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In the Shop

RSS By: Dan Anderson, Farm Journal

As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.

An Impulse Buy Pays Off

Jul 14, 2012

 I enjoy the moments when a specialty tool, especially a low-cost speciality tool purchased on impulse, is exactly the right tool at the right time. I had one of those moments this week.

We've all wrestled with removing radiator hoses and heater hoses from their metal fittings. The inside of the hose sort of glues itself to the metal bung or fitting. In the past I've used my fingertips or a small screwdriver to break the bond so I could pry the hose off. It's a small part of removing an engine or working on a radiator, but it's an annoying part because those hoses always seem to be in places that require me to stand on my head to reach them.

This time the hoses came off easily because I had a hose removal tool. It looks like 8-inch-long screwdriver with a 2-inch, 90-degree bend at the tip. I easily stuck the angled, pointed end between the hose and the fitting, then worked that angled tip around the metal bung. I could hear and feel the rubber hose popping loose. Once I had broken the rubber-to-metal "glue," it was easy to wiggle the hose free.

I paid $15 for that hose removal tool. It's not a tool I use every day. When I use it, it saves me perhaps 3 minutes---a quick-poke-and-pry, compared to the old wiggle-and-pull-and-mutter-under-my-breath wrestling contest. But it makes easier an annoying part of engine and radiator disassembly.

It may sound dumb to spend money for a special tool just to remove radiator and heater hoses, but when you're standing on your head in an engine compartment, trying to pry loose a radiator hose on a steamy July day---dumb tools that make a job easier suddenly become "smart."

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