View Full Version : Finding "Common" Items

08-08-2006, 04:02 PM
I am restoring a car in NYC and am having a lot of delays finding things that I would think should be quite simple.

Thermostat, Studs of any kind, SAE fine thread bolts, Dot 5 brake Fluid, Plastiguage etc. I was just wondering if others have had the same experience.

It has been 10 years since I have done a full restoration of a British car and this is the first time that I am restoring one in NYC.

I realize that here the stores mainly stock routine maintenance items, but was wondering if others have encountered this.


tony barnhill
08-08-2006, 04:53 PM
Not around my place!

08-08-2006, 05:05 PM
I don't have a shortage of sources, and NAPA is generally my "fallback" if the local independent fellas don't have what I need. Hard to fathom NYC is more inna "boonies" than where I am!

08-08-2006, 05:34 PM
Unfortunately, they only stock routine items and it gets very frustrating. I was just curious if anyone else experiences this.

Here is a pic of where I am presently at. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif

tony barnhill
08-08-2006, 06:09 PM
That's pretty - Jack, you watching?

08-08-2006, 06:19 PM
Looks like the engine is painted and installed... whatcha need plastigage for? Thermostats can usually be found by calling around to either the chain parts stores, or maybe a few mom n pop places. SAE fine thread bolts at the Lowes and/or Home Depot hardware section (grade 5 and 8 in various lengths and with or without shoulders). Dot5 (silicone) brake fluid can be bought at most of the chain stores, but they might have to order it for you (at worst 2 days delivery). Studs are best ordered through APE or someone that carries them (most local chain parts stores), but yes you'll have to order them for anything more exotic than a small block chevy.

Next /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jester.gif

08-08-2006, 06:38 PM


1. Plastiguage was to check the new rod bearing clearance. I did find a place after three weeks of seaching.

2. The Home Depot or most hardware stores do not stock SAE fine thread here.

3. Silicone break fluid is not stocked by chain auto parts here. I found a local place in a hispanic community who sold it.

4. Studs are not stocked here at all, they have the "help" rotisserise things here. This one I have not found, let alone SAE fine thread.

5. The thermostat on the BE is a low profile one (go figure), and they do not stock them here. Finding a '59 BE for them to order it for, we'll thats another story.

Oh yes and I forgot, no clevis pins or small trailer hitch pins that can be cut off are available.

Sorry if I am whining, I was just curious what others incur.

Thanks, all my friends!!!

08-08-2006, 06:40 PM
BTW, thanks Tony!

08-08-2006, 07:09 PM
Looks really nice, Patrick, I don't want the Tunebug to see it, or he'll get jealous. I've found a few things here locally, but only a few things. I have better luck n the big city (Salt Lake), about 40 miles away. Pretty much I get all my bits through Tony and learn patience. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

08-08-2006, 08:05 PM
Thanks Drew,

It has been 25 years of ownership and the second time around on GB. I know, since I drive out to Moss in NJ and pick stuff up.

It was just so much easier 20 some odd years ago in the country, but I didn't have friends like all of you. I also think that I am getting a bit more inpatient as the progress comes along and the summer is ending.

Here is another pic of the modified carbs, intake manifold (if you can see it) and wrapped header.

Thanks Again.

08-08-2006, 08:31 PM
Patrick, have you checked out any "fastener houses" in your area? "House of Threads" kinda places? There's gotta be more than one in the area. Forget Home Depot for fine-thread stuff, let alone studs of different lengths, etc... Have you got any good machine shops around you that you can "mecunicate" with to "win their hearts and minds"??!?!?! Those guys have sources you may be able to gain access to with some photos and a bit o' BS!

08-08-2006, 08:38 PM
Great advice Doc, I was going to suggest that or start checking with some of the small garages that still work on the older beaters and see where they get their parts from. NYC still has to have a good underground car culture given the automotive history associated with city. It's out there, just hiding. Maybe it moved to the Bronx or Queens.


08-08-2006, 08:46 PM
Just "inboard" of the Lincoln Tunnel there used to be a "ferrin car" repair shop... they had to get their parts from *SOMEPLACE* nearby!

08-08-2006, 08:59 PM
Thanks, Doc

Very few machiners here they use junk yard engines, "ferrin" guys want the work, yea right. I will look for a fastner house.


08-08-2006, 09:05 PM
Patrick!! I ain't tryin' to be a smartarse! It's been YEARS since I've been near NYC, but I gotta think there's SOME resources still there for folks who're actually ~fixing~ things. Head for the shipyards and boat houses! They still have to actually WORK on things, yeah?

08-08-2006, 09:15 PM
I sympathize with you. (I'm in a rural area, but it appears that the problems are similar.) I've managed to find sources for most things I need but I really have to plan ahead and make heavy use of mail order (via the net), eBay, and overseas vendors.

For most fasteners, I've found a couple of industrial supply places where I can get almost any bolt/nut/screw/washer - very high quality, most sizes & threads, and priced by the pound. However, each trip costs me about 3 hours so I have to stockpile the stuff myself. Our local NAPA has things like Plastigauge, or will order it overnight. Their list prices are high but it's not hard to get at least 30 off from them if you have part numbers ahead of time etc.

Some things I get from the net - small, specialized things mostly. I've found a few large independent hardware stores with huge fastener stocks and a couple even offer bar stock - brass, aluminum, steel, and some plastics so I can sometimes make what I need. Again, I usually have to spend a half day to get to one. We have Home Depot & Lowes but I seldom get anything I can use from them. Same with the large car parts chains except for NAPA.

Some of the aggie places (e.g. Tractor & implement dealers) are very helpful, but probably hard to find in NYC. I have several friends with commercial shops who help, but again - it's a trek.

I have a good British car place about 3 hours south in New Hampshire. They're a Moss dealer and will mail. I also have several Internet guys I use for things I can't find elsewhere like Hylomar and similar.

My biggest problem is that I can only get things by mail. UPS, Fedex, et al won't deliver because of our road. A neighbor a few miles away will receive things for us but I hate to impose too often.

It's ironic. When I was a kid, NYC was THE place to go for "foreign car" parts. We frequently went down there. I don't remember all the places (was Inskip there?) but one was Hoffman Motors, mostly for BMW parts, and we once went to Luigi Chinettis for a single valve for someone's 4 cylinder Ferrari. ($50! Robbery!)

I don't know what to suggest, other than research and then some carefully planned trips to suppliers outside the "City".

08-08-2006, 09:17 PM
Thanks Doc,

Np, for the time being it it easier for me to go to Moss in NJ. It just seems frustrating when the locals should stock.

No Worries, and many thanks,

08-09-2006, 11:19 AM
We fortunately have a coupla' great hardware stores-- the kind with regular bins full of common nuts and bolts plus a zillion of those great little bins and drawers with "special" stuff. The guys that staff one of the stores, I swear, are all older than 65 except for the cashiers and stock boys. You can go there a brouse or if you're trying to adapt/make something to create a part they seem to get a kick out of helping with suggestions. Sometimes I'll go in just to get something routine and end up talking with one of the guys for twenty minutes about some part or tool or just the ol' days.

08-09-2006, 02:21 PM
Hay Pat, I just can't resist. The coil mount strap is not supose to be painted.

Whoo Hooo, looks great though, may Miss Agatha look as good.

08-09-2006, 02:25 PM
And you forgot its mounted in the wrong place hehehe

08-09-2006, 02:28 PM
Well, not knowing what year and serial # that is I gave you the benefit. Anyway it has always seemed more appropiate where you have it. Mine will be there as well. LOL

08-09-2006, 03:21 PM
# 17,570 its wrong, hehehe

At least I will be in good company /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

08-09-2006, 03:41 PM
For those hard to find hardware items and other arcane bits, I've always found them at McMaster. (https://www.mcmaster.com/) Their web site is extremely easy to use and find what you're looking for. It literally walks you through the process. Just start with something generic like "hex bolt" or "clevis pin". I'm sure they carry plasti-gage also. No auto thermostats though. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hammer.gif

Also, most of their stuff gets shipped out of New Jersey, so you would get it in a day.

BTW, for you Triumph guys out there, McMaster carries those caged weld nuts that are prevalent on the body panels. Yes, in 1/4-28 among a lot of other sizes. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif


08-09-2006, 04:50 PM
the only thing I seem to be having trouble finding lately is a stupid nyloc nut for my manual choke converted ZS carb. I have a normal nut that threads onto the shaft just fine. But everytime I take it in to a store to find the same size nut I always end up with a nut that does not fit. The first place I went to the nut threaded fully onto some metric size, so I got that size but the new nut wouldn't thread onto the carb (surprise). The second attempt the nut threaded completely and effortlessly onto a 1/4 - 20 size, so I got that size nuts and THOSE won't fit either.

08-09-2006, 04:55 PM
I am restoring a car in NYC and am having a lot of delays finding things that I would think should be quite simple.

[/ QUOTE ]
Perhaps you need to move to a less affluent area where it is common to see a person working on a partially disassembled car in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

BTW.....I have heard that in some communities, it is against the rules to work on a car in your OWN driveway. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nonod.gif

08-10-2006, 12:07 AM
the only thing I seem to be having trouble finding lately is a stupid nyloc nut

[/ QUOTE ]
Hi Rob,
Try Luky's Hardware on Burbank Blvd. 1 block West of Hollywood way. South side of the street.

08-10-2006, 12:12 PM
hmmmm... Burbank BLVD, eh? There seems to be a bunch of them 'hole in a wall' type places on that street... my favorite muffler shop is on that street across from Costco. There's some electronics shop great for obscure components on that street too... not sure the name of it, but my friend showed it to me a while back when we were looking for odd parts that none of the "major" electronics/electrical component chains carry.

08-10-2006, 09:14 PM
That's Electronic City. On the North side of the street another block farther away from Hollywood Way. https://www.planetsmilies.com/smilies/character/character0129.gif

08-10-2006, 11:09 PM
I used to have a shop here that sold every electronic part you could think of... and several you didn't know existed... I sold him my old 1940's Westinghouse catalog for $100... He more collected stuff than sold it. The building is now a vacuum cleaner repair shop.

08-11-2006, 11:54 AM
this place had zip ties large enough to zip tie two humans together with a single zip tie... oh the trouble you could get into with a handful of those things... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif