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Old 07-14-2007, 07:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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bending A/C lines or adapters?

Im installing an on board air system on my 97' jeep TJ and one of the A/C hard lines is in the way. ive tried bending it by placing a pipe behind the line and bending it but it wasnt working that well. any other sugestions? is there adapters i could buy and just rout the line another way?
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A 3 in 1 tubing bender is probably your best bet (not very expensive). Deciding which material the lines are can also be helpful. Steel needs a lot of torque to bend, but the results are OK as long as the bend is fairly mild. Some of the aluminum lines are fairly thick walled and almost ridged. Copper is your friend.
Bending refrigeration lines generally isn't for the beginner. Flare fittings are a possibility but steel is hard to flare and some aluminum impossible. Connecting dissimilar materials and diameters can be interesting.
Much of the automotive stuff is non standard bits and pieces.
Is the refrigerant still in the lines? Did you kink the line you were trying to bend (most everybody does it once in awhile)? A partial kink, means little.
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MudderChuck View Post
A 3 in 1 tubing bender is probably your best bet (not very expensive). Deciding which material the lines are can also be helpful. Steel needs a lot of torque to bend, but the results are OK as long as the bend is fairly mild. Some of the aluminum lines are fairly thick walled and almost ridged. Copper is your friend.
Bending refrigeration lines generally isn't for the beginner. Flare fittings are a possibility but steel is hard to flare and some aluminum impossible. Connecting dissimilar materials and diameters can be interesting.
Much of the automotive stuff is non standard bits and pieces.
Is the refrigerant still in the lines? Did you kink the line you were trying to bend (most everybody does it once in awhile)? A partial kink, means little.
is that what the tool is called? 3 in 1 tubing bender? its aluminum that im trying to bend. yeah the freeon is still in the lines, should i remove it before i try again? do i have to take the line off to use the tubing bender? i didnt kink it yet but put a little curv (like i was trying) around the pipe i had in there but it was really hard. i was pulling on it pretty hard while trying to avoid kinking it or breaking it at the fitting.
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by paul_arc View Post
is that what the tool is called? 3 in 1 tubing bender? its aluminum that im trying to bend. yeah the freeon is still in the lines, should i remove it before i try again? do i have to take the line off to use the tubing bender? i didnt kink it yet but put a little curv (like i was trying) around the pipe i had in there but it was really hard. i was pulling on it pretty hard while trying to avoid kinking it or breaking it at the fitting.
Taking the freon out is a whole nother can of worms, I wouldn't unless absolutely necessary.
The tubing bender is fairly small, depends on the room, gentle bends are more likely to be successful or a series of small bends over a longer area. I bend with my hands a lot, I use a pair of gloves, even some padding on occasion. Trying to pry on something rigid doesn't work well.
Some of the aluminum lines have really thin walls, some have thick fairly porous walls and are almost rigid. The results aren't real predictable.
There are different kinds and sizes of tubing benders, 3 in 1 is kind of a generic name. One of those tools you may rarely need, but nice to have around the shop. I keep a selection of benders.

Last edited by MudderChuck; 07-14-2007 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Are you installing a second pump and retaining the A/C?
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Are you installing a second pump and retaining the A/C?
Yes that is correct, I picked up the york 210 and installed the kilby mounting bracket. I went and bought that 3 in 1 tubing bender but couldnt get it in the area to bend it because of to much junk in the way. must be made to bend it out of the jeep but dont want to go through the trouble of evac. the freeon. ive just been working it by taking out some factory bends and making my own with a piece of pipe to bend around. its better but still needs to move more. any sugestions on what would make it easier to bend?
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