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  • Fuel System: Flaring a Fuel Line

    Hello fellow Stude-fans.

    I have a '54 Commander w/232-V8. It was missing the fuel pipe between the pump and carb (Stromberg WW). I located a P/N (532567) but nobody seems to have it. I tried Studebaker Parts and Studebaker INTL. A couple of other club members told me that I need to make one myself. I've never worked with steel tubing before. I bought 1/4" brake line, a tubing bender and double-flare kit. I bent the line, and now I need to flare the ends. I've been practicing with the flare tool. I've been told that I need to double-flare the ends, but all of the pre-fabricated brake lines that I find in the store are a "standard flare" only. Is a double flare required? Anybody have any tricks to double-flaring? I seem to be able to make a nice standard flare, but the double flare doesn't come out so nice.

    Thanks,

    Tony

  • #2
    You don't need a double flare for fuel lines, just cut, ream and flare once.

    The double flare is used on brake lines and making them is somewhat difficult with the standard KD type tool kits, etc. The quality of the dies used in these tools are poor, at least in the 3 boxes of them I have. The small die used for the 1/4" and smaller tubes does not have the stamina to stand up to the job and will break easily if just a bit off center. The last kit I bought appeared to have some of the dies finished by scraping them on a sidewalk ( really)...

    Unless you're lucky or have a professional (read $$$) flaring tool, just buy the brake lines at a NAPA store
    Last edited by 64V-K7; 09-06-2016, 09:47 AM.
    64 GT Hawk (K7)
    1970 Avanti (R3)

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    • #3
      My humble recommendation...as you know, you can buy brake lines, already flared, with fittings. That means, for the correct length, you will only need to cut, and flare one end, to get the right length. Since the original line was coiled, as a kind of "vibration" protection and provides a bit of flexibility to line up the fittings, I suggest you leave it straight, and do the flaring process first. With such a close radius coil, it will be easier to work the flaring tool with the line straight...and then bend your coil. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975

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      • #4
        Aren't the fuel lines either 5/16" or 3/8"? Most brake lines are 1/4", but I seem to recall that fuel lines are bigger. (Not near my cars, so can't check.)
        Skip Lackie

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        • #5
          You can find a how-to video on YouTube, will walk you thru it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jclary View Post
            My humble recommendation...as you know, you can buy brake lines, already flared, with fittings. That means, for the correct length, you will only need to cut, and flare one end, to get the right length. Since the original line was coiled, as a kind of "vibration" protection and provides a bit of flexibility to line up the fittings, I suggest you leave it straight, and do the flaring process first. With such a close radius coil, it will be easier to work the flaring tool with the line straight...and then bend your coil. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.
            John,

            Thanks! I finished the line today. I'm pretty happy with it. Hopefully it won't leak. Sorry the pic is rotated. Can't seem to figure out how to correct.

            Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 64V-K7 View Post
              You don't need a double flare for fuel lines, just cut, ream and flare once.

              The double flare is used on brake lines and making them is somewhat difficult with the standard KD type tool kits, etc. The quality of the dies used in these tools are poor, at least in the 3 boxes of them I have. The small die used for the 1/4" and smaller tubes does not have the stamina to stand up to the job and will break easily if just a bit off center. The last kit I bought appeared to have some of the dies finished by scraping them on a sidewalk ( really)...

              Unless you're lucky or have a professional (read $$$) flaring tool, just buy the brake lines at a NAPA store
              Very good information. I did end up making the entire line:

              Click image for larger version

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ID:	1708945

              If this one leaks, I'll try buying a section of brake line from the auto-parts store. I asked the counter person at NAPA if they had double-flared brake lines and they looked at me like I was nuts. All of their pre-fabbed lines were standard flaring. Thanks for the help!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BOEING707100 View Post
                Very good information. I did end up making the entire line:

                [ATTACH=CONFIG]58161[/ATTACH]

                If this one leaks, I'll try buying a section of brake line from the auto-parts store. I asked the counter person at NAPA if they had double-flared brake lines and they looked at me like I was nuts. All of their pre-fabbed lines were standard flaring. Thanks for the help!
                I find that to be a common problem with most of the young people working at the auto parts stores these days. When the corn crap gas took the fuel pump out of my 50 Champion while I was in Michigan two years ago, I called O'Reilley's to make sure they had one, and they did. When I got to the store the counter guy was too lazy to work, so he said no we don't carry that. Luckily the other counter guy heard and told him what number to pick off the shelf.

                I used double flared brake lines to make my fuel lines. When I make my own double flares I find the quality of the tool makes all the difference. I also bevel the outside edge of the line which helps it fold in better. I also use a drop of oil on the tool parts that are working the flare.

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                • #9
                  A true single flare is a different angle than a double flare.
                  http://www.fedhillusa.com/webnuts/common%20flares6.pdf

                  The parts guy didn't know his prefab brake and fuel lines are double flare.

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                  • #10
                    Post #4: All my Studes have 5/16 fuel line.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BOEING707100 View Post
                      John,

                      Thanks! I finished the line today. I'm pretty happy with it. Hopefully it won't leak. Sorry the pic is rotated. Can't seem to figure out how to correct.

                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]58160[/ATTACH]
                      Hey Tony, it looks great. I just came in and saw your picture. I have a confession about my earlier post. I was thinking about the fuel line on my '51 Land Cruiser, when I was discussing the line being bent into a "Coil" between the fuel pump and carburetor. By 1954, the carburetor was different, and my 1951 factory fuel line would not fit your side draft carburetor. Also, I read Skip's comment about the difference between the sizes of fuel and brake lines. I think, because I've replaced more brake lines than fuel lines, I have made the mistake of calling all the pre fabricated steel lines, brake lines. Which is not the case. I'm so bad at "guessing" line sizes, I always take the one I'm replacing, to the store, just to be sure to get the right size, including the correct size fittings.
                      John Clary
                      Greer, SC

                      SDC member since 1975

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BOEING707100 View Post
                        Very good information. I did end up making the entire line:

                        [ATTACH=CONFIG]58161[/ATTACH]

                        If this one leaks, I'll try buying a section of brake line from the auto-parts store. I asked the counter person at NAPA if they had double-flared brake lines and they looked at me like I was nuts. All of their pre-fabbed lines were standard flaring. Thanks for the help!
                        The NAPA guy is the one who is nuts, ALL prefab BRAKE lines are double flared, in fact any of the in stock lines with a fitting on both ends are all double flared, or bubble flared for metric. Just need to be careful you get SAE sized fittings not metric. Try a different parts store and tell his boss to teach him what a double flare looks like. Why would they stock easy to make single flare tubes with a fitting already on it, unless they are a plumbing supply house.

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                        • #13
                          The ONLY problem I see is, if you asked for a "5/16" Double Flared Brake Line" for a Fuel Line, of course they will think you are Nuts because Auto Parts Stores only carry double flared "Brake Lines" in the 3/16" or 1/4" sizes Cars and Light to Medium Trucks use.

                          Maybe a Kenworth Dealer would have it!
                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                          • #14
                            I broke down & bought the flaring tool offered by Eastwood. Not cheap, around $200 if I remember right but so easy to work it is well worth the money.

                            Hopefully the posting number is correct. This should be post 4700
                            59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                            60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                            61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                            62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                            62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                            62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                            63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                            63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                            64 Zip Van
                            66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                            66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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                            • #15
                              A good flaring tool is probably going to be real expensive. For one or two a person could possibly find a good shop that would do it for them. I am lucky enough to have inherited Dad's flaring tool that he used back in the 50's when he worked for Phillips. Do not bet your life on some chinese POS

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