rear brake line repair or replace????

rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby a7tl46 [OP] » June 30th 2009, 9:30pm

94 AWD rear line back to center flex line. When I swapped out the differential, I left the rear center flex hose on the old diff and bought a new one for the swapped diff. Fitting was siezed up prettry good but I managed to soak and get it to release. After all is said and done now get a slight drip from the fitting.(the line fitting end I figure).

I followed the line back front and it is not joined above the fuel filter area.(as I have read it might be) Just one line all the way up to a union jusr before it heads up the the master. Its a coiled over line so I figire its original. Not rusted out.

I thought the easy fix would be to cut the line back about 6-8" from the rear connection and put a compression fitting on a newly sectioned end with a new fitting. Is this a OK to do? Getiing a flare tool way up in there won't work.
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby ghostrider1061 » June 30th 2009, 9:56pm

NO WAY, you never splice into a brake line. that is just asking for trouble big time. and it could come when your wife and children are out and you become a widower and child less. ALWAYS get new line to replce old. it mite cost now but cheaper in the long haul. beter safe than sorry. especialy where you and your family are concernd. this is from a person who was a brake mech for years. dont go to a junkyard to get one go to your local parts house to get it. :screaming:
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby ihatemybike » June 30th 2009, 10:22pm

Agreed, brakes are one place not to be cheap or take the easy way out.
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby guyonearth » July 1st 2009, 5:44am

I disagree, a properly done splice is acceptable, and done by dealer shops all the time. It is not "weaker" than the original line. Hard brake lines are not necessarily listed as part numbers, they are made up from stock. I could not buy new ones for my van, I had to make aftermarket ones fit, and they don't come longer than 5-6 feet. (unless you want to buy a roll and do your own flares) The routing and placement of some of them makes a "one piece" replacement impractical. I have had many vehicles with splices in them and never had a brake failure. The only failures I've seen are from old, rusted out lines.
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby ghostrider1061 » July 1st 2009, 5:49am

here i disagree with you.it is all for saftey sake. just glad to hear that you have not had any mishaps.
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby Matrixx » July 1st 2009, 7:31am

Theirs a reason why brake lines are a one piece unit (federal safety regulations require it). You might want to consider the Liability issue here.

If you do get into an accident relating back to those spliced brake lines, your goose is cooked. No insurance company will cover you and you will be on the hook for "everything".

Now does that seem worth it to you and your family in trying to save a few bucks? It's a numbers game when you drive. It's not "if" but "when". Food for thought.:)
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby astro355 » July 1st 2009, 8:03am

Replace the line.

Second, never use compression fittings on brake lines. During panic stopping, line pressures WILL exceed the capabilities of a compression fitting. I have seen this first hand. If you really feel the need to replace only part of the line, just use a union and double-flared tips.
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby astro355 » July 1st 2009, 8:06am

guyonearth wrote:I disagree, a properly done splice is acceptable, and done by dealer shops all the time. It is not "weaker" than the original line. Hard brake lines are not necessarily listed as part numbers, they are made up from stock. I could not buy new ones for my van, I had to make aftermarket ones fit, and they don't come longer than 5-6 feet. (unless you want to buy a roll and do your own flares) The routing and placement of some of them makes a "one piece" replacement impractical. I have had many vehicles with splices in them and never had a brake failure. The only failures I've seen are from old, rusted out lines.


I do have to agree with this, though. I never liked doing it but because of the length of some lines (and the cheapness of some garages), I have had to make a line out of a couple sections of 6' line before. To my knowledge, I never had a failure, even on my own vehicles.

But know, I just own a roll.
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby guyonearth » July 2nd 2009, 4:23am

If it's a choice between splicing a couple commercially available hard lines versus trying to do my own double flares on coil stock, I think I'll take my chances with a coupler and a two store-bought lines. Federal safety regulations apply to manufacturers, not end users. Some vehicle configurations make it virtually impossible to replace an entire brake line in one piece, assuming you could even get the correct fittings (I could not, and I went to GM to ask. If they don't have it, who does?) They didn't list part numbers for the fittings, and there were alot of different sizes on my van, it appeared that each set of ports on the ABS was a different size, and they were all different from the wheel ends. I'm also fairly sure there's a compression fitting on mine somewhere, though I don't recall installing it. I've done more than one panic stop, though, and nothing has broke yet. I tend to discount that previous case as a fluke, the soft lines would fail before steel/brass would, seems to me. I've had soft lines fail under hard braking, now that is unnerving!
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby Matrixx » July 2nd 2009, 8:49am

You're absolutely correct with the manufacturers guyonearth. What you have done, is modified a federally regulated item and that's where the insurance company will hang you from the highest tree. I'm on your side with this guyonearth and do understand your frustrations, but please just think about what you have done and the consequences that could come from it, that's all.:)
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby andyfanshawe » July 18th 2009, 9:07pm

May be too late this, but.......

Heres the factory join on my 1992 Astro just under the base of the firewall

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Double flare.

I have had many dripping fittings and cured them all by disconnecting, making sure there is no bits of grit trapped, and retightening. Worked every time. May be worth a try.

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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby astro355 » July 18th 2009, 9:16pm

That pic is appreciated but that's not the factory fitting or factory line for that matter. That line is a nice fix for the factory job.
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby dacosta » September 22nd 2009, 10:16pm

Looks like I am in the same boat - just found the busted (rusted) line. There is no replacement part and no "universal" parts available that are long enough, so it looks like a splice. Unless someone has a better suggestion...
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby donalson » October 7th 2009, 7:22pm

did the rear line on my van... also did the front right... if you buy the pre-flaired ones you'll need more then one and an inline coupler or whatever they are called... so only option if you want to do it as one line is to buy it by the foot and flair it... i didn't want to mess with it so I used 2 sticks and a coupler
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby astro355 » October 7th 2009, 8:19pm

I guess it depends on what you have access to. I have rolls of it at the shop. So that's what I use. I see an extra fitting and I think its just another spot that fluid can leak at.

And again, I must say its important to use the right fitting. Unions must be used when attaching to lines together. Compression fittings are not strong enough for the amount of psi generated with power assisted brakes.
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby rev_les » October 8th 2009, 3:28am

I double flair my own lines, and I agree with 355 on 2 points here, the less fittings the better, and compression fittings are not suitable for the pressure generated by a brake system.They are fine, however, for hooking up your icemaker :)
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby donalson » October 8th 2009, 2:36pm

i agree... fewer points to leak is better... although i'm not sure how you'd manage to get a solid 1 peice line all the places it needs to be (for that front passenger caliper... it snakes in and out so much...

one day i'll buy a flair tool kit...
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby hausdok » December 15th 2009, 7:22am

I replaces my rear brake line from the antilock box to the split in back about a month ago. Used 3 pieces with couplers for about $17.00. Hardest part was the bends but the shop owner let me borrow his tubing bender. Did back first then the front getting them bent and pointed the right way then filled in the middle with a straight run . Piece of cake! The old one blew on me on the way to work one morning. I think it's right to put in new unless you have all the right stuff to make a correct double flare, just too risky anyway.
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby tedanderson » December 15th 2009, 6:46pm

My experiences in working with flex tubing has not been that great. I can never manage to handle long lengths without denting it or kinking it somewhere along the line. I agree that a continuous solid line is best but if/when I have to do this myself, I think that I'd rather have two good and well installed sections with no kinks. Another thing that I consider is that a rear brake failure is not as critical as a front brake failure being that the front brakes do the majority of the stopping power. (someone please correct me if I am wrong) so if the splice fails at any given time, I expect that I would have an opportunity to fix it before it becomes a major problem. Does this make sense or is my line of thinking flawed in regards to rear brakes?
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Re: rear brake line repair or replace????

Postby donalson » December 15th 2009, 7:14pm

the real prob with any of the failures is leaking brake fluid to the point it no longer has any avl for the other side... we get around that somewhat with 2 separate circuits one for the front and one rear... but still not impressive IMHO

i prefer the volvo method of reduncancy (ford was and prob still is using this now but volvo had this back int he 70's)... 2 seperate triangle circuits... both front calipers are twin piston... each pistion operates on a different circuit... so each circuit operates 1 front piston on each of the calipers and 1 of the rears... if you have a COMPLETE circuit failure you still are stopping with the 2 front brakes (granted only 1/2 the pots pushing) and 1 rear...

redundancy in stopping is good...
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