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larphead 03-30-2007 10:03 PM

10 Best Car Repair Tools of All Time
and one more


10 Best Car Repair Tools of All Time
There are only 10 things in this world you need to fix any car, any place, any time.

1. Duct Tape: Not just a tool, a veritable Swiss Army knife in stickum and plastic. It's safety wire, body material, radiator hose, upholstery, insulation, tow rope, and more - in an easy to carry package. Sure, there's prejudice surrounding duct tape in professional competitions, but in the real world, everything from LeMans-winning Porsches to Atlas rockets and attack-helicopters use it by the yard. The only thing that can get you out of more scrapes is a quarter and a phone booth.

2. Vice Grips: Equally adept as a wrench, hammer, pliers, baling wire twister, breaker-off of frozen bolts and wiggle-it-til-it-falls-off tool. The heavy artillery of your tool box, vice grips are the only tool designed expressly to fix things screwed up beyond repair
3. Spray Lubricants: A considerably cheaper alternative to new doors, alternator, and other squeaky items. Slicker than pig phlegm, repeated soakings will allow the main hull bolts of the Andrea Doria to be removed by hand. Strangely enough, an integral part of these sprays is the infamous Little Red Tube that flies out of the nozzle if you look at it cross eyed (one of the 10 worst tools of all time).

4. Margarine Tubs with Clear Lids: If you spend all your time under the hood looking for a frendle pin that caromed off the pertal valve when you knocked both off the air cleaner, it's because you eat butter. Real mechanics consume pounds of tasteless vegetable oil replicas just so they can use the empty tubs for parts containers afterward. (Some of course chuck the butter-colored goo altogether or use it to repack wheel bearings.) Unlike air cleaners and radiator lips, margarine tubs aren't connected by a time/space wormhole to the Parallel Universe of Lost Frendle Pins.

5. Big Rock at the Side of the Road: Block up a tire. Smack corroded battery terminals. Pound out a dent. Bop noisy know-it-all types on the noodle. Scientists have yet to develop a hammer that packs the raw banging power of granite or limestone. This is the only tool with which a "Made in Malaysia" emblem is not synonymous with the user being maimed.

6. Plastic Zip Ties: After 20 years of lashing down stray hose and wiring with old bread ties, some genius brought a slightly slicked-up version to the auto parts market. Fifteen zip ties can transform a hulking mass of amateur-quality wiring from a working model of the Brazilian Rain Forest into something remotely resembling a wiring harness. Of course it works both ways. When buying a used car, subtract \$100 for each zip tie you find under the hood.

7. Ridiculously Large Craftsman Screwdriver: Let's admit it. There's nothing better for prying, chiseling, lifting, breaking, splitting or mutilating than a huge flatbladed screwdriver, particularly when wielded with gusto and a big hammer. This is also the tool of choice for all oil filters so insanely located that they can only be removed by driving a stake in one side and out the other. If you break the screwdriver -- and you will just like Dad and your shop teacher said -- who cares, it has a lifetime guarantee.

8. Baling Wire: Commonly known as MG muffler brackets, baling wire holds anything that's too hot for tape or ties. Like duct tape, it's not recommended for NASCAR contenders, since it works so well you'll never need to replace it with the right thing again. Baling wire is a sentimental favorite in some circles, particularly with the Pinto, Gremlin, and Rambler set.

9. Bonking Stick: This monstrous tuning fork with devilish pointy ends is technically known as a tie-rod separator, but how often do you separate tie-rod ends? Once every decade if you're lucky. Other than medieval combat, its real use is the all-purpose application of undue force, not unlike that of the huge flat-bladed screwdriver. Nature doesn't know the bent metal panel or frozen exhaust pipe that can stand up to a good bonking stick. (Can also be use to separate tie-rod ends in a pinch, of course, but does a lousy job of it).

10. A Quarter and a Phone Booth: See tip #1 above.

* If it won't go - force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway....

tiny terror 04-01-2007 12:20 PM

Duct tape and zip ties are also useful in the first aid kit.

Iquois 04-01-2007 10:56 PM

and......jumper cables

gorillagorilla 05-25-2009 08:39 PM

i have a nice set of tools in my garage, consisting of these 10 things, except i like to use coffee containers instead of margarine (i use real butter) haha
great post.

jgano23 05-25-2009 10:10 PM

is there anything duct tape can't do??

lost 05-25-2009 10:15 PM


jasaus 07-16-2009 09:41 AM

what about the fold up camping chair for when all else fails!

Dare2BSquare 07-16-2009 11:02 AM

For jeeps......... torx bits!!! :banghead:

skeeter 07-16-2009 12:24 PM


Originally Posted by jgano23 (Post 377544)
is there anything duct tape can't do??

No. It's like the force, it has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together. :D

Jiffydarren 07-22-2009 02:23 AM


Originally Posted by lost (Post 377555)

Cheers :wavey:

Levinoss 07-22-2009 10:02 AM


This is also the tool of choice for all oil filters so insanely located that they can only be removed by driving a stake in one side and out the other.
Own own Own OWN!

Rainycity 07-22-2009 04:31 PM

A best friend that can fix anything..

Dfib 07-22-2009 08:31 PM

A couple more important ones...

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching
flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the
chest and flings your beer across the room, splattering it against that
freshly-stained heirloom piece you were drying.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them
somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes
fingerprints and hard-earned guitar calluses from fingers in about the
time it takes you to say, "YEOWW SH*T..."

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in
their holes until you die of old age.

SKIL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the
creation of blood-blisters. The most often tool used by all women.

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert
minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija
board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked,
unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course,
the more dismal your future becomes

VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off
bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to
transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

WELDING GLOVES: Heavy duty leather gloves used to prolong the
conduction of intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various
flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the
grease inside the wheel hub you want the bearing race out of.

WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars
and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that 9/16
or 1/2 inch socket you've been searching for the last 45 minutes.

TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to
launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the
ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack
handle firmly under the bumper.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG YELLOW PINE 2X4: Used for levering an automobile
upward off of a trapped hydraulic jack handle.

TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters and wire wheel

E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than
any known drill bit that snaps neatly off in bolt holes thereby ending
any possible future use.

RADIAL ARM SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by
most shops to scare neophytes into choosing another line of work.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile
strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 24-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A very large pry bar that
inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end
opposite the handle.


TROUBLE LIGHT: The home mechanic's own tanning booth. Sometimes
called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, "the sunshine
vitamin," which is not otherwise found under cars at night. Health
benefits aside,its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at
about the same rate that 105mm howitzer shells might be used during,
say, the first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark
than light, its name is somewhat misleading.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals
under lids and for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and
splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies,
to strip out Phillips screw heads. Women excel at using this tool.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes
used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.

AIR COMPRESSOR: A machine that takes energy produced in a
coal-burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into
compressed air thattravels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench
that grips rusty bolts which were last over tightened 30 years ago by
someone at Ford, and instantly rounds off their heads. Also used to
quickly snap off lug nuts.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip
or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer
nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive
parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit. Women primarily use it
to make gaping holes in walls when hanging pictures.

MECHANIC'S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents
of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly
well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic
bottles,magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts.
Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

And last but not least!!!

DAMMIT TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the
garage while yelling "DAMMIT" at the top of your lungs. It is also, most
often,the next tool that you will need

Dfib 07-22-2009 08:40 PM

I've found that there are four stages of removing something that just won't come off. Each stage is added to the previous stage.

Stage 1) Longer handle.

Stage 2) Bigger Hammer.

Stage 3) More Heat.

Stage 4) Louder Shouting.

Note that the possibility of destroying what you are trying to remove increases exponentially as you progress through the stages.

(We always referred to an oxyacetylene torch as a "Gas Hatchet" and considered it the most useful too in the shop. If you couldn't remove it by adding a little bit of heat, you could destroy it completely which solved the problem too.)

3RDKOSTHDBNGR 07-24-2009 06:29 PM

Must admit; I am in the Navy and working on my cars I have used all of these things in one way or another. Support Duct Tape.

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