Brake line replacement. | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Brake line replacement.

Discussion in '3rd Gen 1997-2002 2.0L SOHC' started by Gabriel Panoussi, Nov 3, 2019.

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  1. Gabriel Panoussi

    Gabriel Panoussi My approval ratings have droped.

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    I went out to resurrect my old Ford. Started backing out of the driveway and the and the brake pedal hit the floor.
    Wide eyed I quickly put the car in neutral and engaged the handbrake. Luckily this was done before the downhill slope begins in my driveway.

    So once I got it back up on level ground I went ahead and added some fluid to the master cylinder and pump the brakes.
    The the fluid quickly went down the master cylinder into the lines and subsequently on the floor.

    I found the source of the leak. Which I suspect is common in these cars. If you guess the source of the leak was that little box right above the rear axle you are correct.

    So I have a couple . X 2 questions. I should mention this is non abs with rear drum brakes.

    one the manual clearly states that using copper lines is not recommend in this car. This was at the time the manual was printed did they mean copper as in regular copper lines NOT the new copper zinc lines we have today that don't rust? Cuz that's what I plan on buying.

    Two. the fittings themselves are they the m10 1.0 fittings all around at the wheels and the master cylinder or do I need two sizes.

    3 should I try to route them along the original lines removing the old ones; or is there a better way to route out the lines?

    4 finally beside some type of tube cutter and a flare what other tools might I need also is this use a single flare or a double flare?

    thanks in advance for all your help I am completely new to installing brake lines.I never had to do it before cuz I lived California. And honestly I'm just glad this all happened in my driveway rather than coming off the off-ramp of a highway.
  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    This has happened to me on my 92LX, and I spent several hours over a couple of days replacing just the badly rusted lines - going to the back of the car. Then I inspected another Escort, my 95LX sedan, and had to do the same lines; the ones going to the back of the car. Again, not much expense, but still a slow process. Im sure I saved a huge amount of money.
    The little fitting in the middle of the rear subframe is just a distribution block, and was where the lines to the wheels were connected to the lines coming from the front. With one of my 'fixes', I couldnt get the flare nuts off, so just eliminated that fitting, and ran the lines the extra distance to where they connect to the brake hoses. I also replaced the rear brake hoses and the little "S" curved brake lines connecting to the wheel cylinders.
    Using the various brand names of 'cupronic' lines is fine, and slightly easier to bend than the older "Bundy" tubing, which for decades was the required brake line material. I got standard brake line lengths when I did my 92LX, and just joined the different standard lengths to get the lengths I needed. When I did the 95LX (whose layout was identical to the 92) I used a 25 ft roll of the copper-nickel alloy, and made my own flares, after putting on the M10-1.0 flare nuts. (Its not a copper zinc alloy as far as I know).
    I had to go to several auto parts places, since no one of them had half a dozen flare nuts; each had one or two, but I needed a total of four, and wanted extras. The same was true of the coupling pieces; unions maybe they are called. Also you have to be careful to get the metric fittings, since the SAE threaded fittings are also standard on older American vehicles; and being almost the same size, are easy to mix up visually. The metric and SAE fittings must never ever be mixed!
    The bake lines were all 3/16" on my Escorts. I did brake lines on a Chevy S-10 pickup, and had to get different sized fittings, as GM didnt adopt a standard size brake line or flare nuts for the whole vehicle!
    I think the flare is called a standard flare, and you make it in a sort of two-step process. I just followed the instructions that came with the flaring set.
    I only replaced from the middle of the undercarriage to the rear, as the front part of the lines had no rusty feeling. While they werent shiny, they felt smooth as I slid my fingers along. I routed them the same way they had been on the OEM installation, and supported them using mainly the OEM supports. Getting these apart was a slow chore also.
    The worst rust was where the lines ran beside the fuel tank, up out of sight unless I was looking straight up from below. Its was the same rusty area on both cars.
    I also replaced the master cylinder and its reservoir. If your car is a 5-speed, it might be worthwhile to replace the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder. I did that. Its easier to get the clutch master cylinder out if you take out the drivers seat, put down a wide plank, and can lie down with a straight back, to get to the nut that is above the clutch master cylinder on the inside. With an automatic transmission its not a problem of course.

    Just copper lines are not legal for use as brake lines, since with vibration the copper work hards, and will eventually crack.

    Good Luck. This work is just tiresome, but very money saving.
  3. marclar

    marclar Administrator Staff Member

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    removed double post.
  4. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    The rear left line can be bent out of a 30" length of premade brake line with the 10 x 1mm inverse flare fittings.
    It's best to copy the original brake line exactly. This is time consuming but important.

    The Cunifer or equivalent copper nickel lines are a superior product, but the car will probably rust away before replacement steel brake lines, at this point.
  5. Gabriel Panoussi

    Gabriel Panoussi My approval ratings have droped.

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    Thanks for the replies lots of information there.

    I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to tackle this project because winter is approaching.

    I do have two sets of jack stands which should make it a little bit easier.

    I think it's definitely worth it though I really like the escort. I have five cars and this is one of my favorites.
  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I jacked up the back of the car, supporting things at the front end of the rear trailing arms. I had the driver's side wheel off, then had to take the passenger side wheel off, to get at the brake fittings on that side of the car. I use pyramids of heavy lumber, such as about 6" x 6" or 8" 8". I wanted things to be fall-proof.
    My Escorts are about my favorite cars too. Its why I own five of them, alll 2nd gen LX ones.
  7. Gabriel Panoussi

    Gabriel Panoussi My approval ratings have droped.

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    I did some more research and ordered the right stuff this time that's a 3/16 copper zinc line 25 ft worth. 10 10 mm by 1.0 fittings. A tube cutter. A set of flare wrenches including 10 mm. My buddies let me borrow a flare kit. I think the only thing I'm missing at this point maybe some unions. like something to replace that block on the rear axle.
    I may just do this project slow and go. I did find out that only double flares are acceptable in hydraulic brakes according to the internet.
    I feel like the job will be just like everybody says easy but tedious. It will feel awesome to have it done though.
  8. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Yes, make sure the flare tool can make double flares, and accept that it sometimes takes a couple tries to make a good double flare.

    And after making the flare, check to see if you forgot to put the flare nut on first.
  9. Gabriel Panoussi

    Gabriel Panoussi My approval ratings have droped.

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    knowing me I will almost definitely forget to put the flare nut on before I crimp line at least once.
    I'll run him a little longer case I need
  10. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    "I may not always make a perfect double flare,
    but when I do, I forget to put the nut on".

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