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SewerRatz
06-19-2015, 01:52 PM
Well, I was having one of those days. I had a job interview scheduled for 2 PM, and was leaving my place at 12:30 so I could get there a little early and calm my nerves. As I was walking out the door, a customer called needing a plumber right away. I took the chance telling them I would be there early evening that I have a prior arrangement I was heading to. They said they can wait, so that worked out.

Now as I was getting on to the expressway, I noticed the brake pedal felt a little odd, but didn't think nothing of it. As I was getting off the expressway, I came to a stop at a light, and notice the Sprinter lurching forward so I pressed the pedal a little harder and that is when things went bad. The pedal went straight to the floor, but was able to stop. (Now I was thinking something doesn't want me to interview for this job) I did get to the job interview safely, and nailed it.


I limped the Sprinter to the nearest repair shop which was a mile up the road after the interview. They shop couldn't get the Sprinter on the lift. The shop owner looked under the Sprinter to see what had happened. The brake line rusted out right above the fuel tank. He thinks the tank needs to be dropped to get to it. I couldn't get under there wearing a suit. Now the brakes are in no condition to drive it anymore. The shifter wouldn't even disengage the lock when the pedal was pushed. So called roadside assistance from my insurance company, had it towed to the local stealership by my home. They called and confirmed what the local shop guy said, the tank has to come down to get to a block the brake line attaches to.

The reason for this post is to warn others inspect those steel brake lines, they do rust out. My Sprinter is a 2004 with 215K miles on it.

lindenengineering
06-19-2015, 02:50 PM
This is the most overlooked part of vehicle safety inspections.
In Euroland its part of the UK MOT and many other member countries one of the big target areas to inspect.

Come in with rusted brake lines when I was an inspector (1971) and you got a red 'un--refusal to test!
Had then to be towed to a repair shop--bit of a safety violation.
Dennis

cloead
06-19-2015, 03:25 PM
When my rear lines rusted out instead of dropping the tank I ran the new lines around it.

coalminer
06-20-2015, 02:30 PM
Just happened to mine, both lines blew out, thankfully I was able to steer into a parking lot without hitting anyone. Not long ago I replaced the rear end and got all of the cables for the parking brake, which was frozen and not working before. Glad it worked today.....

SewerRatz
06-20-2015, 02:37 PM
According to the dealership some of the Sprinters have a manifold block just above the fuel tank that the brake lines tie into. Turned out my Sprinter didn't have it. They did replace all the lines since they were in bad shape.

Just one question, why didn't Mercedes use stainless steel lines? My 1998 Chevy van had all stainless steel lines. You would thing all manufactures would use stainless steel just for safety sake.

Also speaking about rust... I feel we should file some sort of class action lawsuit about the bodies of the Sprinters. I see so many Sprinters that has had rust come up from behind the paint. When mine happened the Sprinter at the time was only 2 years old, and was told by the dealerships that they do not warranty Sprinters that are used as commercial vehicles. Then why not say that flat out when a contractor comes in and buys a cargo van?

Sorry about the rant...

smiller
06-20-2015, 03:02 PM
Does the rust occur on the exterior of the brake line (due to environmental moisture) or the interior (due to high moisture content of old brake fluid)?

SewerRatz
06-20-2015, 03:58 PM
Mine was from the outside in due to environment. Salted roads every winter

Aqua Puttana
06-20-2015, 08:32 PM
Does the rust occur on the exterior of the brake line (due to environmental moisture) or the interior (due to high moisture content of old brake fluid)?
Not that you asked...
My experience is that the brake lines rust from the outside in. If the moisture is high enough to cause rust through from inside the lines before that time other brake components malfunction due to the corrosion.

The only significant inside rusted brake lines I ever recall seeing were in vehicles haphazardly stored in scrap yards.

vic

turbofive
02-23-2016, 12:11 AM
I just had the same problem today. driving home from a job the brake light would come on and go off,but the brakes felt ok. I checked under the van and noticed the brake line to the rear brakes were rusted and leaking! the van was drivable,so I brought it to my local repair shop. I am sure the fuel tank will have to be removed, so it wont be cheap! I am also surprised they didn't use stainless steel brake lines. not very impressed with german engineering after owning this van for 9 yrs and too many problems for only 115,000 miles !!!:

riskydnb
02-23-2016, 12:57 AM
I just had the same problem today. driving home from a job the brake light would come on and go off,but the brakes felt ok. I checked under the van and noticed the brake line to the rear brakes were rusted and leaking! the van was drivable,so I brought it to my local repair shop. I am sure the fuel tank will have to be removed, so it wont be cheap! I am also surprised they didn't use stainless steel brake lines. not very impressed with german engineering after owning this van for 9 yrs and too many problems for only 115,000 miles !!!:

How much are the lines new?

turbofive
02-23-2016, 01:11 AM
im guessing the lines are under100 bucks, its the labor that kills ya

Aqua Puttana
02-23-2016, 01:25 PM
... I am also surprised they didn't use stainless steel brake lines. ...:
It all comes down to cost.

I have never owned a vehicle which came OEM with stainless steel brake lines.

One trick I have learned to use in the rustbelt is to smear heavy duty wheel bearing grease on any places where there are clips holding the brake lines or ledges where muck builds up. Those places keep the muck and salt wet. I also grease up all of the fittings. If you start fresh with the grease it completely protects the lines. It can also be very effective at halting the rusting if it has begun already. It is worth doing after the fact.

vic

turbofive
02-23-2016, 01:40 PM
that's good advice!with a vehicle that is so prone to rusting I wish i had covered the entire van with grease (lol)

Aqua Puttana
02-23-2016, 02:01 PM
that's good advice!with a vehicle that is so prone to rusting I wish i had covered the entire van with grease (lol)
For my new to me 2006 I cut down the bristles on a 1 1/2" paint brush and have been crawling around under the van brushing grease on everything that I can see which might rust. Anywhere on the frame or lower body metal that shows any rust color gets a good smear too.

I'll bore y'all with another story.

1974 Dodge B100 van with manual transmission purchased new. On that van I used wheel bearing grease on everything. I would retouch once in a while.

1989 just before I sold it I decided that the clutch free play needed to be adjusted. The adjustment was a large wing nut. I reached in to try adjusting fully expecting to need tools of some sort to actually turn it. I was able to just turn the wing nut with my fingers. I was very surprised that it was that free after 15 years of living in the Buffalo area. It was just the grease that did it.

vic

cousi
10-22-2016, 02:21 PM
My front one let go Thursday morning. I'd replaced the rear lines and were going to replace the
front later when we did the brakes. Now I've lost two days of work. :frown:

Oilburner
08-21-2017, 10:09 PM
Any idea, where I can find good diagram with brake lines? Would like to source, price on new. I have one which started leak.Lost brake in my driveway, God, pedal went down to the floor. Not a great feeling. Front, across below transmission. Rust. The other way is to make splices. Not easy being underneath. Replacement with original could save some pain.

MikeP
08-22-2017, 12:54 AM
This may not help, I'm world worst at doing 'Search" on the board or I'd hunt it. But, do search on "brakes" Mr. Aqua Puttana.
I recently noticed a puddle under ours on Lt front close to wheel. Then 'Brake' light came on/off to go get fluid Mr. Puttana was kind enough to tell me what to use. No way was wanting try to go to Dealership or Freightliner, to far away from us. I checked local mechanicour neighbors recommended.
First shop took to said since just short section to caliber that had 'rubber' portion they could get part and take couple hours get part over here and few minutes to put on. Said that short one with rubber from parts store was like $28. Once they had lifted couldn't tackle it since found also was leaking from line from short one to that "ABS" that the shop they recommended a few blocks away could either splice or make it since he could not OEM part in timely matter. He said they might make splicing or just make the lines and be alot cheaper than OEM part.
The other shop I called cause with heat they were fixing close due to summer hours they closed about noon. They said price be about $50 just replace line they would make instead of splicing, since the other shop said hard get part.
After replacing the short line they put under pressure and found more leaks, especially long lines to back. Ended up they replaced all lines. front and back, short and long runs. But, after finding the rest they called and ask for 'OK' on quote of $250 to $300 to do all lines that needed done which they made.
When picked it up they said didn't take as long as figured and total was $285. It was a general mechanic shop that handles all vehicles and RVs.
They said that all lines they replaced was rusted, looked like we been living up north where alot "salt" was used instead of our local road crew's mix of dirt and sand.
"Good Luck!"

LuckyDawgz Jim
08-22-2017, 01:33 PM
Any idea, where I can find good diagram with brake lines? Would like to source, price on new. I have one which started leak.Lost brake in my driveway, God, pedal went down to the floor. Not a great feeling. Front, across below transmission. Rust. The other way is to make splices. Not easy being underneath. Replacement with original could save some pain.


Here is a link to the majority of available Sprinter manuals, I was able to find the brake line diagram for mine in there. Be warned the drawings are kind of generic.
http://diysprinter.co.uk/reference/

Just replaced "most" (soon to tackle the last bits) of my brake lines with nickel/copper lines, I took my time and even dropped the fuel tank to keep the lines where they belong.
I am very pleased with the outcome... But, unless you are not in a rush and have lots of time I would advise to price the stock lines with a reputable dealer who can help you look up the correct part numbers, then it'll just the work of fitting & bleeding them.

Oilburner
08-22-2017, 02:06 PM
Thanks Lucky, so, did you bend and flare yourself, or you just bought and install ready ones?

crazyswede
08-22-2017, 04:59 PM
You could always get creative and run new brake lines through the inside of the van. My other vehicles are Saabs and they ran the brake lines and fuel lines through the interior of the car on the 99 and 900 models before they went to the GM platforms. Not only does this eliminate corrosion issues but it keeps them from ever being snagged by something underneath.

LuckyDawgz Jim
08-29-2017, 02:30 PM
Thanks Lucky, so, did you bend and flare yourself, or you just bought and install ready ones?

I straightened, bent and flared all new nickel copper lines, and replaced all 4 rubber caliper lines while I was at it.

I had the time and patience to do it, even dropped the fuel tank to run the line in the original positions. With an near empty tank, that was a whole lot easier than I thought it would be.

I already had a good quality RIGID tubing cutter, and bought two 25 ft nickel/copper line kits from Amazon that came with an assortment of bubble flare fittings, some bubble unions, a pricey line straighter, and inner/outer line deburring reamer, and a forming tool from Eastwood, another forming tool from Home Depot, along with a cheap bubble NEIKO flare kit... which worked very well.

The key to making good bubble flares is a clean cut, reamed in and outside and then to lube the flare die first.

I already had a MOTIVE pressure bleeder purchased for my Syncro Westfalia that fit the Sprinter's brake fluid reservoir perfectly, and one of Dr A's D.A.D. units to simplify bleeding the new lines.

I am very satisfied with how the job came out, but would not advise that same DIY approach to making brake-lines, unless you have a future projects use for the tools, as I do.

I did take photos of this project & hopefully will get them posted at some point

Jim

Ni/Cu 3/16"/4.75mm brake line:
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B015VCZN80?psc=1

Bubble flare unions:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B006HI66XY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Coil brake Line Straightener:
http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-handheld-tubing-straighteners.html

De-Burring reamer:
http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-tubing-deburring-tool.html

Brake line forming tool:
http://www.eastwood.com/ew-brake-forming-tool.html?SRCCODE=PLA00010&product_id=49074&adpos=1o2&creative=179099107379&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8Ybas9H81QIVWlgNCh0rRgKgEAQYAiAB EgJTifD_BwE

HomeDepot tubing bender:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/GearWrench-Tubing-Bender-2189D/205594196

Flare tool: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00170V64G/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

MrVantastic
08-29-2017, 02:44 PM
I straightened, bent and flared all new nickel copper lines, and replaced all 4 rubber caliper lines while I was at it.

I had the time and patience to do it, even dropped the fuel tank to run the line in the original positions. With an near empty tank, that was a whole lot easier than I thought it would be.

I already had a good quality RIGID tubing cutter, and bought two 25 ft nickel/copper line kits from Amazon that came with an assortment of bubble flare fittings, some bubble unions, a pricey line straighter, and inner/outer line deburring reamer, and a forming tool from Eastwood, another forming tool from Home Depot, along with a cheap bubble NEIKO flare kit... which worked very well.

The key to making good bubble flares is a clean cut, reamed in and outside and then to lube the flare die first.

I already had a MOTIVE pressure bleeder purchased for my Syncro Westfalia that fit the Sprinter's brake fluid reservoir perfectly, and one of Dr A's D.A.D. units to simplify bleeding the new lines.

I am very satisfied with how the job came out, but would not advise that same DIY approach to making brake-lines, unless you have a future projects use for the tools, as I do.

I did take photos of this project & hopefully will get them posted at some point

Jim

Ni/Cu 3/16"/4.75mm brake line:
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B015VCZN80?psc=1

Bubble flare unions:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B006HI66XY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Coil brake Line Straightener:
http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-handheld-tubing-straighteners.html

De-Burring reamer:
http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-tubing-deburring-tool.html

Brake line forming tool:
http://www.eastwood.com/ew-brake-forming-tool.html?SRCCODE=PLA00010&product_id=49074&adpos=1o2&creative=179099107379&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8Ybas9H81QIVWlgNCh0rRgKgEAQYAiAB EgJTifD_BwE

HomeDepot tubing bender:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/GearWrench-Tubing-Bender-2189D/205594196

Flare tool: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00170V64G/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

How much was the total cost? I am being quoted $1,000 (CAD) for this job, thinking might as well DIY and add to my tool shed

LuckyDawgz Jim
08-29-2017, 02:55 PM
It was around $250 to purchase everything that I listed, as I already had the tubing cutter and pressure bleeder.
As I mentioned you could get by without the line straightener and save about $80.
It did take me a few days to finish, partly due to the weather. But, this was my 1st extensive brake line replacement project, I had only replaced sections previously.

I did a lot of prior research and planning... Thank you Sprinter-Source.

If i had to do it again, I don't think it would take as long.

LuckyDawgz Jim
08-29-2017, 03:02 PM
Also having 4 of these to lift and hold the Sprinter high and safely from the actual recommenced jacking helped immensely.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61K-5vEIDhL._SL1000_.jpg

$50 each from Amazon:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GJJZ5NI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

or $38 from HD online: slightly different model but basically the same jack.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Powerbuilt-3-Ton-All-In-One-Bottle-Jack-Jack-Stand-640912/203116783

MrVantastic
08-29-2017, 03:06 PM
If i had to do it again, I don't think it would take as long.

As is the case with any kind of job I have undertaken. First round usually every mistake is mine :bounce:

Any tips from your experience?

Oilburner
08-29-2017, 03:07 PM
Thank you Lucky, very helpful, I am still waiting on my ordered lines, if they won't find it (internet order) I will have to do it myself. I already rented out from parts store set to do flare to try how this works, but double flare only. It did't do it nice, so buying set make sense. Especially this cheap. Worst part is to do it without lift. I understand, you did from ABS brick all the way down to the wheels?

LuckyDawgz Jim
08-29-2017, 03:21 PM
Yeah, you will need a bubble flare, I just had a RIGID flare tool previously just a double flare will not cut it.
Although, someone correct me if I am mistaken... the OEM unions at the front of the fuel tank appeared to be a bubble to double connection... weird!

Just remember to lube that die first and de-burr the tubing inside and out.
Yes, I did from the ABS brick down, that was the biggest pain there are a lot of tight bends getting to that unit.

I forgot to mention that I did buy 2 of these threaded brass plugs to stopper up the ABS brick while working on the lines. $10
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/4116jyszeoL.jpg
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B071GZCLQD/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You can make your own with a short piece of line sealed off one the outer end, and bubble flare and a bubble fitting on the mating side.
Vic has mentioned this in his brake line replacement write up.

These will also allow you to block off a leaking line at the ABS block and get home in stead of doing a patch repair lying in a field filled with cow pies, as I did!

MrVantastic
08-29-2017, 03:34 PM
$50 each from Amazon:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GJJZ5NI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

or $38 from HD online: slightly different model but basically the same jack.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Powerbuilt-3-Ton-All-In-One-Bottle-Jack-Jack-Stand-640912/203116783

https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Powerbuilt+620471

No luck here. $170 + $150 shipping LoL
And people still complain about living in USA..:crazy:

LuckyDawgz Jim
08-29-2017, 03:42 PM
https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Powerbuilt+620471

No luck here. $170 + $150 shipping LoL
And people still complain about living in USA..:crazy:

Know anyone across the border in NY?
or Home depot on line has them, you could have them shipped to a store in Buffalo FREE and pick them up

Oilburner
08-29-2017, 03:43 PM
I have already 1 piece spliced, going below fuel tank to the right rear wheel, done a few month ago as emergency, just to keep going at Meineke (I know, I know). They charged me over 3 bills, worst part, I had to go back to show them, how dumb they are, to not secure the line to the chassis.

LuckyDawgz Jim
08-29-2017, 03:45 PM
https://www.powerbuilt.com/collections/jacks-and-lift-equipment/products/4000-lb-unijack-bottle-jack-jackstand-in-one?variant=39890008772#laH4birfwwqo6XYz.97

Patrick of M
08-30-2017, 12:21 AM
https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Powerbuilt+620471

No luck here. $170 + $150 shipping LoL
And people still complain about living in USA..:crazy:

Montreal has a store that sells unitool etc, they import direct china etc and have almost harbour freight prices....Toronto should have something similar. I also buy tools for one off jobs from aliexpress etc.....bit luck of the draw, my double flare clamps slips unless I'm very careful. My bubble flare rig work great though, cost about the same as one OEM brake line.
I should add I buy blades for my fein multi master on aliexpress and the blades are better than what I can find off the shelf at Home Depot plus they cost 1$ each instead of 10$. So buying online from China can save you plus be quality sometimes.

bryan575
09-01-2017, 05:11 PM
This is the most overlooked part of vehicle safety inspections.
Dennis

So, I decided to have my fuel injectors programmed after replacing my engine with a reman. I drove it to the dealership. They did the programming and a safety inspection... It passed the inspection for DMV tag renewal. I pay up and go to leave... The pedal presses to the floor board in the parking lot. Brake line sprouts a lil leak right where they left it for me. Both lines had multiple points of rust.

I think you are on to something Dennis...

For those wondering the Mercedes dealership cost to replace both left and right brake lines: $1050.00. They waived the first born child charge which was nice.

autostaretx
09-01-2017, 05:39 PM
You could always get creative and run new brake lines through the inside of the van. My other vehicles are Saabs and they ran the brake lines and fuel lines through the interior of the car on the 99 and 900 models before they went to the GM platforms. Not only does this eliminate corrosion issues but it keeps them from ever being snagged by something underneath.
My mid-1960's VW Squareback (type 36) had inside-the-car brake lines... (alongside the tunnel).

Which helpfully informed me of a leak by squirting brake fluid at my ankle when i stepped on the brake one day.

--dick
p.s. probably due to road salt and snow carried in by shoes and pooling near/on the brake line

MrVantastic
09-01-2017, 06:36 PM
My mid-1960's VW Squareback (type 36) had inside-the-car brake lines... (alongside the tunnel).

Which helpfully informed me of a leak by squirting brake fluid at my ankle when i stepped on the brake one day.

--dick
p.s. probably due to road salt and snow carried in by shoes and pooling near/on the brake line

that's too funny

mheat
05-22-2018, 12:34 AM
I replaced the complicated front crossover brake line, was surprised it only cost $15.00 at the dealer.

LuckyDawgz Jim
05-28-2018, 03:48 PM
I replaced the complicated front crossover brake line, was surprised it only cost $15.00 at the dealer.

I've replaced the 2 rear brake lines with nickel-copper, but thought OEM would be simpler for the 2 front. I checked with MB last week and was told that the new lines would be the correct length, but would not come pre-formed/bent.
What was your experience?