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Currently viewing the category: "Astro Pneumatics"

Last week we looked at some split box ratcheting wrenches for tightening and removing flare nuts quickly. Today we’ll look at a set of wrenches that helps you get at flare nuts in hard-to-reach locations.

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How do you get a box end wrench around a compression fitting? Unless you want to leave the wrench in place for the next guy, you’ll want a tool like one of Astro Pneumatic’s split box ratcheting wrenches.

Astro Pneumatics claims their wrenches allow you the access of an open-ended wrench while giving you the convenience of a ratcheting box-end wrench. They construct the heads of the wrenches from chrome moly steel, a steel alloy with chrome and molybdenum, for strength.

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Instead of adjusting the air flow at the compressor, Astro Pneumatics’ digital flow regulator screws right onto your spray gun or other air tool to precisely control the flow of air. Love it or hate it, instead of a analog gauge it uses a digital readout.

Constructed with a mirror-plated finish, the regulator’s electronics are sealed and the display is behind impact-proof glass. Unfortunately this also means the battery’s not replaceable, but the display shuts off 45 seconds after you press the button to give the battery a life expectancy of 5,000 readings.

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Constant-tension hose clamps are fast becoming ubiquitous on mass-produced cars, courtesy of their stone-cold reliability and automatic adjustment. Worm gear and T-bolt hose clamps should be re-torqued after installation with the hoses hot, since the clamping force squeezes rubber out from underneath the band (a tendency called cold creep), but constant-tension clamps keep themselves properly adjusted. They are, however, one of a mechanic’s knuckles’ worst enemies, and very difficult to detach without the right tools. Additionally, factory installations aren’t always the easiest to remove, which is where flexible hose clamp pliers come in.

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Tool guys often like to have bragging rights on the biggest and most powerful tools. Drivers aren’t really any different: more power and noise is pretty cool.  A pneumatic driver that spins 1,800 rpm sounds like a good plan then, right? 

It’s a normal-looking pneumatic driver as first glance — a 1/4” hex drive system hooked to an air hose charged with 90-120 psi good for 45 – 115 in/lbs of torque.  The 1,800 rpm speed is almost certainly a “free-spin” speed, however if the speed under load is anywhere close, that’s about 30 revs per second.

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At first glance these pliers look like they were mangled in a tragic farming accident, but they’re that way on purpose.  They’re offset handle pliers, and they’re pretty damn handy.

For instance working on the Yukon project I managed to drop a bolt down into the exhaust “y” pipe.  Luckily it didn’t go too far down, but the trick was getting it without pushing it further down the pipe.  That’s where the offset pliers would have come in handy. 

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Sick of those 70s-inspired — or maybe that should read “sticker-upcharge-inspired” — pinstripes the dealer added to your brand new Honda?  Remove ’em with a pin striping removal kit. 

The kit is really just a 4,000 rpm “Pinstripe Removal Tool” — technically an air powered polisher with a safety lever — and 12 “smart eraser” 3-1/2″ rubber pads. The rubber pads strip the striping off without killing what’s underneath.

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Looking to recoup some cash before the Christmas-time Visa bill arrives?  As we’ve suggested before, you can save a bundle by doing your own brake jobs on the family voiture.  And while you can get the job done with basic hand tools, having the right tools takes the job from pain-in-the-ass to not-so-bad.

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When rotating the dubs on your fly cruiser have you ever wished for more bling in your lug sockets? Astro Tools knows you have.  Now you can flip your whip with this 7 piece chrome plated Lugnut Socket set.

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When in the throes of an automotive project there are many things that can hang you up, like not having the best tool for the job.  Having to “make do with what you got” is the hallmark of every DIY mechanic out there. There are times, however, when it’s worth the dough to just shell out and buy the tool that’ll make your project a bit easier — like when you’re messing with fuel, oil, and transmission fluid.

Sooner or later it’s gonna get messy, and there’s nothing you can do about that.  But why not speed up the process with the right tools. 

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