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Working on an 18 year old VW, I need to replace the rear brake caliper. To do that I need to remove a section of hard brake line between the flex line and the caliper itself - see pictures below.

I’m using an open ended wrench as recommended and actually have no trouble loosening the top nut in the picture, it’s not stripping or anything - but as it rotates it twists the brake line with it, damaging it.

  • am I doing something wrong, or is it just corrosion due to age?
  • would it be worth it to undo the bottom connection first so the brake line is loose and can spin with the nut without getting damaged?
  • In either case it’s probably damaged enough that I should replace it just to be safe, correct? I just don’t want to make the car completely undrivable until I get a replacement

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Update - as stated in the accepted answer they were corroded from age, one of them actually snapped in half while it was being loosened. I bought new brake lines and was able to complete the job with no problems then.

For the record if anyone has to replace these, if you go for non-OEM replacements as I did you may have to slightly bend them to shape before they'll fit into the caliper. I had to do it and I read some online reviews to that effect.

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It is indeed an issue with corrosion between the tube and the top fitting. If you can get the bottom fitting undone, then that is the best way you can do it now. Once the bottom is undone and free, you should be able to spin the entire tube to get the top portion free. Considering there's a bit of corrosion there, you might want to consider just changing out the tube/fittings with new.

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