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Technical Tube Flaring Help

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fender1325, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Guys I'll have to plumb some new lines for my cadillac.....vacuum, brake and fuel. I havent ever done it before and need some pointers.

    First of all what tools do you reccomend? Im not looking to spend much. Harbor freight's bender looks like it'll do the job, but their flaring kit doesnt get reviews that are too great. Both tools would cost like $20 total. Home Depot has a kit that has the bender and flaring tool for around $45.

    I dont care what material I use as long as its strong and dependable, and will last a long time.

    I saw on the HF reviews they said the flaring tool didnt work too well on steel, but would probably be ok for copper and aluminum.

    A side question.....why dont you really see copper tubing used much? I think itd look really cool, but I imagine itd corrode for fuel or brake line. Maybe too soft?

    What line material should I use and where can I get it.....napa?

    Thanks
     
  2. Get the cuprio nickel line from NAPA. much easy to use and has somewhat of a copper look. Bend and flares easy.
    Maybe get a flaring tool there while you're at it.
     
    1927graham and Fender1325 like this.
  3. I'm too poor to buy cheap stuff.
    Buy the best manual flailing tool you can find.
    Old tools made in the USA are a great deal if they haven't been abused.

    Benders can be improvised with anything round and time.
    Relying on a $9.99 worth of a 100 bender will certainly lead to frustration
     
    Fender1325 likes this.
  4. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 984

    Rex_A_Lott
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Brake lines require a double flaring tool, get a good one. Try really hard to get some help from someone who has done it before.Good Luck.
     
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  5. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    copper work hardens and splits quickly under vibration , thats why they do not recommend it , as for a flaring tool , I started with a lisle tool ( craftsman ) and follow the directions , as you find if you do not follow them they do not flare right , plus use a zip cutter or hacksaw vs a pipe cutter as the pipe cutter will work harden the end from the pinching of the metal and makes it harder to bend the tubing over . as for me I do them quite often and also do stainless so I bought a master cool hydraulic flare tool . best money I ever spent . as for benders I have the close qarters pliers to the lisle unit with the plastic mandels , but my Imperial Eastman tool is the best one , on my second one sine the first broke after 30 years . and shop around on the net for the tools . the guys on garage journal ( sister board ) can help you on suppliers for deals
     
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  6. RICK R 44
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 448

    RICK R 44
    Member

    Agree with shawnautol, use the cupro nickel line,also available at Car Quest. Very east to work with. Your local parts supply store can probably fix you up with a bender and flaring kit that is of reasonable quality at a realistic price. Just my 2 cents worth
     
  7. as others have said , buy good tools so you can do a good job

    good tools will last a lifetime...i'm still using the Craftsman double flaring tools and Ridgid benders i bought over 30 years ago
     
  8. 01mikep
    Joined: Jul 26, 2014
    Posts: 123

    01mikep
    Member
    from California

    I used the Cuprio nickel line from NAPA on the last car I plumbed. Really great stuff and doesn't rust. It was a it less than $2 a foot if I remember right.

    As far as flaring tools. Good luck. The ones I have found recently really let me down. I tried some cheaper ones similar to an old imperial I used to have and none worked well. I spent about $100 on a new ridgid one and it failed to flare well in 3/16 but fine on 1/4.

    I had about given up and bought a hydraulic spendthrift one when a local retired mechanic offered to let me use his tool that looked identical to today's cheaper offerings. I declined as I had written off the design as flawed but if worked beautifully. You guessed it, made in USA in 1959. I told him to never lose it cause you can't but a new one that compares. I've borrowed it a few times now and leave $10 in the case when it goes back.
     
  9. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 551

    Jack E/NJ
    Member
    from NJ

  10. I pulled the trigger on a master cool unit too.
    I got it for everything else it makes. That is worth it. For me It's just not worth it for simple double flair lines, well worth it if needing the other stuff too more than once a year.
     
  11. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 551

    Jack E/NJ
    Member
    from NJ

    stimpy>>>use a zip cutter or hacksaw vs a pipe cutter as the pipe cutter will work harden the end from the pinching of the metal and makes it harder to bend the tubing over >>>

    Agreed. But I find that the pipe-cut tubing end actually helps keep the die centered when using a non-hydraulic tool. The final flare looks beautiful at least with the copper-nickel brake tubing.

    Jack E/NJ
     
  12. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,527

    aaggie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just a tip but I found the cheap double flare tools like HF work better if you put a drop of oil on the end when you make the second flare. Without the lube it was a 50/50 chance of a bad flare. Be sure and clean off the lube before using the tube, you don't want to get lube oil into the brake lines. It is also a good idea to blow air through a finished line to make sure there are no contaminates before installing it.
    Another vote for Cupero-Nickle tubeing.
     
    Fender1325 likes this.
  13. vintage6t
    Joined: Jul 30, 2007
    Posts: 307

    vintage6t
    Member
    from CT

  14. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    The KD shown in post 9 above is very much like the one I bought in about 1970. I use a tube cutter with a squirt of WD 40, just to lube the wheel. A tube cutter will always make a square cut. Then, use a chain saw file to debur the inside of the tube, and a flat file for the outside. Clamp the base of the flare tool in a vise, then clamp the tube in the tool at the correct height. Use liberal amounts of oil or WD 40 to lube the flare as it forms. On the second part, lube again. If you have just bought the tool, practice about 3 - 4 flares before you start work on the car. One more thing, copper is for a house. It has no business on an auto. Aluminum is easy for fuel, but it work hardens from vibration. Good steel tube is safe for anything.
     
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  15. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Thanks all...Im going to hit up napa and HF and see what happens.....I'll post some pics If I get around to it today:)
     
  16. texkbc
    Joined: Apr 27, 2007
    Posts: 385

    texkbc
    Member

    Rich B. likes this.
  17. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 1,722

    Dino 64
    Member
    from Virginia

    Here' the K-D kit I used. Works well if you follow the instructions and the advice already given. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1454957503.259754.jpg
     
  18. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Bought some cheap off the shelf double flaring kit and tube bender from napa.... Was able to get that nickel copper alloy for the 3/16 vacuum but steel for the 5/16. Tried it on the nickel copper alloy one and worked very well. We'll see how the steel holds.
     
  19. wingman9
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 804

    wingman9
    Member
    from left coast

    Rich B. likes this.
  20. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    For brake lines you can buy them ready made in various lengths at any parts store, saves a lot of time and you know they are made right. If the nearest size is too long you can bend a loop or for a neater job, cut the excess off and reflare the end.

    I have an old KD like Dino64s that I have had since 1968. It still works, still makes good flares but you have to be careful because it will mess them up easily if you don't get everything aligned exactly right. There are better tools available now.

    I use an ordinary tubing cutter for cutting and a long tapered reamer to clean out the burr. The tube must be cut square and flat, and not burred, for the flaring tool to work.

    The long end of the flaring tool should be clamped in a vise while making the flare.

    If you meant to be working on cars a lot invest in a good flaring tool, otherwise some parts stores will loan or rent tools, or just buy a cheepy and be careful with it.
     
  21. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,124

    drptop70ss
    Member
    from NY

    One trick that has worked for me is to not overdo the 2nd step of the flare with the cone, get the flare most of the way done and then let the fitting you are threading into finish off the last bit. Helps fit the new flare to the dimensions of the existing male cone in the fitting.
    I have the mastercool set but used a good manual set as shown already for many years. The difference between the good manual set and the HF set is the quality of the dies. A good manual kit will work great, I needed the mastercool set so I could make modern fuel line flares as well.
     
  22. Deuced Up!
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,533

    Deuced Up!
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you have an O'Reilly Auto Parts near by, they will rent you the KD Flaring Set (ultimately for free). You just pay the price of the tool and take it. But when you bring it back they refund your money FREE TOOL RENTAL...
     
  23. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 988

    deucemac
    Member

    I bought Blue Point (Imperial Eastman) from a the Snap on in 1973 and added Imperial Eastman single size tube benders as money allowed. I still have all of them today and they still do a great job. The point is,shop for quality,not price. That goes for any tool or equipment or supplies, especially when working with safety items such as brakes. Remember, pay peanuts, get monkeys! Harbor Freight may be okay if ALL you want to do is use it once or twice and tossed it
     
  24. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    I wish I could remember where I bought my flaring tool because it was inexpensive, perfect for once in a blue moon use and has hex nuts instead of those wing nuts and it holds the tube great. That was thee big problem with the previous flaring tool I had. They had wing nuts and they just wouldn't grip the tube. I'll check tomorrow and see if there are any brand mark on it.
     
  25. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,646

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've had my Bluepoint a couple of years longer than Deucemac has had his and agree that they are a quality tool if you take care of them. Mine has done a lot of flares in that time. I bought one of the Eastman Professional units last year and really like it but you are limited when trying do a flare on a prebent tube to make a repair. The dies take more tube to work right than the Bluepoint does. I've got a ton of tube bending tools and a couple of tube kinking tools and again buy quality and don't go for the cheapest.
     
  26. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    instead of possible oil contamination you can use brake fluid as a lubricant when making the flares as the glycol in it is slippery and will not allow galling just put some in a spay paint cap and dip the end of the tube in it or paint it with a tinners brush

    and for laying the lines out use coathanger or gas welding wire and bend it to the shape you want and I draw a line down the side of the tube to be bent so I have a reference point to work as the "up" position so its easier to figure out what bends are needed where .
     
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  27. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg Ok I got the vacuum advance line made and installed. Was a bitch to route under the intake and up through the side to the carb. I tried to match the broken original as best I could with the tools I got from napa. Required a fair amount of "massaging" by hand and cussing to get it to fit once I was in there. Thank God this stuff is pretty maleable......my hats off to the guys who do this in stainless.
     
  28. You're doing well. One of those things that takes practice.. and old tubing is great for that. I like to buy brake line with 2 ends on it, cut it in 1/2 and you only have to do 1 end. If I have 2 ends to do, I do the bitchy end first.
     
  29. I've borrowed one of these before. So easy to use and makes great flares every time. I looked at the eastwood website and they're actually on sale right now, regularly $225 on sale for $189. I got a 10% off coupon by signing up for their email spam so I basically got free shipping plus $6 back. I pulled the trigger.
     
  30. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    to do stainless you just take your time and the stainless I use is a little bit harder to bend than the steel as its soft from the nickel in it , also you try to use a mandrel or plier bender too , I have some plywood cut to radiuses to help do some bends
     

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