Lotus Elan

Brake pipe flaring tool

PostPost by: martinbrowning » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:21 pm

Hi there,

Having looked at several threads about brake pipes, I have decided to make my own. Question is, anybody recommend/give guidance on a brake pipe flaring tool? There seem to be plenty on Flea-Bay which are cheap so probably not worth buying. Other end of the spectrum covers the likes of Sykes-Picqant who are good.

Any thoughts please?

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PostPost by: Jason1 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:09 pm

I have this one and have used it to make new pipes on the rear of my +2. It's cheap but it works just fine.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-SILVERLINE ... 711wt_1139

I previously used in a professional garage: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SNAP-ON-BLUE- ... 500wt_1287

and this is a great tool. But the cost of one of these new, I went for the cheap one.

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:29 pm

I have both a cheap one and a Sykes Pickavant and used the cheap one for years before I acquired the Skyes, the Sykes is a better tool but if you follow the instructions (usually supplied with tool) the cheap one does the job. If you are only using it a few times I would not go to the expense of the Sykes as it is more for the professional.
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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:06 pm

Martin, I have used both. The expensive one was purchased because I saw failures with the cheap ones (I tried a couple). The e-bay item 50UKP in my mind is they way you should go.
Buying a cheap one is like a Kamikaze pilot buying aircraft insurance. Not spending that 50UKP may be the last though you have.
I used to live in Holywood Co Down, I had a 1969 S4 dhc Elan (3777 VZ). I remember this part very clearly , I was able to get up to 127MPH going down the M2???. :shock:

Just something to think about! :idea:

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Flare tool.JPG and
Elan1.png and
Last edited by holywood3645 on Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:13 pm

My experience with the cheap tool is it did not work and I broke the die on my second attempt to use it. As I bought it locally I was able to return it and got a Rigid brand one (same basic design, better dies) that worked. Would recommend buying locally where you can return if it breaks.

I wonder if part of the problem is I understand on the other side of the pond they tend to use Cunifer? or Copper Nickel alloy lines, and I think over here the standard line material is 'Bundy tube' in steel, which is harder to form, particularly on the double flare? Found the topic a bit confusing when I was doing the brakes; used open stock steel brake tubing from the local parts store.

Not sure of the tool in the eBay link as I think it said Metric? Anyway, for the Lotus you need SAE dies. The Dave Bean catalog has an excellent write-up on the various sizes and profiles. There are different angles on the sealing surface of the flare that are close but not compatable with one another.
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PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:44 pm

Here's the tools I used to make new brake lines and a fuel line (both out of steel tube) for my car. The tube bender was probably a luxury but it made for professional-looking results. I had a few AN fittings so I got an AN tool (expensive), and the inexpensive tool from the parts store took care of the rest. I found a website with an excellent introduction to flaring and the various types of flares (lost now, but there is a ton of information out there). The keys are:
    Practice.
    Practice some more, especially the double flares.
    Make sure you put the nuts on the pipe before you flare the ends!
    Measure several times, cut once.
I was very pleased with the results. As a result of all the practice (I did mention that you should practice, didn't I?) I didn't have to re-make any pipes. Everything went together fine, with no leaks (except at the replacement 5-way junction, which needed some threads cleaned up).
Good luck. It is a very satisfying project.
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reduced_0003.JPG and
Left to right: Imperial bending tool; Imperial flare tool for AN fittings; inexpensive flare tool from local auto part store. Tube cutter at top.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:14 pm

Well here is mine, the cheap and the Sykes, I have probably done well over a couple of hundred with the cheap kit with no problems. As Andrew says practice is the key...follow the instructions to the letter and practice on some spare piping, the results should be fine.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:53 pm

I agree with Andrew and Brian, the cheap tools work fine but practice is essential to get good results. In particular I found that it's vital to get the correct amount of pipe protruding from the clamp before forming the flare and this can only really be determined by experimenting. The instructions with my tool were a bit vague saying it should be "between 1/8" and 3/16" depending on the pipe size". I found that with too little protrusion the flare is not fully formed and with too much the pipe tends to bend - this I think is what breaks the die. I broke mine this way but the supplier replaced it without question despite the very low cost of the tool.
I think that mechanical failure of pipe flares is generally due to overtightening of the fittings and not the quality of the tool used to make them. There is no doubt that an expensive tool is easier and quicker to use but for me, to make just one set of pipes, the additional cost is not justified. Just my opinion of course.

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PostPost by: prezoom » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:28 pm

I had an old Imperial Eastman kit, which made fairly nice 45 degree flairs. However, it you are using any AN type fittings, the you need a 37 degree tool.

Purchased one from Eastwood, quite expensive, many years ago, which did both types of flairs. I have never tried to do a "bubble" type flair, but figure that it can be done with the new tool.

Anybody had experience doing the bubble type flair with the standard type tooling? If so, any hints?

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:33 pm

I just noticed that the instructions that came with my (cheap) tool do say that it's not suitable for use on steel pipe ...something to bear in mind perhaps. I used cunifer pipe and it worked fine with that.

You might want to take note of some of the Safety Instructions too........
Flare tool instructions.jpg and
....or maybe not :)
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:43 pm

prezoom wrote:Anybody had experience doing the bubble type flair with the standard type tooling? If so, any hints?


This guy has........http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVbHk0kkX8k

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PostPost by: 45bvtc » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:56 pm

Hello Martin,

I do have a Sykes-Pickavant (024001) brake-pipe flaring tool that I have had for more years than I care to remember but have used to re-pipe a number of Lotus Elan and Lotus Europa cars. The tool is boxed and in A1 condition.

The punches and dies are suitable for 3/16" and/or 1/4" bore steel and copper pipes with convex/single flares and concave/double flares.

I have recently sold my Elan and am no longer in need of this tool.

You guys have first shout.

If you are interested then send me a PM. I'll sell for ?75 and ship at ?12.

I also have a Mityvac (MV6820) brake-bleeding tool that is boxed, used once, and un-wanted.

Again, if you are interested then again send me a PM. I'll sell for ?35 and ship at ?7.50.

Alternatively, I'll eBay both next week.

Regards
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Brake pipe tool.jpg and
Brake bleed tool.jpg and
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PostPost by: Foxie » Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:58 pm

I've been using the "cheap" flaring tool. I found that it needs plenty of practice to get it right, but once you get there it's good.

Like has been said, the amount of protrusion is critical, some kits use the thickness of the die as a gauge.

Also, it's important to get a good clean square cut off, a wheel pipe cutter gets good results.

And don't forget to fit the fitting before you flare the pipe :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:32 pm

Foxie is dead right; you need to practice with the length protruding to get it right.

I was waiting for someone to post a few pics of what can be achieved with the cheap tool but so far no one brave enough to take the criticism. :D Well feel free to poke fun at my work below; all done in about 5 seconds in the dark corner of my garage in the last minute. I would clean off the edges before fitting.

Pics show the 2 types of end achievable, the cheap equipment and what happens if you get the length too long. It's worth noting that this tool cost me less than ?10 and I have never had a leak that did not seal after tightening.

If you can do better show us yours and give us all some tips.

Hope it helps.

Jason
Attachments
DSCF6778.JPG and
IMG_0118.JPG and
IMG_0117.JPG and
Not bad, needs cleaning but good.
IMG_0119.JPG and
Too long so it bent!
IMG_0121.JPG and
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:01 am

RotoFlexible wrote:Here's the tools I used to make new brake lines and a fuel line (both out of steel tube) for my car.


Andy,
Nice touch using Ron Hickman's Workmate as the backdrop for your photo.
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