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31pontiac's 1959 Bonneville

2019 December
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Professur

Passing the torch

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and running right to the induction heater.



I'll admit it ... I'm a coward. Acetelyne scares the juice outta me. Read one too many horror stories to ever be comfortable with it ... not to mention that without a lift, using a torch to heat nuts and bolts while lying on your back just seems epically stupid to me. So, I'm gonna break open the piggy bank and spend some precious saving on ... a Mini-Ductor. Local shop has them at $579cnd ... that's about $475US. Matches pretty close against the cost of a torch and tank set, with no explosions. You can even use it to free up the bolt holding the gas tank straps. It also works for forging and bending steel rod ... or even to reharden an old knife that's lost it's temper.


https://buytools.ca/eng/ind-md700-mini-ductor-ii-flameless-heat-system-kit-4461.html




But I don't think it's going to help with the missus' temper when she finds out I've spent the price of a set of tires on one lunchbox sized tool ... again.




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I don't blame you. I was trained to use them in Shop in High School. But I never did like it. I know that people use them for years without issue, then there is the other side of the coin, the horror stories.



The money? Well I have been in that same situation over and over through the years. Should I risk doing something, or should I fork out the money and go the safer route? That's when a little voice pops into my head and says...



"How much is your life worth?"





Momma didn't raise no Dummy.


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Okay....help me out here Pro. I get the need to heat bolts to get them to expand and all to get them out. What's wrong with using your basic hand held propane torch you have for plumbing work? Or is it the whole open flame/ka-boom thing in general - it is not just limited to acetelyne?



The induction coil thing looks neat. I assume that only works for things you can get the induction coil around in the first place?


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Propane just doesn't get it hot enough fast enough, or localized enough. You want that bolt or nut to heat without the surrounding material matching it. A/O does that by concentrating the flame. Propane flame just isn't tight enough and doesn't bring the heat fast enough to prevent it 'wicking out' into the rest of the material. More importantly ... induction only heats what a magnet will stick to. So a steel bolt in an aluminum head will heat without risking melting the head into a puddle. The coil itself doesn't heat either, although it does pick up some heat from the iron glowing so close by. If you drop it on the grass, nothing happens.




The kits come with an unlooped soft length of copper wire that you can wrap around something if a formed coil won't do. You wrap it around, connect the ends to the terminal on the housing and pull the trigger. Dunno how well it'll do for melting rubber bushings out ... but the steel sleeve inside should get more than hot enough. Personally, I want to see how well this works for rusty brake bleeders. Bane of my existance and I've got a round dozen of them in the near future. I've yet to do one without snapping it.



As for kaboom ... yeah, I'm not a fan of propane either ... but I can use it. I've done enough plumbing that my hands don't shake at the idea .... but I'm not ever gonna be comfortable with it. Given the choice, I don't even want a bic lighter in the house. Gimme a pack of matches and I'm happy enough.


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I've always used my LIL propane torch for heating with no problems. Yes, newer motors with aluminum VS steel bolts pose their own problems, but thats when I go back to the propane torch, because of less heat. You don't need the entire bolt glowing from end to end to loosen. I've had my oxy/acetelyne torches for going on 45 yrs. Potential for probs is when your NOT using your head. Not in any way saying the newfangled tools aren't cool. Have better ways to spend what LIL car money I can scrape together VS how much it will be used. If its extreme must have...rent it.


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Haven't found it for rent. Yeah, it's a big chunk of change ... but I well remember my attempts to go cheap with brake lines. Took forever to get one decent flare, only to bugger up the one on the other end. Finally I caved and spent the money for the Eastwood flare tool .... done in minutes. Every flare perfectly centred, not one crushed. Lesson learned ... my time is money too. I can spend the time struggling with snapped off bleeder valves or spend the money and get the job done right first time. When I'm done I can always put it up on Ebay and recover the cash if I don't think I'll need I ever again.


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I have a Mini-Ductor as well and Absolutely love it.... worth every penny as far as I'm concerned considering how much time is saved removing rusted nuts.  My Mini-Ductor turns a nut cherry red in about 10 seconds!! then just put Your wrench on it and it will come off as if it were a brand new nut coming off bolt with ease. Just My opinion but I think any shop that deals with old cars should have a Mini-Ductor.... No Flame=safer and You can remove rusted nuts in under a minute. I bought Mine because it seems like all the cars I work on anymore are all older and I tired of spending so much time using a hand held propane torch to try to get something hot enough to break lose.  Like I said, from a Shop perspective....would You rather have Your tech's spending a bunch of time trying to remove rusted nuts with a torch that 'can be' dangerous if not done properly.....or plug in a tool that will have the nut off in under a minute? I did a search online and bought Mine for $500 a few years ago, but I got it through PayPal credit where if I paid for it in 6 payments there was No credit rate fees added....just $500 paid in 6 monthly payments.

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Suppose I should update. Never did get it. I went by the shop to get one only to find out they don't actually have them. They'll order one for you if you like tho ... hope you're not in any rush.  I didn't see any point in giving someone my money to hold for 6 weeks.

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I like using map gas as to propane for lil portable torches which gets stuff hotter than propane at a faster rate. I use both and they work great. I do like induction heaters. They just take longer to get things rolling unless you have a good coil type which works great and fast. Either way things get hot and watch out fer ya fangers!!

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Map gas I like. MAPP-pro gas ... not so much.

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