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Thread: Reattaching brake lines to master cylinder: Finger Blisters yet Still not done!

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    Registered User sscanf's Avatar
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    Default Reattaching brake lines to master cylinder: Finger Blisters yet Still not done!

    I brought this on myself when I posted earlier today (in the EFI forum) that I just ordered a new brake booster and that it looked like an easy job. The booster actually arrived today AND it was an easy job - well almost an easy job. At step N of the N step process I got to the point where I re-attach the brake lines to the master cylinder (OK, step N-1 since step N is refill).

    I Thought I was home free but reattaching the brake lines is not happening. They came off easy (I changed the master cylinder a year ago and it was uneventful then) and the threads look good all around. The only difference is the new brake booster - it is slightly larger than the old one. I think maybe the master cylinder location is a few millimeters from its old position. I thought it no big deal but I cannot get the fittings to catch despite messing with it for an hour. I tried loosening the master cylinder, then taking it off the brake booster to at least get one line to catch but no joy - by the time I got to that, I literally had blisters on both index fingers - the one on my right finger index is tinted red too. I had to walk away

    So, what is the trick? There has to be a trick.

    Dan

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    I think that the key is to bend the end of the line to get the fitting entering the bore squarely before you try to get the threads to catch. You'll think that you can torque the line enough to get it started and it will pull itself but it won't. Just bend away until it looks perfect and it will probably drop right in.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Jim Arnett jfa.series1's Avatar
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    A tiny dab of anti-seize on the threads of each flare nut will help them seat easier. Any sideways pressure on the threads will encourage them to quickly cross-thread. As Zed says - get them square to their bore hole! Anti-seize should allow you to finger-start each nut.

    Jim Arnett
    HLS30-15320 12/1970, original owner
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    IZCC Original Owner Registry #53

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    Rust Free'ish zKars's Avatar
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    I HATE brake nuts. Of all the threads I've used brake line nuts cause the most grief. Alignment is key.

    Loosen the other end of the lines where they going into the distribution block below the master to get the sloe you need. And or remove the bolt that attaches that block to the engine bay so it gives you room to move there too. Do NOT remove them or you will have the same problem. Maybe remove them, bend the master end a touch, then put it back on the dist. block end and try again. I say put the master back on the booster adn tighten it down, since its too long already, being loose makes the alignment even worse.

    Be careful with any lubricants, just put the tiniest dab on the threads as Jim suggested, don't get any where you touch it. You can't afford any loss of torque or control. And don't get any on the mating /sealing surface. Good luck. Try taping your fingers with something high friction before trying again or at least a latex/nitrile glove.
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
    69 510 PL510 77603

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    Registered User sscanf's Avatar
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    OK. I tried again last night using Zed's advice (didn't see the other posts)... I got everything nice and square and the front went in like it was never a problem. The back, on the other hand, had no intention of going in, add another hour of frustration and I believe that I need to replace the back line. Before I do that though, I'll try the other suggestions - here is my other problem though - I have the MSA coated header on this car and it seems like there isn't enough room to loosen that line from the junction box. I could get the brake line wrench on but there doesn't seem to be enough room to turn it - I didn't really try though. I figured it would be a good idea to let them soak overnight in pb blaster before loosening.

    Other thoughts/questions:

    I was thinking of stopping by the hardware store and buying a nut/bold of the same size to try on the fitting and in the master cylinder to see if I have a threading problem - they look visibly OK but maybe there is something my old eyes aren't seeing. What size are these fittings?

    Is it possible to replace the fitting on the line without taking the line off? There seems to be plenty of length available. If there is a thread problem on the fitting, I'm hoping to be able to replace it without getting further into a can of worms.

    If I have to drop the header to get the line off, I might just put on a standard manifold (which I do not have - this car came to me in pieces and I just went straight for the header (exhaust manifold was missing). I can't believe it might be coming to this....

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    Registered User sscanf's Avatar
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    Have I mentioned, when the Z is laid up, my daily driver is a 2003 minivan?

    I REALLY need to get this done!

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    Rust Free'ish zKars's Avatar
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    Dang headers. Always getting in the way.

    The threads are 10x1.00, not a common bolt size. Buy a chunk of premade brake line with 10x1.00 nuts from any old car parts store and sacrifice it to get a line nut off (maybe ask if they have loose 10x1 nuts) and get it working in the threads. THis will act as a clean up, then try your brake line again. I guess buy two, so you can bend up a new one if you need to. Doesn't have to be the exact same shape or length. Could even use a SS flexible line with two male ends. Got a speed shop nearby?

    You have to have a flare tool to cut the existing line and put a new nut on. Easier to just buy a generic new line and bend it up to fit.
    Last edited by zKars; 07-31-2014 at 07:28 AM.
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
    69 510 PL510 77603

    www.zKars.com
    www.calgaryzclub.ca
    Reference materials
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    Registered User sscanf's Avatar
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    I picked up a 10x1 nut and bolt at lunch and tried them on the line/master. The bolt went into the master no problem but the it was hell to get the nut on the line. Add vice grips and a long socket and the nut cleaned up the connector pretty nicely. Now the nut goes on/off the line pretty easily but a quick try at connecting the line failed. I had to get back to work so was not persistent. Besides, persistence had failed me in this case. It seems like I need to control my persistence.

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    Rust Free'ish zKars's Avatar
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    Progress!! Excellent Smithers...

    You definitely damaged the nut start threads with all the previous skewed starting attempts, and you've improved, but not perfected them by getting that store bought nut on there.

    Now get well hydrated, eat a good meal, listen to some James Taylor ballads, get real mellow and then go put it all together. Whether you think you can or can't do this, you're right, so think positive!
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
    69 510 PL510 77603

    www.zKars.com
    www.calgaryzclub.ca
    Reference materials
    www.xenonS30.com

  10. #10
    Registered User sscanf's Avatar
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    Spent 15 minutes last night. No joy. No JT either, maybe that is my problem. Blisters are healed though. Will try one more time tonight but I don't think its going to go.

    I might see if I can clean up the start of the thread with a dremel. The line still goes on the 10x1 nut OK but it just doesn't want to start in the master cylinder fitting, even with the master cylinder loose. I have considered removing the fitting from the master cylinder (I know there is stuff that I need to catch) and starting the fitting that way, then carefully putting it all back.

    Tonight or tomorrow morning Buying: Double flare tool kit (I think there is room), Two sections of brake line with connectors. JT Greatest Hits. Beer.

    I'm doing a timing belt on a 99 Accord this weekend too (after a failed attempt last weekend - another story but at least the Accord can still be driven - it has been a bad week).

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    Registered User sscanf's Avatar
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    Here's the news:

    Last night I went to the local Orielly's and bought a couple of brake lines with fittings, a couple of separate fittings, and a flaring tool. I also picked up some nitrile gloves that are a perfect fit - so much better than the baggy ones I had... Ready to go.

    So today I hit the garage, cleaned up everything, cleared the bench, put the pile of tools away. Put on my old-man glasses. Got out the dremel out and found a tiny tapered grinding bit. Went to put on some JT but accidentally put on Aerosmith instead. 30 seconds with the dremel, dabbed a tiny bit of anti-cease, tried it, and it went right in (for the record, Walking In The Sand was playing)!!! 15 minutes later it was all back together and bled and all working nicely. That's the good news.

    The breaks work great and the new booster fixed the original problem very nicely (hard braking along cabin whistle when breaking accompanied by engine surge). The bad news is that the fitting might have a tiny leak because, after cleaning everything up and taking it for a test ride, I noticed a small puddle on the frame below but it may be that I overfilled it a little bit. We'll see. If it is a leak, its very slow but I may have to replace that line yet. I'll keep a close eye on it and tackle it next weekend if I need to (change the line).

    In the end, the problem was a tiny burr that prevented the fitting from starting. The burr was probably caused by not having the lines nice and square when I first went to reattach them then I thrashed for a bit, probably causing more damage. Had to come here for a talking to. Thanks for all the help. I'll follow up next weekend with, hopefully, the final conclusion.

  12. #12
    Registered User sscanf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscanf View Post
    Here's the news:

    The bad news is that the fitting might have a tiny leak because, after cleaning everything up and taking it for a test ride, I noticed a small puddle on the frame below but it may be that I overfilled it a little bit. We'll see. If it is a leak, its very slow but I may have to replace that line yet. I'll keep a close eye on it and tackle it next weekend if I need to (change the line).
    I tightened it one last time (the fitting was a little chewed up so tightening was not easy) and its all good. No leaks, brakes work great. Put 60 or so miles on it over the weekend. ALL DONE!

    We got the timing belt on the 99 Accord done over the weekend as well (its own adventure).

    Thanks again for all the help.

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    Registered User S30Driver's Avatar
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    Glad things worked out in the end, & you got away from the dreaded minivan....
    Persistence & patience paid off.
    Good looking booster too!
    1977 280z 06/77

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