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Stainless brake line leaks

arachnofreak

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I recently purchased Fine Line stainless steel kit for 1999 Ford Ranger and have installed them across the truck along with new flexible hoses and brake components. Everything sealed up just fine except I had a leak at the connection to the proportioning valve on the side of master cylinder. There was also a leak on the connection to the RABS unit as well but it was eventually resolved through loosening and tightening which I read was necessary for stainless lines.

I put quite a bit of torque on these fittings as you can tell and was never able to get them to stop leaking when I disassembled everything last night I found that the flares on the tubing were deformed probably from the amount of torque and I began inspecting the seats of the fittings that were problematic.

I have limited experience so looking for some input on this issue. I think the seat inside of the RABS valve looks okay to me? but the one inside of the master cylinder proportioning valve looks pretty torn up. I have a new line coming in I believe I never had it seated quite straight when I was tightening it being that it was a short line and had a lot of tension between the two connections I should have made some adjustments to help seat more straight.

Basically I am wondering if these fittings look like they would seal or if I need to address the seats inside of them. I sure hope the RABS unit is fine being that it is pretty much impossible to locate replacement part for but the proportioning valve on master cylinder appears to be able to acquire replacement material would that be necessary.

I have ordered some copper flare gaskets from Parker Hannifin to use with the new line hopefully will address some of the nonconformities I created with my heavy hand. Any advice would be great.
 

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franklin2

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I doubt the second picture is going to seal. Can you get a new seat? I believe you put a sheet metal screw into the seat and pull it out with a claw hammer. But I haven't researched if you can even get a seat for it. Replacing both would be the best way to guarantee not to mess up the flare on your new line.
 

arachnofreak

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That is pretty much what I was thinking... the second one is toast.

I don't know about getting a new seat that would be an ideal fix but I have already ordered a replacement fitting of the one in the second photo and I was able to test fit up one of the copper gaskets on the seat of the RABS valve. It looks to fit fairly well and I have some confidence in it working with the new line to seal up. Hopefully a combination of a new brake line with fresh flares and the replacement fitting with copper gaskets on both of them will resolve this.

I really can't do much about the first photo being that it is the RABS unit for a 1999 Ranger and as far as I could tell that part is discontinued and there are essentially none available unless you were to go digging around a salvage yard.
 

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superj

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Until you get it fixed, wrap some Teflon tape and put it back together
 

Uncle Gump

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Until you get it fixed, wrap some Teflon tape and put it back together
Please don't do that... there is zero... and I mean zero chance it will work and will be unsafe for everyone.
 

superj

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Not if it is just the seat. If it's not the threads, you can use Teflon to seal the seat.
 

Uncle Gump

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How in the hell you gonna wrap that with Teflon tape?

Once you do that... show me an approved method that states to use Teflon tape to seal a double flare brake fitting.
 

arachnofreak

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I’m pursuing the replacement fitting with copper flare gasket on the one piece I can’t replace. Should have everything by next weekend hopefully.
 

franklin2

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As you are finding out, stainless is nice, but expensive and hard to work with. On your next project I would use Nickel/copper line.
 
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arachnofreak

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It looks so nice it’s a shame it’s such a hard material to work with. Probably won’t be using it again in the future not much reason for a brake line to outlast the vehicle but I already made my bed on this deal.
 

superj

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How in the hell you gonna wrap that with Teflon tape?

Once you do that... show me an approved method that states to use Teflon tape to seal a double flare brake fitting.
And it's not a permanent fix. It's just to keep fluid in until it's replaced.
 

arachnofreak

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Took awhile off this project while waiting for some parts and free time but wanted to provide an update in case anyone else comes across similar issue. I replaced the fitting on the side of master cylinder and used the copper gasket on the seat of the RABS valve. I also had a new brake line which I made sure the flares were aligned perfectly straight into the seats of both fittings with no pulling off to the sides before torqueing.

It has been 3 days now and everything is still bone dry so this is resolved. If I could do it all again I would probably not use stainless steel brake lines but I can certainly vouch for the copper gaskets being an effective solution to slightly damaged flare fitting seats.

I should have been a lot more mindful of how much torque I was using because I see all over the internet people recommending to crank down on stainless lines in order to get them to seal. My current installation has probably 1/3 of the torque that I had on the original line that was leaking so that is not always the answer.
 

grease

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Hi I'm in need of front brake line replacement. Curious of the difficulty of using preformed lines to the passenger side. Did you do this? If so other than the stainless issue any suggestions? thanks 98 3.0 4wd
 

franklin2

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Hi I'm in need of front brake line replacement. Curious of the difficulty of using preformed lines to the passenger side. Did you do this? If so other than the stainless issue any suggestions? thanks 98 3.0 4wd
My suggestion would be to get a measuring tape and get a rough measurment of the length you need. The size is usually 3/16 but check it to make sure. Then go to the store and buy universal nickel/copper brake line with the fittings already on it. This line will not rust and bends very easy. You do not have to follow all those little crooks and bends the factory put in the line. Just so you run it generally in the same area.

Get some practice at this. If one line rusted, there will probably be a few more later on that will pop.
 

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