Replacing rear brake line on 2002 Suburban

Rolf Carlson

Asked by Mar 28, 2014 at 11:55 AM about the 2002 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 LT 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 2002 Suburban has a ruptured rear brake line. I can tell it is broken between the
ABS unit and the left rear wheel. I am trying to find an affordable way to repair, but after
speaking with several local mechanics I can tell they all hate this job and keep setting
my expectation that it could cost between $1,000-$2,000 depending on the labor, but
wont commit. Also f I only fix that section of line, what are the chances other portions
will break once the system is under pressure?

11 Answers

Mark Grignon

Usually what happens with brake lines is they are tucked into the frame rails or body and due to rubbing they wear through. They can also rot due to road salt sitting in the frame rails and the brake lines simply deteriorating. It is always recommended to replace the whole line and it is in fact labor intensive. I have personally replaced sections of brake lines using compression fittings, correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think garages will do this due to liability issues.

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Rolf Carlson

Thanks. When you say "whole line" do you mean all of the brake lines coming from the master cylinder and to all wheels?

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Mark Grignon

No, just the one that is necessary. An inspection of the others would not be a bad idea. Once you find the cause of the leaking on the bad line, I would thoroughly inspect the others to verify the same issues aren't plaguing the others.

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Rolf Carlson



And just FYI, that line doesn't run all the way from the master cylinder, it comes from the ABS unit which is about halfway back on the dirvers side. If it's like a Tahoe, it's a bit tricky to get that line routed up over the frame. Can't see it being 1-2K though....

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Rolf Carlson

OK... I have an update. my local mechanic replaced the bad brake line and also replaced the two front calipers because the bleeder screws were trashed. He did not change any pads or rotors on any wheels. He did bleed all four wheels. However the brakes are very soft and operating at 50% in my opinion. My mechanic inspected all the other brake lines and he said they are of course rusty but none of them are wet, which would indicate they are about to go. What is causing the brakes to be so soft? I am going to replace the pads and rotors on probably all four wheels, but I know that wont improve the soft pedal and lack of stopping power. Are the rear calipers likely frozen? and could that be causing the soft pedal / lack of braking power? Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks.

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Rolf Carlson

Update... I just replaced the rear pads and rotors, the calipers seemed fine, the pistons pushed back in without too much effort. The left rear pads were shot and part of the pad was actually gone, the right rear not so much, but caught it just in time. I was almost certain I had fixed the problem, but the pedal is still fairly soft. The braking power is much improved, but the pedal is not firm. Maybe I need to re-bleed the line? ... any thoughts

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Wayne Weaver

The front brake lines are made of rubber from the caliper to the frame (about 1 foot long). Throughout time this rubber expands and causes brakes to expand (become spongy when you press down on the pedal). Replace the rubber hoses and give all four wheels a really good brake bleed and then the brakes will once again become tight....

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Chris Saffran

Hello from the info I got from one of my friends who owns his own shop when you bleed the brakes you have to also have the truck hooked to the OBD2 scanner so you can reprogram as you bleed the brakes because if not you will have a spongy brake pedal and lack of stopping power because I am working on removing all the brake lines in my 2000 suburban K1500 LT model the Maine line going to the back wheels broke on mine as well but with further inspection I pulled one of my front lines out of the clips that holds it to the frame and it started leaking right at that point so I am not putting standard steel lines back in I ordered stainless steel lines they should outlast the life of the truck after They are all in

Allan White

I've just lost the main line running from the abs to rear axle,not fooling around chasing rotted lines.I ordered the Dorman stainless kit for $70 shipped,ordered stainless lines for each corner to replace 15 year old rubber. Rears all replaced will do fronts this week..A soft pedal after traditional bleeding is probably the abs unit needing to be bled out,can use a good scanner,or trip then bleed each caliper again...It can be tedious with these gm's...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Tommy Hales

in order to not have soft pedal after replacing a brake lin push the calipers involved back like you replaced the pads and don't start the engine before you pump the brakes up th first time , this will cause a soft pedal.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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