The BugShop: Name That (homemade) Tool!

This page last modified- 11/10/01

This page was born as a "Name That (homemade) Tool" contest. I was rummaging around in the garage one day I came across one of my many homemade tools. I had the digital camera handy, so I thought I would collect them all and take some pictures. Then I thought, "Cool, I could have a Name That Tool contest on my page!"

So the contest is over, I thought I would turn the page into a "Homemade VW Tool Gallery". I got LOTS of "entries" in just a few days, some of them quite humorous. At least one person guessed each tool correctly (proving that this wasn't impossible), but no one got all of them.

It was fun, thanks for playing. I posted the "wrong" answers to each one with a single name of the submitter.

AIRCOOLED TOOL #1- Oil filler removal tool

This is a tool that I made to remove the oil filler "neck" from a Beetle engine. It is an old 3/8" drive socket with some scraps of 8 gauge steel stock brazed to it. The neck is held on to the generator stand by what looks like a really big slotted screw. So big that even a BFS (big.., uh,,,, "flathead" screwdriver) won't get it out. This tool on a long extension reached down there and turns the thing out.

 "Other" Guesses: 

  • "A really big slotted screw driver... I don't know what it's for though"- James
  • "Don't have a clue"- Robert
  • "1/2 or 3/8 Twis-T-Socket"- Rich
  • "used to hold connecting rod in a vise while installing a piston"- Deecee 

AIRCOOLED TOOL #2- Oil Pump Puller

This is an oil pump puller for aircooled engines. The curvey rod actually slips into the journals of the pump that are exposed when the cover and gears are removed. The sides of the bracket rest on the case bosses and allow you to turn the nut and pull the pump out evenly from the center. You only have to try to pry a pump out with screwdrivers once before you are convinced that you must have this tool (destroy the pump and possibly the case). This tool is readily available for cheap, but when you need one NOW! and have a box of scrap metal and welders, the time required to make one is not an issue.

 "Other" Guesses: 

  • "I have absolutely no idea. Still thinking about it. "- BugByte
  • "I have no idea"- James
  • "deck height tool???"- Tom
  • "Fweemholder"- Rich
  • "oil pump gear puller"- Deecee 

WATERCOOLED TOOL #1- Rear strut top nut holder

I made this tool when replacing the rear struts in my wife's '89 Jetta. The strut tops are very close up under the rear parcel shelf under the back window, accessed via the trunk. The nut sits down in a bit of a recess with only about an inch of clearance above. And, you must hold the top of the strut shaft (squared) with a pair of vice grips. A "dropped" box end won't work. The offset hole drilled into the socket allowed the use of a rod to apply torque on the nut, the strut shaft protrudes through the square drive hole enough to hold it with vice grips. Still, I had to grind the "face" of the socket down to make it "shallower". I remember lots of cussing....

"Other" Guesses: 

  • "It's a tight fit somewhere that needs a large amount of torque...pass. side of engine?"- Brett
  • "Hmm, tough one.."- Piej
  • "pulley nut remover"- Jason
  • "Don't have a clue"- Robert
  • "Engine mount socket"- Sterlng007
  • "Who cares"- BugByte
  • "Oil-Me-Elmo"- Rich
  • "Hold the crankshaft from turning"- Deecee

WATERCOOLED TOOL #2- Timing belt (pulley) tension adjuster

This tool is used to twist the timing belt idler pulley on its offset center to adjust the belt tension. You have to do this when the pulley bolt is mostly tight, else it turns back and loosens as soon as you let go. Yeah, you can buy this tool, but again, when you need it, you don't want to stop what you are doing, call and order one and wait for it to arrive. That red "square stock" is actually a piece of a neck of an old swivel desk lamp. The "pins" are blunted nails.

I knew I saved all of that old metal scrap in a box for a reason...

    "Other" Guesses: 
    • "Krugertool"- Rich
    • "Tool for exhaust pipe on golf mk2"- Piej
    • "Used to remove pulleys??"- Tom
    • "Don't have a clue"- Robert
    • "Stereo removal tool (big guess)"- Sterlng007
    • "Who cares"- BugByte 

WATERCOOLED TOOL #3- Upper front strut nut tool, A2s

I'm pretty sure we made this tool when we did my friend's '91 GTI front struts. For the upper strut nut. Used an impact wrench so we didn't need to hold the strut shaft. 

Tool sacrifice for the benefit of a VW is sometimes warranted.

    Other" Guesses: 
    • "Sender removal tool"- SR92
    • "Special tool part #20098368"- Rich
    • "Rear brake caliper 'screw-in' adjuster"- Brett
    • "I have a similar thingie that I made to remove the valves on my golf..."- Piej
    • "Looks like maybe an oxygen sensor removal tool..."- Jason
    • "Oxygen Sensor Remover?"- Robert
    • "Axle nut remover"- Sterlng007
    • "Who cares"- BugByte 

WATERCOOLED TOOL #4- CIS fuel injector puller

This one was easy. This was the first tool I made after I got my MIG welder.

    "Other" Guesses: 
    • "Could be several things...dist bolt tool?"- SR92
    • "Hooky holder deal"- Rich
    • "Something for injectors??"- Jason
    • "Don't have a clue"- Robert
    • "Ball joint separator"- Sterlng007
    • "Who cares"- BugByte 

WATERCOOLED TOOL #5- Flywheel inspection cover remover

This one stumped a lot of people, but at least one person got it right. It is a tool made to remove that green plastic threaded "plug" that gives you access to the flywheel/timing marks.

See, don't throw away all of those cheapy socket extensions that you snap off. The other end (male) is ground down on three sides and used in a 1/2" drill sometimes to drive lag bolts into wood.

    "Other" Guesses: 
    • "Grease plug wrench"- SR92
    • "Rear brake caliper 'screw-in' adjuster"- Brett
    • "Hmmm my guess is tool for injector bushing removal"- Piej
    • "Rear caliper piston turning tool"- Tom
    • "The female end of a 3/8" drive extension brazed to a piece of heavy sheet metal carefully shaped into a hexagon"- Rich
    • "Tranny plug socket?"- Jason
    • "Don't have a clue"- Robert
    • "Some sort of trans drain plug remover"- Sterlng007
    • "Who cares"- BugByte 

WATERCOOLED TOOL #6- Arm bushing remover/installer

Only one person got this one completely right (Mike T.). It is used to press the A-arm bushings on the front end of A1s. You use it to remove old ones and press in new ones. Also does the front bushings on A2s. Little soapy water and it works very well. I that is 5/16" threaded rod with 2 "jamb nuts" on one end and a 4"x1 1/2" "nipple" pipe. 

    "Other" Guesses: 
    • "spring compressor"- SR92
    • "Bearing presser (puller)"- Brett
    • "Some kind of rubber bushing tool ?"- Piej
    • "I don't know... could it have something to do with wheel bearings?"- James
    • "To seat/unseat front wheel bearings?"- Jason
    • "front wheel bearing puller"- Tom
    • "Press out front wheel bearings?"- Deecee 
    • "Those 6 pieces that help me do that"- Rich 
    • "Don't have a clue"- Robert
    • "Bushing driver"- Sterlng007
    • "Who cares"- BugByte 

One thing is clear: you aircooled guys should stick with your air cooleds, and you watercooled guys stay with the watercoooleds.

Got some homemade tools of your own? Send me some pics with your name and description. I'll post them here if I still have the server space.