Mastering Classic Car Brake and Fuel Line Bending: A Step-by-Step Guide
Whether you’re a vintage car enthusiast or a novice trying to maintain a classic automobile, knowing how to bend brake or fuel lines correctly is crucial. Hi there, I’m Kyle Smith with Hagerty, and today, I’m here to walk you through the meticulous process of precisely bending these essential lines for your beloved classic car.
Understanding the Tools: Your Guide to the Hardline Bender
The primary tool in this endeavor is the hardline bender. This tool features a pivot and two arms, with specific marks denoting the degrees of each bend—zero, 45, 90, 135, and 180 degrees. The longer arm serves as leverage, and how you hold it depends on your dominant hand.
Choosing the Right Size and Preparation
Before diving into bending, ensure you have the correct size of tubing bender. These tools are available in various sizes (quarter inch, five sixteenths, and three eighths of an inch), each suitable for different applications. However, handling the three-eighths size might require additional effort or even clamping it in a vice due to its toughness.
Precision Matters: Starting the Bending Process
Starting the bending process requires precision. Marking the correct starting point on the tubing is vital to ensure the right length and bend alignment. Utilizing scrap tubing to visualize and match existing lines or create custom ones using a wire template ensures accuracy before making the actual bends.
Tips for Flawless Bends
Before initiating the bend, ensure that you’ve flared the tubing and attached the necessary fittings. Starting the bend smoothly and continuously through the entire process is crucial to avoid kinks or twists. Remember, it’s better to err on the side of caution by bending a bit short as adjustments can always be made.
Dealing with Multiple Bends: Challenges and Solutions
Working on classic cars often involves intricate line configurations. Managing multiple bends necessitates careful alignment and marking. Keeping lines on the same plane, marking lines for directionality, and setting up the bender accurately are crucial strategies to ensure precision throughout the bending process.
Final Checks and Recommendations
After each bend, verifying alignment against a template is crucial. Patience and attention to detail are essential, advocating for a step-by-step approach rather than trying to accomplish multiple bends simultaneously. Remember, patience pays off in achieving flawless and accurate bends.