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PostPosted: September 12, 2017, 8:21 pm 
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Joined: June 28, 2016, 9:21 pm
Posts: 21
Hi all,

I am in need of a tube bender for building control arms and maybe in the future roller cages. What kind of bender should I buy, size wise and function wise?

Harbor freight tools have two types of tube benders:

First type is "compact bender Item#38470" Link: https://www.harborfreight.com/compact-bender-38470.html
Price is affordable. Concerns are :1, how to fix it to ground. I don't want to drill holes in concrete floor in my garage. 2. are they able to bend 1" tube for control arms and 2" tube for roller cage?

Second type is "12 Ton Hydraulic Pipe Bender Item#32888" Link: https://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-hy ... 32888.html
Concerns are :1. It says it's pipe bender, not tube bender. Can it bend tubes accurately?

Any other suggestion you guys have?


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PostPosted: September 12, 2017, 9:53 pm 
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Joined: February 2, 2017, 1:02 am
Posts: 15
Full disclosure I haven't built my control arms yet, but I know a lot of guys avoid bends with control arms in an effort to make them stronger. Take that for a grain of salt, just what I've read.
What I have done is use a "tubing roller" from HF for the bends at the rear of the car. The selection of dies wasn't the best, and its a time consuming tool to use but if you learned to use it I think it could make some nice accurate bends. I would love to try the hydraulic bender out.


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PostPosted: September 12, 2017, 10:29 pm 
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Joined: August 27, 2005, 1:04 am
Posts: 1275
Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada
I've used one of those hydraulic pipe kinkers before. You won't get bends good enough to pass tech inspection on a roll bar or cage. The other bender you linked to looks like it's for flat stock, at least the dies that it comes with. For control arms, I would do my absolute best to use straight tubing, bends are weak spots. It's pretty common though to have to bend the tubes for the upper control arms to get around the shock, but they don't have near the forces on them that lower arms will have. For these on my car I used 3/4" x .065 wall stainless tube from work, and a Ridgid 35175 tube bender to bend them. Swagelok rents out the benders, but if you have one near you, I bet they'd make a couple bends for you if you buy the tube from them. Or check eBay, those benders last pretty much forever.
Kristian

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PostPosted: September 12, 2017, 11:52 pm 
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Joined: November 9, 2007, 3:40 pm
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Location: Fort Worth, TX
I wouldn't bend any tubes being used in arms.

Might want to fill out your profile - there are builders everywhere and someone may have a bender you can use.

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PostPosted: September 13, 2017, 7:54 pm 
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Joined: May 27, 2006, 9:46 pm
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
I'm with Turbo_bird on this one. The first one is, indeed, for bending flat stock, not tubing. The second one, well, I've used one. And the term "tube kinker" is absolutely accurate. I don't know, maybe it would work on thick-walled steel water pipe or something, but on roll bar stock, exhaust, etc., it will just fold your expensive tubing in the middle of the bend. :BH: :BH: :BH:

Real (i.e., worthwhile) tubing benders are extraordinarily expensive, at least around these parts. They also have to be bolted into a concrete floor, which in my case (a beautiful, polished, flat, level cement floor I paid $$$$ for) is a non-starter.

After much research, I found it far cheaper to simply take my material to a professional shop, along with a template, and have it bent. It's perfect, the first time, and there's zero wasted material.

Just my $.02' worth.

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PostPosted: September 17, 2017, 9:10 pm 
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Joined: January 31, 2012, 12:49 pm
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Location: Louisville KY
I did see one good ole boy using a kinker bender (sounds kinda like a wild weekend, doesn't it?) but prior to bending he packed the pipe with sand and sealed off both ends.

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