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      02-11-2015, 08:34 PM   #1
fe1rx
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Concern regarding ER Brake Hoses

Having been dissatisfied with ECS's SS braided brake hoses I ordered a set of ER brake hoses from N54 Tuning. They conveniently had them on this side of the border so I received them promptly. I wish I could say I was satisfied this time.

At first glance, they look better than the ECS hoses, with moulded strain reliefs and nicely fitting grommets on the front lines. The problem is that the female fittings they have used are incorrect. They are plain nuts and do not have the features necessary to be retained in the brackets on the rear subframe and on the chassis up front. These hoses will simply be hanging from the unsupported rigid lines.

I have followed up with N54 Tuning and with Evolution Racewerks to see what they offer in terms of a solution. So far, I am biting my tongue and remaining polite.

Does anybody actually make a decent stainless braided brake hose set for the 135i?

Name:  ER vs OE Intermediate Brake Hose.jpg
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      02-12-2015, 08:26 AM   #2
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Try the Goodridge brake lines I have them on my car and no issue !
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      02-12-2015, 05:41 PM   #3
fe1rx
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I got in touch with Fred Su at Evolution Racewerks. His words:

"The line is correct. These are the inner rear brake lines that are up on the rear subframe that are extremely difficult to reach and thus remove/install. Thus, we do not recommend you put on the clips as they're very hard to do. Due to it being connected to hard lines that are mounted to the chassis, there is really no need for a bracket so we do not use it. You can still put it on but without it makes installation a lot easier. We've sold a lot of these lines without issue. Our race car also has been running the same lines since 2008 so it's been thoroughly tested."

It should be noted that the hard lines are only "mounted to the chassis" by the end fittings of the flex lines, when the clips are installed. Fred is clearly a purveyor of snake oil.

The lines are actually made by Techna-Fit as evidenced by the "FTS" marking on the rubber boots.

http://www.techna-fit.com/brakekits.html

Techna-Fit sells their own kit for the the 135i:

http://www.technafitstore.com/BMW-Br...p/bmw-1850.htm

The picture on their website is generic so the exact configuration can't be determined from that. A call to Techna-Fit was very helpful. Of course their kit uses the correct end fittings, and they are sending me one free of charge, even though they had nothing to do with the original deal.

Techna-Fit doesn't know why Evolution Racewerks is selling a kit that doesn't match the car and claiming that it does but says they will be in touch to investigate.

I guess I am still optimistic. I will report back when the Techna-Fit kit comes in ...

To address Fred's comment that the clips are hard to install - not true. The connections are just as easy to make with or without the clips in place. Wrench access is difficult, particularly at the forward end of the mid lines, but a special wrench makes the job quite easy. I happened to have one on hand, but it wouldn't be hard to modify a standard wrench in a similar manner.

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Last edited by fe1rx; 02-12-2015 at 06:22 PM. Reason: more info
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      02-13-2015, 10:55 PM   #4
fe1rx
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The OE brake hoses have what are known as bulkhead fittings on the ends that attach to brackets. Their function is to positively secure the ends of both the hoses and the rigid lines. They are secured by a spring clip under the rigid line flarenut shown here on the rear subframe:

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On my rear subframe the cutout in the bracket is large enough that the ER end fitting (which is not strictly a bulkhead fitting) slips right through, so it is not secured by the clip:

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On the front brake lines the brackets are a bit tighter and the ER fitting just jams into the cutout, securing it almost as if it were a bulkhead fitting:

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On the rear intermediate lines at the forward end, the cutout is also tight enough to secure the line. As you can see the fitting is barely secured, versus the positive security provided by the bulkhead fitting on the OE hose:

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Stoptech appears to make their hoses the same way as ER, but their kit contains washers. A 1/2" washer prevents the ER hose fittings from passing fully through the subframe bracket, giving them some of the properties of a bulkhead fitting, so I have to assume this is their function. The thickness of the washer does result in over bending of the clip though. Also, the fitting is not prevented from rotating, so a second wrench is required to prevent the hose from twisting while tightening the flarenut. The OE hose bulkhead fitting engages the star-shaped cutout and prevents the hose from twisting, so only a single wrench is required to tighten the OE hose:

Name:  5 Subframe Bracket Washer.jpg
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For a bit more security the same washer approach can be taken at all the brackets when using the ER hoses. Here is the front brake hose bracket with a washer (although the flarenut is not fully tight in this image):

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The washer idea came from an image I found on line of the Stoptech hose kit:

Name:  Stoptech Brake Hoses.jpg
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Hose suppliers whose kits use a true bulkhead fitting include Techna-Fit (direct), ECS Tuning, Agency Power (following image):

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and UUC:

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The ER and Stoptech kits can be described as a kluge. Their female fittings are clearly wrong for the application and the washer is a poor fix.

Noun

"A system that is constituted of poorly matched elements or of elements originally intended for other applications."
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      02-13-2015, 11:23 PM   #5
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Informative thread. Assuming the HEL lines would fall into the same category as ST? (I'd check, but I'm in the US rather than AU!)
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      02-15-2015, 07:05 AM   #6
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I have the HEL Performance brake lines on mine. I did not install them myself so i can't really comment too much, but i have had no issues thus far. The mechanic did say he had to modify a spanner to install the two upper rear ones because he didn't have an L shaped spanner to fit. And that the lower rear lines were abit of a loose fit in the clamps, but they are not prone to movement anyway so it's not a problem. He also ensured that the front lines were not stressed under full lock.
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      02-15-2015, 08:47 PM   #7
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Thank you fe1rx for continuing to provide us with excellent information.

For those looking for the wrench in the image above it's a Rapco RA716. If you hover over the image fe1rx has posted, he has labeled the image with the manufacturer and part number.

Keep us updated with your findings!
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      02-19-2015, 06:28 PM   #8
fe1rx
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I received a new set of hoses from Techna-Fit

Name:  Techna-Fit Kit.jpg
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The bulkhead fittings match the OE configuration exactly (from Left to Right - OE, Techna-Fit, ER)

Name:  OE, FTS, ER.jpg
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The rear intermediate lines fit properly

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The strain relief on the rear line looks good at maximum bump travel (which is where I had a concern with the ECS brake lines)

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As I have mentioned the ER lines are made by Techna-Fit for ER (who for some reason choses to specify the wrong bulkhead fittings). So before I sent the ER lines to the dumpster I cut open the strain relief to have a look at the crimp and the construction of the strain relief itself. The strain relief is hard plastic and it supports the first 0.6" of the hose from the crimp.

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I haven't installed the front hoses yet because my front end is disassembled.
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      02-20-2015, 06:08 PM   #9
fe1rx
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Before I leave the subject of ER brake hoses behind, I figured I would have a look to see how they are crimped together. Inquiring minds want to know, and to be clear, I have no issue with their workmanship - it is the design of the hose assemblies that is deficient.

The following image should make clear how the end fitting inserts into the hose which has been stripped of its outer jacket, and the outer copper-alloy sleeve is swaged over top, keying into the stainless braid and also features on the end fitting to make a sound mechanical connection.

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      02-20-2015, 08:29 PM   #10
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FWIW, from an engineer, I love your posts. Thank you for all the time you've taken to do things correctly and to take and share pictures and information along the way.
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      02-20-2015, 08:47 PM   #11
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cross posting...

Goodridge Brake Hoses
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showt...6#post17436396
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