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soldave

Metric, imperial... or both?!

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Going to head out and get a much-needed socket and wrench set tomorrow, but was wondering whether I'd be best off with metric or imperial for a '79 Eclat.  What are the bolt sizes in these things generally?

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eBay is your friend dave. Put in your postcode, select garage equipment and tools, click the button for used, then sort by distance: nearest.

My bet is you will find some cracking kit from the likes of Britool and Elora which some old boy is clearing from his shed/under stairs cupboard. Old stuff like the brands mentioned along with Gedore and old Kamasa are really high quality, and you'll get a set giving you everything you need for buttons. I picked up a job lot a few weeks back which was Briitool half inch socket set in its metal box, Britool torque wrench, large Kamasa 3/4 set and a couple of slim spring compressors for......35 quid! And the quality is better than my modern facom set.

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Oh, I'll definitely be looking at Ebay for some things :).  Just wondering whether I needed sockets/wrenches in mm, inches, or AF/UNF.

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Get them all on eBay! Unf and imperial are so cheap on eBay it's crazy not to get everything if your into old cars.

The one of us that dies with the most toys wins!

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Have a look at Metrinch sockets and spanners as well. Not bad gear.

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Oh, I'll definitely be looking at Ebay for some things :).  Just wondering whether I needed sockets/wrenches in mm, inches, or AF/UNF.

Good advice from Dunc but this takes time.

Short term you need a basic Imperial set of sockets and a set of combination spanners. don't go too cheap. Cheap tools can be dangerous. Once upon a time a long time ago a split socket saw me in A&E with a badly gashed wrist. It was Snap-On for me thereafter.

Halfords have reasonable quality at reasonable price, their ratchets now have a lifetime guarantee.

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OK, I'm going to be contentious here.  

 

I was of the belief that the core 907 is metric?  As per Page 51 of the Engine chapter "tightening the 8mm nuts followed by the 12 mm nuts.  And I have used my metric thread repair kit on the cam carriers (I don't have UNF one). Indeed, I just rebuilt my engine using metric sockets and spanner -  although that's no guarantee of anything :-)

 

The suspension has a lot if UNF in it, maybe because I'm told it was, in part, derived from Triumph bits.  

 

The rollbar end nuts are M12, according to SJ parts catalogue.

 

The carbs, Italian, are probably metric.

 

Pretty sure, for example, the thread on the rear hatch hinges of an Elite are metric.

 

As I understand the history of things, British cars used Whitworth / BSF / BA up into the late '50s.  By the '60s the main manufacturers where switching to AF.  By the '80 we were going metric.   

 

As a result, virtually all British cars of the 60's and 70's are a mixed bag.  Components bought in from Europe are metric, anything that was designed way back iare Whitworth (not sure there is any on the Lotus), and bought-in British components (Lucas etc) are mostly AF.  

 

Lotus must have been a very progressive company by designing the 907 engine with metric bolts. 

 

So, the bad news is you really need a mix of stuff.  The good news is you can never have too many spanners or sockets, and they are really good value (and quality) these days, compared to when I was a kid.

 

I have a number of bits from Halfords and it's all pretty good, despite my inbuilt prejudice against them.  Their metric socket rail is very cheap.  You need 9mm to 20mm for most things.  There are only a couple of bolts bigger on the engine, but that's big engine overhaul territory.  

 

I also have a set of ratchet  /  open ended metric spanners from Halfords that I love to bits.    

 

My Dad, a motor fitter in the trade, had a mantra:

First choice: socket

Second choice: ring spanner

Last resort: open ended spanner.

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Nothing contentious said there Herc, you need them all....

Most people have metric already, but there are plenty of kits like my bluey/green box Kamasa stuff that offers both metric/imperial/ww.

Also, I learned mechanic skills on a farm:

1) start with shifter

2) hit it with hammer

3) try cutting it off with a grinder

4) resort to oxyacetylene....

;-)

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I made do with metric spanner and sockets on my chassis swap and can report no problems. TI replaced all of the nuts with stainless steel nyloc from ebay which were cheap... The top of the shocks needed 14mm or 9/16" from memory. having said all of that the body wasn't on, access was therefore good.

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