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Battery/Spring Puller

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    Have you ever had trouble removing a battery or tried removing exhaust springs? Today I’m going to teach you how to build one of the handiest most used tools I own. Unfortunately the supplies for this probably aren’t hanging around a typical shop or garage much anymore but I’m sure you could find a substitute.

  • First you will need access to a welder of any kind really

  • Some square or round tubing preferably, something comfortable and easy to hold

  • a few spokes from a rim, you can use different sizes and make a set if you want

  • A vice

  • Hammer

  • Bench grinder

  • Drill and appropriate drill bits

 

    Take your tubing and cut it into a hand size custom for you. I made mine an inch or two bigger, just my preference. Once you have your handle you need to find a drill bit that is slightly bigger than the spoke and slightly smaller than the square end of the spoke. Drill a hole clear through the tubing. Insert the spoke in the hole threads first, slide it in until the square part hits the hole then gently tap with a hammer until the flat end is flush with the handle. Now put a quick weld on to hold it in place. Grind it smooth after for comfort. Take the threaded end and put it in a vice. Slowly bend the spoke into a nice hook shape, this is another area you could customize to make a set. Feel free to use the hammer to make the bending easier. Once bent take it over to the grinder and taper it a bit to remove the treads and make it slide into its desired location easier. There you have it, a tool to help you get batteries out of them silly battery boxes on a lot of motorcycles, stubborn exhaust springs or any other use you can find for it. How many uses can you find for this tool? Leave it in the comments below.

Automatic Center Punch

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    Have you ever had trouble trying to remove a float holding pin? Try this trick next time and it should come right out. Look at the pin holding in the float, see if one of the sides is pinched or knurled. If not look for the shortest side that sticks out because most pins only go one direction, think of it this way, if you were putting the pin in you would want it tight, correct? So my guess is the bigger side is wedged in a bit so it would stick out the other side a bit more. Make sure you have a good trip on the carb, if you are worried you can put something between where the pin is and brace it, then with automatic center punch go to the non-knurled or longer side if you have no indication which side comes out, and depress the punch. Voila just like that the pin should be out. Like I said earlier if you can brace it somehow, do it but unless it’s a really sticky old carburetor you shouldn’t have to worry about it.

Raw vs Synthetic

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    OK, OK we all know why synthetic oil is better be it’s superior heat transfer, slower deterioration or all round better performance. I would like to discuss one situation in which raw oil is a better solution to synthetic. Now keep in mind this is a pretty specific case and is not recommended, but none the less it is an option. In order to understand this you must know the difference between the oils molecular structure. You see synthetic oil is perfect in almost every way including the size of molecules (think the size of each particle). Raw oil however is a little less than perfect leaving molecules of varying sizes which admittedly helps cause “sludge” build up in the engine. This can be used as an advantage of sorts. Have you ever owned an old quad or trike that always had an oil residue on the head that looks like the valve coves are leaking but you never see it leaking unless you pressure wash the shit out of it? Maybe you have had an old vehicle that when you look under the engine you see an oil/road grime on it but never see a puddle under it? Perhaps you switched your vehicle over to synthetic and now it leaks? This is due to either A: the bigger molecules actually plug the leak or B: it mixes with dirt easier making a “paste” of sorts plugging up the leak. Think of it like this the leak is a door and when a few of the bigger molecules of the raw oil try to go through they get stuck plugging the hole closing it off bit by bit. Synthetic on the other hand are all the same so if one fits they all do and they don’t really like sticking to each other. So if you have an older machine and it seems to be doing just fine with raw oil perhaps don’t fix what ain’t broke.

Reverse Drill Bits

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    Have you ever stripped the head of a bolt or perhaps even break it right off? I’m willing to bet that if you have, you have most likely had to deal with using an extractor to try and get it the damn thing out. This usually involves drilling a hole in the bolt and trying to use this odd spiral cone with a bolt head on it to twist the bolt out. While this is basically all you can do let me make one suggestion that may get that bolt out. When you try to drill the hole why not try using a reverse drill bit? Most of the time this will extract the bolt without having to use the cone shaped extractor. Worst case you made a hole in the bolt that you need anyway. In my experience this works more often than not. So next time you bark your knuckles as a result of a broken or slip on a stripped bolt try using a reverse drill bit, it certainly won’t make things worse.

Air Hose Trick

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    Cross threading, an evil word known by all who have dawned a wrench. With this trick you will be able to avoid one of the worst places to experience a cross thread… spark plugs. Nobody wants to pull off the head of their machine and repair the spark plugs hole threads. That would be a huge time and money investment that most of us can’t afford. Not to mention if the threads are too damaged you may not even be able to repair it. Now I know MAC tools sold a spark plug installation tool at one point and as with most MAC tools it was awesome, however as of right now I have yet to find anyone selling such a tool. Luckily if you have some old air hose laying around you can use it as a spark plug installation tool. Simply cut off about 1.5 –  2 feet of hose, stick the spark plug in the end and install. If the threads are stuck the hose will simply slide around the spark plug. This also helps so you don’t drop the plug during installation preserving damage to the plug gap. This simple trick will ensure a proper meshing of threads, save your spark plug gap, time and money.

O-Ring gasket making

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    Does your old bike or ATV look like the blob is trying to escape from under valve covers or perhaps some kind of drooling swamp monster oozing out the seems. Seriously though leaking valve covers on old rocker valve style engines is common place and can be a source of frustration. By now the part is obsolete and eBay wants way to much, even for a used one, leaving you with little for options. Now you could go and get what they call an O-ring kit , which is awesome by the way, but can be a bit pricey and if you have spare parts, scrap machines or some other whatnot’s kicking around you might have something that could work. If only you could cut and reattach it somehow? Well the O-ring kit comes with some kind of special glue that works great and I highly recommend it but I have found that a little crazy glue works quite well as long as you make the O-ring gasket almost too big, that way the glue isn’t really doing the sealing, more like holding it in place. I know this may sound a bit strange but I can tell you from experience it works. Everything to fix those darn valve covers could be just sitting around the garage or at very least you can make a cheap replacement by modifying another part.

Easy Gas Tank Storage

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Gas Tank

    Here is simple, safe and easy solution for preventing damage to your fuel tank over winter. Remove it, Drain it and bring it inside. I know what you’re thinking, how’s that easy? Bring it inside? Won’t it be in the way or get damaged? Is this really safe? All fair questions. Let’s go through them. Although you read the words “remove the tank” and instantly think of a mess on your clothes, hands and floor. Then there is that, you know, “hard work” thing. It turns out that most motorcycle fuel tanks are surprisingly easy to remove. Many of them in 4 bolts or less, one wire and a hose or two. The best part is your petcock is most likely part of your tank so simply turning it off assures little mess and makes the next steps of draining the tank a cinch. To drain, set the tank on your workbench simply run a hose to your fuel can and open the petcock. Once you have got this done use your air line with a regulated air blowing tip and in a well ventilated area or outside would be best, dry the remaining bits of fuel from inside the tank. In the interest of safety I recommend letting it vent as long as possible, consider leaving it for the afternoon. See now, what did I say easy right! Now with this done you can pack it in a box with some bubble wrap and store it inside. This is the critical part. It needs to be stored somewhere that doesn’t experience large temperature swings. This will help prevent things like condensation and corrosion in the tank. A spare room or basement off the floor would be ideal. With no fuel in the tank you can even store it in your bedroom and rest assured your tank is safe and sound. Now you see with little effort you can eliminate the burden of rust and fuel spoilage on your tank over those long winter months.

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