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Discussion Starter #1
I finally got all the parts I need to replace the brake system for my '73 Spider; master cylinder, calipers, and hard and soft lines from IAP.

The hard line kit is "bend to fit" of course. Is there a special tool for that or do I do it by hand?

Also, what should I do with the brake fittings before I screw them into the master cylinder, calipers, etc.? Do I apply plumbers tape, anti-seize, or anything before installation? Are there any other tips I should know about?


Thanks!
 

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Make gentle bends - adjusting the curves bit by bit - by hand. A bending tool might make neater curves but they'll need tweaking by hand any way. Perhaps buy a length of brake tube from the auto parts store to practice with first. The most important tip is don't allow the tube to kink.



The fittings do not need anything applied. The 'nut' does not make the actual seal. The seal is made by the flare (usually a double flare) when the nut is tightened down against the flare.
 

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In extreme sitations where there is no possibiliy of jig or tool to help the bending process w/o kinks, it's entirely possible to fill a pipe completely up with fine sand, cap the ends so the sand can't come out, then bend by hand. The sand prevents kinks and collapse points.

Obviously it would have to be very thoroughly flushed out upon completion, but it does indeed work quite well otherwise.
 

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I would like to echo Eric's comments. there are usually inexpensive benders available at the big box autoparts store. You could form it by hand or bend it around a column or pipe but the difference as seen in Eric's photo, lower right image, is that a proper sized bender will support the sides keeping them from expanding outward, (which tends to flatten the tube and make kinking easier), thereby maintaining a rounder profile through the bend.

You need to take into account the material used in the radius of the bend. If that makes sense. It is not like folding paper at 90 degrees. It is easy to miss your target.

for the few dollars, get a practice piece. Straitening is not that easy as the outside of the curve doesn't shrink back as easily as it stretched when making the bend.

Many big box parts stores have a free loaner program where you essentially purchase the rental tool and get your money back when you return it. they may have a better bender in the rental inventory than on the hook out on the floor.
 

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You need to take into account the material used in the radius of the bend. If that makes sense. It is not like folding paper at 90 degrees. It is easy to miss your target.
Excellent point.

Just because a ruler says it's 10 inches from point A to point B around that bit of whatever you need to curve around doesn't mean that 10 inches of pipe will get you there.
 

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i would use a little anti-seize on the threads..i do, never hurt the brakes. easy to take apart at a later date..
 

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can't find it on their webpage but harbour freight has a pliers type bender that fits alfa lines --and when when used slowly--enough to allow the outer radius bend to stretch--then can be used to get really close.. Then a little hand manipulation to match the threads cleanly and your done.
 

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Go to you local parts supply and get some of the same size line and do a bunch of practice bends . It will make the final product much better if you get a feel for bending it first.

Its hard to undo a bad bend.
 

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ace hardware sell tube bending tools. just look in the plumping section.
 

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and when you take the old ones off, take them off carefully without bending them out of shape - that way you have a good pattern to fabricate the new pipe at the workbench.
 

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I had to replace the long line under the car (don't ask why:) ) on my spider and took it to a shop where they sell a really great brake line that you can bend by hand. I gave them my old one and they went back in the shop and came back 10 minutes later with a perfect match, flared with the dome flare and new fittings on each end. Cost was around 15 bucks. Fit perfect and have been driving the car for about 6 months now.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
for the few dollars, get a practice piece. Straitening is not that easy as the outside of the curve doesn't shrink back as easily as it stretched when making the bend.
I hope it's not impossible as 3 of the tubes are bent into a U shape for packaging and shipping. Thanks for the tips.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, I've started to install the brake lines. Did you know all the fittings are different, though they look the same? I do. Now. Off to get a new brass junction block.
 
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