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Emergency spares kit

Emergency Spares Kit

Midget's mention of her TC reminded me again of the emergency spares road kit that I bought for our TC from Abibgdon Spares. It contained a variety of the most common parts needed to deal with a breakdown on the road and was packaged in a handy compact box to store in the tonneau (TC's don't have boots). It contained a manifold gasket, a few water hoses, points, flexible brake line for the front, and a bunch of other stuff like that. I used one of the "freeze plugs" once but the best part was just knowing the kit was there when we went off on a long trip. There were a couple of times that I "borrowed" parts from the kit when I was doing something in the garage and replaced them to keep the kit complete. Maybe we could put together a list of recommended parts based on experiences on the road and one or more of the major parts suppliers might put together a kit. I haven't had any breakdowns on the road yet that required parts to get going again but I'm sure others have and could recommend things most likely to be needed for an XK. Any ideas? - Bruce Cunningham, '53 XK120 OTS

Bruce, This is not that practially useful but you may be interested to know which parts most often cause problems on the fairly tame long distance historic rallies I get involved with. I'm not talking "blood and guts" events, just week long, navigational rallies where the cars do about 1500 miles start to finish. Number one problem area: petrol pumps.Then in no particular order: petrol tanks and radiators springing leaks. Lighting failures usually wiring related. Petrol leaks from all over the fuel line particularly the banjo connections to the fuel bowls. Blown head gaskits. Brakes sticking on. Starter motor failure. Any weaknes or significant wear in tyres or tubes punished with blowouts and punctures. The more common causes of failure are less frequent because I suppose, the participants prepare their cars as well as they can. My standard kit includes: Hose set, points, condensor, dist cap, coil, plugs, carb kit, front/rear wheel bearing kit, engine gaskit set, fan belt, fuel pump, starter solenoid, o/d solenoid, brake and clutch master cly kits (I actually carry spare master cylinders and a clutch slave ('150)). Caliper rubber rebuild kits. Speedo and tach cables and of course bulbs. I'd love to carry a water pump but it's just too much along with all the tools. Perhaps I go too far but when something goes wrong in the mountains it's nice to be prepared. - Roger Learmonth

Spares kit: I suggest for starters some obvious ones: rad and heater hoses; exhaust manifold gaskets; flex oil pipe, hammer (to hit the fuel pump with!). Regards, John Elmgreen

Excellent advice! My XK 120 should be on the road around October and I plan to use it for longer trips (500+ miles). Does anyone else have any suggestions to add to the list of spares ? - Phil Maurice, 120 OTS 673565

Are we going around again? I seem to recall that, within the last year, someone published a list of the ultimate spares/breakdown kit. Did anyone keep a copy? Regards to all. - Brian Pel

I have one addition to Roger's spare parts list: a carb float. I've had one sink on me on two occasions. The first time was at a British car meeting, 500 British car owners with loads of helpful advice and 20 parts vendors in attendance but nobody had a spare float. I took out the sunk float, managed to empty out the gas and sealed it with RTV silicone, which lasted just long enough to get me home (about 20 miles). The second time I was about 100 miles from home, but I had a spare. So I changed it at a truck stop, surrounded by 18 wheelers and truck drivers. I also carry a Xerox copy of the wiring diagram in a plastic Ziplock bag. - Rob Reilly - XK120 FHC 679187

Rob - Since you have the schematic its a good idea to carry an ohn meter or test lamp. I carry an ohn meter but no schematic so I am putting one in my glove box this weekend. I also like to carry a coil of insulated stranded wire like #16 and some electrical tape. Jumper cables would be handy but I don't have the room. I had a coil failure at a jag show with ten guys trying to get me going to no avail. It took my wife tapping the coil with a screw driver and seeing little sparks where the primary lug is rivited to the plastic to discover the bad connection. Its always a great situation to observe when one who hits things to fix them actually fixes them. - Andy Leavitt

Rob, I second the idea of having a float handy, along with a small pc of gas welding rod or something to retrieve it from the bowl with. They are a devil to get out without turning the car upside down. Ha! Ha! - E. Blake

Rob: The carb float is a top idea for the spares kit, plus the wiring diagram. I'd add as a tool one of those screwdriver style electrical testers with the bulb inside and the wire out the other end - my third essential XK tool (after the battery charger and trolley jack). - Regards, John Elmgreen

Rob, Spare float and copy of wiring diagram from this day forward added to my kit! Great ideas, thanks. John, I never take a trolly jack on a rally because you can bet your boots that another competitor will have brought one along. Usually the guy in the Sprite.- Roger Learmonth

Roger, re your comments re not taking a trolley jack, I must agree, it is something that I use at home only, not kept in the boot of the car! - Regards, John Elmgreen

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