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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
any tips/tricks for replacing tight radius lines? my sons mark VII lines we replaced were a PITA, only way I could bend replacement lines was in 3/16. the factory lines were 1/4, but from hex end of short nut to outside of the >90 degree bend was only 3/4". got a little 'pliers' type bender from Eastwood, really like it, but the 1/4" radius is too big... factory tubing was only a 3/8 inside radius (Eastwood bender is about that in 3/16).

btw, anyone putting axle lines on a fox body car, watch out for this- theres a metal plate on the snubber that will hit the line if it bottoms and the line sticks out more than 3/4", luckily I saw it before it sheared- yikes...

would love to see how the factory makes such crazy tight bends in 1/4" without kinking the tube... guessing someone in here knows a better way.

also a pic of eastwoods little bender- its a handy piece and inexpensive.
 

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Make the flares first, if you haven't already...Then find a plug for each end of the line...Fill the line with brake fluid and cap the line with the plugs. Then find something with the radius you need and carefully bend the line around it...The fluid trapped inside can't compress and will allow the line to be bent without collasping.
 

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Terminate the hard line before the bend and run a braided line to the caliper or drum from there. The factory makes then with some kind of tools that mortal man can not afford.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Terminate the hard line before the bend and run a braided line to the caliper or drum from there. The factory makes then with some kind of tools that mortal man can not afford.
yeah, I kinda guess the factory has some 'mandrel bender' where the tubes supported by a cable/wire thats drawn out after bending, or something like that... bikesandfires hydraulic supporting it with oil filling should work in a pinch, but would be a bit messy- i recall somewhere reading about filling tubing with sand in a similar fashion for bending rollbar tubes or something. maybe I'll get some aircraft cable thats a fair fit in the tube and try it again that way just to see, think it would prevent kinking, but might be interesting to draw out, might need a tirfor style gripper to pull it out without damaging the cable.

the little Eastwood bender works great at short radius 3/16, think it will be my new favorite for tight places instead of the old Imperial-Eastman one ive used a lot...the eastwood though I wouldnt want to use everywhere as you gotta 'step' thru bends at like 30 degrees at a time, and for 1/4" its a tweaker only in my opinion... on the rear axle lines we ran 3/16 and brakes seem to be good as ever, not really sure why ford ran 1/4" when the single rear feed before the tee is only 1/4" anyway, and the calipers are smallish single pot units anyways...
 

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Instead of a short 90, make a loop if you can. Along with my regular brake line bender I use different diameters of pipe to bend the tubing around.

Since the factory does millions of these things, their benders draw the tube using a collet to keep it in the right shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did a quick look for some pics of fox axles, first one I found is bad- the way the fox axle snubber is made, theres a steel plate beside it, and if the snubber ever hits the housing, the steel plate will hit the brakeline- thats why ford had the S bend to drop it below the axle. I did the S bend on our Mark VII, but it was too long, under the car a week later saw the dented line- looks like I'm not the first to miss the plate beside the snubber possibly hitting the tubing. the one in this pic might be chopped clean off if the car ever bottoms!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Never personally ran into that issue yet.
I hadnt either Gary, till putting the axle lines on the Mark...the pic in the first post of the S bent line is how the factory clears the snubber plate, when I bent the first set (in 1/4) they stuck out like 1/2 inch more than the stock line, I didnt see any issues- but didnt notice the metal plate beside the axle snubber... the Arnott coil conversion springs I pulled from my rusty old Mark to put in the sons car had sagged from sitting so long, and the thing was bottoming pretty easy, replacing coilsprings a week later saw my new lines were bent was a chilling moment... theres so much room, would never guess that they coulda hit... but the pic I put a post up doesnt have any S bend at all, bet theres more that have been done the same way...other pics from that site you could see the plate beside the snubber too, looks same as the MarkVII setup, guessing typical of all the fox rearends...

heres a pic of the fox snubber/plate from the site I found the straight line pic at - the plate is only 1/4" inside the factory S bend if suspension compressed fully(raised our axle with the springs out to see- yikes)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Simple solution is a 90* Elbow then run your line into that. Problem solved with plenty or room for slap on the slap-a-ho reservation
but(always a but) the 90 would need to be a swivel, in order to screw into the original inverted flare mount and exit at the right angle. guess a banjo bolt fitting might exist for that, but...
I was just hoping there was a easy trick out there for doing tight bends, sounds like the oil-filling might be the thing to try next time, think it would be cool if the parts stores sold lengths with one factory bent short-radius end to work from... seems any other bends can be fudged in the garage fairly easily, just the tight radius-to-the-nut can be a bugger...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Says use their line with their bend and flair tool But i am assuming any flair tool can be used? Although theirs is quite impressive looking!! Said out of stock, not that i was going to buy but wanted a bigger picture. Not cheap but if needed often it would be the tool to have i think.
 

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... bikesandfires hydraulic supporting it with oil filling should work in a pinch, but would be a bit messy...
Yeahh.....It might be just a little messy...but it works. I never thought about using a cable or wire inside...That would work too, if its the right size, its just gonna be a bugger to get back out.....I have a set of the spring looking things that slide on the outside, They work pretty good, but you have to cut one of the flares off to get them on. Not a great option when you are using a ready made line, no big deal when you are making lines from scratch.
 
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