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1971 302 C4 auto convertible, Grabber Blue/white/white
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I should of already known this, remembered this…
A 50 year old car isn’t gonna cut you any breaks or let you progress easily…

So I am doing a brake job, proceeded by about a week of penetrating liquid on the joints before starting. I am using specialized line wrenches for brake lines…

the plan, take the front down to spindles and frame mounted hard lines.
the back replacement of soft lines and wheel cylinders…

the reality,
The fire fused the hard and soft line together on drivers front, need a new hard line to distribution block. The junction into the distribution block is stripping even with line wrench. So I am screwed there. I can’t even buy a new distribution block and start there, they are backordered . Moving to the back, the hard line/soft line is also fused and stripping..screwed there also. Need a full length front to back hardline, which is frozen in the distribution block.

so I have another 5 day wait for complete hard line set, although I don’t know what good they are if I can’t get lines out of distribution block because I am stripping them.

got any advice?

some of these are so tarred up with undercoating….the block is going to be hardest, I can barely get to it, and can’t see half the fittings…
798735
798736
798737
 

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You might have to cut the lines and soak the fittings with penetrating fluid for a day or so and clamp in a vase and get the vase grips on the fittings.
if/when you do that, put a little block of wood on each side of the distribution block in the vice. That way the teeth/pattern in the vice jaws wont chew up the sides of the dist block.
 

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Same as above answer, but also give the fittings a few sharp raps with a light hammer to.try and shock loose some corrosion and help the penatrating oil work in. Patience is the key here, vise grips and keep working it. Really put some force on the vise grips and they will partially crush the fitting helping to release.
 

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Heat.
 
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Just some guy
67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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Penetrating oil is unfortunately useless on brake line fittings.
The best thing I've found is a pair of "straight jaw" vice grips of about medium size. Most are curved jaw ones. Key is to shoot for one and done. Tighten the vice grips down TIGHT. Also key is to not have any excess motion of the other part. If your brake block is swinging and flopping all over it makes things doubly difficult. Ideally you want the part clamped in a vise. On the car sometimes you can clamp it more securely with vice grips or something. On brake blocks I have held them with a big adjustable wrench to counter the pull of the vice grips.

Although I have a stupid amount of money invested in various line wrenches, on iffy looking brake line fittings I often as not just skip them and go straight to the vice grips. They usually even mark up the fittings much less than any wrench.

I use heat on many things. I've even invested in a fairly pricy little inductive heater. I've yet to ever use any on brake fittings, nor do I ever intend to or think it's very good idea.
 
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When you have rusted brake lines and you need to save the distribution block, cut the lines first, they are junk away, apply heat to the fitting, and use a six point socket on the fittings, not a wrench. This is best done with the block removed from the car and in a vise. This maybe too late for you, but others reading this, it could save their part. Same thing applies to power steering lines, do not fight to save a junk part by using a wrench. Cut the line and use a socket.
 

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I started this same job last week. Not one single line came loose! At least everything will be new when it's done. The new drums and brake shoes are also a little different.
 

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68 Mustang Coupe
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The ones that look decent at the dis block can be removed with a line wrench and vice grips clamped over the line wrench if there's room.
 

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Where you have room and you want to save the nut part of the fitting, use a tubing wrench AND vise grips.
Clamp the tubing wrench shut onto the nut with the vise grips. wrench cannot flex open and round the nut.
 

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When you have rusted brake lines and you need to save the distribution block, cut the lines first, they are junk away, apply heat to the fitting, and use a six point socket on the fittings, not a wrench. This is best done with the block removed from the car and in a vise. This maybe too late for you, but others reading this, it could save their part. Same thing applies to power steering lines, do not fight to save a junk part by using a wrench. Cut the line and use a socket.
Yes this was exactly what I was going to recommend. I just did this job last month. During my disc brake conversion, even though they were in perfect operation from the inside, I found that removing the hard lines from the distro block destroyed them. Plan on replacing all of your hard lines and hoses. Including the one in the back and the one along the axle.
The biggest fight is going to be snaking in the front to rear line without bending distorting it too much. Then getting the new body clamps on. Suggest making all of your connections while things are relatively slack as starting the threads at the flare end can be maddening when there is side ‘torque’ pulling at them.
As said before cut lines at distro block use six sided socket to get them off. I got mine off on the car using the counter wrench fitting on the block. If you’re having a tough time take it off put in vice.

Get pre-bent original steel lines. I don’t recc stainless steel as it has much less flexing properties and trust me you need flex to run these with an engine and tranny in the way. Regular steel lines will outlast you anyhow if the OE lines went 50++ years. You’ll need to tighten up hard at all locations and keep in mind they will leak and require 2,3 or 4 retights after going through a heat cycle or two. You might even need brass inserts at the distro block if it has too much impression from the old lines. I narrowly avoided this. I had to make some stuff scary tight.
 

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1971 302 C4 auto convertible, Grabber Blue/white/white
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I guess the issue for me is space an access, it’s a fully built cramped car…I am wedged in a tight garage, my goal right now is just to get it on the road so I can evaluate what’s needed. I am going to only replace the damaged lines right now. Down the road the suspension gets done, hood and fenders come off for frame rust attention…I think that’s the time for me to do the other hard lines, when I have better access. The brakes worked good before I touched it but the front calipers weren’t releasing fully.. so far the old fluid is coming out pretty clean, so I think internally the lines are not horrible. I got the front spindles and brakes put back together, just waving on a flush and one hard line replacement…will start the rears shortly, everything but one hard line I’d broken loose, so it should be reasonably problem free….

thanks for all the tips, I have two frozen lines to attempt now. 😀
798771
 

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67 Fastback T5 331 TCI Frt End, Canted 4 link rear susp
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Speaking of vise grips, I never realized how dull my old ones were until I bought a new pair with nice sharp teeth...what a difference!
 

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At the first sign that the flare nut will round off, I take a hammer and lay it on one of the flats of the nut, hit the opposing flat with another hammer. Do this to as many flats that you can access. This usually breaks the corrosion bond between the nut and tube, works around 70% of the time.
For a coupla decades, I've been using anti-seize between the nut and the tube ... never had a problem since.
 

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Cut the lines at the distribution block. Sandwich the block in a vise with some scrap wood or metal if you don't have smooth jaws. Use a 6-point socket on the tube nut with the line cut flush.
 

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When you are done getting the lines out replace with stainless steel lines. No more corrosion.
 

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Where you have room and you want to save the nut part of the fitting, use a tubing wrench AND vise grips.
Clamp the tubing wrench shut onto the nut with the vise grips. wrench cannot flex open and round the nut.
I‘ve used this method a few times when there’s room for both tools and it’s always worked.

In your case since the fittings are jacked up any way, cutting the lines and putting the block in the vise to remove fittings with a pair of straight jaw vise grips is the best advice. Heat will also be your friend.
 

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1971 302 C4 auto convertible, Grabber Blue/white/white
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi all, my brake saga continues, I could use a little more advice.
I got the lines disconnected from master cylinder and brake distribution block
i am currently trying to remove the full body rear brake hard line.
I have it loose from the rear to the firewall, but it’s jammed up behind a ton of things… and wedged between tunnel and transmission.

got any tips for getting it out and feeding new one in?
it looks like it’s under other line, the speedo cable, power harnesses And shift linkages.
what happens if I pull the speedometer line off the transmission?[C4]Does the gear come out? Does fluid pour out? Is it easy to reconnect?

help!

I have a new set of lines, and I ordered a master cylinder…
 
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