97 F150 - 6 cyl - 4.2L - 139K miles. Brake line going from the master cylinder to the rear brakes failed (rusted out and blew). My question is whether I should go through the dealer for the replacement line (exact) fit or use the generic ones at the auto parts stores ? I’ve never had to replaced a brake line so any suggestions concerning the genuine Ford part or generic part would be appreciated.
You should either buy and install the exact part or have it installed. You could buy the tools (a pipe-bending tool, a pipe cutter, a flanging tool, but this is not a system that works well with poor tolerances. I’d either purchase the exact parts or have the work done.
I highly doubt you’ll be able to get a direct fit brake line from the dealer. So you’re probably going to have use the stick brake line from an auto parts store. The best way to do this is to buy various lengths of the stick brake line and some flare fitting couplers. Then remove the rusted brake line trying to maintain it’s original shape. Using the old brake line as a template, bend the stick brake line so it matches the shape of the old. Install the new brake line using the couplers where required. When finished with the repair, return the stick brake line and couplers that weren’t used for a refund.
There is no need for the cutting and flaring tools. with the bending tool and couplers I have always been able to do the job.
The generic lines will work just as well as the originals. If you do this job yourself the main thing is to avoid crimping the line due to bending it too sharply. A tubing bender is helpful and if that tool it not available you can bend the line around various sized round objects. (sockets, piece of pipe, a can, etc.)
Thanks everyone for the advice. I can get a tubing bender and this should make the job easier. Thanks again.
Here’s a tip. Tape the fittings on each end of the stick brake line. Nothing worse than forming a brake line perfectly, sitting back and admirring your work only to realize that both fittings are sitting at one end of the formed brake line.
The lines can be formed without any special tools…Just take a little care not to kink them. Just be sure when you are done the line is securely attached to the frame. There can be no movement, chaffing, rattling around…If the new line turns out to be a little long, you can form a loop in it to take up the extra length…