The Ten Best
Tools Of All Time!
Forget the Snap-On Tools truck; it's never there when you
need it. Besides, there are only
ten things in this world you need to fix any car, any place, any time.
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, tow rope, and
more in one easy-to-carry package. Sure,
there's a prejudice surrounding duct tape in concourse competitions, but in the
real world everything from LeMans - winning Porsches to Atlas rockets - uses it
by the yard. The only thing that
can get you out of more scrapes is a quarter and a phone booth.
2. Vice-Grips: Equally adept as a wrench, hammer,
pliers, baling wire twister, breaker-off of frozen bolts, and
wiggle-it-till-it-falls off tool. The
heavy artillery of your toolbox, Vice Grips are the only tool designed expressly
to fix things screwed up beyond repair.
3. Spray Lubricants: A considerably cheaper
alternative to new doors, alternators, and other squeaky items. Slicker than pig phlegm.
Repeated soakings of WD-40 will allow the main hull bolts of the Andrea
Dora to be removed by hand. Strangely
enough, an integral part of these sprays is the infamous little red tube that
flies out of the nozzle if you look at it cross-eyed, one of the ten worst tools
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 peedle
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-colored goo altogether or use it to
repack wheel bearings.) Unlike air cleaners and radiator lips, margarine tubs
aren't connected by a time/space wormhole to the Parallel Universe of Lost
5. Big Rock At The Side Of The Road: Block up a
tire. Smack corroded battery
terminals. Pound out a dent.
Bop nosy 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 twenty years of lashing
down stray hoses and wired 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 rewiring
from a working model of the Brazilian rain forest into something remotely
resembling a wiring harness. Of
course, it works both ways. When
buying used cars, subtract $100.00 for each zip tie under the hood.
7. Ridiculously Large Standard Screwdriver With
Lifetime Guarantee. Let's admit it.
There's nothing better for prying, chiseling, lifting, breaking,
splitting, or mutilating than a huge flat-bladed screwdriver, particularly when
wielded with gusto and a big hammer. This
is also the tool of choice for oil filters so insanely located they can only be
removed by driving a stake in one side and out the other.
If you break the screwdriver - and you will, just like Dad or your shop
teacher said – who cares? It's guaranteed.
8. Bailing Wire: Commonly known as MG muffler brackets,
bailing wire holds anything that's too hot for tape or ties.
Like duct tape, it's not recommended for concourse contenders since it
works so well you'll never replace it with the right thing again.
Bailing wire is a
sentimental favorite in some
circles, particularly with MG, Triumph, and flathead Ford set.
9. Bonking Stick: This monstrous tuning fork with
devilishly pointy ends is technically known as a tie-rod- end separator, but how
often do you separate tie-ends? 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 separate tie rod ends in
a pinch, of course, but does a lousy job of it).
10. A Quarter and a Phone Booth:
(See #1 above.)