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Thread: J-3 tool kit?

  1. #1

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    J-3 tool kit?

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    Finally got my J3 in the air after a lengthy paperwork debacle with our South African Civil Aviation Association. I was wondering what tools do you guys recommend one keeps in the aircraft? I was going with a couple of screw drivers, plug spanner, spare plug, set of long nose pliers.... anything else?

  2. #2
    Grant's Avatar
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    Looks good

    Hard to go wrong with:
    "screw drivers, plug spanner, spare plug, set of long nose pliers"

    I would add/Substitute:
    Substitute "screwdrivers" for a single screwdriver with multiple bits (Cheap is good enough)
    Vice-Grips
    Knipex Pliers
    Duct Tape
    Letherman(Multi-tool)
    A length of safety wire
    A handfull of Misc Screws and Nuts for the ones you drop in the deep grass.....

    A lot of this depends on what you want to accomplish.... If you're just trying to get home, minimal will do. If you're trying to plan for every enventuality, then nthing you carry will ever be enough...
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  3. #3
    stewartb's Avatar
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    What tools do you use to do normal tasks on the airplane? I can do 90% of what I normally do with my on-board tool kit. Even when in the hangar with a stocked roll-away I usually grab what I need from my go bag.

  4. #4

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    Thanks guys, just wanting to make sure there isnt some insiders tip with a specific tool etc. I used to have a share in a twin comanche, one of the vital things was a piece of prestick to prevent nuts falling into the engine bay when re-cowling!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post

    I would add/Substitute:
    Knipex Pliers
    I had no clue what Knipex Pliers were so I looked it up. Knipex is a manufacturer of many tools, including many types of pliers, so that didn't help at all.

    Does "Knipex pliers" have some special meaning in this group? I have lots of different pliers but I never heard of Knipex before I came here.

  6. #6
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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  7. #7
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Throughout the adjustment range the jaws stay perfectly parallel. Very handy tool. I have them in my hangar tools but not in my tool kits.

  8. #8

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    Thanks! Looks like a very useful tool. I've been "wrenching" for over 50 years and never come across these before.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post
    Never seen these before! What size seems to be the most handy?

  10. #10
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Those are great pliers buy only thing on a J3 your going to use them on are axle nuts

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  11. #11
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I have the set Flying Miss Daisey have me many years ago. I don't use them on nuts or bolts but the squeeze rivets, straighten sheet metal and lot of other uses. I use the serrated channel Lock brand on those round axle nuts.
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    Steve Pierce

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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I have the set
    Looks like you have the set sold by Airframes but there are more sizes available than those and also choices of grip style and steel finish. Perhaps too many choices as I haven't decided which to get (if any).

    I admit to using channel locks on my PA-28 wheel spindle sleeve nuts but the FX-3 is only attacked with the proper pin wrench.
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  13. #13
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Yes, this is the set I have. They to work well on axles nuts with the flast since they are recessed in when on big tires. They all work like a wrench in a pinch as well or when the SAE nor metric wrench quite fits.
    https://www.amazon.com/9K-00-80-45-U...a-568021556102
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Yes, this is the set I have. They to work well on axles nuts with the flast since they are recessed in when on big tires. They all work like a wrench in a pinch as well or when the SAE nor metric wrench quite fits.
    https://www.amazon.com/9K-00-80-45-U...a-568021556102
    One of the reviews from that Amazon link -

    "It's Knipex therefore superior quality and durability. As an aircraft engineer I can take apart a whole airplane with these. "

    Now I just got to get me some!

  15. #15
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    They are a nicely made tool that just feels right. However, growing up my Dad would get pretty irate if my brothers or I used Crescent wrenches or God forbid a pair of pliers on anything we worked in so mine have a limited usefulness.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  16. #16
    mvivion's Avatar
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    In reviewing the suggestions, nobody mentioned a plug wrench. Not much point in carrying a spare plug without a wrench to R and R said plug. I carry said plug socket and a minimal handle…..dunno what they’re called.

    MTV
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  17. #17
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I made this from a 3/4" swivel socket wrench and a spark plugs socket. Cut the socket shorter and welded it to the socket end of the wrench. Have one in my daily work box and another in my tool bag in the airplane. Not my idea, Mark Englerth came up with it and I really like it. As you can probably tell I am a tool junkie and have been since I was about 12 years old.
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    Steve Pierce

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  18. #18
    Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    In reviewing the suggestions, nobody mentioned a plug wrench. Not much point in carrying a spare plug without a wrench to R and R said plug. I carry said plug socket and a minimal handle…..dunno what they’re called.

    MTV

    It was called a Plug "Spanner" in the first post.....He must be a silly Britt or South African fella....

  19. #19
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    It was called a Plug "Spanner" in the first post.....He must be a silly Britt or South African fella....
    Ahhhh, SO! I assumed the aforementioned “plug scanner” was a term for a gap tester…..

    MTV

  20. #20
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I made this from a 3/4" swivel socket wrench and a spark plugs socket. Cut the socket shorter and welded it to the socket end of the wrench. Have one in my daily work box and another in my tool bag in the airplane. Not my idea, Mark Englerth came up with it and I really like it. As you can probably tell I am a tool junkie and have been since I was about 12 years old.
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    I like it!

    MTV

  21. #21
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Aren’t aircraft plugs 7/8”?

  22. #22
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    Lots of plug wires are 3/4'. The socket is a plug socket welded on.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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  23. #23
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The plug leads on the 520 in my 182 are 7/8" so I will make another one for the tool bag in it.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    It was called a Plug "Spanner" in the first post.....He must be a silly Britt or South African fella....
    South Africans.... cant take them anywhere :-p
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  25. #25
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Great for those lock tabs on Piper wings and Lycoming pushrod housings.
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    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by IainR View Post
    South Africans.... cant take them anywhere :-p
    Whereas we silly Brits get everywhere and some bring our spanners with us. I worked on cars and motorcycles for many years before I came to US. First time in an auto parts store I realized I needed to learn a new language!

  27. #27

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    best way i heard to create a tool kit is to attempt to do your annual with only your planes tool kit. then treat it like a survivalist and replace specific-use items with multi-use items.

    always include a good ghetto-breaker bar like a foot long 7/8's box end for hi tourqe items (doubles as a hammer and cabane V repair repair bar).

    learning to properly do tricks with a crescent wrench is priceless for a small tool kit. but a hi quality crescent wrench that will allow a tight fit is critical.

    J-3 cub eyebrows are a disaster of vibrations and ive had 3 different eyebrow breakages in 400 hrs of J-3/L4 flying. one of those on my way to fallen nevada that would have left me stranded because i had no way to drill a #40 hole. so while i have not done it yet i mean to pre-drill or "pre-field repair' my outer eyebrow attach points for their inevitable next breakage before im wishing i had lugged around a drill.

    if i ever head to alaska i intend to carry an extra previously broken in magento (dont trust new parts) and maybe a couple pulleys so i could lift or move the plane if needed.

    oh ya, heres an another tool bag trick to be familiar with in J-3's.... the damn mag switch can either kill you or leave you stranded with a miss-behaving engine. i had both of those happen. the switch's carbon track like a mad man and can short or ground out. so either carry another switch, or replace it with toggle switches and then still carry and extra switch. better yet become familiar with disconnecting the P-leads in order to get home. i knew the p-lead trick and got home 2 times that way. (the alternative option was to sleep in the mountains with no food, no shelter and potential snow coming the next day)

    throw dads duct tape in the display case, its more dead then a rotary phone......gorilla tape is 100X's better.

    and yes knipex kick ass. ive had the same pair for 15-18 yrs with almost daily use and i am NOT easy on them at all.
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  28. #28
    Penguin's Avatar
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    +1 for Gorilla tape.

    Depending on your fuel setup (if you have wing tanks), a spare gas cap is light and can keep you from being stranded. Zip ties. A bundle of 0.32. I also keep a small amount of cash in my tool bag for when the CC machine at the pump is broken. That's been a saver a time or two.

    I still keep a bottle of bourbon in the back for when I find a really tempting looking grass runway on private property. No shotguns in the face yet. Brownwater seems to be a rather universal language.
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