What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

General conversations about BMW E28s and the people who own them.
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Shawn D.
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What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by Shawn D. »

Y'all,

I have a Fluke 88 multimeter I use at home, as well as a small early-'80s-vintage Micronta analog multimeter, but I'd like to get a quality compact digital high-impedance multimeter to take on road trips. Any suggestions for that?

If anyone has suggestions for "road trip tools" (as opposed to more home- or shop-oriented), let's hear them!

- Shawn

THE LIST (will be updated as suggestions are listed):

1) Harbor Freight multimeter and long leads.
2) Self-fusing and/or Victor Hose Repair tape.
3) Used belts.
stuartinmn
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool Suggestions?

Post by stuartinmn »

That Fluke isn't all that big, unless you're really trying to save space...if it were me, I'd bring it along since you already have it.
Harbor Freight has a pocket size multimeter that's probably good enough for the things you'd need it for on a road trip, like measuring simple voltages and continuity - more often than not, the accuracy isn't as important as being able to do basic go/no-go measurements. https://www.harborfreight.com/electrica ... 64018.html The one thing you may want to add to the tool kit are a set of long test leads, so for example you can take readings from the battery back to the taillights. I just made up a set from some wire and alligator clips but you can buy them - again, Harbor Freight has some that are on a convenient wind-up reel. https://www.harborfreight.com/electrica ... 58024.html

Otherwise, outside of a basic tool kit with some wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers. some baling wire, tie wraps, duct and electrical tape, etc. are worth having. You're probably not going to be doing any major wrenching when on a trip, so you don't need to bring the entire tool box. Something else that may save you in a pinch is some self-fusing silicone tape that can be used to seal up a leaking radiator hose. You can find it at most hardware stores.https://www.acehardware.com/departments ... es/8702904
gadget73
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool Suggestions?

Post by gadget73 »

The HF meter doesn't publish input impedance. I'd guess its at least 1M, but thats very much a guess. Should still be plenty sufficient for most things automotive-related though. The Fluke is probably 10M.


add a good light with a magnetic base to the list.
Mike W.
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool Suggestions?

Post by Mike W. »

Yep, I've been packing one of the red Harbor Freight ones for years. While hardly instrument grade, in my experience it's not too bad and plenty close enough for the side of the road. One caveat is with a low battery in them 12V reads out at ~16V. I like the cheapies so I can just throw them in a box with a few other things and not worry about it getting beat up like I would a good meter. My wife likes to take stuff (lots of stuff) on vacation so things like tools are often crammed into a small space in my cars.
Shawn D.
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool Suggestions?

Post by Shawn D. »

Something I've long advocated is keeping old belts in your kit. Why old, not new? Because:

* If you're maintaining your vehicle properly, there should be enough life left in the belts that they'll do fine as an emergency spare.

* You know they fit.

* If you donate them to someone else, there's effectively no loss to you.
Shawn D.
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool Suggestions?

Post by Shawn D. »

stuartinmn wrote: Jun 20, 2022 7:41 AMSomething else that may save you in a pinch is some self-fusing silicone tape that can be used to seal up a leaking radiator hose. You can find it at most hardware stores.https://www.acehardware.com/departments ... es/8702904
I am an advocate of Victor Hose Repair Tape. It looks like plain 'ol duct tape, but it isn't. I once had a radiator fan tear a 1"x3" hole in an upper radiator hose on an RV and duct tape lasted about one mile. I tried some of that Victor tape in desperation and it held for 60 miles (unpressurized, of course) until I was able to get to a parts store and get a new hose.
Federico
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by Federico »

Other than the usual tools and good used parts, it's nice to have the supplies to bypass a heater core on hand.
vinceg101
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by vinceg101 »

-Coolant/Distilled Water, at least 4 gallons

Call me paranoid, but it only takes ONCE to blow a radiator hose and lose ALL your coolant in the middle of nowhere to make me figure out a way to carry as much distilled water and some coolant as possible on any long distance journey (I've got trunk packing down to a science now).

My father never went anywhere with at least one roll of duct tape and electrical tape. I do this as well as pack a roll of Gaffer's Tape. And of course Blue tape.
garageboy
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by garageboy »

I think I must be living on a separate planet from most E28 owners...

When I am on a road trip, whether a few hours from home or on the other side of the country, my E28 is on a maintenance schedule. I replace maintenance parts because of time and mileage, and I replace them all at the same time. Things like oxygen sensors and coolant are maintenance items. I was taught to do that since the 1980s, when I had my first E28. I have experienced some parts failures in 30+ years, but rarely catastrophic failures... something might start making noise or not work quite right, yet I have thousands of miles of warning before I have to deal with it (like differentials, clutches, wheel bearing assemblies), so while it can diminish the quality of a trip, it won't interrupt it. To me, an interruption (beyond tire/wheel issues that are manageable) is unacceptable to me.

I considered taking the E39 to Yellowstone because in many ways, it drives itself. But the E28 was the right choice for many reasons. The primary reason is that it rarely fails catastrophically, yet the E39's water pump failed catastrophically, despite a rigid maintenance schedule, the day I returned home from a 51-day trip with the E28. Just from sitting 51 days???

That said, here is the multimeter I bring (I have an older version):
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PHDJRP3/

And while my trip to Yellowstone was 11,400 miles, I had fresh oil when I left, and did get one oil change at a Jiffy Lube (they were SO nice to me, even showed me when they put in the new crush washer) with my oil and filter, and eventually changed it a couple months after I returned home.

Here was my list of stuff I brought on that trip. I'll start with the same list when I (hopefully) go to Eastern Canada in 2023):
Extra relays from old E28
Open end 10-11mm
Closed end 17/19, closed 13/15
Bulbs, fuses (spare OBC backlight!)
Gallon Coolant Mix 50/50
Gallon Castrol 20W/50 (?) (plus hidden quarts)
Extra oil filter, crush ring!
facom torque wrench and 17mm extension
Spark plug and socket.
H4 bulb (55W?), possible extra lowbeam glass
jumper cables
Small Multimeter
used fan belts (ALT, P/S, A/C)
¼ inch ratchet set
misc tool holder (various E28 small tools and sockets, radio remover)…
Heater valve hoses (?) 1 of 2 (despite warning, the original hose is still in there in 2022)
Würth window cleaner
Microfibers
2 lug bolts
Ice scraper
Hubcentric rings
Cactus
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by Cactus »

I have it on good authority zip ties can hold a broken rocker arm out of the way of the cam. You know, of you can't help but money shift. I always bring a set of Allen bits. I forget which one does the half shaft bolts, either 6 or 8, but I've needed it more than once on the road. Also I never go on a trip without a rubber mallet. You never know when a rusty bolt might need some gentle persuasion.
Chimi-Changa
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by Chimi-Changa »

in my Road Kit besides the above I bring:

Spare known good ECU
Indian Head sealant
RTV
Bandaids
Fix a flat
Soup can with ends cut out and split down middle ( exh repair)
Clamps for hoses
exh clamps
Tarp
Thermostat
Fuel hoses ( Ben! :laugh: )
Top radiator hose
Gorilla Tape
Jump Pack (Norco)
Spare bulbs/ relays/ fuses
Long zip ties
I bring 2 jack stands and a 1.5 ton jack with Sam's stand pads.
Beer :D ( medicinal purposes)
garageboy
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by garageboy »

Chimi-Changa wrote: Jun 30, 2022 11:37 AM in my Road Kit besides the above I bring:
OMG, that is quite a compelling list of things to bring. I don't think I would ever drive the car beyond my neighborhood if the risk of all those components failing was prevalent.
John SCB
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by John SCB »

AAA card.
Bimmerguy2002
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by Bimmerguy2002 »

not super thick gauge but not small like 16, wire with alligator clips, another set of wire with either male spade or ring terminals for jumpers
multimeter
battery post cleaner
aluminum floor jack and two jackstands, moving blanket to lay on ground
spare change of clothes for having to work on the car
mini air compressor for inflating tires that runs off the battery
zip ties
electrical tape
2 gallons of water (for drinking)

I think its foolish to not have AAA, drove for years without it, playing with fire.

https://ibb.co/b3Fzw51
https://ibb.co/bRJmQJ9
garageboy
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by garageboy »

Not trying to hijack this topic, but can folks ALSO define what "road trip" means to them?

To ME, "road trip" means week or weeks on the road, where I'm likely 625 or more miles from home, or anything longer/further. From NYC, a 4 hour drive to the Adirondacks or a 4 hour drive to the frozen lakes of New Hampshire for the weekend, a 2.5 hour sprint to the hills of Connecticut for Consumer Reports' Test Track (to teach Street Survival for the day), or anything less is NOT a road trip. If I could not rely on my E28 for any of those, I'd sell it yesterday.

I had AAA for years after my Dad died, so that my Mom would not be stranded. But in all that time, she never needed it, and I "used" it 3 times, and each time, in NYC, they never showed up. One time I had to change a flat while wearing my tuxedo after giving up waiting for hours. Maybe it's just useless in a big city. How helpful would AAA have been if I HAD gotten a couple flat tires on a google-maps-prescribed dirt road in the Badlands of South Dakota at 10pm on a Saturday night??? (I did not, but warned my travel partner that I had a blanket for her in the trunk and the seats fully recline in case the worst happened and we had to sleep in the car overnight). I used to love TripTIks. Nowadays, TripTiks are just google maps printed on paper. Absolutely useless.
glowell222
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by glowell222 »

Here's my daily-driver list:

Nitrile gloves + leather gloves + knee pads + safety glasses
bag of ceramic fuses, multiple amperage ratings
spare main and spare fuel relay
one each: oil, atf, psf, coolant, brake fluid, wd40
roll of shop towels
tire repair/plug kit + small electric air pump with built-in light
headlamp with extra batteries + rechargeable flashlight with magnetic base and swivel head
full set of metric hex keys
set of basic hand tools + multimeter + zip ties
2 locking hose pliers
2 sets of wheel chocks (these are the same length as the lifting range of the OEM jack and can be used to act as a jack stand in addition to the jack)
25' roll of heavy duty rope + tow strap
This post, printed out and kept in the glove box: viewtopic.php?p=869180#p869180
Bentley manual
small electrical repair kit (tape, wire, various connectors and alligator clips + bag of standard automotive fuses, various amperages)
extra long jumper cables
bag-o-bungee cords, various sizes
a single spark plug for quickly checking for spark
first aid kit + superglue + drinking water + emergency rations
twenty foot tie-down strap + locking ratchet mechanism
summer or winter emergency bag
mobile phone
credit card
RetiredDoc
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by RetiredDoc »

An e-bike. Saves walking for help. Fits easily in the huge e28 trunk
stuartinmn
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by stuartinmn »

garageboy wrote: Jul 01, 2022 6:14 PM I had AAA for years after my Dad died, so that my Mom would not be stranded. But in all that time, she never needed it, and I "used" it 3 times, and each time, in NYC, they never showed up. One time I had to change a flat while wearing my tuxedo after giving up waiting for hours. Maybe it's just useless in a big city. How helpful would AAA have been if I HAD gotten a couple flat tires on a google-maps-prescribed dirt road in the Badlands of South Dakota at 10pm on a Saturday night?
I guess it all depends on location. I've had AAA ever since I was 16, so that's nearly 50 years. During my younger years I lived at home in a small town in SE Minnesota, for the last 40 years or so on my own in Minneapolis. I've probably used them on average once a year or so for various things (a tow, a battery jump, once when my car doors froze shut on a subzero night) and I've always had reasonably prompt response.
a
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Re: What Are Your Road Trip Tool/Supply Suggestions?

Post by a »

For an E28, fuses bulbs,etc . A known good brain, a regulator/brush pack,fuel pump and filter. oil ,coolant tools air pump belts hoses. For my Camry, nothing, but my wallet.
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