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Discussion Starter #1

I had a persistent squeal at low speeds from the right rear of my 97 3.3L. The rim would run hot. After long drives I could smell burnt brake material.

I pulled the drum off and found several parts had failed. The first obvious thing was the friction material separated from the brake shoe. It slid down and part of the metallic surface of the shoe was rubbing on the drum. I'm pretty sure that was the squeal. I discovered the hold down springs had also cracked and separated into multiple pieces. And the wheel cylinder over extended to the point it was pulling the dust caps off. So, I pretty much decided to replace the whole lot - wheel cylinder, all spring parts, shoes, and drum. The hub assembly seemed to be in pretty good shape.

Disassembly was going pretty good until I went to remove the brake line from the wheel cylinder. I didn't realize corrsion had seized the brake line to the inside of the flare nut. So, when I removed the flare nut it twisted off the brake line with it! Luckily, there's a small section of flexible line between the wheel cylinder and the main brake line. I'm hoping to get away with replacing only that.

Now, here's my dilemma... to replace the flex line I have to remove the flare nut at the other end where it couples to the main brake line. I'm really concerned the same thing might happen again. If so, then I'm really in a world of hurt because I'd probably have to replace the whole right rear brake line from the proportioning valve on back. Any suggestions to help prevent damage to the brake line when I loosen that other flare nut?

Here's what I've done in preparation:

1. sprayed it liberally with a penetrant (PB Blaster)
2. hit the fitting with a wire brush (both sides of flare nut)
3. sprayed penetrant
4. used a small pick to clean corrosion on line side of nut
5. sprayed penetrant
6. tapped lightly with hammer on flare nut and base of line
7. sprayed penetrant
8. sprayed penetrant
9. sprayed penetrant

The penetrant's had a chance to work overnight. I'll spray it again this morning before I make my first attempt at loosening the flare nut. I haven't tried yet mainly out of anxiety over destroying the brake line. But, I also have to pick up a 10 mm flare wrench first. By the way, why is it the flare fitting on the other end of this is SAE 3/8" but this side is metric?

Before I do the inevitable, are there any other suggestions/tips for removing this without damaging the line? I've thought about applying heat, but I'm not sure if that's wise or how best to do that.

By the way, I'm having a small bit of trouble with the left rear, too. I've been unable to pull the hub assembly off. It appears to be stuck on the spindle. Anyone had this trouble? Suggestions? Wheel puller?

Thanks, Daytrepper!

1,341 Posts
well to get the side off that you already broke shouldnt be a problem. Just break the flare nut then you can spin the whole brake line and you should be ably to get it off. For the other side what I did with mine(had the same problem) was unbolt the wheel cylinder then brake the flare nut then you can spin the wheel cylinder without damaging the line. You could apply aome heat wouldnt hurt anything but the fluid but you are going to have to bleed them anyway. Oh, I was able to replace my brakes without taking the hub off, jhust leave it in kinda a pain in the ass but it can be done. good luck

3,552 Posts
This isn't meant to be insulting or anything, but you are using two wrenches right?
One on the flex line and one on rigid line fitting?
Just don't let the rigid line flare turn and you should be ok.

Metric and standard? Meh, different suplies usually. NA cars are notorious for that. Or maybe the fittings have rusted down to an "in between" size.

Using the proper flare wrenches goes a long way too. Helps to kep from rounding of the flats on the flare nut allowing you to apply more torque to the fitting.

Other than that, keep pouring the pentrating fluid to it.

Also, how rusty are the brake lines? Maybe replacing them might be the safer thing to do depending on thier condition. last thing you want is a rust pinhole in a rigid brake line. I've had it happen to me, boy oh boy does it make for a few anxious moments!

Good luck hope it works out.

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