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Preface: I've had my '96 1.8 Corolla for almost two years now as a daily and it's been quite reliable, but every winter, something inevitably goes bad. This year, the brakes have been giving me a hell of a time. Within the last six months, I've replaced both front calipers (right front twice), rotors, pads, lines, and full fluid flush. Last week, I was on my way home from work going through an intersection when someone pulls out in front of me trying to turn left. I slammed on the brakes, swerved, and narrowly avoided destruction but immediately after, my pedal felt like jello and nearly went to the floor. When I got home and checked everything out, I didn't see anything askew, except for a lower reservoir level, so I topped it up and planned on changing the front brake lines since that was the only thing I hadn't done so far and figured that was the culprit. I actually just did that this last weekend and during the bleeding process, I spotted something even worse than I thought-the hard lines running under the car are completely rusted through and is dripping at a constant rate.

I can't do this on jack stands and I don't wanna get raped by a shop to do this, so I found a DIY place that lets you rent lifts by the hour. I kinda know what I'm getting myself into through watching youtube videos, but what I don't know are the specifics. Through searching, I see that using copper nickel line is the best bet as it doesn't rust. Correct me if I'm wrong. Unfortunately, most of the threads here are truck specific. So here are my questions:

1) What size hard lines should I buy?

2) What kinds of fittings should I use?

3) What type of flare should the lines receive? SAE or metric?

4) If I just cut the leaking section of line out, what should I use to cut it with so I don't crimp the line?

5) Where can I find a labeled diagram of all hard lines running under the car in case I find another leak?

Thanks for the help in advance!

-Grizz
 

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On My 1998 Avalon, the lines that run down the underside of the frame were rusted out. They are under a plastic protector that is bolted and snapped on in place.

You need a double flare tool and a mini ( Imp) tubing cutting , Plumbers use these for copper pipes. Go online to see how to use the flare tool.
The lines are the same size as what is up near the Master cylinder. So measure the diameter there.

When you buy sections of tubing they come with the male thread "nuts" on them so you need to buy 2 male "nuts" for each section you replace and 2 couplings. BE sure to put the "nut" on before you flare The ends on the car.

Mark the ends inner and outer when you cut them.. I used 51" lengths to do the full sections that ran down the frame . and you need to cut and measure carefully as you only get to cut once. It is also quite hard to hold a flaring tool as you turn the tool to make flares.. It might be a good idea to have it priced out by someone who has done it .

It was difficult to do and I did the easier sections that were straight at the bottom of the frame .The lines run to areas where you can not get to them or you would have to remove parts.. It takes quite a while to do. and then you need to know how to bleed brakes and if you have lost all the fluid out of the master cylinder It can be quite hard to do on ABS equpped cars.
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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Welcome to Toyota Nation! I can't help with many of those questions, as I'm not so familiar with the braking system, but I can offer a little advice. First of all, don't use compression fittings! Eric the Car Guy did a good video on making your own brake lines.


I hope this helps and that other members can answer the rest of your questions!
 

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1) What size hard lines should I buy?
The same size thats in the car! Sorry kind of a goofy answer but its correct. Take out your old line and have the parts store measure it and set you up with new line. For type there is steel and stainless. Just get the bendable steel. Its easy to work with.

2) What kinds of fittings should I use?
The ones that fit, and the ones the parts store has in stock so you can finish the job that day. :)

3) What type of flare should the lines receive? SAE or metric?
Flares do not come in sizes, the line does. The type of flare on Toyota brake lines is a double flare. Its not worth the time and hassle to do your own flares with a cheap tool. Just buy pre-made lines at the store. I have a hydraulic flare tool that works slick so I flare lines often. The hand ones suck.

4) If I just cut the leaking section of line out, what should I use to cut it with so I don't crimp the line?
No reason to cut a line. Remove the whole piece to take to the store. Dont even think about using a compression fitting to make a repair. They will not hold brake pressures.

5) Where can I find a labeled diagram of all hard lines running under the car in case I find another leak?
I've never seen one. In that line tray, which you probably wont be able to re-install because they warp with age, there are two rear brake lines and a fuel pressure line and a fuel return line. Follow them and it will be obvious. If you have major rust, disturbing these lines can cause ANY of them to start leaking. So dont be disappointed if you fix one and another starts leaking.

Consider replacing the rubber lines at each wheel too. Steel braided ones are AWESOME for great braking, but a fresh rubber one will keep you from replacing another part and bleeding the system AGAIN.

Work smart!

-SP
 

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Lines are 3/16" fittings are M10x1.0 use nicopp lines. If at all possible get a better flaring tool than what I have it made the job much more difficult.
 

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line size is 3/16th, reuse the old fittings if possible, double flare, and YES YES YES CUPRO-NICKEL LINE IS AMAZING. It does not rust, it's easier to bend and form without kinking, and it flares SOOO much easier than standard steel line. Run lines one at a time to avoid mixing them up, you may find that the fuel lines are rotted as badly as the brake lines and need to be re-plumbed as well.
 

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line size is 3/16th, reuse the old fittings if possible, double flare, and YES YES YES CUPRO-NICKEL LINE IS AMAZING. It does not rust, it's easier to bend and form without kinking, and it flares SOOO much easier than standard steel line. Run lines one at a time to avoid mixing them up, you may find that the fuel lines are rotted as badly as the brake lines and need to be re-plumbed as well.
I couldn't agree more.
 
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