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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-02-2006, 08:28 AM
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Default Pipe Benders

It turns out that the build crew (brother, nephew and I) have an expanding need for Roll Bars.

I'm considering having two, one for track-days etc and one for 'normal' driving. Bolting them in/out as appropriate.

For example I'm thinking the 'track' roll bar would have one of those forward braces, maybe some more side intrusion protection and possibly some reinforcement for the under dash hoop.

So - for me - a logical extension of that is to get a pipe bender (any excuse for a new tool) and bend up a couple, I was wondering if people bent thier own and, generally, if anyone had any words of wisdom/tips/traps.

thanks

LoBelly
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-02-2006, 08:42 AM
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LoBelly

For a lot of things that I am trying to work out the best plan for--I have a die set for 1.5 inches that is the same radius bend as my 1.625 and 1.75 dies--I use it to bend cheap electrical conduit to mock up the preliminary design before I start bending up the very expensive 4130 chrome-moly
I can buy a whole stick of conduit for the price of one foot of 4130 so it is much cheaper and lets me see if there are any hidden obstacles to the plan or vision


Jerry
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-02-2006, 08:43 AM
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Bending the types of radius bends you need for the roll bar hoop will take a special bender. Most Cobra roll bars use a 12" center to center radius roll bar hoop, which takes a hydraulic bender with special shoes. They are very expensive. But you can't get by any other way if you want your hoops to be strong and not have flattened pipe at the radius.
Most of the other pieces can be made with a Harbor frieght bender if you choose.
I had to do a lot of searching to find an outfit that would bend my hoops and finally found www.peytonperformance.com in Texas and they bent my hoops and sent me all the pieces I needed for a very reasonable rate. I think I had around $300 in both my roll bars with the braces, tenon pieces, sleeves, and shipping. The hoops came out very nice and round without having to pay for mandrel bending, which is very expensive for small runs of bending as each size and radius requires a separate set of mandrels. My 1 3/4" x .134 pipe (SCCA requirement for sanctioned races) would have taken a special set of mandrels and bending shoes which I was quoted several places at around $12,000 dollars. To bend nice, round bends without flattening without a mandrel bender takes some considerable skill and lots of practice.

Hope I didn't take too much air out of your sails, but a bender can be a handy tool for lots of other things and they aren't real expensive. I used a cheap Harbor frieght unit to help me build some of my suspension pieces and body hoops.
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Old 07-02-2006, 07:22 PM
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I've got a pipe bender you can borrow Michael. I spent a lot of time with a die grinder on the dies for 32 medium black pipe and it does a respectable 90 degree bend with little distortion.

32 medium black pipe is pretty good for a roll cage as it's 32mm nominal bore with a 3.2mm wall thickness making it about 39mm OD. Ive got larger dies but the are for imperial pipe sizes.

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Old 07-02-2006, 08:42 PM
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Thanks Mike

I'll probably take you up on that.
There's no rush at the moment - still nutting things out.

Hopefully I can catch you at the next meeting

ta

LoBelly
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