Handy tools and tinkering

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Tinkering is fun. There are even classic enthusiasts who are more interested in tinkering than driving with their pride and pleasure. To tinker you need a calm look, attention and tools. You should never have 'rush' and experience can be gained simply by doing it.

Tools can be very specialized and expensive

Or just improvised. For example, with a key training from Erik van Lent, we were delighted to see the home-made piston ring clamp again. That is just round curved strip of aluminum of 2 mm thick and slightly of 2 cm wide. The circle is not completely closed and the strip protrudes a few centimeters on both sides of the curve. You just compress it between your thumb and forefinger. One by one the springs can be pricked by tilting the pistons a little and the springs then pressing the flat side of a very small screwdriver into the grooves is also possible.

Disassemble and assemble a piston pin

The fit of a piston pin can be such that some mechanical force must be exerted to get it off or in place. Pushing out the pen can be done with a hammer (and policy). But make sure that the piston is then supported against the cylinder studs or something. Pressing the piston pins back into place can be done with a piece of threaded rod, two nuts and two washers.

A torque wrench is a pretty serious tool

At the official tool trade, the calibrated copies with certificate up to hundreds of euros were sold. With our advertisers - and sometimes with the Aldi of Action - they are from a euro or fifty +. And those quality will really be less than the very expensive ones that the professionals sell. But for us they are usually good enough. The problem for most of us is that we no longer have the instinctive feeling that we are sure that we have tightened threaded connections to the correct torque. When mounting a crankcase cover, that won't be a problem, but with the bolts of big end bearing caps and cylinder head bolts, the good torque is a thing of the past. Preferably work in a few steps to the final tightening moment. And realize that click of the torque wrench has already been achieved after 1. Oh yes: the specified tightening moments are usually metal on metal, so without the use of lubricants.

Also only for professionals: the infrared thermometer

Exhaust bends must all be about the same hot. Brake discs become hot when they start. And then we talk about temperatures that "AUW!" to do. With an infrared thermometer you can check temperatures without contact, quickly and effectively.

Still back to having experience with tinkering

That is something many of us grew up with. But somewhere the story is interrupted. Erik has responded to this. He gives key courses to 'groups' of a maximum of four people. And during our visit it was nice to see that the group consisted of two forty and two people in their twenties. So interest in tinkering is not dead. And after the day there was a neatly assembled Honda Fireblade block on the table.

You can learn to tinker
And so there is always something to do ...

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