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Any luck with Flaring tools?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by MickiRig1, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I want to break down and buy a flaring tool setup. I seem to do a few complete brake line replacements every year. Are you able to get the correct flares and they seal? I can buy 50 foot of line for $25. With that I can make any length I need. I just did our Malibu and spent $75 on adapters and lines. Because the stock flare on lines is not the same as Chevy uses!
  2. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    If you buy a good one. Make sure it is a double flare. Go with like a snap on or mac.
  3. Plow More

    Plow More Senior Member
    Messages: 172

    I havent had much luck with them but on the other hand i have been lucky enough to be blessed enough that i just use my peter
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    There are two different flare styles used on brake lines: Double flare and bubble flare. Combine with two different thread TYPE options: Metric and SAE and you have four "standard" brake tube styles. Any good parts man should be able to look at your line ends and get you the correct style saving many adapters. But there is still one challenge, fitting SIZE. There are at least four SAE threads and probably close to double that in Metric options.
    A flaring tool is a worthwhile investment for even one brake job. Cutting lines to the correct length eliminates those ugly long and short corners trying to make a line fit. You can generally reuse the existing tube nuts, but all the sizes and threads are readily available if you prefer or need to go new.
    A cheap double flare tool can be had for less then $50. It's what I use for my infrequent jobs. Heavy duty mechanical and hydraulic benders are available, your budget is the limit
  5. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,868

    Do it! Insted of waiting for your next brake line failure you can take care of it beforehand much easier and more willing.

    What he said.
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Use the clad brake line, they don't rust near as fast and are not much more expensive than the standard crap.
  7. crabbybob

    crabbybob Junior Member
    from 01440
    Messages: 27

    I recently redid the brake lines on my Silverado. I wanted to buy just stock parts, even if it meant using adapters to connect mismatched parts. I gave up on the idea after spending 2 days searching for parts to mix and match. In the end I bought 25' of brake line and a double flair tool. The flairs aren't perfect, but there are no leaks so far.

    If I had to do it again I wouldn't waste time looking for replacement parts. I would just buy a spool of line and flair the ends. Also, I was able to get the original lines out without destroying the connectors. That saved a few dollars and kept me from having to match off the shelf parts with what was on the truck.
  8. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 197

  9. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,868

  10. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    I opted for Snap-On after screwing around with the cheaper $20-$40 junks. Snap-On was around $120 but well worth it. No chance of the line slipping by, or cracking the line when flaring like the cheaper units.
  11. MGMatt

    MGMatt Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Big money for that tool but worth every penny! It has dies to make almost any kind of metal tube end. Trans, fuel and brake.If You do a lot of brake lines it pays for itself real fast.
  12. plowin-fire

    plowin-fire Senior Member
    Messages: 186

    I have the same one. Works great every time and never had a bad flare with it. Fixing brake lines is easy with the right tools. We use the nickel plated brake line. Bends easier than standard line and is rust resistant. Cost a bit more though. We buy it by the spool.
  13. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,539


    Thanks man ! I really needed this a few months back. I would have spent the $300 for it in an instant, as I couldn't get anyone to make me a new PS hose for my truck. I would have been able to easily adapt / make a new one....

    Added to my wish list...Thumbs Up
  14. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

  15. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    FWIW, if you have money and want really nice pre-fab (complete sets, bent, flared, etc) lines there are companies that make them for popular vehicles like the Silverado. I checked and it was like $350 for a set, I decided I'd rather just pay someone less to do it with bulk material. Shortly after that I bought a flare tool...
  16. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

    Cost about a 100 to do it yourself and I know a few people that did not like the way stainless lines fit and threw a few of them in the dumpster.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,304

  18. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    Somehow I forgot to post details on that.

    The tool I bought is an OTC 4503. Coincidentally, this good Youtube instructional video uses the same tool and was very helpful for me.

    The video did fail to warn me about one thing: You have to really eyeball the tool's longitudinal alignment. My first two practice flares were a little off-center. I realized it and my third was acceptable, then my production flares were 100% perfect...they looked OEM.

    I got mine from Advance Auto Parts using a coupon code to knock the price way down.

    That was one of the ones I was thinking of in my post.

    I had no idea they had coverage for my 1980 LeSabre. Set of brake lines is $155 steel or $179 stainless...not too terrible if I need to do the whole job I guess. $200-250 for a modern GM pickup. That's getting up into a range where I might as well pay somebody to do it with bulk material, then I'm not spending days laying in the dirt trying to figure out how to snake a pre-formed line between a dozen tight spots.