Saturday, November 16, 2019

How to Replace all the Rear Brake Lines with a Pre-formed Kit Ford F150 1997-2003

       The problems began on my 2000 Ford F150 with poor braking. I parked it and noticed a pool of brake fluid under the rear axle. Examination of the all the lines revealed that the rear lines were rusted most of the way back to the ABS proportional controller. I decided to install a stainless steel kit made to fit all the lines in the truck. I also changed out the front lines later as part of a complete front brake job.

The leak point

                                                 The job at a glance

  • Tools:  Tubing bender to straighten any shipping bends, 10,14 and 15mm sockets and 3/8" ratchet, 1/2" and 12mm flare nut wrench,                       
  • Parts: Dorman kit 919-170 (check tables for correct kit for the cab and box lengths of your truck), differential vent (Napa 730-0213), four copper washers for brake hoses to banjo fittings, middle brake hose (Napa 380936),   
  • Materials: Brake fluid 
  • Time: 5 hours  

Tear out the rear Brake Lines

     I decided to tear out the rear lines from the ABS unit up front to both rear wheels. Most of these lines were rusted and even where they weren't, such as the first section from the ABS, the fittings were rusted together. We will break the line into four pieces and remove it first. I will share some of my experiences and what I learned during tear out. 

1) To avoid having to bleed the ABS unit, which may require a special scan tool, remove the fitting going to the rear first and install a plug in the ABS. I did have the bleeding done at a shop. 

2) Remove the brake hoses from the Banjo fittings on the calipers with a 14mm socket and collect the brake fluid. Don't try to turn out the brake fittings. The kit comes with brake hoses and brackets. Unbolt the line bracket near the caliper with a 10mm socket.

3) Cut out the lines where they meet at the differential breather with a hack saw.

Don't try to turn these two brake lines out, simply cut them out 

4) Cut out the fitting between the long brake line and the one that goes in the ABS, unless you are able to easily turn out the flare nut.

Not worth trying to remove this fitting...cut it out

5) Remove the differential breather. I found the fitting that holds the breather to the axle seized to the part that turns into the axle. I cut the middle hose and was able to turn it out of the axle. This will be replaced.

This was impossible to get out until I realized the threaded fastener was seized

6) Take care when removing the lines from the plastic holders not to break them. Heating with a blow dryer is a good aid to soften them for release. I found snap ring pliers helpful here.

Take care with the plastic holders

7) Pull the long middle line with hose and bracket still attached toward the rear. I only pulled it far enough to saw the bracket end line apart. The rest was removed toward the front.

8) Put the bracket in a vice and remove the old middle hose clamp. Take note of how it fits together for ease of re-assembly with new parts later.

9) Remove the line from the ABS unit out to the front. Separate it from the controller and all line holders and pull it out through the front. 

Installation of the Kit for the Rear Lines

1) Compare kit parts to the original lines to verify correct bends and lengths.

2) Compare the included brake hoses to the original to find best match in length and mounting brackets.

Find the best match for the brake hoses

3) Fit the rear axle brake lines to the brake hoses, making sure the brackets will fit properly. Recommended: use nickel or copper anti-seize on all threads.

4) Mount the middle hose to the bracket and bolt the bracket into place with a 15mm socket and ratchet. Do not tighten for now.

Note the curved-in end of the bracket toward the hose

5) Mount the other end of the middle hose to the axle with the differential vent fitting. Note: the holes for the brake lines are not centered. Mount the hose with the holes further away from the axle. Use some anti-seize on the threads. Bolt it securely with a 15mm deep well socket.

Installing vent end of hose on axle
6) Mount the left and right brake hose brackets loosely with a 10mm socket and ratchet.

7) Mount with the left and right hoses to their respective banjo fillings on the calipers with a 14mm socket and ratchet. Don't forget the copper washers.

8) Snap the right side brake line into the holders on the axle.

Snap the new line into this holder

8) Mount the other end of the brake lines to the middle brake hose.

Again, stop short of fully tightening these for now

9) Tighten all fittings and hoses.

10) Straighten the shipping bends in the long middle line and section from the ABS unit using a tubing bender.

11) Install the middle section from front to back. Make sure the line is routed properly so that it fits into all the plastic line holders from front to back.

12) Install the front-most section starting at the ABS unit and working back. This one is the most difficult to fit through as the channels are narrow and the line bendy.  A pull push method will work best to get it through.

13) Connect the flare nut fitting at front end of the line to the ABS proportional controller with a 1/2" flare nut wrench

14) Connect the other end of the line to the long middle line with two wrenches. I used a 15mm and 1/2" wrench.

15) Tighten all connections. Banjo bolts are torqued to 21-26 ftlbs.

16) Bleed all brake lines in this order: right rear, left rear, right front and lastly left front. If the ABS controller unit was allowed to empty, it may be necessary to have the it bled with a aid of a scan tool.

17) Test for leaks and effective braking.

     This is the truck this kit fits. The box is 6 feet long. 


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