Brake Lines – Out with the old and crusty
While working on the wheel/tire fitment and suspension/ride height I discovered that the brake lines on the car were in need of replacement. There are two rubber brake lines per side on the front and a single rubber line between the chassis hard line and the splitting block that sits atop the rear axle. Rock Auto to the rescue!
One of the big challenges was to keep the brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoirs while swapping the lines. Letting the master cylinder run dry is a big pain in the butt to deal with. The reservoirs have vented rubber caps that “snap” into place on the top of the reservoir. So I cleaned the top of the reservoirs with brake cleaner and then covered them with a piece of duct tape before putting the cap back on. Limiting air getting into the top of the reservoir limits the fluid that can come out of the open line fitting. Worked great – I was able to swap the lines up front with minimal brake fluid loss. Went ahead and completely flushed and re-filled the brake fluid in the all reservoirs as well as the clutch fluid while doing this work.
The back was a different story. The rubber hose connection to the chassis hard line from the front of the car came apart very easily. However, there was no way that the rubber hose was coming out of the junction block on top of the rear axle while it was on the car. I couldn’t get a good “bite” on it with a wrench and was worried about damaging the fitting or the block. Using a piece of the old front brake line hose/fitting – I fashioned a plug of sorts for the chassis hard line coming from the front. By installing this on the front hard line, I was able to remove the junction block from the rear axle for an extended period of time without losing brake fluid from the reservoir.
Once I got the rear junction block off the top of the rear axle, I could tighten the brake line hex into the vice and then put a big adjustable wrench on the junction block. That enabled me to get it loose with no problems.
And…While under the car, I also replaced the rearend and transmission fluid without incident.