The brake line plays a vital role in your car. It can be worn out or breaks for any reason. But bending or flaring the brake line could save both money and time, and you do not have to give much effort for doing it.
You can bend it either with your hand or using tools, but a good set of benders can take you a long way. You can also pre-bend it, but it needs correct measurement for your vehicle.
It is better to avoid bending brake lines with hand because the tube bender can bend the brake lines better than hands. The line will not be kinked, and the turning would be done correctly. This article will guide you to properly bending the tubes with a tube notcher.
Tools You Will Need
- A hardline bender
- Brake line for Parts Store
- A right size tubing
- A clamp
Here are few suggestion of tools you can choose:
How to Bend Brake Lines: Process and Steps
The bender has two arms, one is long, and the other is short. The long arm can do leverage. The head has 0 to 180-degree marks that will help to measure the bending.
You have to start the incorrect bending place so the tubing the length will be correct, which is very important in the brake line.
Some Things You Should Do
First, bring out the brake which needed bending. If it is inside the car and you need to make the process under it, you can jack up the car to do so. In most cases, you can bring the brake line out to work.
You can bend a couple of tubing to get the perfect one. Now, take one piece of brake line from your garage or parts store and bent it with two bends. Matching the line with your car, which is rusted or worn out, is a little tricky, so you have to be careful about it.
When you are making the line, use a coat hanger that can hold the wire so you would know where to bend and how long it should be.
Without the proper flaring tool, you cannot have a perfect mate with a cylinder and leak. So, have the perfect one for a wheel cylinder and master cylinder considerations.
Take one piece of steel tubing and bend it 9-0 degrees. Before bending, you can flare the tubing head to know if the bend is close enough or not. The flaring would be not good after bending, and it may take time to fix.
Bending Tool Process
The bending process is essential for repairing the braking system correctly with having proper size tubing of the existing line. So, follow the steps correctly for having a perfect bending of the steel, carbon steel, or any other metals.
Make the Line
Put the lines together and select the bending area by marking it with a marker. It should be the same as the flaring line with the flaring tool. After observing the point, set the tubing in the bender so the marked point would set right on the 0. Once you set the tubing in 0 marking area, push the other handle and start bending.
Hold the bender with your hand correctly and mover the handle smoothly so the tubing can go 0 to 90 degrees.
Bend the Tube
After bending the tube, release the handle, you will see a perfect 90-degree tubing with no kinks. Hold the tubing with your finger to make a better alignment.
You can measure the newly bending tube with the previous one if the tube is bent correctly or not.
Set the two-tubing next to each other so you can see if they are in the same plane and same line. One is straight, and the other is going away on the right side. Although the planes of those two bends are different. Mark the bender so you can find it easily when needed.
After that, put them end to end and flip and lined them up. Take the straight bending tubes to the benders and set it in 0 marks. Hold the handle and put a little tension to it.
After making it 90-degree angle smoothly, if there is spring back, touch the 90 degrees and set it up. After getting two compound bends, lay a template at the top to work the line better.
How to Flare Brake Lines with Tools
You can do two types flaring in your brake line (stainless lines or the carbon ones), standard or metric. Two kinds of flaring require two different toolkits.
Know Your Brake Line
There are many perfect brake flaring tool options and different techniques available. We will discuss the easiest and the most effective ones. These depend on the type of brake lines. These types are
- Stainless steel lines
- Carbon line
- Low carbon steel line
- Soft steel brake lines
In most cases, the brake lines are made of stainless steel and will be much harder to bend than the softer ones and thus require quality a tool to make the proper process of the braking systems.
Set the Brake Line in the Correct Position
Setting the line in a correct position is very important for clear tubing with the right bend. Without it, you can ruin the brake calipers, master cylinder, or many other essential elements.
First of all, get a couple of pieces of the line in case of doing anything wrong so that you can use other. There is a small hole in both ends. Use a reamer to make the hole larger. Now open the clamps and set the line in it.
Install the Adaptor
There are adaptors you will get in the toolbox. Measure the brake line then take the same size adaptor. The adaptor has two humps, line it up with the line using the first hump then close the clamps.
Now put the adaptor on the top of the steel line then set a frame on the clamps. Set the points and put it down until it goes straight to the adaptor. Keep twisting it until it stops moving.
You can use the center tool if you are going to make a 90-degree bends. It is an excellent tool to help to make correct bends with the right radius. Remember, this tool isn’t a must if it under a 60-degree bending process, or the line is made of soft steel.
Make the Flares
The first thing to consider for the flaring process is using the proper tools. The decent toolset will help you to make tight bends in brake lines.
Now lose the frame and take out the adaptor. So, one side of the flaring line is flared. Now make metric flares in other ends. Take the metric clamp, set the stainless-steel line in the points. If it is a mild steel line, things should be more comfortable.
Keep in mind that the metric clam sides are different, one side is chamfered, and the other side is flat. You have to use a chamfered side for flaring.
Now take the adaptor and put in on the brake line as you did before. Set the frame on it and do the same process. So, both side flaring is done.
Bend Fuel Line Without Kinking
If you bend fuel lines with your hand, there are possibilities that you may kink the bending line. So it is best to avoid using hand while bending. There are many types of bending tools you will get in the online or market tools that make your job easy.
Remember, when you kink the line, it is no longer usable. You can use a hand blender or other types of bender easily.
Make the Line
Take a fuel line that is worn out or has leakage. Now take the new line and make a pair with the old one. Then you can keep hand bender and set the new line in it in the right position. Push the line by firmly hold it and make them close by holding it tightly. Give some force until it comes closer to each other.
Tweak the line slightly and make the other bending like the old ones. If the line is made of copper, it will get hard every time you bend. Do not crack it.
Take a coated steel line, which is softer than a copper line. Do the same bending process as you did in the copper line and make the same the size.
Adjust the steel line with the old ones. By using any bending tools, you can avoid kinking, and also using hand can cause you to get hurt.
Make Tight Bends in Brake Line
For making tight bends, you need an excellent bender which has 0 to 180-degree angle option. The two-handed bending machine can handle any copper or steel line without giving much force.
You can also make a tight bend with a hand blender. A A 90-degree fitting screwed is also usable. The process is the same. After the process, do not stop with the bent line.
Just set the tubes in the head of bending tools in 0 angles, hold the other handle and push it firmly so the line can go 0 to 180 degrees.
After removing the tube from the tools, you will see a tight bend without kinking, which is excellent.
Useful Brake Line Bending Tools
There are different kinds of steel tube/brake flare options available in the market and the classic tube makers. Here are some of them:
- Universal Hydraulic Flaring Tool Kit by Classic The tube is suitable for a clean bend.
- MASTERCOOL 71475-PRC Flaring Tool for Steel Tubing
- MASTERCOOL 72485-PRC Hydraulic Flaring Tool Set for a perfect flare of the steel brake
Tight Radius Brake Line Bender
Getting a tight radius stainless steel line is not that easy. Metric tools may not allow giving a tight radius during the process. But there are other tools you can get a tight radius from them. You can fit long nuts very far into the bender (tubing bender or the normal ones).
Also, they can bend more than a 7/16″ radius. Some tools are master cool 71475, Eastwood 25304, Eastman Imperial, etc.
How to Bend a Brake Line with Pliers
If you do not have a bending tool kit use the alternative option, such as pliers. Pliers can bend brake or fuel line like the bending tools. It may not work the same as turning tools, and there are also the possibilities to get kinking while bending the lines.
Put the stainless-steel line(brake) into the pliers than twist the plier to make a shape. Although it is difficult to make any small shape with it, and the line could be twisting. Be careful about breaking the line.
Tips on How to Bend and Flare Brake Lines
- Get some good cut of tools before start bending. Also, get different types of bender so you can turn any shapes when needed (tubing bender, flare bender).
- Do not heat the line before bending.
- After the job is done, process the bent line with a flaring tool.
- Always wear gloves and keep the children away from your workshop.
- Always use the right tools for bending.