Things to Know about Brake Line Repair
Brake line repair is something that can be accomplished by just about anyone, as long as they have the proper tools and information. This guide outlines a few things you need to keep in mind to properly accomplish the 2 types of line repairs, as well as giving you a list of tools you will need. It is important to know that some of these tools are specialized. While they are not expensive and are available at any local retail chain auto parts store, it is imperative that you use the correct tools to complete certain repairs. Following is a list of special tools required and a brief description of each.
- Line wrenches-These are a cross between an open-end wrench and a box-end wrench. There are five contact areas on a line wrench. This is because a hydraulic line fitting is not made of extremely hardened steel and using an open-end wrench or worse, an adjustable is likely to distort it to the point you won’t be able to remove it.
- Hard line flare tool-This is a two piece tool. One piece looks like a modern version of the old stocks that were used to imprison criminals. It is used to clamp the hydraulic line. The other is a flaring tool. It has a screw and handle at one end and a pointed anvil on the other. It clamps over the line clamp.
- Steel line bender-This tool is used to make bends and turns in metal lines without crimping or kinking them.
Hard Line Replacement
There are a few things to remember when performing a hard brake line repair or replacement:
- Always use line wrenches. Always.
- When replacing ends, make sure the threads are aligned properly.
- When replacing hard lines from stock lines, do not over tighten the flare tool. You will crack the line and ruin it.
- Hard lines must NEVER be bent by hand. Even small bends must be made with the correct size bender. Cracks and kinks will result from not using a bender.
- Always replace all clamps and straps that were removed when the old line was removed.
Rubber Line Replacement
Rubber line replacement is solely a matter of removing the old, leaking or cracked line and installing the new one in its place.
- Always use line wrenches. ALWAYS.
- When replacing caliper or wheel cylinder lines, it is recommended to remove the caliper or cylinder and spin it. This prevents the hose from kinking.
- Avoid sharp edges.
- Always replace clamps and straps.
After replacing either rubber or hard lines, it is imperative that you perform an operation known as bleeding the brakes. This removes any air from the lines in order to ensure proper brake operation. Once the lines are bled, if you have followed the outlined steps, you will have a completed a brake line repair and saved yourself considerable money as well as downtime for your vehicle.