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MAC Tools announced five new automotive specialty tools recently, including the hammer you see pictured above, which they claim is designed specifically for coaxing auto interiors into place. At first glance, it looks pretty much like the rubber mallet Sean and I have used for years for the same purpose. And honestly, that’s pretty much what it is… with two slight differences. First, the handle is a little longer and more grippy than most of the mallets I keep around the shop, and second, MAC added a third rubber tip on the end of the handle.

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We recently managed to lose the key to our favorite Foose toolkit. It’s happened to countless people over the years and is most likely very annoying to mechanics should this ever happen to them. So we decided to see how good Mac’s support really was and called to get a new key for our box.

To begin with we called the Mac support line 800.622.8665. Of course it was Friday evening and the call center was closed until Monday. As instructed by the voicemail system, we waited until the appointed 8am — 6pm Eastern time on Monday and called again.

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Automotive electrical work.

How many people ran for cover? Even among tech-savvy Toolmongers, electrical work can be a big, hairy monster, partially due to the confusing nature of electrical diagnosis, and partially due to the wide variety of tools needed to do the work properly. Fortunately, one of the most common styles is pretty cheap.

Mac Tools retails a crimper designed to properly attach Weatherpack connectors, but there’s a nice bonus. Many different terminals can be secured with this crimper, even if they aren’t designed for it. Deutsch and Yazaki terminals work nicely in Weatherpack jaws, which isn’t a bad trifecta for $35. Unless you’re a pretty neurotic type-A personality, this will do nicely for occasional repairs. Anyone who’s used one of these before will probably note that this plier-style crimper isn’t as precise as a torque-sensing type, but careful use will navigate nicely around those issues.

Weatherpack Crimper [Mac Tools]

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For every nut, bolt, and fastener on your car or truck, the factory probably recommends a specific amount of torque to tighten it down to.  Mac makes two models of adjustable 1/4″ torque screwdrivers — the TSM4-22 and the TSM16-88 — that measure torque from 4 to 22 in./lbs and from 16 to 88 in./lbs respectively.  With these little guys you can torque down even delicate fasteners without winging it.

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Mac Tools, embracing its role as a NASCAR sponsor, just released a limited-edition Hendrick Motorsports tool box set with racing logos and graphics on the door lids. The set consists of a cart and an MB1000A base box with a newly configured top hutch for added storage — they both feature Casey Mears in the No. 5 Carquest/Kellogg’s Chevrolet; Jeff Gordon in the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet; and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 AMP/National Guard Chevrolet.

For the diehard NASCAR fan, this is hotness on casters.  But if you just want a sturdy place to keep your tools, or if you’re satisfied with the current setup in your shop that already has 300 logo stickers plastered all over it — you might feel the need to skip this one.  If not, you can call it in and have a truck drop it right at your shop’s door.

Mac Tools [Corporate Site]

 
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When you don’t want to lug your entire toolbox out of the garage just to work on your neighbor’s lawnmower, you need something like the Macsimizer Utility Cart from MAC. It features a deep well up top for sockets and a tray up top that slides open for more tool access — plus three drawers, screwdriver storage, and space on the bottom for bigger items.

I loaded up my cart with screwdrivers, sockets, wrenches, my most-used air tools, and some other miscellaneous stuff — which means that anytime I want to work on something outdoors, I just wheel out the cart and get after it.

For pricing, you’ll need to visit your local MAC distributor. Or, if you don’t want to pay MAC prices, there are cheap-ass alternatives.

Macsimizer Utility Cart [Mac Tools]

 
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Auto techs who’ve heard the above from customers, rejoice! This week Mac Tools announced a car data recorder that plugs into vehicles’ OBDII data plug and records the entire OBDII data set in a continuous 24-hour loop. Jack this sucker in, send the customer out for a drive, and when they come back you’ve got software access to everything the car knows about the issue.

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MAC Tools is partnering with Challenger Lifts to produce a range of “professional grade” two-post lifts priced just right for newly-opening shops — and low enough to tempt even an amateur like me.

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It can happen to the best of us: one moment of inattention results in a cross-threaded spark plug hole. You can either install a helicoil and hope for the best, or send it out to have the whole shebang re-tapped. Now you have another option. The Back-Tap can fix that cross-threaded hole from the inside — without pulling the head.

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Body workers know that there are two kinds of dollies: one kind has wheels and moves boxes and the other kind moves sheet metal.  Mac’s new multi-dolly is the latter type, and offers three different faces — adding up to many various curves — in a compact hand-held package.

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