Looking for socket with just the right length and depth

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  #1  
Old 06-20-19, 02:49 PM
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Looking for socket with just the right length and depth

I want to replace the coolant temperature sensor on my truck. When I replaced it years ago, the only tool I could fit in there was a 12-point combination wrench. And even then, it took me over an hour to replace it because you can only make very small movements with the wrench in the tight working quarters.

Deep socket, crowsfoot wrench, and ratchet wrench won't work either in the tight space.

If I can find a socket that isn't to shallow or too deep, I think that will work. The socket needs to
accommodate a 2-1/4 inch sensor. I already looked in all the stores and a few websites.

Do any of you know where I can get a 1 Inch diameter (for 1/2 inch drive) socket with just the right depth?
 
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Old 06-20-19, 04:08 PM
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Buy a 1" socket and cut it down to the height you need. There are more than a few "customized" tools in my shop.
 
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Old 06-20-19, 10:25 PM
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That's not a bad idea. It had crossed my mind too. But I don't have a power saw. And I wouldn't attempt to hacksaw through it. Where can I get it cut down?
 
  #4  
Old 06-21-19, 04:23 AM
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Buy a 4.5 inch grinder ($10) and a package of 4.5 inch metal cutoff wheels ($6) from HF and do it yourself.
 
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Old 06-21-19, 04:27 AM
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Or, ask around for a friend that has a grinder or pneumatic cut-off wheel (die grinder).
 
  #6  
Old 06-21-19, 05:59 AM
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A local machine shop could cut it to the correct length on a metal turning lathe.
 
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Old 06-21-19, 07:10 AM
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I looked at the Harbor Freight website. You really can get a grinder for $14.99. Probably wouldn't last long for heavy use. But enough to get the job done.

What about just using my power drill with a cutting wheel?
 
  #8  
Old 06-21-19, 12:19 PM
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I' m going to check out this grinder and socket at Harbor Freight this weekend. I'll report back to you guys.
 
  #9  
Old 06-21-19, 03:50 PM
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Your drill won't work. You need the high rpm of the grinder for cutting metal. Putting a cutting wheel in a drill is more like sanding your way through. You could do it but it will test your patience.
 
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Old 06-21-19, 04:07 PM
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Ok. I'm ok with buying a $15 grinder as long as it's able to do the job.

What type of cutting wheels do I buy. I've never owned a grinder before.
 
  #11  
Old 06-21-19, 04:13 PM
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Don't let the grinder get hot (temperature wise). Take your time and it will do the job.
 
  #12  
Old 06-21-19, 04:36 PM
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Buy the very thin metal-cutting discs that fit the grinder. The clerks at Harbor Freight are usually quite helpful.

Be sure to hold the grinder tightly and not twist the wheel in the cut or it will break. I suggest a full face shield when doing the cutting.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 06:21 AM
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At the Harbor Freight look for "thin metal cut-off discs". They are 3/64" thick so wear face protection as Furd suggests, and consider hearing protection too.

There will be a tendency for your cut to drift- these grinders require a steady hand, and it may take a couple tries to get it right (HF sells individual sockets so a spare or two may be in order). The disc is a consummable: as you cut it will get smaller and create a cloud of carborundum dust. You'll also create a stream of sparks, so be aware of what is down range (such as flammable items or fluid). The hot sparks will embed themselves into certain surfaces, too, ask me how i know. Paint and glass will be damaged.

On the bright side, get a coupon from the HF website for 20% price reduction and another for a "free" flashlight. Cool!
 
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Old 06-22-19, 10:02 AM
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I have 2 harbor freight angle grinders and have had zero issues with them. They are worth the $15
 
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Old 06-22-19, 10:25 AM
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When cutting off the socket be mindful of where your sparks are going. It will send a fine dust of metal across the room (dirty). More important though when cutting you'll see bright yellow hot metal spraying off which can start a fire if you are not careful.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 10:43 AM
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Might be worth it to consider finding a powered ratcheting wrench.

 
  #17  
Old 06-22-19, 06:09 PM
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Great. Thanks for the safety tips.
 
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Old 06-23-19, 05:50 PM
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I was overlooking something all this time.

A 1 inch socket with a 3/8 drive takes up less space. So I purchased these items this morning: 1 inch socket, 3/8 inch drive, and swiveling universal joints. I should have added these to my toolbox years ago. I also disconnected the upper radiator hose and a vacuum hose to open up more space to work in.

This made it a lot easier to remove and install a new sensor without cutting down a socket.

But I couldn't pass up a $15 grinder. So I picked up one at Harbor Freight. I can already think of a couple projects I'll need it for early next year. I printed your advice on grinder use. So you guys have already helped me for something in the future. Done. Thanks again.
 
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Old 06-24-19, 04:09 AM
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Along the same lines, I found this idea recently on one of the 3D printer forums. It was only for the 1/4 drive but I expanded to add 3/8 and 1/2 drive. Great for staring a nut or bolt where you can't fit a ratchet in a confined space.

 
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Old 06-24-19, 07:12 AM
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Was something supposed to be attached to your reply, Norm?
 
  #21  
Old 06-24-19, 03:05 PM
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Yes, they show up on my end. They may take a minute to load. I'm using web hosting site Imgur for my pics.
 
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Old 06-24-19, 03:58 PM
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You didn't paste the link.
 
  #23  
Old 06-24-19, 04:27 PM
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Hmm....Then how come it showed up when I open my post?

 
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Old 06-24-19, 10:37 PM
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Strange, I couldn't see anything before. But I can see the photo now.
 
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