Tinker Talk – December 2019: Hack Attack 2: Shop Tricks

By Justin James

Let me start this one by saying thank you to all the staff, advertisers, readers and followers of Quick Throttle. What started out as an experiment has turned into a bit of a mainstay, and here we are a couple years later putting out Tinker Talk for the 20th time! For this occasion, I feel compelled to take this back to where it all began. Those of you that have been following Tinker Talk since the beginning might remember that the very first edition went over creating your own tools. For this edition of Tinker Talk I will go over some very simple shop hacks that can be achieved using common, everyday tools and materials.

Using hose to thread in a spark plug: 

Many of today’s overhead cam engines have spark plug bores that are recessed deep into the head or valve cover. Getting the plug started in these types of bores can be difficult. To help fish the plug in and begin threading it you can use a section of fuel line. This will also help prevent cross threading since the hose is likely to slip should you encounter any resistance. Refer to photo 1.

Socket and C-clamp Press: 

In the absence of an arbor, hydraulic or other form of shop press you can sometimes use a C-clamp and a socket to remove a bushing or insert. The socket gives you both a recess to press into and something to press against. In Photo 2 you will see me demonstrating this exact trick to remove a stubborn shock bushing.

Cheater Allen Wrench: 

There may be times when you need to break loose or tighten a difficult-to-reach allen head bolt. If you encounter this, try placing an extension along with a 6-point socket of the same size over the short end of the allen wrench. This will enable you to utilize the long end of the allen to reach the bolt head. Use the extension to obtain a positive grip and increase leverage. In Photo 3 you will see me using a 5/16” allen wrench, with a 5/16” socket on an extension, to reach a tank mounting bolt. You can also cut an allen wrench and slip it into a socket to enable the use of a ratchet when needed (Photo 4).

That’s all I have room for this time but believe me, I’m just getting started. I have plenty more of these tricks up my sleeve that I intend to share with you in future issues of Quick Throttle, one page at a time. Until then, I encourage you to continue learning or developing tricks/hacks that will assist you in getting the job done. Keeping your mind open will help you keep your wallet closed. Always remember that.

Tinker, Shred, Destroy, Repeat

-Justin James (follow more of my Tinker 

shenanigans on Instagram @justinjamesmoto)