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Old 08-23-2019, 04:10 AM   #1
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brake line rusted....

2003 ZX3...was a California car...no visible rust on body...minimal underneath. Was driving away from house and about the 3rd stop...no brakes to speak of.

Haven't gotten into it much yet...but it looks like the brake line going to the rear brakes has rusted thru. Strangely enough it is in a place where it is far away from the wheels and road salt and up behind an alum exhaust shield...the last place I would expect serious rust damage.

Wondering is this typical for these years of Focus?


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Old 08-23-2019, 08:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frednumber15 View Post
2003 ZX3...was a California car...no visible rust on body...minimal underneath. Was driving away from house and about the 3rd stop...no brakes to speak of.

Haven't gotten into it much yet...but it looks like the brake line going to the rear brakes has rusted thru. Strangely enough it is in a place where it is far away from the wheels and road salt and up behind an alum exhaust shield...the last place I would expect serious rust damage.

Wondering is this typical for these years of Focus?
The line most likely rusted from the inside out. Brake fluid is hydroscopic (absorbs water) and this cars fluid probably was never flushed which should be done every 1-2 years.

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Old 08-24-2019, 02:33 AM   #3
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At the point where it is leaking fluid there is obvious outside rust on the line. I think I might have seen this area before but dismissed it as not a probable leak area.

At any rate the line needs replacing....was just hoping I wouldn't have this issue with this car.

Car was made in Mexico and sold in Calif...has been in the rust belt for at least the last 8 yrs or so and almost 50K miles....so the suspension underneath is showing some rust.
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:36 AM   #4
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]the last place I would expect serious rust damage.
Up behind stuff is the first place things rust. You have been driving it in a salt belt for the last 8 years. Salt and road spray get everywhere and being up behind a heat shield actually makes it worse because when you go through car washes and get a under spray or try to wash it in the winter your self you cant get as good at the undercarriage or the spots at least that have heat shields.

Glad nothing bad happened.

This has happened a to a few people that I have seen on the forum.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:10 AM   #5
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Definitely lucked out as far as no accident...I usually actually use the brakes on this car...expecting them to work when needed. When they went out I was driving easy and used the poor emergency brake to get it home a couple of blocks.

I'll go thru the lines and replace anything questionable.
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:15 AM   #6
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Everything is bend to make now. there is a place that make pre bent out of stainless but IIRC those don't fit right, or run the chance of them not fitting right since there were a few different bends and ways the rear lines were routed.

I went to the junk yard and found a clean set when I was redoing my SVT and had the whole under bits removed.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:37 PM   #7
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Braided stainless is for the parts that flexx at the suspension joints. You really want proper hard lines for the parts that go along the body, which will be bent steel,

Also, if the corrosion wa bad enough to eat through the brake lines, you want to check the frame steel as well.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:37 PM   #8
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Braided stainless is for the parts that flexx at the suspension joints. You really want proper hard lines for the parts that go along the body, which will be bent steel,

Also, if the corrosion wa bad enough to eat through the brake lines, you want to check the frame steel as well.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupraGuy View Post
Braided stainless is for the parts that flexx at the suspension joints. You really want proper hard lines for the parts that go along the body, which will be bent steel,

Also, if the corrosion wa bad enough to eat through the brake lines, you want to check the frame steel as well.
I did not say braided stainless, there is a company that makes stainless steel hard lines. https://www.sstubes.com/collections/...ord-Focus-2003
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:27 PM   #10
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My mistake.

Stainless steel is rigid, but can also be brittle for tube. I would not do this if you drive where they put gravel on the road in winter, or if you EVER need to drive on gravel roads. Where a steel line will dent, a stainless one might crack, and then you're right back where you started with non-working brakes.
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