Brake line flaring tool?

   / Brake line flaring tool? #21  

5030

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Rule of thumb with any flaring tool, single flare, double flare or double bubble (European flare) is the stickout of the tubing above the tubing vise is no mare than the machined in shoulder on the flaring die button and all die buttons will have that machined in shoulder for reference.

Like I stated earlier, stickout is usually the diameter of the tubing being flared.

One thing to always keep in mind no matter what the tubing material is made of (steel or Nickle Copper alloy) is when you cut the end of the tubing prior to flaring it, IT MUST BE CUT SQUARE TO THE CLAMP or when you flare it, it will flare crooked. Why I don't use a tubing cutter (my Ridge flaring tool came with a nice tubing cutter, I never use). I always use a thin kerf cut off wheel in my cordless 20 volt 4.5" angle grinder to cut the tubing and I 'ream' the end of the tubing with a twist drill to remove any burr and clean the OD of any burrs as well. Finally, no matter what tubing material you flare, clean the tubing with brake cleaner to remove any oil or contaminants. Any oil or contaminants will cause the tubing to slip in the tubing vise as you flare it.

My preference is of course Ni-Cop because once it's done, it will last the life of the vehicle, unlike hard to deal with steel lines that will corrode and leak eventually.
 
   / Brake line flaring tool? #22  

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I've owned several different complete hand-flaring sets - including two different Snap-On & Matco sets. My conclusion is that it seems to be an area of tooling that hasn't had much attention or innovation.

But by simply buying half a dozen kits and returning the junk ones I did find one happy exception.

There is a company that makes good flaring tools. The company is Mastercool and they use a different and far better way to make a flare. Amazon carries the entire line. This is what the pros use.
I bought the least expensive kit that uses their "Eccentric Flaring" process. Part number is PART#70058-A, and was right around $100. Heavily built, ball bearing action, and uses that eccentric wiping action to make a smooth flare. They make all sorts of kits, but that one worked for me.

The complete kit is what to get as it includes their matched tools that are all excellent quality. If you haven't used an eccentric type flaring tool before you'll need to make a couple of practice flares before you believe how easy it is to make good ones.

rScotty
I'm good with my Rigid Scotty. I have the OTC as well for double Bubble(European) flares.
 
   / Brake line flaring tool? #23  

rScotty

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I'm good with my Rigid Scotty. I have the OTC as well for double Bubble(European) flares.
Well, all I can say is I used the same ol traight plunger type flaring tool for nearly 60 years. Got pretty good with it, too. Then I discovered the eccentric type forming tool and was amazed at the difference.

Here's my point - we learn and grow. If there is one new way - like the Mastercool series - that is so much better than the old plunger type I grew up with.... then maybe there are others even better yet.

But in every flare I've ever made the difference is in how much attention is put into the prep before making the flare. Others said it and so will I, you just can't over emphasize how important the setup is. If the job is a one shot deal that has to be right, the end needs to be cut perfectly square and then carefully prepared - by your own favorite method - into a perfectly flat perpendicular surface without any trace of irregularities or burrs inside or out.
The stickout has to be perfect and different for size pipe, and every set of press and dies is a little different, too. I make some tests on scrap before making the final flare. Depending on the flare and material I might use a bit of the right lube on the forming surface.

Yes, I know that other mechanics consider my methods excessive and time consuming. I make up for it by enjoying the work and watching it work right the first time. Just having something work right from the start pays back all the extra time in doing it.

rScotty
 
   / Brake line flaring tool? #24  

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The Mastercool hydraulic flare set is very expensive, like 350 clams on Flea Bay and I may buy one just to have it. I like good tools, makes my repair jobs easier.

Like you say and I maintain, when flaring brake or fuel lines, everything is in the prep to achieve a good flare. I believe people get poor ones when they don't do the proper before flare prep.

Paramount is proper stickout and square (to the tool) cut.

My Ridge works just fine for me but there was a learning curve involved. Always good to practice on a scrap piece before hand.

Why I never use a tubing cutter. Every tubing cutter will off track a bit and that results in a lopsided cut.
 
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   / Brake line flaring tool? #25  

kentrodngun

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I'd had a few but have been happiest with my Eastwood On Car Flaring Tool for 3/16 Tubing
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   / Brake line flaring tool? #26  

jonsstihl

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I am curious as to why a tubing cutter would not be appropriate. It is what I used when I had to flare rear brake lines on my V-35 square body one ton. The line was smaller but the conclusion I came to after countless practice flares was that my rigid yoke was bad but the rigid biscuits were good. I ended up buying the rigid and a cheap tool and by using the cheap tools yoke and the rigids biscuits I was able to get repeated good flares but with the rigid yoke it just wasn't happening. i couldn't get the cheap tool to work either, I really needed to combine the two tools to get them to work.

I agreed prep was more important. I did try to contact Rigid years ago but I bought it online so they weren't any real help. I have found a new tool store that carries rigid so I may try again with them.
 
   / Brake line flaring tool? #27  

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I am curious as to why a tubing cutter would not be appropriate.
Tubing cutters by their very nature (rotating hardened cutter wheel) tend to off track a bit, depending on the slop between the cutter wheel axle and the wheel itself and the very action of cutting (pressure on the tubing OD tends to compress it, especially Ni-Cop tubing which is much softer than steel. I just find using a thin kerf cut off wheel, especially in a tight spot to be easier and quicker myself.

You might want to Goggle up Ridge Tool Company and give them a shot on warranty. I'm pretty sure they have a .com or .net website.
 
   / Brake line flaring tool? #28  

Bob Rooks

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I will say that none of the other flaring tools can consistently make perfect double or bubble flares every time like this one. I have it, and haven't used the other ones since I bought it several years ago.


Cheaper non-Eastwood version for 45 degree flares only.

 
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   / Brake line flaring tool? #29  

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Way too big and bulky to use on a vehicle. I like their inflated prices for the same exact tools (line forming pliers and jaw type tools) that HF sells everyday for a lot less.

In fact the Mastercool set is too big as well.
 
   / Brake line flaring tool? #30  

5030

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FYI, I jumped on Ridge Tool's website and checked their warranty. It's lifetime with free replacement for defective parts.
 
 
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