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How do you get a tight 90 on tubing?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by MickiRig1, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I just did my F-250's trans 3/8's cooling lines. They have a tight 90 degree bend that is like 1-1/2 from the flare to the apex of the 90. ( There is no clearance for less of a bend ) How in the heck do they do it? I filled the tubing with salt sealed in. Another I did with fine sand. The 2 bending tools I have would not have enough room to do it. If you cut off the flare then bent you would not have enough room to flare it again. With the fitting.
    I REFUSE TO PAY $75 for one and $85 for the other ! From FORD. I spent 6 hours doing 2 cooling lines.
     
  2. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

    You could try bending it around a piece of pipe or something.They do make nickel copper in 3/8 very easy to bend compared to steel. I assume you where using steel?
     
  3. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    What type of bending tool do you have?
    I have and use this type.
    tubing bender.jpg

    I have also put a pc of pipe in a vise and used a drill bit in one end of the tubing with some heat where you want the bend for some pretty tight spots.

    tubing bender.jpg
     
  4. jhenderson9196

    jhenderson9196 Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    Eastwood has a tubing bender made for a tight radius.
     
  5. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    The factory uses a mandrel bender. Personally 6 hours of my time is worth way more than $160. For that $160 you could have been done in 2 hours including drive time. I used to do all my own brake lines also. I'd spend probably 10 hours under a truck plus at least $100 in material. Now I just call classic and for $350 have perfect stainless lines at my door ready to install. The last set I did went in in under 3 hours and had zero issues. To me it was worth every penny.
     
  6. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    I know you want to do this yourself Mickirig but I really think the only way is to go to a mom and pop brake shop that has a mandrel and let them make your bends.Should be fairly painless. Good luck.
     
  7. K&L Salting

    K&L Salting Member
    Messages: 58

    lines

    I go to one of the local race car suppliers and they make them out of stainless steel for me. Also some of the spring shops here make lines.
     
  8. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I have the bolt type bender and the circle / handled bender. I looked at the one pictured. I may buy one for the next job.
    I never thought of trying a brake / muffler shop. I am on a first name basis with my
    " Ghetto Muffler Shop ". I got the old lines off intact for models.
    I got it bent using 2 long sockets clamped in my vise. All the other angles are fairly easy. The salt keeps the bends from chinking in theory.
     
  9. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    I've had the same problem. Had a bunch of parts store guys claim their basic tool could do it, then try to show me, then they kinked it. I tried packing it tight with sand and sealing it off, using a half-assed DIY mandrel, it still kinked. Eventually I used a short length of appropriate rubber, though that kinked and I needed to add a couple hose clamps to force the kink to behave.

    More recently I bought one that looks like the picture above for a measly $6 or so at Harbor Freight, and I was surprised at the bend I could make in brittle old 3/8" steel line.
    [​IMG]

    It's not quite as sharp as the OEM bend in my 1980 Buick's fuel line or various other really sharp OEM bends I've seen, but it's the best I've seen done.

    I also bought some of those spring/coil doohickeys that you slide over the tube before bending but I don't think they're strong enough for this purpose.
     
  10. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Never thought to go to harbor freight. I have a store 5 miles from me. The salt keeps you from making the big kink. I fix little kinks with a hammer and wood chunks for padding. You just can't be ham handed and force it. Make sure you have the right tubing-Fuel / Transmission. You use rubber hose, make sure you double clamp each end. Use a nut driver or screw driver to tighten. Never use a ratchet and socket. You have too much torque and it breaks the slots on the band. Support / Tie down long runs of the tubing so it does not pull off.
    I spray the clamps with fluid film. It keeps the clamps from rusting and failing. You lose pressure it can kill the transmission! I have learned a bit in 40 years of fixing stuff !
     
  11. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

    I use a ratchet all the time tightening them, If you can feel what what you are doing its not a problem. Definitly need to do more then double clamp when attaching a hose to a line you atleast need to slightly flare the end so the clamps can work and the hose will not come off.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  12. bossman34

    bossman34 Member
    Messages: 67


    YES, I have worked at a trans shop for years and have seen more lines blow off from the rubber line shrinking even with several worm gear clamps on it. It needs to have a slight flare on it or else it will blow of sooner or later.
     
  13. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    Wait, are you saying that the hose shrinks its length and pulls, or that it shrinks its diameter and splits?
     
  14. bossman34

    bossman34 Member
    Messages: 67

    It doesn't split, but in a few months it will shrink in diamater. No matter how tight the clamps are it will blow off at some point. I have seen it, I know because I learned the hard way many years ago. That's why every factory tube end has a flare on it. Trust me you will be happy you did it when it never fails
     
  15. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

    Exactly. Ever notice every radiator hose you put on wiether its on a radiator,thermostat housing, or water pump the end is flared .It need to be so the clamp works.
     
  16. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    Ohh, I get it now...you're saying the steel tube will shrink, not the rubber hose. I couldn't figure out how the rubber hose shrinking could result in it blowing off.
     
  17. newhere

    newhere PlowSite.com Addict
    from Fenton
    Messages: 1,288

    couldnt agree with you more. Your a wise man who has learned the hard way.
     
  18. bossman34

    bossman34 Member
    Messages: 67

    Sorry I think you missed the point, the rubber hose will shrink in external diamater. That means that the hose clamps will not remain tight. On top of that do not forget the amount pressure that transmission lines will have on them. So what we have learned here is that if making your own steel lines put a flare on them or the hose will over time slide off. I promise.
     
  19. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    Ok, now I get it...when I thought of the rubber hose shrinking I considered its effect on the inside diameter (making it tighter on the tube) but not the outside diameter. Ok.

    I try to avoid rubber hose repairs on transmission lines, but hopefully I'll remember that if/when I have to do it.

    Perhaps spring clamps would be a better choice for this type of application?
    [​IMG]

    Fixed a low-pressure coolant hose on my wife's Isuzu today, encountered the only thing I've ever liked on that vehicle: Spring clamps with nice plastic handles on them...like the ones on the right side of this pic:
    [​IMG]

    I still didn't want to squeeze them by hand, but they made it MUCH easier to use tools. I didn't bother with my spring clamp pliers, channel locks were just fine with those handles.