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93 del Sol Si
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I find that I use my old Sidewinder 3/8" ratchet a fair amount partly because of the spinner feature & partly because it has such a long handle- I can get a LOT of leverage with it without a breaker bar!

One day I'm likely to modify it for use with a 1/4" ratchet drive on the end in place of the T bar that's currently there. That would give me the ability to use a small thumbwheel style drive or another ratchet if I needed more torque... might end up breaking it, but I'll have gotten my money's worth out of it well before that happens (already have!).
 

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93 del Sol Si
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235 Posts


I find that I use my old Sidewinder 3/8" ratchet a fair amount partly because of the spinner feature & partly because it has such a long handle- I can get a LOT of leverage with it without a breaker bar!
Just a head's up- saw these for sale today at Harbor Freight! They were under the Pittsburg brand as well as Sidewinder, so there's yet another opportunity to pick one up if you want to give it a try.
 

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93 del Sol Si
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235 Posts
If you do ANY heavy wire crimping 1/0 4/0 00/0 etc, these are a MUST and I have been using them for ages. Never let me down and never a crimp gone wrong.
I use an older model of the crimper below for those heavy gauge wires and terminals. A 2.5 pound hammer gives plenty of drive without going hydraulic.

Hammer-style crimper for up to 4/0 wire terminals

The HF tool isn't that much more expensive than the hammer driven one, only around $10 or so between them on sale.
 

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93 del Sol Si
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I guess you never had to crimp a piece of 1/0 WHILE in the trunk of a car. Good luck with the hammer crimper lol. Bang bang bang (3 lbs of rust and dirt fall from the trunk floor hahaha).
Nope, most of the time I'm working with stuff that big it's outside of anything that it'll be going in. I did have to crimp something once that I couldn't swing a hammer on, but I used a C-clamp to compress it instead of beating it. :biggrin:

It would work well on my 20 ton press as well, although that would be serious overkill! :lol:

I was actually surprised at how close in price the two options were- I've had my hammer staker for a LONG time (got it around `85) and they were only about $20 then. When I looked it up to find the picture as a lower-cost alternative, it blew my mind that they were nearly the same price. :ninja:
 

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93 del Sol Si
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235 Posts
that is what i needed but when i went to autozone to rent one, they gave me a fork looking separator. Now I have a destroyed boot.
That's about all the pickle forks are good for!

A good 2-3 lb. lead hammer works wonders for tie rod ends and ball joints; you hit the casting with it to shock the taper loose as opposed to trying to pry it apart. Always be sure to leave the nut & washer on with a few threads engaged, because when it does pop free it can do so with some serious force!

Don't try to hammer the actual ball joint or tie rod end, just the side of the casting it mates with. If you get one that's tough, spray a little PB Blaster around the taper where it enters the casting and give it 30 minutes or so to work in before whacking it again. The next whack will most likely pop it out!
 

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93 del Sol Si
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235 Posts




This is going to be my next purchase for sure. I'm sick of guessing on noises.

and a scope. Looking at plugs/wires, ohm testing coils is worthless. I'm tired of BS backyard tests .
Interesting tool for sure. I doubt I mess with enough audio stuff to justify the expense, but I always enjoy learning about the specialty tools I've never heard of! :punk:
 

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93 del Sol Si
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Biggest thing with the 20 ton is the amount of slop in the ram motion. It can be remedied in a relatively inexpensive manner without any welding. I used some ball bearing thrust screws from McMaster-Carr on mine to adjust the slop out and still allow free motion of the ram.



They have a socketed head to allow tightening with Allen wrenches and the headless design allows threading a nut right over the top to lock them in place once adjusted. All it took was drilling and tapping twelve holes for the screws (two on each side at each end to adjust out any twist and two under the ram on each end to adjust the centering). I'd do a write up on it, but it's pretty simple to figure out from the pictures.
 

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93 del Sol Si
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235 Posts



I had this extension Craftsman cord reel with 4 outlet for about 10 years, and the last 3 years it has been in my back yard. under sun, rain, and snow and still works great. The reel handle broke off and its crack here and there but it still holding strong.
See if you can take it apart and replace the plastic reel sides with some plywood. You can paint it, add a new spinner knob handle and be good for another 10 years!
 

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93 del Sol Si
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235 Posts
What torque wrench you guys use? I have a 1/2 inch Craftsman that I use 25 lbs - 250 lbs. I also have this 3/8 that I just got to deal with anything less than 25 lbs, but my question is how do I know I'm applying the right foot pounds?

As you can see in the pictures, you supposed to turn the handle till it reaches the desire measurements but I don't know if I'm doing it right.

The black part of the handle itself has numbers from 0-10 in 1/2 of the handle and another 0-10 in the other half in multiples of 2 (0-2-4-6-8-10). Now if I set the torque wrench at Zero, the Zero mark is already on the 5 pound mark on the casting mark of the wrench, does this means I'm at Zero or five pounds?

If I turn the black handle clockwise and count the markings of my torque Wrench handle it will take a complete 360 on the handle to 20 lbs but according to the casting marks on the wrench it says 15 lbs.

So which one is the one to follow, the makings on the black handle or the markings on the Torque Wrench?
All of this type I've ever dealt with were calibrated so that the zero on the moving part of the handle aligned itself with the vertical line of the scale when the handle collar just touched the lowest horizontal calibration line. In other words, if the low number is 20 the collar should align with that mark and the vertical line 0 on the collar should align with the vertical scale c/l. From that point, dialing in the torque increase is as simple as turning the handle flush with the marked scale setting and adding the individual marks on the collar to get the desired setting.

Some are a little funky- I've got one that runs up to 285 ft-lbs that has 15 divisions on the collar. It still zeros the same, but as you go up the scale you have to pay attention as to where you're at or it can confuse you. Thirty on it reads as the collar flush on the mark but the vertical mark on the collar is 10. Still thirty ft-lbs (20 + 10), but it looks as though it could be 30 + 10 if you aren't paying attention. No worry to folks that always double check their settings anyway, but I figured I'd mention it since it's the only one I've got like that out of 4 clickers.
 

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93 del Sol Si
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This is in line with your tools- I found a site that is an archive of ideas and how-to articles for making or modifying tools. Some of it is crap, but some of the ideas are pretty good. Check it out if you have the desire (and time)! I got a kick out of the Tig filler rod feeder in the Miscellaneous category! :punk:

Home Made Tools
 

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93 del Sol Si
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235 Posts
Resurrection time- found this little goodie today and am considering getting one. Always love adding a new tool to the box, but $27 + s&h may keep it from happening until I absolutely have to bleed something again!
Anyone actually used one of these yet?

Bleed wrench
Mini Bleeder, 10mm

Combines wrench and bleeder valve into one convenient and compact tool
Fits most 10 mm bleeder nipples
Bleeds brake systems and hydraulic clutch systems
Internal check valve for fast easy bleeding
Anodized billet aluminum handle with chromoly steel body
Compact size for tight spaces
High quality internal seal
Multi position handle
 

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93 del Sol Si
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How many different sized bleeder valves do you have? They offer an 8mm, 10mm, 11mm and a 3/8" unit, but the price is the same for each. I expect part of the design is the way they seal inside on the valve, so just swapping sockets wouldn't be the best approach... use it once or twice on a large valve, then it won't seal on the smaller ones; at least that's the way I see it. They would really need to give a good break on the price for a set, as $104 + s&h for the set is out of my league. I'd be much more likely to pick up one if it fit everything I owned, but I would need at least three of the four to do all of the different vehicles I presently have sitting around. :(
 

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93 del Sol Si
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235 Posts
Power washers have a tendency to fail because of back pressure during startup or being run dry. You've gotta keep the trigger on for flow through the unit prior to starting and shut it down the same way to give it half a chance to survive more than a few uses. Even then, one that gets used infrequently is more likely for the seals to dry out & split in the pump. IMO, they're one of the most frustrating pieces of equipment around! :(
 

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93 del Sol Si
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235 Posts
I need to pick up a precision straight edge soon. My headstuds came loose and i have to replace the head gasket. Figure for $50 i can start checking my mating surfaces instead of just sending them to the machine shop. The head and block have both been resurfaced so hopefully they are still in spec. Anyone have experience using one?
I've used them before; here's a procedure for using the straight edge:


1) Use a wire brush and carburetor cleaner to completely clean the bottom, sides and top of the head. There should be no carbon in the cylinder head combustion chambers or on the flat part of the mating surface. When you have finished you should have a shiny metal surface.

2) Place the head with the combustion chamber facing up. Secure it in a wide-jaw vice, or prop the head with wood blocks (I used machinist jacks, but that was just because I had them already) to keep it stable. Take a new, steel straight edge ruler and place it along the outside edge, from one end of the head to the other. Place a feeler gauge in the gap between the bottom of the ruler and the head surface. Start off with the smallest feeler gauge blade.

3) Work the feeler gauge along the head until the feeler gauge slides in. Change the blade thickness of the feeler gauge to find the maximum allowable gauge thickness that will enter the gap. Measure up and down the length of the head and record the thickest feeler gauge blade that passed through the gap. Write that number down. Perform the exact same procedure on the other side of the head. Write down the thickest blade measurement that passed under the straight edge.

4) Place the straight edge along the cross-section of the head, from one corner to the opposite corner. You will do the same with the other corner, which will form an "X" pattern across the head, bisecting it through the middle. Record the thickest blade that passes through one angle. Write the number down. Switch to the other corners and take the same measurement. Write down the thickest blade that passed under the straight edge.

5) Measure straight across the ends of the cylinder head and record the thickest feeler gauge blade that will pass under the gap. Perform the same measurement on the other side. You should have six measurements. Refer to your tech repair manual for the maximum allowable "out-of-flat" tolerances.
 

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93 del Sol Si
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The scotchbrite rol-loc pads are my preference, although the finger pads are good too. The biggest thing with any of them is to avoid sitting on edges or digging in with them- you just want to let them lightly lick away at the surface contamination that can cause false readings. I've used the finer, soft wire brushes in the past without a problem as well.

It is a simple, straightforward procedure. I prefer setting the head up on a large surface plate and using a dial test indicator or surface height gage to check surface variation (as opposed to the feelers) now since I have that option, but a good straight edge and feeler set will do the job without any trouble. Either way, the surface of the part being measured has to be spotless for accurate readings. Just be sure that the straight edge is always touching the machined surface that you're measuring in two spots on the plane you're measuring so that the feeler can establish the third for a good flatness measure.
 
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