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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure there is another thread on this topic but haven't found one that directly addresses my questions. So here goes.

I just bought rebuilt ATE calipers. My steel brakelines are in fair shape from the outside (I know this can be misleading about their real condition) however, the tubing does not move freely within the end fittings that screw into the calipers. I anticipated this and so for about 1 week, I sprayed the juncture between tube and fitting with WD-40 ever other day. This worked when disconnecting 2 of the calipers. On a third one (rear), I actually unscrewed the caliper from the pipe fitting, rather than the other way around, after removing the caliper retaining bolts! However, on one I've already slightly twisted the steel tubing a bit and so I've re-lubed it and will try again over the next few days. So hear are the questions for you seasoned rust-busters.
1. Is there anything else I can try before giving up and replacing the brakeline?
2. If I do replace the brakeline, I've heard that the end fittings are not available. True?
3. If I try to reuse the old end fittings on new tubing, how the hxll do I remove the bit of old, flared tubing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

bloody nuckles, bloody temper, rusty car, shiny new calipers-just resting on the shelf.
 

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1. Try tightening the fitting a bit, then loosening. It may break it loose
2. Depending on what style the fitting are, the ones from my '84 GTV6 weren't even metric, the standard ones from the hardware store worked just fine. One can only hope ;)
3. Is there enough room to get a pipe cutter, or hacksaw between the fitting? other wise cut the tube above the fitting, put the fitting in a drill press and drill the steel tubing out. I hope it doesn't come to that. Good luck.
 

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However, on one I've already slightly twisted the steel tubing a bit

Ouch, that's not good. You're using PB Blaster aren't you. I've found it's the best - previously I've used Liquid Wrench but after using the PB, LW doesn't measure up. And you're using a flare wrench right? and not a regular open end wrench. Don't know how safe it would be to put some propane torch heat on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
1. Try tightening the fitting a bit, then loosening. It may break it loose
2. Depending on what style the fitting are, the ones from my '84 GTV6 weren't even metric, the standard ones from the hardware store worked just fine. One can only hope ;)
3. Is there enough room to get a pipe cutter, or hacksaw between the fitting? other wise cut the tube above the fitting, put the fitting in a drill press and drill the steel tubing out. I hope it doesn't come to that. Good luck.
Each day, I've gently moved the end fitting in both directions using a flaired wrench to see whether the tubing moved with it. Haven't tried PB Blaster (thanks for the tip lowmileage).

The metric-standard idea may be relevant because my feeling is that the nut needs something in between a 10 and 11 mm wrench.

Fortunately, I have a spare end fitting from a used caliper I got on ebay where the tube was cut flush with the fitting, so I may try the drill idea.

I also have the intact short tube, with end fittings (one into the front caliper and the other into the flex hose) taken off one of the successful wheels to experiment with (BTW I tried the torch idea on this one w/out success).

Thanks for the suggestions.
John
 

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I know I'm going to rain on your parade, but I have always believed that if the connector is so corroded that you are going to break the line when you try to unscrew the connector due to rust, it is best to just do it and replace the line and connector. If the connector is that corroded, then the line is probably rusty too, particularly where the line and connector are fused. Also, now that you have torqued and twisted the metal in the line, there is the possibility that you have compromised its strength and rigidity, and these lines have to absorb some pretty high pressures (particularly if your brakes are boosted). Since you are talking about the parts that stop the car when you are hurtling your valuable self through space, I would replace the line and connector.

Just my ramblings.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I know I'm going to rain on your parade, but I have always believed that if the connector is so corroded that you are going to break the line when you try to unscrew the connector due to rust, it is best to just do it and replace the line and connector. If the connector is that corroded, then the line is probably rusty too, particularly where the line and connector are fused. Also, now that you have torqued and twisted the metal in the line, there is the possibility that you have compromised its strength and rigidity, and these lines have to absorb some pretty high pressures (particularly if your brakes are boosted). Since you are talking about the parts that stop the car when you are hurtling your valuable self through space, I would replace the line and connector.

Just my ramblings.

Good luck.
I believe you spoke to me in a dream last night?
I may take a caliper and fitting to the local auto parts store and see if I can find the appropriate end fittings. I seem to remember that some other cars used the same ATE calipers and so I may be lucky. The next hassle would be buying a flaring tool....

If anyone knows any cross-referencing info for the ATE components I'd appreciate the help.

I did buy some PB Blaster and that has worked on one ending-thanks to all who suggested this. I had tried, in addition to WD-40, 2 other "high penetration" products and the PB is clearly the best.

John
 

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Here's what I did the last time I did this:

I took the old line and connector to Napa and purchased replacement line (with connectors) over the counter, and I bought a Bubble Flaring tool from Harbor Freight or JC Whitney or someone. I had to have an ISO Bubble Flare on one end and the other type (can't remember name) on the other, which is the standard flare on the Napa line, if I remember correctly (use the old line as a guide). I measured the length of the old to the new line, cut one end off, slid the connector off the cut end and put an old connector on the line (because I had a good one that fit, and the Napa connector fit on one end, but did not on the other), and then flared the line at the cut (after some practice with the flaring tool, it is a piece of cake, but give yourself some "slack" on your length of replacement line so you can cut off some bad flares before you get a good one). Then, I bent the line CAREFULLY to match the old line (as closely as possible without crimping the new line), and then I installed (with antiseize so this won't happen again). You will have to jocky and bend the line around a little once you offer it up to the car to make it fit, but if you are pretty close, the tabs on the body will hold the line in place. Then bleed the brakes.

Be very careful to inspect for leaks after everything is together, and if you have any mushy pedal, be careful driving it until you understand what is going on. Also, I would be very ginger at first until you are confident that the repair was a success (i.e., no threshold braking at high speeds until you know you can "whoa").

Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I measured the length of the old to the new line, cut one end off, slid the connector off the cut end and put an old connector on the line (because I had a good one that fit, and the Napa connector fit on one end, but did not on the other)
If this was for the front calipers, did you re-use the fitting into the caliper or the larger one that connects to the flex hose?

Be very careful to inspect for leaks after everything is together, and if you have any mushy pedal, be careful driving it until you understand what is going on. Also, I would be very ginger at first until you are confident that the repair was a success (i.e., no threshold braking at high speeds until you know you can "whoa").

Regards.
Thanks very much for the help. I've learned the hard way about being overconfident with the brakes. Two years ago I decided to breing my car back to life. I needed a new (used) Burman Steering gear, fuel pump and a number of other components which took several weeks to replace. Once the engine was running (after a 4 year hibernation) I decided to take the kids down the driveway (about 1/8 mile) for a short celebration ride. We started down the hill, the kids screaming with excitement followed by my screaming in horror when the brakes barely slowed me down. Only a combination of parking brake and a sudden sharp turn prevented us from a ride through the woods on a very steap hill.

John
 

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Hi, John,

The one I described was actually a line from the Booster to master cylinder in my '68 Spider Junior, so I can't give much advice about the line you are working with. I was able to just match the diameter and thread pattern from the Napa connector on one side, so that end was taken care of, and I had some old Alfa connectors from a previous car or some parts I had (I can't remember where they came from), so I was lucky. I do, however, remember that replacing the connectors was the tricky part of sourcing the parts for this repair, so you may have to do some legwork.

Maybe try Alfastop in the UK or just send out a thread looking for the connectors and see if someone here has the exact connector that was used on your car. Many folks here have boxes of old parts that they'll share if you ask.

Also, don't forget that much of the brake lines and fittings on these cars are actually Standard sizes, even though most everything else is metric. That is why the standard size Napa connector worked on one side of my replacement line. So it may not be that hard to find a replacement connector locally. Use the old connector as a guide after you have broken it off at the line and then unscrewed it out of the caliper. A good autoparts store can probably help you find a replacement.

I don't know if that answered your question. I hope so.

Let us know how it turns out.
 

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Several comments; First, I have to agree that if they are that rusty, they need replacement. I had the same problem and twisted several tubes off at the fitting. I had Rob Mack at Brakewarehouse.com make up new lines from the pieces I sent him. Great job! He also did my calipers, Master Cylinder, and all the steel lines on the rear of the car.

Second, my brother passed on a tip from an old timer that has saved my bacon every time. Heat the frozen item three times, allowing it to cool completely in between. Three times; no less....

Third, try Kroil or S'OK, if you can find it. Both are better than PB Blaster and way better that WD-40.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Several comments; First, I have to agree that if they are that rusty, they need replacement. I had the same problem and twisted several tubes off at the fitting. I had Rob Mack at Brakewarehouse.com make up new lines from the pieces I sent him. Great job! He also did my calipers, Master Cylinder, and all the steel lines on the rear of the car.

Second, my brother passed on a tip from an old timer that has saved my bacon every time. Heat the frozen item three times, allowing it to cool completely in between. Three times; no less....

Third, try Kroil or S'OK, if you can find it. Both are better than PB Blaster and way better that WD-40.
Yes, I decided to follow your advice (and that of othercarsaford, and my conscience). Thanks for all the great tips.

Although I now bow down to the almighty god of PB Blaster (amazing stuff, I'll try Kroil or S'OK) and managed to get all end pieces off, I made up new lines. Instead of NAPA, I went to my local CARQUEST with my old tubing and they were able to fix me up in about 2 minutes. All I needed was a tube bender because they had pre-flared pieces with bubble flares at both ends. I'll save the used end pieces for making things original some day. :eek:

I suspect most auto parts stores have these parts but in case anyone is near a CARQUEST and they don't want to take old tubing/fittings in, here are the specs associated with the parts below.

Tubing: BLE-312; metric thread, bubble flare; 3/16" X 12"--a bit longer than needed but works fine.

Connector to flex hose: part # 276000; 3/16" X 10 mm.


Thanks again. Now I just have to find a supplier who carries Castrol brake fluid. I did a complete flush with it (had an old unopened bottle) now everyone seems to have stopped carrying it in favor of other brands.:mad:
 

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The metric-standard idea may be relevant because my feeling is that the nut needs something in between a 10 and 11 mm wrench.
I know this is way too late, and realistically you guys prolly don't even care, but couldn't help noting it anyway:

11mm is within .001" of 7/16" (as in more than a suitable substitute)
 

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Second, my brother passed on a tip from an old timer that has saved my bacon every time. Heat the frozen item three times, allowing it to cool completely in between. Three times; no less....
Forgot one thing - after each application you must say ":mad: break loose you ****** ****** son of a *****:mad::mad:" or it won't work. :)
 

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Although all of this heating and forming and adapting fittings sounds fun.....
did anyone think of just getting a new one from Alfa?
I got new ones from Alfaparts in Berkely, Ca.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Although all of this heating and forming and adapting fittings sounds fun.....
did anyone think of just getting a new one from Alfa?
I got new ones from Alfaparts in Berkely, Ca.
Yes, this was question #2 in my first post. Alfaparts does not list brakelines on their website but I'll check them out. I have found other suppliers who can provide lines for '71 and newer but not for a 1969 dual booster system. Whether that even matters for the line into the caliper is another question. I would, however, like to find a source for replacing all lines. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Although all of this heating and forming and adapting fittings sounds fun.....
did anyone think of just getting a new one from Alfa?
I got new ones from Alfaparts in Berkely, Ca.
Well, I checked with Alfaparts and they do not carry them so you must have gotten the last ones. They were very nice though and called me to let me know and then e-mailed me to say they would explore the subject and get back to me if anything turned up. Never heard of them before so thanks for the tip on a potential new parts source.
John
 
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