Don’t be a Brake hose MacGyver
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You loved MacGyver, right? Of course you did. Every dude in America watched that show weekly, waiting for the moment we’d find ourselves trapped in a basement by some baddies only to escape by turning some sticks and rocks into a torpedo with the help of the boiler pipe, giving us an amazing escape. We all wanted to repair a busted fuse with a gum wrapper and give the gum to the amazed girl, securing our romantic interests while also being the hero. This was the eighties and anything was possible. The music was synthesized, the jeans were stone-washed and the hair was big. I loved MacGyver as much as you did, but here’s the thing: you’re not Macgyver. No one needs you to come up with an impromptu laser right now. The clock is not ticking on some bomb that you have to diffuse with the items inside your fridge. When it comes to repairing or replacing the fittings on your brake lines, do not be like MacGyver.
There are very specific safety requirements when it comes to brake hose, lines, and fittings. You can’t just throw this stuff together. You can’t pick up any old hose or tubing and think it’s going to work fine on your brake line because it seems to be the right size. You can’t interchange metric-sized and SAE fittings. When it comes to brakes, ‘close enough’ is a really bad idea. Your brake system generates a lot of pressure and high levels of vibration that require very specific materials and forms. You can’t use copper and you can’t use fuel lines or fittings designed for fuel lines. This is not the type of situation where greedy companies are just duplicating products under different names to make you pay higher prices for more stuff, either. When it comes to your brake lines and fittings, it’s extremely important to do this right or fluid leaks will ensue and total system failure will likely follow.
When you want something fixed, the temptation to cross the finish line at ‘good enough’ is strong. The desire to MacGyver something together and stick it to the man is enticing; but when it comes to brakes, doing it right the first time can be a matter of life and death. In the world of brakes, the rules matter. The regulations are there for you and the best interest of everyone on the road. Don’t go rogue on your brake lines. Don’t MacGyver your fittings. Go buy the book and then go by the book.
By Lee Younger