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Old 10-02-2005, 05:58 AM
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flaring Stainless (tips, tricks)

I did my homework, bought the right tools, and thought I had my bases covered. I guess I was wrong. The 37-degree flares all want to split... badly. Is it cheap tubing, or am I doing something wrong? I got a Ridgid flaring tool rated for stainless, and the Ridgid tube cutter with blades rated for stainless. I think out of 10 flares I got a couple that were possibly usable. I searched this site for techniques on flaring SS, but didn't find anything.

If I can't get the stainless to flare, can I use 37-degree flares on regular steel lines?

And just to answer the obvious next question, I have all the AN adapters and tube nuts with sleeves.

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Old 10-02-2005, 06:02 AM
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Join the club...........I never could get Stainless to flare on a consistent basis either....

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Old 10-02-2005, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clinthart
If I can't get the stainless to flare, can I use 37-degree flares on regular steel lines?
No you can't. Soft steel lines require a 45* double flare.
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Old 10-02-2005, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centerline
No you can't. Soft steel lines require a 45* double flare.
Thanks, I was afraid of that.
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Old 10-02-2005, 11:00 AM
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Use a long taper ream to deburr the inside of the tube. Chamfer the outside of the tube at 45dg for half of the tube sidewall thickness with a file, fine stone grinder, disc sander or a chamfer tool (prefered). Lightly sand the end of the tube to remove any sharp edges. The preform length is critical. Set it very carefully. Put a drop of light oil (must be cleaned off tube after forming operations) on the preform die, center carefully and seat fully to the tube holder. If the die doesn't set flat on the holder after preforming, either the chamfer wasn't centered(usually) or the preform length was too long . The final form will be painless. Another drop of oil on the swage, center the die and complete forming. Turn the swage down till the flare is JUST folded in. This doesn't require a lot of pressure. Overforming is a sure way to split or otherwise ruin the flare.
Doesn't hurt to oil the swivel in the swaging tool and the rollers and blade in your cutter occasionally to.
Dont cheap out on your brake tube. This isn't the place to be saving pennies.
I personally won't use stainless brake tube because I have concerns about the brittleness of it. Note how easy it splits. Probably fine for trailer queens but not for a driver.
FYI To do your bends. Adapt you portopower pump to fit the lines. Fill the lines with oil. Be sure all the air is out, cap the line an pump that sucker up. I pump till the pump bypasses. You can now bend the tube just about any way you want to without fear of it collapsing. After bending, wash out the hydraulic fluid with a no residue solvent like John Deere parts cleaner.
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Old 10-02-2005, 12:05 PM
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stainless flare

Maybe I'm lucky, maybe it's the tubing itself- I'm sure there are different types of stainless. I've done six or more systems, never experienced a split. Like said above, I use a debur on a cordless drill, and I was taught to use antiseize lubricant, oil probably gives the same result. Could you be over tightening, or have too much length exposed before flaring? Good luck. Bill
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Old 10-02-2005, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotroddr
Maybe I'm lucky, maybe it's the tubing itself- I'm sure there are different types of stainless. I've done six or more systems, never experienced a split. Like said above, I use a debur on a cordless drill, and I was taught to use antiseize lubricant, oil probably gives the same result. Could you be over tightening, or have too much length exposed before flaring? Good luck. Bill
I used a Ridgid tube cutter rated for stainless and a Ridgid 37* flare tool also rated for stainless. I followed the directions and only inserted the tube to the top of the clapping rods. Is that too much for stainless? Should I have less?

I have seen advertisements for fully annealed stainless that is supposed to be able to be double flared. I guess the metal is less brittle. I am planning to try heating the tip just prior to flaring with a portable torch.

Or I will just bend it all up in regular tube and have a pro flare up some stainless.

This won't be a trailer queen, but I wanted this to be a nice touch to the car. I don't see why I can't do AN fittings with the regular metal tube. The tube nut and sleeve I got for the stainless should give enough support to the flare to make it even more stable than a double flare. What is the main issue with using this kind of tube and an AN fitting? Is it the seam?
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Old 10-02-2005, 04:02 PM
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stainless

I don't think heating up the tubing is a good idea. SS specialties sent me a remote fill kit with double flared stainless. I have gotten stainless from a number of sources in the magazines, Pure Choice is one; www.performanceplumbing.com- maybe they have some info that will help. I've never had a problem with the an fittings/single flare, I drive them daily, been using it for 20years. Right now I'm thinking it must be the tubing. You'll get figured out, don't get discouraged. Bill
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Old 10-02-2005, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotroddr
I don't think heating up the tubing is a good idea. SS specialties sent me a remote fill kit with double flared stainless. I have gotten stainless from a number of sources in the magazines, Pure Choice is one; www.performanceplumbing.com- maybe they have some info that will help. I've never had a problem with the an fittings/single flare, I drive them daily, been using it for 20years. Right now I'm thinking it must be the tubing. You'll get figured out, don't get discouraged. Bill
I found that site during my googling for help. Their stainless tube is quite expensive, but if it is easy to work with, then I guess it is worth the money. I got my tube from Summit. 20-feet for like $30.00, which is about half their cost.

I had nothing to loose but to try heating the ends. I also took the advise from the the other posts, and in combination, I got the flares I wanted. The heating really helped. So if the tube I got is overly brittle, then heating it really helped. I simply used a plumbers propane torch for about 30 seconds, until the about 1/2" turned cherry red, then flared it. Not a single split was seen. So I am guessing the tube you use is already annealed, I just had to do it myself.

Thanks everyone for your advice and encouragement. I just hope the lines don't leak.

Make sure to check out my site www.project-quicksilver.com. The car and everything I have done to it is documented there.
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Old 10-02-2005, 09:19 PM
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stainless

Outstanding! Thanks for the tip- and also thanks for the pictures of your project. You're doing a great job on it- artwork is super too! Bill
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:38 AM
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I also found these little conical seals made by Earl's. From what others are telling me these are better than the brass ones people have been using so there won't be any electrolysis issues. One guy I spoke to on another forum swears by them. May not be just the item that people need to help solve the problem of leaks.

conical seals

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Old 10-03-2005, 10:24 AM
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I have always used annealed seamless tubing and never had a problem.

The other thing is I never use a tubing cutter. Stainless steel work hardens and if you use the tubing cutter it will work harden the end of the tube. I use a hack saw to cut the tube and then a disc sander to square the end. A slight chamfer on the inside and outside (inside with a cheep 45deg chamfer bit in a handle and a file for the outside). I have never once had a problem with the flare.
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Old 10-03-2005, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triaged
I have always used annealed seamless tubing and never had a problem.

The other thing is I never use a tubing cutter. Stainless steel work hardens and if you use the tubing cutter it will work harden the end of the tube. I use a hack saw to cut the tube and then a disc sander to square the end. A slight chamfer on the inside and outside (inside with a cheep 45deg chamfer bit in a handle and a file for the outside). I have never once had a problem with the flare.
Thanks Triaged! Since I ran through so much of my stainless tube, I did order some annealed tube from classic tube. So I will see if that really helps. But your process for cutting and prepping the tube end appears to me to have more heat potential than using a tube cutter with a light oil. But I guess the chamfer process would remove most of the heated metal.
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:05 PM
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Stainless anneals different than carbon steel. While you reduced the yield strength by heating it, allowing it to be flared while still hot, you may have made the tubing brittle in the area heated. Proper annealing of austenitic stainless (304, 316, 18-8, etc.) involves heating the metal to 1900 - 1950 deg. F and then rapidly cooling it. You must drop from 1950 to 1100 in 3 min. or less and continue that cooling rate until 800 is reached. Whether you did this or not probably depends on how hot the flaring tool became during the flaring process.
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redsdad
Stainless anneals different than carbon steel. While you reduced the yield strength by heating it, allowing it to be flared while still hot, you may have made the tubing brittle in the area heated. Proper annealing of austenitic stainless (304, 316, 18-8, etc.) involves heating the metal to 1900 - 1950 deg. F and then rapidly cooling it. You must drop from 1950 to 1100 in 3 min. or less and continue that cooling rate until 800 is reached. Whether you did this or not probably depends on how hot the flaring tool became during the flaring process.
No way for me to know what temp I heated the metal. But I know that it was nearly cool to the touch before I got the tube out of the flare tool. I was very surprised at how quickly the metal cooled off. I doubt the tip was cherry red for more than 40 seconds, and dissipated its heat very rapidly.
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