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Old 10-29-2017, 02:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DIY hydraulic crimping?

I occasionally work on more than just buggies and often find myself needing hydraulic hoses made. Also, any buggy I ever own will always be rear-steer, which requires more than the average amount of hydraulic hoses. I have 2 hydraulic shops local to me but both are about a 30+ minute drive and both are extremely overpriced, IMO. On my last rig I used all field-serviceable hose ends to get around them, which was expensive, but probably not any more so than paying the local guys to crimp my stuff. Being able to more accurately get my line lengths perfect and easily modify the system later on was really convenient as well.

Right now I'm working on a tractor that will need several hoses made. And of course, there is always a rear-steer rig planned for the future. So right now I'm just planning ahead. I've always wished I could make my own hoses. It seems like there is just always a need to make or repair them for all my various projects. So I got to thinking about what it would take to be able to make my own when someone else on another forum detailed how he bought one of these die sets and made his own compression ring for use in his shop press to crimp his own fittings. It was an ah-ha moment for me since I have a shop press as well. I did some googling and found this guy doing his own crimping:


So now I'm wondering if anyone here is doing their own crimping, if there other cheaper / better sources for dies, any advice, etc?
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Old 10-29-2017, 06:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Man, it looks like t-400-17 would be exactly what one would need to do this:

http://www.eaton.com/ecm/groups/publ...t/pll_1217.pdf
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Old 10-29-2017, 09:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Man, it looks like t-400-17 would be exactly what one would need to do this:

http://www.eaton.com/ecm/groups/publ...t/pll_1217.pdf
That looks exactly like what you'd want for home shop/occasional use. Beats the shit out of spending 2-5k for a dedicated machine
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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$300 for a die set? ouch
I'd try looking at one to get the general idea of how they work and turning some on the lathe, then cut it into 6 pieces with a thin slitting saw in the mill.

Probably 4-5 hours into each one if your lathe's as low-powered as mine. Couple hours if it's got the snot to peel an actual chip, including set up and clean up.
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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so $300 is a deal. 6hrs plus material vs off the shelf
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My dad has the T-465 for redoing hoses on all the loaders and backhoes we used to run for my grandpas excavating business. Having something small and dedicated that you can reorient and potentially re-terminate hose ON the unit is super handy. Also, an electric or air pump with a foot pedal is almost mandatory after you wrangle a few big hoses.

The dies are expensive, but there's a lot going on with them and they are machined to very specific crimped tolerances to ensure proper termination. I believe they are all tool steel as well, however than may affect procurement and machining. But I'm all for DIY....just not keen on it when thousands of pounds of pressurized flammable fluid is involved.
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I saw some guy on tv making AC hose with a wrench driven crimper similar to this.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hydraulic-C...ZZ7iPJ&vxp=mtr

Would that work for hydro lines? AC doesn't get near the pressure of hydro.
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I saw some guy on tv making AC hose with a wrench driven crimper similar to this.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hydraulic-C...ZZ7iPJ&vxp=mtr

Would that work for hydro lines? AC doesn't get near the pressure of hydro.
I looked for something like that for a long time but couldn't find it. I've been doing some more reading on the T4xx series by Weatherhead / Eaton. By looking at the different series, pumps, dies, etc it appears that a 20-ton press starts becoming a limit after about 1-1/4" sizes. I don't need anything that big but what it tells me is that it takes a lot of force to crimp hydro fittings and there is probably a very low limit put on anything that a man could easily hold in his hands. Even a 5-ton cylinder would get heavy after a crimp or two. So I basically gave up looking after a long time once I realized that.

I'm not saying it doesn't exist. I just haven't found it yet and am not putting forth much effort to continue looking at this time.
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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$300 for a die set? ouch
I'd try looking at one to get the general idea of how they work and turning some on the lathe, then cut it into 6 pieces with a thin slitting saw in the mill.

Probably 4-5 hours into each one if your lathe's as low-powered as mine. Couple hours if it's got the snot to peel an actual chip, including set up and clean up.
If you buy new, a single die can run $150 - $250 generally speaking, yes. (The dies are pretty readily available used on eBay though.) The initial purchase would be for a die and the compression ring totaling around $300. The compression ring generally works for all dies within a hose series. So you pick the type of hose that you plan to use (I think most people use 100R2AT or any of the brand-name equivalents.), buy the compression ring for it along with the die sizes you need, and you're pretty much good to go for life or until you decide to start working with other types of hoses.

You would need a taper attachment for a lathe to make both the die and the compression ring. I don't have that for my lathe nor am I a good enough machinist to use it if I did. My time is more and more limited these days. There are about 99 things I could be doing with it that are better than standing in front of a lathe for hours and hours. And like someone said, the dies are tool steel, which is slow work. While I am generally adverse to spending lots of money, in this case purchasing would put me WAY ahead in the long run if I consider the value of my time. Also, the average field-serviceable straight 1/4" fitting is about $22. The average crimp equivalent is $6. So I would be saving a minimum of $32 per hose that I make. (More if you consider that many hoses would use 45* or 90* fittings, for which the cost difference is even greater.) If I spent $900 on dies that would last the rest of my life it would only take a maximum of 28 hoses to break even. Between the tractor I'm working on, the buggy I will someday need to plumb, and other future projects I have planned, I will easily be needing that many hoses and more.

Most of us wouldn't think twice about spending $300 on a die for our tube bender. But I have need for as many hydraulic hoses as I do tube bends. Not having a reliable, affordable source for hose ends has handicapped me for years. If I still lived in Columbus, GA I would have more options. But were I live now just isn't a very industrious city. The two hydraulic shops here deal primarily with the marine industry and rich, retired folks fixing their boats. They have no motivation to be price-competitive as nearly 100% of their customer base just hands them blank checks. And even if they were affordable, the drive is just unrealistic for me. I don't have time to drive a minimum of an hour round trip every time I need a crimp. During rush hour that drive regularly turns into 2 hours round trip. That doesn't include the time sitting there waiting in line for service nor the time for the service itself.
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Old 10-30-2017, 09:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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so $300 is a deal. 6hrs plus material vs off the shelf
Or an excuse to get a better lathe.
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Old 10-30-2017, 09:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Damn, I guess dad's old Gates 707 crimper and die sets with cabinet of fittings that we still use is worth more than he thought. He was wanting to sell it too cheaply a couple years ago. We also have another crimper that is made for a mobile rig, not sure what dies fit it, I'll see if I can get a pic. Patooyee text my number in my sig and I'll send one over so you can do some research on it. We have the 8 finger dies now and used to use the 6 finger dies, not sure if they'll work on whatever rig you find but we have them .
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Old 10-30-2017, 09:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Also, damn, your Oreillys and Napa in town don't do hoses while you wait?
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Also, damn, your Oreillys and Napa in town don't do hoses while you wait?
They do, but again, expensive, they rarely have the right hose ends in stock, and most of the makers don't know what they're doing.

I think I may have stumbled upon a solution. I'll text you later after I figure out for sure what's going on with this. Are you saying that you are selling what you have? Thanks.

The shop I used to go to in GA had all his dies out for display. I didn't fully appreciate them then. But now I realize he must have had $100,000 worth of dies in plain sight. He had about 2 walls full of organized die shelves about 6' high, each wall about 20' long. Hundreds of dies. But there wasn't a hose or fitting he couldn't work on.
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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when i was working in the hydraulic shop we used crimper to tighten the sloppy driveshaft splines
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Old 10-30-2017, 12:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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They do, but again, expensive, they rarely have the right hose ends in stock, and most of the makers don't know what they're doing.
It's also a royal bitch to try to get a hose done at the parts store with clocked 45/60/90 degree fittings on each end. Granted, it's generally bad practice to call out a clocked hose (for that reason alone, mainly), but sometimes you want to keep the number of fittings and adapters to a bare minimum and that's when a mobile crimper is priceless.
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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What about ordering long hoses from surplus center or the likes, and then just cutting to length and putting field installable fittings on one end? I know it isnt as easy in a pinch if you dont have the hose you need, but you could say that for anything. Many of the hoses there are the same price as you could just buy the parts to make it.
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Old 10-30-2017, 02:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It's also a royal bitch to try to get a hose done at the parts store with clocked 45/60/90 degree fittings on each end. Granted, it's generally bad practice to call out a clocked hose (for that reason alone, mainly), but sometimes you want to keep the number of fittings and adapters to a bare minimum and that's when a mobile crimper is priceless.
you can rotate crimped fittings. might not be recomended but you can turn them pretty easy
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Old 10-30-2017, 02:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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you can rotate crimped fittings. might not be recomended but you can turn them pretty easy
Not in my experience.
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Old 10-30-2017, 04:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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you can rotate crimped fittings. might not be recomended but you can turn them pretty easy
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Not in my experience.
Me either, no way you are rotating a crimped fitting on the stuff I work on.

A eblay die set and a shop press would be a great start I would think.
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Old 10-30-2017, 04:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I contacted an eBay seller who had a lot of dies listed and asked about some stuff he didn't have listed. He had everything that I needed to create a used t-400-17 kit. I went ahead and pulled the trigger. I didn't buy the 1" dies and swapped in 5/8" instead since I often work with 5/8" but never 1". I can buy the 1" dies later if I need to. Spent $500 and will be able to do 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4". I'll report back my results.
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Old 10-30-2017, 05:26 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Me either, no way you are rotating a crimped fitting on the stuff I work on.

A eblay die set and a shop press would be a great start I would think.
i do this all the time. just hook fitting in the vice or in to your part and use pliers or pipe wrench to turn from ferrule. one thing might be different i never used those hose end with ferrule allready pre assembled to fitting.
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:40 AM   #22 (permalink)
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How much would a used hydraulic setup be worth? I have a chance to get an Aeroquip FT1380-115 Model A Crimper. New ones list for $11k. I had no idea they were even close to that much.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:24 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I use the sold listings search on eBay a lot when trying to determine used values. Nothing is more accurate than being able to see what they've actually sold for:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...p2045573.m1684
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:34 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Just to add more tech, I use this cross reference when deciding on hose types:
https://www.discounthydraulichose.co...ence_s/322.htm
Most of the time when determining hose sizes, they are labeled by 16ths of an inch. So an example of a part number for Gates 100R2AT 1/4" hose would be H42504 - H425 is their series designation and 04 is 4/16's or 1/4. 3/8" would be 06, 5/8 = 10, etc.

This link will tell you the dies to use for each Weatherhead series and size.
https://www.centralstateshose.com/as...V-TM001-E2.pdf
You'll need to find your own reference if you are using something besides Weatherhead, but in most cases if you're in the same engineering designation, all the dies are the same between brands.

If you go to Discount Hydraulic Hose's hose by the foot pages they will list the types of fittings that each type of hose can use. You'll need this info to buy dies as well:
https://www.discounthydraulichose.co...ct_p/r2-04.htm
Some dies work on more than one type of fitting.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:43 AM   #25 (permalink)
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The dies I bought are t400-2c (1/4"), 3c (3/8"), 4c (1/2"), 64c (5/8"), and 5c (3/4"). These dies work with U and W series fittings on 100R1AT and U series fittings on 100R2AT hoses. (They may work with other hoses but R1 and R2 are 99.9% of what I work with so I wasn't concerned with anything else.) Spacers t400-10 and t400-11 are color-coded and used between the die and the pusher to stop the press when the crimp is done. They are machined to exact sizes and the chart in the second link I posted above tells you how to mount them for each die. It will call out black or silver spacer and weather to put the flat side up or down. If you do it correctly you should get a perfect crimp every time but you still want to measure with a caliper every time to confirm, which is why crimp diameters are also listed.
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