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Discussion Starter #1
My 2003 ZX3 developed a leak in a rusted brake line in the center of the car...lost 90% of braking...what was left was the totally inadequate rear drum brakes. Fortunately this happened a couple blocks from home and when I was going easy...got it home and parked it.

Started working on it this spring and ended up replacing the 2 long lines under the center of the car and one short one on the left rear corner. Also replaced the left rear wheel cylinder and the shoes on that side. Removed the stub axle to do this.

When I had all 4 bleeder valves functioning I set up a pressure bleeder that allows one-person brake bleeding. From the point I had the setup pressure tested for leaks and actually started the bleeding process...it took maybe 15-20 mins max. Result was a good pedal 1st try. This is with a non ABS or TractionControl vehicle.

This is the bleeder I used:


They have different versions...the difference being the cap that attaches to the brake reservoir. The cap needs to seal well and also the cap on the tank. I used 10 PSI.

Setup:

1 I used teflon tape at the union for the 2 sections of hose.

2 I used some brake fluid to lube the rubber gaskets at both the reservoir and cap on top the tank.

3 Did a DRY pressure test by pumping the tank up to 10 PSI and watching to see if the pressure fell. It held.

4 They say to use 2 quarts brake fluid...I put in one quart...and actually used maybe 1 pint. The pickup for the brake fluid is right below the output tube at the bottom corner of the tank...keep this area at a low point...and you're good to go...any air you let in from the tank means you start over.

I had a clear tube going into a small bottle...mainly needed to watch the clear tube to see when any bubbles stopped coming in the fluid. Started right rear...left rear...right front...left front...job done...except for the cleanup.

Makes brake bleeding a breeze...worth the price. Could not get the MC to do anything at all until I used this. Not sure how well it would work on later models with ABS and TC.

Glad I tried this device...beats the other methods I've used for the past 30 years....LOL
 
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Further note: I got by using about one pint of brake fluid...but was still seeing darker fluid coming out when bleeding the front calipers...would probably take 1 quart to do a full fluid exchange?
 

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A couple things..........you lost 50% of braking, Focus cars have diagonal braking meaning each front is paired to the opposite side rear drum. There is NO rear brake only possible there. Why you had two lines going to the back.

You NEVER use teflon tape on any brake fitting either. If you repaired using any fittings other than the flared ones used originally you have done a substandard repair that can easily fail. The unions cannot be NPT or compression type, they can blow out or leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I hear the split braking claims...but my experience says otherwise.

The teflon was used on the fitting on the line from the tank to the brake filler cap....not on the brake lines themselves.

I was getting doubtful advice at the parts store and some crap parts. Unions that were poorly cut...so loose that I wasn't sure they'd hold. Baloney about the bubble flares would not reseal after being tightened one time...no issues there.

My advice: If in doubt order your parts online...you can factor out most idiots and troublemakers this way....including the cops who want their GPS bugs back.

Not sure as to WHY car manufacturers are not required to use decent material for brake lines..to have this mostly hidden line rust out up above a heat shield is not good. In 30-40 years of DIY car repair experience I've never seen this kind of thing...brake line rust is usually limited to areas in or near the wheel wells and near the rear axles.
 

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It's the snow and ice breakdown materials they have begun to use in the last 15-20 years, they are much more corrosive. We just started using them in Texas maybe 3 years ago, they are mostly salt now and cheaper for the state to use. Here brakelines never ever went bad even on a 50 year old car before.

The brakes ARE diagonal, lose one side and then lock them up on purpose and look at the skid marks. BTDT on mine while working on brakes. You only have one rear brake line going to the back on any old school car with fronts and backs separated, the one line then tees into a split somewhere in back to feed both sides. Meaning if no ABS system on yours at the master you will have TWO pressure limiter fittings, one on each line coming off the master, they are for backs only and you must have two since the system is split. If like you said only one would be needed. Why you have 4 ports on the master, if plumbed the oldschool way you only use 2.
 
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