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Tips for brake pipe (hard line) relacement?

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Tips for brake pipe (hard line) relacement?

  #1  
Old 01-08-2019, 12:38 PM
bdubya
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Tips for brake pipe (hard line) relacement?

I'm gearing up to replace the pipes/hard lines to my rear brakes (driver's side is leaking, and the other one doesn't look any better). After perusing a few threads here, I'm ready to order the parts (#s 34326766274 & 34306779195, plus an 11mm flare nut wrench and a pipe bender), and have already started soaking the connections in PBlaster. Got a few questions, though, so if anybody has done this job or otherwise knows the answers, please speak up.

1) How worried do I need to be about getting air into the brake system during this job (particularly into the ABS unit)? I've heard if air gets into the ABS, it can be problematic to purge, and while I'll obviously need to bleed the rears, I don't know if I need to do the fronts too (not a big deal, but still....)

2) Do I need to track down a metric bender? SAE ones with multiple sizes (3/16" to 3/8") aren't hard to find, but metric ones seem to be rare. (Anybody know the OD of the brake line?) (edit: nevermind. Found one on the evil river that does 6/8/10mm, so we'll see if that fits).

Thanks in advance.
 

Last edited by bdubya; 01-08-2019 at 07:22 PM.
  #2  
Old 01-08-2019, 08:56 PM
BruceJ
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Did this same project for the same reason.
Think I used a non metric bender. Don't recall the line o.d. if you order the lines using the Mini part numbers from realoem, they are already cut to correct length, nutted, and flared.
1.Get the car up on 4 jackstands as high as you can. Rear tires off.
2. Drop the exhaust from the the cat all the way back. It's impossible otherwise.
3. Get some vacuum line caps and as you disconnect each hard line, cap it. This mostly just contains the mess initially, but it also prevents additional air getting in while you spend the next, many, many hours bending the new lines. Disconnect each line up front and work to remove it keeping the original bends to use as a template. Don't be afraid to cut the old line strategically in the straights to ease removal. Don't lose your mind trying to make every exact bend. It's a pita once you get to the back wheel Wells. And pay attention to line placement towards the Front. The lines go underneath a metal brace and you want them placed so the don't rub on it. Once you get the Front of the lines bent you may need to attach them to keep the line oriented.as you move to the back.
4. Make sure you have the correct line for each side and make sure you begin w/o the the correct end of each line. Start at the Front of the car and work your way back.
Be patient, in some cases you will need to bend by hand. As you get close to the rear caliper be mindful of how much line you have left. Patience challenge, but in the end it was satisfying to get done.

Titan 80 Piece Vacuum Cap Assortment https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008DZSZK6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_cGxnCb29DMRK7

5. After you get the new line in place use a power bleeder to purge. Getting the air out didn't seem to be a problem. Had some folks tell me the rear lines don't cause an issue for the ABS.
Have fun
Bruce
 

Last edited by BruceJ; 01-08-2019 at 09:08 PM.
  #3  
Old 01-09-2019, 07:57 AM
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A few more tips. If the lines you are buying don’t have fittings on them already you will need a good, and I emphasize GOOD, flaring tool that can do double flares. If you don’t get the flare done precisely you can have leaks. Also, consider buying pre bent lines. They will save you a lot of time and frustration. If you are set on bending your own lines I suggest using the old line as a template to match the bends on the new lines. Do a lot of trial fitting as you go to make sure you have the bends correct. And remember just a little bit of angle error at the beginning results in a lot of difference at the other end. Good luck
 
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:07 AM
bdubya
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Thanks, guys. I ordered pre-flared lines from fcpeuro and will be bending them myself (as far as I could see, nobody sells pre-bent lines, and I don't even want to know what shipping would cost if they did). Getting the old ones out intact (so I could use them as templates) was looking like a challenge, but as Brucej noted, dropping the exhaust should make it possible. Parts arrive early next week; we'll see how it goes. (That reminds me, it's time for another squirt of PBlaster....)
 
  #5  
Old 02-04-2019, 09:42 AM
bdubya
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Had a few things come up that put this project on hold, but I'm back on it.....driver's side line was no more hassle than I expected. About to do the passenger side, but it's going to be nigh impossible with the three fuel system lines in place around the left-side fuel tank. The fuel line itself appears to have an easily accessible disconnect, but the other two lines (one going to the fuel tank vent valve up front, the other I believe comes from the charcoal vapor canister) just disappear up behind the wheel well liner. Does anybody know where these disconnect and how I get there? I'm not even sure exactly where the vapor canister is....do I need to pull the wheel well liner? Interior trim on that side? I've looked through both fuel tank access hatches under the seat and don't find any clues.

Edit/followup: pulled the well liner, undid three nuts holding the whole evap/charoal/whatever rig so I could pull it down and d/c the two lines. Next I'll disconnect the parking brake cables from the rear calipers, and then it looks like I'll be able to pull the entire old line out in one piece, bend the new one to match, and slip it into place with minimal hassle. Dang, there's a lot of stuff in the way of these brake lines.
 

Last edited by bdubya; 02-04-2019 at 04:08 PM. Reason: followup
  #6  
Old 02-13-2019, 07:51 AM
bdubya
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Wrapup - Puling the fuel/vacuum lines and brake cables was a hassle, but not as much as working around them would have been. The fcpeuro lines were the right length, but my tubing bender couldn't do the tight-radius bends of the original lines, so I wound up with an extra couple of inches at the end of each line, which required some additional bending. The bender I have looks like this:


but I think the plier-style benders would have given tighter bends, and been much easier to work with under the car:
 
  #7  
Old 02-20-2019, 06:51 AM
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Just posted about this here and what i used. : https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ification.html

 
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:49 PM
danraabe
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I ruined both lines at the connection with the flexible rear lines. They were frozen together and even after breaking them I can get the flared line loose from the nuts. Must be some kind of a joke that Mini plays on its customers to remind us that sending these cars to the shop and paying 4000% more for repairs is the best thing to do.

I have ordered the drivers side line from Mini $77~. Laying on my back is insane but after inspecting the routing of the lines it almost looks possible without dropping the suspension. Any comments there?

The passenger side looks more complex.

I read the comments above and have a question. If it's too complex overall what would be the problem with finding an easy straight connection close to the miserable parts and having a union placed in each line? Would that be unsafe? There is a shop (not close) that can put a professional flare anywhere on the pipe. 1 hour of driving and 5 minutes to do the flare.

Guidance please.

Thanks, Dan Raabe
 
  #9  
Old 05-21-2019, 03:47 PM
RudeJoe
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My son and I did the passenger side on his '02 justa last summer. We needed to bend the old line to get it out then bend it back to use as a template to bend the new. We bent the new to get it installed. We used the pliers type bender that are pictured above and as that poster said they are easy enough to work with that you don't need the larger type. The connections at the front of the car are difficult because if you break one of those you have to replace the section that goes to the master cylinder also. The passenger side did come apart for us but we couldn't get the driver's side apart. Luckily the driver's side wasn't leaking so we left it be, we were going to change it preemptively.

Because you have the premade tubes be very careful to measure when you bend. I ended up a couple inches short by the time I got to the end so I had to fudge a couple bends to close the gap. Maybe it would have been worthwhile to bend from both ends and meet in the middle? Not sure about that though. I started bending from the front and worked back. Got it all bent to shape before installing.

Good luck with yours
 
  #10  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:16 PM
danraabe
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I ordered a new line from Mini. The parts genius indicated the line would come with the bends in it. What I got was a long piece of spaghetti with two nuts on each end held captive by a bubble flare and no plastic protective caps over the nuts. I am worried that I won't be able to bend the line correctly laying on my back in the garage. And how do I get the old line out? My hope is that the fitting is smaller than the space between the subframe and the body so I won't have to loosen the sub=frame - again! That includes the steering clamp.

I'll try again tomorrow.

DR
 
  #11  
Old 05-22-2019, 09:53 AM
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It a pain on the back side to get the line out, it will takes some time and then you have to bend it or at worst snipe the old line out. Lay it out on the floor then match it up and start bending. Measure the angles of the old line and keep track so when you make the new line it goes in good.
 
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:39 AM
bdubya
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Originally Posted by danraabe View Post
I ordered a new line from Mini. The parts genius indicated the line would come with the bends in it. What I got was a long piece of spaghetti with two nuts on each end held captive by a bubble flare and no plastic protective caps over the nuts. I am worried that I won't be able to bend the line correctly laying on my back in the garage. And how do I get the old line out? My hope is that the fitting is smaller than the space between the subframe and the body so I won't have to loosen the sub=frame - again! That includes the steering clamp.

I'll try again tomorrow.

DR
I had to snip one of my lines to get it out - just be sure you cut it on a straight section, not on a bend, so you can still use it as a template for the new one. IIRC, I might have had to replace one rear brake line as well due to inability to separate it cleanly from the pipe (it's not an expensive piece...probably the same price as half an hour of mechanic's labor).

From your talk about laying on your back, I'm wondering if you're working without a mechanic's creeper? If you don't have one, my god, get one.
 
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