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Technical Simple tech tips to make building easier

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 4,717

    from CO & WA

    HOTRODPRIMER, that flexible aluminum tube could also be used to work out the shape of exhaust pipes at the engine or in tight points under a car.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,020


    Buy a good quality name brand tape measure and only use it on the build. I've got close to a dozen tape measures around the place and one day I dug out several of them and laid them out side by side and some are off as much as 1/8 inch over 30 inches. Usually it is how the tip is made and not the actual measurement. I have a couple that the tip is a hook made to go over a nail during framing construction and is worthless trying to measure a frame width or on square or rectangular tubing or any flat stock over 18 gauge.
    HOTRODPRIMER and RidgeRunner like this.
  3. RidgeRunner
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 775

    from Western MA

    When taking/making long measurements with a tape that requires a helper keep the same person on the same ends of the tape, cuts down on small errors due to viewing angles, definitions of a + or -, size of a particular "color of a hair", etc.

    When working alone measuring short distances I find center to center distance of holes easier and more accurate by going from the edges, left side to left side for example.

    Ace61, nunattax and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  4. greaser
    Joined: Apr 30, 2006
    Posts: 809


    Ha! Reminds me of a helper I once had who peened the rivets to "tighten the loose piece on the end"
    HOTRODPRIMER and clem like this.
  5. mr.chevrolet
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 6,299


    like your helper, I've often wondered why that tip is loose. can anyone explain?
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  6. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 903


    It should move exactly the thickness of the hook, so that it measures the same whether you are taking an inside or an outside measurement.
  7. Terrible80
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 692


    Measure from 1" Mark, but don't forget to subtract 1" from measurement.

    Sent from my LG-TP450 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  8. I always try to do this. I was taught to do this in shop class a lifetime ago. Not always possible if you work alone, but more accurate if you can do it.
    HOTRODPRIMER and Early Ironman like this.
  9. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,222


    And more on the tape measure front:

    I don't know how well I can explain this, but I'll try. I use it frequently.

    When needing to measure inside to inside there's no way that you can get the measurement correct on the end you're reading when it's curved; trying to get exactly to the surface you're measuring.

    Cut a scrap (of anything; wood; steel; aluminum; etc.) EXACTLY 10" long. Hold the "dumb end" of the tape measure where it needs to go. Hold the 10" piece at the other place you need to measure. Read the tape at the end of the 10" piece. Add 10" to your measurement. You now have an exact measurement.

    Many tri-squares are pretty much exactly 12" so you could use this also.

    I first started doing this when I was installing crown molding in my house. Since then I've used it around the shop many times.

    Disclaimer: yes I was taught in high school and college that "exact" is a misnomer. But your tolerance will be MUCH smaller using this than if you just curve the end of the tape that you're trying to read.
  10. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,343

    rusty rocket

    A buddy showed me when using a hole saw use a metal rod instead of the pilot drill bit so you don't get wobble.
  11. ...when running tailite wires, headlite wires, use a length of a drop cord with the correct guage wire (14-16 ga,) from your light switch or dimmer switch, that way those wires are already bundled and double insulated from the elements...especially on trucks where the wires run along the framerail...
  12. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,457

    from washington

    When you work in a fab shop with a bunch of smart ass's, check your tape measure often to make sure someone hasn't cut a 1/2" off the end and reattached the tip on the end. ;)
  13. I have two sets of crow's food wrenches for reaching into difficult places. For the job you are describing, I would use the crow's foot wrench and a long flex handle. I use vinyl electric tape to set the head of the wrench at the proper angle. Just like taping a sprained ankle in the proper position.
    Another wrench I have, is a socket wrench adaptor that allows me to remote the ratchet approximately 6 inches from the bolt head or nut. This is enough distance most of the time. There is also some mechanical advantage built into the adapter that easily allows a person to get the nut tight.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  14. I have been very successful getting the brakes to release or unlock, by taking the wheels off and gently hammering the brake drums on the face, and around the full circumference with a soft head hammer. It can easily be done with a regular hammer and a gentle touch.
    Tri-power37, HOTRODPRIMER and F-ONE like this.
  15. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 118


    When hunting for electrical faults pull the ground wire.
    Then use an old headlight with wires and a pair alligator clips as a temporary ground strap.

    If you accidentally dead short a wire the headlight will glow instead of melting the wire.

    edit: photos added


    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  16. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,754


    Get a dry erase board when start your project write down your goals and break it up by the components. Write them in one color and when finished mark through them with another it tracks your progress and keeps on track.
    It also helps you not forgetting something.
  17. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 626


    Depending on the length of the header sections, drill holes in the temporary tube and shoot expanding foam sealer into the tubes. Let it set and you've got rigid tubes. Don't have to worry about losing the bends.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  18. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,772

    from Alabama

    My F-1 had a droopy drivers side door handle. The door functioned but to latch the door you had to manually hold the inside handle up as you slammed the door. You also had to make sure the outside handle was up. Then you have to lock the door.
    To shut the door from the outside you had to make sure both handles were up....hold the inside handle up from either the window or the vent wing opening.

    Needless to say that got old.

    The 1948-52 door latch is not reproduced.

    An inspection (removal of the latch assembly) revealed the spiral latch spring was broken. That was done years ago.
    Anyway the F-1 door latch spring is not listed by some or (most) vendors. You have to do some detective work. After some research I found that a 1937 up Ford car spring would likely work...


    Today I removed the latch assembly.

    You have to remove the outside and inside door handles. The inside one gave me some trouble as I can't see crap without my 3x readers. Off course I could not find them. I worked and worked with a punch and hammer trying to get the inside handle pin out. Something's not right so I go to town and buy several pairs of glasses.
    With the glasses I find what I was doing wrong. These Ford latches have two holes for position. Hell, I was punching the empty wonder I was tapping on the solid handle stud.:rolleyes: It's amazing what you can accomplish when you can see. The real pin just pushed out with finger pressure.

    The window needs to be down to remove the the assembly. Now the inside handle stud may not want to come out. These doors are several decades old and the assembly will come out of the door. You may have to help it a little by pulling or opening up the sprung sheet metal with your hands for clearance. She'll go. Of course you work from the door access opening.

    Since the 1950 spring was broken there was no way to compare it to the 37 spring.

    The spring is retained by two punched out teeth that wrap around the center of the spiral. these little jaws are clamped tight around the spring. I put some heat (propane) on these jaws. I tapped them open with a large screw driver and small hammer.

    How the heck am I going to wind this spring...I thought of all kinds of clamps...I finally figured out I'll just have to hoss it. (Hoss-force by labor) This particular episode of hossing...required that I hold my mouth right as well.

    It's impossible to do this with the latch assembly loose. I screwed it down to a wooden block. actually I just positioned 2 screws through the handle hole, the other through next to the edge of the plate where it would stay put against the torque. [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr

    You put the heel (rounded long end of the spring) against the sliding latch. Torque the center of the spring with the needle nose....try to hold the spring in place with the fingers of your free hand....when the center gets between the jaws.....try to hold downward with your pliers and reach for your small hammer......tap the center of the spring down.
    This is not unlike fighting a stubborn brake spring. It may take several tries but...she'll go.

    Since the jaws on my plate are 69 years old and I've pried them open....not wanting to push my luck I tapped them closed but not as tight as the factory had it. If it broke...the whole latch assembly is history.

    I lubed everything up reinstalled it...the door now functions as new.
  19. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,246


    Now we all know real men don't need directions, but believe me, it certainly helps to read them!
    HOTRODPRIMER and osage orange like this.
  20. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 816


    I relearned an old tech trick last night.

    My wife was helping me bolt the trunk lid on the Studebaker. We got 7 of the 8 bolts in but the 8th twisted off. There is a lot of rust in Studebakers (and all old cars) and I ran a tap through lots of mounting holes in the car as I fixed things but for some reason after spending several hours fixing the rust in the trunk lid I forgot to clean the threads in the hinge mounts.

    Wish me luck in getting the broken bolt out and remember to CLEAN the Threads before you reassemble.
    HOTRODPRIMER and Bandit Billy like this.
  21. Too often I need to start a nut in a tight place where I can't see, only feel, and I also risk losing the nut where I may never find it again. To hold the nut, in either a socket or a box wrench, I first put a small piece of paper towel around it and push it in until it is flush. That holds it firmly in place so that I can start it on the bolt or stud. Once started, the paper towel piece can stay or go, but the nut is where it needs to be and I didn't even need to see it, just feel that its in place.
    vtx1800, HOTRODPRIMER and alchemy like this.
  22. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 867


    When making panels for door upholstery and you need to make the holes for the plastic tree mounting doohickies, use a tapered ball nose rotary tool carbide burr chucked into your drill. Being close counts here. This also works in making gaskets.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  23. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 867


    Forgot to mention that you need to temporarily tape the door panel in place first and just roughly indicate where the mounting holes go.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  24. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,311


    I’ve always used ‘blu tack’ for the same idea, sometimes just to hold it to my finger to start it, when you can only get one finger near it. (Could also use plasticine).
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
    HOTRODPRIMER and osage orange like this.
  25. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 182


    These large syringe bodies are great for draining master cylinders, power steering pumps,clutch masters any small reservoirs. They come in bigger sizes than this and I get them from veterinarian type places. Even if I am not changing a master cylinder or power steering pump — every year or so I will suck out my master cylinder get a clean rag and carefully wipe out all the fine grit and put in fresh fluid. It’s like a poor mans brake flush!
    alchemy, HOTRODPRIMER and LAROKE like this.
  26. My granddad taught me the trick of putting a piece of masking tape on one side of a open end wrench to hold a nut in place were you can't get to it with your fingers, then start the bolt and the tape prevents the bolt from pushing it nut away from the wrench. HRP
    Tri-power37, clem and osage orange like this.
  27. firstinsteele
    Joined: Jun 13, 2013
    Posts: 965


    Dang!I used to do that and had forgotten. Thanks for the reminder.

    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  28. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,482


    Keep things simple. Learned a long time ago I don't need DoDads like power windows. Only something else to go wrong.
    osage orange and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  29. I love the KISS method of building cars - Keep It Simple Stupid! :D HRP
    Gman0046 and osage orange like this.
  30. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 182


    I have never used this trick or seen anything quite like it? In the late 80s a old farmer came into where I worked in a mid 60s 4 door Dodge Dart ( slant six) for a oil change and lube. He showed me how he had installed a grease zerk about 18 to 24 inches after the exhaust manifold in the exhaust pipe! He told me every time I lube it to give the exhaust grease nipple a couple of pumps. He claimed the 20 something year old dodge still had the original exhaust system and he had done it to all his cars and it made the exhaust systems last forever. It seems like and excellent idea although not what you would call -a green ,save Mother Earth type idea.

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