Saturday, April 27, 2013

A trip to Princess Auto is never wasted

Princess Auto is one of those great chains that carries a bit of everything shop related. Whether it’s tools, hydraulics, steel, welding supplies, trailer parts, small engines, surplus electronics or anything else in a long list of “guy stuff” they probably have it. So I can spend a lot of time (and money) in that store. The only saving grace as far as the spousal unit is concerned is that it’s an hour and a half away so it’s not very onvenient. However once a month or so I find an excuse to be at that end of town for something and, “since I’m there anyway…”.
Last week I had to return a defective utility trailer wheel (made in China, most probably from salt-infused rusted auto bodies) and spent a little time wandering the aisles. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular but then I came across this wheel chock that was on sale. If you’ve ever done an oil change (or any maintenance really) on a motorcycle that has no centre stand you know what a pain in the ass that can be. The analogy that comes to mind is the one-armed paper hanger; it’s awkward, inconvenient and usually much messier than it needs to be. Even so I could never justify the $200 or so that seemed to be the going rate for a wheel chock to hold the bike vertical while I worked on it.
But $40? A no-brainer.
Today I got around to assembling and installing my new wheel chock, and it works like a charm. I have a motorcycle lift that I’ll still use for most things but for sheer convenience and the fact it leaves the undercarriage open this is a great solution. Ride on and step off the bike. There are loops for tie downs but the bike seems really stable even without using them. I probably will anyway because the thought of 700+ pounds of iron toppling over and damaging the paint could ruin anyone’s day. It’s bolted to the floor but the vertical support and the pivot are held in place by a single bolt and a couple of pregnant-R clips. Remove those in a few seconds and all that’s left on the floor is the low-profile base component.
Yep, I’m liking it and almost (almost!) looking forward to doing that oil change now.
Photo 3(1)
Some minor assembly required.
Photo 1(2)
Done!

13 comments:

  1. Princess Auto is quite a store (last thing I bought there was a set of loading ramps - underestimated the weight of the ATV and they collapsed - no one was hurt! Not their fault.) Lots of bikes out today, guess they've already done their oil changes. Looks like it's time - finally. It's been a long winter, it seems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been a long winter. Finally getting my first ride in today - a full month later than last year. Let's just hope we get a great summer to make up for it.

      Delete
  2. Canajun:

    I am selective on what I buy. sometimes you want something with a bit better quality. I noticed that their tools are more finished with their Pro-Line. I bought a flex ratchet with a telescopic handle and some Torx bits. They also have quality reflective tape. It is hard to go in there and not buy something.

    BTW, Princess Auto is an hour away from me in Langley, so most of the time we take a drive into the country on Sunday and then I say "might as well go to PA as we are in the area"

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob - True, sometimes the quality leaves a lot to be desired (like my wheel for instance) but for the average weekend mechanic the combination of quality and price is pretty good.

      Love your "we are in the area" comment. :)

      Delete
  3. A chock looks like a good idea. The bike takes up less room when standing upright in the garage too.

    With my bike we had to get a rear paddock stand, but it works since I don't have a center stand.

    Hubby hits me up with those "we are in the area' comments too. I can usually guess his motivation at going to a particular location. We have Harbor Freight Tools - I think it is the equivalent. Alway something on sale and 'needed.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paddock stands are a good option if they fit your bike.

      I think you're right re Harbor Freight being similar. Still have to visit one when I'm in the US ("in the area")to make sure though.

      Delete
  4. I found out today that Princess Auto is like the Harbor Freight chain of stores in the USA....good stuff, well maybe cheap stuff, but as you found, sometimes it's a good find.

    dom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dom - True, you do have to be somewhat careful about quality but for that special tool you'll use only a few times in your life it can be a good deal.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We have a Pep Boys chain that is probably the same or close to it. I go in and always end up asking where to find such and such. Its always fun to in and check things out...even if I don't know what I am looking for LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KT Did - You'll know what you're looking for when you find it. :)

      Delete
  7. Dave, here's wishing you nothing but fun in this year's riding season. If it comes to pass, 'chock' it up to oil changes, and the law of averages!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks David, and to you too. Hopefully we've seen the last of this endless winter/spring and will have nothing but sunny skies and clear roads ahead.

      Delete

Please feel free to comment, but any comments with commercial links will be deleted. You have been warned.