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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)

Interpreting the Haynes Manual

The Haynes Manuals are workshop manuals "how to carry out routine maintenance, restoration and servicing of cars and motorcycles, and are aimed primarily at the Do-it-yourselfer." They have a tendency to say things like "Assembly is the reverse of disassembly", blythely refering to several hours of very fiddly work.

For Added Haynes Fun:
Go to the first section, Safety First, and read the bit about Hydrofluoric Acid - do you really want the advice of a book that uses this form of understatement???!!?

Now look at the lovely colour section on body repairs - as you look at these two pages say to yourself over and over until it sinks in "mine will never look like that..."

From this, a list of translations has arisen:

Haynes: Rotate anticlockwise.
  • Translation: Clamp with molegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer anticlockwise.
Haynes: This is a snug fit.
  • Translation: You will skin your knuckles!
Haynes: This is a tight fit.
  • Translation: Not a hope in hell matey!
Haynes: As described in Chapter 7...
  • Translation: That'll teach you not to read through before you start, now you are looking at scarey photos of the inside of a gearbox.
Haynes: Pry...
  • Translation: Hammer a screwdriver into...
Haynes: Undo...
  • Translation: Go buy a tin of WD40 (catering size).
Haynes: Retain tiny spring...
  • Translation: "Jeez what was that, it nearly had my eye out"!
Haynes: Press and rotate to remove bulb...
  • Translation: OK - thats the glass bit off, now fetch some good pliers to dig out the bayonet part.
Haynes: Lightly...
  • Translation: Start off lightly and build up till the veins on your forehead are throbbing them re-check the manual because this can not be 'lightly' what you are doing now.
Haynes: Weekly checks...
  • Translation: If it isn't broken don't fix it!
Haynes: Routine maintenance...
  • Translation: If it isn't broken... it's about to be!
Haynes: One spanner rating.
  • Translation: Your Mum could do this... so how did you manage to botch it up?
Haynes: Two spanner rating.
  • Translation: Now you may think that you can do this because two is a low, tiny, 'ikkle number... but you also thought the wiring diagram was a map of the Tokyo underground (in fact that would have been more use to you).
Haynes: Three spanner rating.
  • Translation: But Land Rover's are easy to maintain right... right? So you think three Land Rover spanners has got to be like a 'regular car' two spanner job.
Haynes: Four spanner rating.
  • Translation: You are seriously considering this aren't you, you pleb!
Haynes: Five spanner rating.
  • Translation: OK - but don't expect us to ride in it afterwards!!!
Haynes: If not, you can fabricate your own special tool like this...
  • Translation: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!
Haynes: Compress...
  • Translation: Squeeze with all your might, jump up and down on, swear at, throw at the garage wall, then search in the dark corner of the garage for whilst muttering "bugger" repeatedly under your breath.
Haynes: Inspect...
  • Translation: Squint at really hard and pretend you know what you are looking at, then declare in a loud knowing voice to your wife "Yep, as I thought, it's going to need a new one"!
Haynes: Carefully...
  • Translation: You are about to cut yourself!
Haynes: Retaining nut...
  • Translation: Yes, that's it, that big spherical blob of rust.
Haynes: Get an assistant...
  • Translation: Prepare to humiliate yourself in front of someone you know.
Haynes: Turning the engine will be easier with the spark pugs removed.
  • Translation: However, starting the engine afterwards will be much harder. Once that sinking pit of your stomach feeling has subsided, you can start to feel deeply ashamed as you gingerly refit the spark plugs.
Haynes: Refitting is the reverse sequence to removal.
  • Translation: But you swear in different places.
Haynes: Prise away plastic locating pegs...
  • Translation: Snap off...
Haynes: Using a suitable drift...
  • Translation: The biggest nail in your tool box isn't a suitable drift!
Haynes: Everyday toolkit
  • Translation: Ensure you have an RAC Card & Mobile Phone
Haynes: Apply moderate heat...
  • Translation: Placing your mouth near it and huffing isn't moderate heat.
Haynes: Index
  • Translation: List of all the things in the book bar the thing you want to do!

Based on suggestions from members of the Land Rover Owners email lists, and others