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Scottish Land Rover Owners Club

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Tools, and what they really do

  1. Duct Tape
    Not just a tool, a veritable Swiss Army knife in stickum and plastic. It's safety wire, body material, radiator hose, upholstery, insulation, towrope, and more in an easy to carry package. Sure, there's prejudice surrounding duct tape in concourse competitions, but in the real world, everything from Lemans winning Porches to Atlas rocket use it by the yard. The only thing that can get you out of more scrapes is a quarter and phone booth.
  2. Vice Grips
    A.K.A. "The Mole Wrench" - Equally adapt as a wrench, hammer, pliers, bailing wire twister, breaker-off of frozen bolts and wiggle-it-till-it-falls off tool. The heavy artillery of your toolbox, vice grips is the only tool designed expressly to fix things screwed up beyond repair (and sometimes screw them up beyond even Vice Grip repair!). Also used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
  3. Spray Lubricants
    A considerably cheaper alternative to new doors, alternator, and other squeaky items. Slicker than pig phlegm, repeated soakings will allow the hull bolts of the Andrea Doria to be removed by hand. Strangely enough, an integral part of these sprays is the infamous little plastic tube that flies out of the nozzle and into orbit if you look at it cross eyed (one of the 10 worst tool components of all time).
  4. Margarine Tubs with Clear Lids
    If you spend all your time under the hood looking for a frendle pin that caromed off the petal valve when you knocked both off the air cleaner, it's because you eat butter. Real mechanics consume pounds of tasteless vegetable oil replicas just so they can use the empty tubs for parts containers afterward (some of course chuck the butter-coloured goo altogether or use it to repack wheel bearings or to oil stop leaks from your front hubs). Unlike air cleaners and radiator lips, margarine tubs aren't connected by a time/space wormhole to the Parallel Universe of Lost Frendle Pins.
  5. Big Rock at the Side of the Road
    Block up a tire. Smack corroded battery terminals. Pound out a dent. Bop noisy know-it-all types on the noodle. Scientists have yet to develop a hammer that packs the raw banging power of granite or limestone. This is the only tool with which a "made in India" emblem is not synonymous with the user's maiming.
  6. Plastic Zip Ties
    After 20 years of lashing down stray hose and wiring with old bread ties, some genius brought a slightly slicked up version to the auto parts market. Fifteen zip ties can transform a hulking mass of amateur quality wiring from a working model of the Brazilian Rain Forest into something remotely resembling a wiring harness. Of course it works both ways. When buying a used car, subtract $100 for each zip tie.
  7. Ridiculously Large Standard Screwdriver
    Let's admit it. There's nothing better for prying, chiselling, lifting, breaking, splitting, or mutilating than a large flat bladed screwdriver particularly when wielded with gusto and a big hammer. This is also the tool of choice for all filters so insanely located that they can only be removed by driving a stake in one end and out the other. If you break the screwdriver and you will - just like Dad and your Shop teacher said - who cares, if it has a lifetime guarantee.
  8. Bailing Wire
    Commonly known as LR muffler brackets, bailing wire holds anything that's too hot for tape or ties. Like duct tape, it's not recommended for concourse competition since it works so well you'll never need to replace it with the right thing again. Bailing wire is a sentimental favourite in some circles, particularly with the MG, Triumph, and flathead Ford set, not to mention every British motorcycle ever made.
  9. Bonking Stick
    No, not for that...
    This monstrous tuning fork with devilishly pointy ends is technically known as a Land Rover motor mount adjuster, but how often do you adjust motor mounts? Once every decade if you're lucky. Other than medieval combat, its real use is the all purpose application of undue force, not unlike that of the huge flat-bladed screwdriver. Nature doesn't know the bent metal panel or frozen exhaust pipe that can stand up to a good bonking stick (Can also be used to adjust motor mounts in a pinch, of course, but does a lousy job of doing it).
  10. A Quarter and a Phone Booth
    See tool #1.
  11. Beer
    (This just goes to show how well Land Rover folk can count!
     
    • Want to see that odd problem from a completely different (and possibly unwarranted) angle?
    • Need to break down your reluctance to apply *just this much* extra force to that sticky bolt, but you're afraid that it might shear off leaving you with the job of coring it out with a "never worked, never will" broken screw extractor?
    • Is it necessary to convince yourself that you'll still manage to drive that last 42 miles to the concourse competition in your otherwise meticulously-restored 80" though one of your motor mounts consists of 37 yards of bailing wire and a prayer? (Note: if TWO mounts are involved, one may need to dissolve ones' resistance further with the application of single-malt scotch).
    • Stuck with needing 5 quarts of oil for the Bowler because it blew a seal 100 miles from the nearest Halfords and the only bottles you can find have been sitting on the shelf in a local gas station since Churchill was in office? (Note: extra points if the owner's name is "Jed"--see above note regarding single-malt).
    • Unable to deal with the fact that the final remaining, nearly microscopic ripple in the paint on your Tickford just won't come out no matter what buffing compound you apply?
    • Overwrought because the woman you were trying to impress with your beefy, fully-equipped Series III just looked at it with derision and said "not banged up enough," and you're thinking that hitting the local Suicide Off-road track for some extra dents would do the trick?
    • Beer's the thing!
    • Application:
      • For each stuck bolt under the size of 12mm: .5 pint.
      • Over 12mm: 1 pint.
      • If said bolts are in a highly critical and delicate area: multiply the above by 2.
      • For each Lucas part involved in the problem: 2 pints.
      • For convincing yourself that Lucas really isn't all that bad after all and it'd be much easier to wrap the entire damned wiring system in Black Electrical Tape than to rewire the whole car, even though it's tried converting to Buddhism twice in the past month: 3 cases, plus 4 drams single malt.
      • For each hour spent in futile pursuit of the problem: 2 pints.
      • For each £20 blown on Random Parts Which You Hope Will Do The Trick while performing the aforementioned futile pursuit: add 1 more pint and a half-dram. At £100 in parts, double the above and hope for Divine Inspiration (known these days as "thinking outside the box").
      • When one needs to spend £120 on a tool that'd do that one job just perfectly but would never be used ever again, though you could get by with a Big Hammer and a Tie-Rod Separator and file out the scratches later: 4 pints.
      • If said procedure threatens to undo weeks of otherwise perfect resto. work: 8 pints and 1 dram single-malt.
      • Recovering from the Realisation of What One Has Just Done after the preceding procedure has gone awry: bugger the beer and go straight for the single-malt.

Based in suggestions from members of the Land Rover Owners email lists, and others (Richard Joltes supplied #11)

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