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Front to rear brake line replacement


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Both my front-to-rear brake lines have corrosion on them. I need to get under the car to validate the extent, but it was an advisory last September and from the history of the car it seems they're original. 

In terms of replacement, I guess I've got two options (regardless of whether I do the work myself or not) - either replace the whole line or make a join and replace the rusted area only. I've got access to the chamfering kit required for the latter.

What option have others around here gone for, and are there any particular points to watch out for? 

Thanks

Matt

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I replaced the whole lot as once I started looking closely the rust was quite widespread. Worst area was just under the OSF inner wheelarch which you won't see normally unless you take the wheel off and get your head in there with a torch. You may be luckier than me. I gave some tips in my running report (last page)

There is one line from the distribution point in the NSF wheelarch to a junction halfway down the sill where it splits into two lines. One goes to the NSR caliper and the other goes via the NSR wheelarch and then across the bulkhead behind the engine to the OSR caliper. On mine, the corrosion on this line wasn't too bad and it is a bugger to replace, so if it's just the front to rear lines that are rusted, might be more practice to put a joint around the NSR wheelarch somewhere.

I've got some more photos from when I did the job if there is anything you want some more detail on.

Edited by Nobbie
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Interesting you got an advisory for a corroded brake line, since toughening the test earlier this year it is now a major fail even with a friendly tester I've used for years....!  I got mine cleaned up to bare metal with emery cloth at the clip under the passenger door and lightly greased it so the tester could clearly see the bear metal to get it through on re-test and have since repainted and greased it back into the clip both there and at the clip near the front left wheel..  I have to do the lines as good preventative maintenance now I know there was an issue but I haven't got a flare tool. 

Do you reckon it would be feasible to tackle this doing the whole lines front to rear on axle stands @Nobbie ? Also if you have the pictures?

Edited by ½cwt
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Have a look through my post for details in doing this job.

I replaced my front to back brake pipes on axle stands.  First time I had ever made brake pipes as well, was quite satisfying.

 

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1 hour ago, ½cwt said:

Interesting you got an advisory for a corroded brake line, since toughening the test earlier this year it is now a major fail even with a friendly tester I've used for years....!  I got mine cleaned up to bare metal with emery cloth at the clip under the passenger door and lightly greased it so the tester could clearly see the bear metal to get it through on re-test and have since repainted and greased it back into the clip both there and at the clip near the front left wheel..  I have to do the lines as good preventative maintenance now I know there was an issue but I haven't got a flare tool. 

Do you reckon it would be feasible to tackle this doing the whole lines front to rear on axle stands @Nobbie ? Also if you have the pictures?

Dodgy line in OSF wheelarch😳, literally fell apart as it was removed.

DOX01gK.jpg

These are useful

CFaM8q7.jpg

Need to shield bits from heat and best to use a proper flared brake spanner

ONErgQ6.jpg

PCLtlvf.jpg

Useful to make up some connectors to blank off when you remove pipes, just a connector with the copper pipe crimped with pliers

PfGyjse.jpg

Need to drop front ARB to get pipe across front of car.

9pfVevM.jpg

You need to feed in the pipe across the rear from the middle of the open clamshell/engine cover all the way and then feed it all the way back to the other wheel.

OKOU0SK.jpg

No problems doing on axle stands, patience in removing the old connector is key as it would be easy to break things by being too rough. Lots of heat/cold cycles and tighten nuts slightly first to break corrosion before undoing.

It was easier than replacing my exhaust manifolds😀

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Thanks guys - loads of good information in there!

2 hours ago, ½cwt said:

Interesting you got an advisory for a corroded brake line, since toughening the test earlier this year it is now a major fail even with a friendly tester I've used for years....! 

That was from last September, so before the stricter testing was put in place - expecting it to fail so it's next on the list. 

I'll start off by getting the car on the ramps and looking at the condition of all of the pipes, not just the front-to-rear pipes that were highlighted by a specialist recently. Mine's had a "rear brake pipe replacement" at a specialist a few years back, so I'll dig in to what that actually means as well. Nothing ever been done at the front, so will check the state of the pipes in the wheelarches. 

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I've just finished doing all my brake lines and they are not to hard but more fiddely to be honest. The front to rear can be a but funny as you do need to remove the inner plastic arch and I found it easier to remove the washer bottle. The hardest was the left to right front as it goes through a small area which has a few tight bends in it. The rear left to right goes across and round the engine bay and isn't hard at all. I'm sure if you have a few tools and have a bit of knowledge on cars you can do this job with not much hassle. 

If a pipe looks rusty replace it. I've seen a pipe that looks ok but just a little rust but did bust on the brake test. So lucky as it could have bust on my way home. Deffo change, don't sand and cover in grease. 

Edited by Tonybandit
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  • 1 month later...

I'm reviving this because I've had a look under the car and now know what I need to replace - all the pipes at the front, and the F-R pipes. The rear pipes to the calipers have been done before. 

I've got a decent flaring tool and will get kunifer pipe. Does anyone know what size male/female connectors are used? I presume I don't have to use the same size again, but I'd like to make sure I've got the right size spanners. I'll also arm myself with the right ice spray/blowtorch etc (thanks for the link to your post @Nobbie). Secondly, the rubber pipes on the front of mine are the originals and have now done 90k and are 16 years old - I reckon they're worth replacing at the same time?

 

Cheers, Matt. 

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1 hour ago, MattO89 said:

I'm reviving this because I've had a look under the car and now know what I need to replace - all the pipes at the front, and the F-R pipes. The rear pipes to the calipers have been done before. 

I've got a decent flaring tool and will get kunifer pipe. Does anyone know what size male/female connectors are used? I presume I don't have to use the same size again, but I'd like to make sure I've got the right size spanners. I'll also arm myself with the right ice spray/blowtorch etc (thanks for the link to your post @Nobbie). Secondly, the rubber pipes on the front of mine are the originals and have now done 90k and are 16 years old - I reckon they're worth replacing at the same time?

 

Cheers, Matt. 

I think they mentioned it in this thread

 

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  • 1 month later...

Spent today on this - the information here has been invaluable, thank you all! 

A particular question for you @Nobbie . I've replaced the front right across the car to the junction. The left front needs doing, but I'm worried I won't be able to get the new union on and have room to screw it in. It goes in right at the front of the 4 way connector. Did you remove part of the headlight mount to get more room? Photo below. All helps appreciated! 

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26 minutes ago, MattO89 said:

Spent today on this - the information here has been invaluable, thank you all! 

A particular question for you @Nobbie . I've replaced the front right across the car to the junction. The left front needs doing, but I'm worried I won't be able to get the new union on and have room to screw it in. It goes in right at the front of the 4 way connector. Did you remove part of the headlight mount to get more room? Photo below. All helps appreciated! 

DdBwY3L.jpg

You can only just see the new line going into the junction. I only needed to take the headlight unit itself out. I was using copper and bent that first bend after the junction after I'd flared the end with the union on it. May have used an old socket with a groove round it to form the tight bend as the brake pipe fitted nicely in the groove to avoid crushing.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I completed replacing my front and F-R brake pipes using this guide (the rears have been done previously). Thanks to everyone who's contributed in this thread and others mentioned within it . The MOT is later this month so the proof will be in the pudding, but in the meantime to round off this guide I would say:

- Soak the bleed nipples in WD40 and freeze release spray beforehand. A lot. This was my biggest issue - the standard Brembo ones are soft, easy to round (2 were already rounded on mine), and they're easy to shear (this happened to two on mine, necessitating getting someone else to drill them out). 

- Get some spare bleed nipples. That way you can replace if they're corroded. I've gone for stainless ones to try to reduce the chances of them getting corroded in place. 

- You'll need 10,11,12 and 13mm brake pipe spanners. 

- You can get to the front of the Union that's near the kerbside front headlight to undo that screw. It's right with a brake spanner but doable (see my question to Nobbie above). 

- I found the F-R pipes around the wheel arch to be in good condition, so rather than replace the whole length I put joins in. This saves the fiddly routing around the windscreen washer bottle  The joins sit behind the shield in the inner wheel arch, which itself is beneath the liner, so it's well hidden. You can get it in there and still use the existing clips to hold the pipes in place. 

As others have said, the process itself is easy. You just need to take your time and be patient. Despite the 101 projects book referring to bleeding the brakes as tricky, I had no problems - I used a bleeder connected to a spare tyre and it worked first time. 

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  • 3 months later...

Hi every1 need help ive got 2000 986 im changing brake pipes i cut brake pipes at the junction box  underneath car behind seat it splits into 2 for back brakes 1 PIPE has m12 male  connector the other an M10 is the m12 go to nsr Or osr 

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  • 2 months later...
On 9/10/2019 at 2:17 PM, MattO89 said:

- Soak the bleed nipples in WD40 and freeze release spray beforehand. A lot. This was my biggest issue - the standard Brembo ones are soft, easy to round (2 were already rounded on mine), and they're easy to shear (this happened to two on mine, necessitating getting someone else to drill them out). 

- Get some spare bleed nipples. That way you can replace if they're corroded. I've gone for stainless ones to try to reduce the chances of them getting corroded in place. 

I'm about to tackle some of my brake lines so some follow up questions:

- Your picture indicates you used Plus Gas, your write up says WD40.  Have you found one better than the other?

- On the bleed nipples, I have seen a write up suggesting using a 6 point deep socket (i.e. 6 flats on the the 6 flats of the nipple) to best release the nipples, did you do this or use a flare spanner or 12 point ring spanner.  Would you hazard a guess as to whether any of these might get a better result than you in rounding them off?

- Where did you source your stainless replacements from and have they remained unseized so far?

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2 hours ago, ½cwt said:

I'm about to tackle some of my brake lines so some follow up questions:

- Your picture indicates you used Plus Gas, your write up says WD40.  Have you found one better than the other?

- On the bleed nipples, I have seen a write up suggesting using a 6 point deep socket (i.e. 6 flats on the the 6 flats of the nipple) to best release the nipples, did you do this or use a flare spanner or 12 point ring spanner.  Would you hazard a guess as to whether any of these might get a better result than you in rounding them off?

- Where did you source your stainless replacements from and have they remained unseized so far?

I found the Plus Gas stuff better for loosening seized ones, but to be honest neither were brilliant. The calipers in mine had clearly not been bled for a long time, so not the fault of the product. 

I tried a mix of the different weapons that you've suggested! Generally speaking, I had most success with whatever was deepest. In my case, that was a socket. The ring spanners I found too thin, and therefore too hard to keep at exactly the right angle, so most likely to damage the nipple. 

When a couple of the nipples on the front calipers seized, I didn't want to risk helicoil-ing them myself given the cost of replacements. I got them done here; https://pro-calipers.co.uk/ (I'm based in London, so although a trip on the tube with caliplers was a bit of a pain, it was the easiest option!). I got the replacement bleed nipples from the same place. I decided to proactively replace all of the bleed nipples with stainless ones, even the ones that had come undone ok previously. This had mixed success - one of the rears was cross threaded. I'm not sure whether that was the original, or my mistake with the replacement. The ally calipers are very, very soft so you have to be super careful making sure you're threading the new stainless one it at exactly the right angle. 

I rebled the fronts when I dealt with the rears - there was only a couple of weeks between them. The new ones came undone fine at that point. I've not needed to since!

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5 hours ago, ½cwt said:

I'm about to tackle some of my brake lines so some follow up questions:

- Your picture indicates you used Plus Gas, your write up says WD40.  Have you found one better than the other?

- On the bleed nipples, I have seen a write up suggesting using a 6 point deep socket (i.e. 6 flats on the the 6 flats of the nipple) to best release the nipples, did you do this or use a flare spanner or 12 point ring spanner.  Would you hazard a guess as to whether any of these might get a better result than you in rounding them off?

- Where did you source your stainless replacements from and have they remained unseized so far?

I used a flare spanner as it gave a good solid fit and allowed me to impart some shock into the bleed nipple to help free it. One thing I find helps is to start by trying to tighten the bleed nipple with a couple of solid taps with a hammer. It’s counter intuitive, but helps to break the seal before attempting to unscrew.

Don’t think I’ve check the bleed nipples since I did it last year. Now you’ve mentioned it, I’ll check while I have the wheels off doing a rear drop link this week.

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  • 3 weeks later...

One thing I would add, if you feel like a union is not budging with a decent flare spanner.  Just cut the pipe off near the union if you can and use a 6 sided socket.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/17/2020 at 5:49 PM, Nobbie said:

I used a flare spanner as it gave a good solid fit and allowed me to impart some shock into the bleed nipple to help free it. One thing I find helps is to start by trying to tighten the bleed nipple with a couple of solid taps with a hammer. It’s counter intuitive, but helps to break the seal before attempting to unscrew.

Don’t think I’ve check the bleed nipples since I did it last year. Now you’ve mentioned it, I’ll check while I have the wheels off doing a rear drop link this week.

I was glad to find all 4 front nipples came lose OK, but I used a deep 11mm socket to tighten then loosen off whist being able to control the applied torque better with the ratchet handle and my free hand to prevent twisting in the wrong plane.  Haven't broken the lines or got to the rears yet as I found a broken front spring which needed more urgent attention.

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