Metal vs Rubber hydraulic lines: Kubota Review  -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum and Review Metal vs Rubber hydraulic lines: Kubota Review -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum

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 02-28-2005, 21:10 Post: 107004
propilot



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 Metal vs Rubber hydraulic lines

Hi everyone; Can anyone give me pro's and con's between metal and rubber hydraulic lines? I know that metal lines will not dry rot with age, but they are a lot more expensive (per foot) than rubber lines. Is oil flow less restricted in metal tubing, or not? Thanks, everyone.






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 03-01-2005, 05:58 Post: 107008
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 Metal vs Rubber hydraulic lines

For aftermarket upgrades, hoses are generally prefered to steel lines since they allow greater flexibility. Steel lines require that everything be just right so that fittings are not side loaded. Since they can be engineered into the machine, OEM's will often use steel lines since they result in a cleaner looking product. For a given ID, they have a smaller OD (due to a thinner wall) so they take up less space. And, they can be formed into smaller radius bends than hose. Surprisingly, steel lines can also be quite a cost savings for a manufacturer over hose, especially for long runs. However, for the do-it-youselfer without the benefit of CAD design software (and an engineering layout of the machine) hoses are probably more practical to work with.






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 03-01-2005, 06:12 Post: 107012
jarndt

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 Metal vs Rubber hydraulic lines

Here's a simple trick... Get a tubing bender from an auto-parts store and a metal coat hanger. Bend the coat hanger to follow the desired path of the hydrualic line. Using the coat hanger as a pattern, bend the tubing to match. Go slow, be methodical, test fit and re-test fit. You can practice with cheaper tubing and then move on to the nice stuff. With a little patience, you'll end up with an OEM look.






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 03-01-2005, 08:03 Post: 107020
propilot



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 Metal vs Rubber hydraulic lines

Thanks for the info. The cost of running 3 lines from the BX1500 hydraulic block (on transmission side) to the mid position of the tractor (crossing under frame to other side) is doubled using metal. However, the metal lines I refer to are OEM from a third party retailer. So, I'm asking for an opinion. Is the added cost of the OEM (about $60) compared to rubber of approx. the same length (about $30, worth it? Also, how long will rubber last if protected and taken care of?






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 03-01-2005, 17:20 Post: 107061
Art White



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 Metal vs Rubber hydraulic lines

Third party retailer means about 20% normally at a minimum so do some double checking on your own with your dealer. I prefer steel myself but as stated in previous posts the hoses are to some advantage in some instances.






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 03-02-2005, 17:18 Post: 107157
earthwrks

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 Metal vs Rubber hydraulic lines

As far as the life of a hydraulic line, I have a 1958 Galion Motor Road Grader with the original rubber lines. The steel lines--about 150 feet worth--some of which look like lawn sprinklers when that is cicuit is energized (that reminds me...fix 'em). Around here if you buy a steel line it isn't plated or coated to resist corrosion, so you will need to paint it. And even if is is plated to begin with the simple act of manipulating it during bending will scratch the coating. Rubber lines come in many different qualities--working pressure, bursting pressure, number of reinforcing wires (1, 2, 3 or more), etc. etc. And the environment they are exposed to effects longevity such as ozone, other fluids on the exterior, sunlight, etc. For the cost of rubber and it's simplicity--its the way to go.

Oh yeah, the major difference in steel versus rubber is rubber tends to expand a tiny bit when pressurized depending on pressure and size, and wire count.






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 03-02-2005, 17:29 Post: 107158
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 Metal vs Rubber hydraulic lines

Please consider that metal lines (and an external filter if so equipped) are about the only cooling opportunities that exist for hot hydraulic fluid in some tractors. Don't know how yours is cooled, but it's something to consider before replacing metal with rubber.

//greg//






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 03-02-2005, 17:42 Post: 107161
earthwrks

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 Metal vs Rubber hydraulic lines

Metal lines as the only cooling opportunity? Errrr?
Which tractors? Any modern machine I own or have used has at least a dedicated cooler in the cicuit. Using steel lines exposed to sun light, engine heat or cooling air, or even ambient would raise the heat-soak factor rather than cool it. In fact I had a backhoe operating in 93 temps and spraying the oil cooler and the pump was the only way to get it back to normal. Spraying ten feet of steel pipe wouldn't have done it.






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 03-02-2005, 22:21 Post: 107176
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We're talking BX1500 here Earthwrks. Get a grip

//greg//






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 03-03-2005, 06:32 Post: 107178
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 Metal vs Rubber hydraulic lines

No offense, but has anyone else noticed this train derailed after about the fifth post?

In general, galvanized steel or stainless steel lines are considered better quality and are more suited to a permanent installation. That's why most OEMs are set up that way.

Reinforced rubber lines can also be of equally high quality and are easier to install, but MAY degrade faster and will expand under high pressure.

It boils down to personal preference. Don't overanalyze it!






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