Marking tools for easy readability

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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 avoid ambiguity.
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 :-)
cheers
Jules
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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 refrigerators.
-- Bobby G.
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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 reputation.
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...
cheers
Jules
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<stuff snipped>

blocks...
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.
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

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)
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<stuff snipped>

similar
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,
-- Bobby G.
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You might want to try a paint crayon. Here you smush the paint into the engraved markings to improve the contrast. As a locksmith we used these on safe dials.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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on
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 markings.
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,
-- Bobby G.
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those are not for starting/driving. they are for opening the door when you lock yourself out of the car.
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Do
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?
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

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.
-- aem sends...
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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 out.
Thanks for your input, I'll check out my local locksmiths first.
-- Bobby G.
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I don't know of any wallet keys with the RF gadget, or the resistor pellet. Wish there were. Yes, some of the RF key head are a bit too large for my liking.
--
Christopher A. Young
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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.
-- Bobby G.
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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.
--
Christopher A. Young
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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
-- Bobby G.
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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...
cheers
Jules
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Jules wrote:

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 that arm.
-- aem sends...
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<stuff snipped>

You got off cheap. My dealer wanted $125 for ONE key! That's just outrageous.
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

Do you have the paperwork for the new column they put in? The 'magic number' should be in there- with that, you can just start calling locksmiths directly.
-- aem sends...
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