Proper type of tubing for trans cooler lines?

Transmission and Drivetrain Tech

  1. halfafish

    halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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    My trans cooler lines are a mess and are leaking, I need to replace them. I see pure copper, copper-nickel, and steel lines as choices of material. I will be buying a 25' roll and bending them myself. Is there one type of material that's correct or not or ??
     
  2. Plymouth 65

    Plymouth 65 Floorable Deplorable

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    Original transmission lines are steel, that's what I used for my transmission cooler. 65'
     
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    • TurboGLH

      TurboGLH Well-Known Member

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      Nycopp (nickel copper) is what I would use if I was hand bending my lines.

      There's absolutely no downside to them, only pluses. No corrosion, easy to bend and flare, high burst pressure.

      Trans cooler lines are low pressure, 30psi, but I wouldn't trust copper line on something critical. Steel rusts, and SS is hard to bend/flare.
       
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      • charger426

        charger426 Well-Known Member

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        Nickel copper is all I use anymore when doing hard lines. I have it in a few different sizes for fuel lines and brake lines. Only down side is the slight increase in cost from steel an stainless but its A LOT easier to work with.
         
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        • MoparMike1974

          MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          Never use regular copper line on a car with the exception of maybe a choke tube or something like that. Nickel copper cost more but bends easy and will last. Steel is cheapest but does not bend as cleanly and easily.
           
        • Demonic

          Demonic Well-Known Member

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          IF you have a 5/16" bender, ( about $15.- for the 3 in 1 at home Depot ) and a maybe a bit of experience bending steel tubing, that would make using original steel tube easier. I might use nicker-copper now myself.

          Husky Tube Bending Tool-80-535-111 - The Home Depot
           
        • Oldmanmopar

          Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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          My first choice would be stainless pre pent from In-line tube. The last set you'll ever need.

          Product List
           
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          • charger426

            charger426 Well-Known Member

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            The nickel copper is the last set you’ll ever need as well. Personal preference really.
             
          • halfafish

            halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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            Thanks guys. I have a roll of copper nickel on the way. I do have tubing benders so I don't think it will be all that big a deal to shape them and install them.
             
          • dodgy

            dodgy Well-Known Member

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            How Would aluminium lines hold up, it could stand up to the heat and pressure.
             
          • TurboGLH

            TurboGLH Well-Known Member

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            Aluminum work hardens easily. So, if it can flex at all, like even a little, it will become brittle and crack.

            Having bent a bunch of everything mentioned here. Nicopp bends almost as easy as aluminum, so I'd never even consider anything else.
             
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            • 383Scampman

              383Scampman Well-Known Member

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              I used flexable steel braided lines with AN to NPT adapters on both ends . Made by folks that make hydraulic lines for heavy equipment and trucks . Not cheap but I put them away from heat and they'll last forever . Oh, I also had the size of the line increased for more volume . Pissa stuff !
               
            • krazykuda

              krazykuda Well-Known Member FABO Gold Member How-To Section Editor

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              Pure copper lines will work harden with vibration and crack... DO NOT USE COPPER TUBING....


              Nycopp or steel is the way to go....
               
            • 65wgn440

              65wgn440 Well-Known Member

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              I say that there is at least one downside to Nicopp trans lines vs steel, and that is strength. I used Nicopp on some trans lines on a Jeep I put together. On an out of town fishing trip, with a boat in tow, the outer ring of my balancer started walking off hub and ended up tearing serp belt up. Torn fragments of belt whipped around and grabbed one trans line and bent it 90 degrees. Had to cut and repair bent, leaking line on side of road. I think a steel line would have been pulled out of place, but certainly not bent 90 degrees. No more Nicopp trans lines for me.
               
            • TurboGLH

              TurboGLH Well-Known Member

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              Good info. Hard to say for sure what would have happened, but if I was bending lines of any kind, fuel/trans/brake, I'd still use nicopp, even if there's a chance that it would fare worse in a situation like the above.

              But, on that point, when I needed new lines I didn't want to hand bend my trans cooler or front brake lines, so I bought SS ones. My fuel feed/return and rear brake lines are all nicopp.
               
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