Mechanics

BRAKE LINE

1999 Ford Explorer • 120,000 miles

So the nrake fluid in my explorer kept leaking out. I had someone pump the brakes with vehicle off and found the leak. Spraying out above rear pumpkin. So I take the line off (one that goes from rear tire to tire). When I got it off it was broke in half. It's late here now so done for the night. My question is. Is it really just one Sid line from one side to the other like it seems? Also do they make a flex line?
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AdamClev
September 17, 2013.



You should see a rubber flex hose coming down from the frame to the rear axle. It goes into a brass fitting, then a steel line goes to the left wheel and a different one goes to the right wheel. There may be a variation of that including two flex hoses if you have 4-wheel anti-lock brakes.

You can buy new steel lines of all different lengths with the flares and fittings already on them. Remove the old line first so you can compare the types of flares you need. Most domestic vehicles use the standard double flare on both ends, but the Ford engineers are famous for using rear lines on the Taurus that have a different type of flare on each end, and of course you can't buy that line. You have to make a replacement.

Buy a steel line that is slightly longer than what you need. You can't stretch one that's too short but you can add a few small bends to accommodate one that's too long. Be sure to start the threaded fittings by hand a few turns before you use a wrench. The nuts are made of soft metal and will cross-thread easily, then the flares won't seal. To get the old nuts loose you can cut the steel line, then use a six-point socket and ratchet. Use a flare nut wrench, (line wrench), to tighten the new lines so you don't round off the soft nuts.

If a line rusted through, chances are you won't get the bleeder screw loose on the wheel cylinder either and it will snap off. Wheel cylinders are relatively inexpensive so rather than trying to drill the broken screw out, just buy a replacement wheel cylinder if you need it.

When you bleed the right rear wheel, if you use a helper, be sure he never pushes the brake pedal more than half way down to the floor. Doing so can damage the internal seals in the master cylinder, then you'll be replacing it cylinder too. I only gravity-bleed my brake jobs and never use a helper.

Caradiodoc
Sep 17, 2013.