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Thread: Source for 1.25" and 1.5" thin walled aluminum round tubing for radiator lines?

  1. #1
    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    Source for 1.25" and 1.5" thin walled aluminum round tubing for radiator lines?

    I'm looking for a source to purchase lengths of tubing to run my hard lines on the outside of the cockpit, any leads are appreciated.
    Thanks!
    Dave
    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor.
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    Gordon Levy's Avatar
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    McMaster-Carr
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    Online Metals specializes in small online orders -- search onlinemetals.com to view their online catalog.

  4. #4
    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. Looks like wall thickness varies from .035-.065, any advice?
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    Gordon Levy's Avatar
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    .065
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    I know little to nothing about the GTM but can tell you that if all you're going to do is straight tubing (no bends) I would expect the .035" wall in 1.5" tubing to be adequate for the low pressure of a typical automotive cooling system. However, you'll want to roll a bead on the hose end to prevent the hose from blowing off. There are a few out there but Jegs has one at a reasonable price JEGS Tubing Beader: JEGS 80083: Tube Bending Machine. JEGS Tube Straightener.$129.99JEGS High Performance(9)Free shipping, no tax.

    Now if you want to bend that tubing you're going to need a much thicker wall and the manufacturer of your tubing bender should be able to tell you the minimum wall thickness for the type of tubing you want to use.

  7. #7
    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    I appreciate the replies, thanks
    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor.
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    If your not wanting to weld or bend it the .035" will be just fine. You want the thicker wall thickness for welding.
    Cheers,
    Dave

    GTM # 294 Build Start Date 10/12/2009,
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  9. #9
    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    Thanks again, I was able to source 16 feet of 1.5x.065 (all they had) from my local Metal Supermarket for $42! Anyone see any issues with running this tubing in both directions?
    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    Do I need to have a bead rolled on the ends or can I leave them smooth? Thanks
    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor.
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  11. #11
    Seasoned Citizen
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    No, you don't have to but if you want the best chance that the hoses you attach to these will not blow off you're gonna want to roll a bead on the hose end.

  12. #12
    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    Thanks, I kind of figured that. Any idea where I could have this done? I'll call Lingenfelter and see if they have any leads.
    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor.
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  13. #13
    Senior member Roger Reid's Avatar
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    Absolutely bead roll your tubing before attaching rubber hose. Having a hose blow off will leave you putting your car on a flatbed to get home. Here is a link to a jegs product.

    https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/8008...YaAvvlEALw_wcB
    Just an old man with a great hobby

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    beeman, where are you located?

    I do offer this service as I have a beader here at the shop.
    www.myraceshop.com

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  15. #15
    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    I really appreciate the offer Mike, but I'm in Indiana
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    Senior Member Big Blocker's Avatar
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    Do a search on YouTube for DIY tubing bead tool. There is a source in Europe that has the ultimate unit but it's a bit pricey. You can make one from wire crimp pliers bought from Harbor Freight for under $20.

    That's how I did my (coolant) pipes on my Roadster.

    Doc
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  17. #17
    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Blocker View Post
    Do a search on YouTube for DIY tubing bead tool. There is a source in Europe that has the ultimate unit but it's a bit pricey. You can make one from wire crimp pliers bought from Harbor Freight for under $20.

    That's how I did my (coolant) pipes on my Roadster.

    Doc
    Found it, Doc! I'm going to go that route.
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  18. #18

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    Just be aware. All the aluminum thin wall tubing I have ever found is hardened and will crack if not worked properly, or if worked too much. You don't need a lot to keep the hoses from coming off.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crash View Post
    Just be aware. All the aluminum thin wall tubing I have ever found is hardened and will crack if not worked properly, or if worked too much. You don't need a lot to keep the hoses from coming off.
    Good point, I'll just raise a small bead. I'll post unassembled photos if it turns out pretty, assembled photos if not!
    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    I bought a couple of the homemade ways to make a bead maker, the wire crimper and the vice grip/exhaust clamp/washer methods.
    If you get the crimper to modify, take a look at the crimp- they are all over the place. I picked the one to the left, well centered male/female.

    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member flynntuna's Avatar
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    Last edited by flynntuna; 08-08-2018 at 11:13 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Big Blocker's Avatar
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    Beeman,

    FWIW, I used K rated copper tubing on mine so the wall is 0.072 (industrial strength stuff) with soldered elbows and reducer. Copper does not bend easily, especially at that wall thickness, but several passes and a ton of patience made a significant bead, more than enough to hold a rubber hose on at 16 pounds pressure at 200f. I also use constant pressure hose clamps, not worm drive clamps.

    Crash (post #18) has the right approach, not to much is needed to make it work.

    I've also heard that using three or four evenly spaced pop rivets close to the end of the tube works just as well . . .

    Doc
    Last edited by Big Blocker; 08-08-2018 at 10:24 PM.
    FFR3712K (MKII) in Lost Wages Nevada.
    5.0 w/tubular GT-40 EFI, E303 cam, Custom 4 into 4 headers, T5, 3-Link 3.73 rear. Full F5 tubular suspension. Drop Butt mod, Dash forward mod, custom foot box air vents, custom turn signal system. 13" PBR brakes, Fiero E-Brake mod, Flaming River 18:1 rack w/ F5 bump steer kit on Breeze bushings. 17" Chrome Cobra "R's" w/ 275 fronts and 315 rears. MKIV seats. FORD Royal Blue w/ Arctic White stripes.

  23. #23

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    Yep, the pop rivets work, or even just drilling holes in the end of the tubes to give the hose something to bite onto works in a pinch, but the tried and true method is a bead. If you have the time and ability then the bead is the way to go.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member beeman's Avatar
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    I could not get the tubing to bend more than about 25 degrees without kinking on the inside of the bend, so straight aluminum tubing it is...
    Like Mike had mentioned, I initially had trouble with the aluminum cracking/splitting at the edges of the bead. So I radiused the outer edges of the male part of the crimper, voila, excellent bead.



    Here's my 1st 4 beads









    The aluminum tubing at the front looks different because it has a protective coating. Will have stone guard as well.

    MK3.1 2004 Mach 1 donor.
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  25. #25
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    Thanks for sharing, that came out better than I expected it would.

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