In these days of high labour costs many enthusiasts like to carry out their own maintenance and repair work, and in this article we have selected a number of the most useful and ingenious pieces of servicing equipment available from the manufacturers and subjected them to practical tests on our staff cars. This equipment is of a general nature and inquiries for more specialised equipment, such as hub pullers, piston-ring compressors and so on, should be addressed to the manufacturers who will be pleased to supply catalogues and indicate your nearest supplier.
GORDON TOOLS LTD.
One of the first things the amateur mechanic must acquire is a reasonably comprehensive tool kit as the kit provided with most modern cars will barely cope with the smallest defect. Manufacturers of a wide range or motorists’ spanners, Gordon Tools Ltd. offer high quality at reasonable prices. Their various products are available from most garages and ironmongers either as complete kits or individual items.
A popular line, one of which we selected for test, is the tool roll (No. 3 in our illustration). Made in various sizes, the tools are contained in a plastic wallet which is impervious to oil, moisture, or any normal concentration of acids and alkalis. The tools are selected to give as wide a range as possible, and the No. 3 roll, which is illustrated, contains seven chrome-vanadium open-ended spanners, three offset ring spanners, two wrenches, ignition pliers, monkey wrench, two box spanners, plug spanner, nickel-alloy chisel, three screwdrivers with plastic handles, suction-operated valve grinder and a 3/4-lb. hammer. All of the tools are available in metric, American or Whitworth sizes. There are two cheaper tool rolls with fewer spanners, although the tools are the same.
Apart fronm the motorists’ kit, special tool sets for electrical and marine engineers, and panel beaters, are available, together with a host of special-purpose tools such as tappet spanners, special pliers and pipe wrenches.
Gordon Tools Ltd., Assam Works, Rockingham Street, Sheffield.
S.N. BRIDGES & CO. LTD.
To the man who wants to extend the scope of his workshop one of the now popular electric drill kits is invaluable. Since we last examined one of these drills the number of attachments available seems to have doubled, and these tiny drills seem capable of doing everything from drilling a simple hole to digging the garden!
Bridges have recognised the advantages of a good drill to the motorist and have produced a special kit, called the “Proud Motorist Kit M” (No.13 in our illustration), which contains equipment to cope with polishing, drilling, sanding, derusting and paint stirring, and costs £11 19s. 4d. as shown in the illustration.
From the numerous attachments available for fitting to this drill the flexible shaft kit is of special interest to the keen motorist. This shaft merely screws into the drill and various sanding and grinding tools can be attached. One obvious use is the grinding and polishing of inlet and exhaust ports and combustion chambers, which would save a good deal of money. This kit is priced at £5 9s. 9d. To convince his wife that he ought to spend nearly £12 on the kit the enthusiast might also promise to buy the food-mixer attachment, which has twin detachable blades suitable for the mixing of all types of liquids. This will add an extra £3 12s. 1d. to the price. Another useful attachment, priced at £3 17s. 6d., is the compressor, which develops a pressure of 100 p.s.i. and can be used for spraying paint, distemper, insecticide, lubricating oil, and even for pumping up car tyres.
Details of these kits and many others may be obtained from all good iromnongers or direct from the manufacturers.
S. N. Bridges & Co., Ltd., York Road, Battersea, London, S.W.11.
EVERSURE ACCESSORIES LTD.
Although most cars are issued with a jack in the tool kit this is invariably of the side-lifting type suitable for one type of car and in one position only, usually at the side of the car. The Eversure 902 (No.14 in the illustration) model hydraulic jack is made from die-cast aluminium, is very light and easy to handle, can lift up to 30 cwt., and costs three guineas. The two-piece handle is 26 in. long, so that one does not get backache in the process of pumping it.
The jack is raised by an up-and-down motion rather than the more popular but more difficult twisting motion. When closed the jack is 6 3/4 in. high and can be raised to 13 1/4 in. A large range of jacks are available for lifting up to 10 tons, but the 902 model will be suitable for nearly all private cars and can be considered a useful addition to the garage equipment.
Eversure Areesisories Ltd., Waterfall Lane Trading Estate. Old Hill, Staffs.
B. DRAPER & SON LTD.
Drapers import a wide range of automotive tools; notably the Elora range made in Germany and the Poly from France. The Elora range covers all spanner and socket sets, while Poly specialise in screwdriver sets. We tested one of their No. 1 screwdriver kits (No.17 in our illustration), and found it to be both strong and useful. The handle is made of plastic capable of withstanding 5,000 volts, as is that of the small electrical screwdriver. Eleven different bits are available, covering three different screwdriver sizes and four Phillips-type sizes. There is also a tommy-bar for using the bits in awkward places where a screwdriver handle would be in the way. Priced at 43s. 9d. and clipped to a metal sheet so that they can be hung on the garage wall, these bits can cope with almost every type of screw on the motor car. When one considers the time that can be lost through not having the correct size screwdriver, this kit is well worth the money.
B. Draper & Son Ltd., Kingston Hull Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey.
CHAPELTOWN LIGHT INDUSTRIES
Anything which makes working on the car easier is obviously worth considering, and three interesting and useful tools are made by this firm.
One of the most infuriating situations is when one is faced with a fiat tyre and wheel-retaining nuts that cannot be budged by the wheel brace from the tool kit. The “Verisure” wheelbrace provides the answer to this problem (No.4 in our illustration) by having a springd-loaded click joint so that the handle can be turned through 90 degrees, thus ensuring that a good grip can be obtained. One can even stand on the handle or obtain extra leverage – with a pipe inserted over one end. The “Verisure” is guaranteed against all eventualities, including the levering act. This excellent tool is priced at 15s. and can be obtained from most garages, but the manufaeturerer can supply direct in case of difficulty. It is most important to state the exact model of car and the year of manufacture or, better still, give the measurement arross the flats of the wheel nuts. One is tempted to wonder why car manufacturers cannot standardise these simple items.
A similar tool is also manufactured, priced at 30s., which, is suitable for use with a socket set and should prove very useful, although perhaps of more interest to a garage mechanic. The latest addition to the range is a plug spanner (No.5 in our illustration) at only 5s. which has three springs inside the body for the tool to grip the plug so that the business-man will not dirty his fingers or his shirt cuffs when delving into the depths of the engine. This is only available from the manufacturers at present. A screwdriver is also being experemented with.
Chapeltown Light Industries, 490-492, Wallisdown Road, Bournemouth, Hants.
LEXINGTON PRODUCTS LTD.
Lexington Products Ltd., part of the Lex Garages organisation, have produced an ingenious little tool kit called the “Bimbo 12-in-One Pocket Tool Kit” (No.9 in our illustration). This consists of two steel cylinders which screw together. Inside the cylinders are five bits which can be fitted into notches on the cylinder to perform various jobs. These are a screwdriver, bradawl, tack hammer, reamer and Phillips screwdriver. In the body of the cylinder are a bottle opener, wire stripper/tack lifter and five standard spanner sizes,
This handy little tool can be used for a variety of purposes and is well worth keeping in the glove pocket, It costs 8s. 6d.
Lexington Products Ltd., 86/88, Queensbury Road, Wembley, Middlesex.
STENOR LTD. and PARTRIDGE WILSON & CO., LTD.
The car battery is always a cause for concern but especially so in the winter months when a stiff engine can drain a battery in no time. With fewer and fewer modern cars being fitted with starting handles the only alternative is pushing, which is never very satisfactory. A battery charger is therefore a very useful accessory: in fact, for some people, such as doctors, it is almost a necessity unless their garage is well heated.
The “Davenset” series of battery chargers made by Partridge Wilson & Co. Ltd.. are especially suited to the home garage (No.15 in our illustration). The model illustrated is the “Junior,” which will charge 12-volt and 6-volt batteries at 1 1/2 amp. and is priced at £3 18s. 6d. Other models available, charging at from 1/2 amp. to 5 amp., are priced from £1 17s. 6d. to £7 9s. 6d.
The “Startall” home charger (No.19 in our illustration) is suitable for charging batteries up to 3 amp. on both 6 and 12-volt batteries. The change from 6 to 12 volt is accomplished by simply flicking a switch. When charging, the charging rate is designed to taper off when the battery is fully charged. The battery may be charged in situ by clipping crocodile clips to the battery terminals, and the charger will work fronm an ordinary lamp socket if necessary and will operate on a voltage of from 200 to 250. This model is priced at £5 17s. 6d.
Partridge, Wilson & Co., Ltd., Evington Valley Road, Leicester.
Stenor Ltd., Kew Foot Road, Richmond, Surrey.
BRADSHAW ENGINEERING CO.
Working on a car in a cold garage can be very uncomfortable, especially when the rest of the family are sitting by the fire watching T.V. An oil stove is a help but evil-smelling fumes invariably make these unattractive. The Bradshaw Engineering Co. have supplied the answer with a sturdy electric convector heater which brings the temperature of the whole room or garage up to a pleasant level, then switches itself off.
Air is drawn in through a grille at the base of the heater, passes over two dissipator coils, and a “Sunvic” thermostat controls the temperature. This normally cuts in at 62 deg. F. and out at 140 deg., and normally performs a cycle of four minutes on and 50 seconds off. The heater displaces about 1 cu. yd. of air every 90 seconds and, of course, has the advantage of warming the whole garage whilst being placed in a corner where it will not interfere with maintenance work. It has an attractive bronze finish and would be quite suitable for the home as well as the garage. It is priced at £7 15s. 0d.
The Bradshaw Engineering Co., 425, Redditch Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham 30.
WALTERS & DOBSON LTD.
When an engine begins to lose its tune a number of components immediately become suspect. The carbaration and ignition are easily checked but internal complaints are more difficult to diagnose. The “Dubltest” combined compression tester and tyre gauge will diagnose worn valves, pistons rings, cylinders, etc., although of course it cannot differentiate between these conditions, but as the instructions with the instruments indicate, it is possible by experimenting with upper-cylinder lubricant to make pretty accurate diagnoses. The “Dubltest” can also be used as a tyre gauge.
Walters & Dobson also make a very handsome dial-type tyre gauge which is especially useful for rally and trials drivers who want a quick check on pressures.
Walters & Dobson Ltd., Aerite Works, Inkersall Green, Staveley, Chesterfield.
J. F. SYKES (ST. ANNES) LTD.
Manufacturers of a large range of equipment mainly for the garage trade, Sykes have introduced a range of wrenches known as “Handirenches” These are designed to be used as a last resort when a nut is badly rusted or the edges have worn away. This wrench (No.10 in our illustration) has a cam action with a spring-loaded jaw which gives this one-handed tool a ratchet act hut. allowing very high pressures to be applied. As we have found, these wrenches will move very stubborn nuts. Three sizes, 6 in., 8 in. and 10 in., are available.
J. F. Sykes (St. Annes) Ltd., Warwick Works, St. Leonards Road, St. Annes-on-Sea.
J. W. PICKAVANT & CO., LTD.
This company supply the garage trade with a large number of special tools which are admittedly either too expensive or not used enough to be worthwhile for the amateur enthusiast, but the man who remains faithful to one marque and who carries out his own major overhauls would certainly find some of these products of interest.
Of interest to everyone is the hose clip tool which enables hose clips to be fully tightened or loosened without fear of the clip slipping, as it does when an ordinary screwdriver is being used. The valve lifter and suction valve grinder (No.11 in our illustration) are also of interest, as is the thread restorer, which is useful where a die cannot be used. Other items, such as spring spreaders, hub pullers, king-pin removers and so on, will all be useful to the man who likes to do these jobs himself. The thread restorer costs 14s. 8d., the Ford hub puller £1 16s. 8d., and the hose clip tool 19s, 4d.
J. W. Pickavant & Co., Ltd., Apkoway Works, Bow Street, Birmingham 1,
WILLIAM TURNER (KISMET) LTD.
This company has been manufacturing pneumatic equipment for the motor industry since 1895 and make a large range of footpumps for the motorist. Not many tool kits include a good foot-pump and the “Cadet” and “Baby” pumps made by William Turner are good value at £1 7s. 6d. and £2 11s. 6d., respectively (No.18 in our illustration). These two are basically the same but the “Baby” has a valve for checking the tyre pressure without removing the air line.
For those who prefer an easily carried tyre gauge the “Special” is available for only 8s. 6d. It measures up to 50lb. and has a fountain-pen-type clip for keeping in the pocket (No.6 in our ilIustration).
William Turner (Kismet) Ltd., Eyre Works, Sheffield 1, Yorks.
LISTER EQUIPMENT LTD.
As most knowledgeable people know not only does cleanlineas lead to godliness but in a motor car almost certainly helps to prolong its life – if done regularly. To simplify the cleaning job Listers have produced the “Flexy” car washer, which has a soft, bristle brush through which water can be dispensed. In the handle of the brush shampoo tablets can be inserted to give the car a soapy wash. If the chassis or suspension has become coated with mud or grease the brush of the “Flexy” washer can be removed, leaving a small jet which washes away the mud. The washer costs £1 19s. 6d., the foam dispenser £1 2s. 6d., and a packet of 36 foam tablets 6s. 6d.
Lister Equipment Ltd., 31, Minshull Street, Manchester 1.
ROMAC INDUSTRIES LTD.
Manufacturers of a varied range of equipment for the motor industry, Romac specialise in tyre repair equipment and fan belts. Although few people have to repair tubes at the roadside these days. it might be just as well to have a Romac “Cure-C-Cure” repair outfit in the car (No.12 in our illustration). These are obtainable from all garages. A new product from Romac is “Topcoat.” (No.2 in our illustration) a new car polish or more correctly, a bodywork protection. The polish contains polythene. which we had previously associated with plastic bags, but it is claimed that. “Topcoat” bonds a fine film of polythene onto the bodywork. Owing to bad weather we have been as yet unable to test the qualities of this polish.
Romac Industries Ltd:, Romac Works, The Hyde, London, N.W.9.