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Cracked A Brake Line

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Old 03-17-2000, 09:41 AM
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Join Date: Dec 1969
Vehicle: 1997 Ford F150
Posts: 996
Post Cracked A Brake Line

In Nov 97 I installed a rear Sway Bar. I guess I got a little carried away installing the U bolts around the rear axle and bent the brake line too far that goes from the junction block on the axle to the passenger side wheel cylinder. It lasted a little over 2 years but last weekend when changing the oil I noticed it had a small crack just after the pipe thread fitting.
I went to the dealer but it was not a stock item. The parts guys told me mechanics buy a straight stick and bend it themselves. The service guys told me they would need the truck for half a day to bend the new line.
A friend came over and soldered the old one for me while I could look for a new one. This guy is pretty sharp. He added enough solder to close the line up completely. Then, we drilled the line open again and washed it with brake clean and high pressure air. The soldered part is probably stronger than the original pipe but, I have a new piece anyway.
To go is good. To go fast is better. To be able to stop is real good.

97 F-150, 2WD, Reg Cab,Flareside,Dk Toreador Red, Windsor 4.6, Magnecor 8.5mm wires, Bosch Plat +4s, 3.55 LS, EGR Bug Deflector, ******* Bed Cover, Bed Liner, XL Full Length Running Boards, Air Aid Kit, Gibson Single Out Cat Back, Superchips, TransGo Shift Kit, Hellwig Rear Sway Bar, Hellwig 2500# Overload Springs

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Old 04-03-2000, 11:48 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Kalamazoo, MI, USA
Vehicle: 2000 Ford F-150 7700 4x4
Posts: 1,544
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You're riding on a time-bomb.

The solder (even if it's silver-soldered or brazed) isn't strong enough to last -- and could possibly fail dramatically in a panic stop. Fortunately, you've got a dual system, which crosses the left front with the right rear, and vice-versa.

Ok, you knew that you needed to change it or you wouldn't have asked.

The brake line is steel. You buy it in lengths close to your needs. If lucky, you can get one that's so close that you merely add a few clever (and properly radiused) bends to take up the slack.

Don't bend it by hand -- buy a cheap tubing bender.

If you need to cut, you need to 'double-flare' the end that you cut. Double-flaring is tricky -- needs a special tool -- and often splits unless the burrs are properly removed prior to the flaring process.

Not to worry, since once you've bent the tubing to 'close' (as in: but no cigar), you can take your work of art to the auto parts house where you can get a free tutorial on cussing and making a double-flare (be sure to put the damned fitting on before you flare it).

The hardest part is removing the old tubing and bending the new one (duhhh) -- but it's a satisfying experience.

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