How to Build and Bend Brake Lines

Having good connections throughout your brake system is vital. Leaking connections reduce brake line pressure and allow air into the system, causing a spongy or low brake pedal. So, first, we’ll go through how to line your braking system, learn about automotive flares, and look at some tools.

How to Build and Bend Brake Lines

Before you start creating your brake system, consider the size and substance of the lines, as well as the fitting type you will use to join them. To keep things easy, utilize the same brake line size for the front and rear brakes. Most rodders use a 3/16-inch line, although some use 1/4-inch. Use 3/16-inch LINE IN STAINLESS STEEL OR STE To keep your braking system leak-proof, utilize only one type of fitting throughout, with the fewest splices and fittings possible.

Most of your bends will come off the master cylinder and around the front and rear axles while planning your layout. To make this process easier, first, bend a piece of baling wire to the desired length and shape. Doing this initially will save you time and headaches in the long run. Replaced lines can also function as templates.

There are four varieties of tube flares used in the automotive industry: 45-degree double, 37-degree single, and bubble. A 45-degree double flare is the most prevalent on domestic and street rod applications. Used in high-pressure circuits like brake and clutch systems. The tube is folded over, giving a thicker lip and a stronger seat for the flare nut. With no folding lip, a 45-degree single flare is utilized for systems requiring less fluid pressure, such as carbureted fuel lines.

Stainless steel brake lines with AN-type connectors commonly feature a 37-degree single flare. AN (Army-Navy) fittings are used on race cars and many street rods. Fittings are not interchangeable with other fittings. The last sort of flare is called a bubble flare, but it can also be called an ISO, DIN, or Metric-style flare. The bubble flare is mainly found in European imports but became more common in late 1980s American usage. Making a smooth and even flare starts with a good cut on your brake tube. Burs or uneven edges from hacksaws or cutoff wheels are impossible to mold into a sealable flare. Speedway’s tubing cutter is perfect for brake or aluminum fuel lines.

The wing nut flaring tool is common equipment in practically every tool chest. However, if you want the most efficiency, you may want to buy the deluxe flaring tool. Wingnut flaring tools come in 45° double, single, and 37° flare. Many folks use a 37-degree ratcheting flaring tool for stainless steel tubing.

In terms of efficiency, the Deluxe Lever Action Flaring Tool is unquestionably the most efficient tool on the market. For 45-degree double or single flares on stainless or mild steel tubing. Simply clamp the head in a vise, select the die, rotate the head, and pull the lever. It easily flares 3/16-inch to 3/8-inch tubes. Aside from the premium lever-action tool, nice flares can be manufactured with the classic wing nut style tool.

Making an even cut is the first step to a decent flare. Put a dab of oil on your cutting blade to prolong its life. The internal bore of the brake tubing can be smoothed with a cone file. Skipping this step can cause the line to fracture or crack during the flare.  A good flare requires a smooth and consistent surface to compress.

Insert the tubing into the flare tool using the die’s bottom lip as a guide. The tube should reach the die’s bottom lip by 1/4 inch. Use a wrench to tighten the 45-degree double flaring die until it is flush with the flaring clamp’s top. After the initial flare, inspect the tubing for consistent compression. Discard the die and flaring cone. Over-flare the tubing might split the line.