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Thread: Bubble Flare on Fuel Lines

  1. #1

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    Bubble Flare on Fuel Lines

    At the wing roots, where the 3/8" aluminum fuel lines attach to the rubber line section before entering the fuel tanks, do y'all make a bubble flare on the ends of the aluminum tubes to insert into the rubber tubes to help make a better seal?

    An AI recently told me to do this, so I bought a cheap bubble flaring tool and made some flares with it. After a lot of practice, the tubing continues to be scored by the arbor plate (even when armored by tape) and the inside of the tube, immediately below the flare, may be cracked but I can't see it well enough to be sure.

    The bubble flare tools I have seen are all metric, as is mine. The 10mm arbor for my 3/8" tube is a bit large but holds the tube tight.

    What should I do to make better flares, or should I forget the bubble flares and do something else? I can return the tool if no success.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    I don't know about the cheap tools, but I borrowed a very sophisticated tool and it gave me perfect flares after I did maybe two trial flares. It was not my airplane, so I dared not just clamp the hose on a straight tube.

  3. #3
    DW's Avatar
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    I just put a little grease on the tool and inside the tube and had no problem.

  4. #4
    irishfield's Avatar
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    These are what I use... bead rollers.. not "flare".

    http://www.jegs.com/p/Earls/Earls-EZ...40092/10002/-1

  5. #5
    DW's Avatar
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    Yup that's what I'm talking about.

  6. #6

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    Spend the money and get a higher end bead roller. The few cheapos that I have used did tend to score the tubing as you describe. They didnt seem to leak or anything, I just didnt care for the wat they marked up the tube. I spent a little more money but what is peace of mind worth?

  7. #7

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    That's exactly what I'm looking for, an internal tubing bead roller. I didn't know what it was called. Thanks. I'll return the Auto-Zone bubble flair tool.

  8. #8
    Darrel Starr's Avatar
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    The Parker beading tool is the thing you need.

    http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...parkerbead.php

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAwXVjWMnbo

    I have one, probably from WWII. An absolutely great tool and the only one I know that does a perfect beading job. Don't worry, though it is expensive, it will look good in the Estate auction by-and-by.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  9. #9

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    Got me one on the way too

  10. #10
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Reeve Airmotive(907)272-8522 has a Parker kit on the tool shelf with just ONE handle, not sure on cost....

    but for a cub you only need 1/4" and 3/8" well maybe 5/8-3/4" if doing breather.... I have a set I borrow from someone else...

    I kind of like the looks of that nut shaped one mentioned above, because sometimes it would be nice to bead them in place, something you can't do with the big Parker tools....

  11. #11
    Darrel Starr's Avatar
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    I tried the "nut shaped tool" - not a fan. Resold it on eBay. The Parker tool is the way to go.

    Here is a story -- I heard that there were two of these Parker kits being sold at a junior college auction in Michigan. We were going that way at about the right time so we stopped to wait around and buy the tool. We had to wait ALL DAY as other stuff sold off. Then when it came time for the Parker tools, another guy from OUR AIRPORT in Minnesota popped up and bid against us. I finally got the best kit; he got the other. Weird how things work out. All that and I saved about $100 vs. buying the very nice identical new ones from ATS. Eventually I ordered a few replacement parts from ATS -- about $100 worth. Live and learn.
    Last edited by Darrel Starr; 12-13-2014 at 09:06 PM.

  12. #12
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Starr View Post
    I tried the "nut shaped tool" - not a fan. Resold it on eBay. The Parker tool is the way to go.
    ya looking at it it needs a wing or two welded on to be the outer grove shoe(s)

  13. #13
    irishfield's Avatar
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    It certainly isn't perfect.. but it can be used in tight place and it makes enough of a bead to retain any clamp / hose combo from slipping off. That is what we're after.. after all. Nobody will see the "prettiness" after the hose is in place..

  14. #14

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    "...though it is expensive, it will look good in the Estate auction by-and-by."

    AMEN to that! The Estate's aircraft tool & etc. collection is looking pretty impressive even now.

  15. #15
    skipster's Avatar
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    IS a bead REALLY needed on that line? 25 years on mine and no problems without a bead. Did Piper bead them originally?

  16. #16
    Tim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skipster View Post
    IS a bead REALLY needed on that line? 25 years on mine and no problems without a bead. Did Piper bead them originally?
    Skipster, your plane is not legal, who is going to sign off a rebuild with workmanship like that

  17. #17
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I have an old Parker beading tool that works great with a little Vasaline on it. Could loan it to you if needed.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  18. #18
    DW's Avatar
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    There's no need to spend $400+ on a beading tool if your just going to use it for a couple of tubes. The little cheapo will work just fine.

  19. #19

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    Aircraft Tool Supply sells a mini kit. Looking at their catalog as I type this the TB145A-2 which does 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8" is $179.95. I don't know if that includes the clamp to hold the tube. Or for the holidays the full kit is $40 off.

    Tim

  20. #20
    DW's Avatar
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    Jeg's EZ Beadier for 3/8 tube less then $30 ....he's only going to bead 3 or 4 tubes.
    Last edited by DW; 12-14-2014 at 01:02 PM.

  21. #21
    irishfield's Avatar
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    Maybe we should just grab a coffee somewhere DW... we'ze talking to ourselves anyhow.

  22. #22
    DW's Avatar
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    Hey up for that. You got any snow yet I ready to put the skis on.

  23. #23
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    I don't really think you need to bead them at all. Never had a problem with leaking fuel lines on any of my many Volkswagens in my earlier life nor any cubs, all with just straight fuel lines. In fact, the only time I had a problem was in DW's old cub so maybe the El Cheapo he's recommending ain't so great after all......just saying.....

    My opinion only

    Bill
    Very Blessed. "It's not an obsession, it's a passion"

  24. #24
    DW's Avatar
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    lol....the old cub never had beads but if I remember correctly that wasn't the leak.....and what's a little fuel leak over rugged Territory in Canada anyway Bill.......just saying.....lol....

  25. #25
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    added a description of making one from a tubing cutter over in this thread http://www.supercub.org/forum/showth...l=1#post618144


  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by DW View Post
    Jeg's EZ Beadier for 3/8 tube less then $30 ....he's only going to bead 3 or 4 tubes.
    Bought one tried it on a piece of scrap 3/8 aluminum, the little ball came out scored inside the tubing really bad it`s all in the trash can.

  27. #27

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    Mike mcs repair,so much of the stuff you post on here is very inventive and a thrill to see,keep up the good work.

    Gary

  28. #28

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    I agree - neat tool. I have only had to do this once - but I don't make a living working on airplanes.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip View Post
    Bought one tried it on a piece of scrap 3/8 aluminum, the little ball came out scored inside the tubing really bad it`s all in the trash can.
    I ordered and received the JEG's EZ Beader as well. Four hours later it was back in the mail headed to JEG's. The adjusting rod broke and the bearings failed. Jeg's refunded the total price and sent a prepaid FedEx label. I can't complain about their customer service... it's good.

    And, Mike MCS, you're many levels above where I am both in creativity and talent. When I saw the beader you made I just couldn't believe it. By now I shouldn't be surprised.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasperfield View Post
    I ordered and received the JEG's EZ Beader as well. Four hours later it was back in the mail headed to JEG's. The adjusting rod broke and the bearings failed. Jeg's refunded the total price and sent a prepaid FedEx label. I can't complain about their customer service... it's good.

    And, Mike MCS, you're many levels above where I am both in creativity and talent. When I saw the beader you made I just couldn't believe it. By now I shouldn't be surprised.
    I`ll dig it out and send it back that's what happened to mine rod broke ball came out

  31. #31
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    And to think Jegs sells these to car guys that use thin wall steel tubing. Go figure.

  32. #32
    irishfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub junkie View Post
    And to think Jegs sells these to car guys that use thin wall steel tubing. Go figure.
    I've used mine numerous times on steel truck transmission lines.. cutting out a rusty section, beading the good ends and then adding some hose. Haven't managed to break it yet. Maybe they changed mfg process / suppliers and you guys got a couple of duds.

    Nice cutter mod Mike !

  33. #33

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    Mike where did you get the male mandrel to work on the tubing cutter, I have that exact cutter I just need a mandrel

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip View Post
    Mike where did you get the male mandrel to work on the tubing cutter, I have that exact cutter I just need a mandrel
    My bet is he turned it on the lathe

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by photosfromabove View Post
    My bet is he turned it on the lathe
    For the rest of us... Aircraft Tool Supply sells them. It's called "beading die #6" and is for 3/8" tube.

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by photosfromabove View Post
    My bet is he turned it on the lathe
    I can turn one but I was wondering if he got one somewhere

  37. #37
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip View Post
    I can turn one but I was wondering if he got one somewhere
    nope, made it on lathe... wish i had payed more attention to the real one shape/length.... will make another more like the real one ..... someday........

  38. #38

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    The Jegs beaders look to me like theres a little system that should be used. Never used one, but i would dip the end in oil, then turn the small nut until its making contact, then the big nut a few turns, then the small nut again, then big just like when cutting tube. Not all at one time. maybe 8-10 steps. Ive wiped out tube cutters trying to do it with one rotation of the handle. opinion
    Last edited by tempdoug; 01-05-2015 at 08:37 AM.

  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    The Jegs beaders look to me like theres a little system that should be used. Never used one, but i would dip the end in oil, then turn the small nut until its making contact, then the big nut a few turns, then the small nut again, then big just like when cutting tube. Not all at one time. maybe 8-10 steps. opinion
    That's exactly what I did, the small nut pulls a tapered mandrel up into the tool pushing 3 small metal balls outward, you do it a little at a time. Then you turn the big nut to make the flare then repeat. The second time I pulled the small nut up a little one of the balls came out and wedged between the tube id and the tool scoring the id of the tubing. Maybe I just got a bad one but somehow I doubt it

  40. #40
    coxcub's Avatar
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    I used the 'Nut and Balls' tools on new oil pipes for my Ranger engine installation. Excellent beads made using 'Skips' method of little at a time.
    However these 'Quality?!''EZ Rollers' came from this side of 'the Pond'

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Happy new year to all

    Frank
    Last edited by coxcub; 01-05-2015 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Link out of date

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