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Brake Line Replacement

Carn

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So, I've had a problem with my 92 Ford Ranger Supercab XLT with ABS.

About two weeks ago, I pulled over to let an ambulance pass me. I hit the brakes to slow down with no problems, but all of the sudden the brakes release and I have to push the pedal to the floor in order get any brakes at all. The brake light also pops on at this time.

My father and I attempted to bleed the brakes, and we're unable to get any fluid out of the back lines, while the front two had a large amount of debris in the fluid.

I take it to a local mechanic and he tells me he has to replace the front calipers and front and rear brakes. He does so the following week, and when I pick it up he says that he was not able to get anything out of the back lines either, and that I need to take to a dealer in order for them to look at the proportioning valve. There was also a cracked metal line coming from the Brake Master Cylinder that they replaced with basically a bendy straw and chewing gum.

Next day, I take it to the dealer. They say that there's a crack in the Brake Master Cylinder itself, and needs to be replaced; this is supposedly why brake fluid was not bleeding from the rear lines. They also said that they no longer sell factory brake lines, and that he'd have to bend it himself. All of this would cost $1000. I might not know a whole lot about fixing cars, but I do know that that's a ridiculous price.

What I'm figuring is that all I have to do is replace the Master Brake Cylinder and brake lines, then run new brake fluid through it. My father has replaced Master Brake Cylinders before, and from what I've gleaned from the internet, bending brake lines is pretty easy. After we do that, we can then test the brakes and see if we even need to touch the proportioning valve.

So, I'm asking you guys if:

1: Am I wrong on any of the above?
2: Will this Master Brake Cylinder work? http://www.dormanproducts.com/p-33962-m39953.aspx?pymmeid=4894957
3: What kind/size of brake line do I need?
4: Where can I get replacement brake bleeder fittings?

Thanks.
 


Hawk1339

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So, I'm asking you guys if:

1: Am I wrong on any of the above?
2: Will this Master Brake Cylinder work? http://www.dormanproducts.com/p-33962-m39953.aspx?pymmeid=4894957
3: What kind/size of brake line do I need?
4: Where can I get replacement brake bleeder fittings?
1: All that sounds plausible.
2: It should. You can also try Rock Auto or any local auto parts store.
3: 3/16" diameter. There are different sections in different lengths. You can buy pre-made tubing sections or buy a bulk coil of tubing and cut and flare what you need. Replace all the hoses (2 front, 1 rear) also.
4: Most any autoparts store or internet autoparts source.

Since you're doing a complete job you might want to replace the rear slave cylinders and rebuild/replace the front calipers, too.
 

Carn

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The local mechanic already replaced the calipers, but I'll look into the rear slave cylinder.

Thanks for the help!
 

Hawk1339

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The local mechanic already replaced the calipers, but I'll look into the rear slave cylinder.

Thanks for the help!
If the calipers have been replaced, maybe the front hoses have been replaced as well. If they look clean and new then they're probably ok. If there's a lot of crud in the lines there might be crud in the hoses so flush them out with clean fluid if you opt not to replace them.
 

Carn

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Alright, an update. We replaced the BMS and brake lines(after spending two weeks going to four different store which all gave us the wrong fittings, ended up getting them from the dealer), and have isolated the problem: the proportioning valve is gunked up almost entirely. We can't pump brake fluid into it, and blowing air into it only only gives a gurgling hiss.

So, onto my current problem. Where can I get a Proportioning Valve that fits my truck? JCW says that this fits a 1993 Ranger, but I don't want to drop $50 (and another two weeks) or so on something I'll have to ship back.

Some of the lines were replaced, but for some reason they use compression fittings on them. Everyone I've talked to said that they weren't safe for the road, so I've re-replaced them.
 
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Hawk1339

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Alright, an update. We replaced the BMS and brake lines(after spending two weeks going to four different store which all gave us the wrong fittings, ended up getting them from the dealer), and have isolated the problem: the proportioning valve is gunked up almost entirely. We can't pump brake fluid into it, and blowing air into it only only gives a gurgling hiss.

So, onto my current problem. Where can I get a Proportioning Valve that fits my truck? JCW says that this fits a 1993 Ranger, but I don't want to drop $50 (and another two weeks) or so on something I'll have to ship back.

Some of the lines were replaced, but for some reason they use compression fittings on them. Everyone I've talked to said that they weren't safe for the road, so I've re-replaced them.
I'm not sure about a 92, but my 93 does not have a proportioning valve, which is called a combination valve in Ford parlance. Other vehicles in the model year do, Aerostars, for example. The combination valve is mounted on a bracket a few inches below the master cylinder on those vehicles. According to the 92 truck service manual:

The brake combination valve consists of two sections: rear proportioning and an interconnecting pressure differential shuttle. The rear proportioning valve reduces pressure at the rear brakes to avoid lockup. The pressure differential shuttle is a bypass feature that allows full application of rear brake pressure when front system pressure is significantly reduced.

On the 93 Ranger, the ABS is used to proportion the proper pressure to the rear brakes. I looked at Rock Auto and a few other sources, none of them even mention either a proportioning valve or a combination valve for a 92 Ranger. The ABS valve is located on the line going to the rear wheels, on the inside of the left frame member, kind of below where the driver's left foot would be. It would look like this:

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=301979

As for compression fittings, all of your connections should use double inverted flare fittings except for the connections to the master cylinder which are of the "bubble" type. The term "compression fitting" commonly refers to a type of fitting typically used on household plumbing or pneumatic tubing where a ring around a pipe or tube is compressed between two halves of the fitting.
 

Carn

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I'm not sure about a 92, but my 93 does not have a proportioning valve, which is called a combination valve in Ford parlance. Other vehicles in the model year do, Aerostars, for example. The combination valve is mounted on a bracket a few inches below the master cylinder on those vehicles. According to the 92 truck service manual:

The brake combination valve consists of two sections: rear proportioning and an interconnecting pressure differential shuttle. The rear proportioning valve reduces pressure at the rear brakes to avoid lockup. The pressure differential shuttle is a bypass feature that allows full application of rear brake pressure when front system pressure is significantly reduced.

On the 93 Ranger, the ABS is used to proportion the proper pressure to the rear brakes. I looked at Rock Auto and a few other sources, none of them even mention either a proportioning valve or a combination valve for a 92 Ranger. The ABS valve is located on the line going to the rear wheels, on the inside of the left frame member, kind of below where the driver's left foot would be. It would look like this:

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=301979

As for compression fittings, all of your connections should use double inverted flare fittings except for the connections to the master cylinder which are of the "bubble" type. The term "compression fitting" commonly refers to a type of fitting typically used on household plumbing or pneumatic tubing where a ring around a pipe or tube is compressed between two halves of the fitting.
The module in that picture looks exactly like the part that my mechanic and dealer were calling a proportioning valve, it might be why I've been having such a time finding a replacement. 'The Frugal Mechanic' lead me to this (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C6ZGJW/?ie=UTF8&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER), so I guess I'll pick that up.

We ended up using what NAPA calls 'brake line fitting converters', and they have an airtight seal using all double flares. Compression fittings as you described are exactly what the first auto shop had put on them, they put cut the old line off where it had ruptured and replaced it with new line using a compression fitting; we've replaced all of them.
 
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Hawk1339

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The module in that picture looks exactly like the part that my mechanic and dealer were calling a proportioning valve, it might be why I've been having such a time finding a replacement. 'The Frugal Mechanic' lead me to this (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C6ZGJW/?ie=UTF8&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER), so I guess I'll pick that up.

We ended up using what NAPA calls 'brake line fitting converters', and they have an airtight seal using all double flares. Compression fittings as you described are exactly what the first auto shop had put on them, they put cut the old line off where it had ruptured and replaced it with new line using a compression fitting; we've replaced all of them.
That ABS valve is usually over 100 bucks rebuilt, so the $87 unit from Amazon is a good price. However... "Usually ships within 1 to 4 months" ?!?!

Using compression fittings on brake lines, is, in my opinion, irresponsible and suicidal. Never- EVER- take shortcuts with brakes. Get the proper size lines, replace them end to end, no gimmicks, no Mickey Mouse fixes. Do it right.
 

Carn

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That ABS valve is usually over 100 bucks rebuilt, so the $87 unit from Amazon is a good price. However... "Usually ships within 1 to 4 months" ?!?!

Using compression fittings on brake lines, is, in my opinion, irresponsible and suicidal. Never- EVER- take shortcuts with brakes. Get the proper size lines, replace them end to end, no gimmicks, no Mickey Mouse fixes. Do it right.
Hah, yeah, I got the last one. With the free 2 day shipping, I'll have it wednesday, and hopefully driving it to school thursday.

The compression fittings were put on just so he could bleed the brakes and get the air out(he didn't have 3/16th line). When that didn't work, they called me up and said it was the 'proportioning valve' causing the problem. They specifically told me that it wasn't road worthy, but I only lived a quarter mile away on 25mph roads. They've all been replaced with brand new lines and fittings.
 

Carn

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Got the Modulator a few days early and managed to install it. It works! And I can now get brake fluid through it!

Now I have another problem. The brake line that goes through the Modulator to the rear brakes goes into what looks like a brand new 'splitter' (It's a silver box with two holes for brake lines, and one ribbed rubber hose that the line coming from the BMS screws into), and it's leaking pretty badly. I can't tell if I've put bad flares on the line or if the splitter itself is cracked(ran out of daylight).

Really, I'm not even sure if it's even supposed to be there, what with all the other non-standard repairs. What normally splits the line from the master cylinder to the back brakes?
 

Hawk1339

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Got the Modulator a few days early and managed to install it. It works! And I can now get brake fluid through it!

Now I have another problem. The brake line that goes through the Modulator to the rear brakes goes into what looks like a brand new 'splitter' (It's a silver box with two holes for brake lines, and one ribbed rubber hose that the line coming from the BMS screws into), and it's leaking pretty badly. I can't tell if I've put bad flares on the line or if the splitter itself is cracked(ran out of daylight).

Really, I'm not even sure if it's even supposed to be there, what with all the other non-standard repairs. What normally splits the line from the master cylinder to the back brakes?
There is a junction, or splitter, located on top of the differential. It is part of the rear hose assembly. One end of the hose is anchored to the frame somewhere above the rear axle and the other end is bolted along with the junction to the differential pumpkin. From the junction two lines run in opposite directions along the axle to the wheels.

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=305965
 

AllanD

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Alright, an update. We replaced the BMS and brake lines(after spending two weeks going to four different store which all gave us the wrong fittings, ended up getting them from the dealer), and have isolated the problem: the proportioning valve is gunked up almost entirely. We can't pump brake fluid into it, and blowing air into it only only gives a gurgling hiss.

So, onto my current problem. Where can I get a Proportioning Valve that fits my truck? JCW says that this fits a 1993 Ranger, but I don't want to drop $50 (and another two weeks) or so on something I'll have to ship back.

Some of the lines were replaced, but for some reason they use compression fittings on them. Everyone I've talked to said that they weren't safe for the road, so I've re-replaced them.
the "proportioning valve" isn't.

IT's a RABS valve. a sort of half-assed REAR wheel ONLY anti-lock system
the RABS system RARELY works well if at all.

I've owned several vehicles with that system and only ONE has EVER worked at all.... on my 1994 AWD Aerostar and it currently has no rear brakes at all because the rear line blew out the last time I drove it.
WHEN I replace that rear line the RABS system goes in the trash.

the times it did work it caused more harm to vehicle control than good.

Frankly if I were you I'd simply remove it and run the lines directly to the rear brakes.

Parts you don't have can't fail.
 

AllanD

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Got the Modulator a few days early and managed to install it. It works! And I can now get brake fluid through it!

Now I have another problem. The brake line that goes through the Modulator to the rear brakes goes into what looks like a brand new 'splitter' (It's a silver box with two holes for brake lines, and one ribbed rubber hose that the line coming from the BMS screws into), and it's leaking pretty badly. I can't tell if I've put bad flares on the line or if the splitter itself is cracked(ran out of daylight).

Really, I'm not even sure if it's even supposed to be there, what with all the other non-standard repairs. What normally splits the line from the master cylinder to the back brakes?
Your "splitter" is part of the normal factory rear brake hose.

Replace your rear brake hose and a new one will be mounted on the end.
 

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