Over the past few weeks we’ve looked at thread checkers to identify nuts and bolts, battery desulfators and heat-shrink self-solder butt-splice connectors to make wiring connections easy. This week’s cool tool, the Mini-Ductor II, loosens stuck bolts like a torch could but without all of the flames.
This week’s recommendation comes from Rory, who used it to remove the exhaust system from a Porsche 911. According to him, if you break those pesky bolts trying to get them out, the whole engine has to be pulled for an otherwise simple job.
Living in the Midwest is tough on a car. Road salt attacks every bit of a vehicle that it can reach. This makes wrenching jobs harder than they should be, because fasteners and parts corrode. Even lightly torqued bolts can feel as if they are welded in place. This was the very situation I ran into when trying to do my own exhaust work on one of my Smart Fortwos.
After 100,000 hard-driven miles, the aftermarket exhaust system I installed on the car rotted out. I bought a replacement and got down to what I thought was going to be an easy job. After all, I installed the custom exhaust myself so I know the two little bolts weren’t all that tight. How hard could it be?
Well, it was very hard. 100,000 miles and a number of Chicago winters made those bolts immovable. The best I could do was break my own tools trying to loosen them. So I took it to a muffler shop, and after the bolts put up another fight the shop just took a torch to the bolts.
This is a situation where the Mini-Ductor II can save the day. Instead of bringing fire and sparks into your wrenching day, use this instead. You get the insane red hot heat in just seconds without the threat of burning your car down while you’re under it. Rory says it worked so well that it changed wrenching for him for the better.
Check out this review by Real Tool Reviews to see how this tool works:
This can even be used to remove dents or unwanted pinstriping!
The Mini-Ductor II runs pretty expensive at $499, but all of the time you save wrenching will probably make it pay for itself.
If that’s just too far out of your price range, generic-branded versions are available online for as low as under $200.
Do you know of a weird or unique but must-have tool you think every wrencher should have? Do you want to see us put a type of tool to the test and see how it performs? Shoot me an email or drop it down in the comments!