Brake line replacement

Discussion in 'Wheels/Tires/Brakes' started by wa1dh, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Shane: I would run the lines the same way the ones on the car are laid out now. The reason for having two lines running to the back is because the brake system is "dual". Its done this way so that if one line or hose or whatever breaks open, you still have the brakes on two of the car's four wheels.
    Doing the brakes is mostly a slow job of lying under the car (I dont have a lift) and working to get the old lines off, either at a junction, or by cutting the line with a tubing cutter, and putting a new flare nut onto that section of line before you use the flaring tool to put the flare on the end. Its slow work, but think of the huge amount of labor charges you are -not- paying. By the way, I would advise using some new lines and new flare nuts, and practising doing flares, just to be good at it when working under the car. Expect to have some trouble getting the flare nuts unscrewed from wheel cylinders and calipers. I would also replace the rubber brake hoses you encounter. Use of flare nut wrenches is essential!
    Dont be afraid to drill small holes for sheet metal screws in the underbody; to hold up new clamps that support the brake lines. Some of the original support clips got broken up during my removal work.
    If there is a junction block at the back of the car, its likely just that; a junction. I dont think our cars used pressure limiters back there. I had a joint in my lines at about that point, but just used a metric threaded coupling in my new lines.
    Be advised; the metric threaded flare nuts and coupling and the SAE threaded fittings are hard to tell apart..... and mixing them is NOT a workable idea. I would not trust the typical counterman to know what the brake line standard sizes are. Escorts use 3/16" tubing, but metric flare nuts. They might be M10-1.0, but Im not sure.
    Its not legal to use pure copper tubing, because it work hardens from vibration and can eventually crack. The cupro-nic alloyws are legal. They are 5% nickel and 95% copper. They are easier to bend than the galvanized Bundy tubing. But you still need bending tools to avoid kinks.
    Good Luck
  2. Shane Parks

    Shane Parks FEOA Member

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    Thanks a lot I haven't had the chance to see where it is leaking from but i know none of the breaks work right now probably because of no fluid but i will fill it and see exactly where the leak is, but I still want to replace all the lines and hoses front to back because of the rust, the car has only 69,000 miles and is excellent except the brakes so I might as well do it. I called ford and they dont even make that junction box or sell it anymore, so if that is rusted out can i by-pass it? its hard to find after market is it just a proportioning valve? Also they sell this 3/16 brake line at Autozone that has like a protectant coating to help with future rust, it's like $27.99 for a 25' coil how much do I need?
  3. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I am guessing you can just ignore the junction block. I dont think its a proportioning valve.
    What you must include in the brake system is the goody at the bottom of the firewall, having several brake lines coming to it, and an electrical wire leaving it. This is the brake safety indicator, whose job is to let you know if one half of the brake system has a different amount of fluid displacement upon brake operation. It is one of the things that will make the 'brake; light indicator on the bottom of the instrument cluster light up; indicating a serious problem with the brakes. The other thing it indicates is that the hand brake handle has been raised.
    Anyway; the brake lines would all be the 3/16" size. And there are only two types of brake line that are okay to use on American cars. One is the original Bundy tubing, which is coated with zince. The other is the copper-nickel alloy, sold with several different brand names, like cupro-nic. The brake lines on our Escorts were all orignally Bundy tubing. The copper alloy stuff is a legal replacement.

    I would guess you would use up most but not all of a 25' roll of the brake tubing. I only replaced the tubing that was rusted, along with the brake hoses. The tubing for the front brakes was not rusty to speak of.
  4. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Probably, but most likely it can be cleaned up. At least that's what I have done once. Get it all shiny again, then wax it. Once it's out of the car it's easy enough to clean up (and remove the rusted on end pieces). That, and you can use a generic replacement part, or a part intended to be used on a different car. Actually I think the only purpose of the block is so you can replace the end pieces independently of the longer pieces that go from the front to the back of the car, that and a place to secure it to the car. I think there is a good way to secure a regular brake junction to the car.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  5. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    ditto to the above.
  6. Shane Parks

    Shane Parks FEOA Member

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    Thanks guys idk what this junction box it yet untill i get the car in a few weeks ill have to look under it and see but if i by pass it i guess ill have to see where the lines would run. this is my first complete line job ive done pieces here or there and hoses but not a complete line job, I appreciate all the advice a lot, i dont even know how many lines are under there or where they run ive tried to find a diagram with no luck or a youtube video with no luck either so if anyone have any pix or videos or diagrams that would help that would be awesome, one guy said get a pack of metal coat hangers and shape those to the lines i need as a templete???? i dont know if they sell prebent lines for these cars or not?
  7. Shane Parks

    Shane Parks FEOA Member

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    If I knew what it looked like i could tell better lol. idk even what it looks like. do the line just go straight in to the box like 1 straight line then it's flare and then another line comes out the end of the box with it's flare and continue to where it goes??? cuz i was told its rusted through but idk i have taken possion of the car yet. all i know it the brakes dont work right now but it has new pads/rotors and calipers in the front and new shoes in the back. the car is mint besides the brake issue only 69,000 miles and looks like new.

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  8. Shane Parks

    Shane Parks FEOA Member

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    do you have a pic of what this junction block looks like or can u take one?
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  9. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I have not heard of prebent lines. I have seen ebay ads for a kit of all needed brake lines - but they were straight sections with enough couplings to join them.
  10. Shane Parks

    Shane Parks FEOA Member

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    forget that I'd rather do it myself and learn something new in the processes ya know. do u know of any videos on youtube?
  11. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    There are plenty of videos about steering rack work, but none that I saw for ford Escorts.
  12. rbailin

    rbailin FEOA Member

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    The junction block on non-ABS 3G Escorts is not a proportioning valve (those are located on the master cylinder) and you can ignore it. ABS 3G Escorts don't have a junction block. The junction block is just a dual in-line union (coupler).

    And there's no brake safety indicator on 3G's either. The brake idiot light just warns you about low brake fluid or the parking brake handle being raised.
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  13. Shane Parks

    Shane Parks FEOA Member

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    Thanks good to know lol so do the lines run straight through the junction block or cross like a t or a cross?
  14. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    After you get the junction block off the car, try blowing through it to check the fluid path.
  15. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Without looking, I would assume L shaped. I think the closest thing I can find to it on the internet right now would be something like this:
    [​IMG]
  16. Shane Parks

    Shane Parks FEOA Member

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    so the line goes in one of these and connects to the block and then the other one the one comes out of the block and into the line to continue the line as to not have one solid line?
  17. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I suspect the reason has more to do with assembling the rear axle assembly to the body, at the manufacturing plant.
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  18. Shane Parks

    Shane Parks FEOA Member

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    oh yea that makes sense cuz they put the brake lines on before the body right? Easy for them but tougher for us to get to lol.
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