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Old 05-05-2017, 10:32 PM
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Oh, I forgot to include the 'bending & flaring' link... CLICK HERE

Other YouTube vids talk about which kind of tube, which professional flare and bending tools to use. My vid is about cutting, flaring and bending 3/16" cunifer (copper/nickel/iron) tube using inexpensive hand tools (all of these tools can be found at HF). This size tube is so common, it is also used in metric brake systems. I love cunifer because it's super easy to work with and it will not rust.

CUTTING BRAKE LINE: There is no 'best' method because each has its drawbacks. The most important requirement is a square-cut end. 2nd most important, is to keep debris out of your pipe.

An inexpensive tube cutter produces a square cut, provided the cutting wheel is in decent shape. Rotary cutting wheels do not remove material but they fold the metal 'inward' which closes the hole. The hole must be re-opened and debris removed.

Hack saws can work but are difficult to control without a miter.

Angle grinders are wonderful if kept square.

BENDING BRAKE LINE: A host of benders work, from professional to 'using your hands'. My video shows a pair of $30 bending pliers that I bought before Harbor Freight offered one for ten bucks (now they cost $13). The HF pliers work equally as well as any. Caution: Make sure the jaws match when you look in the hole of the HF pliers. Some folks used a round file to make both sides match. I picked a pair off the shelf that do match.

INVERTED FLARING TOOL: Some kinds of steel are hard to bend. They require 'professional-grade' flaring dies. Cunifer is easy to 'work' so inexpensive flaring tools work just as well.

Bottom line: As shown in the vid, I keep it simple. I use NO power tools (although you can) and my few hand tools are common. Instead of a file, I use a drill bit. I do all my work in 'free air' before assembly so no bench or vise is required.

I use my old line for a few 'tricks':
  • I cut two 8" lines (with ends) to 'bench bleed' my new M/C. Simply screw the nuts into the M/C and bend the lines back into the reservoirs. Make sure the ends are below the liquid level when bench bleeding.
  • I measure off and cut a short length 2-7/8" long, from an old line (with the nut). Then, I use that little piece in places where I can't fit a tape measure, like inside a rear wheel cylinder. Eg: I attach one end of my new line to a tee (for example), then measure over to a wheel cylinder WITH my little piece already screwed in. I match the uncut ends, mark my tube and add three inches. This gives me the exact length I need for a finished, flared end.
My methods produce beautiful results with 'exact length' runs and NO 'extra coils' of brake line. This offers your hydraulic system the least resistance for better efficiency, the least flexing and the best operation. Questions? - Dave
My latest project:
CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
--Lee Iacocca
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