Brake Repair

How to Repair a Rusted Brake Line


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The method used for brake line repairs is a direct function of the extent of damage involved. Depending on the extent of damage, either whole line or sectional replacements are possible. The repair generally involves three steps. 

Step 1: Brake Line Replacement

In order to replace the Brake Line, follow the below mentioned steps:

  • Verify the extent of rust you are dealing with. If the entire line is rusted, then measure it allowing an extra inch for error caused by bent lines.
  • Soak the fittings in an appropriate penetrant for about 15 to 20 minutes. (Repeat soaking if necessary).
  • Separate brake line brackets from the frame using the appropriate sockets.
  • Identify and remove the fittings by using appropriate wrenches. Use a tubing cutter if preferred.
  • Bend the new lines to mimic the shape of the old lines being replaced.
  • Using the appropriate wrench, attach newly bent lines to the vehicle and replace all brackets previously removed.
  • Using a tubing cutter, trim off any brake line excesses and remove compression fittings.
  • Identify the two head caps with center holes and the double–threaded center tube.
  • Position one cap end in the line and place the ferrule over it
  • Holding  the center tube in one hand and capped line in the other, push the line into the center tube
  • Observe a collapse of the ferrule around the line and place a leak-proof seal to lock the barrel to the line.
  • Using two wrenches, hold the center tube with one wrench and tighten the end cap with the other.
  • Place the second cap and ferrule into the cut line and then push the ferrule and new line into the old line. Keep holding the old line tightly to the barrel while you do this. (Repeat the same procedure for the other side).
  • Finally, locate the master cylinder reservoir and fill with brake fluid

Step 2: Brake Bleeding Procedure

You will need the manufacturer’s Service manual, automotive wrenches, floor jack, hand and air-operated tools, support stands, brake fluid and brake proportioning valve to bleed the brakes effectively.

With the necessary tools at hand, please proceed to bleed the brakes as follows:

  • Turn your engine on.
  • Identify the metal tubing carrying fluid to all the wheels and disconnect it.
  • Press down on the brake pedal several times and then keep the pedal down.
  • Identify the fluid reservoir and open it.
  • Use a fine brush to clean the fitting and then take the fitting out, using a wrench.
  • Replace the fitting with only a moderate amount of pressure.
  • Ask your helper to depress the pedal and keep it down while you gently open the fitting (fluid spurts out).
  • Replace the fitting as the pressure is completely dissipated.
  • Rebuild the pressure by pumping the pedal.

Step 3: Safety Checks and Warnings

  • Brake fluid could damage your expensive car paint. Be cautious.
  • Safety glasses will protect your eyes from accidental spurts. Wear them.
  • Air could be trapped in the system, so pour the fluid continually throughout the entire process.
  • Follow local regulations for the disposal of used brake fluids.
  • The brake line could get damaged so protect it from excessive pressure.
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