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Old 03-01-2007, 10:24 PM   #1
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Default Brake Line is done for

I'm a college student and like most college students I am poor. Tonight I went to pick up my buddy and the nice plowing people had put up a nice wall behind my car. I thought it was powder but it turns out to be ice. The entire way there and back (total of .6 miles) I heard a scraping/grinding noise and had almost no brakes what so ever. I looked under the car and sure enough a brake line that was a little rusted got snapped off, dangled and is now grinding on the road. My spring break begins tomorrow and I have 260 miles to get back home. Now finally the question: Would it be better to try and fix it myself(NO MECHANIC EXPERIENCE AT ALL -don't even know how to change a tire-) while buying all the tools and such or just drop it off at a shop and hope it gets done that day. Keep in mind I want to get home and enjoy spring break as quick as possible. If doing it myself is better please post a link or something to dummy-proof instructions. Thanks
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:26 PM   #2
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Please see my post about brake hoses a few below this one. I usually twist all my own wrenches but managed to screw up my brake line bad enough to need a pro. If I were in your shoes, with no experience as you stated, I think I would find a shop.
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:37 PM   #3
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Ok guys, I'm really pulling for the do it myself option so a walk through or something would be amazing
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:44 PM   #4
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Not sure if it will work or not, but you migght be able to get a piece of hose that will fit snuggly over the two ends of the line, and some screw on clamps and basically patch it til you can get home and have it fixed at home (assuming you'll have a car to borrow or even help) You'll have to make sure the ends of the lines are opened to allow flow.

I had this done with my gas line, but that isn't as much pressure as the brakes though, so it might not be best.
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:07 AM   #5
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Your best bet would be to measure how long of line that you need, including the bends, and then buy that length of brake tubing, with the proper fittings and flaring. Get a cheap tube bender (you'll kink it without it) and follow the general bends of the original tubing. Then you'll have to bleed all of the brake lines to get the air out.
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:30 AM   #6
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You will need a flaring tool (buy or rent) and line wrenches for the fittings. Depending on where the line broke, like Archon suggested, it may be easier to replace an entire section between fittings. That way, you would not have to flare any tubing at all. An honest shop should not charge you that much to install a new piece of brake line - maybe $100-150. Absolutely DO NOT try to patch a brake line with a rubber hose and clamps. They will NOT withstand the pressure. Brake line pressures can reach 3000 psi. That'* why they are metal with metal fittings and the rubber hoses are special hydraulic high strength material. You really need a warm, flat, floor, with jack stands, a drop light, and a few line wrenches to get this done. It would be really great if you had someone who has done brake line work to help you out. If you don't have the facilities, my advice would be to have it done. Brakes lines are not the place to save money.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:40 AM   #7
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A hose can be bad. You need metal lines or the specialized hosing that does not expand with the amount of pressure that is in your brake lines.

Like the others mentioned, a double flaring tool is a requirement and honestly..you need this quick and done right. Mechanic is your best bet, the system also needs to be bled to ensure there'* no air pockets.
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:05 PM   #8
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I took it to a shop, insurance covered most of the towing
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Old 03-02-2007, 02:17 PM   #9
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We all are assuming you own a Bonneville?
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippy1827
We all are assuming you own a Bonneville?
nice call
94 in fact
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