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Senior Charter Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm starting to work on bending the brake line tonight. With all of the vast knowledge out there, is anyone willing to share any tricks or tips about how to bend the brake lines right the first time.
 

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I bent mine around the cardboard tube that they came in. I know, it sounds pretty ghetto, but thats not the worst ive done.

oh yeah... plan it out and take your time. Preflared brake lines are cheap so dont stress yourself out too much.
 

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Get a couple of coat hangers and make a template for the bend with it. Then duplicate with the real line. Most parts stores carry a cheap bender that works great for brake lines. HTH, cheers Richard.
 

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Bending the brake lines was one the most frustrating and rewarding parts of the build. By the time I was done, I was getting pretty good at it. The suggestions above are good. I bought my tubing bender from HF - cheap and worth twice the price.

Tip 1 - OK, you have a perfectly formed brake line, you're standing there thinking about how beautiful a job you did, you're even congratulating yourself on the perfect double flare you put in the end, then you notice the fitting laying on the work bench, and you realize you now have a beautiful pattern for the REAL brake line! :D :eek: :D Don't forget to put the fitting on the line BEFORE you flare it. Fortunately, FFR gives you more than enough raw brake line to allow you to screw up a couple times.
Tip 2 - Do the long lines FIRST. If you screw up a medium or long line (like to the rear brakes,) don't throw it away! You may be able to make some of the shorter lines from the bad one.
Tip 3 - When you make the second (internal) flare on your double flare, don't force it all the way down. Let the compression of the fitting do the final little bit of finish so that you get a perfect metal to metal fit.
 

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If you are doing a standard brake setup, I strongly recommend spending the $150+ and buy the TriState Motorsports prebent kit. Works perfect, takes less than a hour to install.
 

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FFCobra Master Craftsman
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Agree with all above.

I did the coat hanger trick per Richard.

For bending, I put a length of 1 1/2" steel pipe in one of my rollbar mount holes and bent the tubing around that. This way both hands are free to bend and manipulate.

Don't sweat it. This is really easy and actually fun to do. The tubing is cheap and available at any autoparts store so if you screw up a piece, its only a $3.00 mistake!

Check out some build sites for examples.

Couple of tips:

Run the lines close to frame members so they don't snag on something sometime.

Make "pigtails" at connection points so it is easy to connect/disconnect lines.

Keep the lines away from the headers or where they might be subject to impact from rocks/stones.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
what if you make a bend in the wrong place, can it be straightened out?
 

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Use a "spring bender". That is what I used and use at work quite often. It is nothing more than a long spring that you slide over the tubing and then make your bends wherever you like them. You can make an amazingly tight bend with these without kinking your line. They are made of stainless and fit tightly enough around the tubing so when you bend it, it does not allow the tubing to egg shape and kink.

They have them at Lowes with the other assortment of tubing benders.

You can straighten the tubing pretty well with these too.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #9
does the spring bender fit over the connectors or do you have to bend the tube first, then do the flair?
 

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I used the coiled tubing fron the kit to make my templates. I then used the preflared lines from the parts store for the good lines. I used the HF bender for partial bends and a 1" socket screwed to the body buck for the loops.
 

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I am also bending tubs this week and just want to thanks for the above info.
 

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Sr FFR builder
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Richard's idea is one of the best I have heard of yet. Why the heck didn't I think of that? For the most part, I used a couple of medium to large size sockets and clamped them in a bench vice, then wrapped around for bend. I was very pleased with the outcome.
 

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I put various size sockets in a vice and bent the tube around them. It worked fine and I was able to control the amount of bend much better than using a tube bender.
 

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Lot of good advice here on bending, but the best advice has to do with the flares and I can't repeat it loudly enough. USE PREFLARED TUBING!!!! That's the voice of experience. The best care you take with your flares won't match the quality you can buy from the factory, and it ain't that much.
 

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FFCobra Master Craftsman
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Agree with Cheapsnake. Buying all preflared tubes from an autoparts store will be something like $25-$35. Money well spent.
 

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The spring benders will not fit over a flare, so you must make your bends first.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I used Richard's coat hanger method last night and it worked great, Thanks Richard. Also, NAPA sells pre-flaired brake lines in standard lengths. A 51 inch piece of tubing is only $4.00, so mistakes don't cost much. Thanks for the advice, everyone.
 

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Thanks guys I am coming up to this step..Just have a few hundred more rivits to go HA!
 

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This probably goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Don't run your front-to-back brake or fuel lines along the bottom of the 4" tubes. Run them along the side of the tube, up away from the bottom so they won't get pinched on those extra high speed bumps.
 
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