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1997 Ram Brake Line Help

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Old 10-29-2010, 01:14 PM
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Default 1997 Ram Brake Line Help

So I was driving to 7-11 before when all of the sudden my pedal went to the floor. I pulled over popped the hood and checked the master cylinder, the front was completely empty. I had a look underneath and saw that the bottom of the gas tank was covered in brake fluid and it was dripping from a line next to the frame rail. So I guess I blew out a brake line...

Reading other threads on this site it seems that the lines that run next to the tank are supposed to be metal but mine looks like rubber. Can that be right?

Also is there a diagram somewhere that shows how the brake lines are routed and connected?
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:17 PM
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There are a bunch of lines under there, including the fuel line... careful what ya cut. Brake lines are indeed steel there. Our trucks are famous for the line rusting out above the gas tank.......

Just determine which is the brake line, cut it off on both sides of the gas tank, and replace that section. Use unions, do NOT use compression fittings. You can also run the line from somewhere forward of the gas tank, all the way to where it screws into whatever it screws into by the rear axle. Less line flaring that way. Brake line is cheap, and easy to come by. Flaring tool is just a few bucks, if you don't already have one.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:38 PM
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There are a bunch of lines under there, including the fuel line... careful what ya cut. Brake lines are indeed steel there. Our trucks are famous for the line rusting out above the gas tank.......

Just determine which is the brake line, cut it off on both sides of the gas tank, and replace that section. Use unions, do NOT use compression fittings. You can also run the line from somewhere forward of the gas tank, all the way to where it screws into whatever it screws into by the rear axle. Less line flaring that way. Brake line is cheap, and easy to come by. Flaring tool is just a few bucks, if you don't already have one.
It's dripping on the driver's side, so I assume that's where it's broken. I just had a look under there again and don't see any hard lines... do they run inside the frame rail? I found the connector on the rear axle and then the line looks like it goes up front over the gas tank.
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:18 PM
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Yep, inside the C of the framerail.... right above the gas tank. Should be a steel line. (solid) the other line that runs down to the rear brakes is the E-brake cable.
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:44 PM
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Yep, inside the C of the framerail.... right above the gas tank. Should be a steel line. (solid) the other line that runs down to the rear brakes is the E-brake cable.
Right on the $$$ there.

I went through this about a month ago with my 1999. HeyYou was a big help. I can post a link to the thread if need be. Otherwise, best of luck!
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:41 PM
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Ok, found it. I started to disconnect it at the real axle and the line broke apart. So I went up front, tried to disconnect it there and it broke apart there too. I was able to unbolt the line clips and unclip it from the others and the whole thing came out in pieces.

I've replaced the whole line from front to rear... now I just need to bleed it. Do I need to bleed the whole system or just the rear? I was driving it when the line broke and drove it home, using just the front brakes I guess.
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:53 PM
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You can bleed just the rears.... have fun getting the bleeders to break loose..... (LOTS of chemicals, and tap on 'em with a hammer before trying to open 'em up.) However..... (hehehehehee) this is a golden opportunity to flush out all the old fluid, and refill with fresh. Use a turkey baster, or some such to suck as much fluid as you can out of the reservoir, refill with fresh fluid, and bleed all the brakes until the fluid runs nice and clean. (at least a quart, probably two.) Brake fluid absorbs water right out of the atmosphere, won't hurt to do it now, while you are at it anyway.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:53 PM
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You can bleed just the rears.... have fun getting the bleeders to break loose..... (LOTS of chemicals, and tap on 'em with a hammer before trying to open 'em up.)
Well, you know this was gonna happen, right?

I soaked the bleeders with some penetrating oil and let it sit overnight. I put a socket on the bleeder and tried to crack it, it snapped right off. So then I decided I might as well replace both rear wheel cylinders, off I went to Auto Zone. When I got back I tried to disconnect the brake lines from the cylinders and the fittings on both ends broke off. So back to Auto Zone.

I spent my day either under the truck or running back and forth to the auto parts store. Had some issues getting the brakes back together- I wound up with an extra part that I didn't recognize so I wasted an hour with that. Now I've run out of daylight and I've only got one side done and nothing bled yet.

Tomorrow's another day...
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mikelbeck View Post
Well, you know this was gonna happen, right?

I soaked the bleeders with some penetrating oil and let it sit overnight. I put a socket on the bleeder and tried to crack it, it snapped right off. So then I decided I might as well replace both rear wheel cylinders, off I went to Auto Zone. When I got back I tried to disconnect the brake lines from the cylinders and the fittings on both ends broke off. So back to Auto Zone.

I spent my day either under the truck or running back and forth to the auto parts store. Had some issues getting the brakes back together- I wound up with an extra part that I didn't recognize so I wasted an hour with that. Now I've run out of daylight and I've only got one side done and nothing bled yet.

Tomorrow's another day...
Standard operating procedure. The job that keeps on giving.

When I was working on my Van's rear brakes, I looked at all the parts, and "test fought" with a couple of them, before going to the parts store, getting all new lines, (including the soft line), and wheel cylinders BEFORE I even took the first part off. The van has 200K on it, EVERYTHING is rusty as all get out, and I knew what I was in for. I just saved myself a bunch of frustration, and gas...... by shotgunning the job, and replacing everything that I needed to touch. Parts were under 40 bucks..... and the brakes are MUCH better now.... Funny how it works that way.

Extra parts when you are done with the job is NOT a good thing......
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:23 PM
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What really gets my goat is that there is stainless steel hard line brake line out there, but the manufacture wont use it, who knows it may just save a life. I would pay more for a new vehicle if it had stainless steel brake lines and exhaust.I have replaced all of the hard lines on my truck with stainless kits from Eastwood. I hope to never have to worry about them again.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:23 PM
 
 
 
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