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I was a diesel mechanic for 20+ years. Heavy equipment, locomotive engines, otr trucks. I own.....conservatively.....30K + in tools. Every one of my tools and the triple bay box is a Snap-On. Great tools and great box. I have had 4 feet of pipe and 250+ pounds leaning on my 3/4 drive ratchet which has the long handle.....another 4 feet......breaking a 2 3/8 final drive not loose on a Cat D10. Ok, so Snap-On would publicly cringe and secretly smile at that. They know how tools are used by mechanics and they are built to do THAT job. Never ever had a problem or failure with one of their tools that I didn't cause by abuse or stupidity. The absolute BEST tools hands down money can buy. Period. That said I would not pay 150 for a snap-on ratchet now or any snap-on tool at the truck price. Its just too damned much for the normal guy/girl. Craftsman sells good quality tools. Kobalt sells good quality tools. Grey Pneumatic sells, likely the best consumer grade sockets made. Will they last as long? Likely not if your a pro using them 10 hours a day. But if your working on your subi in the garage on the weekend? Hell yes they will. Its plug forged steel. It's not hard to make. You do have to be careful when buying inexpensive tools. SOme, ok most, are real pieces of sh_t and will get you and you car hurt. That 16 mm wrench breaks or stripes the shoulders off a nut and its 2" of skin and a likely broken knuckle. That spoob hurts a lot. And now you gota striped bolt. To help out those who might not know the difference here are some guidelines for inexpensive tool purchase. Notice I said inexpensive. You cannot buy a cheap tool and expect it to perform well. However you can buy inexpensive ones if you know what to look for. Air Tools: 3/8 and ½ impact gun, ¼” drill, die grinder/cutoff tool, blow nozzle. IR, Ingersoll Rand supplies Air tools for Lowes and Craftsman that I know of and I think home depot as well. Might be CP supplies home depot. Harbor fright is a crapshoot on the no branded air tools. Either way IMO IR has the best air tools at lowest prices. To my knowledge Snap-On is the ONLY tool maker left who makes their own air tools. The IR 2130 is rated at 550lbs to the hammer. That is less than comparable guns but it won’t break. The hammer in an impact is what transfers the force to the socket. My snap-on gun will deliver 800lbs and will rip your arm off and beat you with it. The hammer will not break. It cost 450.00 the IR costs 120.00 on amazon and 65-80 at Lowes. Battery driven impacts make me laugh. Some people like them though and for some jobs they work. Like, removing nail polish maybe. Impact sockets: Grey Pneumatic. This chinese company has adopted, under license,the Snap-On flank drive. I bought a full set of these for my kid and I can confirm that they are top quality and well priced. Their well fitted and tough. The steel is hot forged so its not brittle and won't explode when used with a quality impact gun like my Snap_on 1/2" gun. http://www.amazon.com/Grey-Pneumatic/b/ref=bl_dp_s_web_3030022011?ie=UTF8&node=3030022011&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Grey+Pneumatic Standard or chrome sockets: Craftsman or Stanley: You are actually getting MAC tools when you buy these. MAC is made by Stanley Tool Works and so are the usa craftsman tools. Screwdrivers: Snap-On. 8 piece set from snap-on costs 135 bux and they won't strip your screws. There is a difference. If you can't convince the wife that those screwdrivers are worth more than her birthday then Craftsman Extreme Grip Diamond Tips. Kobalt seems to be pretty good but I don’t own any. Wrenches: Snap-On. They are freaking expensive man! But they are worth the money. The tool is balanced. They are precision forged and they are the only wrench to incorporate posigrip that works. If spending 800 on a set of wrenches is out of the question then Lowes or Home depot store brand are all made by Stanley Works. Good quality and well made. Craftsman has several levels of wrench now. Home owner, prosumer and pro. The pro line is a good tool. It looks to me as though they are using the expired Snap-On patent, the normal craftsman wrench we are all used to seeing. Thick an chunky. I hate those things. They can be hard to get into places and tend to bite into the hand with their sharp edges. Good wrench though and less expensive than the pro level. The bargain wrench at sears is made in China. STAY AWAY! They will hurt you. Ratcheting wrench: Stanley. GearWrench is owned by Stanley. I’m not paying 20 dollars for the name. Same freaking wrench. Hex, Torx and other bits/drivers: Stanley or Craftsman. Toolbox and storage: Snap-On! Just kidding. I paid 6k for my box 15 years ago. A quick look shows the same box is still around 6k plus 4k for the top. But hey! if ya got the budget...... Kobalt, Lowes, sells a great toolbox. Home depot as well. Craftsman are good but unless you’re looking at the pro line they are not as deep making it hard to store longer tools neatly. For me that is important. I love my tools. No really…..love! And I want them all lined up nicely, perfectly aligned, like good little tools. And shiney. They have to be shiney. Electrical Equipment: I don't mess around here. It is too important to have the correct reading when tracing electrical problems. Fluke makes Meters that work. Snap-On makes the best test lights. What males a snap-on light better? The cable is 6' long and heavy duty with a nice big strong grounding clamp. Cable stays flexible when cold. <d>Metered torque devices. Or torque wrench.<\b> Man I have this totally awesome snap-on digital 1/2 drive torque wrench. Accurate and, as we used to say in the PNW, bomber built. Will meter 0 to 350 ft, 0 to 150 ip or the equivelant in nm. It really does it all. What, 450.00 American dollars is to many pesos? Ya, I hear ya. But I look at it this way, breaking or under torquing a head bolt can cost a whole lot more. Anyone with good expierence using the big box brands? 10 lb sledge hammer. Cut the handle to 8" or so, tape that puppy up with tennis racket tape. Bruhahahahaha that's a BFH you can get some persuasion with. Soft low hammer, 2lb is the one I use most often. These hammers are the ones made of impact polymer and filled with bee bees. Roll pin punch set, drift and crowfoot pry bars. If your going to be: prying, pulling or driving it with any force, and you know you will!- get good quality soft steel. Craftsman, Mac, snap-on etc all make good quality stricken and struck tools. You can buy cheep ones for one-offs but sooner or later that punch will send a nice hot sharp piece of schrapnal into your eye. Keep the ends dressed. Pliers. Vice grips, channel locks small to large. Several. Get the originals the f possible. I just hate rewarding companies who steal good ideas. Klein Tools Aligator Pliers. The jaws are convex and have opposing teeth.
The saga continues.... my timing belt project is turning out to be a real disaster. I bought a timing belt & water pump kit that included crankshaft & camshaft seals, and figured it was a good idea to replace them while I was at it. I tried a couple of methods to get my camshaft bolts loosened, since I didn't have the special tool. After tongue & groove pliers, a strap wrench, and a cheap plumbing wrench failed me, I managed to lock up the left-side camshafts by folding my old timing belt over a couple of times and wedging it in between the sprockets, such that the teeth on both camshaft sprockets engaged the belt. Piece of cake. Right side didn't work so well. I tucked a small wedge in between the folds of the old timing belt that time, thinking it would make the job quicker, but it had the effect of shattering the exhaust sprocket before the bolt loosened. Stupid idea, in hindsight. I didn't realize how vulnerable the sprockets would be to this kind of stress. I'm pricing out a new sprocket, but obviously I need a better way of tightening/loosening the bolts. I'm loathe to spend $60 or more on the specialty tool, since I don't know if I'll use it again on this car. I'd rather spend the same $$$ for a general-purpose tool that will serve me down the road. (That said, I'll gladly buy the specialty tool for the sake of doing it right, if no other tool will do). I thought about a chain wrench, but nobody around me carries them. I need to make sure that (1) it is good quality, don't want to spend money on junk, and (2) it will fit between the intake and exhaust sprockets, with a leather belt or something in between for protection if necessary. Brand recommendations welcome. Or, is there another alternative tool or trick instead of a chain wrench? Also---maybe a silly question, but why was this bolt so tight? Is it common practice to use a strong threadlock compound for them? If not, I have to assume someone before me tightened the everliving crap out of it. The torque I applied trying to loosen it greatly exceeded 60 ft-lbs. Thanks as always for your kind advice. I know some of my issues are probably pretty cringeworthy newbie material. :-)