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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well fellas, got in the car yesterday morning and hit the switch to raise the top. The motor spun but the top didn't move!! Then I got the unmistakenable whiff of hydraulic fluid!! Uh oh...

After removing the back seat this afternoon, I discovered a small CRACK in the passengers side lower hose. Unfortunately, it's right next to the crimp-on fitting, so I won't be able to use a compression fitting to "patch" it!! Looks like I need new hoses...

My question is though, since this is an area that's not seen, is there anyone out there that makes a braided hose kit for our cars? Ricks, along with all the other repo houses, has the original style plastic hose kits, but I was thinking that braided hose might be a MUCH better way to go. This would NEVER break!!

Ed
 

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I don't know if anyone makes one. But if you can find one or fabricate one, I highly recommend going that route. I bought the new plastic ones, and they broke in three places before I got them installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Rick. I was thinking about making them out of "hard line" (either steel brake lines or copper tubing), with standard compression fittings. This would be a LOT cheaper as everything would be available at the local Home Depot!

However, in the meantime, I found some two part epoxy that looks like it may have worked!! Not only did it seal the crack, but it formed a "skin" over the area. Now I need to fill the pump up to see what happens. The problem is this:

The 1968 Fisher Body Manual stipulates that Type "A" Transmission Fluid be used in the pump. NOBODY in Southern California has even HEARD of this stuff (including myslef)!!! Anyone have a good substitute, or know where I can find some Type "A" fluid???

Ed
 

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I work at a chemical plant. There's lots of things here that would work from stainless lines to flex hose. Yep, I'd go to an industrial parts supply place and take your fittings with you. They can help you pick out replacements for that plastic. Swagelock is one company that will have what you need for sure, but of course they are almost worth gold (by weight) to buy. Another idea is that you don't really need steel braid for that app. since you won't see it anyways. A good black neoprene braided hose (industrial supplier will recommend the type) will be just fine, there's lots to choose from, and its a lot cheaper. Good luck
 

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I'm in the same boat here...

I so far have not found a suitable fitting other than the ones i get from repro suppliers (that seem to be used fittings, re swedged on substandard nylon tubing) I'd love to find something either in braded, or a hard metal line.

Mine leak from the fitting where they attatch to a cylinder... there are also some sort of square o'ring as well that is tough to find. My cylinder may have a cracked fitting, i sure hope not, I may remove them tonight and have a look see.. If i do I'll get over to my hydraulic hose guy in the morning and update all interested..

G'luck

John
 

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The same thing happened to me with brand new lines bought from Rick's.

They couldn't tell me who makes them for them (lucky for those people, because I would have blown out the eardrum of the person on the recieving end).


However, these folks make EVERYTHING for convertibles, includung hise kits, andf have graet customer service.

http://www.convertibleparts.com/

grey899
 

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Hard lines won't work, at least not complete hard lines. The hyd ram has a single mount point and pivits as the top goes up and down... You might work out some kind of 50/50 deal but the part connected to the ram has to swing quite a ways...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay guys... I got the idea of calling my local Chevy dealer (duh) and inquiring about the Type "A" Transmission Fluid. After rummaging around in a few books he had in the back, he found out that Type "A" fluid was superceded by Dextron a couple of decades ago!!! So THAT'S what's going in the pump...

Regarding the lines, I had forgotten that the rams pivited! Thanks for the reminder Dennis!! I would have had a real mess to clean up!

Before I do anything, I'll see if the 2 part epoxy did its job, and if not, then I'll go with the black neoprene braided hose (thanks "ruquikr"). There's an industrial supply house a few miles from my work, so I can pick their brains. I guess the only stipulation is that it has to meet the pressure requirements of the system (max. about 400PSI). I'll keep you all informed...

Ed
 

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My Hydralic guy said he could do them for about 150.00 in teflon / stainless braid, he says they're the same type of fittings for brake lines, he's not sure why they put o'rings in there because they seal by the flair..

I'm gonna measure it all up and he'll give me a more accurate price..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
John, et al...

Well, got back this morning from my trip and filled the pump with Dextron. Worked the top up and down a few times to get all the air out. (Oh yeah, FYI, the Fisher Body Manual procedure works GREAT!! It recommends using a spare plug and drilling a hole in it to slip the hose through, but I just used a 3" piece of 1/2" hose and it worked just as well...)

Anyway, as I was afraid, the 2 part epoxy didn't hold. (Really didn't think it would, but gave it a shot anyway. What the heck, right?)

So it looks like I'm now in the market for new hoses. John, let me know how much your guy wants. Maybe he can give us a better price on two kits??? Or better yet, maybe you can talk him into selling them! That would probably bring the price down a bit. I'm sure we're not the only ones that need a better solution.

Also, I thought of this last night. Make sure to take one of the stock retaining clips with you and ask if the new hoses will fit inside! I think braided hoses are larger in outside diameter than the original plastic hoses... Don't want to go through all this and not be able to retain them!

By the way, did you ask about the "black neoprene braided hose" that "ruquikr" suggested? It might be a much cheaper way to go. Steel braid is rated at 1000 PSI. Kind of overkill for our needs. I don't know what the black braid is rated at, but even if it's half the steel, it's still good enough. The stock pressure of the system is only between 350 and 380 PSI.

Ed
 

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I think the killer is the fittings... I'll get my hoser (lol) tomorrow AM.

I do not have any of the stock clips, I was just gonna get some ADEL clamps (rubber lined stainless clamshell type hose holding thingys)

John
 

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What is wrong with using the stock type hose kits? I have used these on ragtops for over 30 years and never had a bad set yet.
I have bought all my parts from Convertible Parts Inc. (web was given in earlier post) for the last 10~15 years and never had problem one with them.
The OEM hoses will fail after many-many moons, but the General didn't do a bad job selecting the components in the first place.
Now if your doing it for the 'Bling' factor then I totally understand and have at! I have used lots of Earl's $hit on cars over theyears just cause it looked cool. The parts to do the top hoses would be readily available from any good hose house or a speed shop that carries the Earl's line like Summit or PAW.

My .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Vintage,

The only reason I'm looking elsewhere is from the comments made by others that the repops are not as good as the originals, and tend to break while installing. I really don't want to spend the 100 some odd dollars and wind up with a bunch of pieces. You're right though... The original stuff lasted 35 years!! That's good enough for me, but the original GM hoses are no longer available. I have no idea what the repops are made out of, but if you've had good luck with the kits from Convertible Parts, then I'll investigate further. Like all of us here, I just don't want to waste my $$$ on inferior parts...

And I DO appreciate your .02 cent input!!! Thanks...

Ed
 

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Ed;

Yeah the repop stuff can be real $hit sometimes - I avoid it in places like this, but I didn't make that clear in my reply.
I have been using the hose kits from Convertible Parts Inc. only - and they have all fit well and haven't had a leak or comeback yet. This included other car types, like lots of Furd's (they had rubber lines on some models :eek: ) as well as Camaro's. I have a set from them on mine that have been there about six or seven years now.
Run the hose types and quality question by them and see how they reply.
Good luck in your project.

John
 

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Ed I'll second Vintage 68's suggestion of going to www.convertibleparts.com for your hoses. After reading a horror story in the forums about a set of repo hoses bought from another dealer I avoided the repos and ordered all my components from the gang at convertible parts. This included the hoses, pump, lift cylinders, and a switch. I was very happy with their service and their products.

The hoses will come with some instructions that you must follow to ensure years of great service. Not that I can speak of how long they will last, but mine have been in service for two months and are still going strong. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
John and Don (and anyone else interested...)

I gave the guys at Convertible Parts a call this afternoon. The kit for the First Generation is about a hundred bucks and comes with a ONE YEAR WARRANTY!!! You really can't loose, so I ordered one. Don, I'll make sure to follow the directions!!!

:D

Thanks for the feedback guys. I'll keep you all informed if you wish...

Ed
 
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