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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:15 AM   #1
Westrace
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Why flare wrench needed to replace brake lines?

So I am looking to this and I am not sure why a flare wrench is needed. Seems like a regular wrench would do.
Mad Russian seems to suggest you need a flare wrench.
http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_front_brake_lines.shtml
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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Technically you can use a regular open end wrench but you risk rounding off the nut. A flare wrench is definitely the better tool for the job.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:19 AM   #3
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A 6 point flare wrench (11 and 14 mm IIRC) will grab those small fittings better. I won't say I've never used an open end on a flare or compression fitting, but its not as beefy as a regular hex nut so more prone to getting marred/rounded off.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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I went to Pepboys and AutoZone but they only have 12mm/13mm then 15mm/17mm, for some reasons, nobody is carrying 14mm size flare wrench. That's why I asked. These flare wrenches are hard to find. Looks like one has to order online.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:03 PM   #5
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well like the two previous posts mentioned, the nut for the fitting is a softer alloy. so to grip all corners (so not round off the corners) you'd want a box end wrench. But since a box end would not allow you to remove after its tight(because it would have a brake line inside it). so there is a flared end wrench that has a slit in it large enough to allow the brake line to pass.

strip that fitting and you have to cut the line, get a new fitting and then flare the line (with a flare tool) to get it back. big hassle for stripping it
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:18 PM   #6
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You need to go to a better store. Or more of them. I have a 14/16 flare wrench from GreatNeck. Not the best company, but I think I used it once about 10 years ago. It was part of a set that covers all sizes from 10 to 17 or 18.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:19 PM   #7
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Also, don't forget Sears.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:22 PM   #8
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I installed my stop tech ss lines, front and rear, with your run of the mill Craftsman open ended wrench. Worked perfectly and didn't come close to stripping. Just go easy and make sure the wrench is fully on the nut before you tighten it..
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:22 PM   #9
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I was wondering this as well. Never knew why but I knew it was important.

Turns out flare wrenches significantly decrease the odds of rounding out the bolt, and if you round out a brake line, that's a baaaad day.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse M View Post
I installed my stop tech ss lines, front and rear, with your run of the mill Craftsman open ended wrench. Worked perfectly and didn't come close to stripping. Just go easy and make sure the wrench is fully on the nut before you tighten it..
The problem comes when the flare nut seizes in the fitting, and the flat wrench merely folds flare nut around the brake pipe. This destroys the flare nut, which requires the entire brake pipe to be replaced.

Use the proper wrench, you can never go wrong. Well, almost never.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:25 PM   #11
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Find a Snap On truck and wait for the driver. They can hand you what you need. Mac tools and a couple of others come to mind too.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:52 PM   #12
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you can also go to lowes or home depot but they are easily found as line wrenches, and they go all the way up to 19mm
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:32 PM   #13
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Use a flare wrench. 99% of open ended wrenches out there for the consumer are junk. i.e poor metallurgy, inconsistent and/or oversize tolerances.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:52 AM   #14
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Just finished. I don't think you really need a flare wrench. Actually it might be a little easier with an open wrench. The flare wrench is meant to protect the nut on the brake line which is what you're replacing anyway so any damage wouldn't be an issue.

Anyway, had to do the old fashion manual bleed, which most people think might be risky. Lol's, hopefully I didn't blow the master cylinder.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:26 AM   #15
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If you don't have a flare wrench, use a box end wrench to break the nut loose. You should be able to break it loose and close it again without hardly any fluid getting out. Then put your bleeder hose on and use an open end wrench.

The chance of stripping it should be lower with a box end, but you might drip a little brake fluid.


*Edit: NM. I thought we were talking about bleeding brakes. This is about removing the brake lines.

Last edited by Cazz; 12-31-2012 at 12:31 AM.
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