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Help school an engineer #5388790 03/29/20 04:47 PM
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DriveHard Offline OP
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Hey BITOG!

I have rebuilt many engines, a couple transmissions, transfer cases, re-wired vehicles, and even re-programmed them. What I have never done is replace a steel brake line. I have done calipers, soft lines, etc...but never the long, formed lines that run along the frame. My daughter has a 2006 Ford Taurus with a VERY leaky brake line. The leak is in the outside line that runs right under the driver's door. I have not spent a ton of time under the car, so I can not confirm the length of the line, or where is terminates, but it seems like one of the terminations is right there at the leak site (well, just forward of the leak). I try to look up diagrams, and find nothing that is consistent. Can I replace just that section? Do I have to pull off major body/frame parts to do it? Can I just replace it with a flexible plastic type of line? I guess I am just looking at the latest state of the art method for fixing something like this.


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Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5388807 03/29/20 05:13 PM
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andyd Offline
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I replaced all the steel lines and brake hoses on the Rat. I used a roll of 3/16 brake line and a double flare tool. Better is preformed lines from the dlr. Replacing
brake lines is a slippery slope. You definitely need to assess the condition of all the lines.


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Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5388810 03/29/20 05:22 PM
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State of the art method is NiCop lines. Usually if one line is that rusted, the rest aren't far behind. Diagrams for these give little info just because it isn't an OE specific part. Brake lines will either come as pre-made lengths with the flares already made or you can flare your own. The pre made lengths can get tricky because of lack of precision. Aftermarket has started making prebent kits but the coverage varies. Use new fittings and be prepared to cut lines or use heat to get some of the old fittings off.
Do NOT use any sort of plastic lines. The pressure a braking system makes plus the nature of brake fluid makes it only suitable to use steel/nicop lines with proper flares (not compression fittings). I've seen several compression fittings used but it doesn't make it a proper method.

Last edited by msmoke00; 03/29/20 05:25 PM.
Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5388813 03/29/20 05:26 PM
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kschachn Offline
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I replaced all the brake lines on my old BMW, I initially bought all BMW ones due to the ISO bubble flare on the ends. But some of the lines were difficult to install without major disassembly (or having the vehicle up on a hoist) so for those I broke down and bought a bubble flare tool and used NiCopp. After using that material I wished I'd never spent the money for the BMW lines and just used NiCopp for everything.

msmoke00 is correct that if you're using a pre-made line of the correct length your success is highly dependent on precise bending and routing, otherwise you'll come up short.

And no you cannot (should not) splice in a piece of brake hose.


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Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5388821 03/29/20 05:37 PM
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Farnsworth Offline
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My daughter has a is all I see. Get another car for her to use, or have the work done by an absolutely experienced professional.

Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5388831 03/29/20 06:04 PM
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atikovi Offline
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Originally Posted by DriveHard
Can I replace just that section?


Yes if you have a good flaring tool and bender. You need a length of line to match, two brake line union fittings and two ends to go on the existing lines. Youtube has videos.

Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5388841 03/29/20 06:13 PM
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Astro14 Offline
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Nicopp is easy to bend, easy to flare and you’ll be fine. Buy a roll, buy or borrow a flaring tool and a bending tool, and you’ll be fine.


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Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5388870 03/29/20 07:05 PM
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Kestas Offline
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I did both of the full length lines on my 2001 Sable. I bought a 25 foot roll of brake line for $25 from AutoZone. First remove the lines as intact as possible. You'll use them to follow how to bend the new lines.

The toughest part is to remove the fittings on the ends. You may have to cut the line flush at the fitting end to use a six point socket.

Don't do just a small section. It's not worth it. Replace any other lines that look iffy at the same time.

Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5388872 03/29/20 07:07 PM
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CatCam2 Offline
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Check out the complete kit for your 2006 Taurus. I had to replace a few on my 2002 Silverado that rusted through. The entire brake line kit with all the lines preformed was a little over $100.....they fit perfectly.

Re: Help school an engineer [Re: CatCam2] #5388944 03/29/20 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CatCam2
Check out the complete kit for your 2006 Taurus. I had to replace a few on my 2002 Silverado that rusted through. The entire brake line kit with all the lines preformed was a little over $100.....they fit perfectly.



Yes there’s that but here’s another thought but here’s another. Without a lift those OEMS may just not get the angles and such to fit. horse Been there done that and some of those OEMs are so pricy you’ll scream. In the end you’ll have it , shall we say , customized anyways so why not just make your own from a roll. It won’t be so pretty as the factory but who cares.😉
Do get the Nicopp as the steel ones are a horror to get a decent double flare on that will actually seal and hard to shape as well. The proper end fittings are available at any parts store. Do practice on a chunk of scrap at least a few times before Committing to to that special cry already fitted one. I leave mine a tad long for another try if I mess it up( insurance policy.....).
There’s often no need to change the whole or all the lines even here in The Rustbelt. They often rot in just one spot and you can Cut out the bad section and fit in a repair piece. 😬 if you’re lucky..... The sell them on various lengths with the ends already on and flared. While you are enjoying yourself under there take a look at the fuel and tranny cooler lines. They get nasty about the same time as brake lines often.

Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5389154 03/30/20 07:31 AM
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Astro14 Offline
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I did the lines on my 1990 4Runner (A rust belt survivor with various pieces now falling off of it) a few years back.

One 25' roll of Nicopp. Borrowed a flaring tool.

Simpler to go from fitting to fitting with each replacement line. Do the whole section and be done, no patches that then have to be patched again later.

You can bend as you go, and cut to length when you've got the line in place. I did all of them because the truck was 20+ years old at the time and every line had some amount of external corrosion. A bit of a pain getting the lines up over the frame above the rear suspension - but then, I was doing all this in my driveway. Took me a day. Never had to replace another line.


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01 Volvo V70 T5 0W30 AMSOIL SS
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Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5389166 03/30/20 07:41 AM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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Bleeding new brake lines is a time consuming proposition. Plan on a quart of brake fluid. If you have bubbles stuck, then you can use a block of wood to compress the brake all night, This shrinks the bubbles so the flow easier ro the caliper or Master Cylinder

A mityvac is handy for much of it.

Other than that, practice flaring before you cut off lines.

Rod

Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5389268 03/30/20 09:12 AM
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Kestas Offline
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I found making double flare ends using the proper tool kit easy to do. I've been doing it for 40 years on my cars with the same kit.

My biggest mistake flaring the ends is forgetting to put the fitting on first. I've done that more than once.

Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5389308 03/30/20 09:53 AM
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cronk Offline
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I live in Northern NY (like 30 miles from Canada north!) and have quite a bit of experience replacing steel brake line.
I will agree the Nicopp line is good stuff, I have also had good experience with Poly-armour line from my local parts store, it is a steel/copper alloy line with a plastic coating to prevent corrosion.
Both these lines are easier to bend than regular steel line and are more corrosion resistant.
Tools required will be a tubing cutter, double flare tool, and a hand tubing bender if you have to make tight bends. smaller bends can be done by hand, bent around a piece of iron plumbing pipe.
Just be careful not to kink the line or you will have to start over!

Most modern cars use metric flare nuts, so you will likely need to reuse the original ones as most parts stores don't carry them.

I typically change the whole section of line, but if just a section is rusted and you can find solid line, a flared union can be used to join new line to solid existing line.

Practice making a few double flares before you start making the line for the car, and don't forget to put the flare nut on the line before making the flare (common rookie mistake)!


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Re: Help school an engineer [Re: DriveHard] #5389388 03/30/20 12:03 PM
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DriveHard Offline OP
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I appreciate the advice! I will get it up on a lift in the next day or two to further assess the situation. I do already have cutting and flaring tools from doing transmission lines...but I wasn't sure if it was the same thing. Again, I appreciate the help!


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2013 Fiat 500 Abarth mod heavy (my DD)
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio TI Sport (wife's)
2011 Silverado Crew Cab LT 6.2L/6spd (tow pig)
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