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Unread 06-12-2008, 05:52 PM   #1
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Default Fittign Stainless Steel brake lines on a 4Runner

Stainless Steel Brake Lines for the 2003 4Runner by Bulldog

Playing around with the rear suspension it seemed longer rear brake lines will be in order, so why not change to stainless steel lines in the process. This write up covers the front lines and the rear lines connected the axle, there are still shorter lines in the rear connecting to the calipers which were NOT replaced.

I called up Ben at Slee Offroad and ordered a rear set and a front set. I asked for longer lines in both cases to allow for more room to play in the future. The front ones are about an inch longer than the stock rubber lines. The rear ones were more than 3” longer than the old ones (this might be a bit long 2” or so might work better even with suspension modifications). The lines comes from Slee with all the fitting clips and pieces and are real high quality units. The front pair was $55 or so and the rear set approx $70. One reason I like dealing with Slee is that they send real quality stuff with all the odds and ends needed, a sign of a shop than knows what they are doing. For 4Runners Ben is the guy to speak to.

Below are some the old and new rear lines next to each other.

Replacing the lines are straight forward, requiring 17mm and 10mm wrenches and some pliers. You can start at the front or rear as it doesn’t matter. Please note that during the process you will loose brake fluid and make sure that you check the reservoir after each line and fill up as needed. This is also a good time to flush the system to get all the air and old fluid out after the lines are replaced.

If doing the rear remove the spare tire and lift the 4Runner on jackstands with room to let the axle droop. This will make access much easier. You don’t have to remove the wheels of the axle. Remove the retainer clips of the old lines with the pliers. Each line has a retainer clip at each end. Now remove the first line by holding the brake line in place with the 17mm wrench and turn the small end with the 10mm wrench on the fixed line. Once the tension is removed you can easily turn and remove the line by hand. Note that brake fluid will start leaking once the line comes loose. Add the thin washer supplied with the SS line on the coupling, then slip it through the bracket on the axle or frame and connect the fixed line but screwing the small nut in. I found it better to first do the frame connection first to allow fluid to work through the new line and minimizing air in the system.

In some cases you might find the nut doesn’t want to go into the new brake line ( you normally have difficulty removing the old line at this coupling. This is due to the factory gorilla over tightening the coupling. If this happens don’t panic, just get some sand paper and work the end of the coupling down a bit. This gets a bit messy as fluid will drip during the process.

Once you have secured the SS line to the coupling and tightened it down with the wrenches (don’t over tighten it is only a 10mm nut). You can then use the supplied retainer clip to secure the line in place. The clip goes over the groove in the SS line on the fixed line side of the bracket. By using the thin washer on the SS line side of the bracket and the clip on the fixed line side you will have a very secure mount to the bracket. Below is a pic of the front mount, which is exactly the same as the rear mounts.


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Unread 06-12-2008, 05:55 PM   #2
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After a few seconds you will see the fluid coming out of the bottom end of the SS line. Time to secure it to the bottom end (axle end) in exactly the same way as the top end. make sure to route the line in a S bend and not a loop before securing it. See pic below. This prevents damage when axle fully droops or extends.

Rear brake lines:

Once lines are fitted carefully wipe all brake fluid from surfaces to prevent corrosion.

Time to do the front. Remember to check the reservoir level!!

For the front you have to remove the wheel to gain proper access. Again follow the same procedure as in the back.

* Remove old clips
* Remove old line
* Fit thin washer
* Do top mount first
* Put SS through bracket and fit fixed line coupling
* Tighten coupling
* Add new retainer clip on the fixed line side of bracket
* Route line in S shape
* Do bottom coupling in the same way as top
* Wipe all spilled fluid and check reservoir after each line

Front line fitted

Retainer clip and mounting in bracket

Now bleed or flush the brake system as needed. Test the brakes at slow speed to make sure all is well first. Also check for leaks on any of the couplings after a short slow speed test drive. Tighten or fix couplings if needed.

I found the brake system slightly firmer after fitting the SS lines. Overall I like the feel a bit better. The ATRAC seems to have a bit more bite, but I will have to do some more testing with it offroad.

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Unread 06-12-2008, 08:43 PM   #3
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a couple fast tricks-
1. use speedbleeders, they make life 200% easier

2. simply flip the bottle of brake fluid over into the resivoir. you will not dry out the resiv.
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