British Army Magneto Spanner Set

An essential accessory with any engined vehicle is a set of small spanners with which to make adjustments. British Army motor vehicles in the Second World War were no different and there were many small nuts that needed to be tightened or adjusted to get the best performance from the engine and to correct any minor errors. Typically it was the magnetos that needed adjusting most frequently and the standard accessory was a small set of spanners that folded up into a tiny unit that could easily be placed in a tool bag or even in the pocket:

The spanners are all bored with a hole at one end and secured together so that each can move independently that allows the spanner of the correct size to be chosen whilst the remaining stacked spanners act as a handle with which to grip and provide torque:

Each spanner is a different size and is marked accordingly on its head:

The set itself is marked with the /|\ mark and a date of 1942:

Modern vehicles rarely have magnetos, using batteries to provide the current to start the engine, however eighty years ago it was very common to start an engine via a magneto and old film footage often shows people using a starting handle on a road vehicle or kicking a motorcycle engine into life, both of which were ways of getting the magneto to produce the spark needed for the engine to start firing.

One comment

  1. I owned a 1983 Lada, it came with a crank…as did the late 60’s Austin Cambridge my father had, it’s good to know how to do these things and it might make as good of a theft deterrent as a manual transmission does today 🙂

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