Tool Review: ProMaxx Rocky and Alan exhaust manifold stud repair tools

The ProMaxx Tools Rocky exhaust manifold stud repair tool, for use on both two and three valve versions of the 4.6L, 5.4L and 6.8L V-10 Ford gas engines.
The ProMaxx Tools Rocky exhaust manifold stud repair tool, for use on both two and three valve versions of the 4.6L, 5.4L and 6.8L V-10 Ford gas engines.

The ProMaxx Tools Rocky exhaust manifold stud repair tool is designed for technicians removing broken exhaust manifold studs. The Rocky tool, is engineered to handle both two and three valve versions of the 4.6L, 5.4L and 6.8L V-10 Ford gas engines. The device has demonstrated to cut repair times by over 60 percent and nearly eliminate cylinder head removal, even in cases of a broken screw extractor, according to the company. The ProMaxx Alan Tool is engineered for the Dodge 5.7L HEMI V-8 engine to facilitate the quick removal of broken exhaust manifold studs and bolts. The tool guarantees alignment and perpendicularity of dead center, requiring less torque and reduced risk of screw extractor breakage. The Alan Tool is capable of eliminating accidental drilling into the coolant passages, and it can support the removal of broken screw extractors reducing cylinder head removal. According to the company, the American-made device works up to 60 percent faster than conventional methods.

The review

“It does exactly what it is supposed to do,” says Fred Venis, service writer at Batesville, Ind.-based, Quality Auto Mart & Service, of the ProMaxx Tools Rocky exhaust manifold stud repair tool.

Looking for a more efficient and effective tool to assist with the removal and repair of broken exhaust manifolds on two and three valve versions of the 4.6L, 5.4L and 6.8L V-10 Ford gas engines, Venis tested the ProMaxx Rocky offering and found it “cut off well over half the time” and improved the ease of completing such jobs.

“Normally, my tech would spend, say, an hour on a stud,” says Venis. “Now it’s maybe 15 minutes. It’s a substantial time savings, and each time you use the tool, you are sitting there saving money.”

Ryan Wadlow, shop foreman at South Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in McMurray, Pa., commented on a similar experience when he tested the ProMaxx Alan Tool, which is designed to help facilitate the removal of broken exhaust manifold studs and bolts on vehicles equipped with Dodge 5.7L HEMI V-8 engines.

“It definitely gets a lot of use among the guys in the shop,” says Wadlow.

Both the Rocky and the Alan tools are meant to help technicians deal with three significant challenges of removing broken exhaust manifold bolts: accessing a damaged stud, centering a hole and drilling straight.

According to Venis, the versatility of the Rocky tool when in use is one of its greatest attributes.

“You don’t have to bolt it up and use it in one spot,” he says. “You can move it back and forth.”

Venis also is quick to praise the tool’s ability to allow technicians to drill straight during the bolt removal process.

“You cannot off-drill anywhere,” he says. “It’s made so precise, and it gets anywhere.”

Prior to using the Alan tool, Wadlow employed a set of left-handed extractor bits to help him remove damaged exhaust manifold studs and bolts

“And they didn’t come anywhere near this tool,” he says.

Venis says he recalls occasions when more than one vehicle with a leaking exhaust manifold made its way into his shop. Because of the difficulties associated with such a job, Venis says he would sublet some of the work to another shop willing to put in the necessary time and effort to conduct the repairs.

‘Now (with the Rocky tool), I don’t have to hesitate at all when someone says, ‘Hey, I got this manifold leaking. Can you fix it?’” he says, noting that the Rocky tool works well with any air tool to aid in the removal process. “It doesn’t matter if four come in that week, I get every one of them in. It’s not a time issue anymore.”

According to Wadlow, he is able to use the Alan tool to effectively deal with almost any Dodge truck that comes in with a leaking manifold. As a result, the shop foreman gives it a rating of 10 out of 10.

“In all honesty, it cuts down a ton of time,” he says.

Meanwhile, Venis rates the Rocky tool a 10 out of 10 for a few reasons. He says he appreciates the tool’s lifetime warranty and the fact that ProMaxx offers replacements if bits are broken.

“And this product is dead-on exactly what it is supposed to be,” Venis adds. 

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