It is no secret that cars and trucks come in various shapes and sizes. This variety also applies to the insides of vehicles. The distance of objects and their locations is rarely exactly the same. In order to compensate for these variations, brake lines must be constructed accordingly. If all brake lines were equal and made with a straight design, then they would break from awkward placement and the twisting of a vehicle’s movements as it travels and turns.
If you have made the wise choice of working on your own vehicle, then replacing and maintaining these brake lines will no doubt fall onto your task list. In order to properly work on brake lines, you will need a brake line bender. This tool can make a huge difference with brake repair and it is highly beneficial to know how to properly use one.
The first thing to figure out before purchasing a brake line bender is to check the type of metal a brake line is made of. Some types of tubing are made of copper aluminum or mild steel. If you are working with brake lines constructed from these metals, then it is far easier to correct mistakes thanks to the high malleability of these alloys. However, if you are working with stainless steel, than it is far more difficult to make corrections on improper bending.
Because of the difficulty that comes with bending stainless steel, the next step you must take before using a brake line bender is to measure the angles at which the brake line actually bends. Most brake lines have various bends as they are woven into a vehicle; they are rarely installed as a straight line. When examining a brake line, carefully measure the angles of each bend and take note of it for reference.
Following this process, you need to cut a length of tubing and make sure that it is a few inches longer than necessary to compensate for bending points. At this point in the process it is also important to measure the distance between the two u-bolts and have a supply chart available for size and angle reference. These types of charts can be found included with a brake line bender.
It is finally time to use the brake line bender. After making the proper measurements, take the tool and make the two initial 45 degree bends. Once the bends have been made, mark the bending point on the second bend and use the chart to figure out the appropriate angles needed to follow the angles on the crossmember. After completing this task, take the line and lay it across the frame and mark where the 90 degree bends need to be made.
A good tool choice for this process is a lever-type tube bender. These types of benders have a measuring scale on the tool to make it easier to perform accurate bends. The measurements can also be double checked with a combination square/angle ruler or other angle-measuring tools for more precise accuracy.