Replacing brake line on Ford Ranger

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by fishhead, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How hard is it to replace a rear brake line on a 95 Ford Ranger?

    It's leaking between the junction box that sits on the rear end and the wheel. As far as replacing the part it looks simple. Unscrew the fitting, remove old line, insert new line and tighten fittings.

    That's the theory but what is it really like?

    Should I expect the fittings to be rusted to the point they break before unscrewing? I've never replaced the fluid so I'm guessing it attracted moisture and that's what rusted the line to the point it broke.

    Can one person bleed the air out of the line when you replace the fluid?
     
  2. zant

    zant Well-Known Member

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    1.Spray with PB..tet sit for 24hrs-may come off without twisting/breaking line...buy new fitting/line anyway..
    2.1 person can bleed if you have a vacuum unit-I bought a small SnapOn years ago and bleed brakes myself.
    3.RUST is biggest problem-your Ranger in Mn may be rusted..underneath esp....My sons Ranger never out of Alabama looks brand new underneath with 200k on it.When we replaced his rear brake lines-took an hr.5-simple-NO rust..
     

  3. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What's PB?

    Do the lines come partially formed or straight?
     
  4. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    PB is one of those miracle in a can penetrating oils. Like liquid wrench or kroil or those type things.
     
  5. Should be fairly simple . Use a line wrench .
     
  6. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    PB Blaster. Available at Walmart and autoparts stores throughout the US.

    Try breaking free both ends of the line before you remove either. Yes, many times you break the line, or worse the other end. Frustrating jobs sometimes. Especially on older rustier vehicles.

    Fitting the new line can be highly entertaining. If you go to a dealership, you can likely get a pre-bent line that fits perfectly. That's nice. But it's expensive. The cheaper route is to get a generic straight line (with the right fittings!) from the auto store. Bend it to fit, and that's the fun part. The line bends easily enough, but getting everything to line up right as you bend it can be....frustrating.
     
  7. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The rubber section with the fittings or the entire steel line? You can get the rubber sections aftermarket but good luck finding the pre-bent line anywhere. We had to replace the lines on our 2000 van a couple years ago and the dealer didn't have the pre-bent lines for it! Dh had found a place that does custom lines out of stainless a while ago and just took the old lines to them and had new ones made. We've done that for 3 vehicles now and will be doing a 4th as time and money allow. On the last one we had done it didn't cost much more than the straight line and fittings.
     
  8. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do the lines kink easily?

    I like the idea of taking the old one(s) to a custom place.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  9. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When dh gets home I'll ask him for the info on the lines he bought. They used to be a little backroom shop but have grown to a big mail-order company. At least it would give you a starting price.

    Found their website:
    http://www.getdiscbrakes.com/

    They are called The Right Stuff Detailing
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  10. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It sure isn't a backroom shop any more. :)

    Thanks.
     
  11. oneokie

    oneokie Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the lines are easy to kink. Harbor Freight sells a tubing bending tool that is well worth the money.

    When you go to install the new line, start the new line fitting on one end by only 2 turns so that it has some movement, then do the same with the other end. The fittings are easily cross threaded. Don't ask......
     
  12. Nimrod

    Nimrod Guest

    I did new brake lines on the rear on my 96 Bronco. The set up sounds similar. Use penetrating oil on the fittings on the distribution box and the wheel cylinder. Let sit overnight. Use an appropriat size brake line wrench and the fittings should come out. Try not to bend the old line getting it out, then use it as a pattern to bend the new line. I bought brake line and fittings from O'Riely. You need to double flare the ends of the lines (flare tool from HF). Don't forget to put the fitting on before you make the flare. I put new wheel cylinders on because the bleed screws were rusted shut.
     
  13. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When we got the first set many many moons ago (2001) they were just starting up and you had to have your old lines to get a set made. I won't tell you how many lines one incompetent employee messed up or how much they spent to make everything right for many customers but they do stand behind their product and the customer service is top notch. For someone who intends to keep their vehicle for a few years yet and already has a brake line problem the stainless ones are a good investment. We got the silicon fluid too. Shortly after replacing the lines and using the silicon fluid we took a road trip to Colorado. We went down a really steep grade where you had to ride the brakes. We had to pull off a few times to let the drums cool and we had some grease seep out of the bearings but we had zero brake fade. We have been very pleased with their products.
     
  14. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I put the penetrating oil on the fittings but forgot to do the bleeder valve. I'll get that done tonight.
     
  15. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Deleted. Didn't know what I was talking about.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  16. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well I got all 4 bolts taken out one gummed up thread at a time.

    Now I've got a new problem.

    The hole in the wheel cylinder isn't large enough to slide over the part that has the lug nuts. Now what do I do?
     
  17. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Try using vise grips if necessary to remove the leaking line from the wheel cylinder. If you absolutely can't get it loosened then the drum needs to come off, to access the wheel cylinder for removal. Also keep in mind that the brake line fitting are different at each end of the old brake line you are removing. A adapter is required at the wheel end and the regular flare fitting is required at the junction block you found above the differential....Also you will have to bend the new brake line by hand. I'm very familiar with this job, it's not much fun if the old brake line fittings don't lefty loosey easily...Topside
     
  18. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    If you dont have a bending tool to prevent kinks, you can use a v-belt pulley. The walls of the vee groove prevent the tubing from collapsing. With two or three different diameter pulleys you can make any bends you want.

    And I forget what a nightmare brake jobs were when I lived in upper michigan. Rust was no joke up there. Down here in the south, very rare for rust to be much of a problem. Down here I even used to rebuild wheel cylinders. That was back when new wheel cylinders werent same price as a rebuild kit. Now its waste of time to try and rebuild either wheel cylinder or master cylinder when new parts arent any more expensive..
     
  19. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was confused. What I was calling the 'wheel cylinder' isn't that at all. I would guess it's the housing for the brake shoes. I didn't need to spend an hour unbolting it from the axle. Oh well......

    What I need to do is get the cylinder off that housing. I've already rounded the fitting off with vise grips. I'm going to help the neighbor cut down some trees this morning after breakfast but after that I'm going to take another run at getting the cylinder of the housing.
     
  20. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    The only way to get the wheel cylinder off is to remove the brake drum. Tire off, then remove the drum. Some of them can be stubborn, rust and the brake shoes grapping the drum could be a problem...I usually learn a few new words whenever I encounter this problem. In a perfect world the drum should slide right off. Hitting it with a hammer usually helps, don't hit to hard or you will crack the drum...Topside