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claffix
 
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Auto[M]ay shop tips superthread!

ITT we talk about tips and tricks that save time or money while you are wrenching on your shit. I know a lot of you have tons of experience either pulling wrenchs for a living or working at home, so this thread should have something for everybody.

-When the non stick coating on your wife/girlfriend/mom's bake ware wears out, save it from the trash and bring it into the garage. Small loaf pans are good for pulling apart bike carbs, and cup cake trays are awesome for keeping parts seperate and organized.

-Next time someone you know is remodeling their kitchen, see if you can grab the counters and cabinets. They make sweet work benches and you have a ton of storage right where you need it.

-On your next trip to the dump, rip the lids off a couple clothes washers. Most of them have a 1" lip or so and make sweet drip trays or teardown trays when you flip them over.

-If harbour freight is anything like princess auto up here in Canada, they will have sales on little tackle box style boxes of fastners, washers, o-rings, etc. Every time you go in there pick up 1 or 2 that are on sale. They are usually cheap enough that you only have to use 3 or 4 peices and they pay for themselves. Plus you can't put a price on having the right cotter pin or e-clip right at your fingertips.

-Buy a set of cheap flat head screwdrivers. They are always the first thing you reach for when you gotta pry something, and theres no sense in fucking up your good ones and making removing flat head screws more of a pain in the ass then they already are.

-Don't buy tool box liner for your tool box. Go 3 aisles over to the housewares department and get drawer liner. Same shit and its 1/10th the price for a roll 1/2 the size.
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:42 AM claffix is offline  
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Bluesultan
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:57 AM Bluesultan is offline  
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Colonel Sanders
 
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This thread could be going places!!

Got a pretty low profile car that can't drive up onto ramps? Try a pair of Rhino Ramps. My Camaro, Thunderbird SC, SHO, etc. all have no problem getting up on them. Like $20-30 at your local Vatozone.
Old 03-03-2008, 11:58 AM Colonel Sanders is offline  
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This thread could be going places!!

Got a pretty low profile car that can't drive up onto ramps? Try a pair of Rhino Ramps. My Camaro, Thunderbird SC, SHO, etc. all have no problem getting up on them. Like $20-30 at your local Vatozone.

Got a car with a low profile, and a jack with a slightly-too-high profile? Drive onto some 2x4s, then jack the car up.

Gotta get a crank pulley bolt out, but you don't have the tool that keeps the engine from turning? Does it have a manual trans? Put it in 5th gear and have somebody step on the brakes.
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:42 PM kstokes is offline  
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Gotta get a crank pulley bolt out, but you don't have the tool that keeps the engine from turning? Does it have a manual trans? Put it in 5th gear and have somebody step on the brakes.

I did that the other day on my friend's car, the clutch started to slip. We took the starter out and wedged a crowbar on the flywheel - that did the trick.
Starters on B-series honda motors take <5min to take out.
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:45 PM flood is offline  
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K0ll
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No matter how tired you are, always put away all of your tools.
You have no idea how many sockets / wrenches Ive lost. And it seems like the same ones are missing from every set .
Old 03-03-2008, 01:05 PM K0ll is offline  
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Colonel Sanders
 
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Quote:
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No matter how tired you are, always put away all of your tools.
You have no idea how many sockets / wrenches Ive lost. And it seems like the same ones are missing from every set .

I agree, and it helps to have a couple of small boxes/buckets/tupperware to put sockets and other tools in in the meantime, before cleanup... really helps make the cleanup go faster.
Old 03-03-2008, 01:08 PM Colonel Sanders is offline  
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K0ll
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I find old coffee cans works great for that.
My garage is littered with them.
Old 03-03-2008, 01:19 PM K0ll is offline  
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godofcheese
 
Instead of buying cheepie screw drivers, I bought a set of stanley destruction screw drivers. Best set I have ever picked up. They are strong enough that I have actually used them to split nuts off a bolt with them. They are made to do everything a screwdriver is used for, but not supposed to be. You can find them on sale for $7 from time to time.

http://toolmonger.com/2007/03/14/tes...-screwdrivers/


If you love having an organized tool box, get the hard foam insulation from your hardware store. Cut it down to fit in your tool box. Then, cut out spaces for each of your tools. If you tool is solid metal (sockets, wrenches, ect) just heat them up with your torch a small bit and use them to make an impression, then cut away exactly on the lines! So much cheaper then the pre-done organizers.


Have a compressor but hate running hoses all over the place? Use high grade PVC to give you outlets in different parts of the garage. I am going to put this setup in and put outlets near each tire, the workbench and possibly above the engine bay. PVC will hold up to the pressure, but not the vibration of the compressor. To fix that issue, don't hardlink them. Use a flexable compressor hose. You could also put an airfilter at that point or even a water trap. Now you don't need to drag out that 50ft airhose just to air up your tires! *WARNING* This isn't the safest thing in the world. PVC can bust, but I have seen this run for years without issues. */WARNING*


Make a grinding center. Don't put your grinder on your bench. You will never be able to clean up every shaving, and god forbid you get some old peices of metal into that carb you are rebuilding. Put it on a cart that is on lockable wheels. This way you can move it in and out of your shop. Go ahead and mount a extension cord onto the back so you never have to look for that either.
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Last edited by godofcheese; 03-03-2008 at 01:37 PM..
Old 03-03-2008, 01:26 PM godofcheese is offline  
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godofcheese
 
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I agree, and it helps to have a couple of small boxes/buckets/tupperware to put sockets and other tools in in the meantime, before cleanup... really helps make the cleanup go faster.

I use those magnetic trays. Lets me keep the tools I am working on hanging where I need them. 1/2 the time that is the bottom of the car as I am laying underneeth. Its handy to have that 14mm socket just sitting on the bottom of the whatever you are working under rather then having to find it by blindly reaching around. Also, when you are done all your tools are in the magnet tray.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:28 PM godofcheese is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstokes View Post
Got a car with a low profile, and a jack with a slightly-too-high profile? Drive onto some 2x4s, then jack the car up.

Gotta get a crank pulley bolt out, but you don't have the tool that keeps the engine from turning? Does it have a manual trans? Put it in 5th gear and have somebody step on the brakes.

I've heard of this trick on single cylinder engines, but I'm sure it would work on a big V8 too.

If you need to lock the crank for whatever reason, pull a spark plug and shove a bunch of rope into the cylinder. The rope will prevent the cylinder from reaching TDC.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:32 PM zoopnazi is offline  
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I think everyone knows this:

Kitty litter works well for soaking up fluid spills. Beats paying up the nose for some product specifically made for that or wasting tons of rags/paper towels.

I can get a 10 pound bag of clumping kitty litter for like $5 and it'll last forever it seems.
Old 03-03-2008, 01:36 PM Wiseass is offline  
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1337rider
 
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I've heard of this trick on single cylinder engines, but I'm sure it would work on a big V8 too.

If you need to lock the crank for whatever reason, pull a spark plug and shove a bunch of rope into the cylinder. The rope will prevent the cylinder from reaching TDC.

The rope trick also works to hold up valves when changing valve-springs, if you don't have an adaper to use air pressure to do it.

-Build your solvent tank on the end of a table, and put a piece of angle iron on the front egde of the table, with a nipple and a hose that drains into a bucket. it makes oily engine teardowns much nicer when you don't have oil running all over the floor.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:58 PM 1337rider is offline  
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Always label bags with small parts (bolts, nuts, light bulbs, instrument parts, etc) where the parts go and what car they came from. Anything that was "maybe a little bit tricky" that you "think you'll remember later" is something that needs to be written down on a paper and put away with the part. Man, I'm still trying to do that. Being organized when you're tearing apart a car for a restoration is king. Save old parts until you actually put the new one in too to make sure they're the same and to help you figure out how the new ones go in.
If you're too lazy to properly document things, just buy a digital camera and take pictures as you take something apart, a thousand words each bro!
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:23 PM Smeezor is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeezor View Post
Always label bags with small parts (bolts, nuts, light bulbs, instrument parts, etc) where the parts go and what car they came from. Anything that was "maybe a little bit tricky" that you "think you'll remember later" is something that needs to be written down on a paper and put away with the part. Man, I'm still trying to do that. Being organized when you're tearing apart a car for a restoration is king. Save old parts until you actually put the new one in too to make sure they're the same and to help you figure out how the new ones go in.
If you're too lazy to properly document things, just buy a digital camera and take pictures as you take something apart, a thousand words each bro!

this, a thousand times over. pictures of everything, pictures of where you put it, pictures of where you moved it to, etc

keeps you from buying 3 of the same thing, ask me how I know...
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:28 PM Dongboy is offline  
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