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4 Wheel Off Road Truck Tools - Shop Tool Roundup

Posted in Features on December 1, 2003
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Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturers

As winter looms, many a 4x4 gets packed in 'til summer. Maybe not so often in Southern California, but even we here take advantage of the cooler weather to be able to work on our rigs without burning up in triple-degree heat. So, what better time to start getting your to-buy list together than right before Christmas? We've been eagerly looking through the catalogs and finding what tools we'd like to get our hands on, so we thought we'd let you in on what we'd like to see in our garage or trailer after Santa comes and drops 'em all off (providing that Santa can get his sleigh off the ground with his fat butt and as many tools as we've asked for).

Mo' Power PullaThe More Power Puller is a great tool to have if you don't have a winch when off-roading or a hoist in your garage. It is completely portable at only 28 pounds and has 35 feet of industrial cable rated to dead-lift a maximum of 2 tons. You can use it to get your vehicle out of jams, or to pull an engine from under an anchored support beam. Information: Wyeth-Scott Co., 800/743-4521,

Reciprocating ActionWhen you're trying to make precise, quality cuts in something, a reciprocating air saw such as this one from Chicago Pneumatic will make sure you don't cut outside the lines. At 10,000 strokes per minute, this handheld air saw makes quick work of your intricate cuts. Chicago Pneumatic's reciprocating saws offer the lowest vibration on the market and have an ergonomic design to keep you comfortable. Information: Chicago Pneumatic,

Ergonomic Air RatchetFrom Snap-On's Blue Point air-tool line comes this 31/48-inch square drive air ratchet. The Blue Point ratchet features a comfortable handle and a flexible "cobra head" that allows this ratchet to conform to your needs and tight spaces. This is just the kind of tool you need when space is tight, the bolt's at an angle, and you don't have enough room to swing a conventional ratchet. Information: Snap-On Tools, 877/762-7662,

Dual-Action SandingNothing pays off like a little elbow grease, but sometimes you need just a bit more than your arms can handle to get something smooth. Campbell Hausfeld has this 6-inch dual-action sander to help you out. It features a soft elastomer grip for increased comfort during prolonged use and can tackle anything from wood and metal to fiberglass and bondo. The dual-action sanding feature assures swirl-free finishes. Information: Campbell Hausfeld,

Laser Level & Angle FinderThis is the ultimate in angle finders. Checkpoint USA has come up with the Inclomatic, a digital laser level that has a digital readout to let you know how many degrees off level or off of a set plane you are. The Inclomatic facilitates measuring wide angles, caster, camber and frame, body, and drivetrain alignment with simple point-and-shoot operation. The billet-aluminum digital laser level also comes with beam-splitting lenses, an aperture adapter, and a protractor plate. With this tool, even your dog could get the right angle-now we'll just have to see if you can. Information: Checkpoint/Webb USA, 310/224-1945,

Featherweight Floor JackHarbor Freight Tools offers this anodized aluminum racing jack to make lifting a little easier. And at around 35 pounds, you can throw this into the back of your truck like He-Man. This special jack was designed with race teams in mind and can take 3,000 pounds from rest to full height in only 6 pumps. It's available in multiple colors, all with the scratch-resistant anodized coating, and it is just as at home on your trailer as in your garage. Information: Harbor Freight Tools, 800/423-2567,

Get It Out!Here's a great little problem solver for those of you deciding to use an almost-the-right-sized wrench on that oh-so-important bolt. When you strip that sucker, be sure to get yourself these Bolt-Out damaged bolt removers from Craftman. They'll take care of your little mishap and you'll be able to get on with your project. Information: Craftsman,

Portable CompressingMakita has this handy-dandy portable air compressor for you to take where you need to work. The Makair runs off 120-volt AC power and features twin side tanks for air storage. A sturdy frame and heavy-duty construction assures that this compressor will stay in one piece when rolling around in the back of your pickup. Information: Makita, 800/462-5482,

Tie-Wire ToolDenunzio Racing Products came up with this nifty little gadget to easily make any 31/48- to 111/48-inch hex bolt or nut accept a tie wire through it. The tie-wire tool has three different drill guides for 0.032-inch and 0.041-inch tie wire, and the third for cross-drilling a 11/48-inch hole. Information: Denunzio Racing Products, 800/622-3939,

Socket to MeTired of hurting your hands and breaking skin? You need to get yourself a Matco 60-gear tooth ratchet with a pivoting head. This ratchet requires only a 6-degree swing arc, so you can work fast in tight places without having to bang back and forth to grab a single tooth. The ratchet features a nine-position locking head with a full 180-degree rotation. Information: Matco, 866/289-8665,

Sawzall!Everyone knows what this tool is. The Sawzall from Milwaukee has been what Kleenex is to tissues-synonymous with the tool. The Sawzall is actually a reciprocating saw, but to us it's a fix-all tool for anything you need to lose quickly, whether it be a fender, the bottom lip of an axlehousing, or an exhaust system that went awry. Information: Milwaukee Electric Tool Co., 800/729-3878,

Dialing InWe know your eyeballing skills aren't that good. Neither are ours, and believe us, we've tried many times. Well, when you finally realize your eye isn't the perfect tool for measuring that bolt or the bore of that cylinder, go get yourself a B&B dial caliper. B&B Performance dial-indicator calipers are made to exact standards for the most precise measurement and come with an easy-to-read shockproof dial. Information: B&B Performance Sales, 732/364-6700,

AC/DC Wet/Dry Suck-ItThis portable wet/dry vacuum from DeWalt has got you covered when you have a mess. The DC500 runs not only off of 12-, 14.4-, and 18-volt battery packs, but also off 120-volt AC wall outlets. The vacuum has an inner wet/dry filter to trap 99 percent of the particulates, and with a tank capacity of 2 gallons, it'll be enough to clean up your truck when you forget to roll your windows up before the storm. Information: DeWalt, 800/433-9258,

Land Luge CreeperYou need to keep on the cutting edge and have the ultimate in creepers. The Kreepster is an ergonomically designed creeper that fully supports with a lumbar curve and an articulating headrest. A tube chassis design distributes your weight over a platform sitting on rollerblade-style wheels, and also frames inset tool holders that keep all the necessaries handy. We have this idea that it might also double as a land luge, and there's this 5-mile-long grade just down the street.... We'll tell you how it goes after they send us one to try. Information: Kreepster, 707/996-3918,

ButcheryNo matter what anyone tells you, you're not a psycho just because you sleep with a knife. Who doesn't? There's lot of other times you need a knife like the Adrenaline T1 from Buck. If your hands are full, you have a wire or hose that needs cutting, a reach in the pocket could grab that invaluable tool with a partially serrated blade for just that type of job. Made from 420HC stainless, these one-handed liner-lock knives are something you'll keep on you from now on. Information: Buck Knives, 800/326-2825,

Billet Aluminum StorageJust when you thought you had the coolest storage possible in your trailer, shop, or garage, out comes a company like RB Component with these super-cool aluminum storage devices. RB Components makes brackets, cabinets, trays, shelves, racks, and ramps for everything from paper towels to screwdrivers to oil jugs. Your termite-susceptible wood shelves might be pretty nice, but they're nothing compared to these noncorroding heavy-duty storage trays, holders, and cabinets. Information: RB Components, 714/895-5024,

A-N Friendly WrenchesStop screwing up the nice anodized finish on you're A-N fittings! You didn't pay all that money for quality fittings only to screw them up because you're too cheap to drop another few bucks on some correct A-N wrenches for them. C'mon! Fragola Performance has these extra-thick A-N wrenches in sizes -4 through -20 or as a set of -6 to -16. So be nice to your fittings and don't strip 'em like you do other things. Information: Fragola Performance Systems, 866/337-2739,

Spotless FloorsWhen setting up the ultimate shop or garage, a clean, spotless, chemical-resistant floor is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also easy for cleanup. Motor City Flooring has come out with an epoxy finish called Muscle Gloss to cover your concrete flooring. Muscle Gloss comes in a multitude of colors and creates a rock-hard surface that protects against oil spills and chemical corrosion. Information: Motor City Flooring, 866/456-7766,

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