Soft Brakes, front 1/2 of MC low, leaky steel brake line

Old Goat

Full Access Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Posts
1,750
Reaction score
1,752
Location
Northern Nevada
There are a 1000 threads on leaky brake lines.
Been searching for the past hour on Google, different wording to find what Iam looking for.

This past week the Brake Peddle suddenly started to get soft and low, but truck stops...ok.
I have had the truck parked the past 6 days doing some other stuff to it.
Today I was under it and the Frame is wet (not dripping) and paint pealing off frame. Where the lower Control arm attaches to the mount rivited to the frame is wet as is the inside the frame for about a foot. Can`t really see exactly where the leak is.

Wiped the area down with a rag of solvent to clean up the Brake, Fuel lines, etc... to get a clean area and to see what is actually leaking.
Where the wet spot is, most likely going to the rear brakes.

Checked the MC, and the front half was 3/4 down. Filled it up, drove and brakes are the same, some air probably got into the system.

The 2 steel lines coming from the MC, I know one is front and other rear brakes. One of them is the problem child and need replacing.
With all my searching for Brake Lines on Google, all these sites sell a whole complete sets, majority stainless Steel. I just need maybe the one piece, not a whole set. prices vary from $150 - $300.

This is for my 86 F-250 T-19 one wheel drive, single cab.
I really don`t want to deal with this....maybe some Flex Seal will do the trick....:sly


Goat
 

chillman88

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Posts
6,059
Reaction score
6,202
Location
Central NY
Most auto parts stores around here sell pre flared/assembled sections of line if you don't have the tools/knowledge to flare your own.

Being in Nevada you might get lucky, up here in the rust belt when you touch one line you end up replacing all of them anyway!

There's a line from the MC to the ABS unit, then back to the rear axle. Might be leaking at the ABS unit too?

The other line goes from the MC down near the drivers front either to a T and then to both wheels or some of them just go to the driver's side hose and split there depending on which style you have.

They're all just standard inverted double flare 3/16 line. There are a couple odd fittings but the auto parts stores should have adapter fittings to make the pre assembled lines work.

Truthfully, now is a good time to replace the rubber hose too since you'll already have the system open. Check the bleeder screws on the brakes before you start. If they're rusted shut it's easier to just replace the wheel cylinder or caliper sometimes BUT being in Nevada you probably will be fine.

My Dually came from Texas and all the bleeder screws were free and the brake lines weren't rusted together solid. That was a nice new experience for me LOL
 

franklin2

Full Access Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Posts
5,226
Reaction score
1,468
Location
Va
Buy the nickel/copper line, it's more expensive but will not rust and it bends like electrical wire.

Hopefully it's not the MC lines, they are usually the ones with the oddball fitting sizes. It's usually not, it's usually the line as it goes over the frame to the rubber hose, where the tire throws junk all over the line for the past decades.

But those universal lines are the way to go. If you have to buy one a little longer, so be it. When you bend it by hand, your bends will have a larger radius and need longer line anyway.
 

ROCK HARVEY

Full Access Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Posts
459
Reaction score
406
Location
Dayton OH
I bought a 25 foot roll of the Ni-cop line from Amazon for like 30 bucks, and a cheap brake crimp tool when I re-did my brake lines. It actually was pretty easy/satisfying to do the crimps. One thing I will say is that the Ni-cop line doesn’t rust, but it does corrode. Here in Ohio it looks pretty bad after only one winter. The upside to this line over steel is that it’s softer and easier to bend/crimp. I would just paint the lines after install if I did it again. Here’s what I bought:

4LifetimeLines 25' 3/16 True Copper-Nickel Alloy Non-Magnetic Brake Line Replacement Tubing Coil and Fitting Kit, Inverted Flare https://a.co/d/dYeqKsd
 

Old Goat

Full Access Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Posts
1,750
Reaction score
1,752
Location
Northern Nevada
Thank You guys for all the good feed back.
I took another quick look at it this morning before heading off the Church.
Looks like the section past the Block where the 2 lines from the MC come together.
So it`s the section that runs to the rear Axle.

Iam 79 and have owned and drivven a lot of different vehicles, and this is the first time to have a metal Brake line leak.
I do keep up on the brake system, and Brake Hoses are good for 7 years according to the industry standards. yet there are probably a lot been on there for 20 years.
Bought this thing almost 9 years ago, and everything on the Brake system have been replaced at different times.

I have seen that Copper/Nickle Brake line several years ago when I ran across this site.


Looks like a higher quality tubing, but a lot pricier too.
I also like their flairing tool, might be good for a production shop, for us DIY type guys that do this once in a while, the lower price tools probably just as good.
I do have a Brake flairing tool set for brake lines.
Actually bought it to press fittings into our nylon fuel lines.

Tomorrow I`ll get under there and get a better look at how to attack it, and how tight the access is.

NDOT does use that Brine solution on the highway,s when they think it is going to snow or freeze. But as far as rust, don`t really have rust issues taking things apart. Do have the classic rust coming through the wheel arches on the bed. Mostly on one side.
Ford put that extra piece of curved metal that attaches to the lip of the Arch, and stuff gets behind it we can`t wash out.


Goat
 

franklin2

Full Access Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Posts
5,226
Reaction score
1,468
Location
Va
We have vehicle inspections in Va, and rusted brake lines are such a problem lately, the state police are making the inspectors crawl under the vehicles with a flashlight and inspect all the lines for rust.

Since it's the line going to the rear, I think it's safe to say that it will have standard fittings on it. It's just too easy to measure the line and get one close to the same length already flared at the parts store. They have pre-flared nickel-copper lines.
 

Old Goat

Full Access Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Posts
1,750
Reaction score
1,752
Location
Northern Nevada
Checked with O`Really`s, and they don`t have a pre-made one listed, and NAPA was closed today.
Check tomorrow and see what they have.

I know Iam going to have to make the line, but the lazy part of me doesn`t want to.


Goat
 

chillman88

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Posts
6,059
Reaction score
6,202
Location
Central NY
Checked with O`Really`s, and they don`t have a pre-made one listed

They won't likely, at least online searching for your truck.

Call and ask if they sell pre assembled sections of brake line. I've never seen a parts store that doesn't, but I'm up north.

It won't be vehicle specific. They sell them in different lengths. You're looking for 3/8-24 inverted flare 3/16 line.
 

franklin2

Full Access Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Posts
5,226
Reaction score
1,468
Location
Va
Checked with O`Really`s, and they don`t have a pre-made one listed, and NAPA was closed today.
Check tomorrow and see what they have.

I know Iam going to have to make the line, but the lazy part of me doesn`t want to.


Goat
Like was just mentioned, you do not have to make the line. You can buy them in pre-made lengths, just like was mentioned in post #8 and post #6.
 

IDIBRONCO

IDIBRONCO
Joined
Feb 5, 2010
Posts
12,511
Reaction score
11,305
Location
edmond, ks
From my experience, you buy the steel lines in pre made lengths, but it's straight. You have to put the bends in it yourself. I know that the right way is to use a tubing bender, but I've had good luck bending it by hand.
 

hacked89

Full Access Member
Joined
May 30, 2018
Posts
1,833
Reaction score
2,468
Location
Bucks County PA
From my experience, you buy the steel lines in pre made lengths, but it's straight. You have to put the bends in it yourself. I know that the right way is to use a tubing bender, but I've had good luck bending it by hand.
This is kinda what I do too. I buy the pre bent lines that are “close enough” and then bend what needs to be by hand.
 

Old Goat

Full Access Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Posts
1,750
Reaction score
1,752
Location
Northern Nevada
Napa sells just the Brake line, and you have to put on the flairs etc... Just checking around to see what they have.
Was in Carson City today and checked the big NAPA there.
Guy recommended Reno Brake, will be up there on Friday and see what they have.

I didn`t pick up in post #6, they come in straight lengths, and I would need to put in the bends etc...
I guess I was assuming I could buy one section with the pre bends to match what I have.

Before I started this thread I was Google searching "86 f250 brake Lines" to see what would come up.
here for "Example" is one supplier with a whole set. I guess from that I could probably find just the one Brake line I needed, which is not possible.

With the 100 of thousands of brands and models etc...no way a supplier could have every individual brake like sitting on a shelf waiting for that one moment in time some one would come along and need it.


I will most likely, like ROCK HARVY posted in #4, order the Amazon Nicad Copper line, be easier to bend it etc....


Goat
 
Last edited:

Austin86250

Full Access Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2021
Posts
862
Reaction score
504
Location
idaho
Copper vs steel line is night and day difference
Copper line it’s wonderful you just bend it with little worry and flares great
Steel line you can kink it if you bend it the wrong way and I have a 50/50 success rate for steel flares
Weed whacker string is great to put in your brake line while bending to insure you don’t kink
 

ROCK HARVEY

Full Access Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Posts
459
Reaction score
406
Location
Dayton OH
I agree the NiCop stuff is much easier to use than steel. Because it comes in a roll, I pushed it through a length of pex pipe to straighten out the length I needed. It came with some fittings but I remember having to buy some more. Making the flares was very satisfying, just remember to put the fitting on before you flare the end! I bought a small pipe bender to get good-looking bends, it was like $8 in the plumbing section at Lowe’s I believe. If you go this route let us know how it turns out!
 
Top