- 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.
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.