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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. We seemed to have veered into aspects of fabrication, so a couple of basic ones I have surprised a few people with is.........
    1. Lay out work.........dial calipers aren't just for measuring. You can scribe a straight line with them by setting your distance from the edge of the material you are working with and drag the calipers so that one side of the calipers follows the edge of the material. I know very basic but I really have surprised people with this, and it saves time.
    2. With a metal cutting band saw always use the proper blade for what you are cutting (Course blade + thin metal =bad)and apply a little wax to the blade it really does help.
  2. Adam.Perrault
    Joined: Nov 10, 2009
    Posts: 124

    from Phoenix AZ

    when I first started as a mechanic, the mechanic I worked for showed me how to modify tools to make specialty tools. Thats no trick. here is the trick. engrave the tool with what you built it for so 3 years later you won't have to re invent the wheel when you run into the same job. Thanks Ron. you have saved me tons of time with that one!
  3. Adam.Perrault
    Joined: Nov 10, 2009
    Posts: 124

    from Phoenix AZ

    Or break out your zero offset snips. I am a tool whore so I have a special pair for plastic only EPC160. But you only slice yourself once before the price doesn't matter:)
  4. Vicious_Cycle
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 107


    This one's probably obvious, but it was the first trick I ever learned, when I was about 5 years old: When you have a nut stuck in a socket, lay the socket on it's side and give it a good whack with a hammer. It aligns the flats on the nut and the socket, and the nut falls out.
  5. Skeezix
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 845

    from SoCal

    Also to roto rooter steel lines uz a speedo cable innards in a drill I had an EGR issue on a regular road car and the pos piping would "coal up" Delco used to sell the cable refill and it made a very long snake in the drill.

    Don't piss off your parts guy - I had the nicest fellow hit me with a Hupmobile once - long before the internet and I spent lots of MY time and my boss to get that car sorted. The douche that demanded a Chevy hose with a FU attitude got a Chevy hose...from a Cavalier - I knew he wanted a SB 70s hose but it was my way of wasting his time DOOM ON HIM
  6. Adam Bahm
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 27

    Adam Bahm

    Rope fed through the spark plug hole to hold the valves for spring replacment. Be sure to leave some sticking out. Odd bits of old fuel and garden hose can be used as gromets. Old dish washer makes a great parts washer
  7. barslazyr
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 339


    Remember to but the short bolt back in when done
  8. jhnarial
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 410

    from MISSOURI

    When taking off hinge screws. weld a nut through the center of the nut,then use a wrench to remove the screw.
  9. Use a hack saw blade to hold up the piston when installing the fuel pump in a sbc.
    A piece of hockey stick makes for a good listening device for locating the source of that annoying tick-rattle-knock in your motor. That and the old dish washing liquid and clothesline trick for installing a windshield.
  10. Unibodyguy
    Joined: Dec 23, 2007
    Posts: 403


    One of the better ones I was shown was on a old tractor that had sat outdoors for sometime. It had really poor spark and only had a magneto on it. The guy took out a pencil and started scratching the surface of the points, plugs, and the ends of the plug wires where they went into the cap and I think also on the plugs themselves too if I remember right. He said the graphite ( pencil lead) created a larger longer spark when you tried to start it. After doing what he did and me cranking just a little it fired right up:D
  11. racerdaddy1
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 137


    I saw a similar post on getting out a broken axle shaft.My dad showed me years ago to tack weld a piece of log chain to the axle shaft if you can reach it.You can use the length of chain to sort of snap the axle out of the housing.
    I have also learned how to weld gas tanks.We drained them and then put a piece of hose from an exhaust pipe in it.Let the other vehicle run until the tank "sweats".The carbon monoxide kills the gas fumes and is non flammable.I dont suggest anyone try it without checking it out first.Its always worked for me.
    Starting fluid or brake clean works well to find out if you have a vaccum leak as well.Just spray it around the suspected area.If its leaking the engine speeds up.
    I have stripped some smaller copper wire and used the single strands to hold gaskets in place until I got the part in place.
  12. KrisKustomPaint
    Joined: Apr 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    Best tip I ever learned was if you've got a sheet metal screw thats striped out like for a door panel or other interior trim screw, take a cotter pin and stick it in the hole. Leave one leg on the side of the sheet metal you can see and the other end through the hole. Keeps you from having to use some giant screw that wont match the others and its a quick fix that works great.
  13. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091


    Over the years many folks have taught me many tricks of the trade. One easy way of checking rear end gear ratios while installed in car. raise one wheel off ground and one person rotate the wheel 2 times and the second count the drive shaft revs. one wheel turn on lock or posi units.. I use bank deposit bags and fill with lead shot. cheap shot bag. I form metal around old car seat that way you have a little give . another metal form trick is use a stump or log while forming metal.. one of my favorites is use a wheel barrow when reworking a fire wall this is cheap ald gives lots of room for set back. I will add some more later..
  14. Bullington
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 295

    1. Northwest HAMBers

    In a pinch and need to paint wheels with the tires still on. Take dish soap and wipe the tires down, let it set a bit.

    Paint the wheels...let paint dry...then wash off the soap and overspray..
  15. second_time_around
    Joined: Jan 11, 2010
    Posts: 108

    from Ohio

    sounds like the blind leading the blind
  16. krackerjack88
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 1,247

    from Fresno,Ca

    Well... I Blew a heater hose the other night on my way to the pool hall. So I pulled into a parking lot. Now I only have my end wrenches and sockets with me this night. So I'm sittin there trying to think of how I'm going to keep water in it for the ride home. A couple guys I went to high school with happen to be at the same place that night. After calling all the parts stores looking for a barbed fitting to bypass the heater. One of my old buddies ask if I have a deep socket... I grab a 1/2" deep socket and shove both ends of the 2 hoses onto it, wrap it up with some duct tape and BAM. Ready for a 10 mile drive. Filled it up with water at the Shell and didn't leak one time on the way home. I thought it was PRETTY GOOD FOR A MIDNIGHT IDEA!
  17. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,033

    from California

    lefty loosey, righty tighty
  18. Use camper jacks to lift a car body off a frame... nuff said
  19. i used to weld a bead on bearing races and it worked great, then one day i was doing it inside a final drive a dozer and noticed the weld spatter was getting stuck to other gears and other places i didnt want damaged, so the next race i removed i heated with a torch until it turned blue, let it cool and it came out with my fingernails, have been using that for years and never not worked, also if any of you guys want find a weak spot in your hot rod bring it over and ill let my ol lady take it for a spin, 10,000 rpms means nothing to her, and a few of the cars she has wrecked are still at the junkyard never to be crushed. they are just sitting there as monunents of awe that the person walked away or even lived.
  20. holeshot
    Joined: Sep 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,519

    from Waxahachie

    MANDRILL...the best tip i ever got was. keep telling people your business, and pretty soon you wont have any...POP.
  21. strike a poser
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 399

    strike a poser
    from Salinas,CA

    If you're the new guy coming in and trying to make a name for yourself, you will. However it may not be one you would want to be called.
  22. The Mandrill
    Joined: Nov 11, 2009
    Posts: 191

    The Mandrill
    from Tulsa

    I say that almost every day, for probably the past 30 years.....
    Joined: Jan 18, 2010
    Posts: 77

    from tennessee

    remove stuck gaskets from aluminum by taping with a ballpeen hamer
  24. While at a multi day event NEVER CHEET ON RACE DAY !!! >>>>.
  25. Rusty Karz
    Joined: Feb 11, 2005
    Posts: 299

    Rusty Karz

    When I was a kid I spent an afternoon trying to put a new freeze plug in the block of a 58 Mercury. The hard one behind the motor mount. Boogered up a bag full and still didn't get one in right. My Dad came home took one of my freeze plugs and put it in the freezer untill he finished his dinner then took it out and popped it in the block and held it until it expanded. I was impressed, pissed, and educated in one operation.
  26. Unibodyguy
    Joined: Dec 23, 2007
    Posts: 403


    The freeze plug trick in the fridge also work got when installing a new ring gear on a flywheel. I always would put the flywheel in the freezer the night before, and the ring gear would go on very easy the next day.

  27. strike a poser
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 399

    strike a poser
    from Salinas,CA

    Is'nt that's why they call them freeze plugs? J.K.
  28. flynfrog
    Joined: Sep 19, 2009
    Posts: 65


    a ground set of needle nose plies makes a great snap ring tool. It wont bend like the stamped ones.
  29. pug man
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,010

    pug man
    from louisiana

    When filling small holes with a mig welder hold a piece of COPPER on the back side and the weld will not stick to it and it makes it easier to fill the hole......
  30. cruzingratiot
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 346

    from Detroit MI

    Bacon grease
    for tapping holes and as cutting oil when milling
    learned in the 1980s from a old machanist

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