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SOCKET-LOW SIDE
SOCKET-LOW SIDE
Offered by JB Tool Sales
Price: $7.16
12 used & new from $7.16

5.0 out of 5 stars If you need 'em, the FJC sockets will satisfy., September 16, 2014
This review is from: SOCKET-LOW SIDE
Unless you want to use Vise-grips or pipe wrenches and couldn't care less how mangled your new ports get -- not to mention questionable torque values on them -- these octal sockets are an unfortunate necessity for servicing certain (2-piece) port systems.
Naturally, the HVAC industry couldn't have made the service ports compatible with normal hex or 12-point sockets.. no no, that simply wouldn't do, that's far too user-friendly.

If you happen to need one of these, both the FJC high and low side sockets are of excellent quality. There's no marking on the sockets themselves to indicate brand, so I suspect a single factory pumps these things out and they're merely rebadged for various makes. The FJC's each come shrink wrapped in plastic and then put in a box with their label stuck on it.

They're a perfect fit for new ports, but I have to rant one last time: they shouldn't have been necessary! $^&#!%* engineers..


FJC 2731 Syringe Oil Injector
FJC 2731 Syringe Oil Injector
Price: $6.99
10 used & new from $6.23

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So.. does this thing use snake oil?, September 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
While it's not a ripoff or a scam, this ultra simple tool is nothing more than a 2oz. Luer-Lok syringe with a flimsy plastic tube that friction fits on the end. It's nothing to write home about, but it did get the job done in my case, cleanly and easily.

One may experience sticker shock, as it seems a bit overpriced for a simple FJC product. But, when compared to standard 2oz. medical syringes -- even those found on certain auction sites (notorious for cheap imports) -- one comes away realizing FJC isn't exactly gouging us, either.
Some of those syringes cost more than this one and they don't include matched tubing -- tubing is admittedly cheap at any hardware store, but FJC spares users the hassle (and cost of gas) of hunting for the right tubing.

Did I mention this item also helps meet Amazon's minimum for free-shipping? ;)

In my case, I slipped the business end over a receiver/drier service port male mount and the tubing fit perfectly, nice and snug, so there was very little mess during the fill operation.

I have no complaints about the product. I didn't experience any sticking/hanging of the plunger at any point, not before the first use with it dry nor full of oil. Indeed, operation was very smooth and allowed a slow, precise drawing of oil into the syringe and subsequent fill of the drier.

I'm not sure what the Durometer rating or minimum bend radius of the tubing are, and there are no markings on it to indicate type or brand of plastic. I'll go out on a limb and assume it's ordinary PVC and not something exotic like Tygon or Masterkleer. It's stiff enough to hold its preshaped slight bend, but flexible enough to maneuver where you need it.

If potentially scratching or rubbing off the syringe markings is a concern, wrap clear shipping tape around it; problem solved.

It may feel like you're injecting good money down the tubes for spending this kind of dough on a plastic syringe, but it does the job as advertised.

Oils well that ends well! uhh.. ahem.. ok, yeah, you're right. That was more painful than paying for this syringe.


FJC 6527 Yellow 72" R134A Charging Hose
FJC 6527 Yellow 72" R134A Charging Hose
Price: $9.79
13 used & new from $8.03

5.0 out of 5 stars another good one from FJC, September 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've had good luck with all the FJC products I've purchased. They offer excellent bang for your buck with high quality tools. This hose is no exception.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this yellow hose is less stiff than the 72" FJC yellow hose that came with their manifold kit I purchased a while back.
It seems to be the same diameter and the ratings printed on it are the same, as are the knurled ends and crimps.
Evidently, the hose material itself has been redesigned. Perhaps this material is now being included in the FJC manifold kits.
It isn't a critical point, but this design does make the hose easier to handle.

This hose does have the valve depressor in one end.


37/64" High Speed Steel 1/2" Shank Drill Bit (S + D type drill)
37/64" High Speed Steel 1/2" Shank Drill Bit (S + D type drill)
Offered by Victor Machinery Exchange
Price: $8.70
4 used & new from $5.18

5.0 out of 5 stars small coin for a big bit <-- bitcoin, get it? ar ar.., September 16, 2014
Excellent bang for your buck with this one. Well, that is, if you're drilling aluminum at least. That's what I used mine for, so I can't speak to its efficacy nor durability when drilling harder materials.

Shop around and you'll see competing brands in this size selling for upwards of 3-4x this price. I can't imagine a different brand would have performed better.

The bit arrived wrapped in brown waxpaper (or plastic-coated paper), then inserted in a green square tube for protection.

It rolled true on a flat surface and there was consequently no wobble in my drill, so it did its job splendidly for me.
I had already step drilled the hole to 1/2" diameter prior to using this bit, so I can't honestly say that I greatly tasked it by making it remove a lot more material, and it was soft material at that.
It did, however, finish off the hole in 1/2" thick aluminum quickly and cleanly, leaving it nicely prepped for a NPT tap.


BRIDGEPORT ADAPTER SKT HIGH
BRIDGEPORT ADAPTER SKT HIGH
Offered by JB Tool Sales
Price: $6.85

5.0 out of 5 stars If you need 'em, the FJC sockets will satisfy., September 16, 2014
This review is from: BRIDGEPORT ADAPTER SKT HIGH
Unless you want to use Vise-grips or pipe wrenches and couldn't care less how mangled your new ports get -- not to mention questionable torque values on them -- these octal sockets are an unfortunate necessity for servicing certain (2-piece) port systems.
Naturally, the HVAC industry couldn't have made the service ports compatible with normal hex or 12-point sockets.. no no, that simply wouldn't do, that's far too user-friendly.

If you happen to need one of these, both the FJC high and low side sockets are of excellent quality. There's no marking on the sockets themselves to indicate brand, so I suspect a single factory pumps these things out and they're merely rebadged for various makes. The FJC's each come shrink wrapped in plastic and then put in a box with their label stuck on it.

They're a perfect fit for new ports, but I have to rant one last time: they shouldn't have been necessary! $^&#!%* engineers..


FJC 6014 Vacuum Pump Adapter
FJC 6014 Vacuum Pump Adapter
Price: $5.32
16 used & new from $2.61

5.0 out of 5 stars another win for FJC, September 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've had good luck with all of the FJC products I've purchased. They're of very good quality for the price. This adapter is no exception.

Unlike some 1/4" female to 1/2" ACME internal taper male adapters I have, this one has a flat mating surface with o-ring inside, so you don't need to heavily torque it down to ensure a proper seal. It's a nice touch that adds to the general perception that this adapter was designed for quality. Of course, you still need it tight enough that the pump won't vibrate it loose.

It doesn't come with a cap, which would have been most welcome.
It does come in a reusable clamshell case, though, so it'll stay clean if you decide not to make it a permanent fixture on your pump.

If you're looking for good bang for your buck, you can't go wrong with FJC.


IMAGE® Portable AC Refrigerant Leak Halogen Gas Leakage Detector with Storage Case
IMAGE® Portable AC Refrigerant Leak Halogen Gas Leakage Detector with Storage Case
Offered by BrainyTrade
Price: $27.99
5 used & new from $16.49

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars no need to blow a ton on high-end models -- and that ain't just hot air, October 4, 2013
Investing in a more expensive "pro" unit is, for the most part, overkill for most users. However, there may be times when you'll want a more capable unit.

My experience with this product is purely automotive-based and, naturally, YMMV greatly, especially with other applications.

It's plenty sensitive enough for most users, even at double the current most-sensitive design of 3 grams/year. There's no pump to pull a constant airflow over the sensor as in some high-end models, nor does it need one.
I used mine outdoors in moderately windy conditions and it worked splendidly -- my car's ports are right up top where the wind could easily have adversely affected my efforts, but I had no trouble at all.

The manual advises at least 50psi in the system to obtain a good reading, but during the first test of my newly-purchased unit on my own r134a car, it instantly nailed a high-side port leak with only a low pressure remaining in the system (less than 10psi, according to my gauges).

After initializing/resetting the detector for ambient air, I set its sensitivity to minimum and proceeded to test throughout its range. It picked up the slow (many months old) leak at every position. I had to get 3/16" to 1/4" away at minimum sensitivity and decrease scan/sweep speed a bit, but at level 7 it fired at about 3/4" away from the port valve with a sweep speed of about 2ips (inches per second).

The probe shaft flexes easily and stays put where one sets it. I can't say how long this will last, but when new it's perfect. At about 7", the probe line is shorter than those found on more costly models and the user may find this a distinct disadvantage on vehicles with very little maneuvering room in the engine bay. I was able to guide it pretty much everywhere I wanted to on my particular vehicle, but it has a decent amount of room in its bay, for the most part. I did have to snake it around a good bit to sweep the receiver/drier/accumulator, and the bend radius is small enough that I could put a sharp hook in it to run it under the disconnect joints and between lines and the car body, where there isn't much room (nice!).

As with most electronic detectors, one must be mindful of sensor placement and sweep speed.

If the sensor tip (technically it's the sensor protector tip, as the sensor itself is deep within the screw-on housing) is allowed to contact an area with trace refrigerant on it, a false positive will often result, especially if much of the tip is covering that area.

If suspect areas are swept too quickly, there may not be a hit at all.

If moisture, ANY moisture, contacts the sensor of this model, a false positive will result.
To see how sensitive this model is to moisture, I performed some quick tests:
1. Reset it for clean ambient air, then set sensitivity level to max (7), held it about 5-6 inches from my mouth and, in a place with little to no air movement, very gently exhaled in the direction of the sensor; it went nuts.
2. Blew toward it as if to whistle, the air is of course cooler, the moisture is less concentrated, and it didn't fire as readily -- moved a little closer it did trigger readily.
3. Set the sensitivity down to minimum, moved the sensor to about 3" and gently exhaled; it went nuts.
4. With my central air running, airflow about 10 feet away from and in the direction of the detector, the sensitivity at about 4-5, gently exhaled at 90° relative to the a/c's airflow at about 9" distance; the unit immediately triggered. With the additional dispersion created by the central a/c, that's VERY little aerosolized water that's actually contacting the sensor, thereby demonstrating its extreme sensitivity to moisture.
Indeed, this unit is so sensitive that at level 7 it triggers at about 3/16" away from a clean, dry hand!

This is not good. I have no confidence in this model's ability to discriminate between aerosolized water and an evaporator core refrigerant leak when checked via condensation drip tube with the evaporator chilled (compressor operational). If the evaporator core, and hence drip tube, is bone dry the likelihood of false positives should decrease significantly.
That's really the only problem with this model, but it can be a big problem in certain situations. It just about forces the user to check for evaporator leaks at the vents when the compressor is [properly] running. That can lead to ambiguous readings, since it could be picking up chemical vapors other than refrigerant -- especially likely if the vents and/or dash has been cleaned with chemicals in the not-too-distant past or if there's a scent-emitting device or filter in the airflow path.

Installed evaporator cores can't be easily checked with UV dye, unless it's an enormous leak and the dye just runs right out of the drip tube. This leaves electronic detectors as the viable option for CLOSED systems.
One can, of course, take the extreme measure of pressure testing for a preliminary leak check, which obviously opens the system to air and bleeds refrigerant (hence extreme).

In conclusion, I find that this particular model, sold under various labels at various prices, performs quite well where moisture isn't present and is offered at a very reasonable price point for what it does.
It has certainly proven to me that a fancy, expensive, pump type unit isn't required to detect very small leaks.

While I would recommend it for general automotive use, it will most likely be less than helpful for confirming a leak in a suspect evaporator core, unless the core is bone dry. If there's any moisture in the drip tube, evaporator core or its housing, forget it, you'll be.. spinning your wheels -- thus, the 2 star deduction.
Certainly, I wouldn't open up the system for an evaporator core pressure test based solely on this model's indications.

That said, some very expensive models from well-respected manufacturers are also known to produce false positives.


Slime 20088 4-Way Valve Tool with 4 Valve Cores
Slime 20088 4-Way Valve Tool with 4 Valve Cores
Price: $4.00
2 used & new from $2.17

5.0 out of 5 stars decent quality at an El Cheapo price, September 22, 2013
I picked up the identical kit for less than $2 at Walmart.
**edit 10/17/13: I see Amazon is now offering it at a competitive price; good job, Amazon!**

The old version I had was like this except for the driver tip, which was almost flush with the tool's body. That one is only good for installations where the tool can fit over a stem with full clearance.

I needed to replace a valve in my hand vac pump recently and this design with the longer driver did the trick on the cheap.

The included core fit perfectly and sealed up nice and tight. It's holding a vacuum, good as new.

The cleaning appendage of this tool fit the pump's brass bore threads well.

The alloy seems durable enough to endure many normal repair jobs.
After decades, the original core in my vac pump was practically welded to the bore -- I had to scrape seal remnants out after its removal. In the removal attempt, I applied quite a bit of reverse torque by this tool, enough that the valve plunger shaft backed completely out of the crimped cap and the core housing still hadn't budged -- I ended up tapping the empty housing out from an opposing access hole using a different tool. I probably could have grabbed the housing with the reamer part of this tool and yanked/twisted it out, but I didn't want to risk damaging the brass bore.
At any rate, this core tool withstood the torsional abuse, no problem.


Fram TG2 Tough Guard Passenger Car Spin-On Oil Filter, Pack of 1
Fram TG2 Tough Guard Passenger Car Spin-On Oil Filter, Pack of 1
Price: $5.94
28 used & new from $3.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super value! one of the best filters out there, September 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been using the TG filters for many years with excellent results.

I admit to being one of those individuals who doesn't exercise diligence in this matter and fails to change his oil every 3mo./3k mi. With this filter, I can get away with it.. x2!

For example, I use the TG2 on my one-owner '96 Tbird. She's carried me (and others) for 86k, and has yet to need engine work (not counting the emissions control system).
I also tend to gun it once in a while -- sometimes for interstate on-ramps, but mostly just for fun -- so I haven't exactly handled her with kid gloves.
Now, whether this reliability is more a testament to the Ford 4.6L engine or the Fram filters is debatable, I suppose, but I feel confident the filters I've used have played a major part in avoiding costly repairs.
FWIW, I've used only Pennzoil conventional with the TG2 and this vehicle has never known synthetics.

If you're the type who religiously changes filters every 3mo./3k, then you can plop just about any filter on your ride and be good to go. If, however, you tend to procrastinate or your vehicle sees rough service, then you need a filter like this one.

Considering its superiority to lesser filters costing about as much and some high-end ones costing double and triple what this one does, using the TG's is a no-brainer!

It also makes for a good add-on item to meet the free shipping minimum here at Amazon when ya just can't think of anything else ya need -- never hurts to keep a couple of extra filters in one's personal inventory!

Lastly, the textured gripper top is a nice touch and does help one maneuver the filter and get it started, but the placement of my Bird's filter (as I haven't installed a relocation kit) forces me to use an end cap with a socket extender bar and ratchet driver to achieve the required torque (number of turns). On vehicles with plenty of room for hand and arm movement in the filter area, the provided grip might prove adequate.


EZ-Shim, Inc. JS500BP Johnny Shims for Toilets, Sinks, Tubs, Bidets
EZ-Shim, Inc. JS500BP Johnny Shims for Toilets, Sinks, Tubs, Bidets
Offered by Great Household
Price: $5.11
8 used & new from $2.53

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rock solid toilet years later; this product makes the job easier and long-lasting, September 6, 2013
I did a lot of shopping for shims in the local hardware & plumbing supply houses when gathering materials for a toilet replacement project, which was completed in October of 2011.

When I saw Johnny Shim mentioned in an online forum, I visited EZ-shim's site and immediately recognized the superiority of this design.

I have more confidence in these hard plastic shims with cupped/scalloped tops and have had no issues with toilet stability since the installation -- the toilet in question has been used a great deal in a home with 3 adult residents and a number of visits by relatives.
Typical wedge shims on the market have shallow teeth and/or are soft rubbery plastic. These designs seem more likely to move and/or compress with repeated, load bearing stress.

The installation in question was a bit tricky, due to a flooring issue, and I ended up using 3 Johnny shims rather than the recommended 4. They snapped in as advertised and leveled the toilet up nicely.
The toilet is rock solid and I have no concern that it will become unlevel as these shims are hard plastic and locked into place (a good caulk bead around the toilet base doesn't hurt).
Speaking of caulk, the backs of the Johnny Shims are far enough in that there's room for a clean line of caulk.

I elected to deviate from the EZ-shim instructions in another way, also. Rather than insert the assembly and snap off at the appropriate thickness, leaving the smaller shims under the bowl, I slid the assembly under the bowl, testing to see which wedge thicknesses would level the toilet, then backed the assemblies out and used only the required thicknesses. This way, I retain the unused wedges, should a future project call for them.

This product was (is?) impossible to find locally, at least in my area. I contacted many supply houses and hardware stores. Even professional plumbing supply houses had never heard of it! So, back in Oct. 2011 I had to order them directly from EZ-shim and was pleased that the total cost was comparable to that of other brands/designs.


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