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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Awfully close to the 10th anniversary of our Great Data Loss, by the way.
If, for some egregiously idiotic reason, the unthinkable happened AGAIN …
What have we learned? By which I mean, what are the most often recurring B- or D- car specific issues, based on our collective experience? Which leads me to …

1. What should we keep handy in our glovebox, clutter catcher, trunk [etc], in case we can't access the ISSF? (Yes, for Camaros, FireBirds, & Corvettes too.)
For example, I carry:
a spare pcm [that I probably don't need]
an idle air control motor & throttle position sensor
a complete ignition kit - Opti-Spark, Opti-wiring, Opti-snorkel, sparkwires & sparkplugs, coil & coilwire, driver module
a fuel pressure tester
a fuel filter & a[n adjustable] fuel pressure regulator
a spare waterpump spline key
coolant reservoir cap
a 4L60E glovebox guide

2. [If not in the car itself,] What should we keep at home [besides an OBD1 ALDL cable & a laptop with TunerPro & $EEhack]?

Oops! Just caught your meaning. I missed the boat with B-/D- specific pieces. I honestly don't keep too many car-specific things in the car, and stock more things for the kinda trouble "any and every car on the road" gets into. If I think of a pm item with even a hint of messing with my piece of mind out in public, then it's done ordered and in the garage waiting for a sunny to install. And then the takeoff kept as backup. It's sounds like the approach ZO- uses.
Another way of looking at it, is, I am being myopic by being too specific.
I don't like the idea of either waiting for parts, or settling for whatever parts happen to be available.
So far, I see nothing but good ideas. Keep 'em coming, everybody; thanks.

edit: If the stuff that belongs in every car, happens to be in the trunk of a Custom Cruiser / Caprice / Roadmaster /Fleetwood, that can only be good, so please continue to expound on ANYTHING that belongs in the car, whether it's a radiator fan motor, or an MRE.
 

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[Marky-]Awfully close to the 10th anniversary of our Great Data Loss, by the way.
If, for some egregiously idiotic reason, the unthinkable happened AGAIN …
What have we learned? By which I mean, what are the most often recurring B- or D- car specific issues, based on our collective experience? Which leads me to …

1. What should we keep handy in our glovebox, clutter catcher, trunk [etc], in case we can't access the ISSF? (Yes, for Camaros, FireBirds, & Corvettes too.)
For example, I carry:
big ass flashlight
pen and paper
AAA card (another one in my wallet)
insurance card, owners booklet, diag. codes (in the Cady)
gum
charger

TRUNK:
4 thick blankets (for an accident)
3 umbrellas
jumpers
doctors bag of tools
1st Aid Kit
10 bungees
sm. plastic can of gas


2. [If not in the car itself,] What should we keep at home

via Imgflip Meme Generator
 

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I carry things that I can change on the side of the road to get me home. The rest I can deal with after a tow if needed.


  • Fire extinguisher and small first-aid kit (in every car!)
  • Ignition coil
  • A piece of solid copper wire (ie: to hang aforementioned coil under the hood)
  • ICM
  • Longest spare spark plug wire I can find
  • Coil wire
  • Serpentine belt
  • Belt tensioner
  • Radiator/Coolant tank cap
  • Fuel cap
  • Upper and/or lower radiator hose
  • Random pieces of hose and wire
  • A bag of various bulbs (headlight 9004, taillight 2057, 194, etc)
  • Basic tool set
  • 1/2 drive ratchet with extension and lug socket, much easier to change a tire with a ratchet
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Fluids (coolant, oil, trans, ps)
Most of those parts are spares, "good or marginal" removed parts changed during regular maintenance. For example, I wouldn't buy a new spark plug wire set just to carry a spare wire. I just used the longest one from an old used set, works for bypassing a known bad wire in a pinch.

Most of that basically fits into a "milk crate" that I can transfer from vehicle to vehicle.
 

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  • Serpentine belt
  • Belt tensioner
  • Radiator/Coolant tank cap
  • Fuel cap
  • Upper and/or lower radiator hose
I consider these regular maintenance items and have never had them fail on road. Why do emergency fixing when a new part every five years prevents it? Change them with the coolant. For a car that is in town ten years on a hose is still a good gamble. If I was off roading a old vehicle hoses and belts would be worth it.


Rubber and leather gloves and two small 2X4s to stabilize a jack on dirt are good general kit. LED dynamo flashlight that works every time is good.



I use to do 60-80K miles a year on a company truck. My boss ignored company policy and dealer recommendations. $3000 in tow charges in three years. When I did the same mileage on 20 year old vehicles my only tows in three years were for front wheel bearings (my fault), a voltage regulator went bad and damaged a ignition module, and a snapped axle shaft. New fluids and proactive replacements of wear items are way cheaper than on the road repairs.


+1 on the LT1 specific ignition parts. It can take days to get replacements when you are 300mi from the nearest warehouse.
 

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In complete agreement with you, those things belong in ANY car.

Oops! Just caught your meaning. I missed the boat with B-/D- specific pieces. I honestly don't keep too many car-specific things in the car, and stock more things for the kinda trouble "any and every car on the road" gets into. If I think of a pm item with even a hint of messing with my piece of mind out in public, then it's done ordered and in the garage waiting for a sunny to install. And then the takeoff kept as backup. It's sounds like the approach ZO- uses.
 

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If you live in Oklahoma or Kansas you should always have toll change. If you live in New York you can always wash a few windshields for tunnel change.

Mark: snowman-33
 

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  • Serpentine belt
  • Belt tensioner
  • Radiator/Coolant tank cap
  • Fuel cap
  • Upper and/or lower radiator hose
I consider these regular maintenance items and have never had them fail on road. Why do emergency fixing when a new part every five years prevents it? Change them with the coolant. For a car that is in town ten years on a hose is still a good gamble. If I was off roading a old vehicle hoses and belts would be worth it.
I generally agree. But I learned to carry these things because I've been driving for a long time and I've had all of those items fail prematurely. For example, on one car, a belt fried when the A/C compressor suddenly locked up. Once I unplugged the clutch and installed a new belt, I was back on the road. The failure almost wiped out the tensioner too since it was so violent. It definitely needed changed once I got home since the housing had a small crack. Since then, I liked carrying the tensioner too, and on most RWD cars (which is all I own) are easy to change.

I've had radiator caps fail after 1 week. In fact, I've had them fail out of the box and not hold pressure on the first drive.

And while I've never done it, I've watched people leave gas caps on their trunk or at the station and leave. So in case I ever have that brain fart, I have a spare cap, which on older rear-fill cars, can save you quite a bit of spillage if the tank is full, or on ODBII cars, can save you a CEL.

Likewise, radiator hoses are a crap shoot. I've had them last forever (green hoses) or after a year (black hoses) on a hot day sitting in rush hour traffic.

Carrying spare parts is no excuse for neglecting regular maintenance indeed. But regular maintenance is no excuse for not being prepared for the worse-case scenario, especially since all of the parts in my list are generally lightweight and fit into a milk crate. Stuff happens man. I like to be prepared... and rather than wait 1-3 hours for a tow, I like the option to fix simple things and get going again in a matter of minutes.
 

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You should also have a rotating supply of water for really hot days. Dehydration can happen on less than an hour.
 

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Plastic "T" fitting and flow restrictor for the coolant system would be good items to keep on the shelf.

I kept spare fuses and some vacuum caps in my glove compartment
 

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My dad taught me to always carry a set of points and a condenser in the glovebox, so I carry old spare parts I have taken off, such as hoses, belts, plugs, wires, etc. I carry one quart of oil that I have never needed, only because Amsoil is hard to find at a store. I also carry a windshield wiper, fender cover, basic tools, duct tape & wire. I am also one of those guys who believes in preventive maintenance and I document the work I do. We have put 180,000 miles on our SS and have had 3 failures on the road. Twice I had a failed fuel pump, and once for a transmission solenoid. I wouldn't change any of those on the side of the road.

In my garage, I have a large 3 drawer filing cabinet full of parts that I pull off Caprices in the u-pull-it yard. Since I am a packrat, I saved all of the parts I removed for mods.
 

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Quote 96 Black:
Everything!


[quoteZO9B4U] See Picture.[/quote]





I must say a brilliant parts organization strategy, and color-matched to boot. Only a fraction of the storage space needed v. 'pre-disassembly" ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Plastic "T" fitting and flow restrictor for the coolant system would be good items to keep on the shelf.
There is a particular set of aftermarket hoses that go from the heatercore to the reservoir (or is it the other way round in terms of coolant flow?) that do away with the plastic fitting.

Both of those belong in the glovebox.
 

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In all of my routinely-driven LT1 B-Bodies, I've since replaced that darn tee with a stainless steel tee, so the failure of that part hasn't been a concern of mine for years. However I do keep spare heater restrictor valves in stock as spares. The only reason I didn't include it in my original "milk crate" list is that it's mixed in with "misc hoses". I forgot about it until it was mentioned above. Good call! Original factory ones can and do fail unexpectedly. Aftermarket ones last longer.

As for being a packrat, that's a different sort of problem. I have a spare sedan and wagon. LOL. So I'm not the only sick one here with entire parts cars on hand.
 

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Check air in spare.

X tire wrench
Fast food napkins or a few paper towels in a zip lock bag.

Windshield washer fluid. about a quart(1L) does not take up much space, but saves time and money when I forget to check.


Fred's water bottles can also be used for coolant and windshield washer. But are very hard for me to use November to May depending on the weather.


For those who use all season tires: Take the time to remove and replace the rim nuts and check that the rims come off the car at least one a year if you do not rotate the tires front to back. Having a spare is useless if the "tire guy" has used his high power air gun on your lugs, or the rim is rusted on the car.
 
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