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-   -   How do I flare/form ends for AC hardlines? (http://www.offroadfabnet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10809)

TheBandit 04-12-2014 12:54 PM

How do I flare/form ends for AC hardlines?
I am installing an AC condenser which has o-ring connections. The tube hardline needs a simple formed ring/step about 3/8" back from the end. I am lost trying to find the right tool to form it. Can anyone help?

TheBandit 04-12-2014 12:57 PM

What I need looks like the image below "tube stop beading". A nut tightens againts the bead to keep the line in place.


Scrambled 04-12-2014 01:02 PM

Can you change both fittings out and just use a flare fitting?

I would think a special tool for one time use is $$$$


wyoming9 04-12-2014 04:20 PM

I would also Love to be able to form those.

If needed I would buy a tool if I knew just what was needed.

I get into doing things like that all the time and end up brazing the new piece behind the tube stop.

vidio1 04-14-2014 02:02 AM

Looks a lot like a push connect flare, not really sure. There are specific flaring tools to make this one flare, but a master flaring tool isn't much more expensive assuming you need the tool for some reason. It might be more practical to just have a pro do it for one or 2 flares......

gn3dr 04-14-2014 04:05 AM

Depends on the diameter of the tubing but I have a Mastercool brake and fuel pipe flaring tool which can do those. It's a great kit. They also make A/C specific kits for crimping etc.


Bo185 04-14-2014 01:06 PM

X2 on the mastercool kit, it is the only way to go $300 but well worth it for what it does. Also the have a manual A/C hose crimper that is around $200 or so.

TheBandit 04-14-2014 03:15 PM

Are the push-connect flare "beads" the right dimensions for the A/C fittings?

Also the Mastercool kits seems to only go up to -6 (3/8") for the push lock tools, but I think parts of my system use -8 (1/2") and -10 (5/8").

There's got to be a less expensive version out there?

TheBandit 04-14-2014 03:55 PM

I may end up buying something like these "U-bend'em" lengths of tube which have the ends done already:

Chassisguy 04-15-2014 07:26 AM


Originally Posted by TheBandit (Post 132339)
I may end up buying something like this which has the ends done already:

Those would be the simplest and cheapest way to go.

juicedz4 04-16-2014 03:22 PM

Run soft lines? I recently did an install in a 32 ford and thats what we did.


TheBandit 04-17-2014 01:50 AM


Originally Posted by Bo185 (Post 132334)
X2 on the mastercool kit, it is the only way to go $300 but well worth it for what it does. Also the have a manual A/C hose crimper that is around $200 or so.

I found a local hotrod fab shop that has that tool and they said it doesn't work for these due to the thickness of the aluminum tubing typically used.

I may have to just get the premade lines and select from standard 6" increments.

I don't want to use soft lines due to the larger OD. I prefer hardlines because they can be routed neatly.

juicedz4 04-17-2014 09:10 AM


Originally Posted by TheBandit (Post 132406)
I don't want to use soft lines due to the larger OD. I prefer hardlines because they can be routed neatly.

I figured. It was just my obvious FYI for the day ;)


TheBandit 08-03-2015 05:54 PM

I just recently came across this line of products: Eaton Aeroquip EZ Clip AC Air Conditioning System. It looks very similar to PEX, but with two clips per connection. Here is a photo:


Here's a video:


Still would like to be able to do cleaner lines at home though...

Graham08 08-04-2015 09:37 AM


Originally Posted by TheBandit (Post 137966)
Still would like to be able to do cleaner lines at home though...

I'm sure they work, but damn are they ugly!

I don't have anything to add other than I had to change the power steering hose on my truck last night, and the connection at the steering box had one of these, with an O-ring between the ring and the seat on the box, held in place by a nut. Complicating matters was the fact that Ford had done a running change really late in the model year, changing from a flared fitting to the O-ring seat...and guess which one was special order. :pissed:

Having a tool to do this would be handy. How thick is the aluminum tubing used for A/C lines? Too bad there isn't such a thing as a fitting to adapt from this to a male 37 degree flare which would let you run "normal" hard lines. I'm sure there's probably a good reason why not that I'm overlooking...

TheBandit 08-04-2015 03:31 PM

They do use some 45* flare fittings in refrigeration systems, although I don't know how common they are in auto applications. These folks offer some fittings for converting between o-ring and 45* flare http://nostalgicac.com/fittings-hose...-adapters.html. I suppose something like that could work, but I'd like to stick with o-ring fittings for seal reliability.

entropy 08-06-2015 11:15 AM

Back, as in WAY back in the day I turned a copper mandrel to loosely fit AC tube then cut the ends off and TIG'd em back on. You could get new chassis specific lines and that was it, so we made what we needed from various sources.

Today, I just remove the AC at every chance.
Except on my wife's rides because she turns it on maybe 4 times a year...
On my stuff it's GONE!
Cleans up the engine compartment, lops off a few pounds, reduces unnecessary electrical and vacuum lines, reduces the cost (time or $$) to maintain things it buries, and it is one less thing that will fail and just as impotently, it nearly always looks like an afterthought!


TheBandit 08-06-2015 12:31 PM

I see your point and understand your position, but it's my ride and I want arctic cold air blowing at me through the factory vents. I'm willing to service and repair it down the road. The point of this thread is to avoid it looking like an afterthought!

entropy 08-06-2015 01:06 PM


Originally Posted by TheBandit (Post 137998)
The point of this thread is to avoid it looking like an afterthought!

Tis your ride and that is the reason that I offered an alternative first.
Creating your own lines as I described can be done such that after polishing it is impossible to see it was done.
We also replaced the OE rubber lines with StStl braided and made billet clamps to hold those lines. That blended in to all the other braided lines.

Living where you do who knows I might want the AC too:eyemouth:

I once ran the AC lines through the Frame on a 69 Chevelle.

Wondering if you are considering adding a Cabin Air Filter.
Something I am going to look hard at on my Bronco Build.


TheBandit 08-07-2015 04:32 PM

I don't think I'll do a cabin filter on this car. I'm just going to wear one of these:
(just kidding of course)

Honestly I don't think I'd get much benefit from a cabin filter in this car. If it were an expedition rig that would see a lot of back/dirt roads, I might want to have one.

To "expand" on the welding idea, a tube expander can be used to make a nice slip-fit brazing joint for cutup / reuse of already formed tube ends. I'd still like to find a way to form the end myself though.

I called Mastercool to see if their 71475 hydraulic flaring kit would do this. It's advertised to make very similar-looking bead forms for push connect fittings, but they couldn't tell me definitively if it would work for the so-called A/C port-insert fittings.


I've become somewhat obsessed with this for some reason. It's not exactly urgent that I solve this but I'm finding the lack of an available tool disturbing.

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