Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
2/7/19 1:07 p.m.


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Story and Photos by Carl Heideman

Certain projects seem to instill anxiety in even the most hardcore enthusiasts. Wiring probably takes top prize in this category, with brake plumbing running a close second.

What makes brake plumbing such a headache? We strongly believe it’s the quality of the tools. Most brake tools are just junk, and junk tools create junk results. It’s just that simple.

We’ve successfully bent up hundreds of brake lines over the years. Our main secret? We don’t use bending tools. Instead, we’ve invested those funds in a high-quality flaring tool. To learn the rest of our secrets, just follow along as we make a brake line for one of our project cars.

Read the rest of the story

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette UltraDork
2/8/19 8:45 a.m.

Hey Thanks Carl you are the best, we have our Jensey Healey challenge car we have to plum. Karl

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
2/8/19 11:15 a.m.

I know good tools are useful and last a while but; what would you suggest in lieu of the really nice looking $450 dollar hydraulic flaring tool I'm only likely to use for 3 or 4 jobs?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
2/8/19 11:24 a.m.

Carl's recommendation is listed in the article. Item f.

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
2/8/19 1:50 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Woops. Read the main body, went back to look up the tool, got sticker shocked, and didn't scroll down.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
2/8/19 3:58 p.m.

And I highly recommend the Ridgid one over the ones that look like the one in the picture below.    
Flaring Tool Ad

It seems like these are available in many places for $15-75 and they have a lot of minor differences that make them much less effective.

Brotus7
Brotus7 HalfDork
2/8/19 7:38 p.m.

I have the big Eastwood flare tool and love it.

That said, it ain't cheap. I got tired of dealing with leaking flares - tool budget doesn't count against the project, right? 

_
_ Reader
2/9/19 4:54 p.m.

What is the fail on the harbor freight version? Can it be tweaked to work right?

BimmerMaven
BimmerMaven New Reader
2/27/19 11:29 a.m.

In reply to The0retical :

IMO, if you're reading GRM and are the kind of person who makes brake lines, you'll end up making the other lines that the mastercool set can do.  the quality and finish of your flares for critical applications is well worth the price.  I've used all but the RIGID versions shown.  (no relation to mastercool/ COI).  in retrospect, I waited too long to buy mine (about 15 years ago).

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
2/27/19 9:44 p.m.

In reply to BimmerMaven :

There's definitely an argument to be made for just ponying up for the nice tool. My primary one is that I'm going to need to totally redo the lines on the RX-3 since they've been open for 30 years. I guess the question becomes is it 250 dollars better than the Eastwood 25304?

I'm certain the Mastercool tool is considerably easier to use than the Rigid tool (that style is irritating on a good day and GRM stated as such), but how much better is it than the intermediate step?

codrus
codrus UltraDork
2/27/19 10:00 p.m.
The0retical said:

In reply to BimmerMaven :

There's definitely an argument to be made for just ponying up for the nice tool. My primary one is that I'm going to need to totally redo the lines on the RX-3 since they've been open for 30 years. I guess the question becomes is it 250 dollars better than the Eastwood 25304?

The disadvantage to the Eastwood is that it's vise-mounted, so you really can't use it on a line that's still installed on the car.  Other than that, my experience has been that it's as easy to use as the Mastercool and produces results of similar quality.

 

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