97 Brake Lines

Discussion in '1993 - 1997 Ford Ranger' started by luteplayers, May 25, 2012.

  1. luteplayers

    luteplayers New Member

    My 97 2.3L has sprung a leak in the rear brake line. Just a quick look shows that it is leaking near the rear end on the right hand side. I am thinking that I should just replace all of the lines. Looking around for parts and I am seeing that the front left hydraulic hose is different for 4 wheel abs and 2 wheel abs. While searching I also have come across statements that the only models that have 4 wheel abs are the 4.0L. I am guessing that I have just Rear abs.

    It looks like I will need a left and right front hose, for the rear I have found 2 different hoses ZZL0 43 810 which is listed as rear, and ZZM0-43-810 which is listed as rear center. Do I need both of these for the rear, they look like the same hose.

    For the hardlines, would I be better off getting the 3/16 line and a cutter, bender and flaring tool, or are those lines readily available from my local autozone?

    I have done rotors/pads and hubs and shocks and bushings and such on my vehicles, but this will be my first brake job. Want to make sure the thing stops when I am done.

    Not sure if this should be in this forum or the Maintenance forum.
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  3. Hooligan

    Hooligan Rangerholic!!

    Welcome to the site. Most Auto parts stores I know can or will actually bend and flare the lines for you specific to your vehicle so make some phone calls. I am not sure on the hoses, I think your best bet to be absolutely sure they are correct for your truck would be to verify it with a dealer using your VIN#. I think it is the safest bet for you so you can not go wrong.
  4. cvar

    cvar New Member

    Grab a drink & sit, cuz this will take a while...

    I'm almost done replacing my brake lines, right now. My '97 4x4 had horribly rusty hard lines & hose connectors, so I replaced them all. Yup, rusted through & my brake fluid leaked at rear diff. Mine has rear ABS, not front ABS.

    Overall, trickiest part is getting your arm inside all the tight spots to remove the old lines and to insert the new hard lines. The old spring-wound hard lines were difficult to remove from the plastic clips, but a flat screwdriver works.

    Buy a 25-foot roll of Nickel-Copper alloy hard-line from Autozone, cuz you'll need ALL of it. That stuff won't rust, and is easier to work than stainless, and is DOT approved. http://www.austinhealeywood.com/brakestory.html
    It's so easy to bend by hand, and easy to flare with Autozone's rental double-flaring tool. I never did flaring before, but turns out it's easy http://www.carcraft.com/howto/50919/index.html

    WARNING: Ford used different size fittings in various places: 3/8"-24 SAE everywhere EXCEPT at the 4 wheels, and the 2 at MC, and 1 at RABS input side. And MC itself uses 2 metric BUBBLE flares, but everywhere else uses SAE inverted flare.

    The brake fittings at all 4 wheels (ie, calipers & Wheel Cyls) are all 7/16"-24 SAE with "Inverted" (aka "double") flare. The 2 fittings at the MC are METRIC and have BUBBLE flare (not INV flare). The MC front hard line uses a 10-1.0 metric fitting (that's 10mm dia. with 1.0 mm thread pitch). The MC rear line uses 12-1.0 metric fitting (12mm dia. with 1.0 pitch). The FAR ends of both MC hard lines are different than MC ends (thanks, Ford), since the MC (metric/bubble-flare) front line ends at the LF hose which is 3/8"-24 SAE inv-flare (not metric, not bubble-flare) fitting. The MC (metric/bubble-flare) rear line ends at the RABS input which is 7/16"-24 SAE (not metric/bubble-flare) fitting. Mixed ends: go figure!

    Tip: For those 2 MC lines, I bought a 60" and 40" pre-made Ni-Cu hard line w/ BUBBLE flare, and cut off the furthest end so I could INV-flare it. I can't make a bubble flare, so this worked.

    The hard-line between 2 front hoses is tricky to run (my arm isn't U-jointed), but it uses 3/8"-24 SAE inverted-flare fittings at both ends. Yay! The 2 front rubber hoses came with copper crush washers for the (reused) banjo bolt at the caliper ends. But no clips. Awk! The metal spring clips holding on the front hoses are impossible to get from Ford, or anyplace else (local or internet). Ford said "discontinued". So I wire-brushed & painted them for reuse. They MIGHT (?) be Dorman #13987. The rear hose clip is Dorman #HW1457. Hard line from RABS (the RABS is underneath, by driver's feet) to the rear hose has 3/8"-24 SAE fittings at both ends. Best to remove the pickup box and drop the gas tank to run this long line. Hard lines along axles at rear hose use 3/8"-24 SAE fittings at HOSE ends, and 7/16"-24 SAE fittings at wheel cylinder ends. These 2 hard-lines are easiest to make & install, so start there.

    Those plastic clips originally held a spring-wound hard line (1/4" OD), so the new 3/16" line is too small to be held firmly by them. So I used electrical tape, or some hard plastic tubing from Home Depot, to make the new line thick enough for the clips.

    When I will replace my last hard-line, I'll need to bleed all brake lines, and also the RABS has its own bleed screw too (at its top front corner).

    Tip: To remove all the OLD fittings, easy way is to snip off the hard-line, then use 6-point (not 12-point) socket to remove the fitting. This avoids stripping/rounding corners of the nut flats. I had to replace the rear WC cuz I didn't use 6-point socket for that bleeder screw. Lesson learned! Grrr.

    Tip: A short 2"x4" pressing on brake pedal half-way will close MC ports, which avoids losing all brake fluid & leaking from MC reservoir when you remove MC lines.

    I removed 1 hard line at a time, and shaped its replacement at the workbench. The 11-foot long line (to rear) was the only one shaped in place.

    Overall, This is an easy, but loooong job. Along the way, I've learned a lot.

    Here are my photos... http://imgur.com/a/sUnMy
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  5. El Camino Man

    El Camino Man Thank The Lord For BBFs!

    New members helping new members lol. Awesome job! Great write up!
  6. OP

    luteplayers New Member


    Yay, my truck stops again. Everywhere I looked online kept talking about a rear flex hose. I guess that is if you have disc brakes in the rear. I got a couple of 30 inch nickel copper bendable hardlines to go from the junction atop the rear end to the rear wheels. Didn't break any bleeder screws. I decided not to do the whole shooting match this time around. Truck is only used for runs to the hardware store and dump. Bigger problem I have is a code p1443 but that will be a different post. Bookmarking this one in case I decide to do the rest of the lines.
  7. cvar

    cvar New Member

    Yeah, being able to stop does feel good. :)

    My rear line sprung a leak. Have you inspected your front brake lines? Mine were badly rusted, just like the rear. I didn't wanna risk front lines bursting exactly when I need to slam on brakes in a panic, some day. I'm just sayin'.

    Meanwhile, with bed off, I also discovered my rear leaf-spring hangers & shackles had rusted away. Yikes! That's my next job. Sigh. Then comes the rear cross-member that also rusted away. Maintenance never ends.

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