Pat’s Tool Drawer
by Pat Goss
Although the basics remain the same, there’s a huge difference from the under hood area of this old Ford Shelby to this new, modern Nissan Z-car. You know, there’s lots of stuff under there and things are really crowded, and that means when it comes time to outfit your toolbox, well, you need to keep some special tools in the toolbox.
Here we have a gear wrench. Now a gear wrench is simply a box end wrench that has a ratcheting device in the center of it so that it can ratchet back and forth. It does an excellent job. It’s low clearance so you can get into a lot of those close spaces. They’re available in both standard and metric sizes.
Now to go along with that, there’s another problem we find on a lot of these automobiles, and that’s where they may have double nuts or they may have nuts that are way down onto a stud or a bolt. Okay, now the real problem here is, how do you get a ratchet down here? Well, that’s where the gear ratchet comes into play. This is a gear ratchet. In the end of it is an opening where we can insert any of an assortment of sockets. Now, the deal here is that the socket is completely open so that whatever that long device is, it can come all the way through. You get down to where you need to be, and you can do the job. It’s very, very effective, and you’d be surprised how many times those come in handy.
Now along with that, lots of times it’s a different issue. There just isn’t enough space to get a socket down in there. Well, this is from Snap-On, and these are low profile sockets that also fit into a wrench, just like the gear ratchet. But here, if you look at the difference between a conventional socket and the low profile socket, well, you can see that you can get it into a lot tighter area. Very, very beneficial these days.
Wiring? Well, that’s always a problem. Wire connectors have clips on them that are very difficult to remove in many cases, so this is a tool that is designed to hook under those clips. It saves the clip and it saves your fingers. Believe me, those clips hurt sometimes.
And our last one is something you probably would never think of around an automobile. Now what this is, is a laser level. Now what would you use a laser level for? Well, especially in the body shop when you’re installing emblems or doing striping, you can position this on a fixed container that can be moved around the car. And you turn on the laser, you point it to aim the first emblem, then you go around to the other side at the same level and you can project the laser so that the other side is the same height.
If you have a question or comment, write to me. The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.