SHOULD I REPLACE BOTH BRAKE LINES INSTEAD OF JUST THE DAMAGED ONE?
should,can,may,must - all loaded questions. You are going to be crawling around down there and you are going to be bleeding the brakes anyway ;so,I do them all at once. That doesn't mean you have to.
You would need the right tools and knowledge to do so. I suggest you take the van over to a local brake and muffler shop, and have them replace the lines. The metal line comes on a big spool and they are custom bent and have flared fittings at all connection points, which if not done properly will leak. Brakes are important so leave it to the pros.
Tom - again you catch the flip side. I figured that since he was doing the job that he would know what he was doing and that he was merely asking whether other guys did just the leak or did they go all the way. You may have caught a newbie and given life saving advice, I have to watch assuming knowledge that the asker may not have. I kind of know the newbie that asks the silly question but one that asks a question that could be taken two ways? I may just start every answer from now on with: Have you ever crawled under the car before except to shoo the cat away?
Just wrap some duct tape on the connecting brake lines, then go on the interstate and accelerate to 75 miles per hour and slam real hard on the brakes. If the brakes work, do it again until you notice the foot brake is almost to the floor before braking occurs. At this point you are finally at the final test, accelerate up to 100 miles per hour. Make sure to put your hazard blinkers on so the police know you are testing the brakes on the vehicle. If they pull up behind you with the red and blue lights flashing and a siren they are simply needing to know what you are testing so to indicate your are brake testing, show the police officer the universal signal for brake testing by extending your arm out the drivers side window with the back of your hand visible to the officers line of site, clench your fist except for your middle finger, not your ring finger, and then hit the gas. The police officer will continue following you. Dont worry, he is just making sure you are doing it correctly and signaling others to get out of your way. If he riding to close, he is trying to tell you you need to speed up to properly test the brakes so hit the gas cuz they are the professionals and you may want to indicate you understand by showing the universal signal again. They appreciate someone acknowledging their authority. So when you have reached the correct limit, the police may put brake test strips down which means you are one of the few chosen people they believe have the driving skills to do the more challenging test. You should be proud and honored they have this opportunity! After driving over the strips, put the gas pedal to the floor and show em your stuff, jeff gordon!!! Obtain the fastest speed possible and the final test is when the police form a roadblock. Indicate you are about to stop by flashing the universal signal with both hands and slam on your brakes approximately 50 feet before the roadblock (if going 100mph, 25ft for 50mph, etc) and bask in the spotlight of being awarded an exciting vacation in a remote location where all your lodging and meals are free, a new friend named bubba who will teach you the exciting game of 'how to drop the soap', a close knit community of people from different races who often enjoy pillow fights, ufc fighting in the shower, and a strong interest in any commissary you may have. You will be in the spotlight for a long time. Good Luck and God Bless!
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