Tools for beginners

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  #1  
Old 09-25-15, 07:58 AM
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Tools for beginners

So I am going to change my struts. Until now I have been DIY in home for about everything and have enough tools for my home. For auto I have changed few things and feel quiet handy. For my first job for changing struts and checking my sienna power seat issue I am feeling following

1. Floor Jack
2. Multi meter. (I have old one but will replace with new one)
3. Any other tools suggestion , sizes.

In near future i will changing my spark plugs, etc. Please advise.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-25-15, 08:13 AM
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Jack stands a must. Are you replacing the struts with a complete assy or just the shock part? Spring compressor will be nessary if just shock part.
 
  #3  
Old 09-25-15, 08:17 AM
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Thanks pugsl
No its completely loaded Monroe Quick Strut . Kind advise from ukrbyk and the_tow_guy.

I know would need special wrench and long handled wrench and others will be needed but don't know which ones.
 
  #4  
Old 09-25-15, 08:18 AM
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There are two spark plug sizes, 5/8 & 13/16. Make sure that you have the correct size. A swivel might be good to have, as well.
 
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Old 09-25-15, 08:25 AM
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You're going to need a set of metric combination wrenches and a 3/8" drive set of metric sockets to work on a Toyota.
 
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Old 09-25-15, 09:46 AM
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Add a good service manual to the list.
 
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Old 09-25-15, 10:45 AM
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When I was young I bought tools as the need arose, now I'll buy a tool anticipating a need ... it can become an addiction
 
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Old 09-25-15, 11:21 AM
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I'm not a fan, of Sears at all, so I don't bother with Craftsman, even though they have the life time warranty. Now that Home Depot bought Husky, they also have a life time warranty. I had a breaker bar that I bought in 1970. It broke some months ago & they replaced it, at Home Depot, for free. Yay!
 

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  #9  
Old 09-25-15, 11:41 AM
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I was wondering if I can start with harbor Frieght tools. Its cheap but only if its worth. right now the 3 ton jack only 89.
 
  #10  
Old 09-25-15, 12:49 PM
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I've bought a few things, from Harbor Freight. So far, I haven't had a problem.
 
  #11  
Old 09-25-15, 01:34 PM
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Harbor Freight has decent hand tools [excluding the odd ball ones that are obviously junk] Many have a lifetime warranty. I have quite a few HF wrenches and sockets that I've been well pleased with.

I have a HF 2.25 ton floor jack that is on it's last legs .... but it is about 30 yrs old. I like their jack stands.
 
  #12  
Old 09-25-15, 03:44 PM
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Jackstand.
Breaker bar 1/4 inch
18, 19, 17, 14 and 10mm sockets. 19, 18, 17 will have to be 1/4 inch ones. 14 and 10 can be 3/8 end. Thing is, you will need large size socket+wrench AND back up box wrench or socket when you undo those. So one way ot another, you need 2 sets of same size tools.
Socket wrench 1/4 drive and 3/8 drive. I'd suggest to go to Harbor Freight and buy their impact wrench socket kit, as sizes go grom 30 plus all the way down to 10mm. AND what is very important, they are deep sockets as that's what you will need for the 3 bolt nuts under the hood.

Biggest challenge will be to undo the strut bolts as they are torqued to very high torque spec. That's what you need breaker bar for the nuts and back up wrench or box wrench. DO NOT TRY TO USE OPEN END WRENCH on those bolts.
Are you also going for the rear ones? They will be pain most likely. On my Camry I had to disassemble entire rear seat to get to the top bolts. Maybe it's different in Sienna.
Good choice on struts. MUCH LESS hassle to put in.
 
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Old 09-25-15, 05:13 PM
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I work on motorcycles more than cars. This tool doesn't apply to the struts, but one of my favorites is a Sliding T-Handle for sockets, used with a long or short extension. It just feels comfortable and is great for plugs and stuff like socket head cap screws.
 
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Old 09-26-15, 09:04 AM
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Ditto Ron's suggestion of a SERVICE MANUAL! Read and understand the job you are about to undertake before you start. There's nothing worse than getting half way into a job and have something come up that you don't understand.

Which car are you doing the struts on? The Toiletta? or the S2K ?

You can probably get a BISHKO reprint on CD for about 25 bucks.

I've split open quite a few HF sockets. I didn't buy them, they were a well intentioned 'gift'. I believe they are made out of cheese.

SOME stuff from HF is OK for the occasional use, but hand tools in my opinion is a no-brainer to buy the best. They will last a lifetime. (which may be short if you buy a HF floor jack and climb under the car without stands!)
 
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Old 09-26-15, 09:21 AM
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I've split open quite a few HF sockets ........... I believe they are made out of cheese.
I've never split or otherwise wore out any of my HF sockets ... but after thinking about it, the only HF sockets I have are impact sockets.
 
  #16  
Old 09-26-15, 06:47 PM
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It's 2003 Camry. Costco told him he needs new struts and what not. Repair manual for his car is $17 any parts store. Plus I sent him entire walk through.
 
  #17  
Old 09-26-15, 08:09 PM
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I often buy things from Harbor Freight but there are also some things that I would NEVER buy there, mostly cutting tools. I had a cold chisel from HF that I tried to use to cut off a mild steel nut. The chisel edge rounded over and barely left a mark on the nut.

I bought a box each of 18 tooth and 24 tooth hand hacksaw blades, thinking I would never again have to buy hacksaw blades. I barely was able to saw through a piece of 3/8 inch hot rolled steel rod with a single blade.

I tried using a center punch on a piece of mild steel, the point on that punch was flat after the second tap from the hammer.

You might get a few yards long cut from a utility knife blade cutting cardboard packages.

I needed a spare 7/16 inch combination wrench to use on "F" fittings (coaxial TV connectors) but I had to buy a complete set. They looked really pretty with a highly polished chrome finish. The 7/16 inch wrench was okay but at least one of the others was so far out of tolerance I ended up tossing it in the scrap metal bucket.

I bought a two-pack of gas welding goggles, it even stated on the package for gas welding only. They had #10 filter lenses. (Gas welding normally uses #4 to #6 lenses.) I couldn't see anything through them and returned them.

I bought a self-darkening welding hood for $39 (on coupon) and that has been one of the best purchases of my life.

I bought a tool roll-around for $98 on coupon and that also has been a very good buy.

I bought a "3/4 horsepower" bench grinder and it barely has enough power to get the thing moving. Don't even think about putting any kind of pressure against the wheel.

I bought a single post bench grinder stand and it is so wobbly it is unusable. On the flip side, I bought a four-legged bench grinder stand and it is so good I bought a second one.

I bought several plastic tubes for storing welding electrodes for about $5 each, the welding stores sell them for $15. I've read reviews stating the HF ones are not water proof but I have no complaints whatsoever.

Bottom line, some items are just fine, others are good enough for a single job or two and some items are not worth the time to even pick them up and put them in your basket.
 
  #18  
Old 09-27-15, 04:04 AM
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I had a cold chisel from HF that I tried to use to cut off a mild steel nut. The chisel edge rounded over and barely left a mark on the nut.
Maybe the quality has went down over the years. I have a set of cold chisels I bought from HF over 30 yrs ago that still work great - no complaints. I also have one of their welding rod storage tubes
 
  #19  
Old 09-27-15, 10:01 AM
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It was fifteen or more years ago when I bought those chisels and punches.

I also have a pair of garden pruners (bypass style) that I bought a couple of years ago that are just fine. Same with the sledge hammer with the fiberglass handle, a fine tool.
 
  #20  
Old 09-27-15, 04:46 PM
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I will add that when you do the strut make sure that you do NOT loosen that nut in the center of the strut. That is what holds everything in the strut together. A strut popping itself apart due to someone not using care with that nut can lead to some serious, seriour injuries.

When reinstalling spark plugs try this. Take a short length of stiff vacuum hose that has an ID which will allow it to fit snugly onto the end of a No. 2 Phillips screwdriver. Insert the spark plug into the other end of the hose and then screw the plugs into their holes. This will prevent stripping or crossthreading the plugs.
 
  #21  
Old 09-28-15, 12:37 PM
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Thanks every one for the recommendations and it is very helpful insights... Last Question just like any other things ... should a newbie try to change struts (Quiet handy) but just wanted to make sure to take on a job which should be only done after having hands-on for some light work..
 
  #22  
Old 09-28-15, 02:18 PM
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Merkur, he's replacing with Quick Strut. It's "take out-drop in" job.

OP, thing is - this is how I learned. I started with simple basic jobs. Then slowly progressed to more complex ones. I always either had a live help or read manuals and such.
Should you be replacing the shock part of the strut, I'd have cautioned you from taking on that. But with Quick Strut, you remove wheel, well, after safely setting vehicle on jackstand, remove sway bar link where it's connected to the strut, remove connector for ABS sensor, break loose two bolts securing strut to the hub knuckle, punch one of those bolts out, remove three nuts at the top of the strut, holding strut to the fender area, sit on a stool, grab strut with one hand while with other hand wiggling the 2nd strut to knuckle bolt out. As soon as you got it out, you slide the strut off the knuckle, and slowly work it out the tire well. That's it. Install is reverse to removal. Literally 10 minutes for more or less experienced DIY guy.
Oh, forgot to say. The sway bar link bolt. It will spin with the nut. So you need to secure the bolt in place while you remove the nut. And I do not remember what the original Toyota set up is, as I replaced mine with aftermarket ones. I think, it requires a hex wrench to be inserted into the bolt center, something like a 4mm head. So don't get stranded. Removing that bolt is step 2 in the process.
 
  #23  
Old 10-02-15, 08:21 AM
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Thanks everyone. So I got the torque ranch and floor jack (3 ton) 3 Ton jack stand and rachet and wrench set from HF. For anyone. Really good deal. I don't know suppose to put the price here but torque ranch and floor jack has really good deal this month.
 
  #24  
Old 10-02-15, 08:58 AM
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I hope it was a Torque Wrench that Harbor Freight is marketing; not a Torque Ranch !

I wouldn't normally say anything; but you did it twice in the same post.

At least it wasn't the more common "Tork Rench".
 
  #25  
Old 10-03-15, 05:53 AM
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I apologize. Thanks for pointing... It does say Pittsburgh Pro click type torque wrench.. I keep on doing same mistake many times...
 
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