Braided stainless steel brake lines can withstand the pressure associated with the brake system and don't swell. As a result, their lifespan is much longer. This means they can maintain high performance over a long period. When brakes are applied, it feels firm and responsive. The intent of braided stainless steel brake lines is to improve brake system effectiveness and longevity as compared to an equivalent system fitted with flexible rubber hoses through near-elimination of hose expansion. The stainless wire braid more effectively resists expansion due to pressure inside the hose core. Street-legal versions of braided brake lines are only now becoming standard fitment on some OE performance vehicles. Brake lines should be replaced if there is any visible damage, cracking, blistering or fluid leaks. Brake Lines Don't Last Forever The estimated life of a typical 'rubber' brake hose is 6 years, according to BrakeQuip, the manufacturer of aftermarket rubber and high-performance stainless steel braided brake hoses. Stainless steel brake lines have a braided steel outer shell mostly to protect the Teflon brake line from rocks or debris from the road, but it also does serve to increase the rigidity of the brake line as well.
The copper-nickel alloy used in this wire is the best brake line material if you're looking for both longevity and ease of installation. It won't rust or corrode as easily as steel and is easier to bend and flare, too. The only disadvantage of the copper-nickel alloy is that it's not as resistant to punctures as steel.
Braided stainless steel brake lines can withstand the pressure associated with the brake system and don't swell. As a result, their lifespan is much longer. This means they can maintain high performance over a long period. When brakes are applied, it feels firm and responsive.
> Is there any downside to replacing any portion of the steel brake line with rubber line? Yes, the more rubber line the softer the pedal, the more likely it is to chaff or burst. Rubber is never used where it can not freely move or expand with pedal pressure.
Stainless steel can contain other elements such as nickel and manganese, but chromium is the key element which makes it rust resistant. As long as there is sufficient chromium present, the chromium oxide layer will continue to protect the stainless steel and prevent it from rusting.
Brake Line Types. There are four types of hard line used for braking systems: steel, soft steel, stainless steel, and nickel-copper alloy. Each has it's benefits and drawbacks. Steel – The most common type of hard line is galvanized mild steel.
Metal brake lines must withstand 5000 psi tests, and most burst around 15, 000 psi. Typical full-lock operating pressures on conventional OEM-style automotive hydraulic-brake systems are 900–1, 000 psi (69 bar) with manual brakes and 1, 400-plus psi (96 bar)with power-assisted brakes.
With a bigger line there is more fluid to compress and it will take more lever movement to produce the same brake pressure. This is because the master cylinder still has to fill the larger volume of fluid able to flow in the lines and produce pressure.
In short, no they're not worth it. Especially if it's for a daily driven station wagon, even a turbocharged one. They don't help reduce stop distances nor do they really help make the brakes feel so much better -- I have them on my Prelude and it felt just about the same as before.
Verdict. The main benefit of fitting the Hel lines, it seems to us, is in general riding. Good brakes help to keep riding smooth – control inputs can be more precise and, with braking power more aptly matched to engine performance, a greater confidence is also felt by the rider.