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-   -   DIY: SS Brake Lines and Fluid Flush (https://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38365)

timneedscoffee10 05-18-2012 09:39 PM

DIY: SS Brake Lines and Fluid Flush
 
Installed my ECS Tuning SS Brake Lines and did a full fluid flush this afternoon -- did some searching around and couldn't find a DIY, so I thought I'd post one up.

Once I got going, it was a little too messy to take a lot of pictures, but I'll go back through and try to get some more to update this later.

Tools Needed:
  • Floor jack and 4 stands (or a lift)
  • Motive Power Bleeder (or similar, or a friend to pump the brakes for you)
  • 9mm and 11mm open ended wrences (for the rear, the shorter your wrench the better)
  • 17mm wrench (optional - may vary depending on your SS lines)
  • Small pair of vice grips
  • Turkey baster

Prep Work:
  1. While your car is still on the ground, break free the lug bolts all around
  2. Get the car in the air. If you have access to a lift, it'll make your life simpler, otherwise getting it up on jacks is fine (that's how I did it)
  3. Remove the wheels (tip: I put masking tape on them to label their positions - LF, LR, RF, RR - then rolled them into the yard for a thorough washing. Having the labels on them facilitated rotating them when I finished up)
  4. For manual transmissions: remove your intake for access to the clutch bleed valve

Before You Begin
I strongly recommend you go around and break free all the nuts you'll need to remove during this process. You don't want to get half or two-thirds through this, only to find out one of your brake lines is seized in place.

Also, having everything broken loose will speed the process up a bit once you get going.

During the process, keep an eye on your brake fluid reservoir. You don't want it to run dry. If you have 2L of brake fluid, that's more than enough for the full flush coming up, so just keep topping it off as you go. I got through all four lines and didn't have to top it off once, but if you get stuck and lose too much fluid, you'll need to keep an eye on it.

Front Brakes
The driver side has two sensor wires, and the one towards the front will be in your way. Un-clip it, and then position the sensor wire away towards the rear of the car. You can see it towards the bottom of this picture (bottom is the front of the car, this is the driver's side taken from above)

http://tim.fanel.li/uploads/2012/05/IMG_05361.jpg

The front brake line is held in place by two spring clips, as shown here. The one behind the caliper pulls straight up, and the one on the back of the wheel well pulls straight out. I grabbed onto the lip with a small pair of vice grips, and the slipped out with only a little effort. Some PB Blaster may help them slip out a little easier.

http://tim.fanel.li/uploads/2012/05/IMG_05401.jpg

http://tim.fanel.li/uploads/2012/05/IMG_05411.jpg

Set these clips aside, you'll reuse them later.

Now you can remove the stock line.
  • Remove the 11mm banjo bolt holding the line to the back of the caliper
  • Unscew the 11mm nut at the top of the where the line meets the hard-line at the back of the wheel well (just above the clip in the picture)

Brake fluid will drip out -- so make sure you're wearing gloves (latex or nitrile). As long as you haven't opened up the reservoir yet, it won't be too much.

With the stock hose removed, you'll need to get the washer's off the banjo bolt in order to remove it from the hose. This normally isn't a pain, but the brake fluid makes everything very slick. Pry the washer down a bit, and grab onto it with your small vice grips, then use your 11mm wrench to unscrew the banjo bolt from the washer.

Installing your new line is [i]almost[i] as simple as uninstalling the stock one - just screw it back in. The only "trick" here is getting the orientation just right to get it back into the holder for the clip.

Notice that the metal piece in the center of the hose has a flat slide -- that flat side should align with the flat part of the fitting you'll slip it into, towards the inside of the car. The fitting will slide in from the rear of the car pushing towards the front (as long as you're lined up, there's 0 effort here)

http://tim.fanel.li/uploads/2012/05/IMG_05461.jpg

Finally, go ahead and reinstall the two retaining clips. For the ECS Tuning lines, at least, the orientation of the center clip was rotated for re-installation -- pushing in from outside instead of from above. It takes a good bit of force to reinstall them, so head's up.

Passenger side front is identical - except the sensor harness isn't in the way.

Rear Brakes
By this time, my hands were either sweaty from the latex gloves, or covered in brake fluid -- so I wasn't taking any more pictures. Sorry!

The rear line only has a single clip, which is on the side of the hose connected to the hard-line. Again, clamp onto it with your vice grips, and pull it out straight towards you. You'll hit your hand on the back of the rotor / dust shield when it finally breaks free - so prepare yourself for that. (I used the claw-side of a hammer for the second side, which allowed me to keep my hands out of danger).

With the clip removed, again remove the 11mm banjo bolt from the caliper, and 11mm nut from the hardline.

On the hard-line side, I broke it free and was able to remove it mostly using my fingers. Without a lift, this is a huge time saver.

Again, remove the washer from the banjo bolt to free it from the stock cable.

Install the SS line and reinstall the retaining clip.

Fluid flush
Now that your new lines are installed, your brake lines are full of air. Time to bleed. The process is documented plenty - so I won't go into it too much here. I used ATE Super Blue, which makes it very very simple to tell when your line is fully flushed through.

The steps I followed are:
  1. Unhook the brake fluid level sensor from the brake reservoir cap
  2. Remove the brake reservoir cap (have some paper towels handy, it'll drop fluid when you remove it)
  3. Connect your pressure bleeder to the reservoir
  4. Pressure test your system to make sure you have a tight seal. I brought mine up to 5psi and heard a whistle from the reservoir... tightened up the pressure-bleeder cap, and went to 10psi and it held steady)
  5. Fill your pressure bleeder with your new brake fluid (you can do this 1L at a time... I used about 1.25L for the full flush)
  6. Bring the bleeder up to 10PSI
  7. Bleed the clutch line until you see clean, new fluid coming through. The clutch bleeder nipple is 9mm, and is immediately infront of your shifter assembly on the transmission, attached to a small black plastic assembly)
  8. Bleed each brake caliper by opening the 11mm bleed nipple. You'll identify the nipple by the black rubber dust cap on it. In order, do: LF, RF, LR, RR
  9. I had plenty of fluid still in my bleeder, so I repeated clutch, LF, RF, LR, RR again for good measure

Note: if you don't have a pressure bleeder, just do a quick search... there's plenty of info on bleeding the brakes with a friend to pump the pedal for you.

Edit: Detailed brake bleeding info in post #11 here http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33302

Finishing up
Now that the lines are installed and bled, it's time to clean up and put things back together.

Release the pressure from the bleeder by slowly loosening the pump from the bleeder-reservoir (not the car's brake-fluid reservoir). You'll hear the air hiss out. Do this slowly to avoid overspray.

Disconnect your pressure bleeder from the fill-reservoir, and use a turkey baster to remove the excess fluid until it's filled only to the MAX line. Reinstall the cap and reattach the fluid level sensor.

Reinstall your intake.

I sprayed down each wheel well with Simple Green and washed it out using a large brush (same one I use for cleaning the engine bay) to clean up the spilled brake fluid. I also hosed out the engine bay, and give it a quick rinse with some Engine Bright Foamy to remove spilled brake fluid

When putting my wheels back on, I also went ahead and rotated them - since I was at a 10K interval anyway.

Get the car back on the ground and go for a test drive! Get home safe and have a beer.

plac 05-18-2012 09:46 PM

nice writeup. ive used SuperBlue before too. on my 2005 WRX.

PandaGTI 05-18-2012 10:06 PM

Also add... To that... Don't over tighten the bleeder nipples... I repeat DON'T OVER TIGHTEN THE BLEEDER NIPPLES.

Every DIY I've read about bleeding brakes never really mentions this and I'm learning the hard$$$ way.

Bled the brakes on my BBK which all went smoothly, but I guess I over tightened the bleeder nipples with my gorilla hands. Found this out on the track when the combination of hot brakes and overly tightened bleeder nipples led to fluid gushing out of the BBK calipers baking and corroding onto the paint of the calipers. Also sucking air back into the system leading to loss of brakes on the track.

So now I have to buy new bleeder nipples and hope that the caliper threads aren't stripped, if it is stripped then the caliper threads are gonna have to be re threaded. On top of that after I get it sorted out... I'm gonna have to get the calipers repainted.

Also if you do have a BBK.. the nipples will weep a little so maybe it's best to use the inner bleeder nipples so if it does weep it'll be on the inner side that you can't see.

Lastly on my BBK the nipples should be torqued to 10 lb/ft and on an OEM brake I believe it is 7lb ft... In other words tight enough so the fluid stops coming out then 1/8 of a turn tug.

PandaGTI 05-18-2012 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plac (Post 664765)
nice writeup. ive used SuperBlue before too. on my 2005 WRX.

I've heard ATE super blue is bad for our OEM master cylinder and brake booster seals... And it may even be to thick for the XDS to work at its optimum... Dunno if there is any truth to that.

timneedscoffee10 05-18-2012 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PandaGTI (Post 664774)
I've heard ATE super blue is bad for our OEM master cylinder and brake booster seals... And it may even be to thick for the XDS to work at its optimum... Dunno if there is any truth to that.

Yeah I'm not clear on that either. I'm not recommending it right now, just happens to be what I used.

Some folks on the MKV forum had bad experiences after a long while.

Going to research and may flush it through with something else. Had 2L unopened in my garage already, so I used it.

FWIW, I've asked about it on this forum before and was told its fine and people here use it...

timneedscoffee10 05-18-2012 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PandaGTI (Post 664773)
Also add... To that... Don't over tighten the bleeder nipples... I repeat DON'T OVER TIGHTEN THE BLEEDER NIPPLES.
.

Good tip! Sorry you learned the hard way. I definitely just "closed" it - didn't give it much more than a gentle tug to make sure it was snugged up.

veedoubleme 05-18-2012 10:29 PM

Thank you — perfect timing! I have new SS brake lines and Motul fluid to install. Sub'd!

timneedscoffee10 05-19-2012 07:56 AM

Updated the original post with a link to a very thorough bleed process for our cars.

Also, here's my original post from last July asking about the ATE Super Blue: http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21987

Seems like at least a couple people, including Bender, were using it. Still looking for newer info, but don't see anything bad about it here (will check vortex next)

Bender 05-31-2012 12:48 PM

I have been running it for 18 months or so with no issue. In fact it is getting flushed and replaced by more super blue next week.

rowdyzombie 06-17-2012 01:02 PM

clutch ?
 
Hi, I've always done my brake fluid every two years on my VW's using gravity method/pedal, usually for only about 10 bucks.

I've always been intimidated by the clutch bleeder, it looks like it's surrounded by plastic from the slave cylinder. So, I skip the clutch as I figure the fluid will mix with the fresh over time and that's good enough.

Any tips on how this nipple came off? How do you get a 7 mm wrench around it ? :)

timneedscoffee10 06-17-2012 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rowdyzombie (Post 700894)
Hi, I've always done my brake fluid every two years on my VW's using gravity method/pedal, usually for only about 10 bucks.

I've always been intimidated by the clutch bleeder, it looks like it's surrounded by plastic from the slave cylinder. So, I skip the clutch as I figure the fluid will mix with the fresh over time and that's good enough.

Any tips on how this nipple came off? How do you get a 7 mm wrench around it ? :)

Which nipple? None of them come off, you just open them up... And mine were all 11mm, except the clutch which was 9mm. Don't recall needing a 7.

As for bleeding the clutch, its very simple... The plastic around it isn't going to break on you. Actually, the clutch bleed nipple was the easiest of them, I assume since it's not exposed to the same elements or heat as the brake bleed nipples.


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f00kie 06-17-2012 07:30 PM

So I replaced my brake lines with SS lines and bled the fluid...

The SS lines were the single most difficult/annoying thing I've done to my car. I would not do it again if I had known how painful it would have been, nor would I recommend anyone else to do it unless you really know what you're doing. That bolt that attaches the SS line to car was a bitch to get off, especially on the rear wheels. I hope I tightened them up enough...

rowdyzombie 06-17-2012 07:41 PM

clutch
 
Hi, thanks for response. I'll have to look at it better, as I thought it looked like my 02 337 which had plastic around the clutch nipple. If I can just wrench it then I'm up for doing the job and not paying anyone else.

timneedscoffee10 06-17-2012 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by f00kie (Post 701212)
So I replaced my brake lines with SS lines and bled the fluid...

The SS lines were the single most difficult/annoying thing I've done to my car. I would not do it again if I had known how painful it would have been, nor would I recommend anyone else to do it unless you really know what you're doing. That bolt that attaches the SS line to car was a bitch to get off, especially on the rear wheels. I hope I tightened them up enough...

This is why I recommend going around and braking everything free before getting started on this job. These nuts and bolts can seize up easily with all the heat applied to them regularly, and being so exposed to the elements. PB blaster is your friend, let it soak a good bit, then break everything loose and snug it right back up. If you can't break everything loose - do not start replacing anything!!

Sorry yours was such a bitch. Mine gave me very little trouble.


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