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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What have you guys used? I need to make some bends for the cage, and really do not have any close friends that I can borrow from, but can't spend a fortune (holidays killed us this year).

I am considering a cheap harbor frieght job, but am not sure if it is up to the task. My cage is mild steel 1 5/8, .134.

Thanks!
 
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The biggest problem is pipe is measured ID and tubing is measured OD. Most water pipe is 1/8" wall(ish) so in theory, a 1.5" pipe die would fit a 1.75" tube. Or 1.375" die should fit on a 1.625" tube. But it's not exact, so you'll have some deformation because it won't fit correctly. I imagine if I was doing a single cage for myself, I'd research the size differences to pick the closest die size and try it. For the price of a pipe bender, it'd be worth trying. You'd also need to make a little indicator so you could duplicate a bend for the opposite side, but that's minor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bill_Reilly said:
The biggest problem is pipe is measured ID and tubing is measured OD.  Most water pipe is 1/8" wall(ish) so in theory, a 1.5" pipe die would fit a 1.75" tube. Or 1.375" die should fit on a 1.625" tube. But it's not exact, so you'll have some deformation because it won't fit correctly. I imagine if I was doing a single cage for myself, I'd research the size differences to pick the closest die size and try it. For the price of a pipe bender, it'd be worth trying. You'd also need to make a little indicator so you could duplicate a bend for the opposite side, but that's minor.
Ahh, ok. So in reality, mild steel cage material is considered "tube", rather than "pipe"? The OD of my cage is 1 5/8.

So, I need to be careful when I consider the die size, in that, if it is a "pipe" bender, the dies are speced towards ID "pipe" dimensions?

It is really a pain, I need 6 bends max, but not being able to make them is holding things up...
 

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Don't get the one from harbor junk..it's freight.. **(*) I can get you a portable "tube bender" for around $450 plus shipping. The other bet is to find someone around you that has a bender and have them make the bends for you. If you need to I can make the bends for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's just too much money. If I was planning on doing a few cars... maybe...

I'll probably look around and see if I can dig one up somewhere local.
 

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You can always buy a used bender, sell it when you're done and absorb shipping costs. You might break even if you find one locally. Stay away from Harbor Freight though; cheap tools for cheapskates.
 

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Andy, the pipe bender doesnt work good on tubing---i've tried. See if there is a chassis shop near you that can make your bends. Bend a template out of something (muffler flex pipe, and take that to them to use.)

--chad
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
vitamindart said:
even the prebents still need a little tweaking
Mmm Hmm. Especially if you want the A-pillar bars to fit nice, and in any way want to attempt to use the rear seat, which is quickly becoming a lost cause...
 

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i suggest finding a local chassis shop, the kits are so generic that they don't fit well. the harbor frieght pipe benders dont bend well they leave dents and not a smooth bend. muffler shops can bend pipe but it will have a crease from the bender and may not pass tech be cause of the lesser dia. of pipe at bend. look for a fence or metal fab shop they should have a bender where they can fix you right up. you will also need a pipe notcher i bought one from harbor freight and it has worked well i mounted it in my drill press. the local/olny chassis shop only charges $2 per bend and is a great source of knowledge.
good luck
s
 

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When I need to bend tubing, I have a whole collection of things I bend it around. I've learned to weld up the ends while the tube is filled with DRY sand to keep it from collapsing. You can also weld blocks to a steel table and bend around them. Wheels, 55 gallon drum, assorted pulleys... A little heat and muscle, you can tweak any bar and make a pre bent kit look pretty presentable. And best of all, all that junk is free.
 

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yeah crazy i know what you are saying my bars go threw the speaker openings and way back in the trunk and the kids bang there heads all the time on them good thing there padded
 

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crazy 68 dart

I am in mansfield ohio 44902 I have a good tubing bender you could use free if you are close enough.

just trying to help.

where are you ?
what size are you trying to bend?

good luck

duke
 
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we'll i'am no expert but what i have done in the past is find the local muffler shop and look at the hours that there open. i owning a constuction company figure the boss leaves before everyone else. so if there open 9-5 i show up at 4:50. And i have made friends for life going in to the back of the shop and saying hey i'll give u 10.00 bucks to bend these. if you work for 10.00 an hour and some one offers you 10.00 for 10 mins? some times the guys would go so far to make sure it was right that i would give them 20.00. and at the end they would tell me if thats not it just bring it back around the same time tomarrow and will fix it up. when i got my tires done like that i had some coupons for a barb-que you know the ones you have to buy from your friends dauther. for school etc. and i have never seen people spend so much time working on a set of tires in my life. this may not be the way for you. I mean its a little sneaky. but i've found that you do what you have to when you build a mopar on a buget. >:D >:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sounds good guys.

Duke, I am in Canton, Probably a little over an hour from you. I am going to ask around locally as there are some racers. Hopefully I can come up with something, or get a local muffler shop to help me out.

Thanks for the advice.
 
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