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Shop Tips and Tricks

  #1  
Old 12-26-2016, 05:29 PM
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Default Shop Tips and Tricks

So I thought I'd start a thread not specific to any vehicle, but just shop tips and tricks that we could share with each other. I couldn't find a thread specific to this after a cursory search, so I thought I'd start one. Moderator of course feel free to delete or move this thread if it is redundant or there is a better location. This thread should be just things you've picked up over the years working on autos whether the idea is original to you or not. We have people that are just getting into working on their Blazers and other vehicles. So the way I see it, no trick or tip is too small. You don't have to list only a tip that will change the world. As an example of a tip, there is the one about wedging a small piece of paper (or shop towel) between a socket and a bolt (or nut) that you are installing to hold it in the socket when you are trying to install it in a location that the bolt would fall out of the socket if you didn't balance it just so to put it in the hole (or on the bolt). That one works every time and is very useful.

I'll start. One of the most useful things I have found concerns lighting up the area you are working on. Whenever I'm working on my autos I wear a welding cap and a headlamp. That way I always have the area where I am looking lit up. Simple, not original, but when I go in my garage I put my welding cap on, the headlamp my cheater glasses and I'm ready to go.

Share the wealth folks, some of the most simple things can even help the most experienced out. To make things easier to look thru, title your reply and offer only one tip per reply (of course reply as often as you like).
 

Last edited by rockp2; 12-26-2016 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 12-27-2016, 04:23 PM
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Default Mark Your Trail

I keep a roll of orange trail marking ribbon in my tool box to mark my trail. Besides taking pictures on the more in depth disassembling, whenever I disconnect something such as a sensor or even the plug for the hood light, I tie about a 6" piece of ribbon to the disconnected part. That way when I think I'm done a quick glance in the engine compartment easily identifies if I forgot to reconnect or reinstall something.

I like the trail ribbon better than tape because it is much more brighter and is very easy to take off compared to tape. If needed you can also write on it with a Sharpie. And it is reusable. I have a container that holds all the pieces I've previously used so I can reuse them. So, it's much cheaper than tape also. Though there are things that require I use tape.
 
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:10 AM
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Mapp gas torch, breaker bar
 
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:10 AM
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Zip ties
 
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by newguy View Post
Zip ties
YES!

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Old 12-28-2016, 12:50 PM
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If you start to get angry because it seems like NOTHING is going as planned. Go inside, grab a beer, sit on the couch while swearing and think of how at that point you would love to see it burning in the street. Finish the beer, take a deep breath and go back at it.
 
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:28 PM
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Newguy's quote reminded me when I first got my 2000 I put zip ties on the inside of the wheel center caps where they lock on the lug nuts. They were too easy to pry off and now they're tight.
 
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by richphotos View Post
If you start to get angry because it seems like NOTHING is going as planned. Go inside, grab a beer, sit on the couch while swearing and think of how at that point you would love to see it burning in the street. Finish the beer, take a deep breath and go back at it.

LOL! Yep! Been there, done that!
 
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Old 12-29-2016, 02:47 PM
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Default Front Brake Calipers

Posting this one because I have mentioned it to two people this week at two different times and I got the "I never thought of that" look. So in the spirit of helping those new to working on vehicles: When working on front brakes, you'll find it much easier if after you have raised the auto, turn your steering wheel fully to one side and lock in that position to give you easier access to the caliper guide pins and caliper mount mounting bolts. Then turn fully to the other side when you work on the other side

If you find the caliper mount mounting bolts are difficult to remove, it's easier to use a 1/2" breaker bar and a shallow socket and the give the breaker bar a good kick with your heel to break the bolt loose. Of course make sure you've set up the socket and breaker bar in a way that the socket sits firmly and squarely on the bolt. I also give them a couple squirts of PB Blast when needed. A second way is if you have a pipe or something to extend the lever action of the breaker bar...but personally, I always just kick
use "leg action". Always breaks free for me with one good kick and have never rounded off the bolt head.
 
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:56 PM
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My favorite trick is time. When I can't get something off, I spray the hell out of it with some sort of penetrant and then go do something else for several hours or better yet, go to bed for the night.

I used to be all about Liquid Wrench then I tried the CRC Freeze Off. It penetrates AND chills the parts so that that oxidation/rust cracks. I haven't tried PB Blaster much yet but I have already learned it is much messier than the Freeze Off.

Chrisitne
 

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