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Flaring stainless steel lines

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mustangmike6996, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    Has anyone here ever flared stainless steel 3/16 brake lines?

    I have used the "normal" steel lines for double flare and ISO bubble with no issues.

    However, I tried to use the same techniques for the stainless line (which is way harder) the flares came out ok but seem to leak.

    Looking for any hints/tricks/advice
     
  2. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 6,620

    A Boner
    Member

    A good compromise would be to ditch the stainless, and use nickel/copper. Flares nice, but still has some rust resistance. Got mine at N.A.P.A.
     
  3. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 2,036

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    You should be using A-N fittings with stainless steel 3/16" tubing. I am very surprised you were able to "double flare" the ss tube. Slide on a tube nut, then a tube sleeve and make a single flare and you are good to go. One hint do not use a tubing cutter on stainless steel because it will "work harden" the tube and it will crack when you try to flare it. Godman Performance has all the supplies you need to do the job.
     
  4. I did stainless lines many moons ago and learned that you need very smooth straight ends to begin with. Just cutting it and flaring will usually result in cracks. I needed to file them smooth first. I was doing them for 37 degree AN fittings and bought a Parker flaring tool. Expensive but made a world of difference in the flares produced. I think there are varying grades of stainless as well which probably contribute to ease of flaring.

    I would go the nickel copper approach if I were doing them now.
     

  5. killbilly
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 279

    killbilly
    Member

    Yes,AN is the way to go.a little more expense for the fittings but you won't have sealing issues
     
  6. metal man
    Joined: Dec 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,949

    metal man
    Member


    ^^^This
     
  7. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 6,047

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    I've done quite a few cars with them. First, be sure you have the right type of SS, the double annealed stuff, sold by Inline Tube, or Classic.
    Next use a REAL good flaring tool. I use a Rigid, and it works very well.
    Third, prep each end very carefully. Nice square cut with a SHARP tubing cutter. Use a chamfering tool to get rid if the inner edge, file it lightly on the outer.
    Then flare.
    Some times it is necessary to tighten and loosen the fitting to 'seat' the flare and get a good seal.
    Not impossible, just takes a bit more time than regular tubing.
     
  8. gearheadbill
    Joined: Oct 11, 2002
    Posts: 1,313

    gearheadbill
    Member

    Use these too. Never had a leak since. Called Del-Seal...Aircraft Spruce has them. Dead soft aluminum.
     

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  9. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 2,036

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    I hear what you are saying about the tubing cutter. Even though I bought a brand new tubing cutter I had a problem with splitting flares. After the third split I called Roy Godman from Godman Performance, where I purchased the tube and fittings. He was the one who told me not to use a tubing cutter but a fine tooth hacksaw and file and debur the inside of the tube. I was amazed, not using a tubing cutter to cut tube, but after the hacksaw I didn't split one tube. Good advice from everyone, good luck mustangmike.
     
  10. The type of stainless steel tubing also makes a difference.
    I always specify 3/16" x .035 304 seamless annealed tubing, you
    can buy welded tubing, but for a 37 degree single flare for AN style
    nuts & sleeves, get the seamless tube since the flare seat will go
    directly over the seam. I use an Imperial Eastman 400-F flaring
    tool which rolls out the flare with 3 rollers. Cut the tube with
    a hacksaw and deburr it inside and out before you flare it.
    I always make a practice flare on a new batch of tubing, one time
    I got a piece of 316 and it bent OK, but it cracked when you tried
    to flare it.

    John
     
  11. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,390

    Dan Timberlake
    Member

    SAE double flare is 45 degrees.
    I would not knowingly use 37 degree flared tubing with 45 degree brake components (master cylinder, wheel cylinders or nuts).

    SAE double flare and european bubble flare do not stretch the cut off opening very much. All the stretching when forming the flare happens in continuous metal a little back back from the cut end. It is much more difficult to tear, rip, or crack continuous material than an edge, so I think they are much safer than single flared tubing.
    I have seen a few single flares in copper tubing on home water and gas(!) systems very thin and cracked, so are too scared to use them on brakes and gas lines, even though non-FI gas line fuel pressure is essentially zero
     
  12. Normal Norman
    Joined: Aug 9, 2006
    Posts: 510

    Normal Norman
    Member
    from Goshen IN.

    I used a 45 degree flare tool for stainless steel and it split every time. The only time I could get away with that set up was on aluminum tubing I used for fuel lines with a/n tube fittings. But I've learned a lot on this thread ,thanks for asking the question Mustangmike. And thanks to all who answered. N.N.
     
  13. Bert Kollar
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,128

    Bert Kollar
    Member

    I haven't tried this yet but a friend told me he double flared stainless lines by annealing the tube first with low flame and it flared perfectly. keep forgetting to try this but it does sound feasible.
     
  14. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    I worked on this for 4 strait day while on home during leave. The car is in MI and im stationed in NC soooooo I only get to work on it 2-3 times a year right now.

    I have a Matco, OTC, and no-name brand kit (double and bubble flares) Im using Inline tubing SS 3/16. I went thru about 35 feet to do the whole car. I have tried everything including most of what was recommended in prior posts. I am very anal about brake lines and flare (which is one of the most upsetting things when it leaks after spending so much time with it)

    I always cut the tubing with a sharp cutter or saw. I file it completely square (sometimes in the holding fixture to assure its square to the tool) I file each edge, use the chamfer end of the cutter for the inner diameter, and blow the lines out. I even tried heating the lines up with some propane to soften them up.

    The fittings that are leaking (about 5 of the 12 total on the car) were flared at least 3-5 times each. Im at the point where I will need to purchase more line because I cant work those lines anymore without making them too short.

    So it looks like I have a few options. Depending on how the cost and labor works what does everyone think is best?

    1 New eastwood flaring tool or hydraulic flare tool (ive seen the eastwood for about 200 and hyd units for 300-400) Whats everyone using for better flaring kits?

    2 Run all new "mild" steel or nickle copper line which is easier to do. (I already have the fuel line plumbed in SS line tho, so there is a difference but I do want to finish this)

    3 figure out what AN fittings I need and go that route attempting to reuse as much line as possible and replacing what is needed.

    I need to get this crap nipped in the butt because I will be doing my 51 F1 shortly and dont feel like repeating this.
     
  15. dadz34
    Joined: Aug 9, 2010
    Posts: 163

    dadz34
    Member
    from Argyle, TX

    "what he said..."


    Obviously these are not for "traditional" builds, but depending on the vehicle plan...I prefer this type of setup for my own cars/trucks. I like using stainless on builds because its a do-it-once-lasts-forever type of thing. Its definitely WAY more expen$ive (in product, fittings and tooling) and 3-4 times the work over double-flaring steel, but I like the AN fittings and fit/finished look over the bulky stock/brass fittings/plumbing on a non-traditional build. To each, their own.

    Definitely don't confuse the two type of systems though...one was designed for auto and the other for military (AN=Army/Navy). AN is standard operating procedure for military due to durability. It is superior in strength due to engineering design, but its not cheap as you might expect once realizing its original intent (reliability in the field). That said, this is why I like it for the "special" builds. Heirloom vehicles, race or when you plan to assemble/unassemble often, it is a better choice in my opinion.

    Simply stated, "ALWAYS" use 37 degree single flares on stainless...and "ALWAYS" use 45 degree double flares on steel. Did I clarify "ALWAYS" enough? Don't mix as this will most likely cause catastrophic failure when you don't want it...when trying to brake. I even have a 3 drawer Kennedy box I store all my AN/37 Degree fittings, benders, and flare tool in just so I don't get them mixed up with 45 degree tools.

    I can also vouch for Godman and Inline Tube. They have both been great to work with and I have never had a quality issue with any of their products or customer service.




    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  16. If you are good with flaring regular steel tube-polish it with fine steel wool and spray it with good quality rattle can clear coat

    Benefits include....
    -cheap like steel tube
    -easy to flare like steel tube
    -you can polish the brass fittings for even more detail
    -easy to replace a section if need be down the road
    -looks as good as stainless
    -stays looking good

    Try it on a couple pieces of regular steel tube and see how easy it is!
     
  17. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    I was also looking into the coated steel lines. Im not 100% sure what its called but the lines are almost a greenish tint.

    The lines dont have to shine but I am not a fan of the gray color that mild steel lines have after a year or so then end up with the rust marks where the tubing holder is. Im not sure that clear coating 30 feet of line will turn out as good as Id like it to look if i get brake fluid on it.
     
  18. FWIW-It works the best of you do your detailing after all the parts are bent and have been pre-fit..which you are going to do anyway. On most cars you would not likely have more than one or two pieces longer than 4 or 5 feet.
    It doesnt take a lot of rubbing on the uncoated steel to shine it up. I have not had an issue with any rust streaks- also have not had issues with clear coming off-usually if you are going to have a leak it is at the threaded portion where any fluid will contact the line-so you dont have the contamination on the brake line itself. I run DOT 3 but if you are running silicone brake fluid (DOT 5)-loosing any clear is not an issue as silicone will not harm the clear on the lines.
     
  19. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Double-Sing...12183753?pt=US_Hand_Tools&hash=item2a31167cc9

    that kit seems to be decent. Im not 100% sure what big brake line companies use to flare.

    I also ran across the Rigid kit too. It looks decent and theres the normal version and the ratcheting kit too. I normally have to put some force on the flaring "T-handle" so Im not sure how the ratcheting kit would handle to the abuse. Where as the inline tube and eastwood kits have a large handle and clamp in a vise.


    decisions decisions.....
     
  20. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,006

    rfraze
    Member

    Mike, Did you do 37 degree flares? Matched up to 37 degree AN fittings? That is what is going to take to use stainless tubing! The results are worth the effort.
     
  21. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    No, I treated the SS tubing like mild steel originally with the 45 degree double flare but used extra care because it is so much harder to form.

    So If i have to go with the AN fittings and the 37 degree flares, how can I get to ISO or double flares to adapt to the existing master cyl. and distribution block. Im not aware of any adapters that will accomplish this.

    Thanks for all of the replies, I know a decent amount about brakes but this is uncharted territory for me
     
  22. jetman
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 29

    jetman
    Member
    from n.c.

    You never mix45 degree and 37 degree fittings. All the fittings on master cyl and wheel cyl get changed to an fittings to match 37 degree single flare. Using back up fitting behind flare. Very safe when done properly. System used on aircraft until ms plumbing replaced it.:cool:
     
  23. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

  24. What was said above ALWAYS use A&N fittings and flare at 37*. I use a rigid flaring tool and I like it a lot. The key to good flares is nice square chamfered ends
     
  25. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    The thing that is getting me is the fact that most of those flaring tools like the ones i posted the links to advertise being able to flare SS at a 45 degree and I know that when I ordered my stuff from inline they said its no different than mild steel.

    I personally like AN fittings better anyway because they are nicer but im sure its going to cost.
     
  26. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,146

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Had mine double flared using a hydraulic tool. Use annealed S/S, a lot easier than not.
     
  27. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    What kind of hydraulic flaring tool are you using? I see them here and there for about 400 bucks, I could attempt to "doctor" the lines on the car with a better flaring tool and hope for the best (im not 100% sure I really want to do that)

    I have been looking into fittings for the AN setup and its looking like about 100 bucks in fittings to do the whole car plus about 70-100 bucks for a dist block with a built in adjustable proportioning valve (might as well combine my dist block and prop valve to limit the amount of fittings and adapters) I will also need a 37 degree flaring tool, anywhere from 130-330. and additional SS line, about 50 bucks

    So about $550

    Or redo the whole car in coated (or spray clear myself) mild steel line for 150 or so...

    Im not really sure what way to sway towards. On one hand, I have done the car and love the SS tube but dont want to deal with the expense of the AN setup (although it will probably look killer)

    on the other hand, I dont really want to use mild steel brake lines because i already have the SS fuel line run.

    Im gonna have to think about this one for a bit.


    where does everyone get their AN fittings from? I see speedway motors, summit and jegs all sell them but arent the cheapest IMO.
     
  28. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,006

    rfraze
    Member

    Check out G&J Aircraft on Sultana in Ontario, CA. and web. GOOD GUYS, knowlegable, reasonable.
     
  29. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    Well Im pretty dead set on the Eastwood or Inline tube style flaring tool (right at 200 bucks) no matter which way I go because I hate the cheapo tools and Im realizing it more and more each time I watch a flaring video lol.

    I am almost positive that I will be doing the AN fittings (adapter for the kit is 100 bucks extra)

    So I will be checking out the link above and trying to source the AN fittings for the best price (looking like about 100 bucks in fittings from a parts store so id venture to guess 80 from a fitting supplier) then I will stop by Inline tube when Im back in the MI area and pick up a few more 6 foot sections of 3/16 SS line.....

    I think the SS line will be worth it in the end. Plus it will be nice to streamline the process when I start work on my F1.

    Thanks for all of your input. I make my decision tomorrow after my ASE recerts (HVAC, Service consultant, Advanced diagnostic, and Im attempting the A9 diesel for the first time) wish me luck- Ive been out of the industry for 4 years but will be getting back into it when my enlistment is up.
     
  30. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,146

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    It was one of this hydraulic Mastercool flaring kit
     

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