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Dealing with old brake lines
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epowell
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

Yeah, that crossed my mind that the impact tool might work... I probably should have also tried that on the stripped rusted phillips on my old rotor splash shields >>> let's see how it goes tomorrow - or I am thinking to perhaps keep soaking in AFT for another few days?? ...but I'm impatient. I always hesitate to take on a new phase but once I decided to do it I like to jump right in Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

I'd use the impact tool and then drill it out if that fails, and I'd do that right now. But I am impatient for small stuff like this.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

epowell wrote:
Yeah, that crossed my mind that the impact tool might work... I probably should have also tried that on the stripped rusted phillips on my old rotor splash shields >>> let's see how it goes tomorrow - or I am thinking to perhaps keep soaking in AFT for another few days?? ...but I'm impatient. I always hesitate to take on a new phase but once I decided to do it I like to jump right in Smile


It's the tool I use for those screws on the backing plate. Just be cautious of the bit you choose. I've seen guys use a #2 bit when they should have used a #3 or #4 bit. If you're not sure, just try them out to make sure you're using the correct one.

Impatience often comes at a price. In this case, it's far less time to take that screw out vs. drilling it out. In fact, drilling it out is the last option I use. Often if I can weld a nut on it, I'll do that before resorting to drilling... but I know a lot of guys don't have welders.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

^^^ Bingo - get a left hand drill bit and put your drill in reverse if drilling

Be sure to not hurry on the brakes

also take your time and clean/treat any rust/re-paint/re-wax the unit body while the lines are ff and the ara is exposed
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

a hand held grinder / cutoff saw would make quick work of that screw head removal problem.

Tees can be resused if not damaged, check threads carefully.

Still running original brake pipes on my cars, 1958, 61, 66, 70, 72, 72, 80 and 86 cars. Granted I dont live in the places that salt roads, but I make plenty of near by trips to coastal areas. Replaced a couple pipes on some bugs for other folks, main line along inside the car under carpet rusted out from outside due to water leaks in window seals soaking the carpet, 100% moisture on the pipes over years rusted them out.

rust or kinks, dents etc are easy to spot on the exterior. the insides will be very nice if brake fluid was properly maintained, even after 60 years. if examination of the removed pipe shows no interior rust, then it is highly unlikely the remaining pipes are rusty inside.

if no interior rust is found, then I d not bother to replace any pipes other than thos
se with exteirior rust, or damage. a little bit of rust on exterior is no alarm unless it is deep. clean it up and paint over the bare spot if you find minor rust areas. pipes in the wheel areas tend to take a beating from road debris. and of coarse so do interior pipes when in contact with wet flooring, insulation, etc...


Sooooo. Get that scrapped pipe you cut out and slice it open, use a grinder or such, or split it with a tapered drift. take a look along the length in a few areas and see if you find rust, and if so how much, Id not panic over a tiny bit.

also note the interior rust will be greatly slowed on the inside if you maintain fresh dry brake fluid in there by keeping up with regular fluid changes. the fresh fluid is bone dry and will act like a diseccant inside the brake system, removing water the source of oxygen from the rust (iron oxide) area. In this situation rust can sleep. So even if some light rust is found it is ok if you maintain fluid changes regularly. Rust is an issue when it has pitted deep enough to reduce the burst strength of the pipe to the point of danger, and there is plenty of margin in the designed wall strength to allow for some thickness reduction from minor rust. The lines I did replace in the leaky wet Bugs had failed, and the rust was horrible, huge craterlike pits, in many spots the pipe was literally paper thin, That tells me the pipe is much thicker than it need be, lots of margin built in.

inspect away, but unless some thing really bad shows up, I would say leave them alone, I got cars near twice as old holding up just fine with original pipes.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

bluebus86 wrote:
a hand held grinder / cutoff saw would make quick work of that screw head removal problem.

Tees can be resused if not damaged, check threads carefully.

Still running original brake pipes on my cars, 1958, 61, 66, 70, 72, 72, 80 and 86 cars. Granted I dont live in the places that salt roads, but I make plenty of near by trips to coastal areas. Replaced a couple pipes on some bugs for other folks, main line along inside the car under carpet rusted out from outside due to water leaks in window seals soaking the carpet, 100% moisture on the pipes over years rusted them out.

rust or kinks, dents etc are easy to spot on the exterior. the insides will be very nice if brake fluid was properly maintained, even after 60 years. if examination of the removed pipe shows no interior rust, then it is highly unlikely the remaining pipes are rusty inside.

if no interior rust is found, then I d not bother to replace any pipes other than thos
se with exteirior rust, or damage. a little bit of rust on exterior is no alarm unless it is deep. clean it up and paint over the bare spot if you find minor rust areas. pipes in the wheel areas tend to take a beating from road debris. and of coarse so do interior pipes when in contact with wet flooring, insulation, etc...


Sooooo. Get that scrapped pipe you cut out and slice it open, use a grinder or such, or split it with a tapered drift. take a look along the length in a few areas and see if you find rust, and if so how much, Id not panic over a tiny bit.

also note the interior rust will be greatly slowed on the inside if you maintain fresh dry brake fluid in there by keeping up with regular fluid changes. the fresh fluid is bone dry and will act like a diseccant inside the brake system, removing water the source of oxygen from the rust (iron oxide) area. In this situation rust can sleep. So even if some light rust is found it is ok if you maintain fluid changes regularly. Rust is an issue when it has pitted deep enough to reduce the burst strength of the pipe to the point of danger, and there is plenty of margin in the designed wall strength to allow for some thickness reduction from minor rust. The lines I did replace in the leaky wet Bugs had failed, and the rust was horrible, huge craterlike pits, in many spots the pipe was literally paper thin, That tells me the pipe is much thicker than it need be, lots of margin built in.

inspect away, but unless some thing really bad shows up, I would say leave them alone, I got cars near twice as old holding up just fine with original pipes.


Aha... a refreshing, unusual, and unexpected point of view. I must admit that the vast majority of my pipes appear to be in EXCELLENT condition and they have clearly been smeared with grease to prevent rust. All very robust, hard, with absolutely no sign of any external rust... however ALL of the pipes near the wheel wells look like they will disintegrate just by breathing too hard on them!

Are you saying that I should take that externally rusty front wheel-well pipe that I cut off and slice it in half, and inspect the inside for rust, and if no significant amount is found there then I can assume that the inside of all my pipes are OK?

And if this is the case then I will be fine with simply replacing all the wheel-well pipes back to the nearest "T"'s? Honestly, that makes sense to me... seems strange to replace perfectly good stuff. However, if there is any reason so be suspect, then better to replace.

If I do NOT find interior rust and start considering only a limited amount of replacing, do you think it is a good idea to go thru ALL of the pipes, and clean off all the old protective grease and visually inspect everything before leaving it alone? {then re-grease}
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bluebus86
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

yeah, if the insideslook pretty good, no deep rust, the rest are probably good too. just keep up the fluid with regular flushing.

you can wipe the grease where you wish, mine did not come greased. but if the insides of the pipes you split open look decent, and on the other pipes exteriors look fine, then run them. I got 60 years and counting on stock pipes.


good luck
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

bluebus86 wrote:
yeah, if the insideslook pretty good, no deep rust, the rest are probably good too. just keep up the fluid with regular flushing.

you can wipe the grease where you wish, mine did not come greased. but if the insides of the pipes you split open look decent, and on the other pipes exteriors look fine, then run them. I got 60 years and counting on stock pipes.


good luck


Ed is not living in a zero humidity desert. He will need to replace them.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

epowell wrote:
Thanks guys... in fact this job doesn't seem any more difficult than removing and replacing the coolant pipes/hoses... Just rip it all out, and install with new Smile


I cheered a little when I read that. I think it won't take nearly the time you think and it will take a hell of a lot more time than you think trying to save that rusty stuff you now have (which will only leak soon also).

Copper nickel is very easy to work with and won't rust next time.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

nemobuscaptain wrote:
I think it won't take nearly the time you think and it will take a hell of a lot more time than you think trying to save that rusty stuff you now have (which will only leak soon also).


Abscate wrote:

Ed is not living in a zero humidity desert.


Both very good points... nice to have various points of view.
I will inspect further, and certainly at the first sign of corrosion or "getting hung up" it will be a total replacement.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

Here is what went down today...
I sliced open the line I removed yesterday (which has significan exterior rust), and looked inside. Wall thickness is significant, zero visible corrosion, only thing questionable is a very light surface film of a kind of white calcium or something - this I mostly scraped away in a matter of seconds.
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Next I made a VERY indepth comprehensive analysis of the exterior of all the other pipes and found virtual zero external rust on all of the lines except those front to going out of that first TEE. TEE to MASTER is perfect. Master to PV is perfect. PV to REAR TEE is perfect, even the rear TEE to the rear flex hoses are perfect. In fact from the rear flex hoses to the rear wheels might even be free of external rust but I am counting on replacing those anyway along with the all the rubber flex hoses.

So the realization came to me that as BlueBus suggested, most likely my system on the inside is rust-free. I actually believe that... also that my caliper pistons were rust-free point to that as well.

But still, what good is a rust-free system if you end up damaging good lines when removing the bad ones? So I thought, all I really needed to do was to free up that fitting on the front TEE on the pipe from the Master to that TEE. If I could free that up, I could cut the other two lines, remove the TEE and be home-free...

So I took my time..... applied more AFT, lots of rapid gentle tapping, gentle MAPP heat, more tapping, more AFT, more heat etc etc etc... then tried to fit my cheap line wrench on it and it would not even fit on! ...just for kicks I very lightly tried to loosen that nut with an open ended 11mm and it cracked free in a flash!
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So currently I am thinking simply to replace only these two externally rusty lines > from the front TEE to the front flex hoses. ALL the other lines seem rock solid to me. I checked every inch. The good thing is that the PO had those lines GOOPED with grease - which obviously prevented rust (except in the wheel-wells where his ultimate negligence reared it's destructive head).
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

I know it's late to jump on this dog pile, but heat with all that ATF, oil, and grime is a sure way to fix that problem.

But the fire dept would of finished it. If I put any heat on that [which I would have not done], it certainly would have been cleaner than that area.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

hmmm... good points.

However earlier in the day I was much more LITERALLY playing with FIRE burning out my UCA bushings.... that was really nasty.... BUT.... it did the trick (after being gentle, and patient for one week and getting nowhere).
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:33 am    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

Ed, your plan sounds good. Of course be sure to carefully clean the inside of anything you are reusing. Also flush out the inside of any new lines you are adding before installing as they can have debris in them just from sitting around.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

the pipe looks fine inside, even the outside in the above photographs does not look bad, so replace what has been cut and put her back together again. suggest a little brake grease on the flare nut threads on reassembly, that may help it come off next time, make sure it is brake system compatible grease, same type that is used in the piston bores, do NOT use regular greases here, trace amounts of regular grease that get in the system can destroy rubber parts used in the brake system



good luck


ps ..... even in a humid areas, regular brake flushing can keep rust at bay, even at near three decades of use.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:39 am    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

Yeah... I am now starting an annual maintenance list... this will include annual brake fluid change, and annual brake line external re-greasing at least in the wheel-well areas... and with this my guess is that I may never have to change those lines.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:03 am    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

Fire can be one of the best tools in the tool box, but you just got to be aware of what it can do to cars, houses, freeways, etc.

Works great for cleaning carbon build up too.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

brake fluid change every 2 years is fine (unless you are a racer)

see my sig. for hose repl. etc. Arrow
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:46 am    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

The problem with the metal pipes is the outer coating fails while tightening the flares and the flare nut rusts to the pipe. Same happens with copper pipes but those cannot rust as solid.
Tip: use a small amount of copper or graphite or MoS2 grease under the flare nut to avoid seize

Btw your lines look good. Just replace the ones you have to.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: Dealing with old brake lines Reply with quote

ZsZ wrote:
The problem with the metal pipes is the outer coating fails while tightening the flares and the flare nut rusts to the pipe. Same happens with copper pipes but those cannot rust as solid.
Tip: use a small amount of copper or graphite or MoS2 grease under the flare nut to avoid seize


Aha... now I finished the job I understood this post. You mean that when the flare is made on the pipe, it strips away the protective coating, thereby exposing the steel which then rusts more easily? ...so I should put a bit of copper grease right on that exposed metal of the flare? I was hesitating to put any grease on there lest it be incompatible with brake fluid and contaminate the system... however now that I think of it I do have a small tube of "Brake Grease" > I assume that this should be compatible with the system if a trace amount remains there inside.

On the same theme, I assume that "Brake Clearner" spray is also compatible and not to worry if a bit remains inside the fitting.

So I managed to get the 2 new lines and the cleaned up TEE installed > but I forgot to add that tiny bit of grease on the flare..... however I did not tighten up extremely tight. I am wondering if I should just leave it now alone? It was quite a feat getting it all together without getting dirt in the system > so probably I will just leave it.
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