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BLEW A BRAKE LINE!! Need help!

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by musclecarboy, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. musclecarboy

    musclecarboy 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,303

    I blew a reake line on my chevy and the fluid just pours out now. What size brake lines does it need? Its a 1990 with rear drums. Also, what size fittings go on the end? I'm going to replace both rear lines but can't find any pre-bent ones:realmad: I guess i'll just do it myself.
  2. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Find a double flare kit. Buy a coil of line and fittings at the local store, should be under $20.

    I believe the rear lines are 3/16" but you'll need to check or take a sample of the rotted line with you. Do yourself a favor and soak the bleeder screws with penetrating oil ASAP, and use a 6-point socket on them if you can. If you break them off or strip them you'll be doing wheel cylinders too.
  3. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    If your buying a coil of brake line, go to NAPA and get the line, with the rubber coating on it
  4. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Rubber coating? Really? Never heard of that, I take it it works like a perminant undercoating..? I guess the ends would still rot but would certainly help with mid-line failures...
  5. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    Yea, the NAPA in town here has it. Its well worth it !!!

    I'll try to get a part number for u guys
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Thery're 3/16" Just buy two straight piece's in the correct lengths to do the job and bend them up yourself.

    The line is available in specific lengths so just take a rough measurement on what length you need for each side and add an inch or two to you measurement. Usually on the lines going from the rubber hose out to the wheel cylinders on a truck like yours you'll need a 30" for the driver side and a 40" for the pass side.

    FYI: The line is available in 12, 20, 30, 40, 51 and 60 inch sections.
  7. Sharp Charge

    Sharp Charge Member
    Messages: 38

    And make sure you don't kink it! Another thing to watch for, is if you've never bent tubing you want to be careful that you don't split the line while you're flaring the end.

    Good luck.
  8. Plowinpro03

    Plowinpro03 Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    pinch the dam thing line and be done with the rear breaks!!..haha...check ur gas lines while ur under there. Hopefully ur fuel tank isn't to much in your way.
  9. musclecarboy

    musclecarboy 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,303

    Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I just pinched the back rubber line with vice grips to get it home. I think its worth it to get a tube bender if it isn't too pricy. I've done tube bending and double flaring but it was a while ago so I'll take a small piece to practise.
  10. musclecarboy

    musclecarboy 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,303

    Question about the end fittings:

    They just use standard brass fittings and not blue Jap ones right?
  11. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Correct...they're not metric.
  12. musclecarboy

    musclecarboy 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,303

    DAMNIT!! The threads were kinda messed up on the fittings I took off the truck so it seemed to thread a metric one. I bought them and didn't attempt to install until after they were closed so I couldn't get the proper ones!!:realmad::realmad::realmad:
  13. sechracer

    sechracer Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    I would just use the pre cut lines like B&B said. That way you know the fittings are right and that the flares are good.

    The ones you took off should have been brass....
  14. musclecarboy

    musclecarboy 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,303

    I thought they were brass but couldn't tell because of how rusty they were:dizzy:. I bought precut and preflared straight lines but they had the metric ends:realmad:. I'm going to get the right ones this morning
  15. royallawn

    royallawn Senior Member
    from kansas
    Messages: 156

    i replaced two trucks brake lines this year. same thing, they rot out in the back. don't even try to get the fitting out of the drum with a wrench. cut the line and pound the proper 6 point socket on it. then run your line towards the front to where the line is good and use a compression fitting. it's a easy fix.
  16. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Compression fittings? Isn't that a no-no on high pressure systems (like brakes)? I was always taught flares only.

    The stock fittings aren't brass, they are plated steel (brass-coloured, originally). Brass doesn't rust! Replacement ones could be either.

    Nothing wrong with buying pre-made lengths if you're not comfortable with a flaring tool...
  17. shanta74

    shanta74 Member
    Messages: 72

    never use compression fittings on brakes they dont hold even half of the line pressure a hydraulic brake line fitting does.
  18. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    A tip on getting bleeder screws off:
    You need a real torch to do this. I have a small Map / Oxygen torch for this.
    Wire brush around the bleeder screw, heat up the bleeder screw til it's almost ready to start melting. Heat only the bleeder screw not the wheel cyclinder or caliper!
    Take the heat off and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Do it 2 more times.
    This burns off all the oxidation built up around and in the threads.
    Very carefully use a socket or the right size wrench and remove the bleeder screw.
    If it's rusted bad you may have to use a metric size tools.
    Turn in line do not torqe it sideways or it will snap off. Take the old bleeders with you to the parts store and replace them after the heatings.
    Bending Lines:
    Buy a good line bender, the type that needs a wrench to operate works best for rookies.
    Spray the line where it rides in the bender with WD40 etc so it slides easy.
    Take the old line off and try to recreate the bends and straight sections. Make sure you do not have any kinks when you do them.
    You can get the right size lines from part stores for USA built vehicles. Buy longer lenghts when it's real close on what you have vers what's available. You can always make a little arc away from the fitting. If the fitting does not match yours the parts store should have a box of adapters. Bleed the brakes from the wheel the greatest distance from the master cyclinder. You might even think about going down a bumpy road and pumping the brakes as you go. Then do a short rebleed to get ALL the air out.
  19. musclecarboy

    musclecarboy 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,303

    Thanks guys! The lines went in almost exactly (I had to do slight adjustments while under there) and the bending was pretty easy.

    As for the bleeding, the bleeder screws came off real easy for a rusty old truck (no heat required). I'll post pics later today when the snow stops.
  20. sechracer

    sechracer Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    Compression fittings work good to get you home if out on the road, but never for long term. Not to mention, I dont think that they will pass a vehicle for inspection if it has one on the brake line.....Atleast not in NY.