At one time or another we've all had to deal with pesky nuts and bolts that don't cooperate, especially at the track between heat races and mains. Maybe it's the carb nut that gets cross-threaded. Or perhaps a valve-cover bolt gets lost. Heck, it might even be as simple as trying to fit a socket onto a hard-to-reach nut or bolt. Well, the folks at Madco Fasteners have come up with a nifty new fastener that puts an end to those problems and more. Its new, patent-pending Ratchet Fit Fastener uses a stud and fastener combination where the fastener acts like a nut. The whole system essentially works just like a typical socket wrench.

The Ratchet Fit Fastener features a 1/4-inch square recess on one end which snaps directly onto a standard ratchet extension and is secured by a spring ball. The other end is threaded to receive the studs which are included with every set of fasteners. Once the fastener is tightened down, it stays behind taking the place of the nut. The design allows racers absolute control to start and drive fasteners with a standard 1/4-inch extension. It makes working in the tight confines of a race engine compartment a piece of cake. Best of all, no socket is required to drive this fastener.

The fasteners were originally designed to take the place of traditional valve cover bolts. However, while Madco founder Grant Brown was field testing the first prototypes in the ARCA West Mac's Late Model Tour, he found other areas that the product would benefit including carburetors and quick change rear gear covers-the big benefit being that nuts or bolts will no longer fall down the intake or into the gear lube drain pan when you're working on the car.

Like all of Madco's performance racing line of fasteners, the Ratchet Fit Fasteners are manufactured from 7075 aircraft aluminum alloy in its state of the art CNC machine shop. The fasteners are then anodized to increase durability before their final laser engraving. A set of four will set you back about $25, studs included.

You can check out the Ratchet Fit Fasteners at the 22nd annual Performance Racing Industry trade show in December; and if you can't make it to Orlando this winter you can always head on over to the company's website www.madcofasteners.com.