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100 Tips for the Young Tech
Posted to Technical Tips Forum on 1/25/2010 257 Replies

I'm thinking it might be a good idea to put some tips in here that are probaly well known by many but certainly cannot be known by all. I'm also thinking that there may be a reluctancy to post here tips that are of this nature. Most of what I see here in this forum is often very neat or tricky stuff. Because we expect to see that, I feel we are cautious about posting something that might not be very useful.

The most important thing we learn in this profession is that none of us knows it all and keeping the mind open to new ideas or ways to do things is prudent. I have worked at 6 differant shops over my career and every new place I worked or differant tech I worked with, taught me something new when I watched how they do things.

I'm hoping a bunch of you will share some tips also without censoring them. Think of the things you would show a young guy to help him get the job done faster or safer. I'm willing to bet that a lot of simple tricks don't make it into this forum because they appear too simple. But often the simple things can be the most profound and are overlooked by many. Here are a few from me to get this started.

1. When you pull a brand new serpentine belt out of it's sleeve you will find it has bends in the belt that are there from the belt having been bent in it's packaging. Use these preformed bends to your advantage when you install the belt. I often use a part of the belt stuck into a tight loop as a starting point to get the belt onto the crank pulley from up top. You can often put that tight loop right onto the crank and it will stay there because of it's shape. You can either fight with the shape of the belt or work with it.

2. Many specialty tools can be used for more uses than what they were designed for. Watch the experienced guys in your shop how they do things and of course search the forums here for great tips. I'll give a example;

I use a old 13mm distributor wrench to remove the thermostat housing bolt on a 3.1 L GM. The bolt that has the exhaust manifold crossover in the way. The Distributor wrench goes under the manifold and takes the bolt out with ease. Tricks like these save tons of time.

3. When pouring liquid from a rectangular bottle, always turn the bottle so that you pour with the larger flat sides(front and back) facing up and down.

4.----100. Start writing them everyone.

David from Michigan

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