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Special tools for LBC'S

Michael Oritt

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A few days ago Crispy posted a query about how to remove the exhaust manifold on his BJ8 as he was having problems accessing some of the nuts, etc. and the conversation got around to the occasional need for "special" tools to reach certain fasteners and parts, etc. We will all probably have the need for such a tool sooner or later and while I don't want to further hijack the topic and I think it is worthy of a thread of its own, so here is a submission:

I am attaching a pic of the "Special Wrench" made from a standard Craftsman 7/16" combination wrench used to tighten the "Float Chamber Fixing Bolt" on the front SU HS6 carburettor on my Elva Courier. While this bolt is easily accessed when the carbs are off the car and on a bench the bolt only seems to loosen up on race weekends, and getting my hands in between the carbs is difficult when they are mounted up to the engine. Access to the bolt head is made almost impossible because it is shrouded by the rigid line running from the bottom of the bowl to the carb body.

A few years back, after having spent a couple of frustrating/painful hours between sessions trying to tighten the bolt from under the car while dodging around a hot exhaust manifold, etc I took a few minutes heating/grinding/bending on a wrench and came up with the pictured tool. Now, presto-chango I can get to that pesky bolt head from alongside the car merely by removing an air cleaner.

I'm sure many of you will have similar contributions.
 

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steveg

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Apologies for the slight hijack...

A While back I noticed with adjustable spanners if you take the wrench size in eighths of an inch, that's how far the wrench will open: for example, a 6" wrench will open 6/8" or 3/4".

screenshot.1688.jpg
 
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A few days ago Crispy posted a query about how to remove the exhaust manifold on his BJ8 as he was having problems accessing some of the nuts, etc. and the conversation got around to the occasional need for "special" tools to reach certain fasteners and parts, etc. We will all probably have the need for such a tool sooner or later and while I don't want to further hijack the topic and I think it is worthy of a thread of its own, so here is a submission:

I am attaching a pic of the "Special Wrench" made from a standard Craftsman 7/16" combination wrench used to tighten the "Float Chamber Fixing Bolt" on the front SU HS6 carburettor on my Elva Courier. While this bolt is easily accessed when the carbs are off the car and on a bench the bolt only seems to loosen up on race weekends, and getting my hands in between the carbs is difficult when they are mounted up to the engine. Access to the bolt head is made almost impossible because it is shrouded by the rigid line running from the bottom of the bowl to the carb body.

A few years back, after having spent a couple of frustrating/painful hours between sessions trying to tighten the bolt from under the car while dodging around a hot exhaust manifold, etc I took a few minutes heating/grinding/bending on a wrench and came up with the pictured tool. Now, presto-chango I can get to that pesky bolt head from alongside the car merely by removing an air cleaner.

attachment.php


I'm sure many of you will have similar contributions.
That's a BEAUT, Michael!

I've seen the size of your hands (heaven help anyone that's ever been tagged by one) which makes me wonder how in the world you ever got involved with working on pesky LBCs. One of Sue's fully grown nephews has hands that are about 3/4's the size of mine__and mine AREN'T BIG__but I'd sure like to swap with him at times!

Not just for LBCs, but I like to keep my files sharp in tubes:

View attachment 58690
That's a REALLY GOOD IDEA!

I have__at last count__four hundred four (404) files**, and I just keep them in a lined tool cabinet drawer. The smaller ones (sometimes called riflers) are in cigar boxes. I try not to bang them around too much, but they are not protected like yours.

Interesting tidbit__you can look it up__is that you can sharpen files by putting them in muriatic acid for a while; it will bring the teeth back to sharp points. However, don't forget about them, or they will dissolve!

Having a shop equipped with (small) lathe and milling machines, plus multiple welding processes, I've made and accumulated quite a few one-use tools in my lifetime. I've thought before about spreading them out for a photo-op, maybe this thread encourage me to do that! Mine include a variety of modified tools for BMW use too. For example, getting a set of aftermarket headers on or off a 3.2 Ltr I-6 BMW engine requires a variety of 11mm tools, sockets and drive accessories...

i.php


The two (2) wrenches at bottom-right have deviations from their as-produced shape (the open-end is bent about 35-40* at the head). I've found the use of an induction heating coil to give far better results when reshaping tools; precise control of heat concentration location, and doesn't alter surface finish__except color__like an open flame does.

I made this one to get the flywheel/clutch nut off a neighbors Ferrari 355

i.php


IMG_9704-la.jpg






** I inherited a great many jeweler's, needle & rifler files from my wife's sister-in-law's mother, after her husband, a GM-career pattern-maker, passed away. I got almost as many polishing stones & end-mills; it was a nice score, and his tools are still in regular use.
 
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Michael Oritt

Michael Oritt

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Randy Forbes Said: "I've seen the size of your hands (heaven help anyone that's ever been tagged by one) which makes me wonder how in the world you ever got involved with working on pesky LBCs."

You know what they say, Randy: Big Hands, Big Gloves....
 
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Michael Oritt

Michael Oritt

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And everyone knows that you can sharpen razor blades with a pyramid.
 

dklawson

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I have several custom/homemade tools for the Mini. I have slide hammer adapters for various things, front seal centering disks, piloted reamers, bearing pullers....

Recently I was told about a tool that I liked so much I made a copy of it. The tool holds the head of a bolt (and I suppose it could be used to hold a nut). It's a simple holder that lets you reach into difficult locations to get the bolt through a hole.

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/udkAAMXQHPFRgsan/s-l1600.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

I made my tool out of a strip of perforated pipe hanger strap from the home center and a piece of flat spring steel pop riveted to it to secure the bolt head.
 

steveg

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I have several custom/homemade tools for the Mini. I have slide hammer adapters for various things, front seal centering disks, piloted reamers, bearing pullers....

Recently I was told about a tool that I liked so much I made a copy of it. The tool holds the head of a bolt (and I suppose it could be used to hold a nut). It's a simple holder that lets you reach into difficult locations to get the bolt through a hole.

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/udkAAMXQHPFRgsan/s-l1600.jpg


I made my tool out of a strip of perforated pipe hanger strap from the home center and a piece of flat spring steel pop riveted to it to secure the bolt head.

Doug - am interested, but do you have a clearer picture?
 
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Doug - am interested, but do you have a clearer picture?
You can get them store-bought from Aircraft Spruce.

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/topages/boltgrip.php?clickkey=3263388
12-00628b.jpg


Speaking of slide-hammer adapters, I threw this together to pull the oil pump body out of the overdrive

IMG_3193.jpg


IMG_3204.jpg


I had to mill this Allen socket down to fit these odd (BSW?) plugs on the side-shift xmsn case. These openings were used in sedans with RHD steering-column gear-change setup.

IMG_3400.jpg


Came across this, if anybody's interested in the difference between dipsticks

IMG_2221-me.jpg


An assortment of tubes and blocks for press setups

IMG_7029.jpg


IMG_7038.jpg


IMG_7045.jpg


IMG_7046.jpg


I made this plate so I could tighten the nut on the output flange

IMG_7061.jpg


IMG_7062.jpg


These simple studs were made by threading some 3/16" rod; they're used to guide the oil pump body back into the ovd case

IMG_7074.jpg


IMG_7075.jpg


IMG_7078.jpg


Sometimes, tools are simple; Ty-Wraps used to compress the cast-iron ring packs on the early style ovd operating pistons. They are far less forgiving on assembly compared to the later O-ring type pistons

IMG_7120.jpg


Ty-Wraps again

IMG_7150.jpg
 

steveg

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Tenax lifter made from yard sign wire; squeeze to lift button:

screenshot.1691.jpg


Gas tank dipstick measurements. Source: filling levelled spare straight tank with water:

screenshot.1692.jpg


Using a 2" diameter (Meltonian shoe spray) cap to push snap ring onto Jag caliper dust seal:

CapRingInstallerJag.JPG
 

roscoe

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I won't bother to post pictures but regarding the slide hammers, I have welded a nut that threads onto the shaft of the hammer to the adjuster knurled end of a pair of vise grips so I can clamp on to anything the grips can clamp to to give a yank. I also just put a PK screw on the end of the slide hammer to remove a garloc type seal. Just drill a small hole ( collect the chips cerefully if you are working in-situ) thread the sheet metal screw into the hole and attach to the slide hammer of your choice. Often pops the seal out with one hole but you can do it around the circumference if needed.

I was overjoyed to see a Harbor Freight store near me when it opened. I have no problem buying quality tools if needed but there is nothing like buying a cheap wrench with the intent of welding, bending or grinding it to suit a purpose. Then you can give it to a friend and never see it again.
 

red57

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Great topic, I'm learning useful new tips. I really like the Tenax lifter, my fat fingers have trouble sometimes in rainy conditions & that tool would be the cats meow - I'll be making one of those..
I too have the obligatory modified carb wrenches & other small altered tools. A little less common but very useful is my degree wheel adaptor hub that also doubles as a centering jig for the front timing cover - easier to get all the bolts in than using a front pully (also sized to be an easy slide fit onto the crank by hand).
IMG_1902.jpgIMG_1904.jpg
Then there is my park plug modified into positive piston stop
IMG_1903.jpg
 
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Michael Oritt

Michael Oritt

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Should you need to pull a rear hub you can use your axle as a puller.

1. Carefully pry the axle free from the housing tube using a small flat screwdriver between the flange and the face of the hub and once you "break the seal" withdraw the flange and axle shaft from the axle housing.

2. After removing the Big Nut and tab washer, "reverse" the axle shaft and, using it as a handle, place the flange over the wheel studs.

3. For flat flanges such as those on Big Healeys you will need to create a spacer out of large nuts or fender washers, etc. that will go between the face of the flange and the end of the axle tube. The flange with the tapered "hat" shown in the attached thumbnail is a custom unit for my Courier and because the center of the hub is tapered it creates enough distance to allow the hub to come off the axle tube.

4. Run the wheel nuts onto the studs and, using spacers as necessary, alternatively tighten the nuts until the hub is started off the bearing surface of the axle housing.

5. Adding spacers to create clearance, continue to run the nuts onto the studs until the hub comes off of the axle tube.
 

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steveg

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I used the splined hub and a large socket to pull the 5-stud hub.

After removing the octagon nut, locktab and axle...
seat a large socket on or in the axle housing. Position the splined hub so it bears with the socket in the middle. Attach and tighten 3 lug nuts gradually and the hub will be pulled off the axle.

I use pvc fittings and a seal driver to drive the hub onto the axle.

screenshot.1704.jpg
 
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Michael Oritt

Michael Oritt

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Recently our moderator Reid Trummel asked me if I would write an article--or perhaps a series of them--for AHCA's magazine "Healey Marque" about issues that commonly face us as Big Healey owners. I at once accepted and thanked Reid for the opportunity to be of some assistance to my brethren as I have over the years been the recipient of so much help from Healey cognoscenti.

Reid specifically referenced this very thread as an example of a topic he thought might be helpful to the Healey public. I agree and intend to build the first article around submissions previously posted, with photos and attributions by name where submitted and authorized, and I will be in touch with a few of you asking for pictures, quotes, permissions, etc.

At the same time if any of you have thoughts, pictures, etc. regarding special tools and techniques you have devised when faced with a vexing issue please share it via a reply to the forum, or if you prefer, to me directly, at: michael.oritt@gmail.com
 

gonzo

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Sort of related since our hands are tools, how many of you use painter's (blue) tape as temporary band-aids for those inevitable nicks and cuts our hands sustain when working on these cars? I swear blue tape adhesive helps with healing. Follow-up with liquid bandage when the job is done. GONZO
scotchblue-2090-original-painters-tape.jpg


81gPr0MfZLL._SY355_.jpg
 

dklawson

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My go-to bandage is a piece of paper towel held in place with vinyl electrical tape. I also have a roll of 1-1/2" wide super-sticky masking tape that I split into (3) 1/2" wide rolls. I often use that for holding the paper towel in place since it is easier to get off my skin than the electrical tape's glue.

EDIT: I like New Skin but it doesn't hold up well for me when I am working hard. It doesn't help that my wife hates the smell of it!
 
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Recently our moderator Reid Trummel asked me if I would write an article--or perhaps a series of them--for AHCA's magazine "Healey Marque" about issues that commonly face us as Big Healey owners. I at once accepted and thanked Reid for the opportunity to be of some assistance to my brethren as I have over the years been the recipient of so much help from Healey cognoscenti.

Reid specifically referenced this very thread as an example of a topic he thought might be helpful to the Healey public. I agree and intend to build the first article around submissions previously posted, with photos and attributions by name where submitted and authorized, and I will be in touch with a few of you asking for pictures, quotes, permissions, etc.

At the same time if any of you have thoughts, pictures, etc. regarding special tools and techniques you have devised when faced with a vexing issue please share it via a reply to the forum, or if you prefer, to me directly, at: michael.oritt@gmail.com
Good for you! While I can compose a paragraph or two, it would tax my abilities to write a complete article, let alone a series of them. You are welcome to use any of the pictures I've posted here, as well as any seen in my online gallery (nearly 68,000 at last count, if you don't mind BMWs). I can get you links to Healey-specific albums if needed. Unless I've left something out, you don't have to email me for permission, I'm giving it now. I'd only request that their source be credited.

Getting back to the scope of this thread, I had occasion to use a very rarely tool recently, during the course of fitting the proper slide-in velocity stacks for my Weber carbs. Thirty-four (>34) years after their initial installation, I felt it was time to make things right...

When supplied by Southern Carburettors (as SC Austin-Healey used to be called) the 45DCOEs came fitted with (at least) 50mm velocity stacks. These couldn't have been used on even a RHD car without removing the front suspension to cowl support, let alone on a LHD car with the pedal assembly! So I hacked them off, retaining the sleeve portion, and substituting some bolt-on 16mm stacks.

Pegasus Racing has listed the 16mm slide-in velocity stacks all along, but at $35.00 each (X 6) I didn't want to spend the money, or go through the aggravation of fitting them! I recently discovered a good source of Weber goods from overseas, and sourced the proper velocity stacks from them, as well as a trio of cold-start elimination bits (they've never had__nor needed__a choke cable connected to them since they were fitted).

Anyway, here's a tool that's not in too many people's boxes. It has to fit around and under the velocity stack, inside the airbox, to remove the nuts on the bottom holding both the airbox to the carb bodies, and keeping the stacks securely in place.

attachment.php


Here, you can see the top row of studs, retainer plates, washers and nuts...

attachment.php


...and this is the "special" 10 mm wrench in use on the bottom ones.

attachment.php


It's a slow process! To get the airbox out, required this time because the retaining lip on the new stacks did not fit through the original holes in the airbox, and I wanted to put a thermal dispersant polymer coating on it, the bottom row of studs had to be removed from the carb bodies (double-nutting the studs). You have to really want to do this, part of what took so long (I've had the new stacks for a while now...)!

IMG_4392.jpg IMG_4489.jpgIMG_4493.jpg
 
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