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SpotCheck #29

A quick look at some of the cool stuff that has come across our workbench or inbox this week.

Your Knees Deserve This

Griot's Knee Pleaser Sometimes, you just have to get on your knees. For us old guys, that's pretty uncomfortable. Alas, the folks at Griot's Garage have brought back the Knee Pleaser ($60), and it's the bee's knees! This water-resistant nylon and neoprene cloth bound pad is filled with a gel that will remain cushy for years to come. The convenient carry strap is sewn in and doubles as a hanger. The Knee Pleaser measures 9" x 20" and is 1½" thick. Made in the U.S.A.

An Insider's Look at Ford's Kar Kraft Project

Ford Kar Kraft Book
In 1963, Ford was seriously interested in purchasing Ferrari as a means to quickly dominate the racing scene. The deal fell through. Ford bought a company called Kar Kraft, whose only customer was Ford Special Vehicles. Ford expanded upon the program and organized an all-out assault on the racing industry. Former Kar Kraft employee and author Charlie Henry brings us the first book ever published on Ford's all-encompassing special projects facility, Kar Kraft: Race Cars, Prototypes and Muscle Cars of Ford's Specialty Vehicle Program ($40 hardcover pre-order).

Gorilla Power

Gorilla Power Wrench Removing lug nuts or rusty bolts can be a back-breaking ordeal. You need leverage. The Gorilla Power Wrench ($26) provides that leverage and ours has saved our backs many-a-time. Available in thin- or standard-wall designs, this breaker telescopes to 21" and compacts down to 14". Includes dual sockets for most OEM lugs (17mm, 19mm(3/4"), 21mm(13/16"), 23mm(7/8")).

A Clean Engine is a Healthy Engine

Today's motor oils and automatic transmission fluids are better than ever before, but they still can't prevent oxidation which causes build up in an engine. Auto-Rx Plus ($22) can help. When Auto-Rx is poured into your oil reservoir, it mixes with the host oil and is carried through the lubrication system. As Auto-Rx encounters abrasives, dirt, and grime, it dissolves that harmful stuff and it causes the junk to coagulate into clumps too small to clog any passageways, but large enough to filter out. Available only online.

Air Compressor Silencing Cabinet

California Air Tools Soundproofing Cabinet for Air Compressors or Shop Vacs A while back, we wrote about building your own cabinets to drastically reduce the noise from shop vacs (read it here). While building your own stuff is oftentimes more satisfying, sometimes you just want to buy the darn thing. The California Air Tools Sound-Proofing Cabinet ($450) reduces noise levels by up to 40%—equal to a normal conversation when using some of the newer ultra-quiet air compressors available today. This plug-n-play steel cabinet is pre-lined with ¼" acoustic material, wired with exhaust fans, a power outlet, and an on/off switch. Interior dimensions are 24" x 26" x 34 excluding the required 4" around the compressor going into the cabinet. Pricey, but very useful when noise levels are an issue.

The Extra Hands You've Always Wanted

Triton Super Jaws It's really frustrating trying to find a way to keep things still, stable and safe when working alone in the garage or workshop. Clamps and vises will only take us so far, so we end up waiting for help or risking life and limb with some stupidly-devised contraption to keep whatever we're working on in just the right position. Enter Triton's Super Jaws ($180). This amazingly handy tool has a clamping force of 2200 lbs with a clamping range of 0-39 inches. And it's foot-operated, leaving your hands free to work. It'll hold virtually anything in any position you need to get the job done.

Junkyard Tips

Just throwing this in because we liked it—a video with some helpful tips when cruisin' your local junkyard. Thanks to one of our favorite YouTubers, Bleepin' Jeep.



About Michael Turner

Forty-something years later, Michael still doesn't' know what he wants to do if he grows up. Raised around cars and trained in diesel mechanics, Michael has owned a successful detail shop, developed and sold software, led a K-9 SAR team, ridden the dot-com wave as a marketing & PR executive, led digital strategy teams at both large and small agencies, and now this. He digs Jeeps, off-road racing, football, photography, writing, making EDM, cranking metal, PC gaming, and a plethora of other contradictory things.

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