Tools and parts for the road (revisited)


As I wrote a couple weeks back, I recently embarked on a winter road trip in my 1972 BMW 2002tii (nicknamed Louie), driving it down to Greer, South Carolina, so that it could be included in the BMW Car Club of America Foundation exhibit, The Icon: 50 Years of the BMW 2002. The trip would normally be about 900 miles, but a detour to see a friend in western Pennsylvania put the total mileage closer to 1150.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/03/12/tools-and-parts-for-the-road


I’m wondering how the cost of all this compares to the cost of having the car shipped?


Rob, I usually find your take on things to be very good though this time I think you are overdoing it a bit. Unless your trip is on the ALCAN highway, there is usually a place to get stuff like Anti-freeze, oil, fix a flat, and other like items nearby. Almost every supermarket carries basic stuff and Wal Mart or Sears or any of the chains of auto parts stores are but an Uber away. When I get on the road in my old Lotus cars, I carry a small bag of tools and parts that I can deal with the basic failures from you group of six, and then the two most important tools…A credit card and cellphone.

I am also a member of the Lucas Belief Society. If you doubt, it will fail and if you believe it will get you home. I have at least five case studies to back up the Societies firmly held beliefs ;~)




It seems like you’re knocking Harbor Freight tools. While they may not have the same quality as more expensive brands, the do carry a lifetime warranty on all Pittsburg-branded tools. Yes, the return policy is a bit cumbersome, but the warranty is there. (The return policy is such that if you break one tool in a set, you have to return the entire set for replacement.)


Rob - hope you put some caps on the aerosol cans to avoid premature discharge…:grinning:


I’ve not read many of your articles though I see you are definitely a BMW soul. I nearly blew my scotch out my nose when I read Guibo in your list. No I know in all my car circles have any idea what it is and believe Its a parts guy joke facilitated from huffing too many fumes from the pain mixing booth at the store. Too many memories you conjured up for me.

That said I have too agree a bit far on the boyscout side. I will admit I’ve done similar. I had 200 miles on a frest 390fe ford rebuild when I began power tour in 15. I had all my tools loaded in the truck of my Galaxie as well as all the good spairs from the install. Only issue I had was a loose alternator bolt that I found checking oil before it caused catastrophic alternator shotpooting. So I can’t dog you much on your attention to completeness.

As too the prior comment of “the cost to ship the car,” you’re missing the point; and most of the fun.


That does seem like a lot to carry. I carry a toolbox with the vast majority of tools I would need for a rebuild, but bringing a headgasket set? That’s the line for me I guess. Don’t think I would do that on the side of the road (or hotel parking lot, or NAPA parking lot)


I too am in the “this is way too overkill” camp. Sort all your worries before you go, pack a few tools, credit card, cell phone & AAA membership, then enjoy.


@rspcharger - I think part of the desire to carry everything and the kitchen sink might stem from Rob’s penchant to fly one way and drive a vehicle the long way home.


Ya, I get that. I just function differently. For Instance, my 69 C-10 I have had for 4 years I would drive 1000 miles without a worry and probably bring no supplies. On the other hand, my 75 Trailduster I’ve only had 6 months and haven’t gone more than 50 miles from home to date. I’d be comfortable with 100+, only with an assortment of tools and supplies like belts, gorilla tape & zip ties. When you get down to it, if everything is sorted then its just like it was back in the day and you can always call AAA.


I think one of the basic items one should carry at all times is a fire extinguisher. I always do and whether I’m on the road or the car is parked at home, I always disconnect the battery. One of my misfortunes on a trip a few years ago. The crankshaft pulley that is vulcanized to the harmonic balancer let go. No noise or anything. Only thing I noticed was the generator light came on and the heat gauge was rising. The car was running fine. Pulled into a parking lot, lifted the hood and found the pulley resting on the oil lines to the radiator. This was on my 63 Galaxie. Well what do I do now. The light bulb came on in my brain and got my tools out. Short story is that I was able to take up the slack of the fan belt via running it on the fan pulley and generator pulley and onto the harmonic balancer. The balancer was flat and smooth. To tighten the belt I took up the slack by adjusting the generator and tightening the bolts. That way the belt was still being driven by the balancer, but on the bottom of the V belt. Started up and drove to the car show that day, got the hard luck trophy and drove all the way back home, about 150 miles altogether. When home I removed the old balancer and replaced it with a spare. It’s amazing sometime what one can do in an emergency. Try doing that with today’s cars. Oh, by the way, I let the loose pulley rest on the oil line and it stayed there all the way home.