[Healeys] Knock off wrenches

Mirek Sharp m.g.sharp at sympatico.ca
Tue Jan 21 21:08:49 MST 2020

For 46 years I have just used the copper-headed Thor hammer that came with the original tool kit.  I have the same set of knock-offs for those 46 years and when I restored the exterior I kept them because they nicely display the patina of a 46 year old car.  The ears of the knock-offs are a bit flattened, and the underlying brass shows through in a few places, but that is what happens when you use the right tool supplied by the factory and they look lovely.  I whack them pretty hard holding onto the very end of the handle to get the maximum leverage on the swing, always with the wheel off the ground so they centre properly, and so I can turn the wheel as to position the ears in the right place for a square blow.


Somewhere I saw a picture of a mechanic hammering a knock-off on a centre-lock wheel on a front-engined formula 1 car (in my mind’s eye I see a Maserati), and he had a massive hammer, not the dinky Thor we have in our too kits, and he was wailing on it.  I am not suggesting we do that; it was a race car and all the parameters are different, but it did suggest to me that we don’t need to be gentle.


Then there is the aesthetic.  I can’t say it better than Peter Egan:  “However you do it, there's nothing quite as satisfying as smacking a knockoff. It feels like an ancient, embedded human prerogative, like releasing an arrow from a longbow or skipping a stone across a lake. If you've never owned a car with knock- offs, you probably owe it to yourself and your ancestors to get one. Knockoffs provide both tactile involvement with your car and participation in one of the sport's most sacred rituals. Without which, as Jim Morrison would say, true sailing is dead.” 


I have been whacking them for 46 years and have never stripped a thread or had a wheel come off.  I love the ritual and the horrified stares from uninitiated and/or ill-informed on-lookers, so I’ll just stay the course.


Cheers, Mirek


From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] On Behalf Of Tom
Sent: January-21-20 9:06 AM
To: Healey Mail List
Subject: [Healeys] Knock off wrenches


Are either of these two items useful?    From the Moss catalog:

Long Handle Knock-off Wrench

Protective Knock-off Wrenches


- Tom


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