Steel vs. flex brake line


#1

I have a 1988 Ford Ranger 4x4 pickup. I need to replace the left rear brake line. The rear brake lines are steel. Can they be replaced with flexible brake lines? OEM parts are no longer available and I would have to pay a local plumbing shop for every bend on the line.


#2

get some steel braided lines; best of both worlds


#3

Do I have to replace both rear lines or can I just replace the damaged line? I would then have one steel braided line and one steel line.


#4

Generic steel line is available at very low cost from any auto parts store. Remove the damaged line as intact as possible and bring it with you to the store to ensure you buy the proper size. It bends easily by hand, but use a tubing bender to prevent kinks. If you have to shorten it, you’ll need a tubing cutter and a double flare tool. You may be able to borrow all of these tools from the parts store.


#5

As an alternative to cutting and flaring, you can buy a tubing bender for around $15. If the line is too long, you can take up the difference in zig-zags or loops. The bender is cheaper than the flaring tool and less problematic. Even with the tools, I hate flaring steel tubing and avoid it whenever possible.