Crammond Automotive Specialities

"Specializing in the repair and conservation of European Cars"

Club Articles

Little (Yet Important) Things - Thoughts from a "Carguy"

Posted on September 27, 2010 at 12:40 AM



Today, in a moment of frustration standing if front of a not so aptly named “service counter”, I realized that there is a secret set of items that those who chose this as a hobby should have –items which are very rarely promoted.

1) Thread gages – Standard, Whitworth and Metric.

Why would you need all three? Because most cars have a mixture of whatever falls to hand when the mechanic/ previous owner put that item back on the car. Having a thread gauge will allow you to know what type and pitch the fastener is so that you can be assured that you are getting the right piece and not some ones best guess.

2) Torque Wrenches – Inch pounds and Foot Pounds, 3/8 & 1/2


In an ideal world all hobbyist socket sets would come with these. Students often ask me why we torque fasteners when some shops do not. The answer is always that it is best to tighten to factory torque and assure that the component is adequately tight. Also, proper Torque is better that the German “titenuf” or the Swedish “gudentyt” and much better than the Canadian “broken”.

3) A Pen and a Note Pad

Okay, now you think I have “slipped a cog” but bear with me.

The notepad will allow you to write down any repairs, odd noises, sights smells and make shift repairs that you may have made while out for a drive. I was talking to a fellow in another club recently who had to rebuild a switch on the side of the road with two rocks (honestly), chances are that if he does not replace that switch within the month, he will soon forget and later wonder why his switch is flaky. Writing both the good and the bad down allows you to have a complete picture of what is happen to the car at any given time.

4) An L.E.D. Keychain Light.

You can find them at most dollar store counters and, if I am honest, they are just as good as the $40 pen lights. Not only will you be able to see inside the smallest of components, you will always have a light on you to check any area of you car that may be of concern. Think of it as a “mini trouble light” that you always have on you.

5) A Keychain just for your Sports Car keys.

Often, we have a car come in for service and you can measure the weight if the keychain in pounds. If you think of your key as a lever (which it can be) and think of how you are amplifying the weight of the keys, you begin to realize how heavy keychain affect ignitions. Simply put, you are torqing both the tumbler and the switch. With just one or two keys, your ignition switch should last much longer.

On a separate note, I apologize if I have scared some of you into believing that the sky is falling. The sky is not falling but, it is true that I have bought an American car. One that weighs less than both the Turbo R and the SL (I do not “get it” either!), but is much bigger. So if at any club event you are looking for shade just park beside me.


- Scott

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