Need help with rusted brake and fuel lines

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by ridgek, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. ridgek

    ridgek New Member

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    Hi friends,

    First post here. My apologies if this has been covered already, but I couldn’t find any topics like it in the forums.

    I’ve got an 07 Liberty 4WD Sport and recently had a caliper fail due to the rear passenger hardline rusting through. I've since replaced that caliper and section of brake line with the pre-bent/pre-flanged OEM part, but while tracing the brake lines, noticed that I've got a lot of corrosion further up the brake and fuel lines. It probably won't be long before some more parts fail and I’m nervous going into the winter with it like this.

    I’m an amateur mechanic out of financial necessity, so I’m not sure how to proceed and could use some advice. My previous experience is limited to oil changes, brakes/rotors/calipers, and thanks to this forum, replacing the front driveshaft due to a bad rear CV joint.

    Here’s the damage:

    https://i.imgur.com/Nvnz3kB.jpg

    This block connects the main brake line to a hose which runs to another block on the rear axle (which also has the axle vent hose running vertically through it), where it attaches to the rear passenger line that I just replaced.

    I've identified the blocks and hose as 52129260AB; this part doesn't seem to hard to put in, but the fitting on the main brake line running from the engine bay looks to be so deteriorated, I probably won’t be able to get it out of the block and would have to cut the line.

    https://i.imgur.com/6VVqexy.jpg

    I also noticed that one of the fuel lines is close to rotting through.

    I’ve read it could cost me about $500-$800 to get this done by a shop, does that seem accurate? It’s a little out of my budget. I’ve found that the pre-bent/pre-flanged brake and fuel lines come as an assembly (52129255AF), but the only options I can find online are about $150, plus another $150-$250 for shipping, so that’s also not ideal.

    I’ve read that you can’t splice brake lines because of the hydraulic pressure. The brake hardline doesn’t seem too difficult to make myself from bulk line, it sounds like I only need the correct fittings, a tube bender, and a flange tool. Is that correct? Would I need to take it to a shop to bleed the ABS module after work like this?

    What about the fuel line? Do I need any special tools? Could I splice in a section of rubber hose here, or is that a bad idea because this line is also under pressure? Speaking of pressure, what are the two fuel lines? Obviously, one is a supply line, but is the other a return to keep the tank under pressure or something? If this is a supply line, how do I get fuel back into it after replacement?

    Another concern is that it doesn’t seem I can access these lines without removing the front driver side wheel liner. Is that difficult, and/or do I need any special tools?

    Sorry for all the questions; I'm still learning, but I appreciate you taking your time to read all of this and any responses I might get!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  2. LibertyTC

    LibertyTC Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Winter & salted roadways, salt sucks! Power washing under the Jeep throughout winter when possible, is critical.
    What many also may not realize is that brake lines actually corrode from the inside out too!
    Having the entire brake system bled every 2 years, keeps this at bay. Once moisture is in the hydroscopic brake fluid, it is bad news.

    I remember spending about $700 to have one piece custom lines made at a shop once on a sedan, so you are not out of "line" ha ha..
    Even though I understand your concerns, if the brake system is not leaking, and completely bled with new brake fluid, it could be many years before things need further repairs?

    Replacing the fuel lines does not sound like much fun to me at all. Once again does this work really need to be done?
    Many of your technical questions can be answered by referring to the factory service manual, this 2006 is about the best I can offer at the moment.
    http://www.colorado4wheel.com/manuals/Jeep/KJ/2006-KJ-SM.pdf

    It is a shame that corrosion can cause so many headaches.
    Luckily when I bought my Jeep, I had it professionally undercoated by platinum shield and keep on top of any potential corrosion /rust.
    Others with more experience regarding the lines replacement may chime in. I wish you the best with your potential work ahead.
     
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  3. ridgek

    ridgek New Member

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    Thanks for the manual, LibertyTC! The closest one I could previously find was 2003, so this is great.

    I'm bummed to hear $700 is accurate, but I'm glad to get some confirmation on that price. Assuming most of that is labor, it makes me a little apprehensive about doing it myself if it takes say, 4-6 hours for a pro to do it. I guess you're right about it being okay for now, but going into the winter in Michigan makes me a little nervous knowing that those two lines are compromised. Hopefully someone else can offer some advice, and I'll keep investigating it myself in the meantime.

    That's a good tip about the undercoat, I'll have to consider that for my future vehicles. I previously had a Ford Ranger that I retired because the rust underneath had gotten so bad; the leaf springs broke off the frame and busted through the floor of the truck bed!
     
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  4. turblediesel

    turblediesel memberable

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    I don't know if this applies to our Jeeps anymore but back when people drove dinosaurs brake lines needed a double flare at the ends. Easy enough to do with the right tool and some practice. Expect to get it wrong a few times before you get the hang of it.
     
  5. Jeremy-WI

    Jeremy-WI Full Access Member

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    My 96 Chevy K1500 needed double flare or the line would tend to split when flaring
     
  6. ridgek

    ridgek New Member

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    Yeah, it's a double-inverted flare. Luckily, there's a ton of tutorials on how to do that, and it's also covered in the service manual. I'm feeling relatively confident about the brake lines now but am still nervous about the fuel lines. I've moved this repair to the bottom of my priority list for the moment (but would still appreciate any advice!); I've got a bad ball joint to replace and also need to change all the fluids.
     
  7. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    If you do run your own brake lines, I'd highly recommend the copper nickel mix. Way easier to bend and flare than the steel ones.
     
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  8. ridgek

    ridgek New Member

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    Thanks for the tip, I've been weighing the options and not sure which one to go with but was leaning in that direction!