Looking for tips on replacing the long F->R brake line
I'm proactively replacing the long rusty break line that runs from the front to the rear with the pre-bent line from the dealer and it is kicking my butt once I get to the bendy part in the front. It looks like it would be much easier without the steering shaft in the way but I haven't seen any posts/vids that mention removing it. Though, most of them don't really have a lot of detail when it comes to actually fishing the line down. Last year sometime, I vaguely remember reading a post, which I can't find, that said letting the axle droop and loosening the transfer case cross member helps. So far this hasn't helped me with the bendy part in the front.
Anyone have any tips on getting this thing in there without cutting and splicing it?
I didn't remove or loosen anything. You're going to bend it some, but you can fix it later. Make sure you're not 180 degrees out when feeding it in from the engine bay and it helps to have one person underneath guiding it. Sorry, that probably didn't help much.
Thanks for letting me know it can be done without removing a bunch of stuff. I guess I'll just push and pull a little harder then while trying to keep the bending to a minimum. Of course, with my luck I'll end up with a straight piece of tube.
That may have been my post. I spent a LOT of time fishing the tube up the firewall (from beneath) and through the maze of steering shaft, brake lines, and whatever else the engineers decided to put there. Once that was up, then I had the rest of the horizontal line to deal with.
I really didn't want to bend the new line. So the logical thing in the way was the crossmember. Yea, it was a pain, but realistically only took about 30 minutes to undo. I had my jack under the trans, removed all the bolts on the driver side crossmember, undid the bolts on the crossmember to trans bracket, then loosened the passenger side crossmember bolts. As the crossmember lowered (drooped) from the driver's side frame rail (only an inch or so), I slid the brake line through the 'gap'. (I know some guys say they didn't need to do that, but without bending the new line, I don't see how it can be done, any other way.)
It's like removing the whole 'front end' - headlights, headlight support, upper radiator mount, and bumper fascia - just to remove the radiator. It sounds like a lot of work, but once all removed, the rest of the job is a snap. The crossmember is the same concept. At least it worked just fine for me. The firewall end of the line really sucked!
I was able to install mine without removing anything...'99 WJ 4.0. The main line from the front to the rear came pre-bent except for the bend up into the engine well. I pulled the old one out, (in two peices I believe maybe three after cutting). I think I then laid the old and new side by side to see where the bends up into the engine well were...I was able to bend it by hand using sockets etc...to bend around if I recall correctly just had to be careful not to kink it and snap it since they are steel.......It essentially made a long "L" shape after making that bend into the engine well.....I think I just fished it around and eventually got it to go....If you're doing that one you should check the condition of the others...especially where they make the bends from under the vehicle up into the engine...that seems to be where they get the most road grime/salt etc sprayed up on them...and where they are held in by the clips....I bought the main line to the rear, the one running to the passenger side front right, the left rear and then bought a copper/nickel alloy for the driver left front which is soft and can be bent by hand...also I painted mine with rustoloeum before installing and replaced all of my brake hoses while I was at it.....THere are a number of posts on this issue....
So I finally had the time to take another whack at replacing the brake line that goes to the rear brakes and it went much more smoothly this time. Undoing the steering shaft from the steering box under the hood and the steering column in the cab made a HUGE difference.
So here's what I did.
1. Hit both ends of the existing line with a shot of PB Blaster.
2. With a paint marker, marked the ends of the steering shaft where it connects to the steering box and steering shaft so I know I have it aligned correctly during reassembly. Probably not necessary since it seems to really only go together one way but it certainly didn't hurt anything.
3. Undid and removed the 1/2" bolt at the steering box and collapsed the steering shaft all the way.
4. Undid and removed the other 1/2" bolt at the steering column and pulled the steering shaft in to the cab as far as possible without uncollapsing it. This gets the steering shaft entirely out of the way when putting in the new brake line.
5. Fished the new brake line down from the top following the path of the old line. Be sure to get it behind the axle tube vent hose and the fuel line. It's not a bad idea to slide vent hose out of clamp on the control arm for a little more room to maneuver. Once it's past the fuel line and still on the straight part of the brake line, it's probably a good time to make sure that the brake line isn't not 180 degrees out as 1 Long CJ suggested. When feeding it over the TC cross member the break line bowed slightly but was never in danger of kinking.
At this point since there is splattering brake fluid and falling bits of rusty brake line I'd highly recommend eye protection.
6. Once the line was ran, I prefilled the new line with break fluid by sticking the engine bay end in the bottle like a straw and using my manual vacuum pump to suck the fluid through. When fluid starting coming out of the other side I capped it with a small vacuum cap to prevent it from draining out.
7. Cleaned the grime off the distribution box and undid the line with a 12mm flare nut wrench. Apparently I didn't get all the grime as a bit of it had fallen in and was sitting on lip at the bottom. Sucked that out and connected the new line.
8. Disconnected the old line at the rear with a SAE flare wrench (don't recall the size at the moment) and sucked the fluid out of the line. Removed the vacuum cap and connected the new line (Tried not to make a mess of it but was not successful.)
9. Carefully removed the old line from the plastic clips that hold it to the frame rail. Had to pull up while using a looong flat head screw driver to release the first one coming from the distribution box. Removed the three clips that hold the ABS wires to the brake line. Cut the old line near where it goes under the fuel line and pulled the two pieces out.
10. Reconnected the steering shaft, clipped in the vent hose and reconnected a vacuum hose to intake that I'd knocked loose messing with that first plastic clip.
11. Blead the brake using the vacuum pump. Put a small bottle of DOT4 to make sure I had gotten all of the air out of the line and all was well.
While the old line was still intact apparently it was expanding when under pressure as the new line seems to have resolved an issue with my rear calipers not fully engaging the rotor.