TGTWS: Tools thread?

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
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This is my Snap-on FK80. It's a 3/8 drive stubby handle ratchet. It's a bit over 4" length. When my wife over paid for it as a Christmas gift a while back it coast her $80. I thought the price outrageous but she works and bought it with "her money" so WTF.

It was my first "snap-on" tool and I love it. I'm not a pro but I use this little gem more than any other ratchet and haven't had to lube or rebuild it to date. The thing cost over $100 now and although I still might hesitate buying one for myself it made for a fantastic gift.

Just to put it out there; The right tool makes for a great personal gift for family and friends that use and appreciate them.
I have a Kobalt at home and a Craftsman at home. Dad has the Snap-On but he was a career mechanic.
 

XterraRising

Bumpers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Utah
So, if you're like me, you've likely got a box full of random nuts and bolts, either left over from projects, or take-offs from previous repairs. I've been doing my job a long time, and I've become pretty good at identifying a fastener size by look and touch. Sometimes, I need to break out my set of gauges that I have to identify it. And maybe I'll snap a picture of it the next time I'm using it. But today, I was rummaging through the ole box-o-bolts for a screw, and I pulled out this tool that I bought in the summer last year. Maybe you'll find it useful or interesting. It's a nut and bolt thread checker tool, made by CKE. Now, don't let the fact that it looks like something more suited to Kegel exercises fool you. This thing is actually really handy. I originally found it at Grainer for $45, and thought to myself, "that's way too much." But I found it at Amazon for $23, and decided to buy it.

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It does standard threads, from 6-32 up to 1/2-20 fine/coarse and metric threads M4-0.7 to M12-1.75 pitch fine/coarse.

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It's as easy to use as threading a bolt into a nut and vice versa. Here we have a chainsaw tensioning nut.

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And some random screw that I found in the bottom of the box (the one I actually needed for a project at the house).

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TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Looking to sell my Milwaukee 1/2" impact and upgrade to the Fuel compact 1/2".

Also looking at the M12 grease gun.
 

Bklyn.X

Bumpers Installed
Moderator
Supporting Member
Founding Member
Location
Brooklyn, NY
I don't use my Lincoln 1134 that often, just on my truck. I've got two, one has crazy expensive RCV grease and one regular Mobil 1. I grease my RCV's at least a couple of times a year, pushing that thick, tacky grease through a needle fitting. Whenever i do i think "man, a powered one would be nice". I was looking at the M18 and even though I could buy "just the tool" I just can't get myself to spend that much on something I use twice a year.

Is there a reason, besides the price, you're looking at the M12 instead of the M18?
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
I don't use my Lincoln 1134 that often, just on my truck. I've got two, one has crazy expensive RCV grease and one regular Mobil 1. I grease my RCV's at least a couple of times a year, pushing that thick, tacky grease through a needle fitting. Whenever i do i think "man, a powered one would be nice". I was looking at the M18 and even though I could buy "just the tool" I just can't get myself to spend that much on something I use twice a year.

Is there a reason, besides the price, you're looking at the M12 instead of the M18?
Just price. I can get the M12 from eBay for $115. I figure a good pistol style grease gun is $60-70, so $40 more for powered?
 

outback97

Wheeling
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
So, if you're like me, you've likely got a box full of random nuts and bolts, either left over from projects, or take-offs from previous repairs. I've been doing my job a long time, and I've become pretty good at identifying a fastener size by look and touch. Sometimes, I need to break out my set of gauges that I have to identify it. And maybe I'll snap a picture of it the next time I'm using it. But today, I was rummaging through the ole box-o-bolts for a screw, and I pulled out this tool that I bought in the summer last year. Maybe you'll find it useful or interesting. It's a nut and bolt thread checker tool, made by CKE. Now, don't let the fact that it looks like something more suited to Kegel exercises fool you. This thing is actually really handy. I originally found it at Grainer for $45, and thought to myself, "that's way too much." But I found it at Amazon for $23, and decided to buy it.



It does standard threads, from 6-32 up to 1/2-20 fine/coarse and metric threads M4-0.7 to M12-1.75 pitch fine/coarse.



It's as easy to use as threading a bolt into a nut and vice versa. Here we have a chainsaw tensioning nut.



And some random screw that I found in the bottom of the box (the one I actually needed for a project at the house).

thread-checker.PNG

Thanks for posting that tool. The other day I finally got around to ordering one for work, it would have saved us a lot of time when they sent one of the office guys to fetch a nut and it took him three trips :rolleyes:.

It arrived yesterday and I liked it so much I bought another one for myself. Turns out I should have thread checked this thread for the link... paid a little more than you did for a similar item, but still not too expensive.
 

ffxcores

[fully disclosed]
Supporting Member
Location
Virginia
I need a grease gun that doesn’t leak like crazy all over my shelves. Any particular brands? My previous full size was Harbor Freight junk and my mini from Lucas Oil didn’t leak but lost ability to compress.
 

XterraRising

Bumpers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Utah
That’s not too bad. Definitely in the reasonable range for a tool like this, considering inflation.
 

XterraRising

Bumpers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Utah
So while I’m here, I’ll show you guys a homemade tool to install studs without dicking up the threads. I don’t know how many studs need to be installed on an Xterra, but I do know how many a Cat 3412 or a C18 take. And I figure what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

First, consult the holy bible of fasteners, McMaster Carr and find a coupling nut in the size you need for the stud you’re installing. In this case, 3/8-16. On a C18, it’s M10-1.50 pitch. Then get a short bolt in the same size and install it on one end. Then thread your stud in the other. Install in your cylinder head or whatever, and torque it down. Once you’ve torqued it to spec, you can easily spin it out. If it binds, grab two wrenches and release the bolt from the end and the coupling nut will spin right out. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

And just like that, you can install studs fast and easy without marring up the threads or dicking around with double nuts that you can’t get a socket on. I installed these with an impact and torqued to spec in just a few minutes with this guy. Best of all, it’s cheap. Just a couple bucks and you have professional results.

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reaver

Skid Plates
Supporting Member
Location
Caldwell, ID
So while I’m here, I’ll show you guys a homemade tool to install studs without dicking up the threads. I don’t know how many studs need to be installed on an Xterra, but I do know how many a Cat 3412 or a C18 take. And I figure what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

First, consult the holy bible of fasteners, McMaster Carr and find a coupling nut in the size you need for the stud you’re installing. In this case, 3/8-16. On a C18, it’s M10-1.50 pitch. Then get a short bolt in the same size and install it on one end. Then thread your stud in the other. Install in your cylinder head or whatever, and torque it down. Once you’ve torqued it to spec, you can easily spin it out. If it binds, grab two wrenches and release the bolt from the end and the coupling nut will spin right out. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

And just like that, you can install studs fast and easy without marring up the threads or dicking around with double nuts that you can’t get a socket on. I installed these with an impact and torqued to spec in just a few minutes with this guy. Best of all, it’s cheap. Just a couple bucks and you have professional results.

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You sir, are a ufcking genius!
 

XterraRising

Bumpers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Utah
I can’t take the credit for that. My coworker handed me that sucker and told me to use it. But, my reaction was about the same. ;)
 

XterraRising

Bumpers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Utah
You’re not a real technician if you can’t diagnose a problem. Now, a lot of guys get intimidated diagnosing P00xxx codes on their OBDII vehicles running whatever flavor canbus the manufacturer uses. Well forget all those fancy scanners and computers. All you need are these!

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As you can see, they cover the usual Xterra issues and point right to the problem. I mean, shouldn’t everybody have a set of these to help them when they are stumped?

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XterraRising

Bumpers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Utah
No, but if I were to make them, I’d have another dice that says, “Mechanic replaced X and it still doesn’t run right.”
 

reaver

Skid Plates
Supporting Member
Location
Caldwell, ID
I was told by a very good electronics tech that all electronic/electric problems boiled down to "A blown fuse or something else." How true that is, no matter what the problem is.
All my electrical issues have pretty much been in the "something else" category. Except that I kept blowing taillight fuses. That was merely a symptom though....
 

Brunnie

Sliders
Supporting Member
Location
Colorado Springs
All my electrical issues have pretty much been in the "something else" category. Except that I kept blowing taillight fuses. That was merely a symptom though....
I kept blowing the fuse for the rear defroster. After repairing a couple of broken traces I discovered that when the rear window was replaced the tab for power ended up touching the body. Moved that a bit and no more fuses going "POOF".
 

reaver

Skid Plates
Supporting Member
Location
Caldwell, ID
I kept blowing the fuse for the rear defroster. After repairing a couple of broken traces I discovered that when the rear window was replaced the tab for power ended up touching the body. Moved that a bit and no more fuses going "POOF".
For me, it was a result of tapping into the dash lights to have my auxiliary switches light up when you turn the headlights on. We initially used spade connectors to make it easy to remove the switches. I'm not sure what exactly happened, but I pulled the whole pigtail out for the switches, and completely redid it using dtp connectors at both ends. Problem solved.
 

XterraRising

Bumpers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Utah
So while we are on the topic of electrical, I figure I'll post this tool that I use a lot when messing around with my Xterra. Beware, this one might get a bit long, because it's hard to talk about it in three sentences or less. And since I'm in quarantine for a few days with nothing better to do, and I'm going absolutely stir crazy over it (and happened to be checking out an issue on the wife-mobile anyway), here we are.

So it's the Power Probe III. Mind you, there are newer versions of this thing, but they are as yet a bit more expensive for what they are, and this one does about everything I need it to do without needing to drag my Fluke 87V out of the work truck.

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So what you get with this little guy are a few really handy things that you can use. First off, it's a voltmeter. A red light with the battery voltage indicates it is checking the voltage, and you don't need to push a button to do it. That's kind of handy. You can also set it to remember the voltage so you can take a reading on something in a tight place, say under a dash, and you can pull the probe back and look at the display, which is actually what the first picture is.

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To check for ground, you simply touch the probe against something grounded to the battery, like say the battery terminal. A lot of problems can be sourced back to a bad ground, and if the light doesn't come on, you know you don't have a solid ground connection. Additionally, as you can see from the picture, it shows 0.0 which is an ohm check. 0 ohms means good continuity.

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I should also point out that you can set it to beep when you touch things with it. Anything with good ground connection or continuity will have a low tone beep, and anything with voltage being sent to it will have a higher pitch beep.

You can also check your battery voltage with the meter floating (the probe not touching anything) by pressing the upper + side of the switch. You can do this because the cable that the probe is connected to connects to the positive and negative battery terminals.

Example of use:

Okay, so let's say the power inverter isn't working on my Xterra. I've already determined that there is no voltage to the cable connection at the inverter itself by probing it, and nothing came up. I know that I have a cable connection at the battery, an inline mega fuse, and the inverter itself. Between the fuse and the inverter is about 12 feet of cable running under the Xterra to the back where it penetrates the cab. Well, being as I checked voltage at the B+ connection point at the inverter, I need to work backward to the voltage source. However, I also need to establish that the battery actually has voltage, so what I always do is start at the source of the voltage and work my way to the component.

So step 1: Check voltage at the source. We can do that by pressing the + side of the switch, and it reads battery voltage because I have my power cables connected right to the battery. Easy enough.

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Step 2: Now check the terminal connection point. I always check the copper connector on the cable because if there is a bad connection, I won't see any voltage. So far so good according to this picture.

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Step 3: Check voltage on the battery side of the fuse connection. If there is voltage, you know your cable from the battery is good.

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Step 4: Check voltage on the inverter side of the fuse. If you have battery voltage there, you can safely say your cable and fuse up to that point are good. So if there is no voltage at the connection on the inverter, the problem must be the cable somewhere down the line. Now the hard work of finding the break in the wire is next.

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Now, that's also a quick and dirty way to check a fuse. If you have voltage on both sides of a fuse, it's probably good. If you have voltage on one side, but not the other, the fuse probably isn't good. However, the most proper way to check a fuse is to pull it and continuity check it. The meter has you covered because it also has a little ground clamp that comes out of the bottom for just such a thing as component bench testing.

A green light with 0.0 indicates that this fuse is good. Remember, that's 0.0 ohms of resistance between those two connection points on the fuse. And no buttons need to be pressed for this operation.

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So let's say you fixed your problem in the cable. You either found a break in it or determined that the ground side connections were bad by doing continuity checks all the way back to the negative terminal on the battery. Whatever the case is, you identified the problem and fixed it. But you should always check. So leaving the the probe's power cables connected to the battery, you walk back and simply probe the positive cable on the inverter. Bam! 12.7 VDC. Fixed. And all you had to do was pull the protective sleeve back and tap it with the tip of that very sharp probe.

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Here's another couple of pictures of a fuse. The first fuse is bad. So no continuity means no green light. The alligator clip I'm holding is the one that comes out of the bottom of the probe for component testing.

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Green light means a good fuse.

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A word of caution though: Don't press the + side of the switch when testing fuses. You could blow the fuse you're testing. How else do you think I was able to blow that fuse for the picture? Yup, it popped it. Now, the probe does have a breaker on it, and there are some tests you can do to check continuity where you push + part of the switch, but I don't like doing that. It puts stress on the breaker. But it's there if you really need it.

Now here's the part that sold me on it. Component testing. So I had a friend with an Xterra, and he thought his IPDM had taken a dump. Neither of his low beam headlights would work. The highs would work fine, but the low's were dead. So I asked him to bring it over because we could not only test to see if there was continuity in the headlights themselves, we could also test them. Now, I've tested plenty of components passively with an ohm check just to find out that the meter was being fooled. It's oftentimes baffling, but electricity does weird stuff, especially when coils heat up under load. So my buddy brings his Xterra over, with a new IPDM, and I immediately pull the bulbs out of the headlight housings. He had done the same thing at his house. The filaments looked fine, but the continuity check told the story. No continuity. When I pressed the + side of the switch, nothing happened on the lows. But the high beam side came on when I switched to that terminal! Replaced the headlight bulbs and all was right with the world.

This is my favorite feature.

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Being able to bench test components off and on the vehicle without having to drag out of a bunch of other crap is so handy. You can literally be voltage checking down the line, find the component connector, and supply voltage to it (preferably when disconnected from the vehicle) and run the component. But I've hot tapped the windshield wiper motor on our Saturn, and checked relays by supplying voltage to the control side of it to turn on lights.

And getting back around to checking component connections, if disconnected something that isn't working, you can simply insert the probe into the vehicle side of the connector and see if you have voltage or ground. If you have it, there's a decent chance the problem is in the component. If not, you can start going through the harness to find the problem.

Now I won't lie to you and say this is the end all be all of meters. It is another tool in the tool box. And honestly, it took me a little getting used to it when I first bought it simply because I've been using Fluke digital multimeters ever since I started my career. And there are a few other features on the Power Probe, like being able to spot voltage fluctuations to determine if rectifiers are bad or not. I've not had to use that feature yet since my alternator works fine.

But the most common things I do when using a meter on my vehicle are voltage and continuity checks. And for that, this thing is great. The kit comes with the meter, a removable probe, and an attached cable long enough to get back to your vehicle's rear end. The case includes pigtails that allow you to connect to your battery directly, or to a 12 volt receptacle. It also has an extension cable. I can see that coming in handy if I had a trailer hooked up to my Xterra and was trying to figure out a lighting issue.

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All in all, it's definitely worth looking into if you're in need of something to perform some basic tasks and checks. And the price isn't too bad, especially if you're on a budget.
 

outback97

Wheeling
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
I got a CEL on my commuter car (2003 Subaru Impreza) for a failed O2 sensor the other day. These are usually pretty easy cars to work on, but the front sensor is in a tough place to get to, wedged between the exhaust, a crossmember, and the CV axle.

I tried a 22mm open end wrench from above, but didn't have enough arc to turn it. I tried my offset O2 sensor socket from underneath the car, and just could not get that to work either. There was no configuration of the socket plus ratchets that I could get to work.

Feeling frustrated I looked online for other options and found this:

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I went down to the store and picked one up. It admittedly doesn't feel like the highest quality tool, but it came through when nothing else was working for me. Using this wrench with a few whacks from a rubber mallet, I got the sensor out in a few minutes time.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
So I tried some Knipex Cobras last year. Two days and I gave them to my daughters to play with.

Well, gonna try one more time. Got some Alligators and I'm going to try to use them the rest of the month.

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