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FastWoman

Brake rebuilding time. Lots o' questions!

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Ah, you Canucks are technologically superior to us. Neither Harbor Freight nor Northern Tool have any such thing. :(

Edited by FastWoman

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Thanks for the advice, guys!

Jetaway, I guess you missed that Robftw offered up a new pair of cylinders and set of shoes for my Z. :D So that takes care of most of the rear end. I'm hoping/assuming the drums aren't too worn to be turned. I'm afraid I'm no longer young/cute enough to pull off the eye batting thing, but Southern gentility is often afforded to sturdy, older gals such as myself, too. ;)

FastWoman,

Even better. As a lady of a certain age, you simply have to find a true son of the south and ask him: "These fell off my car. Are they still good?" (Do not worry about a son of the south asking the question that an uncouth northerner might, to wit: "Fell off the car?") You don't even have to know the kind of car, the max. diameter is molded in, but if asked what kind of car, "My dearly departed's fun car, it a ... oh my, a Dangle, no, thats not it, its one of those funny little Japanese models, a, oh my, my memory isn't what it used to be." Then ask him if he is one of the <prominent old money family> boys" and yes or no, run with it;)

After finishing Florence King's Southern Ladies and Gentlemen or Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady you may never have to pay for professional car repair again.

Then again, you must already have some wiles as you've already scored new cylinders and shoes.;)

Chris

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Then ask him if he is one of the <prominent old money family> boys" and yes or no, run with it;)

Chris

Note to self, do not use angle brackets.

The above should read: Then ask him if he is one of the (prominent old money family) boys" and yes or no, run with it;)

Chris

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I know that PA's regs have no bearing on your situation in VA, but you got me curious about those braided lines...

In expected fashion, PA's regs are governmentally vague and do not specifically exclude the braided lines. There are essentially two parts to the regs that pertain to the brake hoses:

1) Brake lines shall be approved for use as brake lines.

2) Reject if - The hydraulic hoses or tubing leak; is flattened, restricted, insecurely fastened, improperly retained; or have exposed cords.

If they are DOT, they should be OK for the first part, but the sticky part is the visual inspection part. The story I've heard is that some mechanics say "Because of the braided jacket, I can't see the hoses. Can't see 'em, can't inspect 'em. And because I can't inspect 'em, I have to fail 'em."

From what I gather, PA's inspections are tighter than a lot of other states. And they've gotten way looser today than they were years ago.

Anyway, thanks for the spur to look into it, and good luck with the upcoming brake work!

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Thanks, ncolz! I've got a pair on order now. :) I have high expectations out of this tool. ;)

Chris, ah do declare... LOL

I've had very good luck lately. I went to the auto parts store to buy an OBD-I reader for my '92 Saturn and was told I didn't need one of those expensive things. They gave me a "key" to plug into the the data connector and told me how to read the codes off of the dash. No charge. :)

Almost the same period of time, I pulled the Miata into a garage with what appeared to be a nail in the tire. They pulled it out and found it was only 1/2" long. It hadn't quite punctured the tire. No charge. :)

So you've got me curious about this book...

Obvious, that makes sense. Fortunately I have a very friendly inspection station nearby. Last time I took my Z there, only a few days ago, the kid who does the inspections said, "Oh yeah, I remember THIS car!" I showed him the prior year's improvements, he was impressed, he checked the turn signals, and that was it. ;)

Hey, can y'all tell me about old brake tubes? Do they get rusty, or are they probably fine? Should I consider installing new hard lines?

Also the last master cylinder was 2007 (probably new, not rebuilt). The fluid is slightly murky. Should I rebuild it?

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Hey, can y'all tell me about old brake tubes? Do they get rusty, or are they probably fine? Should I consider installing new hard lines?

Anyone thinking "yes" is either insane or a masochist. All new hardlines would be a huge undertaking relative to a typical brake job, and would only make sense if you've got the bottom of the car taken apart and in the air.

Also the last master cylinder was 2007 (probably new, not rebuilt). The fluid is slightly murky. Should I rebuild it?

If it's never been dry, you're fine. Flush the brake fluid to make sure it's nice and clean and you'll be good to go.

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Obvious, that makes sense. Fortunately I have a very friendly inspection station nearby. Last time I took my Z there, only a few days ago, the kid who does the inspections said, "Oh yeah, I remember THIS car!" I showed him the prior year's improvements, he was impressed, he checked the turn signals, and that was it. ;)

Hey, can y'all tell me about old brake tubes? Do they get rusty, or are they probably fine? Should I consider installing new hard lines?

Haha! I did something similar a few years back with my piece-o-crap daily driver. I wanted to get just one more year out of it before I retired it, and I knew it "shouldn't" pass inspection. I cleaned it up all sparkly like before I took it in. The plan was to distract the mechanic with brilliance so that maybe they wouldn't see as many imperfections?

It passed, but I'm not sure if it would have failed if it were uglier. You don't ask questions... :laugh:

About your hard lines - I've had to replace the rears that wrap around behind the backing plate. They didn't rust through, but they twisted off when I took off the wheel cylinders. I tried my best to salvage them, but could not. They weren't all the way through, but were compromised by rust and that's why they were so weak. I made replacements from parts store tubing.

If you're asking "Should I go looking for trouble?", my answer would be to play it by ear and give everything a good look over while your back there, but I wouldn't replace them simply because they're old.

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Thanks, ncolz! I've got a pair on order now. :) I have high expectations out of this tool. ;)QUOTE]

Just remember, it it does not work well for you it is more than likely due to the fact you well be using a US version of it and not the Canadian version;)

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I got the fancy Canuck-styled vicegrips. Cool! :)

Now all I'm waiting for is the @$%ed EGR valve for my Saturn. I had ordered from GMPartsShop.com, and they took nearly a week to cancel my order, when I had been expecting to receive the part in the mail. Grrrrrr.... So my Saturn sits in the driveway, disabled, and I have to get it running again before I launch into the Z.

Soon...

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Definitely soak not only the flare nuts but the back side where the brake line goes through the nut with PBlaster. Repeatedly over a couple of days.

When I did my rear brakes, the soaked flare nut on the driver's side came off fairly easy, but the line had rusted itself to the nut and twisted with the nut. Snapped it right off. I had to replace the entire rear line with a used part from Roger at ZBarn (GREAT source for parts).

Lesson learned.

If the nut loosens a bit, try tightening, then loosening, tight, loose etc. to help break the line free from the nut.

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Bart, I had that happen to one of my thermo housing bolts. It was the craziest thing I had ever seen. The bolt turned great, but it would get jammed in the unthreaded thermo housing hole by corrosion. I could NOT wiggle/work the corrosion loose, and the bolt head eventually rung off. Then I had to pry the thermo housing off of the bolt's stump. (It wasn't easy.) Anyway, thanks for the warning!

Blue, that looks far superior to the round ones we use down here! LOL

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30ounce, I've been trying to contact Silver Mine Motors, without any success. Maybe you would know the answers to the questions I'm trying to ask them:

(1) Are the steel braided lines actually STAINLESS steel, or just steel?

(2) Will their standard braided lines fit OEM cylinders and calipers, or would those have to be custom fabricated?

Also...

(3) Is there any reason to think this might be a dodgy business, or is this guy pretty trustworthy?

Thanks! :)

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Has anyone used the MSA stainless brake lines? They're a lot cheaper:

http://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/PROD/PBC08/24-5121

I don't think they've got a protective clear vinyl outer sheath, and I see no mention of DOT approval. Does anyone know more about these?

There's even less info on these, but they're DOT approved:

http://www.jdmhub.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=281208&path=2_626_757_89767_90578

Edited by FastWoman

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Don't know about VA, but the stainless braided hoses "should" not pass the annual state safety inspection in Pennsylvania. I say "should", because lots of people have those hoses on their cars and pass inspection anyway... :

Sarah,

This is from the Virginia State Police website (who are responsible for the state vehicle safety program:

REQUIRED OFFICIAL INSPECTION PROCEDURE

Each inspection consists of the following items – for further details consult the "Official Inspection Manual":

1. - REMOVE OLD INSPECTION STICKER.

2. - DRIVE VEHICLE INTO INSPECTION LANE.

3. - INSPECT BRAKES FOR:

•Worn, damaged or missing parts.

•Worn, contaminated or defective linings or drums.

•Leaks in system, proper fluid level.

•Worn, contaminated or defective disc pads or discs.

(NOTE: A minimum of two wheels and drums must be removed from each vehicle at the time of inspection. Consult the official inspection manual for exceptions.)

4. - INSPECT PARKING BRAKE FOR:

•Broken or missing parts.

•Proper adjustment.

•Standard factory equipment or equivalent.

I'm aware that the "Official Manual" probably contains greater detail regarding the brake inspection. My motorcycles have always had aftermarket SS braided line and have always passed. Granted, it's a bike shop doing the inspection...

I always take my cars to an inspection station where I can observe the process and my experience that they are looking primarily for thin pads, worn drums/rotors, and leaking/damaged components.

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Has anyone used the MSA stainless brake lines? They're a lot cheaper:

http://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/PROD/PBC08/24-5121

I don't think they've got a protective clear vinyl outer sheath, and I see no mention of DOT approval. Does anyone know more about these?

I thought I had deja vu for a second there. You asked that exact question earlier in the thread and we answered it.

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It might not be clear in my response - #3 - that I was talking about the stainless lines that MSA sells. MSA sells lines made by Earl's. I bought the whole 4 piece set. They're labeled with a black tag of what looks like shrink tape that say's Earl's on it. You might be able to find the right lengths, made by Earl's, somewhere else (Amazon, E-Bay, JEGS, etc) but I went for the MSA convenience.

They looked well-made, went on easy and did not require any post installation tightening and show no signs of leakage. They've been there for 20,000 miles.

But they do come with the "Off-Road Applications Only" tag, as discussed.

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Thanks, Zed. No, I didn't know you were referring specifically to the MSA. I was reading that stainless braiding, in general, is DOT-verbotten.

I have to admit that there's a tiny twitch that tells me I should go with DOT-approved. I know this has much less to do with quality/suitability and much more to do with beaurocracy. However, if I were ever to run into someone, and if their ambulance chaser layer were to figure out that my brake lines weren't DOT-approved, then I would be caught having to defend how my non-approved brake lines didn't contribute in any way to an accident that couldn't reasonably be avoided.

At least with the DOT-approval, someone has signed off on the suitability of the brake lines. Of course that also happens, in theory, with the yearly inspections, but everyone knows those inspections are (or at least can be) rather pointless.

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From my experience here in NY most inspectors don't give a damn about the older cars, so they let a lot more things slide..

For instance on my car, i have SS lines routed throughout, i have no cat, No EGR, no charcoal can everything was removed. The car has MSA thermal coated exhaust + straight pipe going to a magnaflow race muffler The rear license plate light did not work, no horn whatsoever headlight switch was broken at the time and did not work, and THEY STILL PASSED IT.

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