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How much to spend on break lines $$?


acklac7

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As some of you may know my rear brake line recently gave out and I simply don't have the expertise, nor time to fix it (you should see how corroded it is in the wheel well :o ). Anywho while I may know a little something about auto repair, I know basically nothing about brakes (aside from changing the pads and rotors).

So I ask: How much should it be to replace the both(?) brake lines? What else might need to be replaced along with the brake lines (someone I talked to mentioned something about the bleeders rusting out and might have to replace those as well?) Any help would be much appreciated :)

thanks in advance,

A.J.

Edited by acklac7

A.J.

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On some vehicles the brake bleeder valve, located on the brake caliper, become rusted and breaks off when attempted to be open. The valves initally come with a little rubber cap that goes over the end of the valve. Remove the rubber cap and using a 6 sided socket or box wrench attempt to open the valve. Don't exert to much force or your could break off the valve. If the valve won't open, spray some liquid wrench or some pb blaster and come back the next day and try it again. You need to have these valves working properly in order to bleed the brake lines after the repair of the brake lines are completed.

Edited by BSchlossmann
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On some vehicles the brake bleeder valve, located on the brake caliper, become rusted and breaks off when attempted to be open. The valves initally come if a little rubber cap that goes over the end of the valve. Remove the rubber cap and using a 6 sided socket or box wrench attempt to open the valve. Don't exert to much force or your could break off the valve. If the valve won't open, spray some liquid wrench or some pb blaster and come back the next day and try it again. You need to have these valves working properly in order to bleed the brake lines after the repair of the brake lines are completed.

Ditto, this is the hardest part of the job for me breaking loose the bleeder valves. Has anyone ever used heat on the caliper to loosen bleeder valves?, or will that damage the internal seals?

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Has anyone ever used heat on the caliper to loosen bleeder valves?, or will that damage the internal seals?

Yes - but the piston and the seals need to be removed first. Usually, the dust boot gets ruined during the removal process. A caliper rebuild kit will then be required.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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On some vehicles the brake bleeder valve, located on the brake caliper, become rusted and breaks off when attempted to be open. The valves initally come if a little rubber cap that goes over the end of the valve. Remove the rubber cap and using a 6 sided socket or box wrench attempt to open the valve. Don't exert to much force or your could break off the valve. If the valve won't open, spray some liquid wrench or some pb blaster and come back the next day and try it again. You need to have these valves working properly in order to bleed the brake lines after the repair of the brake lines are completed.

Ditto, this is the hardest part of the job for me breaking loose the bleeder valves. Has anyone ever used heat on the caliper to loosen bleeder valves?, or will that damage the internal seals?

I recently helped a friend replace the brake lines on his Malibu. The bleeders were seized solid, and the hex was rusted as well and we were unable to get a good grip on the bleeder.

To remove the bleeder, I dropped a nut over the bleeder which rested on the caliper which left about 1/4" of the bleeder exposed above the nut. I took my electric welder and welded the exposed part of the bleeder to the nut.

Actually melted it down to the height of the nut.

Then, while still hot, use a wrench the same size as the newly welded on nut and spin out the bleeder.

It will spin out very easily. The rapid heat of the arc welding will shock the rust loose from the bleeder.

You can do this while the caliper is still attached to the car. The caliper will barely get warm, as the process is so rapid.

Not everyone has an electric welder, however, removing the caliper and taking it to a friend or a shop, still could be cheaper than a new caliper.

Thanks, Barry

2008 STS V8
2016 Colorado Z71
1970 Corvette LT-1 Coupe

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On some vehicles the brake bleeder valve, located on the brake caliper, become rusted and breaks off when attempted to be open. The valves initally come if a little rubber cap that goes over the end of the valve. Remove the rubber cap and using a 6 sided socket or box wrench attempt to open the valve. Don't exert to much force or your could break off the valve. If the valve won't open, spray some liquid wrench or some pb blaster and come back the next day and try it again. You need to have these valves working properly in order to bleed the brake lines after the repair of the brake lines are completed.

Ditto, this is the hardest part of the job for me breaking loose the bleeder valves. Has anyone ever used heat on the caliper to loosen bleeder valves?, or will that damage the internal seals?

I recently helped a friend replace the brake lines on his Malibu. The bleeders were seized solid, and the hex was rusted as well and we were unable to get a good grip on the bleeder.

To remove the bleeder, I dropped a nut over the bleeder which rested on the caliper which left about 1/4" of the bleeder exposed above the nut. I took my electric welder and welded the exposed part of the bleeder to the nut.

Actually melted it down to the height of the nut.

Then, while still hot, use a wrench the same size as the newly welded on nut and spin out the bleeder.

It will spin out very easily. The rapid heat of the arc welding will shock the rust loose from the bleeder.

You can do this while the caliper is still attached to the car. The caliper will barely get warm, as the process is so rapid.

Not everyone has an electric welder, however, removing the caliper and taking it to a friend or a shop, still could be cheaper than a new caliper.

Thanks, Barry

Very innovative Barry!

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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I'm still a newbie, and I did my brake lines myself in cold blowing snow and 20 degrees outside. It's a little tedious, but it's not difficult.

I was quoted from a low of $800 up to $1200 from a couple different shops here in the Minneapolis area.

WARNING: I'm a total car newbie, don't be surprised if I ask a stupid question! Just trying to learn.

Cheers!

5% discount code at RockAuto.com - click here for your discount!

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I was quoted from a low of $800 up to $1200 from a couple different shops here in the Minneapolis area.

I would consider even the lowest price quoted here to be highway robbery! I would say that $800 MIGHT be a fair price if they were going to replace every line on the car, flush out all old fluid and replace, plus warranty the repair for say, 5 years.

But I'm old, I remember doing my own for $25.00.

Never underestimate the amount of a persons greed.

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I did mine for about $50, but the real expense is the labour and you can be sure, the mechanic will not bother taking his time with the bleeder valves and will not try an inovative approach like Barry did. They through a big number out there to cover their butt. Then, once they get the job started, there is really very little incentive to be really careful. A good mechanic may do it cheaper, but there is really no substitute for doing it yourself, if you are so inclined.

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On some vehicles the brake bleeder valve, located on the brake caliper, become rusted and breaks off when attempted to be open. The valves initally come if a little rubber cap that goes over the end of the valve. Remove the rubber cap and using a 6 sided socket or box wrench attempt to open the valve. Don't exert to much force or your could break off the valve. If the valve won't open, spray some liquid wrench or some pb blaster and come back the next day and try it again. You need to have these valves working properly in order to bleed the brake lines after the repair of the brake lines are completed.

Ditto, this is the hardest part of the job for me breaking loose the bleeder valves. Has anyone ever used heat on the caliper to loosen bleeder valves?, or will that damage the internal seals?

I recently helped a friend replace the brake lines on his Malibu. The bleeders were seized solid, and the hex was rusted as well and we were unable to get a good grip on the bleeder.

To remove the bleeder, I dropped a nut over the bleeder which rested on the caliper which left about 1/4" of the bleeder exposed above the nut. I took my electric welder and welded the exposed part of the bleeder to the nut.

Actually melted it down to the height of the nut.

Then, while still hot, use a wrench the same size as the newly welded on nut and spin out the bleeder.

It will spin out very easily. The rapid heat of the arc welding will shock the rust loose from the bleeder.

You can do this while the caliper is still attached to the car. The caliper will barely get warm, as the process is so rapid.

Not everyone has an electric welder, however, removing the caliper and taking it to a friend or a shop, still could be cheaper than a new caliper.

Thanks, Barry

I need to remember this trick! Barry, I know you know this but for the benefit of other readers: One caution is to always disconnect the negative battery cable before welding a component "on the car" or you run the risk of damaging the electrical system.

Edited by KHE

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I need to remember this trick! Barry, I know you know this but for the benefit of other readers: One caution is to always disconnect the negative battery cable before welding a component "on the car" or you run the risk of damaging the electrical system.

Good point, I forgot to mention that, the tell tail mushroom cloud from the computer is not always good.

2008 STS V8
2016 Colorado Z71
1970 Corvette LT-1 Coupe

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Is not it possible to bleed a caliper through the connection with the brake hose (when the regular bleeding screw is broken or frozen)?

I've done that in the past and it has worked out well. If you get the line off and back on before the caliper can "dribble",

then it will usually work. With the new line, wait until the fluid starts to run out, then attach to the caliper.

2008 STS V8
2016 Colorado Z71
1970 Corvette LT-1 Coupe

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Is not it possible to bleed a caliper through the connection with the brake hose (when the regular bleeding screw is broken or frozen)?

I'd say it is theoretically possible, IF the brake line connection is the highest point of the assembly, and you can be assured the both the caliper and brake line is full of nice clean fluid. Not a speck of air should be present inside the line or caliper when you finally decide to tighten the line down and call it good.

Never underestimate the amount of a persons greed.

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I did mine for about $50, but the real expense is the labour and you can be sure, the mechanic will not bother taking his time with the bleeder valves and will not try an inovative approach like Barry did. They through a big number out there to cover their butt. Then, once they get the job started, there is really very little incentive to be really careful. A good mechanic may do it cheaper, but there is really no substitute for doing it yourself, if you are so inclined.

I agree! The labor will be 95% of the cost. I would definitely shop around and make sure the shop has a lot of experience with brake line replacement. A well trained mechanic will do the job right, including bending the new pipe correctly, routing it correctly, will not lose any parts, and will put everything back together like the original. If the fuel line runs along with the brake line, he will make sure the fuel line is not tangle, rather will run parallel/along side with the brake line like factory. When I replaced the brake line on my '94 Eldorado, I made sure it was done right. But it took days because of inexperience plus I took time to do it right.

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Back up to the discussion of bleeding without a bleeder screw, that sounds like it will be really tough to get all the air out. On my 96 STS, the rear caliper connection was almost impossible to get a wrench on. Taking the old lines off was fine because I could cut the line and use a deep, six point socket. To reinstall I needed a flare nut, crow foot socket. Very hard to find, but the Snap-On guy saved the day. I suppose you could try to loosen the nut and let the fluid squirt out, but I would prefer to take the caliper off and replace the screw.

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I was quoted from a low of $800 up to $1200 from a couple different shops here in the Minneapolis area.

I would consider even the lowest price quoted here to be highway robbery! I would say that $800 MIGHT be a fair price if they were going to replace every line on the car, flush out all old fluid and replace, plus warranty the repair for say, 5 years.

But I'm old, I remember doing my own for $25.00.

Yeah, when I did it myself it ended up costing 100 bucks or less. Took a while to do, it always takes me 2-3x the allotted book time when I do something for the first time. Altogether it probably took me about 8 hours, but I had to teach myself how to do the flare and everything.

WARNING: I'm a total car newbie, don't be surprised if I ask a stupid question! Just trying to learn.

Cheers!

5% discount code at RockAuto.com - click here for your discount!

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First off thanks for all the responses...very helpful! (as always)

Second off im seriously starting to wonder if I can/should tackle this job myself. What im wondering is whether I can remove the lines off of a junker (assuming there in good condition) and then place them on my car, thus skipping the whole bending/flaring process. So I ask, if I found a junker with good lines could I simply swap them out? If so would I need any extra (specialty) tools? (aside from a basic socket set/wrenches/etc)

Edited by acklac7

A.J.

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First off thanks for all the responses...very helpful! (as always)

Second off im seriously starting to wonder if I can/should tackle this job myself. What im wondering is whether I can remove the lines off of a junker (assuming there in good condition) and then place them on my car, thus skipping the whole bending/flaring process. So I ask, if I found a junker with good lines could I simply swap them out? If so would I need any extra (specialty) tools? (aside from a basic socket set/wrenches/etc)

It really wasn't that difficult, and I'm a total newbie.

I would just buy new lines, they're really low cost. You can rent a brake line kit from an auto parts store, I rented one for like 100 bucks and got my money back when I returned it, so it ended up being free. It will have flare tools and a tool to cut the line in the kit.

Practice making the flare before you climb under the car. The tubes bend by hand, it's no problem to route them correctly.

A line wrench will be handy, it sped up the process for me.

WARNING: I'm a total car newbie, don't be surprised if I ask a stupid question! Just trying to learn.

Cheers!

5% discount code at RockAuto.com - click here for your discount!

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Hello guys! I thought i let you know when i replaced all brakelines except right front wheel on my STS 1995 here in Sweden, you have to excuse if the translation isnt correct!

I used Google translation on my swedish feedback on the swedish Cadillac forum!

Its not very hard to do, its just a pain in the *smurf* to gain access to the brakeline on the rear axel, u have to have very thin hands to remove the clips!

Hope it helps you!

Feedback!

Have now returned car and got it approved!

Purchased copper / nickel 10 meters on the auto parts store, and so I ordered an ISO bubble flaring tool kit on Ebay from a seller from the USA, cost about 50 USD including shipping!

Changed both the longitudinal tubes left side and the tube on the right rear wheel, which sits on top of the rear brackets, all the work went relatively smoothly except for the tube to the right rear wheel would be replaced.

There was a small h to access the nipple from the tubes on the left side where it sits with a clip and further connected into a rubber tube, which in turn is attached to a clip of a fastening device in the left wheel arch, the only possibility was that in principle cut the old steel tube and get out as much as possible of this and then coax out the clip so that the tube could be disassembled!

Then it was, against all expectation, no problem to loosen the nipples that were 14 mm bolt head on! (Do course become part round heads at these nipplesheads otherwise)

Left front wheel was removed and the inner fender and also the air filter housing was removed to gain access to the nipples to loosen from the ABS unit, this also went smoothly!

Then it was just to taper one end of the two 5 meter reels I bought, to draw them into respective output from the ABS unit and start pulling the tubes from the front and rear link left rear wheel, according to the old drawing.

Reuse old plastic braces which hold together the brake pipes with fuel pipes!

Both the longitudinal pipes flow into the mounting plate screw located in VA rear wheel arches, from the mounting plate, it is then a short rubber hose for an additional fastening loop on top of the rear axle where it is stuck with a clip, then go the last tube from the attachment loop on Left side of a fastening loop at the same place right side!

The brake hose on the left side was slightly cracked, had surely been fine for a while longer, but because it was so so crowded where it sat, we chose to replace it!

Now there's no GM shop in Strömstad,Sweden where I'm on vacation right now, so it was a trip to the VW dealer who is just 500 meters away!

Where we got hold of an equivalent tube with M10 x 1 mm threads to the horrendous price of 77 USD!!!!!!!!!

So it had to replace the GM tube!

Now it is new brakelines from the ABS unit in the front and all the way back, to both rear wheels as well as we replaced the brake line to the left front wheel also!

The brake line to the right front wheel was in good condition so it had to sit still!

The whole job took about 12 hours and were conducted outdoors between the raindrops!

Purchase matrial went on around 100 USD and flaring tool kit 60 USD, then for us not forget the VW brake hose that cost 77 USD too!

Roger Martinsen

--------------------

Roger Martinsen

Roger Martinsen

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ended up getting the job done at Midas for $200 ($45 Parts, $150 Labor). Didn't exactly want to go to midas but I ended up blowing a strut/strut mount on my other vehicle (chrylser) and midas just happened to be the closest place to stop. Got to talking with them for a bit and felt the head mechanic was on the up and up and wouldn't pull any fast ones. Bleeders broke free no problem.

A.J.

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