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Useful Extra Tools

In addition to a good set of spanners, you will occasionally find that a special tool is required. In fact any Land Rover workshop repair manual will often refer to these in the text - either that or they say something like "The overhaul of this item requires specialised equipment and must be entrusted to a suitably equipped agent". Which, of course, is not much use if you've broken down in the African bush miles from anywhere.

Several of these tools can be home-made; with a bit of ingenuity you should be able to fabricate or adapt something that will do the job.

I have found the following items rather useful:

  • Castle Nut holder
    This is simply a length of steel bar with a welded crosspiece, which has holes drilled in it for removal of the castle nut on the diffs/transfer box. The second photo shows it in action.

    Castle nut removal tool     Removing rear diff pinion nut

  • Suspension bush removal tool
    Described on this page.

  • Vice
    Get the biggest one you can. Preferably not cast iron. Personally, I won't buy Sealey or Record tools again. This happened when I was inserting a universal joint for the rear propshaft:

    Broken vice

    To get a decent one, you can try Ebay.

  • Right-angled Screwdriver
    Now this is one of the most useful items I've ever bought. I've had it for ages (can't remember where I got it) but it comes into its own in tight corners. The screwdriver bit is interchangeable.

    Right-angled screwdriver

  • Quickgrips
    Don't buy cheap ones. I found these particularly useful not only for my other hobby (woodworking) but when it came to realigning the bulkhead!

    Quick-grip clamp/spreader

  • Breaker bar
    As I was replacing the rear axle trailing arms with cranked ones (allowing 2" extra drop) I decided one of the old trailing arms would make an ideal breaker bar. I simply cut off the rear end (nearest the axle) and gave it a lick of paint. My socket wrench handle fits nicely inside the tube.

    Home-made Breaker Bar

  • Hi-Lift Jack
    Not only useful in the workshop, but can be used for lifting the Landy out of ruts, winching, removing tree stumps... Use with caution though; these can be dangerous.

    Hi-Lift Jack

  • Vernier Micrometer/Caliper
    This little tool has paid for itself many times over. For example, it's the easiest way to determine the exact size drill-bit to use for a specific bolt.
    As an aside - (true story) - a friend of mine once went into a hardware shop to buy one of these. He said to the assistant, "I'd like a vernier caliper please".
    The assistant looked blank for a moment and then replied "No, sorry, he doesn't work here."

  • Brake Pipe Flaring tool
    If you're going to be replacing your brake pipes, instead of buying the pipes ready-made, you can save a bit of money by buying some cupro-nickel pipe, a box of relevant fittings, and a tool to fit them. The advantage of doing this is that you can cut the brake pipe to the exact length you require - particularly useful if you decide, as I did, to re-route them.

  • Brake Pipe Unions
    It's worth while getting a box of varying sizes - particularly if you're making up more than one brake pipe. These can be bought from most auto factors, or wherever you buy the cupro-nickel tubing!

  • Brake Pipe Bending tool
    Very few brake pipes are straight from end to end. It is possible to bend a cupro-nickel brake pipe with your hands, but the danger is if the radius of your bend is too sharp the pipe can "kink", and may even collapse internally. One of these bending tools won't cost the earth and is well worth it.

  • Pipe Cutter
    Yes, you can use a hacksaw. But when cutting a tube, apart from the difficulty in holding the tube in a vice without damaging it, it's also not easy to get a perfectly square cut with smooth sides. Instead, get one of these. Simply fit it around the tube where you want the cut, tighten the screw one turn, and rotate the tool around the pipe. Tighten the screw again one turn and rotate around the pipe again. The end result is a nice square cut with smooth sides. You can then ream the inside edges of the cut (if required) with the little triangular blade on the tool. Get one which is a decent size; the miniature ones are difficult to hold securely.

  • Tap and Die Set
    Finally, along with the other "nice to haves" is the Tap and Die set. This is something which is infrequently used, but when you need it, it's exceedingly useful! I've used mine for cleaning up threads on bolts which had been slightly cross-threaded at one stage in their lives but were impractical to replace at that particular point in time. Also it came in very handy in ensuring that on the front axle, the bolts for the lower spring retainer and plate went in smoothly. I have a metric set which wasn't very expensive - and it's done all I've needed. If it's your birthday soon, you could always drop some hints that you'd like an imperial set as well, of course! If you're going to be using this sort of thing a lot, it's probably better to get a really good make like Snap-On.

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