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Old 11-16-2005, 04:23 PM
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Flare tool choices for hobbyist

I have a few custom brake lines to build and would like to bend and flare my own, can anyone suggest a good flare tool, and maybe any brands or types to stay away from?

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Old 11-16-2005, 04:36 PM
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I have an old set of tube benders that my dad gave me , they work awesome and i think they are proto. They don't make them like they used to.

I have 3 different tube flare kits, 2 Snapon and 1 Matco. The cheapo ones just dont work for *****. If you only got to do them once try borrowing someones, they are great to have around but not for 1 job. To answer your questions I recommend snapon, check ebay for cheaper prices on snap on tools.
Brendan
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Old 11-16-2005, 11:28 PM
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K-D tools makes some tubing tools that are not too bad for the price. Rigid has a selection of benders and flaring tools that will last forever and the price is well worth it. Snap-on is not what it used to be although the hydraulic flaring tool they sell sure looks nice. Don't bother with their Blue-point line. It is the same stuff you can get at any hardware store. I find old Imperial Eastman stuff at the swap meets. I pick it up whenever I see it. Make sure you get the double flare dies. If you are going to do stainless you need to make sure that the tool is capable. I can get my K-D to double flare soft annealed SS tube if I talk real nice to it, but I don't think it likes it very much. I also have an old Armstrong set that is pretty high quality It works very well. Mcmaster carr sells those.
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:39 PM
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the hydrolic flair kit is pretty sweet, a guy at my work pick up one and the whole shop uses it, its great, pricey tho, thats the only thing. For bending tubes i have used a big socket to bend tubing that way it doesnt crimp.
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:48 PM
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You can get a good cheap bending tool from Harbor Freight. Works fine, mainly because brake tubing is easy to bend with anything. Almost impossible to collapse.

As far as double flaring tools go, any name brand tool will work fine. Stay clear of the Chinese tools on this one - they cause more headaches than they are worth.
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Old 11-18-2005, 06:10 AM
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Jeff,
I agree with the tubing bender from H-F. I bought the same tool from Sears for $18.00 about 3 years ago.

Another MUST HAVE tool is from Eastwood. Its a pair of pliers that you bend tubing with. They aren't cheap, but neither is tubing. The do tight radius bends (like at the wheel cylinders, or at the master cylinder) without kinks. Again, you have to do something stupid, to kink the tube.


#1 Tip for bending tubing (From Captain Obvious)
Tape the fitting against the flair. For some reason, I have let the fiting slide down the tube during the heat of the moment, and had to take the bend out to get the fitting down to the flair. Don't laugh. Done it 5-6 times. I get concentrating on making the bends fit the frame perfect, and the next thing ya know....
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:56 AM
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Thank you all for the information. I have looked up the brands mentioned and will order up today.

I didn't realize until looking at a few tools that working with stainless tubing was different than normal "soft" tubing. I was hoping to shorten my two rear stainless lines that I already purchased from InLine, but it appears those two will have to be the normal type. Or I could get a quality bender and just put some full loops in my stainless lines to shorten them....
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Old 11-21-2005, 05:45 PM
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If you don't have or want to spend the money, Autozone has a double flair kit in their loaner tools. I have used it a few times. It comes with the little buttons so you can double flare just like OEM. Its worth taking the time to practice on some scrap tubing before hand though.
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Old 11-21-2005, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankR
If you don't have or want to spend the money, Autozone has a double flair kit in their loaner tools. I have used it a few times. It comes with the little buttons so you can double flare just like OEM. Its worth taking the time to practice on some scrap tubing before hand though.
If you are new to the skill be sure to follow all the steps. Doesn't seem like it should make that much difference but be sure to ream the end of the cut before starting the double flare. Leave off this step and it won't work!
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Old 11-26-2005, 10:58 PM
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I have been thinking about this lately; about bending and flaring steel tubing. Wouldn't heating the tubing from a acetylene torch help in flaring, or will this cause more headaches, just a thought.
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Old 11-27-2005, 07:04 PM
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No need to heat it. When you have the proper tools and a little practice, they flare very easily and quickly. They are designed to flare cold so I wouldn't even consider heating the tubing for fear of messing up the metallurgy.
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