Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby icebrrg3rd [OP] » December 10th 2020, 12:43am

Well, after a panic stop over a week ago that caused a brake line to break, I finally got around to changing them out for some of the cunifer brake lines (nickel copper). I removed all the lines, plus the ABS unit & wiring, as it was not needed anymore.

A little backstory first. I swapped my rear-end for a Ford 9" (from most likely a '77 Lincoln Versailles), nice in the fact it has disc brakes and a 5x5 bolt pattern, bad since it has a 2.75:1 ratio. Unfortunately, they didn't have ABS back then (at least on Fords), so there were no tone rings for the ABS to use. Since my van wasn't using the ABS anymore, why have it there.

I started out with pulling all the old brake lines out, some fell out because of rust. I laid them out so I'd have a rough idea of length and shapes for the new line I'd be putting in. I then unbolted the master cylinder from the booster so I'd have room to remove the ABS pump. I also trimmed (cut) the mounting bracket for the ABS, as it got in the way of pulling the engine last time, and I'm going to be pulling the engine again, so more room for that.

2020-12-05_NoBrakes01.jpg


ABS unit
2020-12-05_ABSjunk01.jpg


Old lines
2020-12-05_OldLinesJunk01.jpg


I then reattached the master cylinder and brake proportioning valve back in, and ran new short lines for them. Coiling the lines leaving the valve was a bear, I trashed one line trying to get a bend with a tool. Got better results with just my hands.

2020-12-06_NewLinesUpper.jpg


I ran the lines down to where they meet the subframe. Now the ABS takes one front line and turns it into two, so I took a tee and split it there. Added more curlicues for the front line because it transitioned over to the sub-frame, but not for the rear line as it stayed with the body. This view is from the driver's front wheel well.

2020-12-06_NewLinesLower02.jpg


...to be continued...
81 Yamaha Maxim 650XJ 650cc 68k mi
91 Chevy Astro 5L 5-speed, Ford 9" 265k mi
02 Yamaha Road Star 1600cc 27k mi
02 Chrysler Sebring Conv. 2.7L 5-speed 216k mi
10 Chrysler Town & Country 3.8L 194k mi

To her it's all dollars and no sense--Wimpazz
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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby icebrrg3rd [OP] » December 10th 2020, 5:02am

So when I pulled the old lines, I carefully opened the plastic clips that held them to the frame so I could reuse them for the new line. I only broke a couple, considering that they're about 3 decades old, plastic, and exposed to cold, heat, water, salt, and who-knows-what else, that's pretty good. The left front was short, as the tee was less than a foot away. The right front ran down and under the engine.

2020-12-06_NewLinesLower01.jpg


The rear I ran in the same location as the old, working its way along the "frame" and next to the gas tank. I made sure that there was space between the line and the "frame".

2020-12-06_NewLinesLower05.jpg


2020-12-06_NewLinesLower03.jpg


Yes, I shudder at the condition of the gas lines. That's a spring project.

Originally I was going to run a solid line from the front to the back, but luckily I wised up and added a union just past where I tee'd the front lines.

2020-12-06_NewLinesLower04.jpg


All in all, I think only 2 spots DIDN'T leak when I first filled it. Good part was they just needed to be tightened a little bit more. After sitting overnight, I found only 2 that had still leaked so a touch tighter fixed them.

Bummer part, the bleeder valves on the front calipers were stuck, one I broke off the other I rounded so I just went ahead and got new calipers. Easy to paint them when they're on a workbench.

2020-12-07_NewCalipers.jpg


One positive thing about the leaks, they kinda gravity bled the system, so it didn't take as long to manually bleed it. The fronts were all new so the fluid came out fairly clear, the rear calipers were a bit dirtier when bled so I did it til they ran clear. This is how my van sat for 2-1/2 days.

2020-12-05_HoverVan01.jpg


Took it out for a spin, brakes worked. I want to get on a gravel road and lock them up to see how they're grabbing but for normal driving there isn't any weird pulling or noises when stopping, and stopping is good.

...to be continued...
81 Yamaha Maxim 650XJ 650cc 68k mi
91 Chevy Astro 5L 5-speed, Ford 9" 265k mi
02 Yamaha Road Star 1600cc 27k mi
02 Chrysler Sebring Conv. 2.7L 5-speed 216k mi
10 Chrysler Town & Country 3.8L 194k mi

To her it's all dollars and no sense--Wimpazz
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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby icebrrg3rd [OP] » December 10th 2020, 5:45am

It was an interesting project, one I wish I could've done with the engine out. To pull the ABS unit, I had to remove the A/C bypass pulley, as the steering shaft wouldn't come loose. I also realize that this would've been a perfect time to have those gas struts holding up the hood as the prop rod was in my way a bunch of times. Plus if it was warmer, I had the garage for a longer period (it's my in-laws), had more money and time, I would have loved to cleaned the rust up and painted everything. As it was, it was done over a span of 3 days, with lots of family interruptions and obligations.

I bought both the 3/16" and 1/4" tubing online, as they each came with a bunch of fittings, and that was cheaper than buying adaptors to reduce the fronts down. Both were 25' rolls, and I have leftovers. I also bought a double flaring tool, which I got better at as I made more flares. I cut off maybe 8 or so bad ends and redid them. Along with the line, I bought a tee and a union, those were at the LAPS. The fluid I had sitting around, unopened. None of the original fittings or unions were salvageable. I really wanted to do the flexible lines but money is short, and the fitting came off without issue and the hoses aren't leaking, so for now they're some of the only old parts left.

MATERIAL

(1) 25' roll 3/16" brake line tubing - $22
(1) 25' roll 1/4" brake line tubing - $26
(1) tee, 3/8-24 threads all sides - $3
(1) union, 7/16-24 threads both ends - $5
(1) 32 oz DOT 4 brake fluid (used most of the bottle) - $6
(2) front calipers (rebuilt) - $22 ea
*So about $106 for supplies, I don't count tools as they are reusable*

STATS

3/16" tubing:
-6-7" from master to valve
-60" from valve to tee (counting the curlicues)
-8" from tee to left front
-60" from tee to right front
*these were starting lengths, some were trimmed down once ran to fit better*

1/4" tubing:
-6-7" from master to valve
-60" from valve to union (counting the curlicues)
-120" from union to the rear hose
*these were starting lengths, some were trimmed down once ran to fit better*

Fittings for 3/16" tubing (included w/ line):
-(1) 1/2-20 for the master cylinder
-(7) 3/8-24 for all other front connections

Fittings for 1/4" tubing (included w/ line):
-(1) 9/16-18 for the master cylinder
-(1) 1/2-20 for exiting the proportioning valve
-(4) 7/16-24 for the remaining rear connections (doesn't include rear end lines)

I think that sums it up, if I forgot something I'll add it later. If you have any questions, or want to see more pics or specifics on the parts, I can provide that info.

Hope this helps someone out.

-Andrew
81 Yamaha Maxim 650XJ 650cc 68k mi
91 Chevy Astro 5L 5-speed, Ford 9" 265k mi
02 Yamaha Road Star 1600cc 27k mi
02 Chrysler Sebring Conv. 2.7L 5-speed 216k mi
10 Chrysler Town & Country 3.8L 194k mi

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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby Mmusicman » December 10th 2020, 6:11pm

icebrrg3rd wrote:Bummer part, the bleeder valves on the front calipers were stuck,
one I broke off the other I rounded so I just went ahead and got new calipers..

I anticipated the same happening to me with old original rear brake-piston cylinders (which bleeders may never have been opened).. so rather than breaking them off (leaving me stranded).. I had simply ordered new ones for the pending brake job. Rear cylinders are extremely inexpensive.

So what brand calipers did you use?

Wow... that is some intense rust! I give you HUGE cudos for tackling new brake lines, and everything else you have to do underneath. I can't even imagine the pains... I'm a little spoiled.

Great job! :thumbup:
And great job detailing and showing your work too!

Sidenote: I may eventually end up removing the ABS system on my 2000. I has never worked (for me).. and I believe it was the reason for my dangerous "pedal to the floor" problem a few years back. But my brakes are currently working great.. so I'll likely leave well-enough alone for now.
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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby AstroWill » December 10th 2020, 7:00pm

I honestly hate dealing with rust, but it's one of those things that just has to be done.

Great job!

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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby icebrrg3rd [OP] » December 11th 2020, 12:18am

About that rust. The sad part is that the van lived in Florida for many years before I got it, so there had been little rust. Even being here since 2010, it hadn't gotten that bad. It was the last time I stored it up by my sister's place, instead of outside like a previous time, this time it was stored inside their pole barn. The major issue was that their roof leaked in places, so moisture got inside the building but couldn't escape and that kept the humidity up, causing a lot of rust flaking on anything that wasn't protected. So that's why there are sections that are really rusty and other places that are clear. Heck, my rockers are in awesome shape, solid, even that dogleg in front of the rear wheel well by the slider. And the doors are still pretty solid, just starting some surface rust in a few spots, but nothing from the inside-out. Oh well, it's what I gots.

MM, I just grabbed cheapo rebuilt LAPS ones, I did use an online code for 20% off plus a $5 off credit, so about $16 ea after core return. Bummer thing that I didn't notice right away but after I started painting them, one of the bleeder valves had an insert (probably damaged threads) and a smaller valve, so one side uses a 10mm wrench and the other a 8mm wrench. And the rears use a 3/8" wrench. Just a freaking mixed bag of parts. My wife is correct calling it a Franken-van.

-Andrew
81 Yamaha Maxim 650XJ 650cc 68k mi
91 Chevy Astro 5L 5-speed, Ford 9" 265k mi
02 Yamaha Road Star 1600cc 27k mi
02 Chrysler Sebring Conv. 2.7L 5-speed 216k mi
10 Chrysler Town & Country 3.8L 194k mi

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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby Mmusicman » December 11th 2020, 2:09am

icebrrg3rd wrote:Just a freaking mixed bag of parts...

My biggest concern with calipers that aren't identical, is that they may not stop identically even, as well.
I ran into that issue with NAPA lifetime replacement calipers.. the replacement was different.
I decided to ditch them.
Hopefully you will be fine.. or it won't be enough of an issue to matter.
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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby chevymaher » December 11th 2020, 2:47am

Wow i wish I had brakes in ice and rain like you do now. Mine still does the BBBBBRRRRRR thing.
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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby icebrrg3rd [OP] » December 12th 2020, 6:21am

Mmusicman wrote:
icebrrg3rd wrote:Just a freaking mixed bag of parts...

My biggest concern with calipers that aren't identical, is that they may not stop identically even, as well.
I ran into that issue with NAPA lifetime replacement calipers.. the replacement was different.
I decided to ditch them.
Hopefully you will be fine.. or it won't be enough of an issue to matter.


I didn't mean that the calipers were different, just that one of the bleeder valves was a different size, as in the core they used for the reman must have had the bleeder stripped or something, so they used a threaded insert and a smaller valve. The rest of the caliper is identical with the caliper on the other side, and both matched the old pair. It's just that when I bleed the brakes, I'll need 3 different wrenches.

-Andrew
81 Yamaha Maxim 650XJ 650cc 68k mi
91 Chevy Astro 5L 5-speed, Ford 9" 265k mi
02 Yamaha Road Star 1600cc 27k mi
02 Chrysler Sebring Conv. 2.7L 5-speed 216k mi
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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby Mmusicman » December 12th 2020, 4:55pm

chevymaher wrote:Wow i wish I had brakes in ice and rain like you do now. Mine still does the BBBBBRRRRRR thing.

LOL! (point noted)
I miss the BBBBBRRRRRR!
Some people actually don't like them.. but they DO serve a very good purpose.

Ironically, last year (while towing 5000lbs on wet road)... I ALMOST hit someone. I was on the highway driving very conservatively (keeping good distance) when all traffic in front suddenly came to a stop. Traveling at 65mph with 5000lb load, it's next to impossible to suddenly stop! Despite my distance... I unfortunately locked my brakes and began sliding... slowing to a stop, but not slowing fast enough. Thankfully the lane next to me was open, and I changed lanes at the last moment, nearly avoiding a slow speed collision.

Sliding for some distance with brakes locked (I just couldn't force myself to let up)... wore flat spots on my front tires. I drove for months following with the "thumping" of flat-spots (mostly noticeable at slower speeds) until I finally had these (fairly new) tires replaced under road-hazard warranty. They were pro-rated, so it still cost me some money. Certainly much better option than hitting someone!

Obviously, IF my anti-lock system had been working... everything would have been fine.
But nothing else I own or drive has anti-locks.
It's something I should really look into fixing.
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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby WoodButcher » December 12th 2020, 8:54pm

Nice job Andrew, I'm another of the ABS protesters. Back in '93 driving a brand new full size chevy van I rear ended someone because of the ABS. If the brakes would have locked I'm sure I had room enough to skid to a stop.

The ABS is meant for those that panic and don't know enough to get off the brake to steer if they are skidding like MM did. He drove out of it and saved his rig. I had no place to steer to hence the rear-ender. Since that day every ABS equipped vehicle I owned has been modified.
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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby sixsix » December 13th 2020, 1:02am

Andy, Great detailed job done with description and parts list, etc.
That will help those in need.

NO ABS...

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
.

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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby icebrrg3rd [OP] » December 13th 2020, 7:18pm

The ABS had been inop for a while, I just removed the dead weight. The ABS dash light was pulled back then too so no warning light glowing on the dash. Still have the standard brake warning light, which works.

And yeah, before the ABS was inop, I had one of those instances where the brakes did the BRRRR and I wasn't slowing down, took me releasing the brakes and modulating it manually for a proper stop. Now the ABS on my Sebring and the wife's Town and Country work great, I'd never remove them, but for the Astro, a poorly working system is better off being removed.

-Andrew
81 Yamaha Maxim 650XJ 650cc 68k mi
91 Chevy Astro 5L 5-speed, Ford 9" 265k mi
02 Yamaha Road Star 1600cc 27k mi
02 Chrysler Sebring Conv. 2.7L 5-speed 216k mi
10 Chrysler Town & Country 3.8L 194k mi

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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby sixsix » December 15th 2020, 12:58am

Our Brakes always do the " BRRRRR " thing just after starting and going into gear - may just be timing and / or coincidence.
To be honest - this is the first time I remember anyone mentioning it. BRRRRR - 5 Rs... lol

Well, gonna' have to go to the old Showcase cinema lot and "Try" out and "Test" the brakes, ABS the & BRRRRR.
.

I Love Peaches also & Wolverines and Gophers
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Firing on 8 Cylinders (L5)
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Re: Replaced all brake lines, removed ABS on a '91

Postby markmitch » December 15th 2020, 2:35am

now I always thought brrrrr was for when its cold and windy outside.
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