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Favorite tools and other "must haves"


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24 replies to this topic

#1 Chris W.

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 06:44 PM

Hey all
I am on my 4th Subaru (93 Loyal wagon 4x4 EA82 SPFI 105K).
Due to econmic restraints (read: poor with lots of kids), I am finding that I need to fix things myself, rather than pay to have
the car fixed at the shop....I am fairly mechanically inclined, and
USMB has been immensely helpful, but I am falling short on tools.
I have sockets and combo wrenches from 8mm to 17mm, and the usual assortment of regular tools. My question is: What tools
can't you live with out if you are going to do your own work on
a Subaru (i.e. specific larger wrenches and sockets, and specialty
tools). Thanks in advance for your advice and ideas.

Cheers,
Chris

#2 Sweet82

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 06:51 PM

Hummmmm.........Specialty tools........?:rolleyes:

Duct Tape......

Vice grips.......

Hack saw.......

I didn't think there were any other specialty tools:cornfuzz:

Glenn,
82 Hatch, well it started out as one........
01 Forester, still looks like one.........

#3 TROGDOR!

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 07:11 PM

Gotta have the critical wrenches...

8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, and 19mm

Helps to have a ratchet with a socket in each size as well as a wrench in each size. Sometimes one works better than the other, and sometimes you need to use both to work a nut and bolt.

If you plan to change axles, a 36mm axle nut socket and a 3/16" pin punch are essential.

Hammers come in a lot more useful than you think.

Gotta have a decent set of screwdrivers too.

One of the best tools I have is kind of unexpected- it's a 2 foot long steel pipe. I always keep it in the car. Works great for putting on the handle of a ratchet/lug wrench to bust tough bolts loose, and it's also good for prying. Also could be used as a weapon- I feel better having it in the backseat when I'm driving around late at night. It's one of the most useful tools I've ever gotten.

Let's see... what else...

Vice grips and pliers of various sizes are great.

A floor jack and jackstands are essential for working with the car raised.

Damn... I got carried away there. That's $300 worth of tools at least.

Start witha GOOD socket/wrench set and a floor jack, and build your collection from there. That's how I started 3 years ago, now I have enough to totally fill the trunk of an XT.

#4 MilesFox

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 08:03 PM

i had driven to wcss 2300 miles, and i had every tool i needed to do anything on a soob, in a convenient "Subaru Survival Kit" on the way there i changed an axle and fixed a broken timing belt pulley

the basics tools
14, 12, 10, 8mm wrench
1/2 drive socket19mm,17mm
3/8dr socket17, 14, 12, 10mm
1/4dr socket 12, 10, 8mm

have a 7/8 offset box-end wrench for the crank pulley when doing toming belts/timing

i had a homemeade axle tool

or use 1/2 drive breaker bar with 36mm, or 1 1/8"(i think)

flat screwdriver #2 phillips screwdriver
pliers

combination 12 qnd 14mm offset wrench proves quite versatile

#5 Jack in Norfolk

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 08:19 PM

I had a friend that did a lot of work on my old sube. I told him that I wanted to take advantage of the adjustable ride height (you can crank up the torsion bar and the struts). He pointed out that they were rusted solid.
Another guy that is in the Navy was in the shop. He went to his truck and got this can of spray. I dont know what it was, but had seriously heavy fumes. I was 5 ft from the car when he sprayed it on the front struts and I still winced and my eyes watered. It was almost instant. The rust just melted away. Forget about soaking it in liquid wrench or using a wire brush. This stuff was amazing. He gave me the can. It was "military issue" so I used it sparingly.
If you can get your hands on any of that stuff, by all means do so.
-Jack

#6 moosens

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 08:24 PM

All of the above and add:

22mm socket and big breaker bar for crank pulley.

sping hook for roll down window cranks

punch for axle pins....better have a hammer too

I keep handy a 2 or 3lb drilling hammer-like a small sledge hammer

screw starters for straight and Philips heads

"six way tool" which is a painter's tool,like a putty knife only with other funtions.

Cold chisel-goes well with drilling hammer ;)

penetrating oil for rusty bolts-PB Blaster seems to be the best(and I'm a former Liquid Wrench addict)

Wheel chocks!!!! Could save your life

same for Jack Stands!!!! nothing like being alive to tell about your ordeal.

32mm socket if you have a 4wd

other items that are in my box that have been used:
duck bill pliers
regular pliers
channel lock pliers
needle nose pliers
Vice Grips
allen wrenches-but mostly you need the large one(10mm??) for the drain plug(heads) should you ever do that

I'm sure there's a couple more oddball items too that I'm not thinking of right now.

Other helpful items:
heat-as in torch,for those really PIA bolts
air tools and compressor
test meter
thread saver-I use Permatex's silvery stuff
2 jacks
light source for under car,etc.
gloves-especially when dealing with used oil!!!!!


and once in a great while:
Sawzall
10lb. sledge hammer
beer :drunk:

#7 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 09:01 PM

Hehe - Military Issue - if you look at the can you should be able to find the manufacturer, or at least get me an NSN number.

I think the best miltary issue "spray" I've ever run across was an OD green can of "wasp and hornet killer" I swear this stuff was leathal to any form of life we could find. Probably would kill you too, but it will just take a few years...

We have been issued some really nasty bug repellant too - very greasy, and don't smell nice.... didn't work either, which sorta pissed us off.

GD

#8 subiemech85

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 10:22 PM

bungee cords
torque wrench, beam type
socket adapters
pry bars
self drilling sheat metal screws
gear wrenches
extensions
spark plugs, socket
repair manual
something to dissolve sticky green or white battery
growth -- beer or cola, quality doesn't matter
crc 5-56 best lube-penetrant found-- spra-loos at $1 stores
tow strap
duck tape
sealing foam in the can
spray silicone lube
jumper cables
fuses
wire
multi-meter
air hammer
impact wrench
spotlight
flashlight
trouble light
power inverter
air tank
adjustable wrenches
chop saw
cutting torch
welder
portapower
rivet gun
drillpress
clamps
spraypaint
angle grinder
press
pullers
battery charger
battery booster
you can also read the VW survival list @
http://www.cyberus.c...w/checklist.txt
also http://usmb.ultimate...&highlight=list
Jack and other on-board tool/part recommendations

#9 TROGDOR!

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 10:26 PM

Oh, and make sure you leave room for the driver when you pack all that stuff!

#10 viceversa

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 10:41 PM

I service 4 vehicles, 3 domestic and 1 Subaru. 2 metric, and 2 SAE.

I have:

Sockets set - metric and SAE, shallow and deep.

3/8" ratchet, 1/4" ratchet

1/2" breaker bar

Open end wrenches.

The most valuable tool you can have is Factory Service Manual. For all my cars but Subaru, I have every manual they ever made. FSM, Chiltons, Haynes, etc. It is a must-have.

#11 electryc_monk

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 03:56 AM

This Sounds LIKE CPC. Kinda brownish in color and has a slightly sweet after aroma?

Corrosion Preventative Compound. Strong stuff. HAd a MSDS list of some scary side effects too! But eyes watering from it? hmmmmm, don't remember that. Maybe it was something else then. hmm.

Originally posted by Jack
I had a friend that did a lot of work on my old sube. I told him that I wanted to take advantage of the adjustable ride height (you can crank up the torsion bar and the struts). He pointed out that they were rusted solid.
Another guy that is in the Navy was in the shop. He went to his truck and got this can of spray. I dont know what it was, but had seriously heavy fumes. I was 5 ft from the car when he sprayed it on the front struts and I still winced and my eyes watered. It was almost instant. The rust just melted away. Forget about soaking it in liquid wrench or using a wire brush. This stuff was amazing. He gave me the can. It was "military issue" so I used it sparingly.
If you can get your hands on any of that stuff, by all means do so.
-Jack



#12 electryc_monk

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 04:03 AM

special tools I would suggest are as follow - order not important but, having all four is!

1. sense of humour
2. (over)active imagination
3. brain that is operational
4. access to friends, USMB, and other like sources

of course a #5. would be some patience but that with a hammer is optional too... so I hear. :rolleyes:

#13 Nug

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 07:43 AM

Please get the NSN off of that can of stuff.

#14 Dennis ex24

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 10:29 AM

ball pien hammer
3/8 socket set
1/4 socket set
1/2 socket set
flat head, phillips head drivers
a nice piece of pipe to use as a breaker
mag light
pliers
test light
box/open end wrenches 8mm - 18mm

your looking at about $100 worth of tools at home depot...

#15 subarubrat

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 11:04 AM

The Subaru world is held together by 10mm, 12mm, 14mm and 17mm.

#16 Rooinater

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 04:24 PM

[i] He gave me the can. It was "military issue" so I used it sparingly.
If you can get your hands on any of that stuff, by all means do so.
-Jack [/B]



jack -
check the can and send me all the info off the can. i'll see if i can get it from supply! i'll need a part #, serial no., and any other info you can give me. and i'll see if i can get it in.

#17 subarweinie

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 04:59 PM

Tools lets see! wrenches duct tape BFH JB weld the rust removing spray you guys are talking about i think they use stuff like that in are vehical mantinance shop ill try to find out guess i gotta make some friends over there ;) if i can get ahold of some ill get you guys all the info im sure the Air Force uses good sprays i look. Rob

#18 Dr. RX

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 05:13 PM

My favorite tool is a 12mm X 14mm combination box end, that is triple chrome plated. Qman picked it up out of my tool box once, and from the look on my face, he knew that was my favorite.

#19 baccaruda

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 06:26 PM

oh, on that not of using soda pop for battery goonk cleaner, use diet soda. it doesn't have any actual sugar (duh) but that means it won't make your car sticky if you can't rinse it soon. i think diet pepsi is more acidic than diet coke, so that would make it the better choice. funny how the advertisers don't touch on this :P but i'll endorse this use for it. don't drink the stuff cause aspartame = poison but i've used it to clean up battery crap with good results.

#20 Chris W.

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 06:48 PM

Hey all
This is great stuff :D Thanks for all the input!

Cheers,
Chris

#21 subiemech85

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 11:08 PM

I have used month old root beer left in plastic cup, worked great
have also used cold, fresh beer, hot old beer, and fresh cola, all have worked
it's a matter of what's available and convenient
the ea81 car was washed once a week

#22 rallyruss

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 11:41 AM

alot of good lists here
I would just like to add

a good quality DVOM.

cooling system pressure tester.

compression tester.

timing light.

inspection mirror and flashlight.

magnetic pick up tool to find lost nuts and sockets.

just a few important things of the trouble shooting/ tuning nature.

#23 Bluroo

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 01:32 PM

you will also need a special socket for doing the breaks. I took a 3/8 drive 3/4" socket and welded 2 pieces of key way 3/16" long to each side of the socket to turn the pistos back in. That is one tool that you realy need if you have disk breaks on the front. Sure makes the job alot nicer:burnout:

#24 iamtheq

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 04:04 PM

Great recommendations -

That special brake tool is available as a universal one (looks like about a 1/2 or 3/4 inch square cube with different points on each side for different manufacturer's brakes). It's a 3/8" drive tool and sells for between 5 and 10 bucks at Pep Boys and other auto stores.

I second (third, fourth, etc.) the endorsement of PB Blaster. That stuff is awesome. A can of brake clean spray is good also for cleaning the grease, mud, etc. off your brake parts after an emergency repair.

Finally, in case nobody mentioned it, a supply of cotter pins because you know you're going to break or lose them when you're dismantling the axles.

#25 CIS Subaru

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 12:00 AM

I can only think of one special tool I use that no one has mentioned yet. The Subaru factory spark plug socket. The one that came in the toolkit that came with the car. I always use it to change my plugs because my other spark plug sockets don't have thin enough walls to properly reach the plug when it's fully installed in the head.




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