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Old 08-05-2006, 10:59 AM
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Default Brake line flaring

I'm having an issue with Flaring a 1/4" Brake line to my MC. I've Borrowed a buddies Double flare kit. I got teh 3/16" line flared with no problems, but the 1/4" is being a real PITA. Instead of doing the first flare, it's just pushing the line back thru the clamp. As if the line is too hard or the clamp doesn't have enough grip on the line. The Clamp is tightened down evenly and all the way as far as it can go. I tried shimming the hose witha a strip of Coke can at the suggestion of wbcarver to no avail. I cleaned the teeth in the clamp to make sure it was getting all the teeth on the line. HELL I stepped down to the 3/16" hole on the clamp thinking I could get it to bite into the hose. That gave a little flare to it, but not enough. Anyone have another suggestion?

I thought about heating up the line to see if it would help in two ways, One softening the line, and two, expand it a little. But not too keen on a flame and Brake fluid playing together.

any ideas?
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: Brake line flaring

Flame and brake fluid? You're trying to flare the line with it on the Jeep and filled with fluid? Maybe you're letting a little fluid onto the line and it's lubricating the grip between the jaws and the tube.

I wouldn't recommend heat anyway. A little too hot and you might mess up the metallurgy. I wouldn't want to chance that on a brake line. The aluminum shim probably doesn't help because can aluminum is almost pure, so it's quite soft. Try a piece cut from a steel can, or any other thin piece of steel you have laying around.
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Brake line flaring

I have always had the same problem when flaring brake lines. I chalked it up to the cheap tool I got for Christmas. When you get it figured out please post, so maybe I can try you fix too.
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Brake line flaring

[ QUOTE ]
I have always had the same problem when flaring brake lines. I chalked it up to the cheap tool I got for Christmas. When you get it figured out please post, so maybe I can try you fix too.

[/ QUOTE ]

I think that might be part of the issue.... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

just didn't know if there were any tricks to help assist in grabbing this thing.
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Old 08-05-2006, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Brake line flaring

well, I threw some Vice Grips around the Clamp and clamped it down even harder. that worked like a charm..... until I went for the double flare and cracked the line. now to cut it and try again would make it too short and I'm geting into the curly Q section. time for a new line.. :P
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Old 08-05-2006, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Brake line flaring

I had the same problem. With my Ridgid Flaring tool, not a cheap Harbor Freight or JC Whitney tool.
I tried a little 'grit' from some coarse sandpaper, results were mixed. Seemed to work OK with old used tubing but not so good with new tubing?
I then disassembled the tool and filed it down a few .001's at the mating surface, results were still mixed at best.
I them placed the clamping assembly into my bench vise, instead of using the small clamp on the tool. Worked great but only on tubing that can be removed easily from the vehiele ..... doesn't work while trying to flare tubing already installed!
So your not alone!
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Old 08-06-2006, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: Brake line flaring

Clean the line with a bleach solution (3 parts water, 1 part bleach) to remove all traces of brake fluid before flaring, it'll help the tool get a little more grip without weakening the line. I would ALWAYS suggest working on brake lines off the vehicle, on the vehicle and there's too good a chance of bending the line.
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Old 08-06-2006, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Brake line flaring

I had many of the same problems with my SS lines....to solve the clamping problem I used a vise as well....

My bigger problems was that the sears tool was a POS. The clamping block was not exatly 90 deg....hence, the flare would tend to 'squish' off to one side or the other...I would get one good flare out of 5....I must have ruined about $50 worth of ss line.....

Now I just measure up how much I want and what kind of fittings....then I can InLine Tube and have them make it for me.....
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Old 08-06-2006, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Brake line flaring

[ QUOTE ]

My bigger problems was that the sears tool was a POS. The clamping block was not exatly 90 deg....hence, the flare would tend to 'squish' off to one side or the other

[/ QUOTE ]

Had that issue too... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]

But I got it all done now witha new $4 1/4x40" line from NAPA. E-350 MC is now installed and the Brakes are SO MUCH better! Definitl recomended to anyone needing more braking power and not wanting to loose a Manual brake set-up.
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Old 08-06-2006, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Brake line flaring

Remember if you are buying a ready made line they are difficult to cut and flare. If you buy the good annealed bulk line you'll find the cheapest of flaring tools will do a good job. Since you were reusing a line I couldn't tell you whether it was annealed or not. I've always had issues with fixing lines versus replacing them.
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