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What tools and spare parts do you always carry?


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We all want Ed’s hands and brains if any prewar cars breakdown on a drive. I struggled with a problem for two weeks he diagnosed and fixed the distributor in less than 15 minutes then set the points so well it decreased the running temp and increased the gas mileage by 2 miles per gallon. I would let him ride in the back seat instead of the trunk too. 
dave s 

Edited by SC38dls (see edit history)
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Change a tire in the driveway with just what you have in the car.  Be sure to drive it around the block and come back before putting the other tire back on.    This exercise will cover the tools necessary for one big issue.

 

Also:

 

1.   Oil

2.   Antifreeze

3.   A tow strap

4.  Obviously a fire extinguisher,   and if you really want to cover your bases Ed swears by these:

 

https://elementfire.com/

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Be sure the jack fits under the car with a FLAT tire……..don’t check it for clearance will the tires inflated……been there, done that. 🫣

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Be sure the jack fits under the car with a FLAT tire……..don’t check it for clearance will the tires inflated……been there, done that. 🫣

I recommend a bottle jack to lift the frame and a scissors jack to lift the axle, especially for rear wheels under "voluptuous" fenders such as on my 1934 Pierce.  Ask me how I know....

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12 hours ago, Grimy said:

I recommend a bottle jack to lift the frame and a scissors jack to lift the axle, especially for rear wheels under "voluptuous" fenders such as on my 1934 Pierce.  Ask me how I know....

And add a couple of 15-inch squares of plywood to position under those jacks...ask me about that too....

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You don't want to fill your trunk with spares and tools, but you need a few things just in case. Prepare for the most common, easily fixed situations and pack accordingly.

  • Tool kit. I have a flat folding tool kit I got from Lowe's that includes sockets and wrenches and a multi-tip screwdriver, to which I added a razor knife and a set of allen wrenches. 10x20x2 inches like a big book, so it slides into the trunk just about anywhere without taking up much room. Much better than a tool box.
  • Fan belt(s). Common failures and they don't take up much space.
  • Cap/rotor/points/condenser/coil/plugs. Again, small things that don't take up much room but are common issues on the road.
  • Quart of oil, gallon of coolant
  • Fuel line and spare hose clamps. Just a few feet, just in case.
  • Spare electric fuel pump. If you already have one on the car in addition to your mechanical pump/vacuum tank, you probably won't need it. If you don't, you might need it if your primary system goes south. Easy to install by the side of the road to get you home in a pinch. The Airtex pumps don't take up much room and are simple to install almost anywhere.
  • Jack and lug wrench. I have a small aluminum jack that works well and clears all our cars' frames. It doesn't weigh much, although it is oddly shaped and takes up a bit of space. Recently had a flat and we had a spare on board but no jack and had to call for assistance. Ugh.
  • One of those small electrical kits from the auto parts store. A few feet of wire, various connectors, and a set of electrical pliers. If you feel like you'll be doing some serious electrical troubleshooting on the side of the road, include a test light.

That list of stuff shouldn't take up much room in your trunk, beyond the jack and gallon of coolant. If you need more than that, you're calling a flatbed anyway. Prepare for the common things to go wrong, be ready to tackle issues as they arise, and don't fill the trunk with junk you'll never use. If your car is properly sorted and you've been driving it regularly, these things should all be placebos anyway. I take them mostly for good luck, but have never needed to repair anything by the side of the road beyond replacing a voltage regulator in a hotel parking lot, which required only a screwdriver.

 

Drive your car a lot. Fix whatever goes wrong. That's by far the best way to make it reliable for trips.

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1. Set of points

2. Screw driver to replace and set the points/cap removal  

3. 1 qt oil

4. Cellphone to call a tow if needed :(

5. A very small floor jack. I do not use a widow maker jack under any circumstances

6. St Christopher medallion on the visor. 

 

I'm pleased to say I have not had to use any of these parts or tools over the past 10 years.  Maybe the #6 item has something to do with it.     

 

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On 7/7/2022 at 1:34 AM, Matt Harwood said:

That list of stuff shouldn't take up much room in your trunk, beyond the jack and gallon of coolant. If you need more than that, you're calling a flatbed anyway.

Solid list, funnily enough storage space for rally’s is one of the reasons I picked the 22 cad 5 passenger. Original toolkit (with a modern hammer and some screwdrivers that were missing) and some sockets fit neatly in the boot in their original home. Electrical spares under the drivers seat take up about 1/3 of the space.

 

So that leaves all of the storage in the boot, under the rear seat and the flaps in the doors (and the boot is factory locked, as are the doors) very practical for rally’s 

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