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What is your most valuable 'made-it-myself' tool?


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As we all know, not all needs are answered by over-the-counter tools. As one example, my Z-friend Dieter Roth made his own special wrench for one particularly annoying Z job (halfshaft U-joint bolts, IIRC) by simply grinding off the excess metal from a standard open-end wrench so that it would fit inside the limited-clearance space.  For my own efforts, I've enjoyed constant use over the years from a 18" length of 1"-dia aluminum tubing (from a TV antenna mast) that I squashed one end of so that it would fit over the end of open-end and box-end wrenches to give extra leverage.

What's in your tool box?

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When I need to stretch out a spring instead of pliers/vise grips, I use a wire like drop ceiling hanging wire. Sort of like a clothes hanger. Put the wire through the spring end and double it over for a pull handle and pull it out to the the set hole. Works great.

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I love making tools and jigs.  My latest was a modification to the spindle pin puller I made.  Since I already had the puller, I made another sleeve and turned it into a rear outer bushing puller.  It made removing the OE bushings almost easy.

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9 hours ago, siteunseen said:

When I need to stretch out a spring

For a spring that are in a gearbox base plate i use a side cutting pliers, just cut halfway into it, your not gonna hurt it just stretch it.

The best made tool was a apparatus to grip the crank on a 300zx(tt) z32 for taking of the balancer (necassary when changing the timingbelt)  without taking everything of and the starter also to block the crank!  I block the crank with my own made tool that clicks into the holes in the balancer/pulley.

(It's a horizontal beam fits to the stabilizerbar and has two steel round "fingers" that go into the holes of the balancer.  simple but effective..  saves a lot of time, because you don't need to take the starter off!)

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This is all really good stuff.  Hopefully, we'll end up with an inventory of, 'Why didn't I think of that?' items that will save others a lot of time, grief and/or money.  They might even inspire some new ideas.  Pictures help, if you've got them. 

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6 minutes ago, Namerow said:

This is all really good stuff.  Hopefully, we'll end up with an inventory of, 'Why didn't I think of that?' items that will save others a lot of time, grief and/or money.  They might even inspire some new ideas.  Pictures help, if you've got them. 

I think @zKars can fill 10 pages!

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4 hours ago, 240260280 said:

Wheel bearing race drifts:

1" black iron pipe coupling (ground a tad smaller)

DSC06862.JPG

DSC06864.JPG

I wondered why I had a cast iron pipe fitting in my Z parts drawer! You told me about how that reducer would work, and it did. Thanks again. :beer:

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240260280, is your jet alignment tool primarily for the 4 screw dome carbs, or for either the 3 screw of 4 screw?  I can see how it would adjust the nozzle in the 4 screw carb to sit in the appropriate position.  I am trying to understand how it would benefit for the 3 screw, as you would have to take the dome and piston out to put the needle in, which would undo your adjustments.

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54 minutes ago, duffman said:

240260280, is your jet alignment tool primarily for the 4 screw dome carbs, or for either the 3 screw of 4 screw?  I can see how it would adjust the nozzle in the 4 screw carb to sit in the appropriate position.  I am trying to understand how it would benefit for the 3 screw, as you would have to take the dome and piston out to put the needle in, which would undo your adjustments.

It is for aligning the nozzle sleeve (that holds the jet) to the centre of the piston. If you disassemble the bottom of the carb, you will find the nozzle sleeve has freedom to be repositioned within the nozzle sleeve set screw:

image.gif

image.jpeg

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8 hours ago, 240260280 said:

It is for aligning the nozzle sleeve (that holds the jet) to the centre of the piston. If you disassemble the bottom of the carb, you will find the nozzle sleeve has freedom to be repositioned within the nozzle sleeve set screw:

I respectfully disagree. That needle/nozzle alignment method will not work on the odd bird 72 3-screw round tops.

The nozzle sleeve is not adjustable on the 3 screw round tops. On those 72 carbs, the nozzle sleeve is pressed into the underside of the carb body and does not come out. Once it is pressed into place, it's fixed. No adjustment:
P1180942.JPG

P1180944.JPG

So since the nozzle sleeve is hard fixed, they do the needle alignment using the dome up top instead. The three hold down screw holes are intentionally sloppy allowing the dome to be positioned in the correct location. With that in mind, the needle alignment on the 3-screw round tops is set at the factory using the cone shaped alignment nubbies. Cast in place once the domes were aligned with the nozzle position.

The alignment was set at the factory. Once and done and (assuming the original nubbies have not been broken off) nonadjustable after they leave the factory.  I assume they took that power out of the owner's and dealers hands because they felt they weren't doing it right.

Here's a 3-screw nubbie:
P1180262.JPG

 

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10 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

I respectfully disagree. That needle/nozzle alignment method will not work on the odd bird 72 3-screw round tops.

 

 

You kids and your late model modern cars!

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Yeah. the 72 carbs, even though they are mostly like the previous years, they do have their weird idiosyncrasies.  I find it neat to see some of the changes put into play on the 72 3-screw carbs that were clearly stepping stones to the flat tops they used the next year.

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