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#104232 - 03/29/03 02:07 PM Gas Tank Leak and Brake Line Leak - @ same time!
billsif Offline

Registered: 12/15/02
Posts: 59
Loc: Ohio
well, i was driving my 88 crown vic and hit a small pot hole or SOMETHING, im still not sure what.. i kept driving because it sounded minor, and slammed on my brakes cause i almost hit someone.. my brake light came on, but the brakes were still ok, it seemed. at a stoplight someone yelled at me, "YOURE LEAKING GAS LIKE CRAZY!" so i pulled over and turned off my car. gas was POURING out pretty rapidly.. luckily i only had about an 8th of a tank of gas. i didnt have money for a tow, so i decided to start the car again and drive it to a lot thats free on a weekend. i can work on it a little bit at the lot, and i bought a gas tank repair kit (fiberglass patch and epoxy). im not sure how to fix the brakes, though.. and i need to get the car home by sunday night.

the gas tank has a hole in it on the passenger side, which will hopefully be easily patched with this kit. and maybe ill have enough gas or fumes left to drive home the 2 miles away that my house is.. thats a minor problem

now my brakes, on the other hand.. there's a hole in the brake line on the driver's side under the driver's door. there seems to still be a lot of brake fluid in the fluid reservoir under the hood, and we put the brakes on with the car in neutral and they responded a bit. i'd rather work on the car at home in the garage instead of a parking lot.. how do i fix a hole in the brake line exactly, and whats the diameter of the brake line on the drivers side under the drivers door? what are the steps to replacing it, and do you think i could drive two miles (mostly flat or up hill) back to my driveway just losing a little bit of brake fluid each way? once my car was in the parking lot brake fluid dripped out for a couple minutes, but it wasnt pouring out like the gas tank.. and when we tested the brakes, at first they went all the way to the floor, but the 2nd time i pressed them it didnt seem to leak and they stopped the car (although it was only going 2 mph or so..). maybe i could drive home slowly with my hazards on and my left foot on the parking brake... ugh.. please respond ASAP. thanks. - bill

#104233 - 03/29/03 02:15 PM Re: Gas Tank Leak and Brake Line Leak - @ same tim
GM_Guy Online   drug
Posting Addict

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17523
Loc: London, Ontario Canada
Don't know the line size, but there are unions for brake lines. Cut out the bad, flare the ends and put it together.

One way to reduce a leak, is take a hammer, and tap the brake line shut at the break. Don't pound the snot out of it, just hammer it to pinch it together to get you home. (A, 'when your out in the middle of no-where and you don't have any repair items handy' trick). Buy a bottle of brake fluid, top up the reservoir before you venture out. DO NOT test your brakes with hard braking. That will pop it open. You just want a limp home mode, and you've ascertained you have some braking anyway.
On longer trips, when you stop, check the reservoir and top up as necessary as brake fluid will be leaking out each time you press the brake pedal.


Box stuff in the Box forum!

#104234 - 03/29/03 02:30 PM Re: Gas Tank Leak and Brake Line Leak - @ same tim
billsif Offline

Registered: 12/15/02
Posts: 59
Loc: Ohio
i just read in my Haynes repair manual that the brake systems on non-abs crown vics have independent front and rear circuits. it says "the hydraulic system is a split design, meaning there are separate circuits for the front and rear brakes. if one circuit fails, the other circuit will remain functional and a warning indicator will light up on the dashboard, showing that a failure has occured."

so if the leak is under the driver's side door, does that mean my rear brake circuit has failed and my front brakes are still fine? will i lose ALL my brake fluid or just half of it? i only have to drive 3 miles at the most, and the reservoir still has fluid in it.. can i rely on my front brakes? thanks.. -bill

#104235 - 03/29/03 04:11 PM Re: Gas Tank Leak and Brake Line Leak - @ same tim
1987LTDmasta Offline

Grand Poobah

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 11463
Loc: Chicago, IL.
your gonna lose about 1/2 of your brake fluid if one side fails, but keep in mind regardless, the brake pedal will sink to the floor and braking will take longer than normal. its extrememly important that you brake with plety of time not only to preven accidents, but also to keep the front brakes from overheaing since all the load is on them. i strongly suggest the pinch method for emergencies as this allows a bit of pressure buildup on the line, allowing you to brake more easily.
she gone.

1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria LX (1999-2011)
5.0 liter EFI High Output
Police Package suspension
'86 Mercury Capri GS
'86 Mustang GT 5.0
'92 Bronco LXT
'10 Taurus SHO

#104236 - 03/29/03 06:03 PM Re: Gas Tank Leak and Brake Line Leak - @ same tim
billsif Offline

Registered: 12/15/02
Posts: 59
Loc: Ohio
thanks for the tips. we patched the gas tank with an epoxy and fiberglass patch, and added a can of brake fluid. we drove home and there were no leaks from the tank (but that couldve been cause we were driving on fumes) and all the brake fluid we added came out on the way home and in the driveway a little bit. i also got a couple middle fingers and horn honks cause i was trying to take up both lanes so people wouldnt pass me. youd think people would stay back when they see hazard flashers, but i guess some people just cant wait to get home.

tomorrow ill inspect the brake line, but it looks as if under the middle of the driver's door it might be leaking out of a connector/pressure fitting.. i wonder if i can just unscrew the pressure fitting and put a new one on, and then bleed the brakes.

is it common for brake lines to fail at the pressure fittings? thanks. -bill

#104237 - 03/30/03 09:19 AM Re: Gas Tank Leak and Brake Line Leak - @ same tim
93_Marquis Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 2277
Loc: Norwood, OH, USA
If there is a connector in the brake line it's very likely that someone made a repair over the years. The factory would have used one piece brake lines front too back. If it's a compression style fitting it's certainly NOT a factory part! Compression fittings are not rated for brake pressure and shouldn't be used to repair breaks in the brake lines.
The line itself is either 3/16" or 1/4", not sure which on the rear main supply line. The proper way to make the repair would be to remove the compression fitting. Cut off the compression rings and clean up the cuts making them nice and smooth. Then use a flaring tool to flare the ends and put in a union. (You'll need a couple of flare nuts so that you can screw them into the union) Then the connection will be nice and strong and you shouldn't have too worry about leaks again.

Good luck

Car: 2004 Mercury Marauder

Engine/Tranny: 49k and bone stock...for now wink

#104238 - 03/30/03 09:36 AM Re: Gas Tank Leak and Brake Line Leak - @ same tim
BoxedLightning Offline

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 81
Loc: South East Indiana
You are gonna replace the gas tank right? I really wouldn't trust the gas tank repair long term. At the very least take the tank out and have it welded and then patch over the weld.

#104239 - 03/30/03 07:20 PM Re: Gas Tank Leak and Brake Line Leak - @ same tim
Kinger87 Offline


Registered: 12/15/02
Posts: 7624
Loc: Gladstone MI
I dont know if you would really want to weld a gas tank..
"Responding to a question by saying do a search, look in a auto parts catalog, or call a mechanic isn't being helpful"

2003 Grand marquis all stock


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