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Old 10-17-2010, 07:49 AM   #1
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List your MUST HAVE's in a tool box!

I rarely need to work on any american cars and so thus, i rarely have any imperial sizing, BUT, when i buy tool sets, they usually come with the imperial counterpart.


so what are your must haves in your tool box?

Mine so far:
- wrenches from 8mm to 24mm. ive added one or 2 here and there through the years. but these are essential!
- ratchet 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 sizing, from 8mm to what seems like the largest ive needed so far was a 24 to remove the crank pulley. and in regular length, and long sockets too! i actually usually keep a spare 21 w/ a torque wrench in the car when i need to do a onroad fixup =/
- screw drivers! various lengths and tips. i seem to keep collecting one or 2 every year!
- visegrips. when wd40 is just still not enough!
- needlenose pliers, any pliers in fact!
- electrical tape, its considered a tool, always have a roll or 2 handy
- butt connectors, u never know when u need them!
- on that note, sauder (sp?) and an iron. this proves handy!


hm anything else i missed?

now im no mechanic, but i find these are the basic essentials.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:06 PM   #2
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solder.

and on the american cars note. most amercian cars use metric sizing as well.
alot of cars that used imperial are older cars from what i've experienced. and i only have metric stuff.

but as for a must have?
a hammer. air hammer and regular hammer.
torque wrench
flare nut wrenchs
magnetic pickup
impact gun
electric screw driver

this is on top of the list you have.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:26 PM   #3
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breaker bars are good too
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:56 AM   #4
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some more to the list

liquid wrench
butane/propane torch
various sizes of rubber hoses and plugs
small collection of common nuts and bolts
camera to document parts locations for big projects
laptop/scan/code reader device
fender covers
eye/hearing protection
heat shrink tubing
heat gun
dental mirror
multimeter
grinder
nitride and mechanic's gloves
trim removal pry tools
brake clean
fast orange
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:10 AM   #5
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to add:

-big channel lock pliers
-1" ID pipe about 18" long
-45* needle nose pliers
-flashlight
-absorbant pads
-assortment of wire/nylon brushes
-assortmet of picks
-snap ring pliers in/outside
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:43 AM   #6
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Safer for the fastener and much better then vise grips is a monkey wrench (plumbers adjustable) they come in many sizes from little dinky 8" ones all the way up to 3 footers the 8" ones are great for stubborn bleeders and brake lines and studs. Where a pair of vise grips will round em right off a monkey wrench will break em loose almost every time.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:00 PM   #7
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:40 PM   #8
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long 1" cast iron pipe preferably 6 to 8 feet long to loosen nuts.

flex head gear wrench sets. Offset wrenches.

Magnetic pick up tool, dental picks from Princess auto.

Thermal wire strippers... those are extremely useful when you working somewhere deep in the console and know butt joints will eventually come loose and you need something permanent to tap into. One push and pull and the plastic sheath just comes off, without out damaging the wire. I picked mine up from Boeing Surplus, they have all kind of exotic tools you can imagine. http://www.teledyneinterconnect.com/...ll/default.asp

Soldering iron, with flux, solder (preferably leaded)

Use a dowel to make a make shift wire shelf, so you can keep your spools of wires organised.

Spare buckets, especially those cheap Home Depot ones.. you never know you will need them until too late.

Masking / Painters tape.. Especially if you don't want to mar things with air tools.

DMS with spare fuses.. and proper alligator clips ie ones that fit well with the probe.

Industrial gauge extension cord, preferably with LED at the end so you know it is live.

Sandwich bags, permanent markers and notebook.

Last edited by godwin; 12-20-2010 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:57 PM   #9
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A dremel with an array of bits.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:52 PM   #10
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duct tape, JB weld and an angle grinder
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godwin View Post

Thermal wire strippers... those are extremely useful when you working somewhere deep in the console and know butt joints will eventually come loose and you need something permanent to tap into. One push and pull and the plastic sheath just comes off, without out damaging the wire. I picked mine up from Boeing Surplus, they have all kind of exotic tools you can imagine. http://www.teledyneinterconnect.com/...ll/default.asp

Where is Boeing surplus and how much did that thing run you?
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by OTG-ZR2 View Post
Where is Boeing surplus and how much did that thing run you?
http://www.boeing.com/ssg/news/2003/q2/nr_030506a.html

http://goo.gl/maps/Wwfu

$20

Must have if you have to work on OE wire harnesses... where breaking wires is not an option!

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Old 12-22-2010, 09:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
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- butt connectors, u never know when u need them!
Speaking of which, a wire gauge rules / sizer should go with the set.. It hurts my head when I see people use wire connectors/ butt connectors indiscriminately based on colour choices rather than wire size!
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:08 AM   #14
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tap and die set...
3/8" and 1/2" drive torque wrenches
90 degree 1/4" angle grinder
drill with full mechanics legth (shorter) drill bit set
straight edge
vernier caliper with notches in it
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by godwin View Post
http://www.boeing.com/ssg/news/2003/q2/nr_030506a.html

http://goo.gl/maps/Wwfu

$20

Must have if you have to work on OE wire harnesses... where breaking wires is not an option!
I guess i'll have to swing by there next time I go across the border. That device looks handy!
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:00 AM   #16
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I guess i'll have to swing by there next time I go across the border. That device looks handy!
Holy shit! I searched ebay for thermal wire strippers in the hopes of getting one without having to make the long drive and they were in the $100-200 range used!

Guess I'll need to grab one when I cross the border as well..
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:59 PM   #17
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Basic but golden...

Mini sledge
Long needle nose pliers
Vice gripes
Razor blades
Large ghetto flat screw driver used for prying and chisel action

Lots more stuff I could add to this list, but these are some really basic and easily overlooked things that come in super handy.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:06 PM   #18
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I think every tool box should have at least one of these, starting with the smallest size.
It's a Knipex pliers wrench. For the relative size, they pack a lot of gripping power!



Last edited by autobacs; 01-09-2011 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:48 PM   #19
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impact screw driver.

and those pliers same as the channel locks....

prob expensive tho
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:07 AM   #20
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Some more to the list:
Ratcheting wrentches (these things are a godsend)
Zip ties
Magnetic dishes for nuts and bolts (I tend to loose a lot of clips and small screws)
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:52 PM   #21
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Duct tape, Ready strap, some good shears, Socket size for your axle nut (Mines a 36mm), A small jack with stands Rubber mallet, Tire iron or equivalent, Power Converter with alligator clips and a 3 prong plug, gasket maker/JB weld, Small assortment of nut bolts and screws, snake light, spare fluids
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:26 PM   #22
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http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

i LOVE this ratchet. the newer ones have 80 teeth, the older ones didn't. i have the old one (which is still really really good) and the only thing i didn't like about it was the lack of teeth, and when the newer "dual 80" ones came out, i bought it and took the old one home. can't imagine doing anything at work or at home without that ratchet. i also love the flex head Gear Wrenches. i've got those at work too, when they go on sale again i'll buy a set to keep at home.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:16 AM   #23
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They go on sale at Canadian Tire quite often. They are very handy but also very thick, the downside is none of the magnetic wrench holder would fit.

Stanley branded ones are slightly better I find as you can lock the angle.

Quote:
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also love the flex head Gear Wrenches. i've got those at work too, when they go on sale again i'll buy a set to keep at home.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:19 PM   #24
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angle die grinder, 3/8" and 1/4" drive ratchet and sockets, swivel head 3/8" rachet, offset ratcheting wrenches, magnetic screwdriver with bunch of bits, metric allen heads impact wrench, plastic spreader, utilty knife, chisel and hammer.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:53 PM   #25
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I think every tool box should have at least one of these, starting with the smallest size.
It's a Knipex pliers wrench. For the relative size, they pack a lot of gripping power!
This looks crazy useful. Where can you get these locally?

For me, a 18" breaker bar, 250 lb-ft (max) torque wrench, 8-19mm sockets, a set of 3/8" extensions, 3/8" flex head ratchet (2 sizes), various Phillips/Slot/Allen bits. Good enough to change oil, brakes, wheels.

For electrical stuff, I also keep a multimeter around.
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