Brake line flaring may have been a lost art as I was told by a mechanic I worked with in construction back in 1998. A man that I respected and trusted. When he first saw my brake flaring tool in my toolbox, he told me that brake flaring was illegal and was not allowed anymore. And this came as a big shock to me because I had done so many of them since 1992, and also recently helped a guy at an Auto Zone store who was trying to rent the brake flaring tool and only needed it for one flare. They wanted to rent the tool to him for $30 and my father-in-law and I had just walked in the store and I had heard the conversation and had mentioned that I happened to have a brake flaring tool in my truck, and I would be glad to do it for him for nothing. He was very grateful, so my next question to him was did you want a single or a double flare? And all he wanted was a single flare for which it only took me a few seconds to do and he was very grateful.
Now the first time I learned a brake line flaring was in ’92 and was on a 1971 Dodge Demon which I had bought for $50 in the late ’80s and needed some major brake work. So what I started doing was trying to repair an upgrade the brake system on the car, while doing so, my steel brake lines were in such disrepair that they were in need of replacing but my lines came without flares so I had to measure my own lines, put on the threaded nuts and do my own flaring and this was something I never learned from my father or ever see him do this when I was a child.
So needless to say this was uncharted territory for me, and quite tedious to learn, so this is where I gained great patience when it came to mechanic works. Back then the only thing I had to cut these lines was an old hacksaw and that was a pain in the butt because you had to do it while they were in the car. Now we will go on to how to do a good proper flare.
Now the pictures I’ll be showing you is with an actual line cutter. I finally have one now, while looking at my pictures it will show you how to properly seat your line for cutting and where to put your cutting blade where you want it to be cut. Now, what you’ll do is that you will get it started and be sure it is EXACTLY where you want it because once you do this there is no turning back unless you want to go buy another line and start over again!
Now start cutting it, once you start your first couple of rounds, turn your set screw to get your cutting blade to go in deeper with each turn, making sure that it’s cutting, then take the line out to make sure it’s cutting, then once you know it is, you put it back in being sure it’s back in where you want it, then finish up what you started. Now what I did with my line, so I would have one extra hand free, I had the convenience of a bench vice to put my line into while I was cutting it for which I will be doing the same with the line later on when I do the new flare. I will also be showing you the size of lines my cutter is capable of cutting. Once I have my old flare cut off, I can start by putting my line in my flare tool to make my new flare. In this post, I am only doing a single post for this project. And as I said I am using my bench vice to told this line so I have 2 hands-free, but this time it’s to hold onto the brake flare tool. Now don’t have to much of the brake line hanging out through the top of the vice if you have your line in a vice, because a brake flare tool, I thought was kind of heavy and I did not want to put to much weight on my line and damage it or bend it, cause I do need this for my project.
(When doing a brake flaring, always remember to make sure the nut is on the line BEFORE you do the flare!!!)
Now lining up my flare tool topper to make the flare, twist the threads slowly, be sure everything is lined up and then go slow to make the flare perfect so as not to spit the line because it’s happened to me once or twice but when that has happened it’s been from poor steel lines. And don’t forget that to be sure your line is in the right slot of your brake flare tool, not to squeeze it too hard or damage it cause you may not get the proper flare. Because after all, this is a brake line, lives are counting on this!!!
Now I’ve also pictured here another type of steel line cutter that will also work if you can’t find the smaller one that I have used for this post. They are both suitable for brake line repairs or transmission.