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Splicing a New Piece of Brake Line into a Rusted Rear Line

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  • Splicing a New Piece of Brake Line into a Rusted Rear Line

    Hi,

    I have a rusted leaking rear brake line on my '95 Contour just forward of the passenger rear wheel. I was going to replace the entire line but discovered that there is no easy way to reach the front connection without taking the car apart. But you can reach the rear connection. So I plan to do what others have done and splice in a new section of brake line to replace the rusty piece.

    Reading some of the older posts here, it seems like I will need to cut the bad section out of the old line and then make a new double flare on the piece that's left. Then I can fit a universal piece of new brake line where the old piece was. I will also need to use an adapter or union where the splice was made in order to join the old and new lines together.

    Has anyone done this? Any tips or advice on the process and parts needed will be greatly appreciated. I see some discussion between "double" and "bubble" flares, but don't know what kind the Contour has. Anyone know? I measured the OD of the brake line and it seems to be 3/16 inch. All the double-flare kits have an adapter for that size. I'm guessing that's what I need.

    I did brake lines on a Ford Tempo a few years ago managed that okay but have never made a flare on an existing line. I've searched the older posts and found some info but not a great deal. Your experiences and input would be a great help to walk me through this. I live in a rural area and need to do this myself.

    Thanks!
    1995 Contour GL "GEX"
    2.0 Liter 4-banger
    ATX
    162,500 miles
    Stock except for two '89 Tempo wheel covers & two VERY COOL cosmic looking '76 Toyota Corona wheel cover
    Full size spare
    No rust
    Green
    Purchase price: $500

  • #2
    I have never done a "hard" brake line on my Tour but I have done many on other cars, both bubble and double flare lines.
    When you cut the old tubing make sure you cut it in a place you can pull the line free of the car so you have room to work on the cut end.
    After cutting the tube you will need to "square" up the end. If you used a tubing cutter then it should be "square" but you need to chamfer the end of the tube to clean the ID of the tube. A tubing cutter pinches the tube and you need to remove this metal so that the double flare addaptor will work correctly.

    When you buy the brake line tubing buy an extra line and practice on it before you do the line on your car. Cut the tube, chamfer the end and then do a bubble flare or a double as needed. The process is the same for both only the double flare has a second step that you don't do on a bubble flare.

    I was doing so many flares on fuel lines & brake lines that I bought a MasterCool flaring tool. I will make a flare in less then a minute and the results look factry make. Not a cheap tool but if one does make many repairs of tubing then it is the tool to have.

    http://www.mastercool.com/pages/flaring_tools.html
    '00' SVT Contour
    '87' VW ITA 16V Scirocco race car

    "Drag racing is for those drivers who can't brake and downshift at the same time."

    Comment


    • #3
      Jims right. Make sure you have adequate space to work with the remaining end you need to prepare for attaching the new.
      Make sure you have the proper, GOOD QUALITY, tools to do the work.

      gl
      99 CSVT, 95 Exp Sport
      -Justin

      Comment


      • #4
        Guys,

        Thanks for the replies and good advice about the brake line splice repair which I plan to follow.

        Not sure if I have a tubing cutter or not. I'll have to hunt around. If not maybe I'll practice with a fine blade hacksaw making a slow and careful cut.

        The idea of getting a spare line to practice the flare on is a great idea. I'll do that.

        But I may try a lower priced flaring tool. I see that Lisle makes one and I have had good luck with that brand of tools. It also gets pretty good reviews. If that fails to work I'll try something else.

        I've been spraying the rear fitting with PB Blaster. Maybe I'll try to crack it loose today.

        I can't understand why Ford engineers did not put a junction in the rear brake lines on the underside of the car up front. Especially considering it's that long run along the bottom that's most exposed to rustout and damage. Not to mention that your brakes are your lifeline and should be easy and simple to fix right in the interest of safety. If I were designing an automobile I would run the brake and fuel lines where they would protected from corrosion and make them easy to repair, and NOT expose them to all that corrosion.

        But what do I know...

        Thanks!
        1995 Contour GL "GEX"
        2.0 Liter 4-banger
        ATX
        162,500 miles
        Stock except for two '89 Tempo wheel covers & two VERY COOL cosmic looking '76 Toyota Corona wheel cover
        Full size spare
        No rust
        Green
        Purchase price: $500

        Comment


        • #5
          A tubing cutter is a cheap item. You can pick one up at any auto part or home improvement store. Look in the plumbing dept. if you go to the home improvement store. Get the small cutter like this: http://www.amazon.com/Superior-Tool-.../dp/B00002N5V9
          '00' SVT Contour
          '87' VW ITA 16V Scirocco race car

          "Drag racing is for those drivers who can't brake and downshift at the same time."

          Comment


          • #6
            I've done pleny of brake lines at work. One of my least favorite jobs to do, but overall they arent bad. I just hate the flaring and getting the lines loose/starting the new lines. Just make sure, when you're splicing in, the section that you're splicing has NO rust on it. BTW Contours run a double flair. I belive its Dodge that runs the stupid bubble flairs.
            00 Contour SVT #1914 BLK/PT 2.5 Full bolt on/torsen
            00 SVT Contour # 0889
            98 Contour SVT #2147 Silfro/mnb. Former ElKy car! Sold
            00 Contour SVT #0157 BLK/PT parted out
            95 Mystique GS

            Comment


            • #7
              Rear fitting apart

              I ordered the tube cutter listed above. Made in USA caught my eye.

              Thanks for the info that Contour has double flare ends. That is the type of flare tool I ordered online.

              I had my first piece of good luck yesterday. I had sprayed PB Blaster on the rear fitting of the leaky line for a few days running. Yesterday I crawled under there with wrenches and it unscrewed easily. Good thing because it's hard to get in there.

              Yes, I will also inspect the line and find how much more rust there is. Probably a lot. Seems to rust where the line plugs into the plastic clips.

              Now I gotta figure out which rear wheel the leaky line goes to and then see if the bleeder will crack open after a few sprays of PB Blaster again. (Oddly, I found this can of PB Blaster washed up on a remote beach on Lake Superior. Fell off somebody's boat?)

              I'm going to order one of those vacuum brake bleeder kits from Harbor Freight. Anyone ever use one? Sounds like a good idea so you don't need a second guy to pump the brakes but instead sucks the fluid and air out thru the bleeder. I assume it works that way. Does it?
              1995 Contour GL "GEX"
              2.0 Liter 4-banger
              ATX
              162,500 miles
              Stock except for two '89 Tempo wheel covers & two VERY COOL cosmic looking '76 Toyota Corona wheel cover
              Full size spare
              No rust
              Green
              Purchase price: $500

              Comment


              • #8
                Two pieces of advice. Just get an extra master cylinder cap for the Contour master. Then go and buy a "Screw in" tire valve or you can use one of the "pull through" rubber ones. Drill a hole in the cap, install the tire valve. (You will need to drill a correct size hole for the pull through.) Then all you need is a source of air, a pressure regulator and a clip on tire fill chuck. I use 10-15 psi to bleed my brakes. You install the cap, add air and then go and open the bleeders. Just make sure you keep the master topped up.

                The second is, try using regular ATF on rusty nuts & bolts. It's cheap and it works! If you mix acetone and ATF together it works even better. I have been able to "break' bolts free that nothing else would work on.
                '00' SVT Contour
                '87' VW ITA 16V Scirocco race car

                "Drag racing is for those drivers who can't brake and downshift at the same time."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jimbbski View Post
                  Two pieces of advice. Just get an extra master cylinder cap for the Contour master. Then go and buy a "Screw in" tire valve or you can use one of the "pull through" rubber ones. Drill a hole in the cap, install the tire valve. (You will need to drill a correct size hole for the pull through.) Then all you need is a source of air, a pressure regulator and a clip on tire fill chuck. I use 10-15 psi to bleed my brakes. You install the cap, add air and then go and open the bleeders. Just make sure you keep the master topped up.

                  The second is, try using regular ATF on rusty nuts & bolts. It's cheap and it works! If you mix acetone and ATF together it works even better. I have been able to "break' bolts free that nothing else would work on.
                  Wow! Those are two very good pieces of advice. You guys sure do know your stuff.
                  1995 Contour GL "GEX"
                  2.0 Liter 4-banger
                  ATX
                  162,500 miles
                  Stock except for two '89 Tempo wheel covers & two VERY COOL cosmic looking '76 Toyota Corona wheel cover
                  Full size spare
                  No rust
                  Green
                  Purchase price: $500

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Rear lines just open tubing or more complicated than that?

                    Looking at these rusty rear brake lines and reading other posts, I'm now thinking of running all new brake line from where I would make the splice under the car all the way to the flexible hose fitting at the rear wheel. Only one rear line is leaking right now, but the other one has rust on it too. Might do both. Since you can buy bulk brake line and make your own lengths this might make more sense than connecting to the old rear rusty sections of the line under the gas tank, etc. Just abandon the old lines and re-route new lines all the way. I've already got the double flare tool and a tube cutter on order.

                    Important Questions: Are the two brake lines to the rear wheel cylinders completely separate from one another? That is, each rear line goes to its own brake unit? Also, in the area of the gas tank are the brake lines basically just open tubing? Or are there any metering devices, valves, etc. hidden out of sight in that area in the rear of the car under the gas tank or under other stuff? Unfortunately, the Haynes manual does NOT show a brake line diagram. Also, this Contour has ABS. That's one reason I'm wondering.

                    Thanks!
                    1995 Contour GL "GEX"
                    2.0 Liter 4-banger
                    ATX
                    162,500 miles
                    Stock except for two '89 Tempo wheel covers & two VERY COOL cosmic looking '76 Toyota Corona wheel cover
                    Full size spare
                    No rust
                    Green
                    Purchase price: $500

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Anybody here that can answer the questions in the previous post?

                      Thanks!
                      1995 Contour GL "GEX"
                      2.0 Liter 4-banger
                      ATX
                      162,500 miles
                      Stock except for two '89 Tempo wheel covers & two VERY COOL cosmic looking '76 Toyota Corona wheel cover
                      Full size spare
                      No rust
                      Green
                      Purchase price: $500

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JohnHoward View Post
                        Important Questions: Are the two brake lines to the rear wheel cylinders completely separate from one another? That is, each rear line goes to its own brake unit? Also, in the area of the gas tank are the brake lines basically just open tubing? Or are there any metering devices, valves, etc. hidden out of sight in that area in the rear of the car under the gas tank or under other stuff? Unfortunately, the Haynes manual does NOT show a brake line diagram. Also, this Contour has ABS. That's one reason I'm wondering.

                        Thanks!
                        they are completely separate all the way from the ABS module (or master cylinder on non-ABS cars) to their respective brake caliper/cylinder. all of the metering is done in the ABS module in your case so no extra devices (on non-ABS cars they are either right at the master or right before the rubber flex hose at the wheel). I will say this, you will need to remove either the gas tank or the rear subframe (or both) as the brake lines run between the body and the subframe, and there is very little room between the gas tank and subframe. I replaced the rear lines on my old 97 from the connection near the rear (by the fuel filter), i dropped the fuel tank as i was concerned about breaking the subframe bolts and it was a PITA. im not sure how much better dropping the subframe will be, though you will need an alignment afterwards.
                        TZT Performance http://www.tztperformance.com/
                        officially a troll. '93 3000GT VR4 #2229/2595

                        '00 Black SVTC - sold 5/1/10
                        '97 GL Turbo Zetec - gone

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by striker2 View Post
                          they are completely separate all the way from the ABS module (or master cylinder on non-ABS cars) to their respective brake caliper/cylinder. all of the metering is done in the ABS module in your case so no extra devices (on non-ABS cars they are either right at the master or right before the rubber flex hose at the wheel). I will say this, you will need to remove either the gas tank or the rear subframe (or both) as the brake lines run between the body and the subframe, and there is very little room between the gas tank and subframe. I replaced the rear lines on my old 97 from the connection near the rear (by the fuel filter), i dropped the fuel tank as i was concerned about breaking the subframe bolts and it was a PITA. im not sure how much better dropping the subframe will be, though you will need an alignment afterwards.
                          Thanks very much for the additional information about no other devices in the rear brake lines lurking under the gas tank, etc.

                          I'm going to reroute the rear brake lines to where I want them to go. I see where other guys have done that. I'll just splice into the rear lines towards the front where they are not rusty and make my own custom lines from that point to the rear wheel cylinders. That will eliminate all the old rusty lines in the rear. Of course I'll have to train myself to make a double-flare, but it can't be too hard to do. Only one is leaking but they are both rusty in the rear so I may replace long sections of both.

                          I was under there yesterday again and following the factory routing of the lines is not worth the errort. No way. Maybe I should do it that way but I'm not going to.

                          Once I decided to reroute the brake lines it came as a great relief similar to deciding to splice into the old line. This way should be MUCH easier.

                          Once the tube cutter and flare tool arrive I can begin the operation. Hope to get it done before winter snows come. Luckily I have a spare car.
                          1995 Contour GL "GEX"
                          2.0 Liter 4-banger
                          ATX
                          162,500 miles
                          Stock except for two '89 Tempo wheel covers & two VERY COOL cosmic looking '76 Toyota Corona wheel cover
                          Full size spare
                          No rust
                          Green
                          Purchase price: $500

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Update

                            Cut off end of old leaking brake line so I know what size fittings I have to get. Will make a parts run this week. Got rear brake drum off with some difficulty (rusted on) but shoes look decent. I hardly use my brakes anyway.
                            1995 Contour GL "GEX"
                            2.0 Liter 4-banger
                            ATX
                            162,500 miles
                            Stock except for two '89 Tempo wheel covers & two VERY COOL cosmic looking '76 Toyota Corona wheel cover
                            Full size spare
                            No rust
                            Green
                            Purchase price: $500

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Update

                              Got the tube cutter and the double flare tool in the mail.

                              The double flare tool must be NOS. The package was bruised but unopened and to my surprise it looks to be high quality and is stamped MADE IN USA. Not bad for $30 delivered. Thank you eBay!

                              Thursday I plan to make a parts run and get the fittings and the bulk brake line. Then I'll be set to actually fix this thing. It's taking time but I need to get everything from a distance.
                              1995 Contour GL "GEX"
                              2.0 Liter 4-banger
                              ATX
                              162,500 miles
                              Stock except for two '89 Tempo wheel covers & two VERY COOL cosmic looking '76 Toyota Corona wheel cover
                              Full size spare
                              No rust
                              Green
                              Purchase price: $500

                              Comment

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