Tag Archives: tips

    • 5 New Unique Tools Your Toolbox is Missing- Tips to Make Auto Repair Easier

      After disassembling, assembling, fabricating, and tinkering with so many projects over the years, I've found that there are a core group of tools that will get most any job done. But there are some tools that just make life so much easier, I decided to put a list together of 5 new tools that really can come in handy.

      Indexible Pry Bar

      1. Indexible Pry Bar- How many times have you had a full set of pry bars and you never seem to be able to get into the correct position to pry effectively? With the handy Gear Wrench Indexible Pry Bars you can now click your pry bar into any number of positions to get into those hard to reach areas. We now find ourselves reaching for this whenever we need to pry on something since it handles most of the jobs a set of basic pry bars would have before.

      Radiator Hose Pinch Off Pliers

      2. Radiator Hose Pinch Off Pliers- One of my least favorite things to do is draining cooling systems when working in an engine bay. This is something that couldn't be avoided even when doing a "quick" job like replacing a coolant temperature sensor, an electric fan switch, or a simple radiator hose job. With the KD Tools Radiator Hose Pinch Off Pliers you can now isolate the coolant inside of the engine or radiator by safely clamping the hoses with these pliers. These pliers will save you coolant, clean up time, and messes associated with coolant system work. I'd suggest buying a few of these so you can block off numerous hoses at once, I know I keep a few on hand when working on the cooling system myself!

      Power Probe

      3. Eastwood Power Probe- Scary doesn't even begin to describe some of the electrical systems in cars that we've seen over the years. Between previous owner fixes and deterioration, it can be tough to track down electrical problems. You need to have numerous tools and different types of test leads to even begin to test all of the electrical components in a vehicle. This new Eastwood Power Probe allows you to test many of the functions test leads and multimeters combined would accomplish. I love the ability to test the function of electrical components without the risk of burning up numerous fuses! Reach for the power probe first when testing electrical circuits in your vehicle!

      Cable Hose Clamp Pliers

      4. Hose Clamp Wire Pliers- It always seems like hose clamps are put in the hardest spots to reach and then turned so the tabs are in a direction you can't reach your pliers or hands into. The GearWrench Cable Hose Clamp Pliers are like that skinny, long, third hand that you wished you had in those situations. These pliers allow you to get into those tight areas, slip the clamps over the tabs on the clamps, and squeeze the trigger to free the clamp, then slide it off of the hose. These are life savers, and keep the swearing, cuts, bruises, and headaches to a minimum from the other methods.

      QuadBox Ratcheting Wrenches

      5. Quadbox Ratcheting Wrenches- Having a house-sized toolbox stocked with every tool imaginable isn't going to help you save time if you have to walk back and forth to find the tools you need every few minutes. We love saving time and keeping the pile of tools used on a job to a minimum. This is where the GearWrench Quadbox Ratcheting Wrenches come into play. In this two-wrench set you will replace 9 tools (a ratchet and 8 sockets) and save time going back to the toolbox for more tools! Remember, every minute you save searching for the correct wrench or socket is a minute you could be finishing the project and move on to driving and enjoying your ride!

      Stay tuned for our next tool list where we cover more of our favorite hand and power tools on the market!

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    • Watch and Listen to your MIG Welder, It's Telling You Something!

      When learning to MIG weld, one of the biggest things you can do is to listen to the sounds your welder makes when welding; and also knowing what the error is when looking at a weld. Once you understand what to look and listen for, you will notice your welds improving dramatically.

      A properly adjusted MIG welder should sound like it is frying up bacon when laying a bead. You want a nice sizzle with little "pops and spits". The final weld should be relatively flat and even throughout. Above you can see some examples of MIG welds. The first weld has our MIG 175 settings dialed in pretty good. Notice how the bead isn't protruding from the work surface too much, and the bead is fairly uniform in width. The backside of the work piece will show a nice outline of where the weld penetrated properly into the metal.

      On the second bead we turned the wire speed up way too high. You can instantly tell the difference in sound and look of the bead. You can also feel it in the MIG gun when welding. The problem here is that the welding wire is coming out too fast for the surface you are welding on and the heat settings you are using. The wire is hitting the surface and not melting into the metal fully. You will feel the wire pushing back on the MIG gun because of this, and you will hear a lot of random popping from the welder. Lastly, you can see in the picture that as we moved along the welder just made individual "globs" but no puddle was formed. With this weld you won't see an outline of the weld on the backside of the metal as it hasn't penetrated into the metal. This is very bad, and is a weak, dangerous weld.

      The third bead we did quite the opposite, we turned the wire speed far too low. When you do this you will notice a pronounced "hissing" when welding. This will sound like you have a gas leak. You will also notice the wire burning before it even gets to the surface and the inability to move the puddle. You can see in this example the puddle started, but as soon as you move a little bit, you lose the puddle and the welding wire isn't coming out fast enough to keep up and add to the puddle. Because of this you can see the arc was still present, but the puddle didn't start again until we stopped moving and let the puddle form. This is also a weak, unsafe weld, and should not be used.

      The fourth example is a common mistake when you first begin welding. In this bead we left the shielding gas bottle turned off, and attempted to run a bead without the aid of shielding gas. When this happens, there will be an extreme amount of popping and hissing, as well as an excessive amount of sparks and slag flying from the work area. The shielding gas cleans the weld puddle and keeps contaminates from entering the weld and making it weak. Here you can see the weld is very porous and much darker in color. Keep this in mind when welding. If you see a weld like this, make sure you check that your gas bottle is turned on, the tank output pressure isn't too low, and the tank isn't out of gas. DO NOT attempt to use anything you have welded without shielding gas, all of those pores are imperfections that will make the weld weak.

      Now go out in the shop, set up your welder, turn the music down, and listen to what your MIG has to say. It has a lot to tell you!

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    • 10 Tips on Buffing Auto Paint

      Buffing the paint on your car or truck can be a scary job if you think about it. Take a tool that spins a pad very fast and press it on your car. Press too hard or use it at the wrong angle and you could cause more damage than help, but do it correctly, and you could really make that new (or old) paint pop! Below we put together 10 tips on techniques and what products to use, and when.

      1.Don't mix buffing pads!- Buffing pads should never be mixed once you have used each one with a certain compound. No matter how much you clean the pad, you may never get the compound out, and it could cause swirl marks. Spend the extra couple bucks and get separate pads for each type of compound you will be using.

      2.Wool Pads- Only use wool pads for heavily oxidized paint, or after paint has cured for quite some time where a foam pad won't effectively cut the paint. You can actually do damage if you use a wool pad on fresh paint that hasn't 100% cured. Wool pads are really handy to have if you have a car with "patina" where you need to remove the years of oxidation your "barn find" may have earned. You'd be surprised how well that original paint may come up!

      3.Foam Pads Have Many Uses- Foams pads and compound are the 2 things you should be stocked up on if you are planning on polishing paint on your car or truck. Foam pads are available in a few different "grits" if you will (PPI or Pores Per Inch) is the official term). Most companies distinguish these by dying the pads different colors. Foam pads can be used for light cutting with the right compound, but they won't remove deep scratches like a wool pad might. The nice thing about foam pads is that they do not leave swirl marks like a wool pad might. Some like to strictly use foam pads just for this reason.

      4.RPMS are everything- One key to a perfect finish when buffing is to make sure you are running your buffer at the correct approximate RPM when doing each step. Generally wool pads you would do your heavier cutting at around 2000-2500RPM, while you'd want to finish at around 1100-1300RPM for final foam polishing. A slightly higher RPM can be used with the wool pads if you are lightly cutting with them, around 1600-1800 normally.

      5.Keep Moving- Often times damage with a buffer is done when you stay in one spot too long, or you are moving too slowly. The longer you stay in one area, and the slower you move, the more you heat up that area of the panel. Heat=bad when buffing, keep a rhythmic, uniform motion buffing a panel. Jumping around can cause you to miss spots or get an uneven final finish.

      6.Masking Tape Is Your Safety Net- Use painters or a quality masking tape to protect edges and areas you may easily burn through or catch with your buffer. Once you develop the "touch" you can work right up to these edges, but to avoid any accidents I'd still advise to tape off the car, then come back and work just the edges with your full attention on not pressing too hard or sitting in one place too long. You'd be surprised how quickly an edge can be buffed clean of the paint!

      7.Buy A Spur And Use It Often- Do not use sharp objects like a screwdriver to clean your buff pads, it can damage the pads, and I'd bet that you wouldn't want to mix the grime on your screwdrivers with your buffing pads. Instead, buy a buff pad "spur" to clean your buffing pads. Make sure you use these often, especially after finishing with that pad. Dried up old compound can cause damage to your paint if it isn't removed fully from the pad.

      8.The compound belongs on your car, not you!- Apply the compound to the surface you are buffing first then turn the buffer on and begin buffing the panel. Applying buffing compound to the pad itself will cause you to wear the compound as soon as you turn the buffer on and make a mess of anything near by!

      9.Do Not Let Your Buffing Pads Touch the Ground- Under any circumstance, do not set your buffer down on the ground, all it takes is your dog, the wind, your significant other, etc. to trip on it or knock it on it's side and the buffing pad touches the ground. The pad will instantly pick up dirt, rocks, etc. that all become extreme abrasives when you go to buff next. If this happens, do not use it until it is fully cleaned, to be safe it is even best to just replace it with a new one all together.

      10.Wash and Care for your paint often- This should be obvious, but in between buffing, waxing, or polishing your paint, make sure you are regularly washing your car and caring for the finish. It will make life much easier when you go to buff or polish the paint. Just before you begin buffing the paint, it is a good idea to give the vehicle a nice wash to remove all dirt and grime. Id suggest to do wash each panel down minutes before buffing even if you washed the entire car before. Again, even one piece of rogue dirt/grime can become an abrasive and when coupled with the buffer, become a scratch or swirl-maker.

      Follow some of these basic steps, and you could be on your way to a mirror finish!

      Related Eastwood Products:

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