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Whats the best "trick" or tech tip a mentor showed you?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The Mandrill, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,375


    I always thought the bolt and nut were different sizes because some people may only have 1 set of wrenches and not 2 of any size.

  2. rottenleonard
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,971


    Well 7/16 is the only mismatched size.
  3. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,029


    I've seen (and have) a couple of different size bolts with different size nuts. As I recall, I got them from my father-in-law many years ago. He was a farmer and maybe they were intended for farm use, so you'd only have to carry one set of wrenches with you on the tractor. Don't know if that's true, but there definitely are other size bolts with mixed-sized heads & nuts.
  4. gas4blood
    Joined: Nov 19, 2005
    Posts: 787

    from Kansas

    Take care of your lungs. Paint, media blasting, welding, chemicals, dusty work , etc, have the potential to screw you up in the long run. 50 years of messing around with old crap can catch up with you. ask me how I know... breathe clean air!
    Jitterbug likes this.
  5. oilslinger53
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,500

    from covina CA

    If something is rusted solid, salt water is one of the best things to dissolve the rust.
  6. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,151

    from Australia

    ......... to be carefull when driving a Police car, just before he took out a light pole in said Police car.
  7. robracer1
    Joined: Aug 3, 2015
    Posts: 488


    When removing a steering wheel without a wheel puller, reinstall the nut back on the end of the steering shaft so when pulling hard on the steering wheel it won't come loose and pop you in the face. trust me on this one!
  8. chargin03
    Joined: Jan 8, 2013
    Posts: 430


    Beat it to fit and paint it to match.
  9. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,409


    "If something is rusted solid, salt water is one of the best things to dissolve the rust."

    That's why bolts come apart so easily on cars that live in the rust belt, all that salty slush from the roads helps keep 'em loose.
    Leakie likes this.
  10. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,950

    from Dublin, OH

    Never drop a bolt down the distributor hole when bolting the manifold on!
    wicarnut likes this.
  11. How about a few 'black tape tricks'... Shown to me by an old-timer years ago...

    Before applying the tape, make sure it's up to at least room temperature (70F). Carry it in your front pocket for a while until it's warm. This allows it to 'stretch' better.

    If using it for harness wrap and to make it easier to open/repair later, start with your initial 'wrap' around the bundle to anchor the tape, then turn the tape 180 degrees putting the adhesive side out. Do one wrap like this the length of the harness, then reverse the tape again, finishing with the adhesive in. Overlap your 'wraps' by about 1/3 to 1/2 the tape width. This works really well on bolted connections too, giving a clean connection when the tape is cut away.

    When finishing your 'wrap', stretch to break, not cut, the end of the tape. Wrap the last few inches of stretched tape after letting it 'relax' for a moment by rolling it on with a finger; don't use tension on the tape. This will reduce the tendency of the tape to start unraveling.

    And last but not least, a tie-wrap (AKA zip tie) trick. When installing these don't cut the excess tail off; this almost always leaves a sharp edge that opens knuckles quite well. Instead, twist it off. Grab the 'tail' right where it comes out of the catch lengthwise with pliers and twist in one direction until it comes off. This will break the tail off flush with the catch and may leave a small rounded 'knob' protruding at most. Note that this may not work with the cheap plastic ties (breaking them), but with the better-quality ones or the ones with metal catches will leave no sharp edges.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016, Drunk Man and monkeysmooks like this.
  12. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,830


    If you need to break the bead on an old tire, lay the tire down and put a wood plank on one edge of the tire. Proceed to drive a car up the plank. Rotate tire and repeat if necessary.

    Not a tech tip but my dad was always telling me to slow down. I'm not sure when it actually sunk in, but apparently now I constantly tell my kids the same. It works.

    I also learned that finesse gets better results than brute strength. Better to go back and forth with penetrating oil on that rusty bolt than to force it to turn. I also learned to move heavy objects with leverage from a great uncle who (among other jobs) had worked in the cemetery monument trade.

    Never put yourself under a lifted load of any kind (including engines on hoists). Learned that from a brother-in-law who was nearly crushed when some rigging let go.

    Don't work on important stuff if you're tired or angry.

    Don't crack open that first beer until the important stuff is done. You don't get to celebrate until there's something to celebrate.
    jeffd1988 and luckythirteenagogo like this.
  13. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796


    "When you buy a used car, buy a Chilton's manual for the car on the way home and you can't use my tools.". My Dad.

    I've got a collection of 8. Not for sale.
    wicarnut and belair like this.
  14. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,554

    Bandit Billy

    "Get married son and stop wasting your life on cars" or was it "get cars and stop wasting your life on women"...either way damn good adage and I've followed dad's advice to the letter.
    wicarnut likes this.
  15. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,413

    jimmy six

    Before drop lights were plastic and they we metal guy who helped me under a car could not understand why I had 15 watt oven bulbs in them. I asked them how many times they had been burned by a housing using a 60 watt bulb.
    One by my dad that I'll let you figure out. "Never marry a woman with big hands"
  16. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    Man, so many over the years, but I learned a real good one just the other day. My sheet metal mentor was showing me some tricks, said "watch this" throws a piece of 18 gauge in the vise between two pieces of angle iron, grabs a straight edge body hammer, and another hammer. Holds the hammer upside down with the the straight end resting on top of the angle iron, lightly taps the face of the hammer with the other hammer back and forth along the sheet, with the straight end of the hammer resting on the the edge of the angle iron until the 18 gauge is offset its own thickness, opens the vise and lightly planishes along the edge of the step a bit on the backside of the vise, and hands it to me.
    PERFECT lap jointed panel in less than a minute. Not that I need to do a lap joint very often, and I do have a brake, but MAN it was fast, simple, and once you saw it, so obvious. I thought that was pretty slick.
    henryj1951 likes this.
  17. Read the whole thread and found some useful gems. I'm almost embarrassed to admit my one 'tip' as it is likely common sense to most, but I learned it about 10-12 years ago from a seasoned hotrodder in his 70's who dryly 'called me on it' when he was watching me (weekend wrencher) work on something. It has served me well since then...

    When taking something apart, replace fasteners in their positions/holes at your earliest convenience, whenever possible, particularly if something is going to be apart for awhile or is a sub-assembly. For years, I used to take things apart yielding a puddle of loose parts & fasteners. Putting eligible fasteners back in their fittings, when possible, they are less likely to get lost or mixed up.

    Thanks Ray.

    The only other common sense thing I have to offer is from when my dad taught me to change a tire. Break the lugs loose with the car on the ground, before jacking it up; and do the final tighten with the wheel back on the ground. Since the days of the bumper jacks seem to be largely gone, it is likely less obvious why this is a good idea. On rare occasion, I have seen people try to loosen or final tighten lugs on a wheel in the air.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  18. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,255


    Well, when I worked in a resto shop when I was a kid (20), one of the old guys told me to go get a real job and if I wanted to work on old cars to go buy one because you'll never make any money working on other people's. He also told me the there are no jobs too big, only hammers too small. I learned a lot from him.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using H.A.M.B. mobile app
  19. OK, one more that was a 'light bulb moment' for me...

    Does your insurance company or charitable organizations send you those pre-printed mailing labels with your name & address on them? They normally come faster than I can use them so they make handy adhesive name tags for things I would want back if lost or lent out. They aren't just for mail. I put one on my digital camera and few other items I'm prone to leaving the house with. I even resorted to putting one on my igloo playmate cooler cuz a friend has one identical to mine, and kept trying to walk off with mine. Maybe he just wanted my beer.

    And... WD40 works well for removing tape residue.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
    Beanscoot likes this.
  20. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,175


    When to put down the tools, walk away, and ask for help.
    clem and michael knight like this.
  21. Ron Brown
    Joined: Jul 6, 2015
    Posts: 1,532

    Ron Brown

    When I was building bikes I always ran the wiring inside the frame tubing. Rather than using bailing wire when trying to snake wires thru anything like tubing, pick up a length of universal speedometer cable from your local Auto Zone or Kragens and use it like a snake. Its really flexible but wont ball up like bailing wire. It comes about 7' lengths. Wired at least 2 million bikes like that and used it when pulling wire thru the cloth tubing for my Model A.
    i.rant likes this.
  22. rustyironman
    Joined: Mar 26, 2011
    Posts: 465


    I'd have to say all the awesome things that can be done with a cutting torch if one knows what they are doing. Like blow out a broken off steel stud out of cast iron, split nuts on a bolt but leave the bolt usable, and the funkiest of all cleaning spark plugs - a quick pass through under the oxygen blast on a cutting torch and they are good to go again.
  23. Ron Brown
    Joined: Jul 6, 2015
    Posts: 1,532

    Ron Brown

    Well...when I was a kid, used half a can of silver spray paint to kill a black widow that would always duck back when you came near...half a day, we had a silver black widow.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
    falcongeorge likes this.
  24. PoRodder
    Joined: Sep 28, 2014
    Posts: 90

    from St. Louis

    Now there is Hot Dam! heat stop compound. My brother is a pipefitter and he uses it to keep heat transfer down. Reuseable also. Just none of the asbestos.
  25. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,312

    from USA

    not a mentor but rather GM (Chevrolet) on how to set
    valve lash without EVER running the engine , and only
    turning it (one time 180*)from the 6up (timing chains are bolted on at the 6up
    position), then turning the block (crank / assembly over)
    to 1 up and whala ... you're DONE... just the same WAY chevy does it.
    and drop the distributor in .
    this method has been published by/from chevrolet for
    62 years. its NOT complicated.

  26. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,649


    Working on cars can be frustrating at times to say the least, not sure where or whom I learned this "Tip", when things happen, that create a mountain, walk away and let the problem sit awhile and think about it, that mountain always becomes a mole hill.
    A good friend/builder/racer explained to me years ago when I first got into racing " Speed cost Money, How Fast do you want to Go ?" The Truth, Nothing, But the Truth ! Joe Friday quote.
  27. I had washed my old Ford and it refused to crank,I screwed around with it for a hour or so,even replaced the condenser and the car still wouldn't crank.

    My granddad's neighbor came over and ask me what was the problem.

    I explained that that car was running like a top before I washed it and he ask for a screwdriver,pulled the coil wire from the distributor cap,dropped the screwdriver in the cap and held the wire to the screwdriver and said turn it over.

    It turned over twice and he yelled to stop,replaced the coil wire and the car fired up.

    Over the years I have been able to use this little trick a couple of times and it worked, not every time but when it does the looks are priceless! HRP
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  28. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,454

    from oregon

    Like many have said; way too many tips/tricks to say which is "the best", but one that I have embraced most over the years (because the consequences are very expensive), is to limit distractions while assembling an engine, epecially when torquing down rod and main bearing caps. There is nothing more distracting than a telephone call(s) to interrupt your train of thought.
  29. Chavezk21
    Joined: Jan 3, 2013
    Posts: 612


    I need to find this info.
    henryj1951 likes this.
  30. Rumbullion
    Joined: Apr 3, 2016
    Posts: 15


    Thank you to all the original posters for their words of wisdom.

    My tip, got a ding in a panel (not a deep crease) heat with a hair dryer and then blast with plumbers 'pipe freeze spray'. Protect your paint with cling film (seran wrap? - I'm not in the US). The mild but quick change in heat will often pop the dent back to memory.

    I once asked a guy (who turned in to a mentor) to help me rebuild a motor, he tore me a new one, the final line 'what's the difference between you and the guys in the 50's who built Hotrods? - You've got better tools! Go do it yourself and call me if you get stuck.'

    I went away and rebuilt that motor on my own, did the timing over and over but couldn't get it to turn over on the crank, so eventually called him, explained I'd built the motor, tried and tried but something wasn't right - he showed up, flipped a main bearing, got in his truck and drove away.

    I learnt a lot of lessons but the main one was not to be afraid of trying to figure it out yourself, and if that doesn't work out, don't be afraid to ask for help. The more you try, the more help is around.
    jeffd1988 likes this.

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