Need Advice For Replacing Brake Lines on an 83 CJ7 - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 24 Old 03-04-2020, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
Willyc
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Need Advice For Replacing Brake Lines on an 83 CJ7

I was driving the other night when I had to make a hard stop. Brakes worked fine, but afterwards I began to feel the brake pedal fade and I saw smoke from under the chassis. Before long every time I stepped on the brake pedal smoke billowed from under the CJ and into the cab. It was so bad I looked like Cheech and Chong going down the road. I never completely lost brakes, but the pedal faded more and more the longer I used them.

When I got home I found that brake fluid was squirting from near the left wheel cylinder onto the exhaust pipe. When Iinspected that break line I couldn't find a split or crimp, but the line was horribly rusted. Near as I can figure rust has penetrated the brake line and when I applied very hard pedal pressure I popped a pin hole in the brake line. Again, there's no obvious break, but there is a very fine stream of fluid jetting out of the line onto the tail pipe and underside of the tub.

Further inspection of brake lines revealed that all of the steel lines are extremely rusty. I decided to replace everything. I ordered a set of stainless steel lines and when they arrive I plan to replace everything. The TSM doesn't speak to this at all.

This is new to me and I'm looking for advice, tips, booby traps, what ever. The lines I ordered are pre-bent. I can see that threading them into position will be an exercise in profanity.

May of the nuts on the flare fittings are rusty and I'm guessing they will be destroyed during removal I assume the kit will come pre-flared with new nuts. The wheel cylinders have a couple thousand miles on them and I plan to reuse those. The combination valve seems ok and I plan to reuse it, if it survives removal of the flare fittings. I inspected the master cylinder and bellcrank. They appear fine and I was able to generate enough brake fluid pressure to pop a hole through the rusty spot on that break line. I plan to clean up some external rust on those, reinspect, then reuse.

I'm not sure what else to consider, so let me have it. Thanks!

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post #2 of 24 Old 03-04-2020, 09:08 PM
emiller35
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When unboxing the line take great care as mine came bent like a “U” to fit them in the box, when straightening them for install make sure not to rush as they are prone to creasing at those rounded edges for shipping. With a little time they are pretty simple to install. Good luck!


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post #3 of 24 Old 03-04-2020, 09:35 PM
dmoore_64
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Another tip you might use is to start spraying penetrating oil a couple of times a day onto all fittings you are going to want to remove. This will greatly increase your chances of them coming loose.
Good luck!


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post #4 of 24 Old 03-07-2020, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by emiller35 View Post
When unboxing the line take great care as mine came bent like a “U” to fit them in the box, when straightening them for install make sure not to rush as they are prone to creasing at those rounded edges for shipping. With a little time they are pretty simple to install. Good luck!


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Yup.....but it goes in ok...

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Originally Posted by dmoore_64 View Post
Another tip you might use is to start spraying penetrating oil a couple of times a day onto all fittings you are going to want to remove. This will greatly increase your chances of them coming loose.
Good luck!


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PB Blaster is one of the better ones to use.

But, if you don't have a set of 6 point tubing wrenches, just plan on cutting the tube off close to the flare nut and use a 6-point box end wrench or socket.
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post #5 of 24 Old 03-07-2020, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willyc View Post
The lines I ordered are pre-bent. I can see that threading them into position will be an exercise in profanity.

May of the nuts on the flare fittings are rusty and I'm guessing they will be destroyed during removal I assume the kit will come pre-flared with new nuts. The wheel cylinders have a couple thousand miles on them and I plan to reuse those.
Since you recently(?) replaced the wheel cylinders it may not be an issue but that really doesn’t matter since you aren’t reusing the lines. Yes, the nuts are already on the lines with the ends double flared. The long line that runs down the frame rail will have a “shipping bend” in it but carefully straightening it over your knee will bring it back into shape. How old are the hoses? I would replace those at the same time if you haven’t already put new ones on there when you replaced the wheel cylinders.
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post #6 of 24 Old 03-07-2020, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
Willyc
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Originally Posted by OrangeCJ-5 View Post
Since you recently(?) replaced the wheel cylinders it may not be an issue but that really doesn’t matter since you aren’t reusing the lines. Yes, the nuts are already on the lines with the ends double flared. The long line that runs down the frame rail will have a “shipping bend” in it but carefully straightening it over your knee will bring it back into shape. How old are the hoses? I would replace those at the same time if you haven’t already put new ones on there when you replaced the wheel cylinders.
The hoses are supposed to be included in the brake line set. It arrived yesterday, but I haven't unboxed it yet.
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post #7 of 24 Old 03-07-2020, 11:37 AM
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The hoses were included? Where did you buy a SS kit that included the hoses?
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post #8 of 24 Old 03-07-2020, 12:01 PM
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Since you'll have to bleed the system anyway, this is a good time to drain and replace all of the fluid with new.
I would use anti-seize on the fittings, so that they will be easier to remove in the future.
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post #9 of 24 Old 03-08-2020, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by hodge5 View Post
Since you'll have to bleed the system anyway, this is a good time to drain and replace all of the fluid with new.
I would use anti-seize on the fittings, so that they will be easier to remove in the future.
I would add, there is NO downside to adding a copper based anti-seize to those fittings. Needed? Not really. Especially when you consider you will not be removing them for many years (or should not have to).....but....there is still no downside.


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post #10 of 24 Old 03-09-2020, 07:21 AM
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... this is a good time to drain and replace all of the fluid with new.
That would happen anyway due to the fact that he is replacing all of the lines and hoses.
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post #11 of 24 Old 04-13-2020, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Talking Update

Its been several weeks. My CJ is a salvage job so everything in front of the firewall is a 78 while the rest and the title are 83. that has played particularly challenging with this job. Most brake line associated parts have been ordered online or through my local parts house and returned multiple times. Its taken an average of three tries to get the right part.

The steel brake lines were particularly challenging. I ended removing the old ones and shipping them off to Custom Tube in Lancaster NY to get a set of custom bent stainless steel tubes. They are heavily impacted by the pandemic, 6 of 30 staff working. My order is coming just not sure when.

I replaced parking brake cables too. That was fairly simple.

Removing the old lines was a challenge. Every flair nut except two required vice grips to break them lose because they were so seized that even six point flare nut wrenches rounded the nut shoulders. the two that didn't round of were rusted to the tube so the tube twisted in two at the nut.

There is a special place in hell for the engineer that designed these hydraulic lines. In order to get the front left break line off I had to remove the radiator, steering shaft and power steering lines from the steering gear.

I'm doing ahead and doing a break job on the front disc breaks this week. Parts should be in Wednesday. I'm replacing rotors and pads. Can anyone tell me the size of the retaining nuts for the front rotors? It a 78 with a six bolt hub.
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post #12 of 24 Old 04-13-2020, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Willyc View Post

I'm doing ahead and doing a break job on the front disc breaks this week. Parts should be in Wednesday. I'm replacing rotors and pads. Can anyone tell me the size of the retaining nuts for the front rotors? It a 78 with a six bolt hub.
2-1/16"

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post #13 of 24 Old 04-13-2020, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Willyc View Post
There is a special place in hell for the engineer that designed these hydraulic lines. In order to get the front left break line off I had to remove the radiator, steering shaft and power steering lines from the steering gear.
Oops, It was the front right. I could have gotten the front left off without removing those, but removing the front right first made that easier too.
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post #14 of 24 Old 04-14-2020, 06:42 AM
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iF you had not already ordered I would have suggested cupronickel. Very soft and easy to work, a roll of 3/16" and a roll of 1/4" with the fittings are about $35. The tools you need to bend and flare this stuff is straightforward, but the absolute best tool is a proper die to make double flares in 3/16" . Once you have those (about $90 in total) you will be almost as good as the pros.

Takes a little bit of care to mimic the lengths but a satisfying project, you can then tackle the fuel lines with the same tools. I did mine in 1/4"

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post #15 of 24 Old 04-14-2020, 02:12 PM
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for removing the old lines, I will 2nd... (or third) the suggestions for using PB Blaster to help. The proper tool for removing those flare nuts is a crow-foot wrench, but in this case, since your new lines mean new flare-nuts, I would just get a good pair of Round Jaw Vice-grips to pull them. In my case, the crowfoot wrenches were rounding off the hex flare-nuts just as bad as anything else ('82 CJ7), so I switched to the vice-grips knowing (but not caring) they'd get boogered up pretty bad.
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