You’ve probably seen these — or some like them — online and thought, “Why would I ever need a hex driver that big?” Answer: To remove the sensor plugs on the top of a Chevy small-block intake manifold. After those plugs’ve been sitting there happily Loctited in there for ten or eleven years, it’s going to take more than some kind of cobbled-together home tool to get them out. Trust us; We just found out.
After spending a significant amount of time trying to “beat the system” by making a tool for the job or using something similar, we finally just broke down and visited the friendly local Snap-on truck to pick up the tool for the job: a 14mm hex socket just like the one you see in the picture (but a bit shinier). At about $23, it seems expensive, but believe us when we tell you it’s worth every cent.
When we got back to the show, we popped this baby on the end of a breaker bar and — after some extreme grunting — removed the plug in question. Having seen the controlled force requried to break it loose, we’re convinced we’d never have broken it with the lesser methods we attempted.