I/C Pipe Beading Info

You need some kind of bead at the end of an intercooler pipe to keep the hoses from blowing off while making good boost. Many guys will spend big bucks buying T-bolt clamps and doubling up clamps trying to keep hoses on pipes with no beads. With out a bead you don't have much of a chance. 

We use a Bead Form Tool. It is a small hand cranking tool that rolls a bead on the end of a steel or aluminum pipe. They are available in three different sizes. We use the number 2 for intercooler pipes and the Junior for small water lines. They are expensive. $300 roughly. They are also worth every penny. We have one that has beaded several thousand beads and it still works great. You get them from Bead Form direct, their phone number is (800) 919-FORM


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The Bead Form Tool. The pipe is put over the smaller roller. The tool clamps down the two rollers onto the pipe. 

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You hand crank the tool to roll the pipe in a circle and tighten the tee handle to progressively form the bead. One full turn, tighten the tool, turn again, tighten a little, it takes about there or four times around.

It will bead pipes down to 1/2" diameter. While it beads steel pipe up to 14 gauge, it is much happier beading 16 and 18 gauge pipe. 


Beads on Small pipes

We now have a Bead Form Junior tool to do this. Before we got that we made our own tool. We ground and welded some old Vice Grip pliers to make some bumps that will form the bead. This tool works great on small water pipes for the turbo and for the lower pressure power steering lines. A larger version of this theory using a vice could work with I/C pipes. 


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The two bumps on the outside of the pipe push against the bump on the inside of the pipe to form the bead

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Clamp down on the pipe going around in a circle.

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Finished bead



Other Methods

Welded Beads

Weld a circle or at least three to four section of beads around the end of the pipe. Make sure they are ground and finished kind of smooth so that the weld bead will not cut up the hose while sliding the hose over the end of the pipe.



Clean up the end of the pipe, no oil or paint at all. Rough it up a little with at least 80 grit sand paper, rougher (36 grit) is OK too.  Mask off a stripe of  exposed pipe. Run a bead of thick epoxy around the pipe. While the epoxy is still a little wet, pull off the tape. This will leave a bead of epoxy around the pipe end that will help keep the hose from blowing off. 


Contact Road///Race Engineering
13022 La Dana Ct, Santa Fe Springs Ca. 90670
Phone (562) 777-1522  Fax (562) 777-1562
Last Updated 4/04