Jump to content

need advice re buying tools for engine work


rocky5517
 Share

Recommended Posts

Gentlemen

I want to learn how to do basic work on 2nd gen 430, as well as other older cars I may come across. What should I start out buying, as relating to vacuum gauge/timing light, etc, other basic things? Any preferred manufacturers?  I'd rather buy a quality piece now instead of something that has to be upgraded later.

Much thanks

Sam from Jersey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basics are a timing light with advance / Dwell meter / vacuum gauge / voltmeter, ohmmeter assuming you have wrenches , sockets etc.

 

Distributor wrenches come in handy along with feeler gauges.  

 

You can do a basic tuneup with these items.  Torque wrench is required if you start really taking things apart.

 

I have had my Craftsman tools and gauges etc. forever so I don't know what is good now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sam,

Sometimes you can find good deals on quality made items like timing lights, dwell meter etc on ebay or craigslist. Often the stuff made in the 70s will last a lifetime and to buy equivalent quality today can cost you dearly.

Sometimes you can find complete mechanics tool sets with box on craigslist for a fraction of cost new.

Not sure what you have now but in addition to what Bill mentioned, you'll need a decent set of basic mechanics tools, sockets regular and deep well, 1/4,3/8 and 1/2" drive with 3 different length extensions for each, combination wrenches up to 1", adjustable/cresent wrench set, allen wrenches, 15-20pc screwdriver set, punch set, chisels, file set, large and small hammer including rubber/plastic mallet, channel locks, plier set, vise grips, hacksaw, Mapp or propane torch, good retractable trouble light, drill and drill bit set, screw extractor set, SAE thread tap set, bench grinder with wire wheel, safety glasses and mechanics gloves. Harbor freight has some great tools for the occasional mechanic when you can pick and choose. If buying all new, getting a complete set of tools in a package deal Craftsman still has great offerings especially on sale. Buying individually will cost a boat load more. Here is a nice set for example. http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-197pc-expansion-pro-mechanics-tool-set/p-00934197000P Of course you can start out with a smaller set to keep cost down and buy others individually as you choose. If you think you'll continue to get more and more involved in doing your own wrenching you will thank me 10 years from now for suggesting buying a bigger set up front.

Harbor freight has sets also but not everything they have is good enough quality. Certain tools are OK to buy individually but getting a whole set you get some JUNK mixed in. Harbor freights tool chests are decent for the hobbiest.

Oh forgot. Duct tape, zip ties and JB KWIK can't do without

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanx Jason. I have most of the hand tools, and I agree re Craftsman. There's a Sears down the road, and they happen to host a cruise show Sunday afternoons. If I see used tools, i.e. dwell meters, timing lights, etc, does one brand stick out? 

My friend who helps me with repairs ( read "does repairs") is an instructor for GM and wants to give me his old "Sun" diagnostic machine. Since it's as big as a refrigerator I'm measuring my garage now to see if I can squeeze it in. If I can learn how to use it I'll be set. I learned a long time ago that when someone offers you something, take it.

Sam

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with everything that Jason and others have said but I've learned from experience that Harbor Freight can't replace a single socket if you happen to break one or round one out; Craftsman tools are sold individually and can be replaced the same way.  I inherited some Craftsman tools from my dad who did his professional mechanicing up through the mid 60's.  A couple of phillips screw driviers lost their 'edge' and I was able to exchange them some 40 years later.  The guy at Sears wasn't exactly excited about it but he did do it. 

 

One thing that I've used most recently that no one has mentioned is a good set of gasket scrapers.  If you have an air compressor you can add quite a bit to your collection.  One thing that I use quite a bit is the pnuematic rachet.  Speedy and no chance for carpal tunnel syndrome from repeated motion. I have a high speed angle grinder that I use fiber discs with for creating smooth surfaces, use with wire brushes for removing rust, crud, etc.  If you purchase an impact wrench, then you need to buy yourself some impact sockets and impact extensions.  I also have a small pnuematic   If you're reassembling an engine, I'd also recommend getting yourself a torque wrench.  Don't forget to check your local pawn shop for tools as well. 

 

Don't forget the protective stuff.  If you're doing any kind of grinding or sanding you'll want some goggles or a face shield and some protective breathing masks.  I also have a first aid kit in my tool box.  Some blue paper towels, and some waterless hand cleaner will let you in the house without a fuss. 

 

Last but not least is a good tool box to keep everything organized.

 

What else has been forgotten?

 

 

 

Ed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanx Jason. I have most of the hand tools, and I agree re Craftsman. There's a Sears down the road, and they happen to host a cruise show Sunday afternoons. If I see used tools, i.e. dwell meters, timing lights, etc, does one brand stick out? 

My friend who helps me with repairs ( read "does repairs") is an instructor for GM and wants to give me his old "Sun" diagnostic machine. Since it's as big as a refrigerator I'm measuring my garage now to see if I can squeeze it in. If I can learn how to use it I'll be set. I learned a long time ago that when someone offers you something, take it.

Sam

That diagnostic machine would be a dream come true for a lot of us.  If you can make room for it, it will be a gold mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ed

More great advice; thanks. I doubt I'll be dis-assembling engines but good point re scraping, grinding etc. I'm going to make an effort to fit that machine in my garage. As far as first aid, sometimes when I do a project on the car I'm tempted to include a "first aid report" for beginners like myself. For instance, getting under the interior dash to hook up the brake pedal after the booster was replaced can cause deep back contusions and minor knuckle scraping; I'd rate it "3 band aids" on a scale of 1 to 5. And don't forget the "profanity scale"; easy 4 on a scale of 5, for the first time anyway. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use 34,589,75,091 rags/rolls of shop towels and cans of brake cleaner and carb cleaner more than anything lol.

 

Don't underestimate the usefulness of cardboard and sharpie's also for all kinds of organization.

 

Just some non-tool items that come in handy.

 

As far as tools go, it's mostly all been mentioned.  You can collect the "specialty" and others as you need them.  Ratchet wrenches are not "needed," but they are the best thing since sliced bread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moe good tips; thanks to all. Re shop rags, whenever I have socks that are shot, I rip them, throw them in laundry, and they come out clean and not mistaken for good socks. They fit over your hand and I use them all over the house as wipers. Come in handy cleaning bathroom, etc, as well as wiping down dashboard and interior windows.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If that Sun machine has a working oscilloscope, and it is too big for your garage........................ENLARGE THE GARAGE!

 

Mentioned before, but:

 

For tune-ups and maintenance:

 

(1) Dwell/tach meter

(2) Timing light

 

For diagnostics"

 

(1) OSCILLOSCOPE!!!!

(2) Vacuum gauge

 

As to brands, highly agree about well-kept older tools. My dwell/tach, timing light, and vacuum gauge are Sears/Penske from the 1960's/1970's and work as new. My 'scope is an Allen from the 1950's that will easily find in the hands of a rank amateur problems that confound certified professional mechanics that don't have a 'scope.

 

Jon.

Edited by carbking (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

wiggles,adapters and extensions to add to what i saw above. Also, a set of ratcheting wrenches comes in handy. As to the brands, i have a little of everything. I try a ratchet for a while, then i keep it or move on to something else. My favorite ratchet so far have been a set of blackhawks i picked up. The craftsman ratchets seemed junky by comparison. I still have plenty of craftsman stuff i use, like box wrenches, spark plug socket, screwdrivers, etc. Best to see stuff in person i think. Oh, i avoid harbor freight like the plague. I have a buddy that is a cheapskate that gets away with a lot of hf items, but i haven't had any luck. If it is cheap i am bound to break it.

Edited by devildog93 (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you look at a ratchet, look for one that has a fine ratcheting mechanism. You don't want one that you have to turn back an eighth of a rotation to pick up the next cog.   You want one that you can make get into tight places and still have some action to the ratcheting mechanism with little movement of the handle.

 

Ed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More good points, guys. Ed, thanx for pointing that out. My friend who does the work on my car, because he teaches mechanics courses, has a torque wrench that must be the mother of all torque  wrenches. Loud clicks when you're at the

sweet spot but must weigh about 5 lbs. He made me torque the lug nuts with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bear in mind that the more complicated a torque wrench is the less accurate it is. The clickers are nice but the old style with the pointer is less likely to become inaccurate with use.  The more complicate the system the more likely wear and therefore inaccuracies will creep in. All torque wrenches work on the same principal whether they click, hum or flash numbers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was younger I left a ton of skin on the projects I worked on. About 20 years ago mechanic gloves made their appearance. I wasn't an early adopter but find them very helpful keeping you from skinning your knuckles or scratching your hands reaching where you can't see. Most of my hobbiest tools are Craftsman. Swap meets are a great place to pick the old ones up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...