I need to repair the left rear steel brake line on my 83 Pontiac 6000 and
the manual says to use a double flair fitting. Some parts shops claim some
repair shops use a compression union to splice in a new section of line
rather than use a d- flair splice or bend a new line. Will the compression
fitting hold the pressure?
Most states don't like you using compression fittings on brakes. If it
was mine I would replace both rear lines. They are not that expensive
and since you have to bleed the brakes anyway, you might as well get new
wheel cylinders as well. Unless they were replaced recently the lines
will be rusted pretty good and so will the bleeders. Also gives you a
chance to check the rear brakes.
"Edge" < email@example.com> wrote in message
I had to deal with that issue a while back on my 86 mazda B2000.
After much research, i decided NOT to buy a flair kit and make
a line from scratch. Flaring is a art, and i decided not to take the risk.
What you can do is buy pre made lengths of steel brake line with fittings from
your local auto parts store. There are different threads and flares, so make
sure you get the right ones.
Take the old line off. Try not to bend it too much. Measure it. Then find the
next closest over length brake line from the auto parts store. Buy a cheap
manual line bending tool. Take your new line and use your old line as a
template to pre bend the new line as much as possible. You may have to make a
loop with the tool to take out some excess length if the aftermarket line was
too long. This bending you may have to do under the car. You may be taking the
line in and out of the car multiple times to size it, so you might want to cap
the ends to keep crud out of the lines until your ready to install it.
Be real careful taking the old lines and fitting off if there really rusted.
Use some PB blaster or such to loosen them up before you
risk stripping then out with removal.
It is not safe, these technicians are lazy, want the min. amount of work
for they most pay. Don't bother you technicians to reply with a rebuttal
I have 20 years as a service writer and some guys over the years clocked
in over 75 hours of pay and actually came to work for 40 to 44 hours, so
it's simple you can all do the math can't you that's nearly billing
double that time it takes to complete repairs and that's only the
average. OK I changed my mind try and offer a true rebuttal, if you can.
Sorry Edge to use your post here to insult the dishonest techs, I think
you can use the compression but it must be a good seal, and can't be as
good a seal as a double ended flare. But maybe again a Tech wants to
challenge that to, let's see if one does?
It's not just that it's "not safe" it's illegal in most jurisdictions.
I think an interesting line that was written by the original poster
is: "Some parts shops claim some repair shops use a compression union
to splice in a new section of line rather than use a d- flair splice
or bend a new line"
What a part shop clerk "claims" mechanics do & what someone who could
be sued actually does, are radically different things. The burst
pressure for compression fittings is laughably low. To even think
that someone might contemplate traveling the roads that your family
drives on with compression fitting brake lines.... Scary.
Could compression fittings handle low, light braking pressures? Yes,
for a very little bit. Could they handle you stopping to avoid a
child running into the road? No.
Pre-flared lines with purpose built adapters are the cheapest, safe
solution for your requirement.
As for the response by danhawse,.. I assure you that no mechanic is
beating book time changing rusty brake lines. If you've ever had the
"pleasure" of working to book time on anything other than brand new
cars with every recommended tool you would know how impossible it is.
There are some jobs where book time can be beaten. Renault Alliance
Drive shaft for example. Book requires removing the battery,
anti-freeze, etc, etc, etc. However, dropping the lower "A" arm
Un-bolting the drive shaft from the hub & "yanking" it out of the
tranny (installing in reverse). The book rates can be beat by a
factor of 3.
Any idea why I can remember how much book could be beaten by?
There is a saying "do it right or do it twice"
With brakes, tires or steering you may not get the chance for the
PS. Don't try to flare copper line instead of steel brake lines
either. I've seen that been done by a Darwin Candidate.
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