Eastwood is one of those places where you can spend a paycheck in a hurry on all their trick tools, especially when stocking up on body and paint supplies. They also sell the Paintucation body and paint videos with Kevin Tetz, whose Mustang you can find featured in this issue. But we picked out some of their more hard-core tools for car guys, and you really need some of these to call yourself a hard-core hot rodder.
Fender Roller Kit
You can mini-tub your car to fit fat tires on the rear, but you're still most likely going to have to roll the inner fender lips for more clearance, especially when you're trying to fit the fattest rubber possible. Traditionally, we've used a Louisville Slugger for that job, but Eastwood makes it easier and far cleaner (and with no risk of screwing up your sheetmetal) with its Fender Roller kit. It uses an adjustable fender-rolling roller to gradually roll the inner lip flat, and an adjustable-height arm lets you work on a wide range of cars and light trucks. Price: $249.99
Spot Welding Kit
Like the stud welding kit, Eastwood also has this kit to turn your MIG welder into a spot welder, just like the factory but without a huge and expensive, large-resistance welder. See, yet another reason you need a welder at home. Price: $99.99
If you're doing anything with brake lines, you'll need a double-flaring tool—putting a single flare in a brake fitting is a quick path to lost brakes and piling your car into a tree. Eastwood's Professional Brake-Flaring Tool lets you create three kinds of precision flares in any of five sizes of tubing, in minimal time. The kit includes a brake-flare forming tool; 3/16, ¼, 5/16, ⅜, and 4.75mm tube-retaining dies; handle; instructions; and case. It'll pay for itself with the first project and give you peace of mind knowing that your brake flares are of OE-precision quality and safety. You really don't want to half-ass it with your brakes. Price: $249.99
Mityvac Brake Bleeding Kit
Bleeding brakes usually requires two people; one to pump the pedal and another to crawl under the car and crack open the bleeder screws. It's kind of a messy pain in the neck. But the Mityvac, available from Eastwood, makes it a one-person job with a handheld pump that moves about 1 ci of fluid with each stroke, pulling out dirt, old fluid, and air. It develops and holds approximately 25 inches of vacuum. The kit includes the pump, brake bleeding adapter package, user's manual, three lengths of ¼-inch id tubing (1½-, 3-, and 18-inch), 3 inches of 5/32-inch tubing, and a reservoir jar with transfer and storage lids. Price: $42.99
How many times have you tried to remove grime or polish from a small part with a wire wheel and have it flung across the shop? Or, worse yet, at your face? Eastwood's 18-pound Vibratory Tumbler makes old hardware shine like new, cleaning and polishing small parts and hardware. The tumbling action helps the media (included) remove corrosion from pockets and recesses quickly, and best of all, the vibrating tumbler does all the work. It'll handle parts up to 10 inches long. Price: $249.9
Hot Stapler Plastic Repair System
Here's one we bet you didn't know existed. And now that you do, you need one! Eastwood's Hot Stapler System makes solid, permanent repairs of breaks, cracks, and tears in rigid or flexible plastic parts, like interior stuff. It has three staple-mounting options and three heat settings depending on what you're working with. Price: $199.99
Weld and Cut!
Eastwood's MIG 175 welder and Versa Cut plasma cutter package is the most expensive item on this list, but crucial for the home garage of anyone who's serious about building a badass car. You know what the MIG welder does, and it's easier to learn than you think. As for the plasma cutter, if you've ever used an oxyacetylene torch to cut metal, you know what a sloppy mess it makes. A plasma cutter is quicker, easier, and about a hundred times cleaner than cutting with a torch. You can buy a welder and cutter separately, but Eastwood has a kit that includes both. There are actually two kits: both include the MIG 175 but one has the Versa Cut 40-amp plasma cutter that works on 110 or 220V currents, and the slightly more expensive kit uses the Versa Cut 60 that only works on 220. The Versa Cut 40 cuts through metal up to ⅜-inch thick, while the 60 cuts through metal up to ⅞ inch. The MIG 175 works on either current and welds mild or stainless steel up to 24 gauge or 5/16 inch, and includes a free spool gun to weld aluminum, which otherwise requires an expensive and hard-to-learn TIG welder. Price: $999.99 (MIG 175 and Versa Cut 40) $1,099.99 (MIG 175 and Versa Cut 60, shown)
Stud Welding Kit
Now this one is cool! An easy way to start a major dent repair job is to use a stud welder, which welds small "nails" to a body panel that you can grab with a slide hammer, slowly bringing the panel back out close to a normal shape. In the past, that's required a $200-plus stud welder gun and accessories, but Eastwood has this little kit that turns your MIG welder into a stud welder. It includes a MIG stud nozzle, slide hammer, 100 2mm pins, and a replacement locking cam for the slide hammer. The nozzle included in this kit was designed to work with Tweco-style nozzles and may or may not work with other style MIG torches. Price: $34.99