Best Shop Tricks

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by lightsorce, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. lightsorce

    lightsorce Inner Banks Swamp Rider

    Joined:
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    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    I know you guys have some really good shop tricks that I could use so give 'em up!!!

    One of mine is to use an old Tupperware lid as a shield between the chain and the rear tire when I spray the chain lube on.:freaky
    #1
  2. kellyk7

    kellyk7 Who knows

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    I tell you what this weekend I got tired of my bike leaning and working on the down side of it, so I went to Lowes grabbed two 3/8" anchers and I had two eye bolts, I mounted one on each side of my bike work area, they are about 8 feet apart, I centered the bike and put a strap on each side, bingo safe and secure working area. bike is upright, kids won't knock it over.

    I just strap it down, slip a floor jack under it and up the rear goesm turn it around and strap it down and the front goes up,, real nice

    Things I would change,, I would have spent more then just 3.00 on concrete anchors and gotten some of those floppy "D" rings they put on trailers, these eye bolts sticking 2" out of the floor are going to be a mess.
    #2
  3. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

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    Upgrade the stereo in your house, and move the old one into the shop.

    Much easier to do that way than it is to consider buying something of the same quality dedicated just for the shop.
    #3
  4. Dirtgeek

    Dirtgeek Guest

    when in the shop make sure you have a beer in hand before attempting any repairs, farkles, maintenance.

    al
    #4
  5. Curtis in Texas

    Curtis in Texas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Rhome Texas
    OK, I'd like to play this one too!

    Here's how we do the Doo Hickey in Texas.

    Our Tech Day last Saturday in my shop.
    [​IMG]


    Harbor Freight 880 lb 120v winches mounted to an "I" beam. I use this to swap car bodys mostly, but we improvised for Tech day. The Harbor Freight Winches like these can be found on sale for less than $100 sometimes.
    I have 5 of them.
    [​IMG]



    This puts the engine case right at chest level and make draining the oil unnecessary.

    I lift my bike up like this all the time to work on it. Back Problem!

    I also used this Sunday on my KLR to lift my gas tank off the KLR while I fitted my Stebel horns under the tank. The IMS tank was almost full. And I knew there would be a lot of on and off fitting.

    Here's a shot of a friends bike hanging while we worked on his engine gaurd.
    [​IMG]



    I have even used the 440lb ones on my door.


    [​IMG]

    Hope this gives you guys some ideas!

    Curtis
    #5
  6. kellyk7

    kellyk7 Who knows

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    DUDE you need more stuff,, there is way too much free floor space in that shop

    Nice set up
    #6
  7. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    Hamilton NJ.
    :poser :yikes
    #7
  8. KLboxeR

    KLboxeR Back in the game again

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    Great idea for a thread. I'll bet this one's going to be around a while :thumb

    Some of my tricks:

    Locking medical forceps are the shit. They can be used to assemble small parts, fish wires, hold parts, clamp off hoses, etc... They basically act as a third set of hands, I keep bent ones, straight ones, and every size up to 10". I've circumvented alot of disassembly steps by stealthing into a tight spot with forceps and getting the job done. I keep them clamped on the lid of my toolbox so they're always close at hand. The spring loaded squeeze clamps available at any Home Depot work well too. Keep a selection of sizes up to 4" or so. You'll wonder how you ever got along without them.

    Rare earth magnets in a bunch of different sizes really help out around the shop. Get several of them in sizes from a tic-tac on up to a few inches across. The round ones are handy because you can stack them up for more holding power yet still have a narrow profile to reach tight spots. If you need to fish a part out of your bikes innards, just put a few tic-tac sized ones in a condom or other flexible holder like a drinking straw with the end taped off and go bobbing for lost parts. The bigger ones can be used to hold parts in place while you futz aroud trying to get some impossible nut and bolt attached. If you've been cutting metal, stick one in an old sock and drag it around the vice and workbench. Hold the sock with all the shavings now stuck to it over a trash can and just reach in and pull the magnet out. Presto! The shavings fall neatly into the trash can :D This trick works well on welding/cutting slag too. You can also check the amount of metal after an oil change by putting a magnet in a zip-loc bag, swish it around in the old oil and see what it brings up. Could give you an early warning if a problem is coming up.

    As was stated in another thread around here, Automatic transmission fluid is a great penetrating lubricant and solvent. It'll free up most any stuck or gummed up assembly. I keep a squirt can of it around all the time.

    I'll think up more for sure :D

    Chris
    #8
  9. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

    Joined:
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    Good ideas with the magnets.....I use a couple different telescoping ones. One is tiny and extends about 14". Handy. The other is a bit bigger and flexible. Has saved many lost parts.

    I have built up a really good set of misc. metric nuts, bolts and various OEM bits and pieces left over from the last 15 bikes or so. Japanese OEM stuff is very nice.

    Since most of us don't have overhead lifts, many work on the garage floor. To save my knees I find the rubber squares that fit together indespensible. Costco sells them. Way better than carpet or light foam rubber. Great to stand on too...saves your legs.

    Paint the place white. As I get older I have trouble seeing....even with a couple banks of decent Flo lights very close in. White walls and ceiling brighten things right up.

    Storage:
    Got a bike or bikes you're not riding? Of course we all know its best to ride them at least once a month or so or at least every three months....but if you can't then storage is important. I kept some old Brit bikes about 15 years.
    They made it out about once a year.

    My method:
    Add Marvel Mystery Oil to fuel and oil. Fill Oil to FULL.
    Add Stabil to fuel, fill fuel tank.
    Run bike for 20 minutes. Let cool.
    Raise bike up on center stand or blocks.
    Remove battery. (put on Battery Tender (s))
    Lower tire pressure.
    Cover.
    Walk away.

    The Marvel and Stabil mean no draining of float bowls or tank. Make sure you have NO FUEL LEAKS. :lol3 Carb internals do not gum up and crankcase moisture/corrosion is minimal. Internal parts are very well preserved.

    My bikes would start on the 2nd or 3rd kick after sitting for a year. Works great.
    #9
  10. Guano11

    Guano11 Behind Bars....

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    :lurk
    This may seem so obvious, but it was a revelation to me (and I thought of it myself): As I strip the bike of tanks, plastic, fairings, etc, I will keep the fasteners in the appropriately labeled bins of a fishing tackle box.

    Also, my new AGM battery is shorter than the non-AGM battery it replaced. It sits snugly in a hole and is almost impossible to grip in order to pull it back out. Solution: strap a large zip-tie around it. Doesn't take up any space in the cavity and is just enough "handle" to lift out.
    #10
  11. KLboxeR

    KLboxeR Back in the game again

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    Good tip.

    Another variation on keeping fastners organized:

    If you have a part that's attached with multiple fastners of different sizes and lengths (such as a side case), draw a picture of the part on a piece of cardboard and poke holes where each of the bolts are positioned. As you remove the part just push each bolt through the cardboard drawing where it belongs and set the cardboard aside. On reassembly, you now have a nice picture of the part and you know exactly where each fastner is supposed to go.

    I'll also take a digital pic of any complex assembly that I have to take apart if I think there will be questions when I reassemble. You can put the pic on the computer and zoom in on the parts in question to make sure you have things correct. Take many pictures from different angles and of all relative positions of the parts. If you don't need the pics, just delete them later.

    Chris
    #11
  12. praetorian

    praetorian Adventurer

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    South-Central L.A. (Leland(NC) Area that is!)
    This is some good stuff..... lets keep it going....

    I do this with any repair I haven't done too much and also with complex things that I have done a lot. Eisier to delete the pic if not needed than to kick yourself when it IS needed and you don't have it. I'll just carry my laptop to the garage with me to view the pictures. I'll also go to bike bandit or a similar site and print off the micro-fische drawing of the part I am working on so that I have a clear line drawing of what it is along with the pics.
    #12
  13. KLboxeR

    KLboxeR Back in the game again

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    One more:

    I went to the lawn mower store and purchased a 1 quart gas tank that originally went to a snowblower or something. I connected a shutoff valve and some fuel hose to it to make an auxillary fuel tank for working on the bikes. It cost about $15, total.


    If I have to remove the bike's tank, I'll hang the aux. tank on the handlebar so that I can run the bike when needed without having to replace the main tank. This works great when diagnosing problems or working on the fuel system because you can turn the gas on or off at will and you still have access to the entire engine. Your main tank can now be put somewhere where it won't get dinged or banged up. If you put the shutoff near the end of the aux tank's hose, it can save alot of headache and spilled gas when you have to connect/reconnect the fuel supply repeatedly.

    This setup is fantasic when syncing carbs.

    Chris
    #13
  14. kellyk7

    kellyk7 Who knows

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    Oh man I knew there was something else I should have pulled off that dead lawn mower I tossed a few weeks back.. good idea
    #14
  15. jimmy2020

    jimmy2020 limpiador de ventanas

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    BERTHOUD, COLORADO / SANTA TERESA, CR
    every time I remove a bolt or set a torque, I write the info or size on the bike with a sharpie on or near that area.
    #15
  16. crooked roads

    crooked roads I'm back

    Joined:
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    No tricks from her but, was fun to have as a helper.
    #16
  17. mark1305

    mark1305 Old Enough To Know Better

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    Merritt Island, FL
    Don't throw out that old baking sheet or cooking pot from the kitchen.

    They make excllent trays to disassemble stuff in to catch little parts falling off and to keep fasteners from wandering off the edge of the workbench as you keep working.

    And they make nice durable parts cleaning containers. I keep several shapes & sizes handy along with a huge collection of cleaning brushes. Lots less wasted solvent.
    #17
  18. kellyk7

    kellyk7 Who knows

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    just make sure she can handle the Stick,, no wire for me :evil
    #18
  19. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    I hit up the dollar store and purchased 10 of them for various jobs like valve adjusts to catch oil, and parts.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also use the backside of a 13/16" spark plug socket for front tire axle removal on my R1200GS. I just trimmed it off, but you can use it either way.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've got lots of these ideas.

    Jim :brow
    #19
  20. KLboxeR

    KLboxeR Back in the game again

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    I used to be extremely disorganized around the shop and house. You know the drill, you need something simple like say, a piece of 100 grit emery cloth to do a job. You spend 15 minutes looking in the garage, house, and basement but can't find any. S you waste 45 minutes running to the store and while there, you grab three packs of sandpaper so you're sure to have it for next time. A few days later, you're wasting more time looking for some other item when you run across three OTHER packs of sandpaper you ran out for 6 months ago when you couldn't find any then as well:becca This happened one time too many so I came up with the Bucket System.

    I went out and found a bunch of 5 gallon buckets, a big marker, and some heavy shelving. The buckets are labeled according to the contents and the items are just tossed into the appropriate bucket. If the bucket starts to overflow, the items are split into sub categories and a new bucket is labeled for that and zip tied to it's parent bucket.

    Some of my buckets:

    Oil filters/ crush washers
    Fuses/electrical switches/misc 12 volt wiring
    Gaskets
    Penetrating oils and spray solvents
    Abrasives/sandpaper
    Air filters
    Brackets/misc hardware
    Hose/hose clamps/tubing/tubing connectors
    AC switches and outlets/wire nuts/AC circuit breakers
    Copper plumbing supplies
    Plastic plumbing supplies
    Screws (separated by small coffee cans)
    Nails (also separated)
    Saw blades
    Auto cleaning supplies
    Etc.....

    I have about 75 buckets organizing stuff that was laying about or stuffed into overfilled shelves. I'm not worried about organizing the stuff in the buckets themselves because all I have to do is dump it out and sort through to see if what I need is in stock. If I do have to run out, I usually buy extras for the future, and in the bucket they go. At least I know it's not a wasted trip and I don't already have the item somewhere. More often than not, I'll have the item I need and that saves an hour of searching and going to the store. The system works well for motorcycle supplies, automotive supplies, shop stuff, tools, and home improvement stuff . If you find something laying around with no home, just toss it into it's apropriate bucket or make a new one for it. By doing this, my workspace has been getting cleaner and cleaner rather than getting less and less organized. I can't count how many trips I've saved and the projects I do seem to take far less time :thumb

    A friend made a great improvement on this idea by making two rows of shelving around the entire perimeter of his shop up near the ceiling. He puts the buckets in rows, labels facing out so he can locate the bucket he wants by just glancing around. This freed up a ton of space in his garage because the couple of feet up near the ceiling is pretty useless anyhow.

    I like to keep spares on hand because I never know when I'll get a bit of extra time to wrench. With that in mind, when I find that I only have one more oil filter (or whatever), I'll order three more, well before I need them. Using the bucket system, it's easy to see what you have and what you need to stock up on. I keep a clipboard with a running list of needed parts so that when I run out somewhere or place an internet order, it's just a matter of grabbing the clipboard and picking the parts. That has also saved alot of wasted trips.

    Separate from that tip, it's also a great idea to have a phone in the garage with emergency numbers and vendor phone numbers. Having the phone outside saves alot of greasy trips into the house for phone calls and keeps the mess outside where it belongs :clap

    Chris
    #20