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Crimp Style Bead Forming tool for under $10

Posted by 1990TSIAWDTALON, Apr 4, 2017

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  1. 1990TSIAWDTALON

    1990TSIAWDTALON Moderator

    5,353
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    Joined Nov 14, 2013
    Independence, Kansas
    So I have looked at some of the other bead forming tools for DIY's and I like this better. It all depends on how OCD you are with your beads on your intercooler charge pipes but this turned out very well and for under $10.

    Here is what I did to make my own beads since I run lot's of boost and need my couplers to stay on, not blow off.

    Home IC Piping Bead Roller for under $10.00

    Since I am running more boost than a lot of others, I have had my share of intercooler couplers blow off, usually from t-bolt clamps not being tight enough but sometimes it is because I don’t have a bead rolled on the end of a custom charge pipe. That is where this article will help anyone else that needs to roll a bead on aluminum tubes in order to keep the couplers from blowing off and it can be done for under 10 bucks with this tool! This is a Gardner Bender #GS-388 set of Electrical Crimping Pliers. A pair of Channellock #909's will work too but they are twice the price. The Gardner Bender tool is 8" compaired to the Channellock at 9" but either will work, I just hate modifying a good tool so I tried an off brand and am quite happy with it, so much I ordered an extra pair!

    Screenshot_20170401-200537.png

    20170402_195211_resized.jpg


    As you can see, you will need to cut the end of the crimper pliers off so that only the crimping area is left on the tool.

    GS-388 marked where to cut off.jpg


    I used a air cut off tool, but you can use a dremel or grind it off with a grinding wheel.
    After you cut the end off, you will need to get rid of all of the crimping area except the large one. I used my cutoff wheel to do this, but a dremel or a file will do the same thing.

    GS-388 marked where to grind out flat.jpg



    It should end up looking like this.

    Tip of tool and where to grind flat.jpg


    Notice I have removed about the thickness of my intercooler piping from in front of the bead rolling area and also behind it up to the hinge of the tool which will act as a stop for the tubing as you are going around it, crimping a bead onto it. ALWAYS bottom the tool out to the hinge area before you crimp so that you have a nice straight bulge all the way around the piping for your bead.

    20170402_194527_resized.jpg


    With this tool, you can easily make a nice bead around any aluminum tubing by just crimping a section, and moving over slightly and crimp more, until you are all the way around. If you have missed anyplace or some places are not bulged out enough, you can go back over them with the tool and make it nicer or a bit taller of a bead, which is what I did to this tube. The more you go around and crimp it, the better it forms, but I think the first bead would have held my 40#'s of boost!

    Screenshot_20170403-173427_resized_1.png

    Now it just needs the end trimmed and deburred.

    It takes longer to “alter” the tool than it does to make a bead on a intercooler pipe, I can say that for sure. All in all, I think it took about a half hour to make the tool into what I wanted and maybe 5 minutes to roll the bead! I didn’t know if it would work good or not until I tried it, now it is a permanent tool for any future custom charge pipes!
    One more thing to do is to RADIUS the nipple part that does the bead forming so there isn't a sharp edge that will put dimples in your tube, but rather make it rounded as you go around forming your bead.

    Radiused edge of crimp nipple picture.jpg

    Now notice that I marked the new tool with an arrow facing OUT so you don't accidentally crimp a bead in, instead of out!
    This will make a bead that will hold your couplers on if you make sure you get the clamp on the other side of the bead. Remember, this is a bead to keep your clamps and couplers in place, not a seal itself. That is maintained by your coupler and clamp on the other side of the bead.

    Good luck and of course if you have any questions or comments, shoot them to me on a PM!

    Marty
    04-04-2017
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017

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