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Spares and Tools

Tim Bancroft

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HI all, was thinking about what to put in the boot and thought it would be a good idea to post the RBRR advice Notes that we did a few years ago with the RBRR team's thoughts about spares and tools, so here it is:

Tools and Spare Parts


You need to think very carefully about which spares would be useful, rather than just dead weight. Take such spares and tools as are appropriate to the event and to YOUR level of competence. More experienced mechanics may choose to take spares with them which would take longer and be more difficult to change, such as wheel bearings, water pumps, even drive shafts. But don’t take a spare clutch if you normally draw the line at changing the oil and filter. The roadside is not the place to learn the black art of motor repair. An AA membership card (or similar) can be a very valuable spare in itself, know when to quit and let someone else do the job!


Recent RBRRs have been blighted with problems caused by duff dynamos, alternators and fuel pumps. Think about taking replacements, however, talk to entrants using similar cars and share the load.


A note for first time RBRR or long distance driving event entrants. Prior to the event it may be beneficial to pack your car fully with ALL the gear you intend to take along with your co-drivers and take the car out for a run, preferably at night . Get a feel for how it handles and and get the inside organised with your maps and storage etc. There is nothing worse than ferreting around looking for wallets, phones, cameras down the sides of seats which can be especially distracting for the driver.


Make sure you have adequate means of payment with you, just in case the unexpected happens, have your escape plan worked out BEFORE you need it.


Pack loose items into small clear plastic storage boxes. Supermarkets sell cheap food storage boxes which are very good. Here’s a check-list of basic spares:


·       Breakdown/recovery scheme card

·       First Aid kit

·       Fire Extinguisher (Especially Lucas PI cars)

·       Tow rope

·       Gaffa tape (Duct tape)

·       WD40 or similar

·       Bungee cords (luggage elastics)

·       Cable ties, split pins

·       Steel and/or copper wire

·       Electrical connectors and a length or two of wire

·       Insulation tape

·       Imperial size nuts and bolts, including wheel nut(s)

·       Water hoses and hose clips

·       Petrol hose / tubing

·       Olives for water pipes

·       Exhaust fittings

·       Fan belt, power steering belt if appropriate

·       Bulbs, including “sealed beam” units if appropriate.

·       Light switch(es) – especially the combined indicator / dip switch (Stag, 2000 range, and others) and the TR light switch.

·       Fuses

·       Ignition spares: plugs, points, condenser, dizzy cap, leads, coil. If you’ve fitted electronic ignition, consider taking a complete set of original bits with you, so you can retrofit them if the electronics fail

·       Alternator or dynamo

·       Fuel Pump

·       Engine/transmission/steering fluids

·       Water (for cooling the PI pump, of course). If you are taking water for the cooling system top up why not take water/antifreeze mix.

·       A brake hose clamp could isolate a wheel cylinder and avoid excessive fluid loss or bleeding.

·       If your car has security type locking wheel nuts check the special nut/key is readily to hand. Better still remove them and fit standard nuts!


Right, that’s the spares list done – now for the tools!


Instead of packing your tools in a rusty metal toolbox, why not use a plastic one? These are lighter and absorb rattles better, nowt worse than rattles! Keep a small selection of frequent use tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, 7/16, 1/2, and 9/16 AF spanners near to hand.


·       Overalls and rubber inspection gloves

·       Hand wipes (Swarfega hand wipes are very good)

·       A plastic or foam sheet to lie upon if you have to go under the car- available from camping shops.

·       AF Spanners

·       Assorted pliers and cutters

·       ½ inch, 3/8 inch and ¼ inch drive socket sets

·       Assorted screwdrivers

·       Engineers hammer

·       Breaker bar fitted with wheel nut sized socket

·       Tyre pressure gauges, these are good: (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sykes-Pickavant-Halfords-pressure-0-50lb/dp/B00I5G2FOA)

·       Crimping tool, these offer much more positive connections than ordinary pliers if you need to make low resistance electrical connections.

·       Insulation tape

·       Foot pump

·       Rubber mallet

·       Junior hacksaw

·       Cold chisels and drifts

·       Feeler gauges

·       Files

·       Mole wrench

·       Adjustable spanner

·       Strong, stable screw jack – a trolley jack is a very good idea if space available-think about the weight though!

·       Multi Meter or simple test lamp

·       Collapsible axle stands

·       Brake bleeding equipment

·       LED Torch: Sealey sell a wonderful one: https://www.toolden.co.uk/p/sealey-led360plusr-rechargeable-360-inspection-lamp-16-smd-led-3w-led-red-2-x-lithium-ion/?gclid=CjwKCAjwgZuDBhBTEiwAXNofRKR_u2YJ7NCHcmOyfLQrAtooHJ4U1huNwmte41iFxM2tbcTdtLJTsBoCrY0QAvD_BwE USB rechargeable, so very handy!

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