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Old 03-08-2009, 06:40 PM
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Mo brakes; a saga

Well, about three weeks ago I decided to bleed the brakes on my 49 Ford, 'cause the pedal was a bit low.
As soon as I removed a front wheel I saw that the brake hose needed to be replaced, so I zipped on down to the local auto parts with the line in hand. Trouble is, I don't know what kind of front calipers and/or hoses my car has ben retrofitted with, so I looked through the catalog with a couple different parts guys, and called Ford with the number I found stamped on the fitting at the end of the hose. Ford says that judging by the number it is a 1970 full-size car, but they don't have anything that old. NAPA has all that stuff in the catalog, but nothing looks right. They can get a similar hose that has a different end where the brake line attaches, but they're $50 apiece! I finally find some nice braided stainless with plastic coating on ebay that are for a Bronco, and buy two for $70.
I have to replace the brake lines now because the new hoses will go in the original brackets on the frame that the others did not use. So, as I tear into it I notice that the master cylinder is leaking a bit, too. What kind of master cylinder? Who knows...
So I look at the bore size and the mounting bolt placement and search through the online NAPA catalog and find a 1984 Mustang SVO master has the right bore, bolt pattern, etc. I order that baby and buy a boatload of brake lines and adapter fittings. Well, I also bought two (2) tubing benders so I could do a neat job, so I come out of NAPA having dropped $250 at the preferred buyer price.
Bend, try , throw out, bend, try, fit, assemble - I get the whole thing together and put fluid in it only to find that pretty much every joint was leaking. So, out come the tubing wrenches again and I tighten everything till my teeth start to hurt. But, hey - both sides still leak where the brake line attaches to the brake hose.
I pulled one apart and found that the flare of the brake line didn't seat properly on the 'cone' of the brake hose fitting. Weird, because the way the brake line threads in holds the brake line in alignment. Must be that the hose wasn't pointing the right way, as there is a little slop designed into the brake hose end to allow for alignment. But now there is a crescent shaped divot on the end of my expensive new brake hose. So, in desperation I bought a piece of the next size up brake line and ground it down so it would fit inside the end of the brake hose fitting and used some valve lapping compound to try to remove the damage. I wasn't fully successful, but got it close. Running out of other ideas, I reassembled the whole thing, tightened both sides until sweat popped out on my brow, and bled the brakes. Lo and behold, now nothing leaks!
But I still have almost no pedal.
Finally I saw that there was really not much stroke on the shaft going in to the booster, so I had to pull the brake pedal and weld a tab onto it so I could make a new hole closer to the booster - now I have brakes!!
Just goes to show that the old adage holds true - nothing is ever simple.

All that to get the car ready to drive to my friends house so we can put it on the rack and see how we might mount the steering rack.
Whew!

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Old 03-08-2009, 06:53 PM
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sounds like a bit of an adventure.but you got ot thats the main thing.goodluck with the rest of your project.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:28 AM
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not to mention that sometimes line fittings are metric, or SAE, and you never know which, and when, haha.

brake work is always "fun" lol
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