||The following documents the installation of
a set of Goodridge Stainless Steel brake lines on my 1999 Maxima
SE. The kit was purchased from Stillen for $173.00, and includes 4 lines, banjo
bolts to replace the stock ones, and 8 copper crush ring gaskets. Stillen
also includes 3 canisters of Motul 600 synthetic racing brake fluid,
which is more than enough to flush out the entire system.
||It is also recommended when changing the
brake lines to flush out and replace the old brake fluid. Stillen
sells Motul 600, which is highly recommended for its high boiling point and its exceptional ability to absorb moisture. The three
containers were included in the package from Stillen, for the price
||Here is a close-up of the lines. The
purpose of using stainless steel lines as opposed to rubber is that when
brake pressure is applied with rubber lines, some of the braking force
is absorbed by the hose itself as it expands slightly. The older
the rubber lines get, the more they will tend to expand, which is why
the brakes in some older cars tend to feel a little mushy after a
while. Stainless steel lines do not expand when the brake is
applied, therefore all of the braking force makes its way to the
caliper. The result is firmer braking action.
||Replacing the brake lines on the Maxima is
not terribly difficult, but it is somewhat time consuming for the
do-it-yourselfer considering each wheel must be removed and each of 4
brake circuits bled following replacement of the line. The only tools
necessary are ordinary 12 and 14mm socket wrenches, a 10mm flare nut wrench, a 10mm socket, a
pair of pliers, and tools necessary for removing and replacing all four
tires (jacks, torque wrench, chocks, etc.).
The steps outlined here are the same for each
wheel. The pictures shown are for the right-rear wheel but there is
essentially no difference for any other wheel. The first step is
to raise the car on a jack and remove the wheel, exposing the brake
It is recommended to start with the right rear
wheel, then proceed to the left front, left rear and then right front
wheels, in that order.
||Next, place a large oil drain pan under
the brake line to catch brake fluid which will leak out of the system when the line is removed. Performing this step will
make the job a lot cleaner and will help to avoid spilling brake fluid
on the floor of your work area.
||Use a 12mm socket wrench and remove the
banjo bolt holding the brake line to the caliper.
||The bolt will come out, along with the 2 copper
crush ring gaskets on either side of the line fitting. Discard the copper
gaskets and store the bolt someplace with the brake line when you remove
it. The bolt will not be reused, as the Goodridge kit comes with
its own banjo bolts. When the bolt slides out of the caliper, brake
fluid will begin leaking out of the line. Make sure the pan is
there to catch it. Not a lot of fluid will come out, and it will
not be enough to drain the fluid reservoir by a long shot. Even
after the fluid stops, it will drip for a pretty long time. BE
CAREFUL NOT TO GET BRAKE FLUID ON ANY PAINTED SURFACES.
Brake fluid is highly corrosive and will be guaranteed to mar your car's
||We're working our way down the brake line
now. Next, remove the retainer clip holding the rubber line in
place. A pair of general purpose pliers will work fine for
this. Wiggle the clip from side to side and it will slide up and
||Finally, use a 10mm flare nut wrench and
detach the rubber brake hose from the steel line at the car. It is
not necessary to hold the line in place as you loosen the hose, because
there is a fixed nut on the opposite side of the line which holds it
into the retainer fixture.
||Remove the second retainer clip and the
line will be free.
||Reattach the stainless steel line at the
caliper using the supplied bolt and copper crush ring gaskets, just as
the rubber hose was attached. The purpose of attaching it at the
caliper first is so that brake fluid won't leak out the line as you work
it onto the car. Another mess-saving tip to remember!
||Just as before, we are working our way down
the line again. Reattach the retainer clip to the center of the
||The last step in reattaching the line is to
attach the remaining end to the car. At this point, brake fluid will
begin dripping out at the caliper end if the caliper bolt
is not tight. Tightening the caliper bolt is recommended before
attaching the line to the car, to avoid this. Check the line for
kinks, twists, and to make sure that is is not rubbing against anything,
then tighten all fittings.
||Now that the line is fully attached, it
must be bled. I have SpeedBleeders,
which make this job a lot easier, especially if you have no one to help
you. The only line which needs to be bled at this time is the one
that you worked on. The other three lines cannot be affected by
anything you do at the line you are working on. This picture shows
the bleed line attached to the bleeder screw.
||I just kept pouring fluid in and pumping
the brake pedal with the bleeder screw open (you can only do this if you
have SpeedBleeders, otherwise follow the normal bleeding
procedure). Eventually enough fluid will pass through the system
and the old fluid will be flushed out in the line you are working on.
Repeat these steps at each wheel, remembering to
proceed in the recommended order (right rear, left front, left rear,
right front). Always fully bleed each line after completing the
install, and be extremely careful not to get brake fluid on any painted
surfaces, as it will corrode the paint almost immediately.
Make sure all fittings are tight and the brakes
operate properly before placing the vehicle back in service. With
stock brake pads and rotors, upgrading to stainless steel lines should show a fair, but
not dramatic increase in brake pedal firmness.