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Triumph TR6 - Most valuable tool

Question for all those doing a full restoration,

Whats your most useful tool to date, and if money was no object, or you were on Santas good list, what tool would you get next?

Happy HOHO
Ken Jackson

My Wifes support...ran out at the end of the last project!
Bob Craske

Hmmm. That question could go either way.. But I'll keep it clean. A Hammer!!

I did a resto on my TR6 and what I thought was going to be my most useful tool was my 60 gallon air compressor....barely used it except to blow dust off of things. I stripped all the paint off of the car with a drill motor and 80 grit sanding disks.

I think my engine hiost is my most useful tool since I have used it for many things besides hoisting my engine.

HP Henry Patterson

Mitch Smith

A cell phone, or on the practical side, Floor jack, Chassis stands and a 1/2 inch drive breaker bar with a good set of sockets,Harbour frieght sells a great set of impact deep sockets for a very low price

To everyone a Merry Christmas and note my new email address Clive
Clive Parker

A good torque wrench - and a clock that runs slow!
Roger H

I used a 4 1/2" angle grinder with flapper sanding
disc to clean the surface rust on the frame (not a
frame off restore). Hindsight, I should have done a
frame off, would have been much easier.
Joe S.

A CAMERA.........

If its a rustoration get a MIG welder for pannel repair/replacement. However, if you are doing all of the mechanicals, a hydraulic press will be the ticket for pressing off/on all those bearings and seals. A bead blast cabinet is also terrific as long as it is large... has an extractor... and um some serious air compressor helping it along... then a powdercoat gun for all those cleaned parts to be finished with...I must admit I have made my kids use the bead blaster extensively...even my ten year old daughter... I am so ashamed... but the car is looking great! ;0)

Best of the Season to all, Rob

A big exhaust fan to get rid of all the dust, nasty paint fumes, welding fumes, and help keep it cool in summer. Also a dolly to move the body around on.

Merry Christmas.

Most valuable I have. Miller Mig

Wish list a tig welder and the co-ordination to weld with it.

Merry Christmas to all...:)
Bill Brayford

Ken-If money was no object and the space was available, I would spring for a lift, maybe of the 4 post type.
Welcome back Bill Brayford.
Berry Price
BTP Price

You guys are right, forget the wife, I want a lift too and a nice heater for the garage.

merry xmas to all

Bob Craske

Bob, why would you put a heater in your garage? An air conditioner, I could understand, but a heater? Heck, it hardly ever gets under 80 in there as it is.

JL Bryan

A new back and knees
Hi Bill

Rick C
Rick Crawford

Everything so far is useful and necessary. A simple thing I use all the time is one of those small dual wire brush/grinding wheel setups. I've cleaned all sorts of parts to make then easier to inspect, paint and reassemble. It comes in handy cleaning the threads of bolts so that with a little oil they go back together much easier.
Mele Kaliki'maka!
JB Fetner

Actually, this board and the 6pack list is the most valuable tool or resource. It would be hard to find a repair or problem that other people haven't suffered through. Without it, every new owner would have to re-invent the wheel.
Berry Price
BTP Price


I only need a heater so that i can emulate southern TR owners working on their cars..

bob :-)
Bob Craske

I had a lot of MIG welding to do when I was restoring my 1958 TR3A between 1987 and 1990. On a business trip to Germany, I bought an electric "Power File" made in England by Black & Decker. A power file is like a belt sander. For doing floors, the belt may be 3" or 4" wide. On a power file, the belt can be 1/2" or 3/4" wide. It looks a bit like a machine gun (going through Heathrow, the X-ray machine detected it and drew all kinds of attention from security)and the open far end lets you get into any little corner to sand the weld smooth. The B & D unit worked quite well but was too weak for the job. On another trip to England, I visited the B & D repair shop in Slough where I bought a re-built electric power file, but it wore out very soon during the restoration of the TR3A that I'm doing now. So I bought a pneumatic powered Power File at Princess Auto (like Harbor Freight) which is driven by my 5 HP air compressor. This has to be one of the best tools I used to smooth out all the welded joints so they are flush and no concours judge can see that there was any rework done there. Harbor Freight show a couple : -

Don Elliott
Don Elliott

Don I know you can get very cheap tools from Harbour freight but when you are talking Air tools spend more money, The air file I have had for more than 10 years is Scandanavian 'Atlas Copco' It is 1 inch wide and has been a faithful friend for many rebuilds. All of Harbour Freight tools are from China and the Quality is crap, OK for things like Hammers,Impact sockets but not for tools that require a greater degree of precission Example my 2FT rule I bought to do some tiling last month is roughly straight but is 1/8 inch short and the wrenches are so soft that if you left them in the Florida sun for more than a few seconds they would melt!

So far it has been safety glasses, a vat of GoJo and a pack of BandAids.
Merry Christmas
Tom C

(Most useful): Swiss army knife.

(Cost no object): A lift, in a proper garage.

(Never happen): I always wanted to have a junkyard. Probably a prayer best unanswered. Maybe in the next life, in a developing country. (Not a tool at all, is it?)

Acually not a tool, but I nominate most useful item: Zip Lock bags, all sizes. Without them every screw, nut, washer, and miscellaneous part would have disappeared.

Walter Dobbins

Ken, I would buy the largest parts washer I could
afford and several gallons of varsol.
I did all my parts in an old turkey pan with a paint brush and paint thinner, I would never do it again.
Christopher T.

I would add a Sharpie Marker to Walter's Zip Lock bags. Chris, I well appreciate your wish. Fortunately at the shop I've been using to strip the TR-6 down, I have had a large parts washer...big enough to "wash" the undercoating from the outer wings. Did one front...should have done them all 'cause the soda blast guy spent 2X times getting the undercoating off the others for painting!@ Also had a smaller washer on which only relatively clean parts may be washed. All the crud, grease, dirt, etc has to be brushed away or cleaned off on the large washer before the smaller one may be brought into play. There I cleaned up the carbs, windshield wiper motor and other small items. So maybe you'd like 2 washers, one large enough to get the big really dirty stuff and one for precision cleaning.

What I'd REALLY like is some shop space of my own that don't have to put everything away or tote back home every time I use it!@!
Doug Baker

Your brain. It has to figure out just how much torque and in what sequence and amount of WD40 to apply to a rusted bolt(studs with rusty threads and a rusted on nut are a brain teaser too) and how long to let it soak so it comes loose but does not break. Then it has to figure out what to use to remove the remains of the broken bolt or nut cage. It has to figure out how to make that tool that is no longer available to remove that bushing or other pressed in fitting. It has to figure out a thousand other things including mechanical, electrical, fuel, upholstery, sewing, adhesive, lubrication, welding, corrosion, parts acquisiton, safe shop area, security, cleaning, priming, painting, financial, and wife/significant other relation problems.

All good answers to a fun kind of question,

Here are what I found to be some of my most used,

During tear down......

an impact driver, a breaker bar and a good set of sockets, and even a simple propane torch. And yes Chris, have to agree a parts washer.

During the body stripping.......

a good scraper and a small hammer to chip off the zeabart. I tried heating it first but that just made it too gooey. It chipped off much better dry and cold

With the price of bench top blaster cabinets so inexpensive, I recently picked one up but havent used it yet. It has been strongly advised to get a good vacuum system for it otherwise the cabinet becomes pressurized inside and not only is it difficult to see the items you are working on in all the swirling dust, but the dust blows out thru the gaps and you end up with it all over everything in your garage.
And one other tool I am always grabbing (yes besides the mastercard) is my electric die grinder and these really need sanding disks that twist onto a collet reciever. Great for taking off rough edges, rusty spots, old paint, bad casting lines flashing etc etc

Now that I am in the rebuilding phase....

a quality torque wrench, the internet, and this BBS.

Happy new year all

ken jackson

I've noticed a couple of mentions re "a good torque wrench"
I have a Husky(US made) non-dial type,0 to 150 lbs/ft
one which I've had since 1970. Is this considered a "good" torque wrench or does it have more value as a museum piece?

I'll side with Rick O.... new back and knees. I was going to add a bit of single malt, but Santa (aka Doug Baker) showed up with a really nice stocking stuffer! Helps numb the back and knees?!?!

Rod Nichols

Hi Dennis

Nothing wrong with that wrench. All need calibration. An old bar type like yours is likely more accurate calibrated than many of the new ones.

Happy New Year
Bill Brayford

Thanks for the feedback, but how is the wrench
re-calibrated and by whom?

Check the local phone listings for a Calibration or Metrology Lab service. I'd be very surprised if you do not have such a service locally. Your wrench need simply be compared to a "C" or "Field" level standard which is traceable to a Primary reference standard. Any differential in the values obtained from your wrench and the standard will be noted and adjustment made to come back into tolerance if out. The Primary Reference Standards in the US are housed, maintained etc by the National Standards Bureau in Maryland (I think). Secondary or "field" level standards are distributed throughout the country, but are periodically checked against the Primary standard.
Doug Baker

It is the Rick C with the need for new back and knees. The other Rick (O) is much too young to have these problems.
Ken a big mother garage and a full lift.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

If you have Snap-On tool trucks that call on local car dealers and repair shops, they usually know how to get torque wrenches re-calibrated. If catching one of the trucks is difficult, most mechanics have the phone number fairly close at hand!
Good Luck..
Rod Nichols

Thanks for the info.,I'll check with my local mechanic who fixes my 16 year-old Nissan.

This thread was discussed between 22/12/2005 and 10/01/2006

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