How to Bend Your Brake or Fuel Lines | Hagerty DIY

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- This is

Kyle Smith with Hagerty and today I will be

walking you through how to properly bend

the brake or fuel lines in your classic car.

So the tool that we have for this job is a

hardline bender like this.

You can see it's got a little bit of a pivot to it

and two arms.

Now, this longer arm here is for leverage, you're

typically gonna hold that with your left hand

depending on which hand is your dominant hand.

And then you have marks here denoting the actual degree

of each bend that you're going to do.

So you have a zero mark, 45 degree bend,

90, 135, and 180.

The biggest thing that you're going to have to

worry about with something like this is making sure

that you start the bend in the correct place, and so

it actually has the correct length of tubing

coming out of it.

To use a tubing bender, it's set up for a line

like this one, and this is what you purchase at

your local auto parts store for various applications.

It comes in multiple sizes and you'll want to

make sure that the size that you purchase that's correct

for your project will also work with your bender.

A bender like this is set up for a quarter inch,

five sixteenths, and also three eighths of an inch line.

Three eighths is getting pretty tough, it's gonna

take you a good bit of effort.

You might almost have to clamp it into a vice

or something like that, at least I know I do.

I don't have the strength to bend that by hand.

So to start off with something like this, you do need

to be careful and make sure that you're starting

your bends in the appropriate places.

For that, I've bent a couple pieces of scrap tubing

that I can compare to.

So here I've taken a scrap piece of brake line and

just bent it in two bends, as if this was what I needed

to match on the car.

In some applications, you're going to be matching

an existing line that may have split or rusted out.

In other cases, you're going to be forming a custom line.

And what I recommend for that is using a coat hangar

or some type of other bendable that will also

hold its shape wire, and you can use that to figure out

exactly how long you need and also where your bends

are going to be.

So it will fit nice and neat and be out of the way.

So again for this one, just as an example piece,

I put two 90 degree bends in this scrap piece.

And this will be what I'm bending.

Now, you'll notice I have already flared this piece

and it does already have the fitting on it.

You'll want to make sure to do that before you bend it,

just in case you have something like this where

the bend is actually too close to be able to

get this into our flaring tool.

So you would bend this piece, have it fitting very nice

and you wouldn't be able to get your flared end on it.

Would be very frustrating.

So to start the bending process, what you'll actually

want to do is hold your lines up next to each other

and figure out where you're going to start your bends.

So what you'll do is line everything up, and then

mark the start of the bend here on your hardline.

So what you'll see is as I line these up, exactly where

it starts to bend is where I make that mark.

So now, if I use that mark as my reference point,

and set that up in the bender.

Push that mark

right on the zero.

So you can see I've lined that up there

with the zero.

And we'll draw these down so the zeros line up

with each other.

And then to start the bend, you'll want to make sure

that you move in one smooth motion through

the entire bend.

You won't, you will not want to start and stop as that goes,

so we'll use our template again here.

And it looks like we're going around right at 90 degrees.

And it's always better to go a little bit short

on your angle than too far.

Because you'll always be able to put it back

in the bender and bring it just a little bit past.

So again, one nice, smooth motion bringing that around

right until the zero points at that 90 degrees.

And then release it off.

So you can see there I've got a nice, smooth

90 degree bend, no kinks or twists in it.

And my fitting's still in the correct place.

So at that point, you'll hold it up against your template

and make sure that it actually aligned.

If we look pretty carefully, it looks like

I got it right on.

So this is the tricky part in dealing with multiple bends.

What you're gonna run into a lot on a classic car

especially if you're doing brake hardlines that

run the length of the chassis or something like that.

So you need to make sure that you hold these two together

and then also still next to each other and then

mark the next bend, and you'll work your way down

the line ensuring that you're always setting it up

that you're on the same plane as the lines.

You can see that these two bends are on

two different planes.

And the trick for that one that I like to use

is to mark the line so that it always points

to the side of the bender that I'm going to be using.

So in this instance, I would actually need to

flip this over,

and line them up, end to end.

Make sure they're matching there

and then draw the line right where that bend starts.

There it is.

And then what you'll see is that always points

to the zeros on the bender.

And that will ensure that I'm always bending

in the correct direction.

Another thing I'll recommend is to go ahead and

set it up in the bender

how you'll need it to be.

Mark right there on the zeros and then if you

put a little bit of light tension to it, it'll hold

the angle that you'll need.

So let's see.

It'll be

right there.

That's where I'll need it.

And so you almost need a little bit of a third hand.

But if you line everything up and then you can

hold your piece or your template up against it again

to make sure that you're going the right direction,

and also check the angle that you're bending to.

So it looks like this is another 90 degree bend.

Then go ahead and get ready.

And then again, one nice, smooth motion all the

way through until that zero is right at the 90 degrees.

And then relax just a bit.

Now a line like this is going to have a little bit

of springback to it, so you'll want to go just

a touch past the 90 degrees but not by much.

Again remember that you can always put it in there

and go just a little bit further, but it's very hard

to take that bend back.

So there you can see I have the two compound bends

in that line.

So with this, I'll go ahead and lay the template

on top of the piece that we made and you can see

that it worked out pretty well.

I always recommend to work your way down the line

one bend at a time, rather then trying to do

multiple or to do it in stages.

That'll just make sure that you get it correct

on the first try.

You'll always have to be careful, it will take thought

to work your way down the line.

But just patience will make sure that you get it

correct every time.