Replacing rear brake lines

Discussion in 'URGENT - Help Quick!' started by rezwerd, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. rezwerd

    rezwerd Member

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    Pulling into the driveway on Tues evening the brake pedal started feeling very soft. I was still able to stop, barely, and when I checked the reservoir it was way down. I looked under the car and saw a fresh stain of a few drops of brake fluid, and when I felt around the plastic rack under the car that protects the lines there was some more up in there. So I've left the car in the garage since then, waiting while I figure out what to do (and for the weather to figure out what it wants to do as well).

    The drops seem to have fallen right below the driver's seat area, right about the break on item 7 or 9 on the HondaPartsNow diagram.
    [​IMG]

    Obviously I need some new brake lines, so with the help of this (link) thread I've figured out a few options:
    1. Buy copper/alloy line and rent/buy a flare tool, cutter, and bender to put them in myself
    2. Buy a flexible stainless line replacement kit (like this one from Valex Racing)
    3. Take it to my mechanic to have him do option 1 for me

    Do those stainless lines look any good? It's really tempting to not have to flare or bend any tubing. I've been trying to learn the difference between double flare and bubble flare, since I've read that our cars need a metric bubble flare to seal properly. (Do I understand that correctly?) I think I can handle it as long as I know I'm buying the right size and type of tubing, and getting the correct tool. I've been wanting to do this since I had to take my old car in to the mechanic for the same thing, but I don't want to miss any 'gotchas' when doing something as important as brakes.

    Until then the car will be in the garage and I'll be getting rides from my wife or driving her old car, so I'm not in dire need of fixing this right this minute. I'd just like to get prepared and hope for some warmer weather next week to make this :favorites68: snow go away.
     
  2. Eclipse99fwb

    Eclipse99fwb Well-Known Member

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    I would seriously consider just buying the factory lines. It would be less of a headache and no chance it will be wrong or have a leak at one of the fittings. If price is a issue look at a salvage yard in non rust states they should have no issue pulling the lines and shipping it. If you go the salvage yard route make sure to let them know if you have drum or disc brakes as the lines are different. Make sure you use a line wrench so you dont round the nuts on the lines.
     
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  3. T.$.Racing

    T.$.Racing Well-Known Member

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    I second the above ^. There is a company on ebay that sells pre-bent, vehicle specific in what I want to say was a nickel alloy? I had the same predicament with my old 98 Civic and went this route for around $120. Most time consuming part was the actual bleeding of the brakes.

    Pre-soak your bleeder screws with a penetrating oil on the other wheels now too. That should help ensure they play nice when it comes time to bleed everything. Those always seem to be a pain
     
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  4. Mark2001Accord

    Mark2001Accord Member

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    The vent and return lines are under there too side by side. Cracks and vent line leaks will cause idle problems and poor mileage.
     
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  5. rezwerd

    rezwerd Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone! I was finally able to get out in the garage tonight and got the plastic cover off of the fuel and brake lines. I realized it doesn't matter which brake line is leaking, because both lines had significant rust at every point where they clipped into the plastic cover. Both will definitely need to be replaced as well as possibly one of the fuel lines which is starting to look a bit corroded. I haven't noticed any issues with idling or mileage (26.5 on my last tank) but I might as well see if anything needs preemptive replacement while I'm down there. I'm especially interested in the copper-nickel alloy tubing because rust always seems to kill my cars.
     
  6. BlkCurrantKord

    BlkCurrantKord Super Moderator

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    We use the copper/nickel alloy all the time at work for older cars & customers that don't want to pay the cost of all new factory lines. You might as well just do the fuel lines at the same time while you're in there, you can just use the nylon line for that. Easiest way is to cut the brake lines at the fittings, put a socket on the fitting to remove.
     
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  7. rezwerd

    rezwerd Member

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    I'm unfortunately still working on this project, since I'm way too patient with this kind of thing. I had been hung up on trying to keep the original rear few feet of the lines with unions, but have been struggling with flaring the lines under the car (and it seems like it would be kind of a hack anyway). Instead I'll be replacing the entire line on both sides (from proportioning valve to where it connects to the rubber hose) with the copper/nickel stuff.

    I have the old line removed except for the little brackets on the frame at #22 on the diagram, because I can't fit a box wrench between bolt #33 and the rear subframe. Is it possible or advisable to loosen the rear subframe to get those bolts out, or should I just cut the old line there and secure the new line next to it? I'm thinking about grinding one of my box wrenches thinner so it fits over the bolt, but it doesn't look like the bolt has enough clearance to come out.
     
  8. rezwerd

    rezwerd Member

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    Never mind, I ground down a box wrench and it worked for one of the bracket bolts. The other one was stuck tight, even with penetrating oil, so I bent the line until it broke and removed it that way. The rest should be pretty straightforward as long as I don't wreck the new line putting it in and it bleeds OK. I'm hoping to be done with urgent requests for this project. Thanks again for the advice and information!
    :happy107:
     
  9. rezwerd

    rezwerd Member

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    The new copper-nickel line is bled, and the pedal is very firm. I used an old drill chuck as a guide to bend the tubing and managed to avoid kinks, following the old tubing as a template and taking care to keep the line up away from the exhaust shield. Took a very short test drive and checked for leaks, nothing (yet). I'll bleed it again after a few miles to make sure all of the air is out of the system, and check again for any leaks around the fittings. Other than that, this project is done. Thanks again everyone!

    Edit: Also wanted to mention that I did buy a line wrench per @Eclipse99fwb 's suggestion, which was absolutely necessary when removing the line from the proportioning valve. I would definitely have wrecked those nuts otherwise.
     
  10. Eclipse99fwb

    Eclipse99fwb Well-Known Member

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    Glad i could help i learned that the hard way many years ago lol.
     

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