Adding to my automotive tool box.

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Old 07-21-17, 03:51 PM
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Adding to my automotive tool box.

Hello all,

Homeowner/DIYer working on 1996 Honda Civic Ex 4Dr AT (D16Y8 Engine). Until now, I've had no floor jack & jack stands, so I've been doing small jobs from top i.e. replacing battery, distributor cap & rotor, wires & plugs; valve cover & gasket as well as radiator, using my good ole' Kmart "Benchtop" 89-piece ratchet & socket tool set. I find myself mostly using the 3/8" ratchet, for which I've added a 6" extension, as well as a swivel and hex adapter, while hardly ever using the 1/2" ratchet, 12-point and/or SAE sockets, while I also have "Vintage" USA Craftsman 3 pc. Adjustable Wrench Set that includes 6, 8 and 10 inch-long wrenches.

Now, that I have 3-ton jack & stands, moving forward I'd like to be able to do more from the top with extensions and/or adapters, as well as tire rotations, and other work under the car, i.e. I currently need to change transmission fluid, oil & oil filter, plus tie rods & axles; eventually brake pads, etc...I'm considering adding the following, to my tool box. and would appreciate your feedback:
1) Wrench set
2) Cordless ratchet 3/8" 18V.
3) Cordless impact wrench 1/2" 20V. HOWEVER A friend is suggesting the 1/2" is too bulky and I'll want something smaller then it but stronger than a the ratchet, to get into tight places.
4) Extensions and adapters.

My Kmart "Benchtop" 89-piece ratchet & socket tool set
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My "Vintage" USA Craftsman 3 pc. Adjustable Wrench Set.
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  #2  
Old 07-21-17, 04:17 PM
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When I was an auto mechanic, I only bought combination open end/box wrenches. I rarely used adjustable wrenches but sometimes used pipe wrenches. While a 1/2" drive socket set is bulky, you'll need one sooner or later not to mention a breaker bar & a 2" pipe about 3' long for leverage. Those are just some basics.
 
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Old 07-21-17, 04:30 PM
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you will most likely want a half inch drive impact regardless of there bulk, the battery powered items are so expensive I think I would just buy a decent air compressor and go with air tools instead if you have room for a compressor.
some 1/2 inch impact sockets probably metric.
 
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Old 07-21-17, 04:54 PM
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I echo alan73..... forget the battery powered tools. If you don't use them enough the batteries will fail.

A 30 gallon 1HP compressor runs around $300. With air you can do anything... even inflate tires. The tools are a fraction of the cost of battery operated ones and they will far outlast them.

1/4" and 3/8" air ratchets.
1/2" impact gun.
Tire inflator with gauge.
Set of blowgun tips

Other upgrades.... air saw, air grinder.

I had a whole cabinet of air tools and I used them often. Most came from Snap On but they wouldn't if I had to do it again.

Look around for places like Harbor Freight for decent prices on air tools.... and other tools too.
 
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Old 07-22-17, 04:27 AM
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I also couldn't imagine not having an air compressor and air tools. I generally buy tools as I have a need for them .... although sometimes a sale will come around that convinces me to buy tools I don't have an immediate need for

Look for lifetime warranty on hand tools. If I'm not mistaken harbor freight now offers lifetime warranty on most of their wrenches and sockets.
 
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Old 07-22-17, 06:11 AM
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I agree that an air compressor would be your most valued tool and that HF would be the best place to shop.
Don't get caught in the trap of thinking you need to spend up to 5x the cost for air tools believing they will last forever.

A 1\2" impact and a 3\8" air ratchet are two good tools to start with.

Some usefull info.
 
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Old 07-22-17, 06:28 AM
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Add my vote for compressor and air tools.

As to wrench sets, ratcheting wrenches like GearWrench[SUP]tm[/SUP] come in very handy.

Torque wrench may be needed for some of the work you foresee.
 
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Old 07-22-17, 06:40 AM
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I also agree that air system is much more useful. Just yesterday, the AC condensation line at my home, empties into a larger (2") pipe that ties into the waste water lines & goes out of the house. The 2" pipe became clogged, over flowed & water run out into the kitchen under the fridge. Well, anyway, I went out to the shop, got a blowgun connection, my little pancake air compressor, placed a towel over the top of the 2' pipe, stuck the nozzle in there, pulled the trigger & water ran right out. Problem solved.

You cant do that with a battery operated impact tool. Having an air compressor handy along with a good length of hose & some basic fittings.... and the uses are endless.

Good luck in your decisions......
 
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Old 07-22-17, 06:47 AM
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At you level of skill and tool collection, you should concentrate on tools.

Big sets of tools, sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers are the foundation of any tool set.

A nice tool box/chest is essential so that you can easily store and find those tools when needed.

Forget the air compressor and related tools till later, they are handy but I went 20 years without and rebuilt a lot of cars just using hand tools.

Look on Craigslist, tools are robust and if you can save 50% it just means you can buy more for the money.

Dont buy krap tools from Harbor Freight, Lowes, Home Deopt, but then for your level you dont need Snap On, MAC or SK.

Although Craftsman are not what they used to be it's still a good level of tool. Everything I have is craftsman and on occasion that something goes wrong they still are replacing them.

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Old 07-22-17, 12:19 PM
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Wow, thanks to all!
Not sure I have room for a compressor but it sounds like most agree that air ratchet and 1/2" drive, are the ways to go.

Originally Posted by ShortyLong

When I was an auto mechanic, I only bought combination open end/box wrenches. I rarely used adjustable wrenches but sometimes used pipe wrenches. While a 1/2" drive socket set is bulky, you'll need one sooner or later not to mention a breaker bar & a 2" pipe about 3' long for leverage. Those are just some basics.
Thanks!
First I've heard of pipe wrenches being used on a car...Interesting. As for combination open end/box wrenches, what would you look for i.e. # of wrenches in set, min-max size is set, metric vs. SAE large form vs. stubby, ratcheting, angled, etc?

As for 1/2" drive, I believe it's the impact wrench itself that my friend feels is too bulky. That said, and FWIW he also recommended the following impact sockets, extensions and adapters from HF:
Pittsburgh® 7 Pc 3/8 in. Drive Metric Impact Swivel Socket Set - item# 67908
Pittsburgh® 3 Pc Impact Socket Adapter Set - item# 67936
Pittsburgh® 4 Pc 3/8 in. Drive Impact Extension Set - item# 67926
Pittsburgh® 4 Pc 1/2 in. Drive Impact Socket Extension Set - item# 67972
Pittsburgh® 13 Pc 1/2 in. Drive Metric Impact Deep Socket Set - item# 69332
Pittsburgh® 10 Pc 1/2 in. Drive Metric Impact Deep Socket Set - item# 69287
Pittsburgh® 8 Pc 3/8 in. Drive Metric Impact Deep Socket Set - item# 67928

>>>Breaker bar & a 2" pipe about 3' long for leverage.
Cool!
 
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Old 07-22-17, 12:26 PM
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Dont buy krap tools from Harbor Freight,
I somewhat disagree. I have some hand tools from HF that have preformed well. It's easy to tell the difference between the junk tools and the better ones they sell. Most of their hand tools come with a lifetime warranty. I have a set of HF impact sockets I bought 30 yrs ago, one of them split last year and they replaced it, no problem.
 
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Old 07-22-17, 02:37 PM
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I somewhat disagree.
Since the majority of my Craftsman tools were purchased up to 2000 I guess I got good old American products, apparently that is not the case today.

Beginning in 2010, hand tools manufactured for Craftsman by Apex Tool Group such as ratchets, sockets, and wrenches began to be sourced overseas (mainly in China, although some are produced in Taiwan)

Sorry, I hate buying China, and that is definitely HF and apparently now Craftsman!!!

I've heard of pipe wrenches being used on a car...Interesting.
Your listing to the wrong crowd!
 
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Old 07-23-17, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Marq1

At you level of skill and tool collection, you should concentrate on tools.

Big sets of tools, sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers are the foundation of any tool set.

A nice tool box/chest is essential so that you can easily store and find those tools when needed.

Forget the air compressor and related tools till later, they are handy but I went 20 years without and rebuilt a lot of cars just using hand tools.

Look on Craigslist, tools are robust and if you can save 50% it just means you can buy more for the money.

Dont buy krap tools from Harbor Freight, Lowes, Home Deopt, but then for your level you dont need Snap On, MAC or SK.

Although Craftsman are not what they used to be it's still a good level of tool. Everything I have is craftsman and on occasion that something goes wrong they still are replacing them.

Attachment 83306
Thanks!
At my level of skill and tool collection, which Big sets of tools, sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers would you recommend?

Also, for primarily working on Civic but basic DIY stuff around the house, would you recommend only metric wrenches, since I have adjustable wrenches or combo wrench sets (or any other tools or socket sets) with SAE??
 
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Old 07-23-17, 10:17 AM
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Everything automotive today is Metric so that is where you should start.

I have an older vehicles so SAE is used but if not for that it would be just home use which is minimal.
 
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