Craftsman and China

The radiator went out on my 1999 GMC Suburban last week in my driveway! Finally some relief when it comes to car troubles, which always seem to happen far from home. I needed an unusual wrench, a 22mm, to detach the oil coolant line on the SKIburban. Since my sweet love and I have been on a mission to buy things made “anywhere but China,” (stay tuned for more!) I went into Sears in Astoria, to see if they could sell me the single tool. Not so, not in stock, unless I wanted to buy a $60 set of large metric wrenches. Or wait for a special order. (I needed to fix my radiator asap)

“anywhere but China,”

However, the store had a pretty good tool sale going on, and, well… I am a man, you know. Lucky for me I spotted two great deals – a set of U-joints, adapters, and extenders of 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″ sizes. Normally $43 USD, now on sale for $17!! Too good to pass up, plus I’m always wishing I had some more adapters since I always seem to have the right size socket but the wrong size drive.

New DIY radiator!

Craftsman was formerly an all Made in the USA company, right? Not anymore!

One of the salesman that helped me look for the right tool had me looking at some of the combination wrench sets that have the ratcheting action built into the closed end. They are very handy but guess what? Made in China! I almost squealed like an 8-year-old girl. Suddenly, (or “All of the sudden” ha ha ha) I started grabbing all of the hand tool sets. You know, wrenches and what not. Sadly, the only Made in the USA wrenches I found were the standard, “cheap” ones!! No kidding! How incredibly sad is that! If you want a Made in the USA wrench like your dad or grandfather owned, you’re in luck! They are going cheap! But if you want one of them there fancy type wrenches, well, sell your soul and burn your flag first – cause they’re made in China. I’m disgusted. I guess I’ll head to Home Depot and see how many fancy Husky tools are Made in the USA – all of my current Husky’s are, and I’ll report what I find here next!

New Made in the USA tools!

I hope I spoiled no one’s dinner. But Dad can be proud – I now have a Made in the USA  Craftsman set of metric and SAE (“US”) wrenches!!!! For less than them “fancy” Chinamade ones. I better tweet this on my iPhone! (Irony should be obvious) (update 2014: this set is no longer made in the USA. You guessed it, now made in China)

How do you stop transmission coolant lines from leaking? 

After getting everything back together, and running the truck in the driveway for 15 minutes, I detected no leaks. At work the next day, I noticed transmission fluid on the ground in front of the truck, which was coming from the lower coolant line where it meets the radiator. I tightened it up as much as possible, with no results – I could tell it was leaking up the threads. I bought some latex pipe tape and the clerk pointed out the liquid form, which was $5 but predicted better results. I threw some napkins on the ground in a parking garage (since it was pouring rain) and pulled off the top radiator guard and unscrewed the connection. I dabbed some of the liquid thread paste on my latex-gloved hand and squished it into the threads and quickly tightened it back up, and also held my breath as I tightened the fitting just a little more than I had previously. Bingo! So far so good!

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