Besides the basics, Or, These are the basics? You decide.
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Although the most basic of tools for a mechanic, I still see guys who don't have these two sockets. A 5/8" plug wrench socket, with hex head and the other with built in swivel. These are from Snap-On and have been with me for quite some time. Along with a 3" and 6" extension, I have never found a plug I couldn't remove. The hex head comes very handy in those cases where there is an obstruction that prevents the use of any type of extension or ratchet. The exhaust manifold on many of the early Volvos, is a good example. The swivel built-in model gets into tight places that the two piece model usually failed.

The "blind-hole" expansion puller at the right has kept my knuckles and nerves intact on many a day. Although there are numerous applications, the one I use it for most is the removal of gimbal bearings from the transom assemblies on Mercruiser, Cobra, and Volvo SX. What, no more slide hammer?  A little bit of adapting to the supplied Snap-On tool and it has yet to fail.
The large round plate is the fitting that comes with Mercruisers alignment tool for aligning TR drives. It fits pretty well into the bell housing to keep the puller straight.

Snap-On tool Kit # CG-45 [1" - 1 3/4" puller set]. Or, order these three parts for 1 1/4" - 1 1/2" only. CG45-6, CG45-4, and CG270-1.

Mallory now makes something similar. [See image to right.]


The packing wrench they sell in the boating catalogue is a darn good one, however, this $3.50 pipe wrench from the hardware store has been with me a long time. It stops at about a 3" packing nut, but it works well on the majority of boats. If nothing else, it is a good holder for the secondary jam nut. It stays in place better than the chain wrench  and does a hell of a lot less damage than, the old hammer and chisel, I often see others before me have implemented. In those cases where an ambidextrous one arm man is called for, I can only wish you the best of luck.

This innocent little tool is a 5/16 socket head for a ratcheting screw driver. (one of those tools Snap-On doesn't sell) I have had to cut it down a bit to fit the handle of my Snap-On ratcheting screwdriver, but I have never had to warranty one as I seem to loose them periodically. This tool works great for hose clamps.

I got this dash board assembly at a dealer cleaning house sale. To isolate problems not associated with the engine itself, I have found this to be a very useful item. I have modified it from time to time for different wiring setups, and the tach only works on certain models, but I usually use a digital tach these days, anyway. This one has a vacuum gauge in it which makes it a good tag along on those twin engine lake tests.

This 12 volt metal etching tool can etch numbers on engine parts, engrave tools, secretly ID service repairs, and just about anything you can safely pass electricity through, can be marked. It's not as radical as the old number punch and hammer routine or the vibrating engravers, because it doesn't deform the surface you are marking. The tip gets hot and has to be replaced periodically, but  around the shop it has saved both time and money.

Yes, Martha it's a toilet plunger. This one I bought from a company who called it, "Fake-A-Lake" . For inboard boats with the water pickup on the bottom, it works great for spring startups on engines, testing air-conditioners on land and testing and flushing sea-water heads. (yea, I've had to fix my share of toilets over the years) All it is , is a plunger head with a garden hose fitting installed. This one came with an expansion type handle, but on sailboats on blocks, the old expansion mop handle or boat hook works well to hold it up in place.

And what would the day be like with dry feet? If you've ever tested any outboard motors searching for remote fuel tank, suction leaks, you already know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you , this little item has a clear piece of hose installed between a male and female fitting. When installed, inline, at the engine between it and the fuel tank, you may just earn that fee your charging for a tune-up. Be sure to make one for each brand you service. Any air bubbles coming through the line means a problem. I'll bet your dealership sells more fuel fittings, too. Never install clear hose permanently in any fuel system.

While we're on hose, I thought I'd remind you of your promise to yourself to get the parts together to make a (almost) universal hot-water heater bypass kit before next fall. The fittings on hot-water tanks are universal, all you need is the male and female unions from your boat builder or hardware supplier to make an adapter. I use clear hose which makes it easier to see the pink anti-freeze in the system. The two main manufacturers for the fittings are "Genova Products" ("Uncopper Brand" ,Davison, Michigan 1-313-744-4500), and "Flair-It", distributed by Flair-It Sales (Tulsa, OK. 1-800-842-2543)

Of course nobody need's to be told what this is, but when's the last time you used one to pre-prime an inboard, instead of cranking it to death. Or used one to pull a sample of the fuel of that boat that was in storage for 5 years and is leaving tomorrow.  Just having one in your tool  bag on that next lake test could mean the difference between running in and being towed in. Oh and by the way, did you ever turn one around and pressurize the fuel line to the tank looking for leaks or a bad anti-siphon valve?

This is not really a tool per-say, but it has acted as a pretty good sealer around fuel fittings as a temporary patch when looking for fuel line vacuum leaks. Not so good on a pressurized line but, often those are easier to find. Fusion-Tape isn't cheap but it comes in handy when your trying to keep electrical connections dry, even under water.

I put this milli-amp meter together from parts available at most electronic shops. Besides checking for power drains in a boat that could be causing dead batteries, prematurely, I found that I could locate partially pinched wires in trailer frames, and test for excessive amperage draw of bilge pumps, blowers, etc. The small meter on the rear left is a 10 amp meter, the right rear is a small volt meter, and the large one only goes to 5 amps in 1/8 amp increments.  This also works well for the free spin amperage test called for by some trolling motor manufacturers.

Safer than a knife, this hose cutter zips through fuel line like butter. Nothing looks more professional than nice clean cuts when your installing new hoses.  Be sure not to try and cut the wire in wire re-enforced hose. It also works on those hard to cut rubber rub-rail inserts. To ease the cut on some hose, a dab of fogging oil on the blade not only makes it cut easier, but protects the cutting blade.

Tear down for engine rebuild and winterize time in the northern states, usually means your going to struggle trying to remove some hoses from their fittings. This trim installation tool from Mac Tools not only loosens the hose from the barb but aids in the removal of the hose with out damaging the hose or the fitting. By slowly working the tip under the hose and then working it back and forth, you can usually get around the entire fitting , loosening the hose, before you pull on it for removal.

This fuel pressure gauge adapter from Mercruiser, is not always easy to install, but a must have for Dyno and lake testing. It lets you install a fuel pressure gauge between the fuel pump and the carb, while still utilizing the original engines steel line. In cases where you can not get this adapter in, you may be forced to remove the steel line and install a temporary flexible one, of course, you still would use this adapter.

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