Top Ten Tools
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 94 00:50:32 PST
Subject: Top Ten Tools
Forwarded-by: vangogh.CS.Berkeley.EDU!bostic (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Richard Chapman <chapman@Eng.Auburn.EDU>
Forwarded-by: The Saab Network <SAAB@NETWORK.MHS.CompuServe.COM>
Here's a neat posting from the Volvo Net. Thought my fellow Saabers would
J. William Lam, Stockton, CA
There are only ten things in this world you need to fix any car, any
place, any time.
Forget the Snap-On Tools truck; it's never there when you need it.
Besides, there are only ten 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 one easy-to-carry
package. Sure, there's a prejudice surrounding duct tape in
concourse competitions, but in the real world everything from Le Mans -
winning Porsches to Atlas rockets uses 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-till-it-falls off
tool. The heavy artillery of your toolbox, 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,
alternators, and other squeaky items. Slicker than pig phlegm.
Repeated soakings of WD-40 will allow the main hull bolts of the Andrea
Dora 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 ten 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 peedle 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 nosy 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 India" emblem is not synonymous with the user's maiming.
6., Plastic Zip Ties: After twenty years of lashing down stray hoses
and wired 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 rewiring from a working
model of the Brazilian rain forest into something remotely resembling a
wiring harness. Of course, it works both ways. When buying used cars,
subtract $ 100.00 for each zip tie under the hood.
7. Ridiculously Large Standard Screwdriver With Lifetime Guarantee:
Let's admit it. There's nothing better for prying, chiseling, lifting,
breaking, splitting, or mutilating than a huge flat-bladed screwdriver,
particularly when wielded with gusto and a big hammer. This is also the
tool of choice for oil filters so insanely located 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 or your shop teacher said
- who cares? It's guaranteed.
8. Bailing Wire: Commonly known as MG muffler brackets, bailing wire
holds anything that's too hot for tape or ties. Like duct tape, it's
not recommended for concourse contenders since it works so well you'll
never replace it with the right thing again. Bailing wire is a
sentimental favorite in some circles, particularly with MG, Triumph,
and flathead Ford set.
9. Bonking Stick: - This monstrous tuning fork with devilishly pointy
ends is technically known as a tie-rod- end separator, but how often do
you separate tie-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 used 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 #1 above.
PRINTED COURTESY OF THE MORRIS MINOR REGISTRY
© 1994 Peter Langston