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Specialty tools for a given engine family drive me nuts. Is it really that difficult to design something which works with thousands of preexisting tools? Unfortunately, General Motors didn’t do that with their Ecotec engines’ oil filter caps, which are so common that nearly every mechanic is going to run into one at some point. Ecotecs have an unusual cartridge-style filter design. Instead of a paper filter element contained in a disposable metal casing, there’s an aluminum housing cast into the block which accepts a standalone paper filter, and it’s covered by a plastic cap with unusual artillery-pattern threads and a 32mm male hex on top.

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If you ever need work done on your brakes, it’s best to avoid brake shops for a variety of reasons — not the least of which is that they’ll often use a Jesus wrench (the biggest Channel Locks in their box) to compress the pistons, a procedure capable of cracking cheap calipers, and almost guaranteed to mar the piston. The right way is a brake caliper compressor, a sort of high-powered caulk gun designed to slip into the pad recess. Lisle’s model 25750 is a perfect example, and pretty inexpensive at just over $32 before shipping from Amazon.

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While it may look like some prop key out of a bad treasure movie, this $12 cube-shaped tool from Lisle is actually for rotating the piston back into the caliper when replacing rear disc brake pads.

The tool features a different pin configuration on each of its six faces to fit most domestic vehicles and some imports.  Fit a 3/8″ ratchet with an extension into one of the cube’s square drive holes, then simply push and turn the tool to rotate the piston into the caliper.

Disc Brake Piston Tool [Lisle]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

ToolDiscounter.com is selling these Lisle 22850 Hose Pinchers for $4.17.  With this set of two screw-actuated clamps you can pinch hoses so fluids or vacuum can’t pass/suck when you’re making repairs.

Lisle Hose Pinchers [ToolDiscounter.com]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

Mechanics Tool Supply is selling this Lisle Pipe End Shaper for $21.  It certainly looks like a problem-solver on exhaust work, and we can think of other handy uses around the shop for a big steel cone!

Lisle Pipe End Shaper [Mechanics Tool Supply]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

ToolDiscounter.com is selling the Lisle 30050 belt tool for $12.85 — it’s a handy folding set of five body-trim tools in one fold-up tool.

Lisle Belt Tool [ToolDiscounter.com]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

ToolDiscounter.com is selling the Lisle 31500 Exhaust/Strut Cutoff Tool for $20.  Basically a four-wheel version of the old tubing cutter, it’ll cut completely through thin exhaust tubing, and you only need to rotate it slightly over 90 degrees, compared to the full 360 a tubing cutter requires — great for tight spaces.

Lisle 31500 Exhaust/Strut Cutoff Tool [ToolDiscounter.com]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

Most everybody agreed that nitrile gloves were a hot item — now here’s a great way to keep them in sight and available when you need them.  US General and Lisle sell competing magnetic glove dispensers that you can attach to any metal surface.

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Bearing Packer

Raise your hand if you actually re-pack your trailer’s wheel bearings once a year as recommended. Yeah, repacking bearings by hand can be a greasy mess — who really wants to put globs of grease in their hands, except my three-year-old?  Do yourself a favor and pick up a bearing packer like this one from Lisle for $8. A bearing packer evenly injects new grease into the bearing, which forces out the old grease and flushes out any other contaminants.

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Tired of lying on a cold concrete floor while wrenching on your ride, but don’t have room (in the garage or under the car) for a standard creeper?  Check out Lisle’s fold-up creeper.  It doesn’t have wheels — and it isn’t pretty — but it does offer some padding and mobility down under. 

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