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Car54280ZX

Brake Line Color or Finish

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I'm steadfastly trying to restore everything on my 280zx to original stock condition as much as possible. And, the restoration crew is putting things back together now.

I have attached two photos of the brake line that's under the engine compartment and I'm trying to determine the original color of the brake lines. Can any one help with identifying the original color of the brake lines? It looks like the brake lines have a green-ish color. The white spots are probably from dampness and corrosion.

Engine an drive train are out. Yes, they already scratched the new engine compartment paint job. But, do you have any idea what the original color of the brake lines are? And is it paint or is it a baked-on finish?

 

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Attached are some images of a couple of NOS, OEM Nissan, hard brake lines, for my 1977-built 260Z (UK car), if it helps. There is a little bit of shade variance between the two parts, but that would be expected across items manufactured at different times.  I don't know if they salt the roads in the US, but those white specks occur on UK cars when the water evaporates from waterborne road salt. I have seen the olive green colour (color) of your hard brake lines on other Nissan parts of that late 1970's era.  

 

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Thank you for sharing the photos! I believe (now) that I'm looking at an olive green tint.

Yes, there is a lot of road salt in Illinois. I only drove my car twice in snow and ice, once from the dealership in January 1981 and once in February 1981 and never again in rain, snow or ice.

But, It did sit in a damp farm house garage for 15 years. That's what caused the spotting on the brake lines and fuel lines.

Do you have any idea of the color specifications?

Thanks again!

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Amazing that you've only ever driven your car a couple of times in wet, or icy weather. I would never get out of the house eight months of the year, if that was the case with my daily driver! Garages constructed of masonry can allow dampness and condensation to form on, and subsequently harm, metal surfaces, even plated finishes. I keep my car in a "Carcoon" air chamber literally all the time (as it's not been on the road since 2002), which protects from condensation, moisture and sudden temperature changes.

As to the color specifications, there are a couple of ways I would go about ensuring the finish on the brake and fuel lines is replicated. The first way would be to take a brake line off your car and get it color-matched, by making up an aerosol spray at a local auto shop, or DIY store. The second way would be to get a hard brake line part number from the L-Drive parts fiche, see if the item is still available, new, then use that as a basis to obtain the exact color-match.

I do have a couple of NOS horns that have the olive green finish applied to them, but the photograph (attached) may not be entirely representative of the true color, unfortunately, as it was taken under a fluorescent light.  I have taken a picture of the olive green-finished horn next to a NOS brake line, as a comparison. There does appear to be a little color variance but, as I mentioned in my post above, that is to be expected. 

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Wow. Your parts look like they have been coated with the yellow cadmium, having a slight iridescent tint to them! That makes sense since a lot of my parts have the yellow cadmium / yellow chromate coating with an iridescent tint. The green on my brake line parts might be part of the remaining yellow cadmium coating.

I will check around further with a Nissan parts store to see what they might have.

As far as a cocoon, yes that's definitely on my list before the car comes back to my garage. I could kick myself a thousand times for not doing it 15 years ago when it still smelled new inside. If I would have used a cocoon 15 years ago, I wouldn't be spending all this money with the complete tear-down, cleaning and polishing parts! So far I have $20,000 USD invested and it's now going back together. This was always my second car and I never drove it like I should. Very hard lesson learned.

Are you happy with your cocoon? Who makes it? And would you recommend it. I'm thinking I will definitely need humidity control even in the cold weather. My house is 89 years old and is one of the few 1929 era houses with an unheated attached 2 car garage. And yes, it's all brick masonry and the central Illinois humidity is high almost all year long. So, I plan to get a cocoon and put it in the garage with constant humidity and temperature control.

Here are some other photos taken on Friday.

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I'm restoring a Original EU (Netherlands) Datsun 280zx 1979 2+2 and they have olive green brake lines.  The lines at my car were very good preserved for 38 years!   It's a bit darker than the lines  i see in your pic's..    If it is paint or "baked on" i don't know..   for paint it looks to thin of a layer..

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The brake lines on a my 77/280z also had the olive green coating, I started sanding it off at first,  it ended up being too difficult so I replaced them with a new set of Cunifer lines but I'm pretty sure the green coating is some  kind of plastic or at least it sands off like plastic.  You can see in the last 2 pics how the coating curls up when scraped with a razor which makes me think it isn't paint or zinc. If you can't find NOS lines there is always the possibility of stripping the lines and have them powder coated of painted.

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Edited by grannyknot
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Evidently, from the photographs, a great deal of work has gone into awakening your car, after years of slumber, but it will be worth it.

I think you can safely say that the finish on your brake lines is factory stock, which you will simply have to find a way of replicating. I don't know what the finish to the pipes is, but it is clearly long-lasting, bearing in mind the exposed locations where they are routed, especially under the car.

In terms of the air chamber I use for my car, the link is here: https://www.carcoon.com/. Presumably there is something similar in the US available. There are some good videos on YouTube in respect of the advantages of keeping your car maintained in controlled conditions. As I said in an earlier post, I do find that it keeps metal surfaces from corroding, and after being in the chamber since 2002, there is no corrosion on the vulnerable front brake discs on my car. 

 

 

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Greatly appreciate the comments.

I have located a LOCAL source that will match paint color and put it in a spray can for me.

So I'm working on that now, before the engine is re-installed. Lot of parts yet to be re-installed on the engine.

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