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Basic toolbox

M

Member 10617

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Can anyone suggest, from past experience, what basic replacement items I should include in a toolbox to carry with me in a TR3 (or for that matter, any one of these roadsters)? So far I've had only one breakdown by the side of the road (a blown radiator hose), but that was a year ago. Surely my luck cannot last.

Thought for the day: A mechanic friend of mine told me that whatever I carry with me in spare parts will never be needed. It's the things I won't have with me that I'll need.
 

ArcticOne

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The following is from the NASS site earlier this year:

Re: >>NASS What tools are in your car?
From: Daniel Rotblatt <d.rotblatt@verizon.net>
To: nass@yahoogroups.com

-------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks all for the input. I put everything together so here are two lists. My choices in the first list, and the second list which includes all suggestions.

BASIC BOOT TOOK KIT:

Nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
- One set of wrenches (1/4 - 5/8)
- One set of socket wrenches (7/16 – 5/8) + one for spark plug (11/16?)
- One adjustable bolt stripper (wrench)
- Triumph lug wrench that also serves as a spark plug wrench.
- Pliers
Regular
Vice Grip (8”)
Needle nose
- Screwdriver (switchable flathead/phillips)
- BFS (also called BAS or Big Ass Screwdriver)
- Hammer
- Assortment of fine thread nuts and bolts.
Electrical
- Jumper cables
- General Stuff
test light
3' piece of wire with alligator clips on the ends
Small roll of electrical tape
Piece of emory cloth (to clean spark plug gaps or connections)
Fuses
- Replacement Parts:
Electrical
- Points, condenser
- Spark Plug
Fluid Systems
- A disposable plastic eyedropper (to squirt gas into the carb)
- Fluids:
Coolant
2 bottles of oil
1 gallon bottle of water
- Hoses
Some hose clamps (small and radiator size)
1 heater hose, the system can be bypassed in an emergency
Fuel Line
- Replacement Parts:
Cooling/Heating System
- Thermostat (they make 2 kinds fails open, fails closed, get the fails open)
- Inlet and outlet hoses for the radiator
- Generator/pump belt
Misc.
- Duct Tape
- A roll of SELF SEALING water hose tape that Moss sells
- JB Quick
- Since I don't have a spare, a can of that pressurized hole fixing stuff for flats
- And of course a cell phone on SPEED DIAL
- AA membership

THE FULL LIST! (a compilation):


Nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
- One set of wrenches (1/4 - 5/8)
- One set of socket wrenches (7/16 – 5/8) + one for spark plug (11/16?)
- Set of ignition wrenches
- One adjustable bolt stripper (wrench)
- Triumph lug wrench that also serves as a spark plug wrench.
- Pliers
Regular
Vice Grip (8”)
Needle nose
- Screwdriver (philips and flathead)
- BFS (also called BAS or Big Ass Screwdriver)
- Hammer
- Assortment of fine thread nuts and bolts.
Electrical
- Jumper cables
Instead of the jumper cables, replace it with an air -compressor/battery pack
- General Stuff
test light
3' piece of wire with alligator clips on the ends (don't remember what I used them for, but I remember they were handy)
Small roll of electrical tape
Piece of emory cloth (to clean spark plug gaps or connections)
Correct british fuses (won't go there in explanation members keep beating this one to death)
- Replacement Parts:
Electrical
- Cap and rotor
- Plug wires
- Add points, condenser and a spark plug (or spare parts for anything you have added to the ignition system)
- Spark Plug
- bulbs, headlight, taillight/TS, and brake.
Fluid Systems
- A disposable plastic eyedropper (to squirt gas into the carb)
- Fluids:
Coolant
2 bottles of oil
- Hoses
Some hose clamps (small and radiator size)
1 heater hose, the system can be bypassed in an emergency
Fuel Line
- Replacement Parts:
Fuel System:
- Fuel pump
- Extra fuel filter
- Accelerator cable (have one break and you are disabled they are cheap to carry)
Cooling/Heating System
- Thermostat (they make 2 kinds fails open, fails closed, get the fails open)
- Inlet and outlet hoses for the radiator (most of the cars that I have seen fail on british car tours are coolant related)
- Belt for Generator/pump
Misc.
- Duct Tape
- A roll of SELF SEALING water hose tape that Moss sells
- JB Quick
- Since I don't have a spare, a can of that pressurized hole fixing stuff for flats
- And of course a cell phone on SPEED DIAL
- AAA membership
 

PAUL161

Great Pumpkin
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And, possibly one of these! :devilgrin:

6.jpg
 

Geo Hahn

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There is a tendency to be prepared for the last breakdown rather than the next one. Actually I have had very few incidents -- more often it is others who end up using the stuff I carry along.

I maintain 2 sets of parts/tools/etc.

One is for when I am travelling within the 200-mile range that my AAA towing will bring me home (I keep a map with the 200-mile radius drawn on it, a pretty big area). In that kit I take things that I would be likely to fix along the road be it spare parts or a get-me-home fix (e.g. electric fuel pump, complete dizzy, coil, radiator hoses, fan belt, etc).

The 2nd set is added for trips outside the 200-mile circle and includes more time-consuming repairs that I might undertake in a motel parking lot (e.g. water pump, mechanical fuel pump, master cylinder rebuild kits, front wheel bearing, etc).

That said, the part that has let me down the most times is that little white/black wire from the coil to the dizzy -- 'easy fix' as ebay sellers like to say. Looking back, fuel pumps & points also come to mind as things that failed on the road. My worst incident was a leaking rear axle seal that got oil into the brake drums and caused the shoes to delaminate (500 miles from home). Nothing to be done but clamp off the rear brake line and drive.

Every year we go on a 1000+ mile weekend drive with assorted Brit cars from our area. Thus far no one in the group has had serious delay, in fact only 2 minor problems have occurred and both were exhaust systems easily repaired on the spot. Over the last three years that works out to around 30,000 car-miles of driving. It is good to consider some on-board things but preventative maintenance is your first line of defense.
 
OP
M

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George and others,

Many thanks for all the good information. I agree that preventive maintenance is the first line of defense.... and I am astounded at how many of my friends hereabouts dismiss that idea and say "Drive it till it stops, and then fix it."

Up till now, my kit has included (a) some radiator hoses and clamps, (b) my cell phone, (c) and my AAA card.

And speaking about AAA, which some may believe won't be of much help with these cars, here is my AAA story:

I was going up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped by the side of the road at the edge of a nearby town to check my radiator (which had been giving me some trouble earlier). I opened the hood, turned away for a moment (luckily), when the top radiator hose blew. I called AAA and they arrived soon after. I told the driver that I needed to be towed home because I didn't have a spare hose, to which he responded that there was an Advance Auto store nearby where I could get a hose. I explained that I needed a "special" hose for this kind of car, and he said a standard hose could be made to work. Convinced, I said OK and that I would walk to the store to get the hose. He insisted that he would go and get the hose himself. Soon he returned with a Chevy or Ford hose, took out his pocket knife and configured it exactly to my needs, put it on, added coolant, and said: "OK, you're good to go." When I asked him what I owed him, he said I only owed him for the hose and the antifreeze. Then, talking a little more with him, I discovered that he regularly works on British sports cars and transports them for people in this area. YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU WILL RUN INTO! Later, my mechanic asked me where I had gotten the new hose and said that it was far superior to anything produced by Moss or TRF because it was the old-fashioned reinforced kind of hose.
 

Don Elliott

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I don't use a tool box in my 1958 TR3A when I'm travelling. I bought about 8 of those bags which kids use to keep their pencils in - at the dollar store. The 2 red ones contain all the bits I might need related to elecrical things - the blue one is for the fuel and SU carb bits, one is for wrenches, one for sockets, one for screwdrivers and pliers - well you get the picture.

I place these in my trunk every time I am driving my TR. They don't take as much space as a tool box. Also you can ruin your sidecurtains and top (even if you store them in these vinyl bags to keep them un-bruised) when they have to sit on the top corner of your big red tool box. Oh, some of you say you put your tool box on top of the sidecurtains. That's the quickest way to ruin them and the longest way to try to get them out the trunk when you get hit by a sudden rain storm.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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LexTR3 said:
and said that it was far superior to anything produced by Moss or TRF because it was the old-fashioned reinforced kind of hose.
If it did not have the bellows section as the originals did; then you are running a risk of cracking the radiator. The engine moves on it's mounts and a straight-wall hose will transmit too much of that force to the radiator fitting.

BTDT, now I use an original style hose and keep a spare in the center of the spare tire. They don't last forever, but I've never had one fail that was less than 10 years old.
 

TR4

Jedi Knight
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Where is the McGyver in ya?

Some dental floss and a box of paper clips should do it.....
 

M_Pied_Lourd

Darth Vader
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fogot the duct tape :smile:

Cheers,
M. Pied Lourd
 

DNK

Great Pumpkin
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Frank, how festive you are today.
Got any of that stuff in your front yard?
 

Mychael

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I used to carry lots of stuff on my travels but now I look at it this way, if something big breaks then no amount of tools or parts could realistically fix it on the side of the road.
We don't carry spares for our modern cars (as a rule) so why bother with our older cars, if we keep up the service intervals and replace hoses and points (if you have them)then we should no more expect a failure on them then we would on a modern car.

There are some provisos to this however, a lot of reproduction parts we get these days are unreliable rubbish, use them at your peril. I had an original water pump rebuilt and it's been perfectly reliable as it should be, unlike the repro one I tried which failed after only 5,000k.

I carry basic tools, some electrical wire, simple circuit tester, fuses and connectors, spare bulbs. WD40 and gaffer tape. I do have a spare fan belt and rad hoses tucked away in the spare wheel compartment but more for storage then expecting I'll have to use them.

Mike
 

Perrymip

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I'm shocked that no one is recommending Triumph's tool roll...and, then, I think, there was a "touring kit" you could rent for continental travel (with lots of Lucas, Girling, and AC boxes tucked in).
 

Mychael

Senior Member
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The other thing I've found is that (expertise notwithstanding) very few places actually carry the parts in stock to get you going again. So say your original generator has stopped doing it's thing or worse the Lucas black box let all the smoke out then you could be stuck simply because they won't have the parts needed to make a repair.
It's one of the reasons I swapped over to a modern Bosch alternator with voltage reg and Bosch distributor and modern electric fuel pump. I've greatly improved my chances of them being able to be repaired away from home then if I hand the shop something first made over 50yrs ago.

Whilst I aknowledge you loose something of the classic car expereince if you make it too modern and sterile given the choice I'd rather be having the expereince of having trouble free trips.
 

DrEntropy

Great Pumpkin
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Me Ol' Fella once asked me why I'd carry a full toolbox in the MG, when if it DID break on a journey, a combo 1/2-9/16 box-end, two screwdrivers and a pair of Channel Locks could disassemble the WHOLE CAR. If it couldn't be fixed well enuff with those items aboard to continue on it likely would need towin' anyway. Took me a few years to winnow the kit down, but by now his advice has borne out to be true more often than not.

Fix it right, in the garage, and drive it in-between. They usually talk to you, so if anything is gonna fail it will almost always notify you it needs attention before it fails catastrophically.
 

TR3driver

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Mychael said:
So say your original generator has stopped doing it's thing or worse the Lucas black box let all the smoke out then you could be stuck simply because they won't have the parts needed to make a repair.
Actually, you can go a long way without a generator or control box. With the headlights off and a reasonably healthy battery, you should have no problem driving for many hours on just the battery. Then stop at almost any service station (even Wal-Mart) and get the battery charged. If it's dark, disconnect one headlight and stop every couple of hours for a charge.

That is, assuming the generator will still turn. If it locks up, you won't want to drive more than a few miles without making some provision for turning the water pump. I've limped home with an American car just by tying a rope around the pulleys, never had to try it with a TR. Or you could always try the old "panty hose" trick.

And it's surprising what you can do on the side of the road, if you know how and have nothing better to do. I recall many years ago my wife sitting in the shade of a tree while I removed the generator and made a temporary repair of the rear bearing using a McD's drink cup I found along the side of the road. It lasted long enough to get home!

BTW, even if you run the original mechanical pump, you can still press an electric into service if the mechanical fails. I carry a little electric with me, even though the original has never let me down (other than a few leaks). Even low pressure electric pumps are getting hard to find at the corner FLAPS and I occasionally drive where there are none within reasonable distance (nor cell phone coverage, for that matter).
 

Don Elliott

Obi Wan
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Randall is correct.

In 2000 I was driving from Montreal to VTR in Portland, Oregon. I was in Yellowstone National Park in my 1958 TR3A behind Gary Altwasser in his TR3A. My generator stopped charging. We swapped batteries and I drove all the way to Portland (2 days of day-time driving) on Gary's battery while he re-charged mine. I made it to the event where the first person I met there was Bob Reinhold from Laguna Hills in So. Calif. He sold me his spare generator for $50.00 and I used it for about 5 years after that.

The total for that trip was over 7,250 miles.
 

Mychael

Senior Member
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Randell and Don, you are both correct. I have in fact taken a spare battery with me to enable me to go to a day rally I really wanted to attend and my original charging system had gone belly up.
Having said that I'm thinking more in the context of extended trips away alone with no other TR people around and no club destination in sight for days.

If you run a bit of modern stuff, mainly electrical you improve your odds.

Mike
 

TR3driver

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Don Elliott said:
He sold me his spare generator for $50.00 and I used it for about 5 years after that.
And I believe that was the first time we met, Don. You were looking rather tired and frazzled, and cradling your old generator like it was a baby. It's a shame I didn't have a camera!
 
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