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Guest Message by DevFuse

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(2002 Forester) How to replace rear steel brake lines?

forester brake line

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7 replies to this topic

#1 melissa_may1



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Posted 20 October 2013 - 03:46 PM

Hi All!


I have a 2002 Forester that has a leak in one of the rear steel brake lines, right near where they come through from under the back seat. There are photos attached.


In trying to remove the rear lines, the two that go towards the front, which are pretty rusted where they enter the coupling near the right rear tire, are getting damaged, and will also need to be replaced.


Can anyone give me some ideas on how to replace the long line that runs from under the back seat to the engine compartment?


I also can't see where the lines are for the rear wheels. After they connect to the coupling, they go up around the right rear wheel arch, and disapear behind the gas tank and rear sub-frame.


Should I just find any way I can to get the new lines out to the wheels?


It doesn't seem to be possible to put the new lines in the same place that the original ones were...


I was thinking of cutting the lines under the back seat, and somehow joining them to new lines. I was hoping there was some sort of compression fitting I could use, but it's best of I put new double-flare fittings on it.


Has anyone put new double-flare fittings on existing original steel lines?


Does anyone know the size (diameter) of the steel lines and their fittings?




Attached Files

#2 Legacy777



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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:05 PM

Welcome to the USMB.


The lines in the back go up and around the edges of the gas tank.  Replacing them may require dropping the tank


As for the lines going into the cabin, they run along the door sill and would require taking the seats and carpet out on the pass side.  I don't know if you can get to the lines behind the dash or where they connect to the lines in the engine bay.


I agree trying to double flare the lines and make a connection inside the cabin would be a lot easier, but don't have experience doing that.  Hopefully someone else can chime in.

#3 melissa_may1



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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:32 PM



Thanks for the welcome and info.


I took the rear seat out, the sill covers, and I can see where the lines go inside the cabin.


I can't see where they are under/behind the dash, though I see where they come out under the hood.


I've never made a flare fitting either, but I'm probably going to try before I rip out both of those long lines.


I'd rather see the coupling under the back seat than outside in the weather. Too bad subaru didn't put it there...


Drop the gas tank? That's probably going to cause more problems with rusted and broken bolts.


I'm thinking I'll run the left rear line across under the back seat, along where the reinforcement bar is, then go out and under the body to the left rear wheel. That way I can attach it better, and not deal with the gas tank...

#4 MilesFox


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Posted 20 October 2013 - 08:10 PM

You would have to drop the crossmember and diff to drop the tank. the lines run perpendicular to the car along the rear floor roll pan. you can probably get your line above the tank on the driver side. the lines run along the side of the car instead of directly over the tank. hope this helps you.


i have used 3/16 compression fittings. although compressin fittings are not recommended. there are metric thread brake lines you can get that will thread up better to the original unions, standards will get tight as you go as the threads jam up after about 3 or 4 turns, but they will work.

#5 WoodsWagon


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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:09 AM

I've dealt with this a couple times. Cut the lines under the back seat and use a flare union. 3/16". Re-use the flare nuts where they attach to the hose in the wheel well. Cut the line off at the back of the nut so you can put a 6-point socket on instead of rounding them off with a flare wrench. Then use a drill to take out the stub of brake line left in the nut. Or get two new metric nuts. Use the copper/nickle alloy brake line, it costs more but is much easier to work with. Buy/rent a double flaring tool from a parts store. The hardest part is keeping the bends right where it meets the hose tight, you don't want them hanging down into where the suspension and the axle move.


I ran the new line to the left rear behind the rear crossmember. there's a body floor crossmember there that you can zip-ty it to as you go across.


The bleeders on the calipers will be your next problem. 6 point socket is a must. Whack the bleeders with a hammer a couple times like you were driving a nail. If they still won't break loose, you need heat. Use a torch to heat the bleeder screw up until it glows, then try loosening it. Most of the time they come out.


If those brake lines are rotted, all your evap and fuel lines are probably ready to go too. Plus the gas tank is probably rusted around where the filler hose nipple is and the seam around the whole tank. And the filler neck too at the bottom of its bend. Plus check the rear crossmember, they like to rot out too on either side of where the rear diff mounts. Pretty much the whole rear of the car goes to spoob at the same time, so expect to be back there fixing stuff pretty often.

#6 dwuollet


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Posted 17 December 2013 - 03:11 AM

I know this is an old post but I'm dealing with this right now. I can picture pretty easily how to do this, just one question so far. Do I need to create a new hard line? Or can it be soft?

#7 idosubaru


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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:09 AM

brake fluid needs to be hard line in general.

cut out all the rusted line, run new brake line and join them together.


if you're uncomfortable joining them together i've even had a shop finish that part up - i run all the line and simply let a shop to the flared fitting/joining together.  cheap as it only takes them a few minutes to do that one fitting.

#8 dwuollet


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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:07 PM

I started on this tonight, the thing that occurred to me: since the lines disappear behind/above the gas tank, which one is which? I don't want to cross them and have the circuits be screwed up, ie; right front, right rear, lf, lr. Instead of rf, lr, and lf, rr. Looking under the back seat, which one is which? Merry Christmas!

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