The Garage – Shop Supplies by Mike Owen of Owen Automotive

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a job and discovered that you are missing a vital product to finish?

Here is a listing of some products that you might want to have on hand in your garage.

Silicone sealer: Permatex makes a great product called “The Right Stuff” for use on gaskets to get a good seal.  Somewhat expensive, it is available in a spray or cartridge (#29208).  It is thicker than normal silicone.  Apply a 1/8 inch bead to the gasket surface and spread it with your finger to get an even cover.  Be careful to not get a worm of excess product that might break off internally and cause problems elsewhere.  Use it in oil or water applications – not fuel.  It can also be used on rubber hose fittings to prevent binding and around the thermostat to prevent corrosion buildup.

Cleaning pads:  Available in red or grey, 3M “Scotch-Brite” pads are useful for final cleaning of metal surfaces before applying sealers, etc and for working in crevasses around doors when doing prep for painting.

Brake cleaner: Wurth has a spray “Brake and Parts Cleaner” (#890-9107) that is very effective in cleaning brakes surfaces and for removing oil – but not brake fluid.  It also works for removing oil from the engine block or garage floor.  To apply, spray the cleaner on the brake surfaces during annual servicing to remove brake and road dust, then wipe it clean or allow it to drip dry.  If wiping, use a paper towel or microfiber cloth.  It will not damage painted surfaces but be careful of overspray.  It does not have a strong smell but should be used only in well-ventilated spaces.  For brake fluid spills, use soapy water in a spray bottle.

Carburettor cleaner: Use Wynn’s “X-Tend Carburetor Cleaner” (#60201) or NAPA “Clean-R-Carb Carburetor Cleaner” (#79585) for removing fuel gums and varnishes from carbs.  Begin by spraying a couple of shots into the intake at the top of the float chambers.  Then remove the dashpots and spray the insides of the pots, the pistons, and needles.  Next, spray twice into the jet to clear out the passage to the float chamber.  Be careful and use protective equipment and work in a well-ventilated location.  Do it annually. 

Shop cloths: Microfiber cloths work well for clean-up of grease, oil and other fluids.  Costco sells large packages which makes them economical.  A caution, they will readily pick up metal filings and other grit off the bench, so be careful when wiping painted surfaces.  Use a light touch on paint.

Chassis grease: Use a moly grease like NAPA’s “Genuine High-Performance Lubricant” (#CVAG90) on the suspension, kingpins, and u-joints.  It is black in colour and comes in a tube.  Remember that not all greases are compatible with each other.  If unsure, clean out the old grease first.  The label should advise you of the base or soap used in the product.

Wheel bearing grease: Pennzoil has a “Wheel Bearing Red Grease” (#707L) which is formulated to tolerate the heat produced by the brakes.

Anti Seize: Permatex sells an “Anti Seize Lubricant” (#133H) for application to fastener threads which will make their removal easier – something someone will be grateful for in the far distant future…

Silicone: Permatex’s “Red Hi-Temp Silicone” (#26BR) is useful for sealing components of the exhaust system from leaks.  It can also be used externally on electrical connections to keep them from coming loose.  

Cold weld: “J-B Weld” epoxy (#8265-S) is a two-part epoxy for “cold welding” metal.  Lots of useful applications…

Dialectic grease: Permatex has a “Dialectic Tune-Up Grease” (#67VR) for use on electrical connectors to increase the connectivity.  Use it on spark plug leads as well.

General duty grease: White lithium grease is helpful when needing to grease items like door latches and sticky winding mechanisms for door windows.

Carpet adhesive: 3M “Super Trim Adhesive” (#308090) or is a great product for gluing carpet and underlay.

Fuel resistant sealer: Hylomar “Universal Blue” sealer (#PL32) is a polyester urethane gasket sealer for sealing screw threads on fuel tank sender units. Replacement is Hylomar Advanced Formula Gasket and Jointing Compound #60052


PS:  Be careful using “WD-40” as it contains a lot of silicone and is difficult to clean up for painting.