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Oil Leak 2.4 Dodge Caravan – Excessive Crankshaft End Play

Dodge Caravan, Mechanics Tools, oil leaks 15 Comments

©  Summary: Auto repair article about excessive crankshaft end-play on a 2007 Dodge Caravan with a 2.4 DOHC (Double Over Head Cam) 4cyl. engine. This type motor was most commonly used by Chrysler in Dodge Neons and more recently in PT Cruisers. Case study is on the cause of a rapid oil leak from the front crank seal, which ended up being from excessive crankshaft end play movement/float damaging the seal. Causes of thrust bearing damage discussed and suggestions on how to prevent this particular problem by using the correct tools. The old saying “Always use the the right tool for the job” proves to be right once again!

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Checking for Bent Valves – Broken Timing Belt

How To Auto Repair, Mechanics Tools 6 Comments

© Summary: This article is on how to check for bent valves. Valves get bent most often on vehicles that have had a timing belt break or a timing chain jump a sprocket. Interference engines can allow the valves to crash into the pistons when the timing belt breaks due to the engine’s timing being out of synchronization. Some cars are more prone to having valve damage when the timing is off. We cover some of the more common manufacturers that seem to suffer from bent valves more than others, from timing belt failure. We have some tips on how to check for bent valves with the cylinder head still on the vehicle. Tools that help in determining if there’s bent valves listed also.

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Common Ford Problems and Specialty Tools

Auto Specialty Tools, Ford Problems, How To Auto Repair, Mechanics Tools No Comments

Ford has had a long history of coming up with unique ideas – Edsel case in point.

Summary: In this auto repair blog we cover some of the most common Ford mechanical issues in late model Ford vehicles. Learn how a minor tune up could lead to a several thousand dollar repair. Some of the most notable problems are with spark plugs ejecting (and breaking) – EGR systems, transmission failures and keys getting stuck in the ignition. Along with common problems, auto mechanics need specialty tools in some cases to make repairs; we cover those too.

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Lisle Automotive Specialty Tool Corporation

Lisle Specialty Tools, Mechanics Tools No Comments
This reel lawn mower was the type Lisle produced once upon a time

Lisle Auto Tools manufacturing company was started in Clarinda, Iowa in 1903 by C.A. Lisle. The first tool his company manufactured surprisingly wasn’t an automotive tool at all, it was water well drilling equipment powered by a horse! Subsequent products were not automotive related either, remember old ringer washers? And how about the old style manual push mower? Some twenty years after the Lisle Corporation was first started, the tool company made its first automotive product.

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Ford Spark Plug Blow Outs – Oversize Inserts and FAQ’s

Auto Specialty Tools, Calvan Tools, Ford Problems, How To Auto Repair, Mechanics Tools 126 Comments

Calvan Drill Bit - DenLors Tools

Calvan 11/16″ drill bit used with air ratchet and 1/2″ socket.

DenLors tools has sold hundreds of the Calvan spark plug repair kits and has had no reported failures. We’ve answered many questions about Ford spark plug thread repairs over the last couple of years and have included them in various places on our site. Now in this auto repair blog ALL of the frequently asked questions to date are posted here in one central location, if you don’t see your question answered, feel free to use the comment form and ask. Included here are questions about repairing spark plug holes after Lisle, Napa, Auto Zone, or other brands may be thicker than the Heli-Coil, but still have managed to fail and allow the spark plug to blow out AGAIN. We are not out to discredit any other spark plug insert company, we just know from our customer feedback what works and what just works for awhile. The questions below answer questions from real customers with this serious problem. We recommend the Calvan Ford spark plug insert repair kit as the best solution for Ford 1998-2004 4.6, 5.4. 6.8 SOHC (2 valve) engines, the following will help show why.

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OTC Smoke Machine OTC 6521 – Halloween Tool Sale

Auto Specialty Tools, Mechanics Tools, Service Manager 2 Comments

OTC 6521 Smoke Machine

OTC 6521 Smoke Machine – Auto Specialty Tool

OK, so this smoke machine is an automotive specialty tool for Evaporative leak testing and not the type of smoke machine your kids will be wanting for Halloween. But, we have a great deal on the OTC 6521 smoke machine and decided to add it to our first annual Halloween, automotive tool sale. It’s on sale with free shipping and no sales tax charged outside the state of Florida (see current listing).

Engine Fault codes like P0440, P0442, P0455, P0456 and P0457 can be caused by EVAP system leaks. And for those pesky Evaporative codes, nothing beats having the right tool for the job. Leaks are the most common cause of EVAP codes and if it’s not just a loose gas cap, the OTC 6521 will provide a quick easy way to find the source of the leak.

Vacuum Leaks can also be traced easily with the OTC 6521 smoke machine. Fault codes for lean conditions like P0172 and P0174 are typically due to a vacuum leak. If the vacuum leak isn’t a huge obvious hissing leak, then a quick smoke check with the OTC6521 smoke machine will make short work of finding the source of the problem. Just remove any engine vacuum line and block off the throttle body and the smoke will reveal the leak.

Smoke Testing directions using the smoke machine can be viewed in much more detail in our exclusive tech article. The adapter cones that come with this smoke machine will allow much versatility when attaching the machine. Exhaust leaks are easy to find by using one of the included cones to attach to the tail pipe (after the car has cooled off). This is a particularly good test when a cracked exhaust manifold is suspected. So, why not consider a smoke machine for year round use? This smoke machine not only makes smoke, it makes money!

Halloween Tool Special – Equus Innova 3140 Scan Tool

Auto Scan Tool, Auto Specialty Tools, Mechanics Tools, Tech/Mechanic No Comments

Equus Innova 3140 Scan Tool

Equus 3140 Limited Time Halloween Tool Special – 10/31/2008 $219.95

For our Halloween Special, the Equus Innova 3140 Pro Scan Tool is on sale until midnight October 31, 2008 for $219.95 with free shipping within the continental US. The Equus Automotive scan tool (3140) has OBD I, OBD II and CAN (Controlled Area Network) capability. This means this tool will work for older cars prior to 1996 (OBD I) and later models after 1996 (OBD II) and will even work for OBD II models that use CAN protocol. OBD I cables are included for GM, Ford, Chrysler and Toyota and of course the OBD II connector works for all cars after 1996. The Equus 3140 also comes with an instructional video, in case you are less than familiar with scan tools. Comes with a written manual in English, Spanish and French. And if you are experienced in using scan tools you will find the Equus easy to use and you will appreciate the live data display. The 3-color LED display provides a quick indication of the vehicle’s readiness for an emissions test. For the DIY (Do It Yourself-er) or the professional mechanic, this a bargain automotive scan tool deal, don’t let it pass you by or it may haunt you.  

KD Tools Has New Stuff – Automotive Hand Tools

Auto Specialty Tools, KD Tool Blog, Mechanics Tools, What's New? 2 Comments

KD Tools Rear Brake Caliper Wind Back

KD 41540 – What’s in your tool box?

You may already know from reading our auto tool blog that DenLors Automotive tools sells a lot of Jump-n-Carry Jump boxes, OTC scanners, OTC tire pressure monitors, OTC auto specialty tools and Visual Optics video inspection scopes (and much more). But did you know that KD tools has introduced many so many neat automotive hand tools recently that we have had to make special provisions to keep up with the demand? This automotive tool blog is on five of KD Tools latest and greatest auto specialty tools at prices that won’t break the bank.  

KD 41540 rear brake caliper tool kit is a specialty hand tool kit that comes in a nice storage case, it has many rear disc caliper piston adapters to fit a variety of cars. This has been one of the most popular new mechanics tool kits recently due to it’s low price and range of use. Most rear disc brake caliper pistons wind back in, due to the emergency brake being built into the caliper. This tool makes screwing the rear disc caliper piston back into the caliper much easier when performing a brake job.

Oil Drain Socket Set - Magnetic

Low Profile Magnetic Oil Drain Socket Set by KD Tools

KD 3870 is a magnetic oil drain plug socket set that comes with a low profile gear ratchet and storage case. The neat thing about this tool kit is that the magnetic sockets are color coded and have a thumb wheel design, they make handling hot oil drain plugs much easier, since you can hold onto the socket instead of the hot drain plug to keep from getting burned while doing that quick oil change. The low profile GearRatchet (KD Tools owns GearWrench) fits in tight areas like between the oil drain plug and most car’s sub-frames. Some tech’s keep this oil drain plug socket set attached to their oil drain right along side the oil filter pliers.

KD Tools Serpentine Belt Tool Set

Serpentine Belt Set by KD Tools

KD 3680 is a really cool serpentine belt tool set that makes accessing hard to reach serpentine belt tensioners much easier. Common sizes are included in this kit to fit most serpentine belt tensioners and the long narrow extension arm attaches to the GearWrench at any position and then the crows foot or socket goes in the end of the GearWrench. This mechanics tool set makes frustrating serpentine belts a breeze to change. Once you use this KD tool set you’ll never want to use a regular ratchet or wrench again to change a car’s serpentine belt.

KD Brake Bleeding Kit

One Man Brake Bleeding Kit by KD Tools

KD 3712 provides a quick and efficient way to bleed brakes. Being able to bleed the brakes without having someone to pump the brakes saves a lot of time. This tool kit allows the auto mechanic to place the auto-fill brake fluid bottle in place before raising the car up on the lift, to bleed the brakes. The vacuum bleeder works fast, so having the auto fill prevents accidentally emptying the master cylinder and getting air in the system. The vacuum brake bleeder also helps to prevent having slippery brake fluid on the shop’s floor, that manual brake bleeding usually results in. Many mechanics are upselling a brake flush to their customers that are in for a regular oil change. If the customer watches while to flush is being done, it will look much more professional to use this brake bleeding kit than to allow the brake fluid to drip down on the floor.   

KD Tools Fan Clutch Tool Set

Thread On Fan Clutch Tool Set by KD Tools

KD 3472 is for fan clutch assemblies that thread on to the water pump instead of bolt on. These type of fan clutches used to be found only on Fords, now they can be found on other makes as well. When changing a water pump or fan clutch this tool makes life easier. The narrow access to the fan clutch wrench flats requires a slim design tool to reach it comfortably. The KD 3472 not only has the wrench, it has the holder so that keeps the water pump from spinning while removing the car’s fan clutch. One vehicle that has a thermostatic fan clutch that is prone to failure is the Jeep Liberty. The fan clutch sensor wires commonly get chafed, sometimes causing a fault code. Flat rate time for changing the fan clutch on the Liberty is 2.8 hours, this tool makes the job go much easier, one job could pay for the tool.          

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Northstar Waterpump Replacement – Mechanics Tools

Apprentice Tech, Auto Specialty Tools, Mechanics Tools 28 Comments

Northstar Water Pump Replacement

Northstar water pump replacement, not so bad with correct mechanics tool

© Summary: This automotive tool blog features a specialty auto mechanics tool for changing the Northstar water pump. The Cadillac Northstar water pump is located at the rear of the engine. As the picture shows, there is a belt cover over the water pump drive belt at the rear of the front valve cover. The special mechanics tool required for this job used to be only available in more expensive specialty tool brands like Kent Moore or Schley Products. If the tool is to be used frequently, the more expensive version of the specialty may be the best choice. If the mechanic only changes a few of these a year, the Lisle Northstar mechanics tool will work just fine.

Rear of Northstar Engine

Remove the air cleaner to access the water pump

Mechanics tools make life easier, in fact without this specialty tool, replacement is simply is not possible. First access the water pump by removing the air cleaner housing and swing the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) out of the way. Remove the water pump drive belt cover and belt. The water pump fits inside the coolant housing.

Northstar Water Pump with Housing Rmoved

Access by securing outer coolant housing out of the way

Auto Tools required up this point are everyday, common auto mechanic tools that most mechanics will already have in their tool box. Of course the spring hose clamps can be removed much easier with the correct hose clamp tools as opposed to regular pliers. The professional auto technician more than likely already has a nice set of Mayhew hose clamp tools.

Wiith the water pump housing removed

Northstar water pump revealed

This Waterpump tool is only used on the Northstar engine. The water pump is a twist in design. The Northstar water pump socket slips in around the waterpump and catches the tabs. A simple twist and the water pump comes out. Be sure that the old o-ring seal is removed. The rubber seal comes out easily, and the good thing is there’s no gasket scraping needed for the water pump itself. Gasket removal is needed for many other water pumps, but this one has a removable seal and it is easy to access. If there is any corrosion build up on the housing this should be removed. Gluing the new seals in place may be necessary to hold them in place for installation.

Using the Nortstar Water Pump Tool

Lisle waterpump tool use

North Star Water Pump

Water-pump Removed

Automotive specialty tools like this makes certain jobs a piece of cake. Without this specific mechanic tool, the tech finds himself down the creek, well you know the rest.

Related Tool Links

Purchase the Northstar Water Pump Socket on-line from our main site

Head Bolt Thread Repair Kits for Nortstar Engines 

Time-Serts Kit – Cadillac Northstar TSB 04-06-01-032

Northstar Cam Timing Lock Kit

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