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Senior Charter Member
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1,406 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just got a KD double flaring tool and have been practicing with it on 3/16" brake line. I didn't have much luck with the FFR-supplied tubing, so I bought a 30" length of bundy tubing from NAPA. The flares are coming out a little better on the tubing from NAPA, but every double flare I've done with the tool has come out with a lop-sided lip. I searched through all the past topics and followed everybody's advice on the forum, but the problem remains. I don't have any slipping problems, and everything looks good when I'm making the flares, but when I'm done, it's always lop-sided.

I've read a lot on the forum about the Ridgid tool. I'm a little skeptical about the quality of the KD. Does anybody have any pictures of successful double flares? Could I be doing something wrong? I really want to do the lines myself instead of resorting to pre-flared lines, just for the sake of doing it. Thanks for any advice!
 

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Sarcasm King
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1,528 Posts
I double flared all my lines, brake and fuel, and I had to practice first and learn how to do it well. If your getting "crooked" flares, try shortening the intial length of tube protruding that you do the flare out on. The lob sidedness is due to too much tube and when compressed it goes sideways.

Are you anealing (sp?) the tube first. This helps some on the FFR stainless steel.
 

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Sarcasm King
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1,528 Posts
Too my surprise, I had no leaks when I first tested my connections. I now love double flaring :D
 

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Premium Member
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17,805 Posts
There's two big tricks to getting a good double flare.

1. Prep the tubing properly. Carefully ream the edges so they are even all the way around. And then use a fine tooth file to make sure the end is perfectly square and clean.

2. During step one, you are instructed to turn the handle until the die is even with or in contact with the clamp. DON'T DO THIS! turn the handle until the die is about a C hair away from the clamp. Remove the die and finish the flare.

Having said that, I might make two other suggestions. Make sure your tubing clamp has been made properly. If the countersinking is off tad, so will your flares.

I use an Old Forge brand of flaring tool for double and 45 degree flares. Had it for about 5-6 years. Works very well. And I use a Ridgid tool for 37 degree (AN) flares. I have to say it's a much better tool, easier to use and more idiot proof. If you're going to buy a new set, get Ridgid.
 

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1,297 Posts
I bent all my lines and then took them to a brake place where they had a large commercial double flare tool. Charged me maybe $1 each and they did a beautiful job. I tried and tried to get a double flare myself, but it was never right.

Dick
 

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Supermoderator
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12,393 Posts
If your flares are leaning sideways when finished, it may be because your cuts are not perpendicular to the tube length. Maybe your cutter isn't very good or has a dull wheel. Make the cuts straight, deburr the inside of the tube, chamfer the outside slightly and lube the tip after you clamp the tube into the tool. Measure the amount the tube protrudes from the tool carefully (per manufacturer's instructions)and you should have a perfect flare every time.
 

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Premium Member
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6,408 Posts
I hope I can help....first , after using the tubing cutter, I found that opening up the hole to the original size with a twist drill of the same size as the I.D. helps....use the V shaped tool on the tubing cutter to take rough edges off the opening.
Set the height of the tube in the clamp the same exact depth as the "tit" on the flaring button you are using...for the 3/16 line.
Make sure the clamp is very tight...any movement will ruin your flare.
Put the "tit" of the flaring button in the hole in the 3/16 line and make sure it sits squarely on the tube...Now you can clamp down on the button with the screw clamp , and keep turning until the button is flush with the face of the tubing clamp...this is very important...it must be flush....next remove the button from the tube and use the screw clamp directly in the hole in the tube....use sizable force here too, and crush as far as possible...
This should give good results...P.S. don't forget the flare fitting on the tube before you flare the tube..
Good luck!!!
 

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Senior Charter Member
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1,406 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Has anyone had experience with a bad countersink on the tubing clamp? I've been very careful about perpendicular cuts, reaming, and chamfering. The KD kit has good instructions with it, very much like Mr. Barry's. It seems like the flare is always lopsided in the same direction in relation to the tubing clamp, and the countersink looks a little different on each side of the clamp. Could this be my problem?
 

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Premium Member
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6,408 Posts
Anything is possible...but barring defective tool, try using the top ridge of the button( with the button turned upside down) , as the measurement for the depth of the tube...it is possible that too much exposed tube is the culprit....Also , it is possible to position the clamp off-center when tightening down...eyeball the clamp as you start to tighten to make sure it is properly centered on the tube-holding fixture.
 

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Senior Charter Member
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591 Posts
Aside from what everyone else has suggested, if you are not using any type of oil applied to the chamfered end, I would do so. I use some 30wt oil I had laying around for the flaring process and it helped a great deal.
 

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Senior Charter Member
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512 Posts
I'm having really bad luck with the Ridgid tool.
the first one I bought wouldn't do a 3/16 flare without the tube sliding out of the clamp. I checked the diameter of the tubing and it was small by .001"
so that shouldn't be the problem. Fortunately I bought it at Graingers, I took it back and tried 2 others before i found one that would work.
It worked fine for the 5/16 fuel lines also. I just tried it the other day on one of the 1/4" lines and it kept slipping :mad:
:mad:

I hope they'll take this one back after two months!
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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784 Posts
One company..

Old Forge.

All imports,Lisle,Rigid,KD are miserable to work with and will yield less that desireable results.

I have no idea why the Old forge works so well, we have 3-4 other brand laying around at the shop now that do the same as you have described.
Spend the $30 buck on a good one and I think you will be much happier.
Old Forge Flare Kit

Phil

[ December 29, 2002, 10:29 AM: Message edited by: RoadRebel ]
 

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Charter Member
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972 Posts
I had exactly the same problem until I changed the way I make the flares.

I was clamping the tube at the correct height, then would place the flaring tool around the tube clamp and begin screwing down the wedge. Did everything as per instructions that came with the tool. Every flare was lopsided.

Instead, after the tube is clamped, I insert the wedge into the tube, rotate the flaring tool clockwise until it contacts the tube clamp, and then screw down the flare. Every flare is perfectly centered.

Bottom line: put the flaring wedge into the tube before you begin tightening. It will stay right in the center that way.

Lots of luck.
 

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Premium Member
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398 Posts
Just checked out the Old Forge Link that Road Rebel ( a fellow Michiganian--LOL) put in his post--and tool warehouse at that link has them on sale for 22 bucks and change as compared to the near 40 regular price. Just ordered mine--kit arrives in a few weeks!!!!!!!
 

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2,758 Posts
toodizzy, read the fine print. If all you ordered was the flaring tool, then the order was under $50 and they charge you a $10 processing charge. What a ripoff! :mad: I hate vendors that do this sort of thing.
 

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Senior Member
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590 Posts
I bought the HF model for $10 or $14, don't remember which.

Things I learned:
1. Tubing must be straight. If it has even a slight bend where it comes through the clamp, you will get a flare that leans to one side.

2. After clamping the tubing, lock on a pair of vise-grip pliers. This will put some extra clamping force on the tubing and keep it from slipping.

3. You can make a bubble flare by turning the clamp over and using the appropriate button. You will need to double the amount of tubing sticking out above the clamp. Do a couple of practice trys first. Mine came out just like the factory original.

4. Check and double check that you have the fitting installed before you make the flare. I learned this the hard way and then learned it again, and my flares were so nice.

 

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542 Posts
This topic has been hashed out quite a bit. I agree that the 3/16 lines for the brakes are the worst to flare. I ended up getting pre-flared sections to do mine and it worked out well. The 1/4 and larger lines are quite easy to double flare(gas lines), the smaller ones are a bear!
 

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Junior Charter Member
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33 Posts
I have been making successful double flares on all sizes of steel tubing without problems. As mentioned you need to cut square as suggested (square it up on a grinder if required), then add a large outside chamfer (approx 60 degree x 3/4 of the material thickness) to the end using a grinder. This will reduce the high loads required to initate the double flare forming. Blow out the tube before installation to remove any grit.
 
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