainless-braided systems provide enhanced ‘toughness’ and dependability, while also limiting hose expansion under heavy use.
These characteristics, provide increased mechanical, intellectual, and emotional confidence, thereby making the entire ‘go fast’ evolution better than before.
While there are host of manufacturers offering stainless-braided brake lines two particular brands stand out in the aftermarket. These include:
There a number to tell-tale experiences that suggest impending brake line failure including:
Here’s a handy video describing OEM removal and installation of a set of Stoptech stainless-braided brake lines.
Just to round out this primer on brake lines, here’s one of the other premium brake manufacturer brands we’ve discussed, when it relates to OEM versus stainless braided brake line replacement:
You can read more on how to replace brake lines within our online help section.
Like everything else we’ve focused on in terms of quality, you should feel free to collaborate with an expert brake provider like Buybrakes.com in order to ensure that you move forward most efficiently.