– 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.