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Originally Posted by Tridentman
Interestingly there is in US at the moment a lot of controversy concerning the "right to repair" ----some manufacturers have refused to release data and information to the wider public---forcing users into the arms of the dealer service departments.
Some states are considering legislation to force the manufacturers to release the information--thus giving the vehicle owner the "right to repair" his vehicle.

If you are a cynical suspicious old bugger like me then you suspect that one of the reasons for these fancy fasteners is that no average Joe in the street has the tools to undo them, so further forcing them to take the vehicle to the dealer service department.
This scenario ranks right alongside "planned obsolescence"...


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If franchise dealerships had to rely on car sales alone they would quickly go under. By coming up with evermore annoying ways to keep the service and repair side in house, manufacturers are simply trying to look after their own. Cant blame them for it even if you don't like it.

My only issue with Joe Bloggs fixing his own car is there is no way to judge his competence level. When the car then comes to me for a safety inspection I have to stand in the office and tell the guys Wife that her Husband has put the lives of her and the children at risk. I've been there on countless occasions already!

Trident man, it's Roy officially. I must say it's been interesting to read some peoples opinions of car mechanics.

Back to spanners and such!


And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth'

An interesting point given recent events.

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Roy---pleased to meet you-- I am Richard!

I understand your point ref the average Joe working possibly beyond his level of competence and ending up with an unsafe vehicle.
I understand it---but disagree with it.
Some of the rules ref vehicles in Oz and NZ seem to me to smack of Big Auntie State looking after you and not letting you do things.
It was going that way in UK 20 or so years ago--which was one of the reasons I moved to US.
Here in New Jersey where I live there are no inspections on motorcycles and the only inspection on cars is the exhaust emissions---and that is done just so the State gets Federal funds.
We IMHO will be a much poorer society if the "average Joe" is not allowed to repair his own vehicles.
I dont know what percentage of contributors to Britbike are professional mechanics --but I guess not more than 10%.
So the way society is going would wipe out 90% of Britbike over a period of time.
I am very much in favor of rugged individualism rather than being looked after by the nanny state.
And I say that not in a political sense but in the way of a personal philosophy.
Just my two cents worth of course.

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Hello Richard,

Don't get me wrong I am all for people doing basic repairs and maintenance, saves me doing it! The reason I am for basic safety checks like the MOT and WOF is that they help to catch these things, not so much Nanny State as common sense.

Chronologically speaking I'm one of the younger guys on BB but I'm old enough that my Grandfather ( ex RN and served on the Ark Royal among others ) had taught me to go out and check the family cars every Sunday morning before I had started secondary school.

I left the UK in 2008, I'm from a town called Gosport on the South coast. I realised I needed to get out when my lifestyle started matching that of some of the more undesirable locals.


And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth'

An interesting point given recent events.

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Hi,
Originally Posted by Tridentman
It was going that way in UK 20 or so years ago
Without wishing to hijack the thread, one of the useful things the EU did was make vehicle makers release repair data, not necessarily so people could repair their own vehicles but at least allow non-franchised repairers to be viable businesses.

I wouldn't trust anyone to work on my bikes. Last time I allowed that was when I bought my second T160, from a then-Meriden-franchised dealer. Rode it home from the dealer (some distance), the tickover was some ridiculous rpm, the carb. air screws were about two-and-a-half turns out. So clearly any post-work test ride hadn't been far enough to warm the engine; when I asked about the air screws, the mechanic said, "One-and-a-half turns is only a starting point" ...

Here, nearest franchised car dealers are thirty-odd miles away in Inverness. Last year, needed a cheap-to-insure car as Number One Son was learning to drive. Bought a Toyota Aygo (also a Citroen and a Peugeot model here) from the local multi-franchise dealer known as "Arnold Shark". I probably applied a somewhat stiffer 'test drive' than most people would - the clutch slipped when ... errr ... accelerated ... uphill and the rear wheel bearings rattled when driven ... errr ... enthusiastically ... around a roundabout. Those things fixed (new clutch because the oil seal was leaking, both rear wheel bearings ...), we took the car but then I had one of the two local non-franchised repairers look it over - although the car had come with a new MoT, the front shocks. top spring cups were rusted through and missing bits, which is an MoT fail here ... cool

Regards,

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Stuart,
It was referred to as Block Exemption. It also allowed independent workshops to service new vehicles without effecting the manufacturers warranty. The catch being you must use OE approved parts and oils. Obviously the dealerships began offering a free extra years warranty so long as you only used them!

Shane, have we been any help at all? Sorry Mate!


And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth'

An interesting point given recent events.

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Originally Posted by R Moulding
Shane, have we been any help at all? Sorry Mate!
Digressions are usually interesting, so I'm cool.

Now to hijack my own thread even more, we're thinking of a month or so later this year in NZ if the plague allows it, probably flying into Christchurch, hiring a camper van, spending a couple of weeks terrorising the South Island, then another couple doing the same on the North Island.
Are you up for a beer if we make it?

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If I was buying tools today, I would likely go to Snap-on as a last resort. When I needed to buy tools for the trade, Snap-on seemed to be the best choice. At the time, money was in short supply so purchases were limited to the basics and tools that would see constant use. Their ratchets were worth the money.... smooth ratchet mechanism and without the knurling on the handle, it didn’t wear all the skin off your hand.... things like 1/4 drive 6 point deep sockets... instead of a set of spanners just 10,12,14,17,and 19 because I was working on Honda motorcycles. There were other things...air ratchet, small palm sized air gun, torque wrenches etc. That was a long time ago and I still have most of it. Having the guy show up at the door to handle the warranty was convenient. Their stuff does break. Had a brand new open end snap off at very light load and the broken piece disappeared into the bowels of a CBX crankcase. From subsequent conversations with folks in the trade, warranty from Snap-on isn’t quite what it used to be.

Making tools is fun... sometimes. Needed a 14 flute 64mm filer wrench and there wasn’t one locally.

Used an existing (larger) socket, put aluminum tape over the 3/8 drive... used a new filter as a plug... covered the filter with a layer of plastic wrap to make the filter easier to remove and also compensate for expansion. Centred the filter and poured in some Cerrobend, which was melted (at 70c) in a double boiler. The filter is a very snug fit in the socket, because.... had I done my homework, it would have become evident that I needed 2 layers of plastic wrap to compensate for the expansion when the Cerrobend cools.
Mistake #2 was cleaning up the face of the socket. I should have poured in less Cerrobend. The lead and cadmium content means you should control the spread of this stuff and not inhale, absorb or ingest any of it.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]0FC91BB4-976C-47EB-AD6C-DE9726E25F4F by First Last, on Flickr

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]3C5EF828-2A8B-4DE6-8449-8D4AB14FC2C3 by First Last, on Flickr

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Originally Posted by Cyborg
Making tools is fun... sometimes.
That's a very important point, and it goes to the premise of Shane's original post that started this thread:
Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
1/ What level of quality is appropriate for working on our old British bikes?
In my experience, even the cheapest set of combination spanners and 3/8-drive sockets will be perfectly adequate for nearly all maintenance work on old British bikes. However, anything beyond maintenance work requires special tools, and none of those are on the Snap-On (or Mac, or Matco ...) truck. If you can't find a used special tool that was made by the bike's manufacturer fifty years ago, and if an aftermarket company hasn't reproduced it in more recent years, you'll have to make it yourself.

An example is the following '1¼" BS' socket for my Ariel, based on a 1⅞" A/F socket whose square drive I drilled out prior to welding the other socket, to create the ~3¾" deep socket necessary to clear the shaft.

[Linked Image]

Although Snap-On offers a 1⅞" deep drive socket that certainly is of much higher quality than my welded-together version, it's only 2¾" deep so it would not work irrespective of its quality. However, some other company might make a sufficiently-deep 1⅞" A/F socket, or even an actual deep drive 1¼" BS socket, so the following is another example.

[Linked Image]

This is the socket I modified to allow me to use a torque wrench to adjust the tension on my Ariel's clutch. No one offers such a socket, so the only way I could have this tool was to make it myself.

I have plenty of other examples of special tools I could give, some of "home-made" quality and some of "hand-made" (there is a difference...), but the above two examples should suffice.
Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
2/ Ranking of brands,
Good tools certainly feel better than cheap ones, which is a perfectly reasonable reason to buy the best you can afford. But, they aren't going to let you do any better work on old British bikes than their cheap counterparts. The overall point is, the work you can do on a British bike is seriously limited if you can't make tools yourself, whether your spanners and sockets are ranked at the bottom of the list, or are of the finest quality that ever have been produced.

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And here I thought you’d give me a kick in the nuts for not actually calculating the amount of expansion. You’re being magnanimous and I’m feeling remorseful....

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Shane, I'm about half hour south of the airport. Drop me a line closer to the time.


And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth'

An interesting point given recent events.

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Originally Posted by R Moulding
Shane, I'm about half hour south of the airport. Drop me a line closer to the time.
Will do. It's always nice to catch up with people when you're travelling.

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Originally Posted by Cyborg
You’re being magnanimous
Not really. The more examples you give of uses of Cerrobend, the more ideas it will give me for how I can use the bucket of it that's in my garage.

As far as British motorcycles go, the question of whether or not the Snap-On truck delivers the best tools seems to be moot. The only currently-available British tools I can find on their site, or by searching through Google, are seven short handle combination wrenches from 1 BA through 5/16" BS. If I somehow missed sockets, and if they still sell the same 3/8" set I have, they are 12-point from 4 BA through 9/16" BS. This means that, even if Snap-On still sells that set, anyone who needs sockets that are larger than 9/16", deep drive, 6-point, or BA, or spanners that are offset ring, open-end, BA, or full-length combination, the Snap-On truck isn't even an option. It's worth noting that, although the seven short handle combination spanners are still available from Snap-On, they're a jaw-dropping $55–76. Each.

Shane asked in his first post:
Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
2/ Ranking of brands
If I can offer a friendly amendment, it would be to add the words that are still available for purchase.

Although overlapping with his question 2/, another friendly amendment would be to add a third question to simply list, even without ranking, the:

3/ Brands that supply a range of tools for BS fasteners.

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Originally Posted by Cyborg
And here I thought you’d give me a kick in the nuts for not actually calculating the amount of expansion. You’re being magnanimous and I’m feeling remorseful....
Said the Trojan to the Greek.
I too am surprised you didn't get an upbraiding (within .0001) via six-stone Sunnen.


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Originally Posted by Cyborg
...I should have poured in less Cerrobend. The lead and cadmium content means you should control the spread of this stuff and not inhale, absorb or ingest any of it.

Oh, my...

Do you typically lick your new tools, or what???


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To add to the topic, eighteen months ago I bought British tooling for dedicated use in my trailer. These were socket sets of no-name 12 pt. ⅜"-drive ⅛W–½W, no-name 12 pt. ⅜"-drive deep ⅛W–½W, no-name 6 pt. ¼"-drive 0–10 BA, and a combination spanner set of Silverline-brand ⅛W–9/16W. I got all of these on eBay for $89.13 and all are of more than just "acceptable" quality.

No matter what, if you will be working on a Triumph (and, if you own a Triumph, you will be working on it...) you won't be able to take the gearbox apart unless you modify your ¼W/5/16BS socket since the ID of the recess on the gearbox cover is less than the OD of any socket of which I'm aware. My Triumph 500 is currently trapped behind two other bikes so I can't photograph it, but the nut in question is the one inside the recess at the front of the shifter.

[Linked Image]

Because of this, decades ago I machined the ¼W socket in my original set of sockets.

[Linked Image]

The OD of the machined end of the socket is 0.685", while an unmodified Snap-On socket is too large to reach the nut at 0.738", and a Proto is even larger at 0.774".

I realized in writing this that I never checked to see if the socket in the no-name set I bought for the trailer would fit in current form, which is possible because it's only 0.696". There's no point removing the 0.011" if it isn't necessary, but I'll have to unearth the Triumph in order to check this. This issue applies to Triumph 650s as well, as NYBSAGUY discovered to his chagrin several years ago when he needed to repair the shifter mechanism on a poorly-fettled bike he had borrowed for the Irish rally. As a result of that experience I subsequently modified the socket in the tool bag I keep in Ireland.

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Quote
a combination spanner set of Silverline-brand ⅛W–9/16W.

Few years ago I bought a Silverline combination spanner set of the same dimensions complete with a fabric tool roll. Unlike some Silverline products these spanners are great, they are beautifully smooth and the chrome is excellent, so no complaints at all.

Regarding the 1/4ww socket (5/16 bs/f), I'm about to find out whether my existing 1/2 inch drive version is OK for removing the front cylinder head nuts on my Commando hidden deep in the head recess. I might end up using a 3/8 socket or turning one down a bit on the lathe.

Last edited by gunner; 05/24/21 6:57 pm.

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Originally Posted by GrandPaul
Originally Posted by Cyborg
...I should have poured in less Cerrobend. The lead and cadmium content means you should control the spread of this stuff and not inhale, absorb or ingest any of it.

Oh, my...

Do you typically lick your new tools, or what???


What goes on behind the shop door.....
There are some rather peculiar things that go on in there, but none that could be considered deviant... at least not in my book.

I don’t normally chew on it, but people have been known to make things like jewelry pendants (because it’s so easy to cast) and they end up in the hands of children. Now banned, but no doubt still finds its way into the market.

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This (posted elsewhere on this site) is one of my favourites. Tried different methods of grasping the stack, but it was really on there and risk of damaging it was high.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]15138F06-474E-499A-8E1D-015756F07052 by First Last, on Flickr


This one has been posted before as well... another favourite. Mostly because it was my first go at using Cerrobend and it actually worked. Holder for Manx/Inter cam gear. Some folk hold the gear by locking the back wheel, but can’t say I like sending that much torque through those little bevel drive teeth. Used a bevel gear for a plug, modified Kowa sprocket holder for a handle and a soup can for the OD. Photo isn’t the finished version.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]D0CD78CA-74CB-4AA7-90ED-44F4E50CDC37 by First Last, on Flickr

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Originally Posted by Magnetoman
Shane asked in his first post:
Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
2/ Ranking of brands
If I can offer a friendly amendment, it would be to add the words that are still available for purchase.

Although overlapping with his question 2/, another friendly amendment would be to add a third question to simply list, even without ranking, the:

3/ Brands that supply a range of tools for BS fasteners.
Those are both subsets of the original post, and interesting topics in their own right.
It's always caveat emptor with used tools (used anything, for that matter), but well maintained tools from Granddad's shed quite often make their way to swap meets (well, when we still had them), Gumtree or eBay. so they're fair game.
Also, BSA and Triumph switched to mostly SAE Fasteners from about 1969 (not sure about Norton), so AF tools are in play as well.

Our late departed Dufor ring spanners were made of a very high grade steel alloy, so were thin and strong, so I didn't want to rule out such "oldies but goodies".

I do really like the idea of listing currently manufactured BS/W tools, so I'm glad that was implicit in the original post smile
That probably warrants a sticky topic for referent, because they're harder and harder to find these days.
Off the top of my head:

3/8" sockets
- Eurotech
- Koken (6-point, 12-point, standard and deep)
- T&E
- Trax


1/2" sockets
- Eurotech
- Sidchrome (not listed on web site, so perhaps not)
- Trax


spanners
- Eurotech
- Sidchrome (not listed on web site, so perhaps not)
- T&E
- Trax

Last edited by Shane in Oz; 05/26/21 10:51 pm. Reason: Fleshing out the list
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Originally Posted by Magnetoman
As far as British motorcycles go, the question of whether or not the Snap-On truck delivers the best tools seems to be moot.
I bought a second set of 3/8" drive BS and BA SnapOn sockets probably 25 years ago to use at work and retired to home use the ones I had bought around 1970. My SnapOn man told me at that time that I had gotten the last set. Maybe he meant "on his truck", maybe not.

Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
2/ Ranking of brands
Originally Posted by Magnetoman
If I can offer a friendly amendment, it would be to add the words that are still available for purchase.
Good point.

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Originally Posted by Magnetoman
decades ago I machined the ¼W socket in my original set of sockets.

[Linked Image]

The OD of the machined end of the socket is 0.685", while an unmodified Snap-On socket is too large to reach the nut at 0.738", and a Proto is even larger at 0.774".
Curse you, Red Baron!
I had to go out to the shed to check*.

The equivalent Koken sockets range from around .704" (12-point shallow, 6-point deep) to .708" (6-point shallow). A 1/2" AF (the closest comparison) 3/8" drive Sidchrome socket is .722".

It costs money to take away metal from tools, so socket wall thickness is one of the aspects which goes towards determining "quality"


[*] Fortunately, I'm working today, so can somewhat resist the temptation to go on a socket measuring spree.

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Originally Posted by Magnetoman
...No matter what, if you will be working on a Triumph (and, if you own a Triumph, you will be working on it...) you won't be able to take the gearbox apart unless you modify your ¼W/5/16BS socket since the ID of the recess on the gearbox cover is less than the OD of any socket of which I'm aware. My Triumph 500 is currently trapped behind two other bikes so I can't photograph it, but the nut in question is the one inside the recess at the front of the shifter.

[Linked Image]

Because of this, decades ago I machined the ¼W socket in my original set of sockets.
Curiously, someone has found an easy work-around on the '66 Bonnie that I'm currently rehabilitating after an underwater adventure in Hurricane Harvey...

They used a replacement for the stud and nut - a cheesehead screw! Sure, sure, the clamping force may not be up to the factory-desired spec, but it seemed to be working okay. Then again, all I found inside was rust and crust, didn't seem to be any actual LUBE, milky or otherwise. But, I wouldn't blame it on the cheesehead screw, it took a very smart smack on the impact driver to release it, as it should...


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...and another thing, (maybe I missed it)-

WHO came up with the moniker "Cheesehead" for those screws, anyway???

I'd love to hear the story, even if it's totally false. So, anyone/everyone who cares to answer this, please do so BUT DO NOT REVEAL THE TRUTH OR FALSITY OF YOUR REPLY!!!

Let's see where this goes...

Last edited by GrandPaul; 05/25/21 12:53 pm.

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You obviously don’t have a decent fromagerie nearby then.

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