buick5563

Tools you really need

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I have seen so many posts as of late asking how best to tackle certain projects and wanted to start a thread with mandatory tools. I'm not talking about socket sets and screwdrivers. If you don't have those, you need to sell your car.  (I am not endorsing brands).

I will start with two "go to" tools. 

 

 

Everybody needs ratcheting box end wrenches. I prefer the reversible type that you don't have to flip over to reverse.

 

http://www.dewalt.com/en-us/products/hand-tools/wrenches-and-wrench-sets/10-pc-reversible-ratcheting-wrench-set-sae/dwmt72169

 

 

 

 

Spark checker. Don't hold your spark plug wire near metal. Buy this:

https://m.summitracing.com/parts/rnb-86579?seid=srese1&gclid=CjwKEAjw7e66BRDhnrizmcGc8VcSJABR6gaRAAldVJQ95-FuW8VTMBE09ZOlz3nIZKD_gtkaPzCMqRoC7O7w_wcB

 

 

 

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Edited by buick5563 (see edit history)

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Two that have saved me a lot of trouble, a good multimeter and an impact driver for screws. The kind that helps free rusted screws by hammering on it. Saved me more than once on this old iron we work on.

 

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I was about to say a multimeter is a must.  Even a cheap Chinese one is useful in most cases.

 

For dialing in a voltage regulator, the ammeter side of most multimeters is useless.  Even the pricey ones are only good to 10A for 30 seconds or so.  Since '56s use 30 amp generators, you'd probably want a 50A meter for headroom.  You can put one together for about $10 on eBay (clamps are worthless on DC).

 

I also have a tube tester, which was handy when I repaired the old Sonomatic 20 years ago, but I picked up a dead radio at a swap meet for $20, gutted it, and put a solid state amp in there.  

Anyone else have a tube tester?

Edited by SpecialEducation (see edit history)

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Oh, and don't waste your time trying to change front shocks without a nut splitter.  I don't even try to back the nuts off anymore, I just go straight to the splitter.

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As I get older I find my eyes don't see as well as they used to in dimmer light.  I found a 120 LED rechargeable 4 foot trouble light that I can hang up under the hood. Makes it nice and bright.  Also a good tactical flashlight.

 

A extendable magnetic picker upper so you don't have to crawl under the car to get the nut / bolt / tool you dropped under the car.

 

 

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For those Buicks before self-adjusting brakes, a good strong brake adjuster - looks like a crow-bar, about eight inches long.  Essential. 

 

Oh, and a torque wrench, a quality floor jack and stands, and cardboard under the car so I clan slide around easier on my back.

 

An assortment of taps and dies for cleaning up threads on nasty old fasteners.

 

Shop rags, multiple cans of brake clean, a standing motor with a grinding wheel on one side and a wire wheel on the other, a blast cabinet as big as you can go, with attached compressor...

 

Dental picks for detail cleaning...

 

A cigar in my hand, and Johnny Cash on the radio, "I got it one piece at a time..."

 

I remember my dad building a '41 Willys coupe for drag racing when I was growing up.  Not many tools, and simple ones at that, but he had a lot of friends who helped him.  He died at 37, back in 1979. I remember him marveling at the garage full of tools our old neighbor had next door.  I'm 50 now and have been blessed to add Dad's tool box...

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My list woud include besides the basic hand wrenches, etc,

 

1. Decent size air compressor.

2. Oxy-Acetelyne torch set. Great for those rusted stuck nuts, etc.

3. Agree with good Digital Volt Ohm Meter, but also a test light.

4. Compression gauge

5. Good assortment of hammers.  There is no such thing as a universal hammer.  I also have an anvll for bending things flat again.

6. Good bench vice.

7. Good work bench

8. Large assortment of screwdrivers.

9. A  couple of differerent sizes of vice grips.

10. Severl different sizes of good slip joint pliars (Channel Locks)

 

This are just a few of my thoughts.

 

Forgot to add

11. Good floor jack

12. 1/2" impact wrench for taking off wheels, etc

13. 3/8" air ratchet wrench

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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As Larry mentioned "vice" (the "holding" kind), then a low-profile fast-rise  jack (one of the aluminum NASCAR types is a ++++) could not be far behind, plus the associated STURDY jack stands.  It's been quite some time since I could slide under a normal car (on the ground) to do a normal oil and filter change (for example), so these items are now necessary.  The particular jack has a minimum slide-under height of 3", which can come in handy (normal ones are more like 5" minimum).

 

Now, there is ONE item when has not been mentioned, but was mentioned by a visitor to one of our chapter meetings.  This particular "tool" helped him greatly as he did "behind the instrument panel" work, plus it can assist in other areas, too.  A smartphone with a built-in hi-res camera and automatic flash.  And, for Old-Tank, that is one tool that might not "draw blood".   And, with the correct "apps", can do the "chassis dyno" function (mentioned by Mr. Stoneberg a few years ago) and GPS speedometer (as 5563 illustrated a year or so ago).  Not unlike a straight-blade screwdriver that works on different size screws.

 

As always, WATCH FOR SALES . . . whether at restoration supply entities, the home improvement stores, (a major department store known for its brand of tools), or local auto supply stores.

 

ONE thing which might seem a little "ancient", but still has relevancy, is wood-handled screw drivers.  Not just the better feel, but also the insulation properties of wood.  In a selection of lengths, tips, and sizes.  Some of the heavier-duty screw drivers have "hard plastic" handles and even some with socket wrench attachments (or wrench hexes on the shaft), but if you need THAT much torque on a screw, might need another plan of attack.

 

NTX5467

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Another side of 5563's idea might be "What's in the toolbox that you keep in the vehicle's cargo area" rather than "in the shop"?  Presuming your cell phone (in whatever variation) is already in your pocket.  "Cargo area" can be "in the floor, somewhere", "in the trunk", in the "hidden compartment of a station wagon", or similar.

 

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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Sawzall, 4 1/2" grinder with cutting wheel, PBBlaster, a 2' pry bar and a bfh, wasp spray , 410 shotgun (for copperheads only, never use on Kings) 

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40 minutes ago, MrEarl said:

Sawzall, 4 1/2" grinder with cutting wheel, PBBlaster, a 2' pry bar and a bfh 

 

Exactly what kind of precision work are you planning to do with those tools ?

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Precision work? Oh.... chisel, vice grips and pipe wrench

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As I get older I'm glad I bought Buicks. A bottle of detail spray and a polishing cloth is what I find in my hands most often. The more I drive the less I have to fix.

Bernie

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OH MY, OH MY,  am I  the ONLY one that thinks the SCALLOPS SPRAY GUN is the tool of choice?

 

Well, I think I will go eat a can of worms, what's this world coming to?

 

Got to LOVE this site, and Ben toooooooooo!  I wonder, I wonder, WHAT tool will Ben pick?  hehe

 

Dale in Indy  

 

 

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24 minutes ago, smithbrother said:

OH MY, OH MY,  am I  the ONLY one that thinks the SCALLOPS SPRAY GUN is the tool of choice?

 

Well, I think I will go eat a can of worms, what's this world coming to?

 

Got to LOVE this site, and Ben toooooooooo!  I wonder, I wonder, WHAT tool will Ben pick?  hehe

 

Dale in Indy  

 

 

 

   On the front of my tool box is an OFF button!

 

  Ben

 

  

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From reading about all the tools that you guys have it would seem that there isn't anything that you could not do.  I have a pretty complete shop myself, but, I have come to the conclusion that I have the tool that beats all of your tools put together.  You see I have this good looking little gal that has two of the handiest hands that anyone has every seen.  She knows the difference between box end and open end wrenches.  She knows exactly how to take ripped trim boards off the end of the table saw for the old house restoration project.  She knows the correct side of the nut to start on the threaded bolt and the list could almost go on forever.  I keep telling her that when this house restoration is done that she will be able to hire out and keep up with the best of them.  She just fumes and walks away and then we both get a good laugh out of it.  She definitely qualifies as the best assistant in my shop and Ben, she even wears a visor now and then.

 

Terry Wiegand

Doo Dah  America

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Mapp gas, 3/8 universal joint, wobble extension and a couple various length extensions, offset ratcheting phillips head screwdriver, 3 foot long piece of pipe for a breaker bar extension.  The open end ratcheting wrenches are almost a necessity to get the engine to transmission bolts out.

 

+1 on wasp spray.

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And, from the "SOHK", have the gumption to take something you can't fix to somebody who can BEFORE it's broken.  Then watch what they do, position that against your then-current expertise, available funding, and possible later investments so you can do it yourself next time, if desired.  In the long run, there are some things best left to those that are more used to doing them, provided they do a good job of it.

 

Don't forget the "label maker" so you know where things are supposed to be.  Key work, "supposed"!  Perhaps somebody will start making some inexpensive GPS tracking chips for tools?

 

Related to the prior smartphone suggestion, scan and download the noted service manual section sto an iPad or similar.  That way, the greasy fingerprints will wipe off  better than from the pages of the paper service manual.  Easier to carry, too, as long as you take the battery charger for it.  Just be sure to turn it off before cleaning the screen!

 

NTX5467

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