CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Can I replace ruptured rear brake line 2000 Century?

On my 2000 Buick Century, the rear brake line on the passenger side ruptured at that flexing coil behind the gas tank and inside the rear crossmember between the wheels. I certainly would want to replace the entire run of tubing between the connection near the fuel filter and the bracket for the flex hose going to the wheel. But what all would I have to remove to fit in the new sections of brake line? Can this job be done without removing the crossmember or the gas tank?

As long as you can secure the new brake line properly, so it can’t come loose or get snagged by something or vibrate against something, then yes, you can route it differently than the factory did…But with brake systems, there is no room for Jerry-Rigging…

the brake line on my car drops down from the firewall and runs to the back of body. right at that bend, there is a plastic cover. which TRAPS debris. take off cover and all the lines were in various stages of rusting. thanks GM. maybe the owners manual should say, service this area. by taking off cover and cleaning out mud/debris?

Thanks for the quick replies and comments, caddyman and stoveguy. I’ll scope out rerouting safely. Hopefully I can get rusty connectors apart when removing rusty ruptured brake lines!

I one rupture occurred others are possible. Was this rubber or metal? If rubber, I’d replace all flexible hoses in the system. If metal I’d have all lines inspected. If it was from corrosion that started outside that’s easier to spot. If it started as internal corrosion I’d be concerned about all the lines.

There is a coil of about 3 loops of tubing in both rear brake lines, none in front brake lines. Are they for expansion and needed with the ABS system? I’d never seen coils in brake tubings before, but no doubt should bend them into my rear replacement tubings?.

My understanding is that they are there for stress relief. A large uni-body car is capable of a lot of body flex. I’d probably put them in.

Thank you busted knuckles, I did put the coils in the right rear brake tubing. I bought 3/16" bending pliers, a bubble flare kit, rented a double flare kit, bought 50’ of CUNI tubing, the fittings, etc., and did the job, very hard work, took me a while to decide to remove the ABS Modulator/Motorpac for better room to run the tubings down. But now that the ABS M/M is off, maybe it should be checked out if possible. When the right rear line ruptured, I had no brake pedal at all! Doesn’t a 2000 Buick Century have dual master cylinder, I’m wondering. There is a single brake fluid reservoir but there are two brake lines going out of it to the ABS M/M so could this ABS M/M be at fault; but I don’t recall seeing the ABS warning light on, after my brake failure.

Will there be dissimiliar metal corrosion issues with the steel flare nuts and the CUNI tubing I used to do this job?

There is the potential for dissimilar metal (galvanic) corrosion with steel and CuNi. The steel nut will see somewhat accelerated corrosion, as it’s more active than the CuNi. Your tubing should be OK. I’d inspect the nut regularly until you know how big an effect the dissimilar metals will have. If you can get CuNi flare nuts, that would be ideal. If not, 400 Series stainless steel is nearly as good, and will minimize dissimilar metal corrosion problems.

Thanks for reply and advice, Cole’s Law

You’re welcome, and congratulations on essentially rebuilding your brake system!

hey i have the same problem, i have a brake leak right in between the coiled line, i would like to do what you did, can you give some details on what you did front to back?

I haven’t seen a post from @gudenteit in a long time. You should create a new post and describe the problem. On the main page, there is a button in the top right that says “+ new topic”. Click on it and start the new topic. More regulars will click on a new topic than an old one like this.

He’s still active

As a matter of fact, I believe he posted a few days ago

Your best option is to click @gudenteit’s avatar . . . then you will have the opportunity to send him a private message. Otherwise, he may or not be aware you have a question for him

Platinum 78, I’m sorry my response is taking so long. I have a hectic family situation, and it has been hard to concentrate on my brake line replacement job that was rather long ago now, and was somewhat unconventional. A short portion of the brake lines, from the antilock module to the right front caliper had been replaced already by a previous owner of the car, but I replaced all other brake lines. I used the copper nickel 3/16" tubing, but had to buy a bubble flaring kit from Amazon for the flare connections, and borrow a double flare kit from NAPA, I think it was. Some connections were bubble flare, others double flare. If I could have found flare fittings that were compatible with the copper nickel (CUNI) tubing, brass or stainless, I would have used them, but I didn’t want to spend any more time being taken deeper and deeper into the retubing job, so I just used the steel flare fittings carried by NAPA. I also had to buy a pliers type 3/16" tubing bender from Amazon. I used anti-seize between the tubing & the fittings to retard dissimiliar metal corrosion. I was glad the CUNI tubing bends so easily without kinking. It was a bit tedious bending the tubing from the coil straight to run it from front to back in the clamps the tubings fit down into. And hard to keep parallel bends that curved from chafing against each other, or chafing the surfaces under the car. At times I would insulate short sections of the tubings that may chafe, with pieces of that split plastic wire conduit. I had to be very careful with the ABS Modulator Module after I removed it from next to the power brake vacuum tank, to keep it from tipping over & leaking out brake fluid, which would cause the module to become airbound in a way that normal brakeline bleeding wouldn’t purge. Working with brake line bleeders on the calipers of my car, I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get fluid to flow from the bleeders, thought that indicated a bad ABS Module, but I learned that 2 or maybe 3 of the brake bleeder screws were plugged up, what a surprise. And I hope no one makes the mistake I did at first, trying to avoid a hassle keeping air out of the ABS Module by leaving it mounted & trying to work behind the module, working blind . The best thing is to carefully remove the module. The fuel line supply & return lines run behind the module also, and cause great congestion back there. A few years later I checked the flare fittings with the dissimiliar metals & saw no obvious signs of corrosion. I’m sure you have done your brake line job by now, though, so again, sorry for the late reply. How did your replacement job go?