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  1. #1
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Question about SAE sizes and American cars

    Is it possible to find metric bolts on a Ford?

    I bought this set of SAE sockets to work on a Ford. Then I find a bolt that in between 7/16 and 3/8. One is too big and the other one too small. It kinda looked like a #10 metric so I tried one #10 wrench and it fits perfectly... wtf?

    how can this be? is this usual?

  2. #2
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Buy American...buy Honda.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  3. #3
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    Is it possible to find metric bolts on a Ford?

    I bought this set of SAE sockets to work on a Ford. Then I find a bolt that in between 7/16 and 3/8. One is too big and the other one too small. It kinda looked like a #10 metric so I tried one #10 wrench and it fits perfectly... wtf?

    how can this be? is this usual?
    you're working on the late 90s Taurus, right? Yeah. Most American cars built since the 80s have included both SAE and metric hardware. Many things on cars are made overseas and some things are still made here. I believe the car companies are getting better about this, but I'm not certain.

    So yes, you will find both on your car meaning you'll have to get both an SAE set and a metric set. Sorry.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Ford's you'll sometimes find metric stuff and sometimes standard.

    But on the Mazda's sold as Fords, like Escorts, you'll find pretty much 100% metric.
    Last edited by Michigander; 03-02-09 at 11:35 PM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    So yes, you will find both on your car meaning you'll have to get both an SAE set and a metric set. Sorry.
    3/8" SK sets cannot be beat in my experience. They contain both types, have a lifetime warranty, and are extremely durable. Plus, they are sized very sensibly with 2 lengths of sockets for most sizes. Plus, if you shop around, they can be had for about a hundred bucks.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  6. #6
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Darn Fords! why they can't just convert to 100% metric like the rest of the world!

  7. #7
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    3/8" SK sets cannot be beat in my experience. They contain both types, have a lifetime warranty, and are extremely durable. Plus, they are sized very sensibly with 2 lengths of sockets for most sizes. Plus, if you shop around, they can be had for about a hundred bucks.
    SK does make good stuff. We don't need to turn this into a tool manufacturer war, so that's all I'll say about it. Well, that and, Ruben, if you'd like a good set of tools that will last you a lifetime, take Michiganders advice.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    Darn Fords! why they can't just convert to 100% metric like the rest of the world!
    Given how many standard parts are out there, tool sets twice the size they should be are here to stay.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  9. #9
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    All of the American cars have both, I work on them everyday.
    Make mine a double!

  10. #10
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    SK does make good stuff. We don't need to turn this into a tool manufacturer war, so that's all I'll say about it. Well, that and, Ruben, if you'd like a good set of tools that will last you a lifetime, take Michiganders advice.
    SK makes a series of sockets with universal joints built-in:


    Saves me a tonne of time reaching tight spots where a socket+U-joint will be too long and cumbersome to reach. Add a couple of extensions and some wobble-head ratchets and you'd be the fastest mechanic on the block.

  11. #11
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    I haven't seen a SAE size bolt on any vehilce since the 80's. Ford and GM both switched over sometime in the 80's, I only have one set of SAE sockets and that was because they fit better when bolting things together like swingsets and such. I rebuilt the engine in my 1988 Chevy with all metric. Even my fathers 1972 had some metric stuff on it as well as my mothes 1979. Too may people think they are still the same as the 70's.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enine View Post
    I haven't seen a SAE size bolt on any vehilce since the 80's.
    You evidently haven't worked on any Ford V8's, or a number of other vehicles.

    I wasn't even born until 86, and I haven't really started to understand cars until recently. But I can tell you this much, standard is still very much still in use. I helped demolish the former Mustang plant, and it was covered in non metric parts.
    Last edited by Michigander; 03-03-09 at 08:20 AM.
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  13. #13
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    You will find both on all cars, in my opinion. I have found both on all cars I have worked on. Including older Jeeps (60s).

  14. #14
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanteB View Post
    All of the American cars have both, I work on them everyday.
    And for quite some time, apparently. I had a 1985 Dodge Ramcharger that had a mixed bag of SAE and metric bolts and nuts.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    You evidently haven't worked on any Ford V8's, or a number of other vehicles.

    I wasn't even born until 86, and I haven't really started to understand cars until recently. But I can tell you this much, standard is still very much still in use. I helped demolish the former Mustang plant, and it was covered in non metric parts.
    Everyone I know with f150's doesn't need any sae wrenches, they all use metric. Anything within the last couple generations of the f150, the current boxy one and the previous rounded one were all metric. Some SAE wrenches will fit metric bolts and vice versa when a particulat bolt size happens to ble close to the other standard but just beause an SAE wrench will fit doesn't mean its an sae bolt.

  16. #16
    GATC
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    yeah my 80 Citation had a ******* mix of sae/metrix/martian units.

  17. #17
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    ---
    Add a couple of extensions and some wobble-head ratchets and you'd be the fastest mechanic on the block.
    If flexhead is the same as wobble head, I have a SnapOn that I bought in the mid 70's (when I was a mechanic). The thing stopped ratcheting a few years ago, I called SnapOn, he came by and rebuilt it as well as two other SnapOn ratchets I have. The three are all as good as new. The flexhead was my favorite, that is the one I used for most everything, whether I needed the flexhead or not.



    Details

  18. #18
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, flexhead. Once you loosen the nut/bolt, bend the ratchet parallel to axis of bolt and spin it off with one hand. The idea is to spin your tools in one direction only, loosening or tightening. The back & forth ratcheting motion wastes so much time, at least doubles the time to perform any operation.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    yeah my 80 Citation had a ******* mix of sae/metrix/martian units.
    Thats what I'm trying to get at, early 80's were still in the transition period, anything late 80's and never is all metric.

  20. #20
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    Yeah, flexhead. Once you loosen the nut/bolt, bend the ratchet parallel to axis of bolt and spin it off with one hand. The idea is to spin your tools in one direction only, loosening or tightening. The back & forth ratcheting motion wastes so much time, at least doubles the time to perform any operation.
    That is exactly how I used to do it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enine View Post
    Everyone I know with f150's doesn't need any sae wrenches, they all use metric. Anything within the last couple generations of the f150, the current boxy one and the previous rounded one were all metric. Some SAE wrenches will fit metric bolts and vice versa when a particulat bolt size happens to ble close to the other standard but just beause an SAE wrench will fit doesn't mean its an sae bolt.
    I've ripped apart a 5.0 F150, and the Crown Victoria I used to have which shared a lot in common with the 4.6 F150's. Both had a lot of standard parts, and a lot of Metric. It is completely possible that the ones you worked on, or the ones I worked on were odd balls, but the fact is that the ones I worked on had a lot of standard parts (which I saw many more of lying in piles in the Dearborn plant), and many Mexican parts which were Metric.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  22. #22
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I've noticed on the Taurus, that all the engine bolts & nuts are metric since its a Mazda engine. But the body pieces have SAE sizes.

  23. #23
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    yeah my 80 Citation had a ******* mix of sae/metrix/martian units.
    Ugh, the X-cars were a farking pain. You're not kidding about Martian sizes.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    I've noticed on the Taurus, that all the engine bolts & nuts are metric since its a Mazda engine. But the body pieces have SAE sizes.

    I didn't even know it 3.0's and 3.8's are Mazda engines. Not a fan of the things.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  25. #25
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    while we're discussing tools, I want to get some impact sockets. Everything on my car is metric, but are there any other uses for impact wrenches that might be SAE? I already have a big set of craftsman wrenches, 1/4" 3/8" and 1/2" ratchets and sockets in SAE and metric. I can either go cheap and just get the 17mm deep wall socket I need, or get a set (some craftsman sets are on sale now).

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