Automotive Work

Porter Cable 18V to 20V battery adaptor.

Been about a month ago, I’m trying to get caught up on stuff I haven’t had time or energy to post.

Got an adaptor to run my lithium 20v max Porter Cable batteries on my 18v (lithium, not the older NiCad ) PC tools.

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All assembled with a 2Ah battery and its not any(or much) bulkier than the original 18v 6 Ah.


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This was my test to see if it works, and how the quality was…

The tools work flawlessly, no issues I could see in a 10 minute test anyway.


I do actually still have 4 working 18v batteries for these tools, 2 in 6Ah and 2 in 2Ah. Not bad after a decade of use.. But they’re getting tired, don’t hold up as long anymore. I could have them rebuilt rather cheaply, but I wanted to try this, its simpler and easier(probably still cheaper). This thing was $21. Its nice cast/molded plastic, well made.(I expected 3D printed to be honest… surprised me its not!) This one is actually a 3 in one, takes Stanley, Black+Decker, and Porter Cable 20v batteries. (all of which interchange on PC 20v tools anyway, or nearly so with small mods IIRC.)


Works so well, I’m going to go ahead, as I can, and get the ones needed to cross all, or almost all my tools. I’m running Kobalt and PC 20v for work, Kobalt and PC 18v in my garage, and Craftsman in my home wood shop… And they get interchanged a bit too. I have more Craftsman 20V batteries than any other, but Kobalt batteries are the cheapest to buy, so I’ll get those crossed to my PC and Craftstman tools.. Or maybe just get what I need to use Kobalt batteries on everything if needed, then only buy the Kobalt batteries unless the Craftsman are on sale(both Porter Cable lines are no longer made/available anywhere). Ill figure it out.. lol.

Got the sucker here BTW, for anyone interested.
https://www.ebay.com/str/xtools99

Categories: Automotive Work, Construction, Cordless Tools, Customized, Modifications, New Work Tools, old tools, Remodeling, Reviews

Craftsman 4V power screwdriver

Picked this up last weekend on sale, I was curious,  and for $35, figured it was a small risk.

It’s the old concept of a power screwdriver,  remember those from the 90s? Even in the early 2000s when cordless tools were gaining ground and power those things were still basically useless.

Somewhere I have one thats about 9v, that came with my big 18v Dewalt drill, circa 2006. That drill was a power house, a monster at driving screws for construction… The screwdriver,  not so much. Not exactly useless… But then the tool itself was too big to really be handy.

Batteries and motors sure have come a long ways! 

This thing is only 4V, but it has a surprising amount of torque,  and so far great run time IMO for its size.

Built in battery,  an oddity these days,  came with a wall wart w/cord that charges it. 

My main idea was for automotive work,  where you can have lots of little screws, a slow pain by hand, but an impact driver is overkill, or won’t fit.

So far I’ve had great fun with it installing a bunch of door knobs and latch plates at work,  removing and installing cabinet hinges, and even driving some small 1.25″ construction screws(amazingly well even without pilot holes!) .

Finally a compact power screwdriver that works as needed! Its a keeper!

One nifty feature, is the onboard rotating bit storage.  Has a little door that covers it. Came with bits in it! Little magnet on top next to it to hold screws or bits is actually kinda handy too.

Wish my big 20v impact drivers had that bit storage magazine!  Thinking they could do it in brushless tools and still be pretty compact.

Categories: Automotive Work, Construction, Cordless Tools, Craftsman, New Work Tools, Remodeling, Reviews, Work Tools

Three layer carburetor? REALLY?!?

Pulled and repaired the carburetor on my truck last night.

Some yutz at Carter/Webber decided that these single barrel carbs should be made in three pieces(which, I’m told was/is common!) Having an extra layer for the bottom flange/main butterflies as compared to Any 2 or 4 barrel I’ve ever seen, where the flange and mains are integral to the bowl..

Anyway, as odd as a 3rd layer is, the assinine part is having all 4 screws go UP through the flange into the body… All the spaces but one are exposed flange on the body section, NO reason they couldn’t thread down into the lower piece. But No!

SO, it the ever vibrate loose, you not only can’t get at them to tighten them with the carb installed, they can fall the frack out!

Thankfully none of these came all the way out, but 3/4 were backed out a long ways.

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Ran interesting with the carb loose above the mains! Way too lean, but not consistently.

Couldn’t get at more than one to tighten it, so I pulled the whole carb. Easiest carb removal and replacement I’ve ever done. Including the drive to warm it up first(no heat in the shop) for working on it, and the test drive after, this took 1.5 hours flat! Found the main mounting stud nuts loose as well. (and two different sizes of nut lol) But side intake on a straight 6 sure makes it easy to get at!

I checked the threads, they all went in fine, seated good. I fully removed all 4 and put them back with blue Loctite! Not usually advisable on such small screws, or on carbs, its just asking for broken or stripped screws… But I didn’t want to have to deal with this again anytime soon, and since I did it, I’ll know its there, shouldn’t get into trouble. AND the blue is designed to be removable… using Red loctite would be suicidal here..

Fixed a lot of issues I’d had since mid summer, and a few that were new.. Got rid of the hard miss it’d developed in Aug. Hopefully it fixes the tank my milage developed then too! Recent rough idle/dieing/lope smoothed out, and having to pump the hell out of it to get it to start was new, that went away too! More power than its had in months, and none of the recent dieseling on shut down.

Looks like this is a remanufactured carb in recent history, or else I’d have done a rebuild… Its actually a made in USA Carter made for Motorcraft, so a stock Ford part… With a rebuilt by Holley sticker on it.. Stock carb that was sent in as a core and came back somewhere in its life. Up until mid summer it really did run great. Assuming the carb itself is fine. It did leak a little at air horn to bowl/body, but I tightened those screws too. If it continues to leak noticably, I’ll put main body gaskets in it this summer, won’t touch the rest..

Categories: Automotive, Automotive Work, truck, Vehicles, Wrenching

Custom truck bed cargo divider bars.

Got this a couple/three weeks ago, cargo divider bar to keep gas and water cans in place in the truck. PITA to always be strapping them in. Looked at building something, but I didn’t have any viable scrap on hand and buying even electrical conduit or black water pipe and needed fittings cost more than this thing!

$25 @ Lowes. Easier to move it around than what I would have been able to build too. Adjustable from like 50″ to 72″

Did learn much to my amazement, that my bed inside width is wider than 72″. Hell, the outer width if the flatbed is only 72″, and I swore it was wider than a stock box. This box might actually be sprung an inch or so, but still…

But yeah, the feet on the ends have holles in them already, assumedly for what I did; screw them to 2×6 chunks. Little less grip than the rubber grippy feet, but it works fine so far.

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There it is with my improvised sideways divider, to separate diesel and water jugs… A scrap stove pipe support bracket I brought home from work, already made up. Didn’t quite clear my 5th wheel hitch(gotta get rid of that soon) but if you flipped it around and sat it at a slight angle it worked for most arrangements.

Most…

I got tired of it not fitting all the cans I needed, separately, on the right sides… And it all still had to be strapped somewhere.

Went browsing online for parts ideas(Lowes app is a rube goldberg/macgyver designers dream for finding hardware! )

Between black steel pipe and SteelTek structural pipe, I figured I could make a couple L shaped dividers that would slide on the sucker, outer L sitting on the bed floor (2 because there are the two telescoping tube sizes on it) and lock in place with some set screw/knobs.

Thats sorta what I ended with..

I did buy a chunk of pipe, a couple pipe fittings, and one steeltek fitting… but my total for one divider was over $30…

On the way out of the store, I decided to hell with it and got another of the ratcheting dividers for $25, too.

I’d already found that the feet are just pinned on with a rivet(the pipe bottoms in the cup on the foot first, pressure is dirrect, not held by thd rivet/pin). I’d removed the feet and hair clipped/bolted them back on the first one. Easier to move around and be able to put it in trough the other frame without the 3m2x6 ends on it…

With the second one, I found that with the feet off, the inner pipe will slide out the back of the outer one…

So I got to measuing and cutting.

Liked the idea of an adjustable divider, I can put the main bar further forward and still use it… Would have liked to leave more length, but to get it to shorten enough to trap the cans, it left me with just about 30″ max. Thats with it cut to be a minimum length of 16″, 1″ over the 15″ gas cans…

The bigger bar OD is 1.25″, small inner one is a touch over 7/8″.
Unfortunately Steeltek(and plumbing pipe) specs for 1.25″ are off… Its ID of their pipe. So all the fittings are much bigger!! And 3/4″ pipe OD is even bigger than 1.25″ OD, so i couldn’t just drop a size.

Could have used 3/4″ water fittings IF I drilled or machined the threads out, then the dia would work. Too freaking much work. 

So yeah, the smaller pipe goes into the steeltek T, with about 3/8″ of play, but locked in with the set screw on the short one… the other two screws on the cross bar are snugged up, but so it can slide.

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So, maybe $55 in actual used materials, got me one bar and one divider, that I can move on one side of the main bar. If I need the divider past center to the other side of the truck I can just flip the whole affair endo. If I need divider on both ends after all, I’ll think of something for a slider T then… maybe weld one up.. and cut down another ratchet bar, or use the water pipe I got… will find out at the time. 

:)

Ir bows the main bar out a little, with the ball pivots on the feet, and the center joint only being overlapped a couole inches lets it flex. Just have to remember to just snug the divider, not torque it in. The only real downside now is since its tightened against the tail gate, it drops every time you open the gate, and has to be re-ratcheted in place when you close it. Only mildly annoying. I might get another T and put a foot/leg under the end.. maybe.

Going to get a female/female coupler somehow, maybe find some pipe that will slip over the 7/8″ tube(maybe machine out a short chunk of 3/4″ steeltek pipe?) And I can butt joint the piece I cut off, back on at times… and use it as an extension, have a longer divider that way, with some adjustment still… will have to play with it.

Categories: Adapters, Alaska-Life, Automotive, Automotive Work, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, truck, Truck EDC, Truck gear

Evercraft 150 lum pen light.

One more new light. This was purchased on a whim, it popped up in the checkout area of napa’s website. For $4.99, I figured why not?

Branded Evercraft. Its one mode, 120 lumens. Runs on 3xaaa, which it came with. Given the cost of alkaline batts these days, I think I paid about $1.50 for the light! Lol.

Its all plastic, verry lightweight.

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One long bar led?

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I expected the butt end of it to be magnetic like I’ve seen on these bar lights before, so I’m a little disappointed. But it does have a magnet on the clip, and the clip rotates/swings on the light for aiming it, which is kinda nice. Will see how it works in use.

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With Jetbeam BC10 for scale.

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It is freaking bright! I’ve no doubt its 150 lum, or at least 100.

Might actually grab a couple more of these things to throw in glove boxes or tool boxes for cheap backup/ emergency work lights. Looks like they’re $10.99 normally, they’re $6 off this month. Even @ $11, I think I’d get at least one, can’t see anything wrong with it.

Categories: Automotive, Automotive Work, EDC, Electronics/Media, Flashlights, Just Plain Fun, New Gear, Reviews, Truck gear

Tool box refurbishment 1.0

Slight diversion from a week or two ago. Old Craftsman tool box I had, Dad bought it for me eons ago. Hadn’t really used it since the early 2000s, it was oil, grease, grime and who knows what soaked inside and out.
Forgot to take before pics. Paint was lifting off in some places and pitch/dirt/mold/grime covered and faded in others.
Bought a wire wheel for the angle grinder and went at it. Have been using up some 4 or 5 year old spray paint a buddy gave me a while back, picked a color and went at it.
Not sure why I didn’t do it in red and white to match my truck…. Just felt like blue I guess. Lol.
Not sure I really have any use for it now, but at least it’s clean and a solid finish now.
As you can see in close ups I didn’t have it as smooth over the old paint that I left as I thought I did… And the ancient paint didn’t flow/self level like it should have either, didn’t coat the rough areas as it should/could have. Good enough though, who looks that close anyway? 😉

Categories: Automotive Work, Customized, Damages, Modifications, Repairs, Sentimental, Shop Tools, Tool Boxes, Wrenching

Rolling tool box re-purpose, part 2.

The second half of my useless tool box conversion, the bottom half.

I had decided to try to maje a rolling yard cart, after seeing how close it was to perfectly fitting a milk crate.

Honestly, I only had one use in mind for this; A battery mover. Car and truck batteries aren’t very heavy. Unless tgeyre thr ones without handles, and yoh havr to carry it 50 yards. Then they’re heavy! Even with a carry handle, going very far is a pain.

It occurred to me that some left over CPVC pipe and fittings I had would assemble to a nice handle.

So, thats what I did.

The original door on this slid up and down in cfanels in the lower front wall. For whstever reason, they madr that lower wall in a separate piece from the rest of the box, it just snapped in. So I snapped it out;

Then it was simply setting the crate, and building filler/mount blocks around it. And also some plywood stiffeners for the back wall, to take the torque of the handle.

And then assembling and mounting the handle.

Along the way, I decided that a cord holder on the handle would be nice, like the setups on the back of vacuum cleaners. Was easy to add with cross bars and elbows.

Then I decided I wanted to paint the handle. Been using up some ancient cans of spray paint, so I chose one and went at the handle. 3 colors later I found a can that worked(most of this paint has frozen at least once, and is several years old… Thus my trying to use it up.).

Intended to only do the handle. Got carried away. 😉 At least, if nothing else, I won’t lose it in the yard!

Might go back and paint the crate and wheels black for some contrast. It’s just a bit bright for my taste!

But anyway, there it is. Didn’t buy a thing, all of it was scrap or hardware I had on hand.

Now to see if I ever actually use it. 😉

Categories: Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Customized, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repurpose, Scrounging, Tool Boxes, tool mods, Wrenching

Flaming Hot Key Chain!

A ‘32 Ford Hot Wheels plus a big split ring equals a new key chain for a spare key for my truck–Which I need to get, right now only one key exists for it..

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No mods to the car were needed, with no side windows in it, I just had to thread the ring through!

Categories: Automotive Work, Customized, key-chains, Uncategorized

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