Help with replacing steel rear brake lines (ST185)

Suspension and other discussion

Help with replacing steel rear brake lines (ST185)

Postby ToyotaFanboy » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:46 am

Hello everyone, I've had a very tumultuous time with my All Trac over the last few months. From the time I bought the car, I've always felt like the brake pedal just hasn't felt right (kind of spongey and soft). Based on how the pedal felt, I automatically assumed that either the brake fluid was old, and/or there was air in the system. With that being said, my first reaction was to bleed the system. So after work, I put my car onto the lift, hooked up the brake flush machine, and was about to start the flush, only to find that the bleeder was broken off my LF caliper, therefore preventing me from performing a complete bleed. I assumed that I shouldn't attempt any further diagnoses of the issue until I could bleed the system, because it's highly possible that there could be air in the system from previous brake work that was done that was never bled out. I just left it as it sat for a month or two and dealt with the crappy pedal, with the intention of fixing it as I got the time.

However back in July I believe, I was just about to leave work and in the parking lot, I pumped up my brake pedal because it didn't feel right. I held it as hard as i could for about 3 seconds, and then boom! The pedal sunk to the floor. I found that my RF caliper hose had busted. The caliper hoses are all Goodridge stainless steel braided btw (I didn't know the brand at the time). So now I knew I had to replace not only all the hoses, but also the LF caliper at a minimum (as i didn't feel like even trying to drill out the bleeder screw).

Long story short, after researching a ton of BBK's, I decided just to stick with my stock set up, and bought EBC pads all the way around, Toyota rotors all the way around, new Toyota front calipers, and Goodridge stainless steel braided hoses. Now I only bought Goodridge because they were on Tire Rack, so I thought they were the only ones I could trust. I didn't know this was what was already on the car until taking them off. To be fair however, the ones on the car did look to be at least 10 years old if not older. So anyways, I replaced the front calipers, pads, rotors, and hoses, and also the rear pads, rotors, and hoses.

In the process of removing the rear hoses, I believe I may have created a hairline crack in both the rear lines right above the flares, as the nuts were rusted to the line, and in the process of trying to break them loose, the whole line twisted very slightly, and it was only at the initial point of breaking the nut loose (yes i did soak them thoroughly and use heat). I believed this because when going to bleed the system, I found the rear lines to be leaking from the top of the brake line tube nut on both sides (primarily the drive side rear). The entire front is completely sealed and dry. First i assumed that the nuts weren't tight enough, so I tightened them. This didn't help. Due to the high amount of rust and pitting on the ends of the lines on both sides (right where the rubber insulation ends, and the nut slides over), I assumed I must've created a very small opening on the brittle line. I decided to attempt to cut a portion of the old lines on the car out, and splice in new ones that I bent myself with inverted flares. This just didn't work well, as it is so tight and is so hard to get an angle that will allow the flare to sit straight and not leak. I believe this because even with the repair, I was left with the exact same results. I eventually discovered that part of my problem was not having a perfectly straight angle where the male end of the flare meets the female end. I discovered this because eventually i was able to get one side to leak very minimally when the pedal was under full force, by re-doing my flares and getting better angles. I'm pretty sure this was causing my issues after the repair initially, however, after re-doing both sides multiple times, I eventually got the RR side to leak very slowly, and the LR side is leaking the same amount. I believe it's just the angles, because I bent the line on the LR side to where the portion going to the hose was perfectly straight, and it stopped leaking there. However it started to then leak at the other end of the repair (the inverted flare union), because it was being pulled on. This helped me to narrow it down to that being the issue. I KNOW this is the issue, but it's literally impossible for me to bend the lines myself in a way that lines up perfectly.

I tried hooking the old rear brake hoses up and it did improve things a little bit, which leads me to the question of: has anyone else had issues with Goodridge hoses? There is a noticeable difference in the depth of the female end of the Goodridge hoses that were on the car previously and the ones I received. It's almost like the new ones having more threads and being deeper makes it harder for the male end of the flare on the car to make the seal. I know this question will be asked, and I know i should've tried it before hacking up the lines, but no I didn't try putting the old hoses back on to see if they also leaked before trying to repair the lines. I will be pissed if all of this is because of defective hoses, and I was too stupid to try the old ones first :cry: .

Sorry for all the background, but i thought it was best to be thorough. My main point is, I've decided to replace the steel hard brake lines for the rear brakes, because this way I don't have to worry about my repair leaking, and also can eliminate the question of the hard lines on the car being the issue. This way I can either fix the problem, or determine I have bad hoses. Has anyone ever done this with the car still intact (engine in, trans. in, etc.). If so, does anyone have an idea of what i'll need to remove, or at least a roadmap of what I'll need to do to sneak them out. They don't look bad until they go up onto the firewall. It almost looks like I will need to remove the driver's side front axle, the subframe, maybe the rack, etc. Can anyone help me out so I know what I'm in for? I've already ordered the pre-bent lines from Toyota and am just waiting for them to come in. If anyone has done this job before, can you please share your knowledge? I really miss my car. Thanks everyone!
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Re: Help with replacing steel rear brake lines (ST185)

Postby yyonline » Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:07 am

I did the fuel line on my car (previous owner overtightened the fuel filter and crushed the flare), which follows the same path for much of the run. Even that was a project. I had to take off the front cross members, take down the entire front sway bar (required removing the front section of drive shaft), rear subframe brace, and undo some of the e-brake cable bolts to get enough room to get the fuel line out. Good news is that I didn't have to pull the steering rack or any axles. Brake lines may be a little different, but I think the proportioning valve is up on the firewall not far from where the fuel filter is.

Oh...and don't expect the pre-bent lines to be perfectly pre-bent. The pre-bent fuel line was sort of folded over in a few places and required a decent amount of tweaking. It would be extremely helpful to have a lift. I did it in the driveway on stands and it was a real pain to pull the line in and out from under the car every time it needed a tweak. There's a lot of small bolts that hold on the plastic shield that protects the lines. Those bolts could snap easily if they're rusty.

As for brake hoses...I replaced mine with all new Toyota hoses. I figured the originals lasted 20+ years, so why mess with what works?
1992 Toyota Celica all-trac (the dream car)
1993 Toyota Celica ST (the efficient daily driver)
2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track (the fun daily driver)
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Re: Help with replacing steel rear brake lines (ST185)

Postby underscore » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:44 pm

Look up the threads on ABS deletes, they should show pictures of the firewall with the prop valve and the lines running to the rear so you can see what you're going to be working with.
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Re: Help with replacing steel rear brake lines (ST185)

Postby ToyotaFanboy » Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:10 am

Sorry for such a late update, but yyonline's advice helped me. The lines were definitely a pain, but in the end they're on and not leaking :D
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