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Fabrication 101 Everyone has to start somewhere and for some, theOFN might be that somewhere.

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Old 04-12-2014, 12:54 PM
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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?
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:57 PM
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What I need looks like the image below "tube stop beading". A nut tightens againts the bead to keep the line in place.

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Old 04-12-2014, 01:02 PM
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Can you change both fittings out and just use a flare fitting?

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


Steve
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:20 PM
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Red face

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.
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:02 AM
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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......
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:05 AM
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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.

http://www.mastercool.com/pages/flaring_tools.html

Last edited by gn3dr; 04-14-2014 at 04:07 AM.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:06 PM
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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.
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:15 PM
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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?
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:55 PM
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I may end up buying something like these "U-bend'em" lengths of tube which have the ends done already:
http://www.vintageair.com/2013catalo...ebpgs%2077.pdf
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Last edited by TheBandit; 04-16-2014 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
I may end up buying something like this which has the ends done already:
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/vta-12525-vcd
Those would be the simplest and cheapest way to go.
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Old 04-16-2014, 03:22 PM
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Run soft lines? I recently did an install in a 32 ford and thats what we did.

Dan
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo185 View Post
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.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
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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

Dan
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:54 PM
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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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-6LcuxKt1Q

Still would like to be able to do cleaner lines at home though...
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Last edited by TheBandit; 08-03-2015 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
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.

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...
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:31 PM
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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.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:15 AM
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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!

E
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:31 PM
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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!
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
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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

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.

E
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:32 PM
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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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