Hole in brake line :( - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 09-19-2005, 12:21 PM   #1
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Default Hole in brake line :(

I went out on a limb yesterday and did some work on my car. Changed the spark plugs, fuel filter and changed the oil. As I was backing my car off the ramps, the brake pedal went all the way to the floor. So I coasted down, put it in park and checked the brake fluid. It was full. So, I had a friend look under the car while I pumped the pedal and brake fluid shot out from the brake line running up the driver side of the car. The hole is right at a bend. Are these steel lines repairable, or will I need a whole new one? I'm thinking that'* a pricey job. Ick.
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Old 09-19-2005, 12:26 PM   #2
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These are repairable.. you will need to get a bend on the line though.

Search on compression fittings.. theres a bunch of great threads.

Make sure the nut is all the way by the end of the tubing before bending
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Old 09-19-2005, 04:48 PM   #3
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Brakes are only safe when flare fittings are used, Double flare to be exact.
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Old 09-19-2005, 06:28 PM   #4
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Replacing a section of line is no big deal, i've had to do it twice on my '87. Just cut out the section you don't need, and then i believe that you can borrow the flaring kit from autozone on that loan-a-tool thing. Then get yourself a few feet of line (for mistakes) and a few fittings and your can fix it. Cost: maybe 20 bucks? Plus the invaluable knowledge.
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Old 09-20-2005, 10:01 AM   #5
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I'd like to try it myself...for the simple fact that I'm really starting to get into fixing things.
What exactly is a flare tool?
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Old 09-20-2005, 01:41 PM   #6
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A flare tool is what is used to make the flare on the end of brake line. You have to DOUBLE flare brake line for it to seal properly. It'* not a very difficult procedure but you have to get it right or it won't work. Maybe someone else can chime in with pictures or something.
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Old 09-21-2005, 12:36 PM   #7
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Can you buy steel line that is already pre-flared on the end?
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Old 09-27-2005, 02:06 PM   #8
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I'm going to be attempting my brake line repair project this Saturday. I'm doing whatever research I can so hopefully I can get this done myself.
From what I understand, you can buy pre-flared brake line in different lengths.
I get the jist of what I need to do....but being this is "new" to me....can anyone give some step by step instructions? Well first off I need to know the diameter of the brake line. Then for the compression fittings, do they come in different sizes?
Thanks guys!!
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Old 09-27-2005, 03:28 PM   #9
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Alecb is tellin' you right. Cars use flare fittings on brake lines because they are better able to withstand the high pressures of several thousand pounds per square inch that are generated when you apply the brakes than other types of fittings. Check out the parts stores before you start the job. Most will have repair lengths of brake line with fittings already attached. The only way to do it without a double flaring tool, is to replace the tubing from existing female to female fitting on your car with one or more pre-fitted repair lines and unions that come close to the length of the damaged line. Because you can't accurately control the length this way, you may end up with some extra bends to take up extra length. You will get a lot neater job if you borrow or rent the double flaring tool, and make up the piece exactly the right length and shape. You can buy brake line in 25-foot rolls that is more malleable and much easier to work with than the stiffer stuff they sell you in the pre-fitted repair lengths. But you can cut and double flare the pre-fitted line too, it just works a little harder.

If you are able to, remove the section of line that is damaged from the fittings on the car. Penetrating oil and patience will pay off here. Use flare wrenches that fit tightly on the nuts and hold the female fitting tightly with a big adjustable wrench. Try to get the fittings out without damaging the nuts; you may need to re-use them if your parts house doesn't carry the right diameter and thread pitch fittings for your car.

Once the old line is out of the car, you can make up an identical new line with a combination of pre-fitted repair lengths of brake line, or make one up yourself.

If you cannot get the old line apart from the female fittings in the car, you may still be able to repair it by cutting the line on the car at places where you have enough room to slip on a flare nut and double-flare the ends. You can then use unions and make up a repair piece that is just the right length using the piece you removed as a model. Keep in mind that you will need enough space to attach the forming anvil and to work with the clamp and dies underneath the car.

If the double flaring tool doesn't come with pictures and instructions, ask someone who knows how to use it to demonstrate for you. Buy a 2 or 3-foot length of pre-fitted repar line, and practice with the tool until you can make a good looking end.
You will need to make a square cut with a tubing cutter, ream the excess material from the inside diameter, chamfer the outside diameter with a file, fit the tube in the anvil clamp with just the right amount of tube above the deck, insert the forming die and roll the edge using the flaring tool. Undo the tool, remove the forming die, re-insert the flaring tool and form the new sealing surface.

After you do it a few times, its easy. If all this seems overwhelming, here'* another idea. If you can get the damaged line out of the car without destroying it, you can take it to someone with a tool and have them make up a new line for you. They probably would not charge you much for this.

Either way, when you are done, you will need to bleed your brakes. To save some time, you may want to use a cap or plug on the cut line or open fitting to prevent the master cylinder reservoir from completely draining and introducing air that you will later need to remove.
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Old 09-27-2005, 05:55 PM   #10
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Mine just rusted through there also.

Be sure to take pictures, I will need to do this as soon as I can get to my car.
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