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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Wrenchin' Wednesday: The toilet paper wormhole | Hagerty Media

Some steps in a project, though innocent and trivial, produce disproportionately disastrous consequences if done incorrectly. Anyone who's opened up their engine while it's still resting between the fenders knows the risk of dropping something down into the motor-a momentary slip that may require hours of painful disassembly.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/wrenchin-wednesday-the-toilet-paper-wormhole/
18 REPLIES 18
audiobycarmine
Intermediate Driver

What a great idea! A magnetic wand can also help.
Here's a solution I recently utilized for the reverse process; re-installing a bolt that holds a part in place, an Idle Air Control Valve in my case:
I placed the part on a piece of paper with the "face" (which mates with the surface it returns to) against the paper. Next, I squeezed a small amount of GE Silicone into the bolt holes. Finally, I dropped the bolts into place and let it sit awhile. The thread-ends won't protrude beyond the part's face since they're all on the paper.
The silicone holds the bolts in position, yet still allows them to be pushed & rotated upon re-installation. No more dropped or lost bolts.
RJ
Intermediate Driver

I doubt I'll ever work on this engine, but this is just the sort of general tip that can lay in my mental processor - waiting for an application to come along. Whenever I have tricky situations like this, I try to balance what I expect/hope to happen against what can/may happen.
OldRoad
Instructor

Rip off a square of blue painter's tape. Stuff it into your socket. Jam your socket onto the bolt. Break it loose and whined out. Bolt is captured and stays socketed. The reverse works well also.
jaustinmd
New Driver

I stick one of those super strong ceramic magnets to any wrench, socket extension, etc., to help retain bolts and washers when they are being removed from difficult to access areas. The toilet paper roll is a great idea to provide even more avoidance of that sinking feeling when a bolt tumbles down into the abyss!
RobertLLR
Intermediate Driver

The magnet trick was great before manufacturers--especially motorcycle manufacturers-- started using stainless steel fasteners. I'm not complaining, mind--I love SS: but removal safety is a bit compromised.
Tinkerah
Instructor

Magnets can be magic for retrieval in general but can be frustrating when the cavity you're probing is filled with other ferrous objects and enclosed by a steel cover. Guess how I know.
Dhturk
Pit Crew

“ Toilet paper rolls, when they’re not wiping your rear,”

Technically, I use the paper, not the roll to wipe, but to each their own. Then again, you’d be SOL if you were of the bidet crowd (no rolls). Pun intended.
Great tips; article and follow up comments!
Jew
Pit Crew

First sentence is poorly written. Reads better like this: The injection pump must be separated during replacement from the timing gear that spins it. Does the timing gear spin it while you're replacing it?
Buckshot
Pit Crew

Your post should begin with "THE first sentence". It's very poor English to leave out relevant words from a sentence.
Smileamile
Pit Crew

An aircraft mechanic friend bought me to use a glue stick on the end of a hard-to-reach torx head screw. Cheap, easy way to keep the screw (any kind) on the end of the driver...
salsa96
Pit Crew

Great tip! Why is it that when I drop a screw or bolt onto the floor of my garage it seems to disappear into some dark hidden place where it sits laughing at me as I try to find it😆
dbraun99
Pit Crew

It's a great tip regardless of the folks trying to correct your writing. Thanks for sharing!
LyleFisher
Pit Crew

Excellent tip! After all, how many dado-tados do you need?
Code3me
New Driver

The old adage remains true: If you want to find the center of a car, just drop a tool or a nut and it can always be found in the dead center of the greasy mess on the floor under the center of the car. If it does roll it will always disappear under any immovable object and is forever lost. Now, let's talk about "Jesus clips" and how they got their name. This is a true story. I've proven it many times.
Mike_E_V
Intermediate Driver

Like many out there I am not at all familiar with these diesel engines My question is this: After the bolts have been removed I'm assuming the injector pump is to be replaced. Just what else is going to come out of that hole once the pump is unfastened from the timing gear?
warrene
Intermediate Driver

I've used magnets to do some of this tricky bolt and other remove or replace business, also masking tape and other, far better to be safe than very sorry.
As to bolts, nuts or tiny parts on the floor .... you'll never see them again, they go into what I call "never-never land", a place maybe invented by Rod Serling, I have no idea but in any event, it's gone so just forget it, I keep my floor clean and clear but does not help anything, it's gone.
Warren, in MN
cultleader
Pit Crew

I have to save this. Mostly about the oil filler neck because I have a 6.5 detroit.
Swamibob
Advanced Driver

Now that's a great idea! Love it. I can't say I've run into that sort of problem previously, but if I do now I have a spot in my brain that will remember this idea, so when I drop the first bolt, my memory can kick in and I can not do it a second time. 🙂