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Unread 08-06-2011, 02:35 PM   #1
mmitsch
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Leaking Brake Line - How hard to repair?

The brake line in my daughter's 1999 Wrangler Sahara sprung a leak this afternoon. She said she was driving and noticed less response from the brakes and that the brake light was on (on the dash) and wouldn't go off.

After putting some brake fluid in (it was very low) and having my son watch the brake light I noticed fluid leaking from under the Jeep just behind the drivers side doon. I got down there and, sure enough, a pretty fast leak is coming from a pretty rusted brake line.

So, how hard is this to replace? Is this a job I can do myself? Can I just get the brake line at the auto parts store?

Let me know.

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Unread 08-06-2011, 02:50 PM   #2
Brian2o0o
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You need to figure out where the leak is coming from exactly then go from there. Is it the metal lines or the flexable line that runs to the caliper? The flexible line would be the easier of the two to replace. Just make sure to bleed the brakes after you replace what's leaking to remove the air from the lines.
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Unread 08-06-2011, 04:37 PM   #3
mmitsch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian2o0o View Post
You need to figure out where the leak is coming from exactly then go from there. Is it the metal lines or the flexable line that runs to the caliper? The flexible line would be the easier of the two to replace. Just make sure to bleed the brakes after you replace what's leaking to remove the air from the lines.
It was a metal line. I took the line off and went to the auto parts store and got new line (had to get 3 pieces, some unions and a tubing bender). I was pretty nervous about this project but just came in from the driveway -- the new line is in and routed through all of its original clips!

Unfortunately the brake light is still on and the brake pedal is mushy but there are no leaks. I filled the resrevoir with brake fluid too. I think I need to bleed these but I have absolutely no idea how to do that. I am wondering if I should take it to Sears for that part?

Let me know what you think and thanks for the response!
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Unread 08-06-2011, 05:23 PM   #4
Cesaros
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http://stu-offroad.com/suspension/bleed/brakebleed.htm is where you need to look for brake bleed instructions.

It's very easy if you have 2 people. If you don't feel comfortable DIY, it can be relatively inexpensive to just have them bled...be cautious of places trying to tell you that you did somthing wrong and you then need to spend $XXX to replace it.

I wouldn't even drive it until you bleed the brakes...that much air in the lines is a recipe for disaster.
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Unread 08-06-2011, 06:57 PM   #5
chris142
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If you open the RR bleeder and let it drip then close that bleeder and open the LR one and let that one drip it should self bleed. If that doesn't do it have daughter hold the brake pedal while you open and close the RR then LR bleeders.
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Unread 08-06-2011, 08:28 PM   #6
mmitsch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cesaros View Post
http://stu-offroad.com/suspension/bleed/brakebleed.htm is where you need to look for brake bleed instructions.

It's very easy if you have 2 people. If you don't feel comfortable DIY, it can be relatively inexpensive to just have them bled...be cautious of places trying to tell you that you did somthing wrong and you then need to spend $XXX to replace it.

I wouldn't even drive it until you bleed the brakes...that much air in the lines is a recipe for disaster.
I got everything working! This morning when I got up I never would have believed I would have bent brake line and bled brakes -- but now I've done both! There was a bunch of air in the new line. I had to have my son pump on brake pedal but, after a few bumps with air coming out, I got a nice stream of fluid. Did the other rear wheel and the 2 front as well (bled them a little) and the brake pedal feels great and the brake light on the dash is off.

Thanks for your help (all the others too). Hey, do you think I ought to replace all the brake lines?
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Unread 08-06-2011, 08:30 PM   #7
mmitsch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris142 View Post
If you open the RR bleeder and let it drip then close that bleeder and open the LR one and let that one drip it should self bleed. If that doesn't do it have daughter hold the brake pedal while you open and close the RR then LR bleeders.
Did as you said and all is working! I feel great about learning something today! There was a bunch of air in the new line and, once I bled each wheel a little bit, the mushy feel went away and the brake light went off!

Thanks for the help!
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Unread 08-07-2011, 10:28 AM   #8
Brian2o0o
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Glad you got it figured out, I didn't catch that it was the rear line leaking. I would go ahead and replace the other lines if they are in the same condition. The right tools and a little bit of guidance can go a long way. I'd never done anything other than change the oil before I got a jeep, but now I'm pretty comfortable tackling just about anything but an engine or tranny rebuild.
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