On Tue, 03 Nov 2009 09:00:56 -0500, Robert Green wrote:
You could possibly notch the vertical face of the most common ones for the
types of job that you do using a hacksaw or a cutting disc in a grinder
(e.g. 1 notch for 3/8", 2 for 1/2", 3 for 9/16"). Maybe spacing the
notches at 90 degree intervals (or 45) will make them far enough apart to
Personally I've found that if I'm using sockets a lot I can just look at a
bolt and know what size it is, and look at a socket bit and do the same. I
seem to lose that skill if I'm not using them often though, and it all
falls apart given a mixture of AF / Whitworth / BSF / Metric sizes (which
often applies to old British cars :-)
Actually, part of the problem is putting the poorly marked sockets and bits
BACK into their cases, which have much better markings. I've started an
index card list of the sizes of the items around the house that always need
the occasional tightening so I can save myself the trouble of trying five
sockets to find the right one. Owned a Jag and a Triumph before I swore off
British cars forever. Got all those damn oddball sizes and know all the
jokes like: Why do the English like warm beer? Because Lucas makes
On Fri, 06 Nov 2009 16:32:35 -0500, Robert Green wrote:
Aha, OK. I'm not always that organized - half the time I end up with a
small pile of socket bits on top of the case, and every few months they'll
end up back where they should be :-)
:-) I've had several Triumphs, a couple of old British Fords, and worked
on many a vintage Rover... much of the problem was the vast number of
owners that many of these cars have had over the years though, and they'd
use whatever bits they could get their hands on to fix things. Although
Triumph's quality control could be a bit random too (and you wouldn't
believe the amount of casting sand I've pulled out of their engine blocks...
Oddly, I've never had much trouble with Lucas electrics, despite the
Oh, I always wanted a classic Jag XJ6 or XJ12 but could never have
afforded to run it back in the UK, but of course it's a lot cheaper here
in the US (like, 1/8th of the cost) and I think they did export quite a
few, so I might find one this side of the Pond someday...
I sold my TR6 shortly after a neighbor's kid beheaded himself in a TR4. Got
a used Ford LTD patrol car at auction - a heavied up version that could
probably roll right over a Triumph. Only got 7 MPG, had a monstrous engine
in it and a trunk that was probably large enough to hold a disassembled
Triumph. That was back when gas was 32 cents a gallon and no one had ever
heard of global warming. Hard to believe.
Neither have I, but there are enough similar jokes that I suspect there's a
grain of truth in it. SU carbs were a totally different case. Hope I never
see another one. Every bad thing I had ever heard about them was true, plus
some things I had never heard.
Maybe. I had a Mark X and belonged to the local Jag club. I remember when
one of the guys invited me over to see his new XJ12. I was standing next to
it when I asked him why the hood was so hot. The answer was that it was
running! I had no idea because it ran so quietly it made almost no noise.
Looking under the hood revealed a mass of cross-linkages the likes of which
I have never seen before. It was the most complicated automobile engine
I've ever seen, before or since. I wonder how long it stayed as ghostly
quiet as those first few 1000 miles. With all the moving levers, I suspect
it wasn't long. What I'd really like is an X-KE, but those are incredibly
expensive now, even old rusted through hulks. I always thought Ford/Jaguar
could have made a fortune reviving that version, or one very much like it.
I've had fair luck with "Brother p-Touch". It makes a labeling tape similar
to a Dymo but very, very thin - it's a thermal printer rather than an
embosser. It's advertised purpose is to label file folders and the like. I
would think the label's thinness would make it less vulnerable to being
knocked loose in the tool box.
Here's an example, although cheaper models are available.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
I've got a RhinoPro 3000, a P-touch and a Casio label machine. So far, the
RhinoPro's super-expensive stuff sticks the best, but that's not saying
much. After a while, they start to lift and curl up.
Thanks. I think I will email all three companies that make the label-makers
I own and see what they have to say. I think if I find a label tape with a
sticky enough adhesive, the problem will be solved. At lunch, a buddy
suggested getting labels that are actually heat shrink tubing. Not sure if
it will work on the socket wrench but it may be worth a shot.
Thanks for your input,
That's an idea, but part of the problem is the engraved numbers themselves
are pretty small. It's about a 10pt so making the existing markings
readable probably won't help as much labeling or hand lettering new
I'll be sure to remember we've got a locksmith here when a lock question
arises! Actually, I do have one: I've always carried something called an
"Ilco Unican Keycard Pat pending 82511A/88 1" which is a like a thick
plastic credit card that has a copy of my car key that snaps in the middle.
My new car had an "immobilizer" and has a chip in the key head that the
ignition reads and then allows the car to start. The key head is very thick
and won't fit into a wallet very well. Is there are way around this? Do
they make "wallet" key card for RF enabled ignition keys?
Thanks for your help,
Well, my old wallet key starts and runs my 1990 car! I guess I could hide a
spare RF enabled key inside the car somewhere and use the wallet version to
let me in to get it. Not ideal, but probably workable. In fact, I had the
car broken into and the steering column popped but without the RF key, all
it did was grind up the starter motor, so I have a spare key I could cut
down like the Ilco key and carry that with me. Now to figure out where to
get a cheap key dupe for a Chrysler. The last I checked they wanted an
obscene amount of money. Any suggestions as we wonder far, far away from
the thread topic?
Any good independent locksmith can beat the dealer price by at least
1/3. Around here, the Chrysler dealer doesn't even do keys any more-
they send them to the local freelancer. If you don't have 2 working
keys, you will need to get the magic number from the dealer- they look
it up using the VIN. You can also buy uncut blanks on ebay, and do the
self-program voodoo on them if you have at least 2 keys, and are willing
to risk a pig in a poke versus the guaranteed keys from the locksmith.
(and if you can find a hardware store willing to cut carried-in blanks,
or are patient enough to cut them yourself by hand with a rat-tail file.)
I hate the damn security keys, personally. Both of my cars have them,
and they make my keyring painful to carry in a pants pocket.
I hated them to, but not so much after the immobiliser kept a pair of
teenage kids from taking my van on a joy-ride to who knows where! It was
bad enough that I had a very high deductible and it cost me nearly $500 to
get fixed, but that's much, much better than having the car savaged by
savages and left in a ditch somewhere after all the insides had been ripped
Thanks for your input, I'll check out my local locksmiths first.
When my car was broken into, they left with me two dead keys by the time my
steering column was repaired. I'm going to perform an "auto key autospy" to
see if the chip can be removed and encased in something slimmer. Then I
might try it with a good key.
Some of the "chips" are an electrical resistor. And some are
a RF transponder. Depending which kind of car it is, and
what they were using. On some vehicles, replacing the column
should not change the resistor value. Not sure about the
transponders. I've got less learning about those.
When they returned the parts to me, one of them was labelled "immobiliser" -
yes, Brit spelling, dunno why. I guess it's time for a post mortem on that,
too. My understanding is that it's device like the little foil anti-theft
things they put into high priced items at Wal-mart and other similar stores
with electronic exit gates. If the car's sensor doesn't detect such a
device during starting, the engine turns but never starts.
I found some instructions for a "Autotop Skim programmer" that's sold to
work around the problem that gives you an idea of how it works:
"This is a small standalone device that can overwrite the pin code stored
within the skim module fitted to Chrysler/Jeep & Dodge. This will then allow
new keys to be programmed into the vehicle. The skim module is Chrysler
terminology for a combined immobiliser and aerial module. Writing a new pin
code to the skim module involves removing the Skim module, which is located
around the ignition barrel, from the vehicle, which is a fairly simple
process. The pin code that is written to the skim module is a fixed code
that will be detailed with each kit. Once the new pin code has been written
to the module, keys can be programmed into the vehicle by using any
Diagnostics key programming tool which is fitted."
Not sure that helps me with two dead RF keys and one live one. I don't like
the idea of having to leave the RF key hidden in the car, either, although
that will be the cheapest solution. More research needed
On Wed, 04 Nov 2009 14:35:26 -0700, charlie wrote:
I think that's highly dependent on the system. I had an after-market
immobilizer fitted to one of my cars and it can with a little
cylindrical widget about an inch long and 3/8" diameter which just dangled
from the same keyring as the key and was read by the immobilizer.
Are you sure your key doesn't do other stuff, too (remote door locking
etc. and therefore has a battery in it and other 'guts')? I've seen cars
where they'll supply two keys as standard - one that's just the
immobolizer/ignition and one that does all the other stuff too; the bigger
one's almost twice the size of the smaller...
My van came with ONE of those, and no other keys. It cost me $125 or so
at the locksmith on the way home, to get two smaller keys programmed
using the magic number the dealer gave me. And since idiot chrysler
expects everyone to carry around that huge key the size of a serving
spoon, only the driver door and hatch have lock cylinders. Major PITA.
Key isn't just huge, the tiny loop angled the wrong direction means you
can't put it on a key ring and carry keys in your pants pocket. Been
meaning to see if anyone sells an aftermarket fob that could be
programmed to talk to the van without killing the original huge key and
vanilla security keys. Maybe buy a used key off ebay or something, and
just cut the shaft off.
Never understood the purpose of remote locks that only work from a few
feet away. You are standing at the damn door anyway, and if keys are in
your pocket, you already have to set down whatever you are carrying with
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