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Inline Tube - Shop Tour 2003 


Inline Tube's New Home 
     

Inline Tube is located 40 minutes northeast of Detroit in Shelby Township, Michigan. Nine years ago this company started with 2 partners out of a small 2 car garage making a few different line sets. Today Inline Tube produces thousands of undercarriage parts.

There is an extreme amount of hard work that goes into every part made. In order to make a part you need to have an original part to reproduce. Where do you find a set of transmission lines for a '56 Buick Special? You hunt them down at swap meets, in junk yards, or find them on parts cars. Once the part is found, it is time to start the duplication process.

First, an exact duplicate of the part must be made by hand. This is the prototype. The prototype is then scanned by a laser to get all the measurements of the lengths, bends, angles, and rotations. Once the blueprint is made and the bender is programmed, youíre ready to make parts. The entire process can take months for one part.

You can never predict what you will sell and there are usually some surprises at the end of the year. In the top 100, of course you have your Chevy Trucks, Camaro, Chevelle and GTO, but who would guess International Scout, Ford Bronco or Pontiac Fiero? If you make an exact reproduction in the right market and it is a part that is not currently being reproduced, you have a good start. If you listen to the phone calls, the customer will also tell you what to make because it is the items they are asking for the most. So, always listen to the customer. In the market of low production parts, what brings you to the top is having phone techs that can walk the customer through the process and know their brake system better than they do.

The final step is to get the product to the customer in a few days. As car guys, we know waiting for parts for more than a few days is frustrating. We have waited 16 weeks for chrome to be polished and 12 weeks for the engine shop. So when our parts come in a few days, we are repeat customers.

Inline Tube has grown to be the largest tube company in the country that specializes in classic car plumbing products. We make tubes for all American cars and trucks from the 1930s through the 1990s. We not only have the brake lines, but carry all the tubing for each particular vehicle. If you need fuel lines, choke tubes, caliper lines, transmission cooler tubes, or the wiper line for a 1952 Buick we are sure to have it in stock. If somehow we do not have your tube in the thousands of patterns we keep, it is as simple as making your new part from your original.

Once Inline Tube secured patterns for all the American cars and trucks, it was time to move on to other products. Inline Tube is the only company in the country that makes reproduction parking brake cables the way the factory did with the spiral wrap. You can still get some cables from the auto parts store, but it will not look like the original. We have reproduced the correct housing, rubber boots, and end fittings for a factory correct reproduction. These cables are offered for all the popular muscle cars and trucks from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Over the years, Inline Tube has expanded to make many of the undercarriage parts that transfer fluid. Another expansion included the street rod market. Inline Tube manufactures stainless brake fittings, and carries everything needed to plumb a custom application. Products include: straight tubing sets, master cylinders, valves, stainless braided hoses, and any combination of fittings you can dream up. Other products include stainless and OEM rubber flex hoses, disc brake conversions, brake and fuel line clip sets, proportional valves, distribution blocks and even the sending units. If you plan on moving any fluid, whether it be brake, fuel, or power steering, Inline Tube makes the products that connect the components.

New Information: Inline Tube 15066 Technology Drive, Shelby Township, MI 48315 Phone (586) 532-1338 Fax (586) 532-1339 www.inlinetube.com


Here are a few of the employee's cars at the bring your car to work day. We not only sell the parts but we use them on our own cars.


 
When you call Inline Tube, the phone will always be answered by the friendly office assistant and the sales guys behind her will answer any questions you may have before placing an order. Before the order is placed, the process has already begun.



The owner has spent many hours taking lines off original cars to build the pattern library to what it is today. This day is spent working on 1968-70 Buick Electra. This is one hunting trip resulting in a few good finds.


   
This is a 6000 square foot pattern room. Every original part is measured, scanned, blueprinted and then downloaded to a CNC bender and stored for future reference.



Every part starts as a straight tube with some sort of fitting on the end. They have miles and miles of tube on hand in all the different sizes and in both stainless and the OEM tin coated steel.



Fittings are also made on the premises in every size, shape, and color. There are over 60 different tube nuts to make any line combination. The large bins hold 15,000 fittings each.



Now the parts can be made. These are computer benders so there is no hand bending and a perfect part is made every time. Inline Tube has 1/2 million dollars invested in 4 of these machines.



Now that the bender did its job, the tube fitting will be installed and one of 16 forming machines will double flare the end. After each part is matched to the prototype in orange, they will get labels and are stocked for future orders. The part you see is a '49 Chevy truck pump to carburetor line.



Now thatís a lot of lines! And this is only one of the part aisles. We are looking at Chevelle and GTO fuel lines in stock by the hundreds. Having all this inventory ensures your parts go out the next day.



There is over 6000 square feet of new part storage with thousands of parts in stock. These racks hold 275 parts on each side and there are 10 sides. That is a lot of parts in stock
.



I
n this area, parking brake cables are manufactured exact to the originals with the spiral housings, ends, and rubbers. You can see the raw materials and the finished Chevelle cables to the right.



Once your order is put together, the shipping department will check, pack, box, label, address, and then ship the order. This entire process will ship over 100 packages a day.


Source:

Inline Tube
15066 Technology Drive
Shelby Twp, MI 48315

(586) 532 1338

www.inlinetube.com