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  1. #1

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    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures

    Hello All,

    Ok, first the intro...the day before my car's inspection I'm coming up to a traffic light...it turns yellow...go through or stop? Well, I decided to stop a little to late and hit the irons hard...so hard the passenger's rear brake line, which had a good amount of rust on it, gave up the Holy Ghost. She did lock the brakes, but I got a loud whistle and the pedal dropped to the floor. I idled the car over to the parking lot and parked it. I hit the pedal a few times and took a peak under the car...it's in the back and bleeding good.. Good enough, time for a tow home...
    Two months later, time to fix the thing. Now, according to the parts manual, the line is all one part...I take a quick look and it appears that way, so I purchase a small section of line (51") and get ready to splice the line. Below are some of the parts you need. (FYI the system is split up into smaller parts).


    The most notable thing here is the flaring kit. Since female flare fittings are kinda hard to come by, I purchased a small section of brake line and will use one of its fittings and a coupling, or here labeled "union" to connect them. I also got a small tubing cutter since the space I'm working in is kinda small.


    Ok, here is the cut old brake line. I removed the portion that connects to the rubber hose to take to the store with me to make sure I've got the correct threads.


    Ok...new line curved to miss any sharp edges...the line runs right along the spare tire well where the old line ran over the rear axle assembly. Since it's hard to get up there, not to mention how badly rusted everything is, I prefer to take this route.


    We've moved from under the car to the driver's side. Both rear brake lines come up the driver's side. The damage to my passenger side line was over the middle of the car, so this portion of the line is still good. You can see the new line, so I'll make a cut on the old line to match.


    Ok...Flaring time. First things first PUT ON THE FITTING!!! I can't remember how many stories I've heard about great flares but they forgot the fitting. Now, usually you'd use a double flare for brake lines, but the cheap ass tool store only had single flare tools...so we'll go with that.


    For those of you who have never flared a line before, let me describe it. You clamp the line in the tool noted in the first picture (large silver bars with holes and screws on either end). My brake lines are 3/16", so I used that slot. You clamp the bars on the line, then attach the red vice-like press to the bar and crank down on the line. This squeezes the end of the line and causes it to flare to 45 degrees. You'll want to practice some on some spare line. Then undo everything and you're set. A double flare is more involved, but we'll save that for when this one fails and I have to redo the whole dam thing...


    Above is the flared line...that I had put the fitting on. I attached the "union", then screwed in the new line...and that's it. Make sure everything is tight and bleed the system. No thread sealant is needed because technically the line should be sealed. If fluid gets to the treads, you're dead anway. For bleeding the system, you'll need to follow the service manual for that, I'm hoping to get away with just doing the calipers, but I'm sure the ABS system will want some bleeding to as the system drained itself over that two month period it was sitting out back in the grass.

    I'll save that for tomorrow.
    Original content is at http://members.aol.com/regal231/lines.htm
    1986 Buick Regal T-Type WH1 -1988 Pontiac Fiero GT - 1994 Chevy Caprice Classic Wagon - 1999 Chevy S-10 4wd

  2. #2

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    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures

    this is something ive been wanting to get pics of and ppst up also, too many ppl have no idea how to cut and flare tubing, tis simple to do yet everyones so scared to do it, hell i even reuse factory threaded fittings, metric oens are hard to find, so i remove the factory ones form the junk old lines and put them on the new ones, if i am working with metric system anyways,

    tubing double flaring kit is cheap but i prefer to rent so if anything breaks or strips then....
    or i just borrow my stepdads from his garage,


    good luck

  3. #3

    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures

    did you single, or double flare that line? 'cause I thought technically you needed to double flare it..

    either way, that's freekin' awesome man! Thanks for the How-To on there!

    --Dave.

  4. #4
    Lurker DiscoStudd's Avatar
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    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures

    So by "double flaring" it achieves the same type of end that the brake lines have on them when you purchase them from the auto parts store? I've (single) flared out copper tubing before but never brake lines. I didn't think a single flare would work very well on a brake system.

    The same thing happened to me last year on my old 92 LeSabre before I got rid of it. It rusted out on the rear passenger side. I ended up replacing the whole line (it ran from the right side, across the front of the rear suspension, to a proportioning valve on the driver's side in front of the rear wheel.) I used a tubing bender to bend the line (it had several bends in it to fit around the suspension.) It never occurred to me to cut the old line and flare it. Nonetheless, good times indeed!!!

    Thanks for the write-up!

    Kevin B.
    2004 Chevy Impala 3400 V6 - Color: Victory Red

    1999 Chevy Tahoe 5.7 Vortec V8 - Color: You guessed it, Victory Red!

  5. #5

    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures

    they also make unions that don't require flaring too - which is kinda nice for those "hard to reach" areas.

    the double flaring is what comes when you buy the lines - also it is VERY close to the single flaring, but it adds more strength into the flared end and creates more "cushion" to create a better seal..

    --Dave

  6. #6
    Lurker paulo57509's Avatar
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    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures

    FWIW, I was taught that when repairing a hydraulic brake system:

    1. Hard lines must be double flaired.
    2. Never use compression fittings.

  7. #7

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    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures

    My reason for single flare is of simple cheapness. None of the local parts places had a double flaring tool to rent, puchasing one was $30 bucks locally, and a single flare tool was $10 and came with a bunch of other stuff. I did experiment trying to make a double flare with this tool, but it's made of such cheap metal, it was damaging the tool. I've probably burnt myself though and I'll end up needing another $40 tow home someday, but this will at least let my car pass inspection.

    If this plan fails, then Harbor Freight does sell a double flaring tool for $12 bucks which I'll get, and of course the fail safe is buying a 91" line and replacing the entire line at the factory connections (three feet more to a factory connection.) There is enough new line installed to make a couple of flares of either style before I would have to purchase a new section of brake line.
    1986 Buick Regal T-Type WH1 -1988 Pontiac Fiero GT - 1994 Chevy Caprice Classic Wagon - 1999 Chevy S-10 4wd

  8. #8

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    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures

    These cars require a metric ISO flare, NOT single nor double flare.

    Anything other than an ISO flare is considered a safety hazard on these cars. I bought an ISO flare tool just for this purpose, although my friend ended up fixing the car with a junkyard brake line so I haven't had to use it yet.

  9. #9

    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures

    brake line from a junkyard????



    isn't that like buying used underwear???
    your going to find yourselves running...running from those werewolves in space.

  10. #10

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    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures

    Nah, I live in Missouri where brake lines don't rust.

    Only reason the brake line started leaking was the power steering line rubbed a hole into it.

  11. #11

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    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures - Part 2

    Part 2 - For those of you who said a single flare wouldn't work, Kidos to you, you were right.

    I began bleeding the system and everything started off fine...lots of air out the passenger rear...then move over to the driver's side rear...oops. We're leaking. The single flare failed. Next step...get a double flare tool. I head off to Hampden Auto Parts (Napa) and the owner is willing to lend me a double flare tool. Great...I make a couple of practice double flares are realized I don't want a double flare...I want a bubble flare, which is 1/2 of a double flare...allow me to explain.


    A double flare kit is actually the same as a single flare kit with the exception of one part, the Double Flare Portion of the tool, shown above.


    The tubing is inserted into the tool the same way, but actually hangs out a bit. You'll notice the ridges on the Double Flare adapter, well, it hangs out one ridge that far. You insert the adapter in the tube and compress (as above). What you get is below, which is actually called a bubble flare. In order to make a double flare, you would then compress the tubing again without the adapter like you would for a single flare. However, bubble flares are what's found on the brake line with fittings you get from the store, and thats what I wanted.


    So, back to bleeding my brake system...I started again with the passenger rear...good, but it had a constant flow of small bubbles...looks like I'll need to bleed the ABS after all. The ABS has two bleed points, one rear and one forward...service manual states to start with the back and then do the front...well, nothing but brake fluid came of out the back...move to the front an boom...quite a bit of air. I purged it rebled all the brakes again, this time with sucess...all that and my new fitting wasn't leaking. Great! I rebled the ABS again per instructions, and took it for a spin...besides 2 months of rust on the rotors, everything worked well. Thats all for now, thanks for reading.

    Ben
    1986 Buick Regal T-Type WH1 -1988 Pontiac Fiero GT - 1994 Chevy Caprice Classic Wagon - 1999 Chevy S-10 4wd

  12. #12

    Brake Line Repair How To with Pictures

    woo-hoo!

    Congrats on the brake repair(s)

    I've used compression unions for TEMPORARY brake repairs, yes I know you're not suposed to, but I never had a real problem with it, and it's good to get ya home.

    --Dave.

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