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MG TD TF 1500 - Brake line flaring tool recommendation?

I'm not quite ready to pay the asking price for Fed Hill's 007 tool, even though it is probably the best available. At one time I had a tool that would do good double flares, but I can't remember where I bought it. The lowest price tools seem to get pretty bad on-line reviews.

Regards, Bobby L.
B. F. Loughridge

I borrowed mine from the local mechanic. Just gave him a bottle of red for his trouble. Did the work over the weekend & gave it back Monday. Agree about the prices.
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

I paid about $35 for my flaring tool online. I used Kunifer pipe, did a few practice double flares and had 100% success with no leaks. However, I had just about 100% failure rate with my copper washers!
For example: banjo bolts bottoming out in slave cylinders before the washers crushed and cheap washers with inside diameters so large that they wouldn't stay centred on the bolt.
Using silicone brake fluid saved me from having to repaint the chassis as so much of the stuff found its way out of the joints!!
C I Twidle

Bobby - Yes, it is relatively expensive. But, it will produce symmetrical single, double and bubble brake flares every time and it made building copper-nickel brake lines easy. Every line on wife's TD sealed perfectly without undue force.

Regards, Bill


Bobby, I was in a similar bind a few years ago when I installed the brake servo in Lazarus and switched to silicon fluid. I replaced all brake lines with FedHill cuprinol. After a lot of searching I discovered NAPA's 161A In-Line Flaring Kit. It was (and still is) about $30. It takes a little bit of playing/learning, but it does a great job. Bud
Bud Krueger

Bill and Bud, the tools that each of you recommend both appear to be made by Eastwood. The larger kit does multiple sizes in single and double flare, plus a bubble flare. The smaller in-line tool only does 3/16 inch tubing in single and/or double flare (depending on the source of description.) The OEM company sells either the Eastwood manufactured tool or a knock-off of the 161A. I believe that my TD has only 3/16 inch brake line. It has a conglomerate of brake parts from MGA, MGB and hydraulics from another brand clutch. It may even have some TD brake parts, because there are some connectors that I haven't measured yet, much less identified. Bud, interestingly, one source for the OEM version of the Eastwood 161A in-line tool is selling it for $10.00. Shipping may be more than that. Also, do you know whether any of the MG models (TD, MGA or MGB) require a bubble flare?

Regards, and thanks, Bobby L.
B. F. Loughridge

Bobby, my understanding is MGB brake lines use both bubble and inverted/double flares (caliper is a simple bubble flare and the end going on the flex line is a double flare). Hopefully, someone can confirm this.

Ah, yes. Stretching the memory back a bit reminds me that I had to create two hybrid brake lines for the attachments to/from the MGB servo. One end, i.e., from the TD master cylinder, is the OEM double flare with the other end having the MGB bubble flare to the servo. The other hybrid is similar to go from the servo to the TD 3-way connection on the frame rail. I took those lines up to my neighborhood garage and used their tool to create the bubble flares.

I hadn't seen that tool on Eastwood at that time. Would I buy a $10 knockoff? Not likely. Happy to loan it to you. Bud
Bud Krueger

Unless you are in the motor trade you will probably only need a flaring tool about six times in your life. I know good workmanship needs good tools but is it worth spending a significant amount on something that you may never use again? I cut my Kunifer pipes to size and got a local garage to flare the ends using their heavy duty kit. Since I had purchased tyres from them previously the only cost was a cream cake for the mechanics to have at their coffee break.

Jan T
J Targosz

Just looked at the Eastwood tool on their website. It is similar in overall appearance, but functionally different. Bud
Bud Krueger

I like the way you roll Jan. A man after my own heart. Take car of the pennies & the pounds will look after themselves. What's with the K though guys? Cunifer gets its name from the copper (Cu), nickle (Ni), ferrous (Fe) alloy that it's made from. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Thanks to everyone (from around the world) for giving thought to my brake/clutch hydraulics problem. Only people like me, born during the depression, give any consideration to prices that don't amount to a great deal in any case. I would have bought the Eastwood in-line tool yesterday that Bud recommended, but my local NAPA store was out of stock and they didn't offer to "have it here the next morning" as they usually do. I will go to another NAPA store this morning.

The only place that I may need a bubble flare is coming off the MGA brake/clutch master cylinder that is on my TD and I believe there is an adapter connector for that.

Bud, I hope you are adapting to the new location OK. Several years ago I moved from Southern California (where I spent all of my working years) to Texas and I still haven't finished adjusting, car wise. In the Los Angeles area I had access to a multitude of junk yards where I could pull my own parts, I knew owners of local machine shops, and car stuff didn't rust. I also had everything from engine hoists and stands to a 20 ton press and exhaust pipe benders. When I moved the local high school auto shop benefited greatly.

Regards, and thanks again. Bobby L.
B. F. Loughridge

Kunifer is just one company's trade name, all the same material.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

Several thoughts on why the Eastwood "Professional" tool might be worth the added expense to some people (and I realize not to most people on the Forum). Costs and saving money were always issues when I started working on cars as a kid. No one wants to (or can) wast money.

The flaring tool handles lines from 3/16 to 3/8-inch and materials from copper to stainless steel. Few inexpensive flaring tools handle stainless steel well. So, it is easy to custom build brake and fuel lines in the desired material. One tool gives you a lot of flexibility; especially if you are working on more than one project/restoration.

The lines are held rigidly in perfect alignment to the flaring heads/tips and the flaring depth is set precisely by one of the heads (you do need a vise or clamp). This allows you to make consistently symmetrical single, double and bubble flares every time. This is significant if you are using Dot5 brake fluid and want the line fittings to seal without undue force. There are many threads in the Archive where people have to "crank" on their brake line fittings every day for a week to get them to finally seal. This is the result of either damaged fittings/surfaces or slightly misaligned flares (which are being slowly reformed).

Quality matters. How well a task can be accomplished is often equally important to the cost of doing it (and sometimes more important).

Kute. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

This thread was discussed between 18/08/2017 and 20/08/2017

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