SilverFleet
SilverFleet SuperDork
7/13/13 9:04 p.m.

This morning, I was on my way to do some weekend truck stuff with my 1997 Dodge Dakota, and as I was taking a turn and applying the brakes, they went to the floor and my rear end almost came around on me! After putting my way to a parking lot, I found the problem: one of the brake lines that goes from my ABS block to the proportioning valve popped due to rust. Only my rear brakes were working. When I bought the truck, I knew it would be a matter of time before this would happen, so I'm not too angry.

My question is this: does anyone know if the fittings on these brake lines are standard, metric, or some weirdo Mopar reverse thread nonsense? If I can go to the parts store and just buy a line and bend it up and toss it in, that would be easiest, but if I have to I'll buy a roll of line, a flaring tool, and go nuts. And before anyone says to price out a complete brake line set, I priced it out already and it costs more than I paid for the truck.

Thanks dudes.

Lesley
Lesley PowerDork
7/13/13 10:43 p.m.

Hmm. My 97 did pretty much the same, but I don't recall it costing an arm & leg to have repaired. The shop I take it to is run by Mopar guys, if it had been a pain in the butt, they would have told me.

curtis73
curtis73 UltraDork
7/13/13 11:34 p.m.

Most likely metric. My 02 Dakota is metric.

Just take the old fittings with you and match them up. Napa should have what you need.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic SuperDork
7/14/13 12:36 a.m.

If the fitting aren't too corroded, you can punch the old line out, clean them with a 3/16" drill, and reuse. Remember you will need line wrenches to properly tighten the lines, the HF ones suck, ebay has Williams(snap on minus the polishing and highway robbery) for reasonable prices.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet SuperDork
11/4/13 8:06 a.m.

I just wanted to bump this thread up. This truck has been giving me hell this year.

I was FINALLY able to drive this truck again this past weekend. Yeah, it's been out of commission since July. That one brake line that popped turned into replacing pretty much the entire braking system on this truck. I had to replace everything attached to the rear axle (drums, shoes, wheel cylinders, and hard lines), both front calipers, the P/S caliper brake hose, and another front brake line. I also somehow broke 4 flaring tool 3/16'' flaring buttons in the process (lifetime warranty FTW) and lost about 4 days of my life working on it.

I finally took it for an inspection sticker on Saturday, and it failed. They told me that the lower ball joints had slightly torn boots, and even though they are tight, they failed it anyway. Last year, I took it to another shop and they said that the joints were super tight and actually one of the tightest front ends they have seen on a Dakota. I've driven maybe 1000 miles since last year's inspection. I think they were mining for repair work.

It looks easy enough to do them though, as it's a 2WD Dakota. They are the bolt-in ones. The former owner did ball joints before, but he didn't specify if they did the uppers or lowers, so I'm hoping he did the lowers so I can just unbolt the old ones instead of drilling the rivets out.

Anyone have any tips on doing these? Last car I did ball joints on was my 1989 Maxima, and that was over 10 years ago and they were completely different.

Ranger50
Ranger50 PowerDork
11/4/13 8:38 a.m.
SilverFleet wrote: I finally took it for an inspection sticker on Saturday, and it failed. They told me that the lower ball joints had slightly torn boots, and even though they are tight, they failed it anyway. Last year, I took it to another shop and they said that the joints were super tight and actually one of the tightest front ends they have seen on a Dakota. I've driven maybe 1000 miles since last year's inspection. I think they were mining for repair work. It looks easy enough to do them though, as it's a 2WD Dakota. They are the bolt-in ones. The former owner did ball joints before, but he didn't specify if they did the uppers or lowers, so I'm hoping he did the lowers so I can just unbolt the old ones instead of drilling the rivets out. Anyone have any tips on doing these? Last car I did ball joints on was my 1989 Maxima, and that was over 10 years ago and they were completely different.

and that is why inspections are a good idea but complete bullE36 M3.

typically the uppers are the problem ones. I would just goto another inspection station.

Jaxmadine
Jaxmadine HalfDork
11/4/13 8:57 a.m.

Just replace the boots if u can find them.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet SuperDork
11/4/13 9:08 a.m.

I think in MA, you may have to go back to the original station that it was inspected at. I may be wrong.

I already bought the joints. They were cheap enough, and if they are really bad, I'm fine with replacing them. I did notice that the boots were a little wonky when I was doing the brakes, but the joints still seem fine. I may have to contact a buddy of mine from my parts slinging days and see what he thinks. He runs a shop now. I would have brought it to his place, but that's 30+ miles away from home and he was at the Red Sox Duck Boat Parade on Saturday.

EDIT: Yup, that shop was BS'ing me.

My friend said that their shop has never failed anyone for that before. I have two choices: either replace the ball joints and take it back to the place that inspected it, or return the ball joints and spend another $29 inspection fee to have my friend's place inspect it. I don't mind doing the work if the joints are really bad, but if they are fine, I'll just go see him. I hate dishonest shops.

Vigo
Vigo UberDork
11/4/13 10:36 a.m.

Id just pay the $29 and go somewhere else and trash talk the other shop to everyone you know.

Rob_Mopar
Rob_Mopar SuperDork
11/4/13 11:13 a.m.

Did you replace the front to rear line in the Dak? In particular the section that runs behind the gas tank? That seems to be the common spot for line failure.

On the inspection station BS, here in PA the state police oversee them. Occasionally a sting will get run on a less than scrupulous shop to see what they find (or don't find) wrong on a car that just with through the inspection process back at the barracks.

Oh yea, write off that $29 and go to your buddy's shop.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet SuperDork
11/4/13 11:29 a.m.

They do stings here in MA too, but only for shops that "pass" questionably modified cars. They could care less if the shops are screwing their customers.

It's too bad, because this place seemed like a decent place to go. They do a lot of performance automotive work, and they were telling me all about a build they did on an 1100+ hp twin turbo Viper they had in the shop. I took my 3 there the other day too for a sticker, and they passed it no problem, and this weekend I noticed that my tires were dangerously bald. I'll be switching to winters after I get back from the Challenge, to say the least. Not to mention the tires on this truck are really old, worn, and starting to dry rot, and they completely overlooked that too.

Yeah, I'm going to take a peek at the ball joints this week. If they check out, I'll be sure never to go this place ever again.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet SuperDork
11/4/13 11:41 a.m.

In reply to Rob_Mopar:

The previous owner replaced the front-to-rear line and the D/S front caliper feed line before I bought it. That front-to-rear one was the first to go. I replaced the feed line from the master to the front junction block, both rear lines coming from the flex hose on the axle, and the P/S front caliper feed line. The only factory lines left are the ABS lines and the feed line from the master to the rear junction block.

I don't now what it is about Mopars and New England, but they don't last long up here. I should have known better from dealing with my CSX's rust. My 1979 Trans Am still has most of it's original brake lines.

Our Preferred Partners
nUbRoGN3rGcg2zV9JElmCCiWOknLpqCc