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.
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.
As an alternative to steel line, you could purchase a kit like this which is easier to bend and harder to kink. I’m not endorsing this product as I’ve never used it, but it’s worth a look anyway.
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.