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Hey guys! New to the forum, new to being a subi owner, and new to doing brake lines. The brake lines around the coupling in front of the right rear wheel well are rusted and I'm leaking fluid. I've read a few posts on this forum that talk about this issue and people tend to run new brake lines from underneath the rear seat to the calipers, or so I gather. What I am wondering is if it is safe, and legal to simply cut out the 6 inches or so of rusted brake line and splice in a new brake line section using 4 fittings and 2 unions on each line. In the picture, the red section is what I want to replace. I'm not talking compression fittings, I'm talking proper double flared unions and fittings.

 

I just need a temp solution for a couple of months until I can get it on a lift and fix everything that needs fixing in the rear end. So I am wondering if this is doable. I definitely do not plan on dropping the tank to get to the brake lines. If what I want to do isn't a viable option then I am wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a new, easier path back to the calipers.

 

Thanks for any help!

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Edited by amerikos

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I did the same thing on my 1996 legacy wagon,  Under the seat.  Put on compression fittings.  I cant say much other than it works fine.

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Nope not legal or safe. Regular Compression fittings are not even rated for the pressures. Some states allow the use of steel compression fittings but they are $$$$. Pull seat, cut, flare and splice new lines. Run them around the tank. Not a big deal and not a lot of money either.

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Hey guys! New to the forum, new to being a subi owner, and new to doing brake lines. The brake lines around the coupling in front of the right rear wheel well are rusted and I'm leaking fluid. I've read a few posts on this forum that talk about this issue and people tend to run new brake lines from underneath the rear seat to the calipers, or so I gather. What I am wondering is if it is safe, and legal to simply cut out the 6 inches or so of rusted brake line and splice in a new brake line section using 4 fittings and 2 unions on each line. In the picture, the red section is what I want to replace. I'm not talking compression fittings, I'm talking proper double flared unions and fittings.

 

I just need a temp solution for a couple of months until I can get it on a lift and fix everything that needs fixing in the rear end. So I am wondering if this is doable. I definitely do not plan on dropping the tank to get to the brake lines. If what I want to do isn't a viable option then I am wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a new, easier path back to the calipers.

 

Thanks for any help!

 

Meh, it might be possible...

 

 

But, the places where you marked to cut and flare are not very accessible, and are probably still fairly rusty. These 2 things will make it very hard to get a clean flare that will seal.

 

Going from there to under the seat is a no-brainer. It's about 4-6" more line on each side, and you'll have much better work space, light, and rust-free line to work with.

 

The other end is a pain, but still not hard. Yes, the factory lines go over the tank, but it's completely reasonable to run them around and up either side of the tank.

 

Grab a coil of NiCopp brake line, this is a cheap source, I've probably bought 3 of these in the last 6 months (I'm in the process of replacing every inch of steel line on my Ford E150 van). https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0788JTB45/

 

If you really want to make sure these things outlast the rest of the car, grab some stainless fittings. Here's a metric kit https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel-Metric-Invert-Fitting/dp/B01KNGVPCC/

 

I wouldn't bother trying to find a stainless union, if you put them under the seat, they won't be vulnerable to the elements. Plain parts-store items are fine there.

 

This flaring tool makes the double flares a breeze:

https://www.amazon.com/OEMTOOLS-24364-Line-Flaring-Tool/dp/B01DO9142G/

 

When you re-route the lines, make sure they mounted firmly, but rubber-isolated to prevent them from wearing a hole. A little rubber hose and some zip-ties work for that, or something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Allstar-Performance-ALL18300-Cushioned-Aluminum/dp/B003BZQ7EE/

Edited by Numbchux
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The problem is accessibility. Like Numbchux said, there just isn't room to work with a flare tool in that area. It's also not possible to make proper flares on those bends.

Pull the rear seat up and there is tons of room and several inches of straight line where you can make good flares.

 

After the lines are cut, if you can get enough of that straight sections of line pulled down to get a flare tool on it then replacing just the rusted sections is fine. But with the amount of rust that's under there, I think you'll have new leaks very soon due to other sections of the lines rusting out.

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So I ended up pulling up the seat after all. You guys were right, there is definitely not enough room to work with before the coupling, and pulling up the seat was super easy. I will still try to flare the brake line after the coupling a bit further back from the spot marked by the red line. I really don't want to mess with the other parts because they don't look bad enough that they'll break, but I am afraid of stripping or tearing the brake lines or having to replace the rubber brake hoses if I screw something up. I can deal with that in the summer when I have more time. I ended up buying the ni-copp line (yes, I had a bit of sticker shock when they rung up the 25ft spool) and fittings at an auto parts store. Scratch that. 3 auto parts stores. I'm starting to remember why I hate going to auto parts stores versus just buying stuff online. Constantly over priced, constantly out of stock, and constantly wrong parts sold. I wish I planned this out better, but I digress.

 

It's amazing how much easier ni-copp is to work with. And now I have the fittings, brass couplings and the brake line. Hopefully I can finish all of this tomorrow. I am worried that I'll end up stripping or breaking the bleeder valves on the calipers though. Planning to blast them with WD-40 and hopefully that will be enough.

 

As for covering the brake lines with a protective shielding, would I just be able to spray them with rubberized undercoating to form that layer of protection? Or is that not a good idea.

 

P.S.: Numbchux, thank you very much for the detailed write up. I will definitely follow all of those steps when I get around to redoing this the proper way.

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If you want to simulate the rubberized coating, buy a roll of wire heatshrink wrap in a large enough diameter to slip over the line, leaving the ends with enough room to get the fittings loose (can also trim after with razor). Once heated, it'll shrink. Other option is lining with actual vacuum hose instead. I used this to wrap a copper line for a mechanical oil pressure gauge. Copper was about 5' long, so I bought 5' of small dia. heater hose (slightly thicker walling) and left about an inch at each end for fittings. Serves a double use of sleeving the copper, preventing chaffing, making bends smooth w/o pinching, and IF the line ruptures, it should limit the oil to the engine and gauge.

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Well you don't have to cover the nicu lines.

The steel lines you can spray with just about any rubberized undercoating, or just wipe some grease on them.

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