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DIY: Challenge Stainless Steel Brake Lines

Challenge stainless steel braided brake lines DIY by M.Bonanni Note : The majority of this DIY can be done by one person, however, a second person will be needed for

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Old 10-15-2009, 01:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DIY: Challenge Stainless Steel Brake Lines

Challenge stainless steel braided brake lines DIY by M.Bonanni

Note: The majority of this DIY can be done by one person, however, a second person will be needed for the last step, bleeding the brakes. It can be your friend, wife, or even grandmother as long as they have the ability to push the brake pedal.

Estimated install time = 1 hour
Difficulty = Easy

Tools Needed:
- Floor Jack
- Jack Stands
- Tire Iron or whatever is needed to remove your lug nuts
- 10mm open ended wrench
- 12mm wrench or socket
- 14mm open ended wrench
- Needle nose pliers
- Brake fluid catch bottle
- Rags or towels that you don’t mind ruining

Extra Materials Needed:
- Brake Fluid (2 bottles)

Step #1:
Loosen all lug nuts slightly while the car is on the ground. Don’t loosen them too much, just break them free so they will come off easily when the car is off the ground.

Step #2:
Jack the rear of the car up until the rear tires are off the ground and you can slide jack stands underneath the frame rails. Repeat for front tires until all four corners of the car are safely on jack stands. Once jack stands are in place, slowly lower the car onto the jack stands and remove jack from work space. Double check to ensure that the jackstands are properly placed and all four corners of the stands are firmly planted on the floor. I even like to give the car a nudge or two to make sure it doesn't move at all or fall off the stands before I get underneath it.

Step #3:
Remove all lug nuts and all four wheels. Set aside.

Step#4:
Open hood and locate the brake fluid housing. On the 370Z it is the panel on the driver’s side marked brake fluid. Lift off the cover and underneath you will find the brake fluid reservoir.


Step#5:
We will start with the front brake lines. First, place your rags or towel on the ground underneath the brake line area as they will leak fluid once you start loosening bolts. Take your 10mm open ended wrench and loosen the two fittings that connect the hard lines to the rubber line that will be replaced. Loosen the two fittings all the way so they are disconnected. Take your needle nose pliers and remove the retainer clip holding the factory rubber brake line in place. Next remove the two 12mm bolts holding the rest of the brake line on the car and remove the brake line.



Step #6:
Immediately install the Challenge stainless steel brake line in its place by reversing the process, however there is a certain order this should be done in to avoid headaches. First, hook up the end of the factory hard brake line that connects to the caliper into the metal block on the new Challenge brake line using your 10mm open ended wrench. Next, attach the block to the mounting bracket with the stock 12mm nut. Use your 14mm open ended wrench to tighten the braided line into the metal block. This will not be easily done unless the other end of the brake line is not connected to anything. Once that is done, connect the other end of the brake line to the factory hard line using the 10mm fitting, then re-install the factory clip using the needle nose pliers again. Use the mounting tab on the Challenge brake line to mount to your suspension via the other 12mm nut. Double check to make sure all of the connections are tight, but be careful not to over-tighten as the factory fittings are easily stripped. Once the new line is completely installed wipe off any excess brake fluid that is left on any parts of the car. Last, check the brake fluid reservoir and re-fill up to the max fluid level line.


Step #7:
Repeat setps #5 and #6 for the other front line.

Step #8:
Now we will move on to the rear lines. They are done very similarly to the fronts. Again, remember to lay towels or rags on the floor beneath your work area to catch dripping brake fluid. Loosen the two 10mm fittings on both ends of the factory rubber lines. Remove the 12mm bolt and the clip holding the factory line onto the car and remove the stock rubber brake line. Re-install the 10mm fitting closest to the caliper into the metal block on the new Challenge brake line. Attach the new brake line to the car via the 12mm bolt, leaving the other end of the line detached. Tighten the 14mm fitting on the new brake line to the metal block. Re-install the other 10mm fitting on the other end of the brake line and re-install the factory retainer clip. Double check to make sure your connections are tight, remembering not to over-tighten and strip the factory fittings. Wipe up any excess fluid and re-fill your brake fluid reservoir as necessary.


Step #9:
Repeat step #8 for other rear line.

Step #10:
Once you have successfully installed all four Challenge stainless steel braided brake lines, it is time to bleed your braking system. Bleeding your brakes is the process of getting any air bubbles out of your brake system. Air bubbles in your brake lines can result in your brake pedal going to the floor and as you can imagine, can have serious concequences. Bleeding your brakes is not hard, so don’t let it scare you, but it is necessary for proper brake function. This is the part where you go get grandma or whoever else you have ready to help you. You will also need some sort of brake fluid catch can and clear rubber hose. I highly recommend a brake bleeder catch bottle like the ones from Longacre Racing…



Step #11:
Have your helper sit in the driver’s seat of the car and make sure the window is down or the door is open so you can communicate back and forth. Whenever bleeding brakes, always start with the corner that is farthest away from the brake fluid reservoir, in this case, that corner is the passenger side rear. On the brake caliper you will see a bleeder valve that looks like this…


There are two of these on each caliper. The one on the outside (pictured) and another one on the other side of the caliper. Both bleeder valves will be covered with a black rubber cap. Remove the rubber caps and slip one end of your clear bleeder hose over the bleeder valve. Place the other end of your hose into your catch can. Position your 10mm open ended wrench on the bottom of the bleeder valve, but do not loosen. Instruct your helper to pump the brakes 3-4 times and then hold them in the depressed position. Make sure he/she lets you know when they are holding the brakes. While they are holding, loosen the bleeder valve just a turn or however much it takes for fluid to start coming out. When you loosen the bleeder valve, the brake pedal will go to the floor but make sure your partner continues to depress it. Let the fluid drain out for 1-2 seconds and then re-tighten the bleeder valve. Have your helper pump the brakes another 3-4 times then hold. Repeat the process until there are no more air bubbles coming out into your clear hose. Next, move on to the second bleeder valve on the caliper and do the same thing. Once you have bled the air out of that caliper, re-fill your brake fluid reservoir as necessary. Make sure to check your brake fluid reservoir often during the process. If you drain it too much you will start sucking air back into the system and you will have to start over. Always keep the brake fluid level between the minimum and maximum level lines.

Step #12:
Repeat step #11 with the left rear, then the right front, and finally the left front. By the time you are done your brakes pedal should feel back to normal or even harder than they were before. Thank your helper, their job is done.

Step #13:
With the new lines on and the brake system bled, you are ready to put the wheels back on. Put your wheels back on and tighten the lug nuts as much as possible while the car is in the air. Lower the car back to the ground. Once on the ground, torque your lug nuts to your desired specs. (I go 80 ft.lbs.)

Step #14:
Before you drive your car, make sure that there is nothing in your immediate path just in case there is still air in your lines. Slowly start moving your car and test your brakes. Use common sense to make sure to avoid any possible disasters should your brake pedal go to the floor in the event there is still air in your lines. If you do still have air in your lines you must re-bleed your brakes making sure that ALL of the air bubbles are out.

Please do this install at your own risk. Double Down Motorsports does not hold any responsibility for problems that may occur due to installing these parts on your vehicle. As always, it is recommended to have a professional install these parts.
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Last edited by M.Bonanni; 08-18-2010 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thank you.
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Haha...I like how you color coded the hardware. Very nice.
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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lol yes, installation for dummies .
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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awesome DIY thanks!! +1
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quick question. The brake bleeding needs to be done with the car running, correct? Or can it be done with the car turned off? Sorry for a potentially stupid question.
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Old 10-25-2009, 03:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It can be done with the car turned off.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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In process of installing ss lines- any torque values other than don't strip the factory- the "generic" statement on the ss line says Min 12 ft lb max 16 ft lb-
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zxces50 View Post
In process of installing ss lines- any torque values other than don't strip the factory- the "generic" statement on the ss line says Min 12 ft lb max 16 ft lb-
Nope, just use caution not to over-tighten.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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could we redo the photos? they are apparently no longer located at the location the OP put them at
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashwebs View Post
could we redo the photos? they are apparently no longer located at the location the OP put them at
Done
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.Bonanni View Post
Done
Thanks! Rep
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Excellent write-up! I happen to be changing to SS brake lines today.

Dummy question...
I'm also changing to DOT4 fluid...should I completely drain all DOT3 brake fluid first prior to taking off the factory rubber hoses? If so, should I be draining from the bleed valves off each caliper until empty, or is there a simpler way?
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You should be alright mixing DOT3 and DOT4. Its the full silicon DOT5 that you have to worry about.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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