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Willie Worthy's Bubba Rope Tips

Tire Mounting: I have mounted a lot of tires by hand because I am too cheap to pay the tire shop to do it! I have found that a hand cleaning soap like GO-JO works great as a lubricant. Use a generous amount along the tire's bead area and it will really help in the mounting process. Bonus—your hands also clean up nicely after you're done.

Bolt or nut loose? I used this trick back when we were checking the racecar out after an event. Instead of having to take the time to put a wrench on each nut and bolt on your vehicle to make sure it hadn't loosened, we painted a line on the hex of the bolt or nut and one on the metal next to it when it was first assembled. All it takes is a quick look to see if the paint mark stayed in alignment..

Bolt thread “fixer”: Messed up the threads on that bolt? Take the correct size nut and cut it in half with a hacksaw. Now cut a couple of grooves in each half deeper than the threads. With a pair of clamping pliers like vice grips, clamp the two halves of the nut over a good section of the bolt. Then screw the modified nut over the damaged threads and the bolt is temporarily usable. Some lubricant helps make a smoother cut.

Differential cover installation: When installing a differential cover I like to use a gasket but sometimes I will substitute some RTV silicon sealer or use a special gasket maker called, "The Right Stuff". When I use this, I apply a liberal amount to the cover and bolt it in place, but only tighten the bolts just enough to cause the sealer to ooze out around the cover plate. Let it sit for at least 12 hours and then finish tightening the bolts. This way I have actually made a gasket.

Differential cover preparation before installation: Before installing a differential cover I place it on the shop floor and while pushing down hard slide the cover across the concrete. The marks on the cover will now show you just how flat the cover really is. You may then need to do a bit of hammer work, especially around the bolt holes. I then run a coarse flat file over the sealing surface of both the cover and the housing to make sure that there are no high spots, plus file marks hold the gasket or sealer better.

Drill chip catcher: When drilling overhead slip a paper cup down on the drill bit as a catch can.

Door sticks in cold weather? Ever have your door stick after a freezing rain? Before that happens, wipe down the rubber weather stripping around the doors with a silicon-based vinyl upholstery protector, like Armor-all. It will keep the water from sticking and freezing to the rubber.

Have Duct Tape will travel: Duct tape is great stuff for all types of field repairs but you don't always have it when you need it. Here’s my trick; place multiple wraps of duct tape around your roll bar. That way you'll always have some if you need it. You can do the same with electrical tape.

Emergency brake cable mounting prong release: When you have to take the e-brake cable free from the mounting hole on a rear end, don't fight the toggle prongs with pliers. Open up a small hose clamp and then tighten it around the prongs just enough to compress them so that they will side through the mounting hole.

Handy hood notes: Using a contrasting color paint pen write the oil filter number, the number of quarts of oil needed, and the size of the wrench for the drain plug on the underside of the hood or on the grill support of your vehicle. This will save you from having to look this up each time you change the oil.

Ropes and knots: We often need to tie down gear in the bed of our vehicle or on a trailer. The proper knot is very important and really not that hard to learn. My favorites are the figure 8, the figure 8 follow through, the bowline, double half hitch and the trucker's hitch. An easy way to learn how to tie them is to search You Tube for the knot you want to learn.

Catch that oil! Do you miss the oil catch can when changing the oil? A simple solution is to grab a trash can lid, punch a hole it, and set it upside down on top of your catch can. There’s just enough taper to let the oil flow down into your catch can. Let it sit an hour or so and then just wipe it out and store it away.

Gotcha! We have all dropped a nut, bolt or a part into a space that our fingers just couldn't reach. You can magnetize a screwdriver by wrapping insulated wire around the shank and then touching the ends of the wire across the post of your battery. It only takes a second or two to do the trick. The better the steel in the screwdriver the longer it will hold.

Oil filter: When changing your oil always fill the new oil filter with fresh oil before installing it. (Ok, on some vehicles you have to be quick when reinstalling it due to the mounting location.) This way the oil pump doesn't have to fill the filter before delivering oil to the engine components. Oh, and don’t forget to put some oil on the gasket, and make sure the old gasket came off with the old filter.

Tube your RTV: Always carry a tube of RTV sealant in your tool box as the usage is only limited to your imagination when it comes to repairs. However, when it rattles around in the tool box it gets pretty beat up. Grab the tube that toilet paper or paper towels are rolled on and use it as a case. Slide the RTV sealant into the tube and add a piece of duct tape over the ends.

Spark plug wires: When taking your spark plug wires off, put a numbered clothespin on each wire. It will make it so much easier to identify where each one goes when you put them back on. Oh, and use a special boot puller when taking them off the plugs, as “the grab-and-pull” method can easily break the wire. Some die electric grease on the plug's porcelain makes it easier to come off the next time.

Grab that camera! Before disassembling any part of your vehicle, grab your digital camera and take step by step photos as you remove each
component. When you put it back together, you'll have a visual guide. Save the photos to your computer or a disc if you think that you may use them again.

Torx bolts - removing those &*@!! things: Usually the vehicle manufacturer uses some type of locking sealant on Torx bolts. One way to help remove them is to stick the end of a soldering gun into the Torx hole and let it heat up for a minute or two, …or three or four depending on the amp rating of the soldering gun. This will soften any sealant and let you back the bolt out without stripping out the head.

Trailer ball dolly: Need to get that end piece of tubing back to its round shape again? Use a trailer hitch ball as a dolly to get it rounded. These balls are available in 1 7/8", 2" and 2 1/4". Just about the right size for most exhaust systems.

Tubing measurement: Not quite sure what the outside diameter of a piece of tubing is? Just slide an open-end wrench over it that fits snugly. The wrench size will correspond to the tubing diameter.

Wheels - center cap rattling: Does the center cap of your aftermarket wheels rattle? Pull the wheel off, take the cap out, and put a big rubber band around the end of the cap and slide it back in. Get really fancy and use a narrow thickness O ring.  This should make a snug enough fit to keep it from rattling.

Keeping that winch cable tight: When you're securing the end of your winch cable to your vehicle for storage, use a heavy rubber tarp tie down strap to hook it to. The tension from the rubber tie down on the cable will keep it tight and you don't have to worry about jamming it into your fairlead.

Bubba Rope storage: Where to store your Bubba rope but still have easy access to it? Use your spare tire. If you have a tire cover on the spare, take it off and coil the rope up inside the dish of the wheel and then put the cover back on.  Another way is to wrap the rope around the spare tire carrier on the backside of the wheel.

Proper off road tire pressure: A good starting place is to load a tire by driving up an incline so the majority of the vehicle's weight is on that one tire. Then, begin lowering the air pressure until you feel comfortable with the amount of tire flex. When on the trail you can then adjust the pressure up or down depending on your driving style and/or the terrain.