The MGA With An Attitude
THE SURVIVAL KIT - Tools for the Road - TP-101

TP-101 is a detailed listing of the SURVIVAL KIT, tools to take along on a road trip, followed by a list of other tools I leave in my garage.

Tackle box size travelling tool box

At 06:04 AM 5/31/2000 -0700, Dan DiBiase wrote:
>".... I know I recently saw a listing of 'tools to bring on the road' but I'm curious - what are the 'basic' tools to have in the garage?"

And then at 09:03 AM 5/31/2000 -0700, Bill Meyer wrote:
>"Now that Dan's broken the ice, I would really like to know what you do carry with you in that tool kit."

Okay, this took a little digging to find it in my archives, but I went to considerable effort to do a precise answer to this recently. To answer both questions I like to list the travel tools separately because they are a subset of the garage tools, and because they represent the basic minimum set of tools to have on hand in your garage.

I like to refer to this as the traveling "SURVIVAL KIT".

At 03:02 PM 5/21/99 EDT, someone wrote:
>".... what tools should I have in a tool kit and do you suggest anything that I should have on a 200 mile round trip. 100 miles each day."

Take along a baseball cap to keep the sun out of your eyes when the top is down, and a vessel of your favorite (non-alcoholic) beverage. The first time you get stranded somewhere you learn what you should have fixed before you left home. If you keep everything in top condition you seldom need any tools on a 200 mile trip (unless you're like me and beat the crap out of the car autocrossing or rallying on the back roads).

My typical autocross or rally trip would be 300 to 400 miles in a day, and a real out of town visit doesn't even rate mentioning if it's less than a 1000 mile road trip. I do carry some tools for insurance, but they hardly ever come out of the boot on the road. I commonly clock 15,000 to 20,000 miles per year (not every year) on my MGA, mostly putzing around on club activities, and maybe substantially more if I take a nice long vacation trip, like to Alaska for instance. On the other hand, my nearest club meeting is only a 30 mile round trip, and I had a fuel problem that stopped me cold in the rain (with the top down) once after that meeting, so I know where you're coming from on the tool question. It's always better to be able to fix it and drive on than having to call for help, so I always carry some tools in the car.

Now I think this question will be really easy to answer, because everything I normally pack for a tool kit fits nicely into a tackle box style tool box. A couple of years ago before the Alaska trip I changed my small tool box for one just a little less small, 7" x 13" x 6" high with a plain lift out tray in the top, just large enough to hold the 12" adjustable wrench that I would need for the oil cooler hose fittings and crankshaft pulley nut if I should perchance need to pull the engine while away from home. Otherwise, all the tools are typical hand tools, and not a real large assortment. These MGs were originally assembled at the factory with common hand tools, so there is generally nothing special required to take them apart again.

Since it all fits nicely in the small travel box, I usually leave it in the boot at all times. And bear in mind that this box also holds literally everything needed for servicing the car in a pinch, so I seldom need to visit the garage tool chest, even when working on the car at home. As such, you may notice a few tools in this list that you wouldn't necessarily need to carry on the road. Some of the tools are in there just because they're small, so you can carry a lot of little bits without thinking what they might be for. And since this question comes up periodically, I will now simply inventory the contents of my traveling tool box. Also a good incentive to empty the box once for a good cleaning.

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