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Author Topic: Fabtech lift tore my brake lines?!  (Read 303 times)
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WhoAteMySoup
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« on: 10/10/17 10:08 am »

I have been debating on whether I should put this post in the Problems: Brakes section, but given that I am fairly confident this is related to my lift kit I am going to leave this here:
In the beginning of this year I got my Avalanche lifted with a 6” Fabtech lift. I went with the Fabtech as it one of the few lifts compatible with the autoride shocks found in the LTZ models. A few month after the kit installation, as I was driving to a camping trip weekend I noticed that my brake fluid pressure was dropping, pulled off at the first available exit and found that my brake fluid is spewing out of the rear brake line junction (right over the axle, from where it separates into rear left and rear right). I was towed to a Chevy dealership I found in the area, and they told me that the lift kit puts extra stress on the brake lines and thus it ruptured one of the fittings at the brake line junction. At the time I was not completely convinced because the junction is attached to the axle and I don’t see how extra suspension travel should make any difference on the wear of brake lines. Anyway, the dealership fixed the brake lines and re-routed them to supposedly “relieve” extra stresses. A couple of month after this happened my brake lines tore again, I mean the brake line was snapped out clean from out of the junction. Again, I was stranded far away from my house and my destination, and this time I got quite a scare because I only noticed the problem as I crested over a pass, and actually needed my brakes to work. The place that worked on the vehicle (not a Chevy dealership), told me the same thing: the lift kit is putting extra stress on the brake lines. They did a much better job of rerouting the lines then the dealer could.
Here is my situation: there was no mention about having to reroute your brake lines when installing the lift kit in Fabtech documentation to my knowledge; I could not find any information online pertaining to this problem; the owner of the shop that installed the lift kit is somewhat baffled by this situation; Ignoring the trouble I went through by being stranded far away from home, and the dangerous situation of having your brakes give out on mountain roads, I am now out of nearly 2K I had to pay for the diagnostics/repair/fabrication of custom brake lines.
I am looking to recoup the full or partial cost I had to pay for the repair of the brake lines. What do you folks think I should do? I was planning on talking to the owner of the shop that did the install, and asking him to recoup the cost of at least one of the repair jobs I had to undergo, or alternatively giving that money as credit towards future mods.
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2011 Black Avalanche LTZ.
6" Fabtech Lift, Trail Ready Front bumper, 2.25" leveling kit by Ready Lift, Corsa Touring exhaust, K&N air intake, KMC XD Bully wheels in 285/70/17 Toyo ATs, full tune with AFM/DOD delete. Alpine X-009GM with front camera for no good reason.
Randy
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« Reply #1 on: 10/10/17 08:57 pm »

IMO... It would be up to the installer to verify if the OEM brake lines at each wheel and rear drop have enough length not bind or be stretched through out the suspension travel either by adjusting the stock line rerouting/mounting or replacing them with longer lines. Doesn't matter even if it does not say anything in the instructions..
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Chevymike2003
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« Reply #2 on: 10/10/17 09:31 pm »

Definitely say the shop who installed the lift kit is responsible. If they took on the job they should have been competent enough to look out for anything that could be a possible issue. I don't install lifts at my shop but I have had a couple customers with lifted trucks we've worked on and you can often see the strain on the lines. On one we replaced the rubber lines at the calipers with custom steel braided lines that are a bit longer and more heavy duty to avoid any possible safety issues.
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2003 Avalanche
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« Reply #3 on: 10/10/17 11:41 pm »

I thought it was just me because I know nothing about lifts but I know enough to know you have to replace the brake lines with longer ones. Russell makes longer ones.
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WhoAteMySoup
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« Reply #4 on: 10/11/17 08:45 am »

So let me confirm this, because I am definitely not an expert on building off road rigs: is it common knowledge that when installing a lift kit, longer brake lines are required?
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2011 Black Avalanche LTZ.
6" Fabtech Lift, Trail Ready Front bumper, 2.25" leveling kit by Ready Lift, Corsa Touring exhaust, K&N air intake, KMC XD Bully wheels in 285/70/17 Toyo ATs, full tune with AFM/DOD delete. Alpine X-009GM with front camera for no good reason.
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« Reply #5 on: 10/11/17 12:36 pm »

So let me confirm this, because I am definitely not an expert on building off road rigs: is it common knowledge that when installing a lift kit, longer brake lines are required?

Maybe not common knowledge, but certainly reasonable to assume. You'd think the shop who installed the lift would have some input on it. If you had only done a leveling kit or a 2" body lift, maybe not necessary. But 6" seems like quite a bit, and you know that the suspension unloads even more, especially if your off road.
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Bill
2005 Avalanche, 4x4, Z-71 1500, 5.3 liter, 4.10 rear, upgraded 4L60E.
Mods: Heated cloth seats, Pioneer stereo, 2 Kicker subwoofers, MB Quart speakers, tinted front windows, removed Z71 decals, Flowmaster 50, All4On, Amber DRLs, CAI, Maglite, wrapped steering wheel, Indoor/outdoor carpeted the bed & midgate.
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« Reply #6 on: 10/11/17 01:12 pm »

Does it look like this.
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WhoAteMySoup
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« Reply #7 on: 10/11/17 02:23 pm »

Does it look like this.
Yes, this is almost exactly how it looks. The Fabtech lift comes with a standoff bracket that slightly extends the brake line junction out of the way.
I was actually in the shop that installed the lift kit just an hour ago. We talked to Fabtech on the phone and Fabtech rep was adamant in saying that no brake line extension is needed for that lift kit, and that the only reason for the bracket to even be there is to move the junction away from the extra part installed with the lift kit. We also jacked up one of the rear wheels way up in the air to create the "worst case scenario" option for the brake line and I could definitely see that there is plenty of slack before and after the brake line junction. The guy who did the install is completely dumbfounded, and not at all seems like he is trying to get out of responsibility, he has installed that particular lift kit on many vehicles and this is the first time he has heard of such issue. So I don't know, as I said, I am definitely no expert, but after looking at the brake line assembly at full compression and full extension, I really do not see how the lift kit can contribute to its failure. At this point I am not even sure what to do next, as it appears that shop followed the proper installation procedure. I got the contact information for the owner, and will shoot him an email explaining the situation in hopes that I might get some part credits towards my next project (I have a new car on order that should get here in the next month).
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2011 Black Avalanche LTZ.
6" Fabtech Lift, Trail Ready Front bumper, 2.25" leveling kit by Ready Lift, Corsa Touring exhaust, K&N air intake, KMC XD Bully wheels in 285/70/17 Toyo ATs, full tune with AFM/DOD delete. Alpine X-009GM with front camera for no good reason.
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« Reply #8 on: 10/11/17 07:13 pm »

Not all lifts require longer break lines, my lift is 6" and did not need them but they were moved and/or relocated. Although I did upgrade them with Russell braided stainless lines (stock length) shortly after putting on the lift.

It sounds like they may have checked them and all looked good. You can buy just that line and a new fitting and hopefully that will be the last of it..

I don't see a set listed for an 2011 AV but the one for the Suburban may work you would have to call them to verify..

07-12    Suburban 1500 2WD    Disc    Disc    6    672500

http://russellperformance.com/mc/brake-clutch-hose/truck-suv.shtml


Good luck..
« Last Edit: 10/11/17 07:14 pm by Randy » Logged

02 2500 Summit White-Loaded, Heated Leather Seats, Sunroof, Pioneer AVIC-Z3 Navigation System with back-up cam, front cam and Blue Tooth. Nelson Tune, UPD/K&N Intake, Dual Magnaflow SS Mufflers and 3" Tailpipes, Powermaster 225 Amp Alternator, Dual Optima Batteries, Full Traction 6" Lift with 305/70/17 Goodyear MT/R's and SSBrakes, Calipers and Rotors, E-Z Down Tail Gate.

More to follow...

22' Velocity Boat powered by 502 BB and Stage III Procharger 750+HP
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