How I grew to love Copiglia band clamps (not)

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Steve Meltzer
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How I grew to love Copiglia band clamps (not)

Post by Steve Meltzer » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:58 pm

When I was a medical student, one of the first maxims I learned was “when you're up to your ass in alligators, it’s hard to remember that you originally came to drain the swamp”. That sort of explains how I came to care about the semi-obscure Copiglia clamp/band clamps, when all I really wanted to do was fix the rear main seal leak on my 330 GTC.

Things you’ll need: Copiglia Clamps and banding material (duh!). There are several sources for these with significant variations in price. Send me a PM if you want my opinion on the folks with whom I’ve dealt. Vise, ball peen hammer, pliers, needle nose vise grips, something with which to cut the banding material (I found a pair of scissors that worked fine), and a couple of deep well 3/8 sockets (I found that the clamp for the ribbed overflow hose required a 10mm, the heater hose, a 14mm socket and the vacuum hose, a 17mm. Of course you can always use a section of the hose in question, but I found that use of a socket in the vise to be more robust.) A measure of patience is also helpful. Speaking of “measure”, you’ll also need a ruler of some sort and calipers, straight screwdriver and an Allen key that fits in the open part of a cotter key.

Geometry 101: I’ll admit now that when I was supposed to be learning about circumferences and diameters, I was enthralled with Cheryl R’s legs...oh well, time well squandered. First you need to determine how many of these little buggers you’ll need. In order to determine how much banding material you’ll need, first use your caliper to measure the OUTSIDE diameter of the hose in question. From Geometry 101: C(circumference) = πD (the diameter). Thus the circumference of a hose with a 3/4” OD would be: C=3.1416 X 0.75= 2.4”

Since the band encircles the hose twice, you’ll need twice the circumference and then some to make the clamp. At least one catalogue recommends an additional 1.5”, but to make my life easy, I added 2 inches so I didn’t have to fight with the darn things. So, ultimately you’ll need: 2C + 2”, or in this case 7”. If you want to take the “Meltzer” shortcut, you can use a 7” band for every clamp on the GTC. Granted, doing so is a bit wasteful in terms of the banding material, but it made my life easier with a bit more material to pull through the locking mechanism. If you are really good and very precise, you can probably save a few inches of banding material by not using my assumptions.

The fine print: Before getting to the nuts and bolts (intentional pun) of this, a couple of other items. 1) If you goof up, not to worry, you can take it apart, pound the band straight with your Harbor Freight ball peen hammer, and start over. B) My pictures are done for a typical clockwise tightening of the cotter pin, and thus, at the opposite end of the cotter pin, a screwdriver would tighten CCW. iii) You want the band clamps to look consistent throughout the engine bay, so, decide now if you want the lettering on the band to be visible or not, and make each clamp in the same way as it relates to the band’s script.

The nuts and bolts:

1) Cut a 7” piece of banding material from the roll. (Fig 1)
Fig1 Copiglia.jpg
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2) Insert one end of the strip into the clamp, as shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The method shown puts the inscription on the outside of the clamp and gives a classic “right hand” turn to tighten. Leave about 1/2” overlap in the buckle and snug it down. I used a vise here.
Fig2 Copiglia.jpg
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Fig3 Copiglia.jpg
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3) As shown in Fig 4, wrap the band around once, bringing it through the larger of the two openings. At this point, I placed the partially completed clamp over a socket in the vise, made the second pass with the band, and then inserted the “business end” into the smaller “tightening” slot of the buckle. Pull the band through that opening with pliers or vise grips. (Fig.5 and 6) This is where the little bit of extra slack in the band comes to pay for itself...the insertion of the “business” end is no fight. Tighten the band snugly against the socket. I like vise grips here.
Fig4 Copiglia.jpg
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Fig5 Copiglia.jpg
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4) With my vise grips flush against the clamp, as seen in Fig. 6, I trimmed the XS band with scissors against the pliers. This leaves a nice small “tab” with which to work.
Fig6 Copiglia.jpg
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5) Now you can place the clamp where you’d like and tighten the cotter pin to roll up the band, making it tighter. (Fig 7) Place a hex/Allen key into the end of the cotter pin and use the hex key as a lever to tighten the clamp. The Allen key is NOT rotated as it is commonly employed! You could also grasp the round end of the cotter pin and rotate it or, use a straight/slotted screwdriver to turn the screw on the opposite end of the cotter key. Remember, if you do that, screw it CCW to tighten. Right?!

The end of the drivel: I’m sure that there are better, faster and more efficient ways to accomplish this, so please let me know your thoughts and suggestions Once you get the hang of this, you can make the initial portion in batches. This will save you time on the vise, so you can quickly make one clamp after another. As is often the case, I've exceeded my limits (at least for the number of jpegs allowed!). So, the final picture, figure 7 appears in the next post.

thanx for trying to stay awake. steve

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Fig7%20Copiglia.jpg
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steve
meltzer, "“With a Ferrari, whatever it is, it’s a $1000. If that’s what it is.”"
'66 330 GTC, '72 Daytona-red, did they make any other colors?

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330GT
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Re: How I grew to love Copiglia band clamps (not)

Post by 330GT » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:03 pm

For both Cheney and Copligia clamps, when starting with new hoses, I suggest assembling and putting the clamp loosely on the hose. Then use a good stainless-steel screw clamp that is narrower than the proper clamp. After a month or two, the hose will be tightly stuck to the fitting. Then remove the screw clamp, slide the proper clamp in place and tighten.

Cheney clamps in particular are difficult to get tight enough to seal as they are very stiff.

Another trick is to either use a heat gun or have a pan of boiling water to heat the end of the hose. That makes sliding it onto the fitting much easier.

PS, I chuckled at your maxim. I think that candidate Trump had forgotten about draining the swamp.
Regards, Kerry
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Steve Meltzer
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Re: How I grew to love Copiglia band clamps (not)

Post by Steve Meltzer » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:55 am

Thanx for the hint Kerry. I was speaking with Ed Montini about the %^**&%# Cheney clamps, which, tho' "correct" for our cars, are truly junk. (Even the source, XKs Unlimited, so much as says so in their instructions.) Ed suggested a modification here, and that was to put some gasket sealant (he likes the Toyota Sealant #00295-00103) inside the hose, along the walls, and then snug down with a "real" hose clamp; then come back later, remove the incorrect, but sturdy clamp, and replace with a Cheney that's very snug, but not so tight that you break it (how the heck would I know about that?!).
Thanx again for your suggestions. As you said, you'll need to have the correct clamps loose above the "setting clamps", so they just drop down into place and then get tightened. steve
steve
meltzer, "“With a Ferrari, whatever it is, it’s a $1000. If that’s what it is.”"
'66 330 GTC, '72 Daytona-red, did they make any other colors?

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michaelbalk330
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Re: How I grew to love Copiglia band clamps (not)

Post by michaelbalk330 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:44 pm

I did my 190SL with these-- like OEM did-- they work fine, easy once you get the hang of it!
Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 8.43.13 PM.png
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Michael
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John Vardanian
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Re: How I grew to love Copiglia band clamps (not)

Post by John Vardanian » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:57 am

The first time I tackled these band type clamps I thought to myself they looked too goofy to work. I was surprised to learn how firm their grip was and how well they sealed.

john
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