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  • Cleaning brake lines

    I'm sure this has been covered before, but since I have spent the last 45 minutes timing out the search I'm going to ask it anyway.

    How do you guys clean out the hydraulic lines when you rebuild the brake system on your car. I hate to flush them out with $50 worth of DOT 5 brake fluid. When I took the master cylinder off it had about 1/4" of brown sludge in the bottom so I know there is no use going any farther until I get the lines cleaned. I am rebuilding the wheel cylinders also, but I want to get everything cleaned out before I start on them.

    I would also appreciate any help or pointers since I am mechanically challenged to say the least.

    Doug

    Venice, Florida
    1950 Champion 9G F1

  • #2
    Fill the MC up with rubbing alcohol, pump it out thru each wheel cylinder. Better yet, replace the lines. It's not really hard, except maybe the one across the front frame member...

    That way you know they will be clean, and more important, not almost rusted thru.

    [img=left]http://www.alink.com/personal/tbredehoft/Avatar1.jpg[/img=left]
    Tom Bredehoft
    '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
    '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
    ....On the road, again....
    '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
    All Indiana built cars

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    • #3
      Since you are already rebuilding (may need to replace) the Wheel Cylinders, and Master Cyl. using Dot 5 and I hope replacing the flex hoses, you really should [u]REPLACE</u> the lines! [:0]

      Then you should be DONE with the hydraulic system for the next 20 or so years. [^]

      StudeRich
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner
      SDC Member Since 1967

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      • #4
        I was told to never bleed the brakes with alcohol. There's no lubricant for the moving parts in the MC and that just ain't good for it.

        Matthew Burnette
        Hazlehurst, GA

        Biggs' H2O-Induction

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        • #5
          quote:Originally posted by mbstude

          I was told to never bleed the brakes with alcohol. There's no lubricant for the moving parts in the MC and that just ain't good for it.
          Then you'll like this brake treatment- many years ago when I was trading in my '47 Dodge convertible on a '53 Plymouth, the Dodge dealer in town brought the Plymouth out to our house (yes, they used to do that). When he was told the Dodge had no brakes, he simply filled the master cylinder with water. He said since he was going to have to rebuild the brakes anyhow, that would get him back to his shop(five miles).



          Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Daytona convertible, '53 Commander Starliner, Museum R-4 engine, '62 Gravely Model L, '72 Gravely Model 430

          Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
          '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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          • #6
            I've had no formal training in this area, but I've cleaned many brake lines over the years in order to convert to Dot 5. I just bleed the brakes, one at a time, into a coke bottle. As the MC empties, I refill it with alcohol, which sells for about a buck a quart at the local drug store. Just keep refilling the MC as it empties from your bleeding procedures. Bleed all the cylinders until a stream of clean alcohol is being "injected" into your coke bottle. When done with that, I disconnect the output line(s) from the master cylinder, and blow compressed air thru such, whilst opening the brake cylinder bleeder screws, one at a time, to expunge the alcohol from the brake lines. If ya don't get rid of the alcohol, it'll create rust inside the lines.

            Hope this helps

            Larry

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            • #7
              I knew somebody was going to say to replace the lines. And I know somebody would agree with him. Now I will go tell my wife I need some new brake lines to go with the master cylinder and wheel cylinders. At least now I can say that the fellas said I should do it.

              Thanks, Doug

              Venice, Florida
              1950 Champion 9G F1

              Comment


              • #8
                There could be some truth to that Matt, I don't know for sure but there is Alcohol in Dot3.

                The best method if you are sure you have good lines that have NEVER been left open, you can do this FIRST before dis-assembly then no damage will be done to keeper parts except maybe if you have a hill holder. Follow up with thorough air drying.

                StudeRich
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                SDC Member Since 1967

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                • #9
                  If you're converting from Dot 3 to Dot 5, you need to replace all rubber parts, including the hoses. And you need to flush all the old fluid out. After removing everything except the steel lines, you should squirt something in at the front end that will wash out all the old fluid and will also evaporate with no residue. Lacquer thinner followed by some compressed air, then a bit of acetone will do that well. Dry out the acetone with low pressure compressed air. Make sure the trouble light is nowhere near the exit points!

                  Skip Lackie
                  Washington DC
                  Skip Lackie

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                  • #10
                    That does sound like a good way to make a flame thrower. By the way, the car has had DOT 5 in in for the entire 18 years that I have owned it. The PO gave me about 1/2 a quart when I bought the car.

                    Doug

                    Venice, Florida
                    1950 Champion 9G F1

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                    • #11
                      I do'nt know how much better the coated brake lines really are compared to the old style,but you may want to use those? I did use them on my car trailer cause it sits outside,something in a garage well?

                      Joseph R. Zeiger
                      Joseph R. Zeiger

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                      • #12
                        When I prep a rig for dot 5 I go to the harddware stor an buy a gallon of denatured alcohol and a spray bottle. If the brakes hold pressure I remove the fluid in the master cylinder and fill with denatured alcohol. Next I bleed the brakes so that all lines have denatured alcohol and then I let it set for a few days. After a few days I start the brake job and replace what needs to be replaced depending on what is damaged. If I can get by with wheel cylinders and master cyllinder kits I start with the master cylinder first.

                        After the Master is replaced or rebuilt I blow out the brake lines with an air hose and install the mastercylinder. As I am doin the front and rear brakes I keep filling up the master cylinder. The fluid drips through the lines slowly and removes most of the air.




                        If you car is ugly then it better be fast.....

                        65 2dr sedan
                        64 2dr sedan (Pinkie)
                        61 V8 Tcab
                        61 Tcab 20R powered
                        55 Commander Wagon
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                        50 JD MC
                        If you car is ugly then it better be fast.....

                        65 2dr sedan
                        64 2dr sedan (Pinkie)
                        61 V8 Tcab
                        63 Tcab 20R powered
                        55 Commander Wagon
                        54 Champion Wagon
                        46 Gibson Model A
                        50 JD MC
                        45 Agricat
                        67 Triumph T100
                        66 Bultaco Matadore

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                        • #13
                          Make sure you read the label on that alcohol bottle.
                          Most of the time it has about 20% water in it.
                          That's more water than the old brake fluid ever a[u]d</u>sorbed.
                          HTIH
                          Jeff[8D]



                          quote:Originally posted by SuperHawk

                          I've had no formal training in this area, but I've cleaned many brake lines over the years in order to convert to Dot 5. I just bleed the brakes, one at a time, into a coke bottle. As the MC empties, I refill it with alcohol, which sells for about a buck a quart at the local drug store.
                          &lt;snip&gt;
                          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                          Jeff


                          Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                          Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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                          • #14
                            My general rule of thumb (passed on from my high school shop teacher) is that if there's rust on the outside of the lines, replace 'em - 'cause the insides are at least as bad, and the rust is working through from both sides.


                            [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

                            Clark in San Diego
                            '63 F2/Lark Standard
                            http://studeblogger.blogspot.com
                            www.studebakersandiego.com

                            Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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