TOOLS AND SPARES TO CARRY – BBM69
Including oil 2L, water 5L, fuel 5L and long trip spares the weight is around 90 pounds.
As soon as we put BBM69 our Ruby back on the road in 1999 I started collecting tools and spare parts to keep in the car. It was obvious that I would need to be able to cope with the everyday running repairs that crop up. The original list of tools is very small and no spare parts are listed.
When we drove the car in the 60s we did not have to worry as Dianne’s Dad was a garage owner and could fix anything, on what was after all, his Austin Seven. He had bought it in 1944.
We could only think of three things that had failed us in those early years. The main one was a broken crankshaft on an early Ruby Dianne had owned with her brother, not much use carrying a crankshaft with us. A wiper arm had fallen off in a snowstorm and disappeared, leaving me to drive 50 miles in the snow with the windscreen open. And returning from Aylesbury to Bury St Edmunds one night the bolts on the rear Hardy Spicer worked loose on the prop shaft. The noise gave a good impression of a damaged crown wheel or pinion. Soon fixed when we realized what it was.
Now however we would depend on my skills to fix things, and I do like to keep my trousers up with a belt and braces, metaphorically speaking, so I started to save spare parts and tools. As luck would have it Dianne’s Dad had been bit of a magpie himself so most of what is on my list of spares came out of sundry cardboard boxes found in his garage. In fact I am still working through the remnants to see what is useful, all of it I think.
The end result is the list you see today. I believe it is fairly comprehensive! Most of the items are stowed in the tool locker under the bonnet, or under the seats. A tow rope is with the spare wheel in the ‘boot’. I used to move items in and out of the car between trips but now, having stowed them away, I leave most of them in.
Other Austin Seven drivers think the weight ( 95 lbs inc spare fuel, water and oil) carried must limit the performance of the car. It might but we have, in the past, completed 1500 miles driving to Spain and France. This including a trip up the Pyrenees to nearly 5000 feet, higher than Ben Nevis. That is good enough for me. A lot of that mileage was on motorways, at a steady 40 /45mph on the speedometer, 150 miles a day. Dianne was once asked, “What are all those spare parts for”? Her answer? “Insurance”. Very true.
Click on this thumbnail to see the complete list of tools and spares I would carry on a run. I find it easier to carry them most of the time. The alternative would be to sort out what was needed each time we went on a run. Some of them are specifically for runs in France.
These are the head gaskets we normally carry, note the difference between the early, low compression and later high compression gaskets. The shape of the bottom of the combustion chamber is most obvious.