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Brake System Drain advice

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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 20:00   #1
Neil H
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Default Brake System Drain advice

Hi everyone,

Today I set about addressing the replacement of all of my brake's flexi hoses that go between the metal brake lines and the calipers on my PH1 1999 T4.

Things came to a halt rather quickly when i found the metal brake line ends exposed to the elements that connect to the felxi hoses were rusted to hell, so much so that the unions that are supposed to free spin around the metal pipes were rusted solid to the pipe.
Gallons of WD40 and much waiting for it to penetrate did not help and so i decided to try turning the flexi hose from the caliper end on the union to get the first pipe off, i was very gentle but still cracked the rusted pipe causing me a major leaky problem.

So now i need to replace the metal pipes too and to be honest i need to do all four, it needed it anyway and i was just just trying to get away with not having to but obviously that wasn't going to happen.
What i plan to do is buy a brake pipe kit and splice some new ends into some good pipe where ever i can, i really don't want to be dropping the fuel tank and running entirely new lines especially considering my tank is almost full right now.

So right now with the cracked pipe all the fluid has leaked out (i did place a piece of clingfilm under the cap to try and hold the leaking back before i started but the whole reservoir is now empty so i need to do a total refill when the time comes.

My question is what will the system being drained do to the master cylinder, anything bad or do i just carry on fix the pipes fill up and bleed as normal?
Presumably i need to bleed the master cylinder or will that bleed through ok when I fill up and bleed at the calipers?

I haven't even tried to open the bleed nipples on the calipers yet but seeing as the system is drained i might take the calipers off and try and remove the nipples and replacement with new ones as they look as badly rusted as the pipes.

Any thoughts advice or glaring procedures i should follow would be very much appreciated in order to fill the system back up and get it back to normal once ive spliced my new pipe in.

Is the clutch hydraulic on the PH1 T4? if it is is it in the brake circuit or totally seperate, any considerations regarding this i need to know?

Also what size is the brake pipe on a PH1 T4 ? (i.e. what size pipe and unions should i be buying?).
Thanks very much!
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Last edited by Neil H; Sep 13th, 2017 at 20:45.
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 15:29   #2
Dippydog
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As far as I'm aware all brake pipe is the same size,it's the unions that can differ in being imperial or metric.I'd take a couple of your old unions to your local vehicle accessory shop[as long as they make brake pipes up] for comparison and they should then be able to supply the correct ones.For the metal pipes you then have a choice of 1]mild steel 2] Kunifer 3]copper.Steel ones obviously rust,copper ones can work harden and fracture if not properly secured to the car,so personally I always go for Kunifer.Master cylinder should be fine empty as long as you're not pumping the brake pedal while it's in this state.
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 15:52   #3
Neil H
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Thanks,

I ordered these things last night so i'll see whether what comes fits or not and go from there:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I wont touch the pedal until i've filled up the reservoir and I'll keep an eye on the level as i go.
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 17:54   #4
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This comment may come in too late but one way to minimize leakage once the system has been opened is to fully depress the brake pedal until it's nice and firm and then stick a piece of wood between the brake pedal and the seat to keep the brake pedal fully depressed [do this before you open the system obviously]. As long as the pressure is maintained, you'll get minimal drainage and you'll be able to take your time putting everything back together. I've done this successfully and had the system open for several days without issue. If you have electric seats just stick a piece of wood on brake pedal and start moving the seat forward until you are confident that you've got good pressure exerted against the brake pedal.

In my case I had really good luck using a crutch that I happened to have lying around. I leaned the crutch against the back of the seat, rotated the back of the seat VERY far forward to wedge the crutch and then carefully moved the seat forward until I was happy with pressure on the brake pedal.

Be sure to cut the pipes at a location where you'll have enough room to use the dastardly bubble flare tool! Also, make sure you select a decent solid pipe material: Copper/Nickel alloy works best if you are stuck using the hand tools for bubble flaring.
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 20:05   #5
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Thanks but the front driver side pipe is broken so the system is already part drained.

I'll be replacing that sides pipe entirely as its very short, the other side i plan to cut and join in a new piece along the bulkhead where all the pipes run together and i havent worked out where i will join in the rear pieces yet but they will most liley be on the chassis rail where they come out from under the fuel tank.

I might order some Kunifer pipe as its very cheap even though I already have some copper on the way as I dont want to ever have to do this again.

This afternoon I've been removing the battery and its tray, airbox and wheel arch liner etc to get good access the where it goes though the wheel arch.

I also need to do some light surface rust treatment and repainting on the arch lip where the plastic trip has allowed water to collect and corrode but i might make sure the braked are completed and good first.

Seeing as the car is off the road i may as well tackle a few things that i've been putting off for a long time.
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 21:22   #6
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The clutch is hydraulic and is completely separate from the brake system apart from sharing the same reservoir. You will see the clutch feed pipe coming out of the brake reservoir about halfway down the reservoir. Once the brakes have been bled, you will need to bleed the clutch. Bleed nipple on top of the bell housing near the end of the engine block.
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 21:45   #7
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Thanks very much that's exactly what I needed to know!
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 00:56   #8
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I feel your pain. Last year I was strictly warned the brake pipes would be a failure this year. So I went to take the tank off, but the jubilee clips on the filler pipe are rusted to buggery.

Okay, so I'll drop the tank with the filler pipe still attached. That means removing the rear suspension arms, which I discovered are impossible to remove. So I'm now looking at new bushes, bolts and everything else which could only be removed destructively. Exhaust too, that fell to bits spectacularly.

With the tank off, it's perfectly obvious this rusty cylinder (which might at one time have been a fuel filter) was likely the original. Now I could get proper access to the brake pipes, it became obvious the fuel pipes are in the same condition. So they need replacing too.

With practically everything off the back end of the car, and back seats out for access to the handbrake cable, my living-room full of volvo interior, scrap metal all over the drive ... kinda wish I'd never started. So I might as well paint it under there, having come this far. Where to stop?

The moral is: If it ain't broke, leave it alone! Route your brake pipes alternatively, don't drop the tank unless you've got a lot of time on your hands. And money.
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 11:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canis View Post
Route your brake pipes alternatively, don't drop the tank unless you've got a lot of time on your hands. And money.
Yep. Doesn't look as great but its easier to chop the originals at both ends and re-route them around the tank.
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 20:02   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antz View Post
Yep. Doesn't look as great but its easier to chop the originals at both ends and re-route them around the tank.
To Canis's point though, I can almost guarantee that you are going to discover that your fuel lines are in bad shape also (near the fuel filter). It's a lot easier to get access to this stuff if you drop the tank which honestly isn't too bad a job. Just make sure that the fuel level is as low as you can get it without getting stranded somewhere.
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bleed, bleeding, brakes, master cylinder, v40 1.9 t4 ph1


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