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Front Brake Hose Clearance to Tires

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A couple weeks ago I went to the brakes workshop as I noticed too much pressure needed on the brake pedal to get the vehicle to stop firmly. They found that the rotors were not flat, I mean there was considerably deep grooves on both sides, the pads adopted that shape, but the braking force was not applied uniformly. So we decided to put them on a brake lathe and replace the pads and system fluid. 8 days after, had an event where I had to make an emergency maneuver and pushed the brake hard. I hear a pop sound from the front and the brake pedal went all the way in. Pumped twice with the same result and no braking.


After a near crash I parked the YJ and stepped out to check. Found the front right wheel all poured with brake fluid, checked the brake line and was broken. So I put a vise on the hose and drove slowly to the workshop again, we found that the guy that did the job did not check for the proper clearance between the hose and the tire after servicing the calipers and reinstalling the bolts. The tire was rubbing against the hose creating a weak point that was the cause of the brake system failure right in an emergency. I'm lucky, as I was able to turn the steering fast enough to avoid crashing with the guy making a prohibited U turn. Make sure to check on that clearance when you make brakes service or when you take it to a workshop for brake work.



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Excellent point to share, Alberto.  I am in the process of creating a how-to video for performing brake restoration on 1991-up Jeep models with disc front/drum rear brakes. In filming, I devoted several video clips to the question of installing brake hoses properly. 


Many owners have lift kits that come with long, braided steel aftermarket hoses. Sometimes the hoses are too long and wind up rubbing the tires. In other cases, the original hoses with oversized tires can create an issue. Another source of trouble is when the caliper and hose get twisted during service work or the hose is not attached at the correct position on the caliper. 


This is a major safety issue as you describe and illustrate. Always check for hose clearance at the full range of axle/suspension travel (up and down and sideways articulation) plus the full left-right turn of the front wheels.


Thanks for bringing this to light.  I am very glad to hear that you avoided an accident!



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  • 5 weeks later...

This is my experience as well. I have a 2" front, 1" rear lift with 35" tires. I ran stock brake lines with the line frame mount bolt removed (stupid I know) but I am in college so, you know bologna sandwiches and stuff. Eventually I bought Russel lines and they have a 2-4" kit. Now at first I didn't think about the 4" being 2 inches more then needed as the "range" was adequate. Well later I found my lines rubbing and had to buy new ones. Now I have the frame mount bolt tightened to a point where at max steer (left and right) the lines don't rub but I have to pay attention to it. This is a small nuisance but the positive results vastly outweigh the potential negative results.


Another note to take from the OPs post is to inspect all work conducted by you, and especially by others.  

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