brake line- rigid or flexible - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-12-2015, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
thistle3585
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brake line- rigid or flexible

I had my brakes looked at and the mechanic said that the rear brake line that runs down the center of the Jeep has collapsed on to itself and he can't get any pressure at the rear. The fronts have been doing all the work. They want $800 to replace front and rear brakes plus that brake line. I figured its time I learned to do brakes. It can't be that difficult. Anyhow, would you recommend a rigid or flexible brake line? What would be your suggestion on brand? I have a tube bender. Am I as well off to buy a straight tube and bend my own?

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post #2 of 11 Old 10-12-2015, 01:18 PM
mike134
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"Classic Tube" makes a 304 prebent brake line kit. I think it was around $150. Well worth it for me. If you have any rust, you want to replace all of the brake hard lines AND the hoses.

Goodridge makes pretty good stainless steel brake hoses, I think it was around $100 for the 3 required hoses (mine were 'extended' for a lift). You can use a more stock hose if you'd prefer to save some money.

Replace the rear wheel cylinders. It will make it far easier. They are $4 a piece.

Some advice: 1.)Cut each hard line near the nut with some old wire cutters. Then use a six point socket to remove the nuts from each caliper, proportioning valve, master cylinder. Don't mess around with trying to get it out with an open end or line wrench or you will round them off and get stuck. You are going to replace the nuts and lines anyway. 2.) You will need to unbend some of the prebent sections and then rebend it, you can use your hand for this. It is still worth it because all of the small chicanes and offsets can remain while you do it. Front passenger side is the most difficult, if you have a winch, you'll probably need to remove it. 3.) the long run from front to back was actually the easiest to install!

The $800 price tag is all in the labor. It WILL take a few hours to do it. I think it took me 10 hours by myself. I found a few drum issues when I was in there though. Star wheels were seized, parking brake cable was broken. I replaced drums, shoes (nobody had the proper shoe size locally... rock auto sent the wrong size twice....), pads, wheel cylinders, 'drum hardware kit', hard brake lines, brake hoses, new DOT-3 fluid while I was doing the job.

Good luck!

You'll have to match your year, and whether you have ABS: http://www.jeep4x4center.com/jeep-br...rake-lines.htm
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-12-2015, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
thistle3585
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Thanks. I was hoping to just replace the center one that runs the length and I don't see where you can buy just it.

Last edited by thistle3585; 10-12-2015 at 02:21 PM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-12-2015, 02:31 PM
mike134
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If you want to do just the center line, then you will have to bend by hand. In that case, just go to Autozone and buy the correct length of "pre flared" brake tube. It should run you around $25-35. It can be a pain in the *** to bend, but its not a terrible job.

They probably won't stock stainless steel, so in Indiana, it is not a bad idea to put some paint on it before installing. The original lines can last 20 years, the replacement lines can as well. Its just that if you are doing all of them, it is a minimal price difference to just buy the prebent 304 compared to the labor you are putting in.

Usually if one brake line is bad, they will all be borderline. I could never really recommend that someone just patch or selectively replace line unless it was physically damaged by a rock, during maintenenace, etc. Look at the line that runs along the rear axle and the line that runs to the front passenger side. If there is ANY sign of rust on it, then they really all need to be replaced. If it looks good, then you can replace just the middle line.

In any case, starting with the long middle line might give you the confidence to proceed with the rest (which I recommend and will congratulate you if you proceed ).




Mike134's Center Line Replacement Instructions:

To replace that center brake line, measure the centerline with a fabric tape measure (the type that measures you for clothing, or use a string and then compare to a tape measure). Buy a preflared brake line of the same length. cut the line with wire cutters an inch from where it goes into the nut at the proportioning valve. Working quickly, Bend and crimp the left over line on the proportioning valve side to hold the brake fluid in, its not going to spray out ridiculously, but it will drip, its nasty stuff. Cut the brake line in half with wire cutters over an oil pan to make removal easier. Let the fluid drain out of both ends. Remove the entire center line (two halves). Put it off to the side and use this as a template to bend your new piece (one piece takes the shape as two). Feed the line in from the rear of the vehicle into the original location. Attach the rear hose first. Next, working quickly, cut the 1 inch crimped nut section off the proporitioning valve side, use a 6 sided socket to remove it. Attach the new brake line nut.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-12-2015, 02:36 PM
jbolty
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You can get preflared brake tube at any parts store in a multitude of lengths.

If one line is rusted you can be there are others no far behind. You can replace all the hard line for the entire jeep for $60-$75 plus a few hours of time. No reason to cut or flare anything. Just take the old lines off one by one and use as a template to bend the new one. A bending tool helps but it can be done by hand with a little practice.

I had the same issue and after changing the hard lines I figured everything had crud and rust in it so I changed the wheel cylinders, calipers and the soft lines along with the master. Just that, with all stock parts, made a noticeable difference in the braking ability. That whole job cost about $300 including the tube and everything else.

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post #6 of 11 Old 10-12-2015, 04:39 PM
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Get a double flaring tool, a roll of copper-nickel brake line and some fittings and make your own lines.
Replace them all as well as the flex lines as previous mentioned.
The copper-nickel line costs a bit more than steel. It's super easy to work with compared to steel line and will last forever.

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post #7 of 11 Old 10-12-2015, 06:11 PM
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Personally I cut and bent my own out of copper nickle as well. However being that you are inexperienced with the process i do not recommend it.

If you go to advance auto or autozone you can by zinc plated line for a dollar or two more than the plain. It will last much longer than the regular lines and is well worth the extra $4. (I would still give it a coat of paint once installed.) You should be good with a 6 foot piece and a 4 foot piece. Then bend it up to match the old one before you remove it. When you remove the old one it will more than likely fall apart.

+1 To you considering replacing all the lines. And for simplicity's sake the pre-bent lines are the way to go.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-13-2015, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
thistle3585
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Thanks everyone. I am going to replace everything because I figured I might as well do it right from the get go. I really want to bend them myself because that's just the kind of guy I am but I think I'm going to be under a time crunch. I'm taking a day and a half off and am pulling the tranny to replace the rear main seal along with doing the brake work.

I had planned on getting the complete brake setup from Autozone. Their Duralast brand. Any thoughts? Should I go with something else? This is a daily driver and wont see any offroad.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-13-2015, 12:51 PM
mike134
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Autozone probably won't have the prebent available. You can get the 304 stainless from classic tube ordered on Morris 4x4. Or you can get a more stocking prebent set from omix-ada but it is only 20 dollars cheaper. In which case it's worth stainless.

I just always push for new brake lines on old vehicles because I've had 3 of them break. Once was when I lent my car to a friend, what a terrible friend I am...

Jeeps are sometimes a little less susceptible to brake line rust because they sit higher off the ground. But just think of the truck brake line lawsuit that was launched last year (trucks are also high off the ground)! So many broken break lines they were considering recalling all GM vehicles!!
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-13-2015, 07:58 PM
dancytron
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You'll need to disassemble the rear brakes if you replace the wheel cylinders (which you'll need to do if you cut the brake lines to get them out as suggested or you have trouble getting the rear brake lines off the wheel cylinders, which you will).

You'll need the brake tools to do that safely. http://www.harborfreight.com/3-piece...kit-97804.html

Video on taking rear brakes apart. https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=IP5fj8_FBIw
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-13-2015, 09:49 PM
mike134
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+1 to the drum brake tools. It makes it sooo much easier.

Although I have done quite a few with safety goggles, heavy wool coat, gloves, and vice grips. If you lock the vice grips onto the spring, it puts a lot of mass on there so it won't fly into your eyeball if you accidently drop it. The real brake drum tools are far superior though.
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