Tech Tip Tuesday: Bending Brake Lines

Rust. It’s a mechanic’s worst nightmare. Rust eats through body panels and frames, corrodes bolt heads beyond recognition, seizes bolts and parts together so they can only be removed with a torch, and eats away steel brake, fuel, and transmission lines like there’s no tomorrow. If you’re wrenching in the north, you’re no doubt intimately familiar with rust, and maybe you’ve even had to replace a brake line or two. Today I’m going to show you a little tip that makes bending those pesky steel lines a little easier.

Matco Tools bending pliers

First, I’ll recommend a good pair of bending pliers. Different styles of benders are available, but I find these Matco pliers work well. You’ll also need a flaring tool with the proper adapters for the type of flares you need (not getting into that today).



Once you have removed the line you’re replacing lay it out on a work bench or the driveway. Use zip ties to help make the bends in the proper direction and the proper angle.

I highly recommend using NiCopp® line to replace a steel line because it’s easier to bend, harder to kink, and more corrosion resistant than steel or even coated steel line. I haven’t used steel line even once since I discovered NiCopp®. Grab a roll for yourself here or check out their website for more information.

Doing your own brake lines can save you hundreds at a shop, but you MUST make sure you don’t have any kinks or leaks. If you aren’t sure about any of this, be sure to take your car to a qualified technician.

Happy wrenching!

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