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Old 01-26-2012, 05:01 PM   #1
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Default DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

Tried to get the guys on VWVortex on-board with this idea and they all seemed to be more bored than on-board. So I'll give it a go here.

I always seem to come across situations where I need an exhaust tubing expander.... you know, something like this:
[video=youtube;fvh80OW9nSk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvh80OW9nSk[/video]

Obvoiusly I'm not going to go out and spend $3,000 on a hydraulic bending machine just for the expander on the end of it.

SO, I got the thinking.....I wonder if I can take a quality version of one of these:

Click the image to open in full size.

and somehow use a portapower

Click the image to open in full size.

to ditch the center bolt and make a homemade hydraulic exhaust tubing expander?

I went to many industrial supplier websites trying to find what I would call a hydraulic pulling ram/cylinder.....only thing I found was something like this:
Click the image to open in full size.

I couldn't see a way to make that work because the cylinder rod is far too large to fit in the center of one of those crappy handheld expander tools and the face of the cylinder near the sealing surface of the center rod is obviously not designed to take a force. This would most likely cause the cylinder to leak and fail.

Off to Harbor Freight's website to see what kind of junk they have. I find this:
Click the image to open in full size.

Which has the type of pulling cylinder I'm looking for. The cylinder can take forces on its face without damaging the sealing surface AND the diameter of the rod is not an issue because it is flush with the face and a thin threaded rod screws into it. When pumped the rod pushes out the back of the unit. Nice!

This is how it works:

[video=youtube;rozYZ0UhBdg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rozYZ0UhBdg[/video]

So if I order a bad *** version of an exhaust tubing spreader and one of those punch tools I should be able to combine them into some awesome franken-tool.
I did some research and found that Lisle makes the best version of a exhaust expander/spreader because their tool is designed to not only straighten an out of round pipe like the others on the market but their tool is made to stretch the pipe. So it should be up for the task. Here is the spreader from Lisle tools :
Click the image to open in full size.
Part number 17350

Searched Ebay for the punch tool since the Harbor Freight is on backorder and they could provide no ETA on restock...

Lo and friggin behold I find this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-TON-HYDRA...item2eba907618

Which appears to me to be the SAME EXACT THING that I was going to make myself only twice the price.:laugh: SAME Lisle tool combined with the SAME punch tool cylinder/ram.

I've always said that no matter what you come up with someone else has probably thought of it first. However I've never had it thrown in my face like that lol.

Longest picture story ever made short. Parts are on their way and I should have it all assembled and ready for testing by the end of next week. If all goes well (which it should because it is already an actual product being sold on the web) I will complete the DIY and you too can make your own hydraulic exhaust spreader/expander tool.

Last edited by Brandon@B2B; 01-26-2012 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

I was hoping that when I tried to put the two tools together they would have the same thread pitch and bolt size. Turns out that they were very close in size and thread pitch but one was metric and the other standard. So an order was placed with McMaster-carr for some supplies. I only ended up using the threaded rod. The nuts were a Just in case I need them item.

Click the image to open in full size.

I took the 1 foot long rod and cut it down to 7". Unscrewed the bottom of the hydraulic ram and took the cylinder out of the center. Removed the O-Rings.
Then I welded the rod in the cylinder. Allowed it to cool down and put it all back together. Sorry I didn't take pictures of this but it is easy to understand when you have the parts in front of you.

Click the image to open in full size.

Next I threaded the expander tool onto the rod and tested it out.

[video=youtube;sz3fSSY1saU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz3fSSY1saU&list=UUnVSFis0eJyzb6ui_-o6Taw&index=1&feature=plcp[/video]

I had a piece of exhaust tubing sitting around that was swedged on the end from the factory (an autozone muffler repair pipe)

I swedged the opposite end with my tool and here is the result.
Factory on the left.............................................. .................................................. ..............My tool's swedge on the right

Click the image to open in full size.

The fitment
Click the image to open in full size.

an inside view of the swedged end
Click the image to open in full size.

$285.74 Punch tool and lisle tool shipped
$5.95 Threaded rod from McMasterCarr
$4.98 Shipping from McMasterCarr

$296.67 Total

A Hydraulic Exhaust Tubing Expander (and still functional knockout/punch tool) for under $300
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

So I tried to expand a very thick piece of Stainless tubing and popped the weld. I figured that would happen.

So I ripped it down and made it stronger.

This is the ram that is inside the punch tool....drilled a hole in it.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.


Did the same for the bottom of the McMaster Carr Threaded rod....and threaded it for an M12x1.75 bolt.

Click the image to open in full size.


Put the rod back in the ram. Threaded my M12x1.75 bolt into the rod through my new hole in the bottom of the ram. Welded it in place.

Click the image to open in full size.


Welded the top again....with the TIG this time
Click the image to open in full size.


Pushed the ram back into the punch tool
Click the image to open in full size.

Put the return spring back in
Click the image to open in full size.

Threaded the bottom cap back on
Click the image to open in full size.

All done...Time for a test.

Remember the pipe I previously expanded? I decided to see if I could expand the part that fit inside of it, to now fit over it. That would be a very large stretch but I felt that the tool was now up for the challenge.
Here is how it turned out.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

This is definitely my new favorite specialty tool.:D
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

Wow, that's awesome. Can you get me some part numbers so I can make sure I order the right parts if I decide to do this?
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

  • $195.84 Lisle Pipe Stretcher Kit (17350) Bought from J&B tool Sales on Amazon.com
  • $89.90 HYDRAULIC KNOCKOUT PUNCH HAND PUMP HOLE TOOL DRIVER KIT (SYK-8B) bought from "apluschoice" on Ebay
  • $5.95 + $4.98 shipping Astm A193 Grade B7 Alloy Steel Threaded Rod, Plain Finish, 3/4"-16 Thread, 1' Length (98957A409) from McMasterCarr.com
  • $Free M12x1.75 Hardened bolt I had lying around
  • $Free 13/32 Drill Bit for the hole in the bottom of the threaded rod and an M12x1.75 Tap
  • $Free 7/16" drill bit for the hole in the bottom of the ram for the bolt to go through
  • $296.67 Total
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

Thanks man!
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

what are the limits of tubing sizes? Or what is the smallest and biggest size you can use with the die that you have on it? Nice job
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

The collet sets that come with the lisle kit allow you to expand pipes that range in size from 1.625" to 4.25"

http://www.lislecorp.com/divisions/p...n=1&category=5

Thanks for the complements guys!
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

wow thats pretty dam cool and home made. great job
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

Great nice job.
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon@B2B View Post
The collet sets that come with the lisle kit allow you to expand pipes that range in size from 1.625" to 4.25"

http://www.lislecorp.com/divisions/p...n=1&category=5

Thanks for the complements guys!
Great info, looks like a good little tool to have sitting around. Thanks for posting

-Collin
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

looks pretty awesome. I have been wanting something like this for sometime now.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

Nice!! I've needed something like this for a long time. used to use the hydraulic one at my old work for tubing expansion, but new work place doesn't have anything like this. Thank you for posting the build!! Great job!!
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:16 AM   #14
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Default Re: DIY: Exhaust tubing expander

Thanks OP for the write up, I've wanted one of these for a while but didn't need it enough to pay $1000

Last edited by CVC9216; 04-19-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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