Brake line replacement


#1

Is it advisable to replace a hard brake line with a flexible one? I have a 1991 Toyota 4x4 with two corroded lines running the length of the vehicle from the bulkhead to the right rear wheel cylinder. Along the way, they bend up and around the frame, gas tank, etc., making the 9 or so feet a real trick with the required bends on a hard line. Would there be any disadvantage (or risk) in replacing the whole run with a flexible line?


#2

I would not feel safe running flexible lines that far and besides; hose like this is expensive.

Why not buy a cheap tubing bender tool from Harbor Freight, a few sticks of straight brake line from the parts house, and bend your own? Sticks are available in various lengths and fittings.
It would be much cheaper and a lot safer IMHO.


#3

OK gave you sage advice. And I speak from expierience!

Back when I was seventeen, a friend owned a vehicle where the brake line rusted out. I was supposed to help him fix this line, but ended working that Saturday. At the end of my shift he picked me up to go out that night. I got in the car and asked, “You got the brake line fixed uh?” He said “Yup!”

We drove a few miles and everything was fine. That is until we came to a hill. As we were going down the hill, about half way we heard a pop! The car started buiding speed and he was pumpin’ the brakes like a mad-man. He looked at me with a look of horror and screamed, "I HAVE NO BRAKE’S!!! WE had a choice to make. Either try to make a turn on the next cross street, or pass this street and hope the light was green for us at the next very busy intersection.

At the next street, he took a hard left. The left wheels came off the ground, and me on the passenger side, just watched the pavement get closer and closer to the window. Just when I thought we were going over, he cranked the wheel to the right, and the vehicle slammed to the ground ending up in a stand of hedges.

I got out of the car, knee’s shaking, and the people who saw this event were clapping and cheering! After I got my composure back, And looked under the car, and his brake line repair was a length of brake hose clamped to the brake line where he cut out the rusted section! The brake hose split open almost along its entire length!

So don’t do it! Replace it with a steel line. That is of course, unless you enjoy 30 seconds of terror popping up at anytime while you’re driving?

Tester


#4

Not only is it the worst idea I’ve heard this year, I guarantee that your insurance company will refuse to cover the damage and highway carnage resulting from such a repair.

Even if the brake pipes were $500 each (which they are not), don’t you think they would be worth it. Sounds like a bargain when compared to the million doallar law suits you’d be facing when the inevitable happens.


#5

Good points. Can you imagine a traffic accident leaving 4 dead or something like that and the ensuing investigation discovering a split rubber hose splice job being the cause?
That might turn a civil issue into a criminal one.

Even those short rubber flexible hoses on the front calipers have been know to come apart at times and those hoses are some pretty tough stuff and reinforced to boot.

I was riding an old custom bike once (no front brake and mechanical rears) and one of the clevis pins in the linkage broke as I was braking for a fairly sharp turn. Yanked it from 4th gear to 2nd, missed the barricade at the end of the dead end road, and wound up on the green of the 12th hole at the university golf course.
About 10 minutes to settle down before making note to self - replace those pins on a regular basis.


#6

I echo your thoughts and comments guys . . . and add one more. Make certain that your emergency brake is in good working order as well. I’ve seen people ignore it, fail to use it, disconnect it, fail to adjust it properly . . . and then, in an emergency . . . you don’t have it. I used to sky dive, and always packed my main myself . . . and always checked the date on the reserve. You don’t need it until you do, and if one fails . . . the other had better be there. Rocketman