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Leaking Brake Line – Temporary Fix

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Repair Central-The ‘How To’ Forum Leaking Brake Line – Temporary Fix

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by zhi wong zhi wong 3 years ago.

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  • #490108
    Jared Thomson
    Jared Thomson
    Participant

    Please save the bitching, I know this is does not fall in the catagories of a good or safe fix, but sometimes the car you are working on just isnt worth the money to fix, or you just dont have the money to fix it. Let me re-iterate:
    This is a TEMPORARY fix and CAUTION should be used while driving!

    If you have a leaking brake line, you can usually find a place where the line isnt too horribly rusted. If you cut the line and pinch the end together so it is flat and both sides are touching (side cutters usually work well), you can use a pen torch and some regular electrical solder to plug the line. You will probably have to clean the line with brake cleaner. Also, keep a fire extinguisher handy just in-case. It may take a few tries, but you can get the line plugged so it wont leak.

    Caution should be used when stopping, but the car should drive fine until you can fix it the right way! Just thought I would share this little trick, learned it from an old-timer, back when cars didnt have seatbelts 😛

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  • #493249
    Jake Riesser
    Jake Riesser
    Participant

    Umm … no. Easier/safer “temp” fix would be to get some adhesive/plugging material, and simply patch where it is leaking (what is that infomercial where they spray a pickup with that stuff, and then float it around a lake like a boat?) Either way, that would actually maintain most of the safe operation of the braking system. I would never recommend actually plugging a brake line, either out or return. Keep in mind, if you don’t plug both ends, it is a pressurized system, you’ll lose your brake fluid either way. Another option would be what I did to limp a friend’s truck to my house, I rode under the propped-open hood the quarter-mile (this is out in the sticks remember, so we really didn’t need to stop much … no stop signs/signals/etc. in sight) and I just poured water in the brake fluid reservoir as fast as it was flooding out a gaping hole in the booster. Yes, water isn’t “safe” for the lines, but we then purged the whole system, installed a new booster (err … junkyard new, it worked though) and poured in fresh brake fluid. Yes, water isn’t the best (it’ll boil for one) but if you are losing a quart a second, it’ll do in a pinch until you can fix it.

    I know what you’re saying, but I’d sooner duct tape it than try that. Or, brake lines cost what, $5 at the local store? Buy any random brake line, or even rubber hose, fit over, use that. It’ll leak, but dangit, I wouldn’t deactivate a single brake. Just saying… I know what you’re saying, but I wouldn’t want to have someone’s death on my conscience because they followed advice to damage their brake system. Heck, you’re talking about using solder, solder around the darn hole and do that. Or pour in water into a jug, duct tape jug over brake fluid reservoir, if you’re gonna “red-green” it.

    – Jake R.

    #493270
    Jared Thomson
    Jared Thomson
    Participant

    None of your methods actually work though.

    [quote=”XtremeModifier” post=45661]Umm … no. Easier/safer “temp” fix would be to get some adhesive/plugging material, and simply patch where it is leaking[/quote]
    In an ideal world, this may work, but adhesives dont stick to a rusted out line, they just rip more of the line apart when pressurized. Most rusty brake lines that are leaking bad can be broken with your fingers.

    Keep in mind, if you don’t plug both ends, it is a pressurized system, you’ll lose your brake fluid either way.

    What the hell are you talking about? If you cut the line halfway and plug it off on the side coming from the master cylinder you wont loose more fluid.

    Another option would be what I did to limp a friend’s truck to my house, I rode under the propped-open hood the quarter-mile (this is out in the sticks remember, so we really didn’t need to stop much … no stop signs/signals/etc. in sight) and I just poured water in the brake fluid reservoir as fast as it was flooding out a gaping hole in the booster.

    This may have worked for a hole in the booster, but with a hole in the line, you CANNOT build enough fluid pressure to stop, trust me.

    I know what you’re saying, but I wouldn’t want to have someone’s death on my conscience because they followed advice to damage their brake system.

    Loosing 25% at most of your braking capacity is not going to matter under most driving conditions. That is why I said “Drive with caution” … Dont go over 30, make sure your emergency brake works, just in case. Also, in my honest opinion, if someone doesnt understand the highly temporary nature of this fix or what dangers it could pose, they have no business working on their brake lines in the first place. Not against DIY, Im am all for DIY, but there are just some times when you have to call a damn tow truck.

    Heck, you’re talking about using solder, solder around the darn hole and do that

    Also, you should read better, because I said to Cut the line, Pinch the end down, and run a bead of solder over the pinched together end, not try to solder around the leaking hole.

    #890419
    zhi wong
    zhi wong
    Participant

    [quote=”XtremeModifier” post=45661]Umm … no. Easier/safer “temp” fix would be to get some adhesive/plugging material, and simply patch where it is leaking (what is that infomercial where they spray a pickup with that stuff, and then float it around a lake like a boat?) Either way, that would actually maintain most of the safe operation of the braking system. I would never recommend actually plugging a brake line, either out or return.
    – Jake R.[/quote]

    What you’re advising does not work well and I know because I have done it before. I had a leaking brake line and I tried to stop it up with a collar of epoxy putty. It just leaks right past it. It is not able to make a proper seal because the line is too rusty and has no smooth metal. You can’t sand the rust off either because that would just make the hole bigger. You also can’t use any sort of rubber-like sealant because the pressure would blow it off immediately.

    Op’s solution is the safe solution. A car has 4 wheels and it can still have mostly effective braking with 3 wheels. Keep in mind that there are tons of old cars out there than have seized calipers and the driver doesn’t even know it. I bought a 2001 jaguar s-type once with 3 seized calipers on it and air in the lines. The brakes were unsafe certainly but there are tons of people driving around with one of more of their brakes in operable right now.

    Sometimes you need a temporary solution like this. Right now I have a vehicle like this on the road and I can’t fix it in the middle of the road. The safest option is to tow it. Plugging the line is not as safe but it’s still safe enough to get it home or to a shop in my opinion.

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