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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default 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. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Chicago Area
    Posts
    229

    Default

    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."

  3. #3

    Default

    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default

    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Chicago Area
    Posts
    229

    Default

    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."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Middletown, Pa
    Posts
    2,072

    Default

    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default 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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Chicago Area
    Posts
    229

    Default

    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."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Quote 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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default 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

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