Two things that made a difficult job easy

I thought I would write this short article to remind people of two very useful tools that they need in their garage. Good news neither have to be expensive and you will be surprised how often you will use them. This all started when I took a replacement footrest hanger for the TRX850 apart. It was generally in good condition but the bolts, nuts and screws all looked like they had not been removed since the bike had been built, 35 years ago, and the position of the footrest hanger gets covered in crap

  1. Impact Wrench
    I have a very old pneumatic impact wrench that my dad gave me and while it is a pain to power up the compressor and have airlines trailing over the garage it has got me out of all sorts of difficulties. On the footrest hanger there is a 14mm nut holding on the footrest and I tried just using a ratchet and it was not budging. So I dragged out the impact wrench and 5 seconds later the nut was off with no problem whatsoever. Also on the footrest hanger there is a allen headed bolt that the brake hinges on, the last time I undid this bolt the bolt started to deform before it eventually came undone when I used a ratchet, this time the impact wrench rattled it out straight away with no damage even though it is thread locked. Another use for impact wrenches is front sprocket bolts, usually you need to somehow jam the rear wheel or putting the back brake to try and undo the nut, with an impact wrench you can just lightly hold the rear wheel and rattle off the nut, this also works with clutch basket nuts! Nowadays there are many electric impact drivers, both corded and cordless (Cordless are starting to take over) that can be bought for sensible money so if you are serious about working on your bike get yourself an impact wrench of some description, they are amazing.
  2. Japanese Industry Standard Screwdriver
    In the bad old days when taking an engine apart we would attack the engine case screws with either a Phillips or Posidrive screwdriver which would end up chewing the head of the screw and if you are very lucky removing the screw. This is because both Phillips and Posidrive screwdrivers are designed to “cam” out if excessive torque is applied which then starts to chew up the head of the crappy metal case screws older bikes had. However the truth is that the screws are designed to be used with Japanese Industry Standard (JIS) Screwdrivers, these screwdrivers do not cam out and really bite and apply a lot of torque and undo screws easily that previously would of become a chewed up mess. With the correct sized JIS screwdriver the two threadlocked and rusted screws on the footrest hanger came undone quickly and easily without damage. These Screwdrivers are not cheap but a good set of four screwdrivers can be had for around £15 if you shop around. Do it, do it now it’s a life changer!

About The Author


Ambitious Amateur Mechanic, with a slight (OK not slight) Suzuki bias