All of us have taken off an uncountable number of wheel/tire combos during our time as hot rodders. Odds are the 3/4, 13/16, or 7/8 impact deep socket (and probably our 1/2-inch thin wall socket of the same size) displays wear marks where they have spun and rubbed against a wheel. No question using an impact makes the chore of getting off a wheel much easier. In fact, putting on a wheel using an impact makes life easier but for the careful rodder the time comes when the final tightening is done with a torque wrench and good ol' human power is supplied.

There is a tool out there that is offered by the Eastwood Tool Company that is referred to as a Torque Extension Set that just might help you shorten the time and effort of properly installing any wheel/tire combo on any car or truck you may have. The ATD five-piece Torque Extension Set (PN 1067935) is a great tool to use as it helps prevent damage to wheels and rotors when torqueing on wheels.

The five torque extensions come in five specific torque values: 65 ft-lb (green), 80 ft-lb (yellow), 100 ft-lb (dark blue), 120 ft-lb (gray), and 140 ft-lb (white) and are intended to be used with a 1/2-inch drive impact wrench and the appropriate socket.

If you've never used one of these torque extensions they are made from high-quality chrome molybdenum alloy steel and are intended to drive the lug nut on and tighten but stop tightening when the specified torque spec is reached (no matter how much more you keep running the impact). By properly torqueing wheel nuts you can help prevent damage to wheels and brake rotors.

In our case we tightened the lug nuts with the specified torque extension and then went back over the lug nuts with a torque wrench and were pleased to find out just how close (little effort applied) the torque extensions came to the recommended torque number. This tool both shortened install time, helped prevent any wheel or rotor damage because of under or over tightening, and yielded a peace of mind that the project was handled properly.

Silicone Pull Plug Kit

Sometimes the threaded areas or just areas are internal, such as on tubing, and we don't want paint or powdercoating material to attach to these threads. The Eastwood Tool Company Pull Plug Kit (PN 58113) provides excellent protection and is easy to use—and reuse. The 125 plugs that come in the kit range in size from 0.062 to 0.896 inch in diameter.

Silicone Cap Kit

Whether it is the painting or powdercoating process there are places that we do not want material to adhere. Threaded areas is such a place. In the past we have used masking tape, or a grease of some type, anything that would help prevent material from sticking and is easily removed.

The Eastwood Tool Company offers a silicone cap kit (PN 58114) that holds 125 caps that can be slipped over threaded areas, protecting the critical tolerance on threaded surfaces. These caps measure from 0.040 to 0.0295 inch inside diameter (id). They are reusable and once powdercoat material has cured it will come right off.

Magnetic Masking Disc Set

Keeping paint or powdercoating off specific areas can make the assembly of your project much easier. The advantage of the magnetic masking discs is the ease with which they can be used (placed on and removed).

New from Eastwood are these reusable magnetic high-temperature silicone masking discs (PN 13259) that come 10 masking discs to a set. According to Eastwood Tool Company these discs can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees F. This will work with powdercoating as well as normal painting. Each of the discs will mask two different size areas.

Eastwood Tech Tip

Blair Equipment Offers More Hole-Cutting Solutions

Cutting holes in a hot rod project is nothing new. In fact, hole cutting is commonplace but having the right tool to cut that hole isn't always the case. Blair Equipment Company offers any number of cutting solutions but Rotabroach Combo Cutting Kit is one of those tools a rodder should have in his toolbox.

We've covered the Rotabroach from Blair in the past but it was well received so we thought we would pass along the info on the latest kit. The newest kit (PN 11320) is made up of 5/16-, 3/8-, 7/16-, 1/2-, 9/16-, 5/8-, 3/4-, 7/8-, 1-, 1-1/8-, 1-1/4-, 1-3/8-, and 1-1/2-inch cutters, two arbors, a center punch, and extra pilots. Odds are that hold you need to cut into the firewall sheetmetal, dashboard, or doorjamb or panel will be somewhere in this size range.

When cutting any hole remember to allow the “Holcutter” teeth to be in motion before coming in contact with the metal surface. Next allow the teeth to cut a light groove before applying maximum pressure. Blair also offers a lubricant—Rotabroach Stick Lubricant (PN 11750) to improve tool life and prevent the teeth from catching.

Blair offers replacement Holcutters in various sizes and replacement pilots and arbors to keep your Rotabroach tool working at its best.

It costs a couple bucks but a trip to the dealer to fill yours tires with nitrogen will eliminate moisture found in compressed air and extend tire life. It will also eliminate bead corrosion during use and vehicle storage.

Eastwood Company
263 Shoemaker Road
PA  19464
Blair Equipment Company
P.O. Box 2005
MI  48501