Is there a way to replace the rear to front metal brake line in one piece
w/out removing body? I bought a new line from Zip but can't seem to find a
way to install it intact. It appears that perhaps it could be cut and
re-coupled to make it install. My concern is it has been stored for 20+ and
don't know what could have occured inside the line. It appears to be in good
shape on outside with no noticeable growths or cracks. The line was not
drained before storage began. I appreciate any knowledge you might care to
share on the subject. Thanx- lib
No, the body has to be removed or the line split (probably into 3
re-coupled after installing the pieces. The real difficulty is the area
rear wheel frame kick-up. I haven't actually done a replacement with the
on, so I can't advise you exactly where to cut, but I'll email you a writeup
I saved one time (from a post on the web) that describes how one guy did it.
If the old line looks fine, why not try blowing it out with air pressure
some clear carb cleaner? ... disconnect at the tank and at the fuel pump
clamp long fuel hoses on both ends that you can elevate a few feet to trap
carb cleaner in the line line between air pressure blow-outs. Fill with
cleaner, let sit for an extended period, blow it out... make sure you're
jeopardizing any paint finishes; I've buried one end of the line in a
filled with crumpled paper towels, taped the box shut and put the box into
a plastic bag to prevent any fluid escaping). Repeat several times until
you're sure there are no obstructions and the fluid comes out clean.
Since you don't plan on removing the body, you won't lose anything
by trying that first
Woooops!!!!! Somehow I read brake line and then switched my
thought train to fuel line. Senior brain fart... sorry!!!
I couldn't find anything on the brake line, but I think you would need
to split the brake line near it's center (but in a spot you can access
then flare the line's cut ends after adding flare nuts, and use a
If you go this route, pick your spot and cut the old line there before
it, then use it for a pattern to cut the new line.
My advice about blowing out the old line may still hold true, but use
alcohol rather than brake cleaner.
On further investigation, it appears that replacing the brake line
on a 63 to 65 drum brake car is difficult to impossible with the body on,
because the brake line runs along the top of the frame. It may be possible
to use a later 66-67 brake line that runs on the inside of the frame rail
rather than on top, but I can't guarantee the 66-67 brake line starts
and stops at the exact same positions as the 63... in fact, I think the
drum brake cars used a 3/16 line, while the disk brake cars used a
1/4 inch line... in fact, there are different junction blocks listed for
various years (63-64, 65, 66, 67) and for differences in standard
and power brakes on the 66 & 67... so not an easy solution.
If you don't see rust problems on the old lines, I'd be tempted to
clean them as I described and continue using them, or, to
fabricate your own line and clamp it on the inside vertical frame rail...
the line you bought may be a good starting point but it will have to
be modified with at least one or two short sections added to form
the new routing.
An alternative, however, is be to proceed as if the body were
going to be removed, by removing the mount bolts and other
pertinent obstructions (steering wheel clamp, tranny linkage,
speedo and tach cables, etc, etc), then lift only the left side
of the body, just enough to change the brake line...
still a real bear, however, and some of the mounts are very
likely to be damaged in the process of removing them (especially
the ones on the frame kick-up beneath the rear compartment
Here is a thread on NCRS regarding this issue.
Sorry, wish I could give better answers.
One last thought:
if you aren't hung up on originality, you might consider
looking for a complete dual master cylinder conversion kit, which may
any more difficult to install because it may not require you to raise
so for perhaps little more effort (but probably a LOT more money) you'd
safer setup. Here's one vendor that appears to offer the parts for a
They use the 1/4 inch lines for the main tube, so the front and rear
blocks for that main line would also need to be changed, but I think the
lines remain the same, so it might work fine for drum brakes.
...that also means you can probably replace the 63 main line and it's
junction blocks with 67 parts and retain your original master cylinder,
you may need to find an adapter for the M/C to front junction block because
that block may accept a 1/4 inch M/C tube rather than your 3/16 tube.
I do not think that drum brakes are unsafe if maintained properly
(I drove a drum brake Vette for over 10 years), just that a
dual master cylinder offers an extra safety factor.
No experience cleaning C3 lines but did clean out all the
lines on a 911 that the prior owner contaminated with a mix
of silicone and conventional fluids. Had to replace the
Used solvents and pipe cleaner to 'scrub' the inside tubing
walls. First threaded a small trimmer line through the
tube... used that to pull heavy monofilament through. Tied
the monofilament to a pipe cleaner and another monofilament
to the other end of the pipe cleaner to pull it out
backwards if we had an "oops.' Also provided for a little
'scrubbing' as we gained confidence that we weren't going
to loose a pipe cleaner in the tube.
Used paint thinner for one pass, then a paint shop product
called 'sill-off' (Dad may be able to correct the spelling
or come up with a more modern product idea if you are
concerned about silicone contamination.)
Nylon cored pipe cleaners were easier to pull than were the
wire cored type. Gave most lines 5 passes, paint thinner
in the final two passes. The pipe cleaners should tell
you if you have a rust problem.
Thanx for the helpful info. I also recv'd some info from a supplier of
Corvette brake systems. It's agreed that to do a complete, correct install
the body must be lifted, as the line was installed on top of the rail,
before the body. The most reasonable alternative, that I've heard so far, is
to run the replacement line down the side of the frame rail, and re-route as
needed. My major concern is the current integrity and safety of the old line
when the pressure is applied to it. I appreciate the different tips on
cleaning the existing line, also. I still may try that, but am leaning more
towards replacement, and avoiding using couplers if possible. I'm still open
to ideas, if there are more, and will let the group know how it all plays
out. Thanx again- lib
i did all the brake lines on my 72, its not all that difficult .it takes
time but ive done more difficult jobs. its worth the sweat and busted
knuckes// get some rust spray and tubing wrenches.
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