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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post

Author  [Modern View]
spider

01-17-2012 13:42:08
75.71.27.162



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Started a post in tractor talk a few days ago and was advised to start out with a smaller style tractor for working on in my 2 car garage. Ive pretty much decided to try a 420 or 430 model. Now for my questions:
1) Can anyone tell me the largest size socket that would be needed on these models?
2) Would a moderate size set of 3/8" and 1/2" inch drives be adequate for all the dismantling and reassembling required?
3) Do you guys use impact socket sets very much in these projects?
4)Finally, there seem to be 3 main types of torque wrenches that you can buy; beam, clicker-type and electronic/digital. Kinda need a consensus on this as I am only going to buy once and want the confidence that it is accurate and best suited for tractor work. I sure don't want to start any nasty arguments between any of you just value very much all of your opinions.

Rest assured that all replys will be read and appreciated.

Bruce

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ASEguy

01-19-2012 04:47:25
68.186.162.134



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
12 point wrenches for swing room and 6 point sockets. I started with Craftsman and lots of other brands. For weekend work you probably don't need top shelf stuff. Younger mechanics usually grab the lightweight stuff for heavy work. Pull your ratchets, don't pull them. Make sure your screwdrivers are a darker color on the tip which shows they are probably hardened. When you buy vice grips don't throw your money away on anything but a Vicegrip brand. Buy your tools in sets when possible-it's cheaper.
I would also buy a buy a book or two on theory or even take a class on locally in automotive repair. And take lots of pictures as you go they will be priceless. Gerard

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ASEguy

01-19-2012 04:49:26
68.186.162.134



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to ASEguy, 01-19-2012 04:47:25  
Sorry for the confusion. I meant to post pull your ratchets don't push them. You'll save a lot of knuckle skin.



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dave2

01-19-2012 01:45:15
79.240.165.25



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to Used-to-be-Iowa-dave, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

still not to late to change your mind about them uglyass green tractors tho :shock:
Enjoy you're new hobby......



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dave2

01-18-2012 22:55:54
79.240.165.25



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to big fred, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Usually how it works ain't it??? Guy asked for advice, not a decision. Wants to fool with 1 tractor and has 10 suggested. Means he had to disregard 90% to pick that one.... Lighten up and stop being so crabby, spring's around the corner......



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spider

01-19-2012 00:03:46
75.71.27.162



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to dave2, 01-18-2012 22:55:54  
dave2,

Wow, the guy cut me deep on that one. Your response was alot shorter and to the point( and may I add here more diplomatic than what went through my mind when I first read it). Anyway just wanted to say thanks for the link and for watching my back. For anyone else that responded to my questions please know that I read each one and actually did research whenever possible at other sites i.e. different tool sets and where they are made and customer reviews etc. I do appreciate your feedback and opinions as long as constructive. Will try to tone down other questions in future.

Bruce

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ihman73

01-18-2012 21:09:57
38.104.162.142



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
"Only going to restore one tractor"... sounds a little naive to me.LOL!



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Dick L

01-19-2012 02:24:27
50.51.49.233



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to ihman73, 01-18-2012 21:09:57  
May I remind yall of a chap named (Lanse) Seem that feller started beating up lawn mowers. Seems he has went from a wise cracking kid to a whirlwind of talent.



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GordoSD

01-18-2012 19:16:48
216.106.251.111



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Forget the 3/8 drive set. Anything it can do the 1/2 does better.

Forget the torque wrench . You don't know how or where to use it. Your mechanic buddy or machine shop will use theirs correctly. Forget the 3/4 drive stuff, you will hurt yourself. You have already disregarded 90 % of the responses you got to your first mail about what to restore. Why are you posting another?



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dave2

01-18-2012 12:22:02
79.240.165.82



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to Billy NY, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Here ya go....... just need to add a torque wrench and maybe a some bigger combi wrenches. Maybe a couple in the BF series (hammer, etc)

http://www.harborfreight.com/professional-301-piece-mechanics-tool-kit-45951.html



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soundguy

01-18-2012 11:57:44
184.246.236.60



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Here's my take.

1, have a 3/8 socket set, just beacause they are cheap and fast to spin.

have a 1/4 set.. and if possible, get the 1/4" drive that has a swivel handle.

deffinately have a 1/2" set.. IMHO.. these get used the most.

and if you can swing it.. get a 3/4 set as well.

get a 1/2" and 3/4" air gun, plus apprpriate 1/2" air line.

you can get by with less.. but it is so nice having the proper tools. I even have a set of handle-less spinner ratchets for reaching into hard to get to places.

next.. a full set of sae and metric wrenches in 'normal' size, plus stubbies if you can swing it..

good screwdriver, and hammer / maul, including soft maul and deadblow.. as well as prybars and files and picks / pricks.

list goes on and on till you get down to 1-of special tools you won't use often like tie rod tools, pullers, and hose remover tools, seal drivers, etc..

a set of taps and dies.. is nice to have.

all these can be chinese and won't break the bank..a nd for a hobby lever tinkerer.. are fine.

soundguy

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Brian G. NY

01-18-2012 14:17:55
72.10.203.226



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to soundguy, 01-18-2012 11:57:44  
And......I bought my first set of "GearWrenches"
seven or eight years ago...and a metric set a coupla years later.



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Dick L

01-18-2012 08:55:56
184.8.55.178



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Tools are tools if they fit the job. You can do as good or as poor of job with either expensive or a cheap set. I am 73 years old and received my first tools of my own at a young age and they were Craftsman. As I needed more tools I bought S&K and Williams also.
As I aged I found that I could remove the skin from my knuckles with any brand of tool if it was mine or one that someone else had paid big bucks for.
Most of my tools would not meet the standard that is espoused on the boards. So keep in mind that the quality of work comes from the skills you have learned none of which will be taught by the tools you own. I have a home shop equipped to rebuild cars or tractors and I also have a plastic molding operation plus a tool and die mold building shop equipped with what it takes to get the jobs done and not to make points in how great my tool brands are.
If you want bragging rights let it be from your excellent learned skills not what is engraved on the tools.

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spider

01-18-2012 09:11:33
75.71.27.162



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to Dick L, 01-18-2012 08:55:56  
Dick, Well thought out and well said. The only things I am lacking in at the start of a project like this is; experience and confidence. I am only after the tools that I absolutely need to start with. Are there going to be some bad days in this kind of undertaking? I have no doubts. Are there going to be difficult procedures, absolutely. Am I going to drive all you guys nuts with a whole lot of technical questions? Yeah you can take that to the bank. Will this be a fun and interesting project. I certainly hope so LOL. Thanks for your input.

Bruce

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Dick L

01-18-2012 11:28:35
184.8.55.178



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-18-2012 09:11:33  
If your going to buy tools and then spend double in parts than what the tractor you are working is worth, like a lot of us, it better be fun. (:^D

I find most all work fun.



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dave2

01-18-2012 06:25:39
79.240.165.82



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to Goose, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
so don't tell him, just help him out a little..... worse folks to have on your buddy list than doctors.... especially when you get older.....



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dave2

01-18-2012 05:30:16
79.240.165.82



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to cd1, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Maybe he should start with a shop built from lincoln logs and a lego tractor????

Whether you meant toor not.... you sounded a little condywhatever......



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JF in CT

01-18-2012 06:00:58
96.32.14.173



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to dave2, 01-18-2012 05:30:16  
I was afraid of that and I appologize if I did sound that way. It is just that I live next door to a doctor (very nice guy) who just bought a clapped out, non running Corvette and says he is going to restore it and make big bucks. I asked his wife and she told me he has no experience (let alone special tools for some things) at anything like this. I've watched him and he has difficulty changing the plug on his lawn mower. Having specialized in Corvettes when I was in the business I didn't want to tell him that he will likely be in for a world of hurt and disappointment.

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spider

01-18-2012 09:02:26
75.71.27.162



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to JF in CT, 01-18-2012 06:00:58  
JF, Not offended at all by what you said. I bought two sets of 3/8" drive sockets about 35 years ago from J.C. Pennys back when they were still in that business and still have the complete sets minus the 1/2" socket that I lost.
I have done minor work throughout the years but nothing close to the scale/challenge of a restoration project. This is just a crazy thing that I would like to accomplish and I don't know much but, I do know that with all you guys' patience, I can accomplish this goal. Just keep being honest is all that's important to me. Thanks

Bruce

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JF in CT

01-18-2012 04:44:27
96.32.14.173



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Not to sound condescending or anything here but I'm a bit confused. I'm wondering where you got your mechanical experience, without already having tools, that you would probably need to tackle a tractor restoration project. It would be like me asking a forum of surgeons what scalpel I should buy. Are you sure you shouldn't start off with a slightly less challenging project and build up tools as you go along? If it works out you will be able to decide for yourself what tools you need.

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Hobo,NC

01-18-2012 04:27:21
98.16.15.20



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to wisbaker, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Do get the wrenches in 12 point.



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MarkB_MI

01-18-2012 03:24:11
32.178.181.139



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
On any tractor, you will have a few fasteners large enough to require a 3/4" drive socket. But don't buy a complete 3/4" drive set; just buy the sockets you need when you need them and use an adapter with your 1/2" breaker bar.



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dave2

01-18-2012 01:21:17
79.240.165.82



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to Steve Terplak, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

I bought some craftsman stuff at the PX and stamped made in china... Cost twice+ what the same type tools cost at harbor freight.... Busted a torx (3/8?) socket on a seatbelt bolt and had to take break it loose/remove it with my HF stuff...... Got a 1/2 inch craftsman ratchet that is shot and am told at the PX that they were bought without warrenty to keep the price down.... Hate to see what they cost you folks cause this one cost me almost 30 bucks..... Never broke a HF tool that I have and was away from home with only a 3/8 HF socket set and a flat on the tractor. Took the wheel off with the 3/8 ratchet and piece of pipe.......

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JDseller

01-18-2012 00:55:05
208.126.196.144



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Spider you seem to have figured out that for your skill level that some Craftsman tools will be a starter set. You can buy a complete 3/8 and 1/2 drive set with end wrenches for not that high of a price.

Now for a torque wrench. I would recommend a good click type. You can get a MAC 1/2 click type starting at $250. Buy a good one of these and it will last you a life time. IF you store them correctly they will be accurate for many years. (just dial them back to zero when stored.) A cheap one maybe right or it may not be. You are risking your entire repair job IF it is not accurate. So buy a good one of these. I have pickup used MAC/SNAP ON on Graigslist for my sons. Your local MAC or Snap-on dealer can send them off to be calibrated and checked. I send mine every few years. It usually only cost $30-40.

You can decide on who to listen to on this. I have owned/repaired/mechaniced for over forty years now. So I think that should carry a little more wait than a teenager that is just out of high school who can make a good video!!!! ( Just had to slam Lanse. He is too easy of a target Good Kid) Seriously though a beam type of torque wrench is only good if you are doing work where you can see the readout. Try torquing the main bolts on an engine while it is still in the tractor one time. You will be looking for a good click type.

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donjr

01-17-2012 20:18:12
72.85.57.39



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Add a little multi-meter to your list. And a set of vise grips. Use the real vise grips- no other come near them. And learn to use the multimeter. Being able to read it will save you a bundle of time in trouble shooting electrical problems.



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spider

01-17-2012 20:48:51
75.71.27.162



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to donjr, 01-17-2012 20:18:12  
donjr, This project is gonna make you guys laugh your butts off. I looked at a simple wiring diagram yesterday and couldn't figure any of it out much less even know what that meter is used for sorry I'm so lame at least I'm honest. Bruce



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donjr

01-18-2012 16:09:35
72.85.57.39



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 20:48:51  
If all else fails, read the instructions. A pocket multimeter isn't rocket science, it just tells you things about battery connections, which wire is which, and what the voltage is at different points in the system. They can tell you if a wire or connector is bad. They are not hard to use. Or were you talking about the visegrips?



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spider

01-18-2012 23:08:03
75.71.27.162



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to donjr, 01-18-2012 16:09:35  
donjr,
nope was referring to that meter thing. Have had a good set of visegrips for years and actually know how to use those and believe it or not , I actually have lol.

Bruce



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Hobo,NC

01-17-2012 18:52:05
98.16.15.20



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Its rare I use a 12 point socket in either size so I would get a 6 point set first... Impacts will be needed when you move up to air tools are when a chrome socket will not do the job... DIY'er can get away with out impack sockets but folks that make their living with tools can not... Their are some good tools out their for a DIY'er that will not break the bank,, If you have a northern tool close by they have Titian brand tools that hold up very well... When you go shopping I would not buy a set that skips sizes no matter who makes it,,, most of the time they leave out the sizes that are not used much to get the price shoppes to BUY them... Sooner are later you will need the size they leave out BTDT...

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Ken Macfarlane

01-17-2012 17:03:15
184.151.127.147



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
I'll just add that I like my impact sockets for just normal wrenching too. I do use my thinwall ones for when I can't get the impact style in but 9/10 I grab the impacts when working with 1/2 tools.

I used to bust a lot of sockets with my 30" breaker but never damaged an impact socket.



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spider

01-17-2012 17:11:46
75.71.27.162



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to Ken Macfarlane, 01-17-2012 17:03:15  
Ken,
That's pretty much where I'm at. I read alot of posts about sockets failing and, like most people, dont want to be running back and forth for replacements. I figured that if I got a decent set of impacts, I might not have to be doing that. Thanks

Bruce



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Brad Buchanan

01-17-2012 16:56:20
24.92.242.90



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Hey Bruce!

If you are like a lot of us you will find yourself working on more than just one tractor with your tools.

You may want to start with a decent quality set of 3/8 and 1/2 inch drive short sockets extensions in various lengths and ratchets. I personally use Craftsman, Crescent and Snap-on ratchets. I also have a set of 3/4 inch drive sockets and ratchet. This is an inexpensive import set which covers up to 2 1/2 if memory serves correctly.

As you use your tools it will be evident what you need to upgrade ie: deepwell sockets exc.

You will need box-end wrenches up to at least 7/8" Craftsman makes sturdy ones but they are quite thick. Crescent makes a very nice wrench which is thinner and has the feel of a Snap-On to me.

In my shop I use a CP734 1/2 inch impact wrench the most. Not the most powerful but very controllable as to torque. I also have an air ratchet and a 3/4 in. impact which is nice to have for lug nuts on tractors and trucks.

Torque wrench: I have used and actually have a beam-type wrench but I always found that it was hard to see and clumsy to use. I use a 3/8 and 1/2 in. click-type wrench.
It is easy to ignore but almost every fastener on your tractor has a torque value to follow.

Hope this helps you.

Brad

My email is open

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spider

01-17-2012 17:07:43
75.71.27.162



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to Brad Buchanan, 01-17-2012 16:56:20  
Brad, Thanks for taking time to answer my questions. I know I'm gonna upset some on this but- I will most likely go with a Craftsman set because they are less than a mile from my place and,so far, I haven't had any problems with anything I have ever bought. They also have a number of packaged sets which are nice enough. I would really like to have the full set of Snap On or Matco but I'm quite certain the little missus would not approve of me taking a second mortgage out on the house hehe. And, I may only restore one tractor but then you never know.

Bruce

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Hotflashjr

01-17-2012 16:13:35
71.192.122.39



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
The best thing I have bought is the large set of Craftsman wrenches beyond your sizes that come in the standard set. Don't forget to get 7/8 and 15/16 which do not come in a set. You can do almost anything on a 420/430 with the wrench set and they give you more torque in my opinion than the 1/2 ratchet set. I don't use my impact gun much and never bought a good set of sockets for it.



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Lanse

01-17-2012 15:42:25
209.251.8.126



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Hmmm, I have a beam sytle torque wrench and I love it, the things bulletproof!!

Just make sure the top rod isn't bent and points to zero, and crank away. Clicker wrenches can get "off" on their measurements over time, and electronic wrenches... Have electronics. Can't go wrong with a beam style wrench...

On to sockets, I like the Kobalts. I understand that these are now made in China, but I picked up an American set (227 piece) in October 2010 and its been almost all Ive used since then, and they're all holding up fine. I lost one 3/8" socket the first time I ever used the set, but I still have 226 pieces lol.

Anyway, just saying, Ive had a positive experience with Kobalt. Best of luck :) Audio/Video clip:video1

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spider

01-17-2012 16:58:05
75.71.27.162



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to Lanse, 01-17-2012 15:42:25  
Watched your video it was put together well. LOL Most guys my age would have been having a s--- attack over the performance of that tool box tho. Anyhow- thanks for your input.

Bruce



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Lanse

01-17-2012 19:13:29
209.251.8.126



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 16:58:05  
lol yeah the toolbox is pretty cheap to be honest, but like I said in a video, the tools are way better than the box.


And after a year and a half of ownership and use, I've remarkable yet to break the box. Granted it pretty much just sits open on its bench, its still in one piece, lol. Id buy the set again tho. Thanks for watching :)



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Dan in North Houston

01-17-2012 15:03:03
38.100.70.66



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
I started out with a beam type torque wrench. It works fine but you can't aways use it where you can easily see the scale. I upgraded to a clicker type and it's great. Always reset it to zero before you put it up after use - storing it with tension on the clicker spring will cause it to lose it's calibration. I assume the digital types need a battery and that's just another battery to corrode up.

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Jim in Ma.

01-17-2012 14:52:30
72.70.102.235



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
All you need is a basic set to start out. 1/2" sockets ( 3/8" are handy but not needed) Combination wrench set and an adjustable.
Add to that as needed. Check craigs list for deals.
Can't help you with torque wrenches.
Oh-ya you need a big hammer too!!!



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doug in illinois

01-17-2012 16:59:05
173.233.168.68



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to Jim in Ma., 01-17-2012 14:52:30  
I agree with checking Craigslist.

I would prefer any older "lifetime warranty" tool over most of the new ones. The true lifetime tools are Snap-On, Mac, Matco, and most Craftsman. DOUG



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paul

01-17-2012 14:30:12
76.77.196.252



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
1. You generally want a decent set of sockets going up to an inch and 1/8. Many sets only go up to 15/16ths or 1 inch, if you do this much you will run into the 1-1/16 and 1-1/8 often enough to want to buy a couple extra sockets of that size. If/when you need a bigger socket, those $50 import jumbo sets often work fine for the few times we need such a big size.

Impact sockets are needed if you have an impact wrench??? Otherwise, the regular are fine, thinner wall easier to fit in a small space.

Sears Craftsman is easy to find a store, and you just missed out on the Christmas sales, pick out a good mixed set of tools and wait until it goes on 1/2 off sale, and have at it. They are not the best nor the worst tool set out there, but good enough at a good enough price. Napa also has some good tool sets. People have said good things about the Harbor Frieght tool sets - look on-line, they are not highlighted at a local store. As a casual use you don't need Mac or Snap-on, they are hard for the average person to find and cost an arnm & a leg. Worth it if your livelyhood depends on it, not if you are playing in the garage.

My opinion. :) Mant many different directions to go. Dad farmed his whole life with a set of boxed end wrenches, some adjustable wrenches, a hammer, and a torch - he split tractors now and then, and did fine. He bought a 1/2 inch socket set towards the end, up to 1-1/8, and he enjoyed that but got along without. You don't need much, or you might enjoy surrounfding yourself with everything. Whatever works for you.

--->Paul

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Goose

01-17-2012 14:14:38
173.190.237.126



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
I've been happy with my clicker torque wrench over the years. But that's not to say someone might like a digital better.

Impact wrenches are great for taking stuff apart. Not good for assembling stuff. I prefer an air ratchet or plain old elbow grease for assembly.



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Pat-CT

01-17-2012 14:06:28
24.250.19.52



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
I have been very eager to try the digital style torque wrench, I hear great things about them. Do you need one for your tractor? No. unless you are getting into engine,clutch,or transmission work you most likely wont need a torque wrench at all. Tights tight to tights broken. Impact sockets can make things easier, But for your one tractor I really doubt that you need to buy a snap-on set, You will most likely get by with something from lowes or a flea market. I cant tell you the largest size socket required but my guess would be wheel studs, or pretty close to the biggest size. answer to #2 would be yes, besides tools like a gasket scrapper, screw drivers, pry bars, some kind of jack etc....

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glennster

01-17-2012 13:57:44
76.223.247.104



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
napa has some pretty good quality thin wall impact socket sets in 3/8 and 1/2 in drive. the sets come in combination shallow and deep with a nice carry case. here is a link to a 3/8 set



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Ken 46

01-17-2012 13:46:44
206.253.41.72



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 Re: Proper set of mechanic's tools?/long post in reply to spider, 01-17-2012 13:42:08  
Torque wrench --- I used to use the dial type and then got ahead in the money a bit --- so bought the click type.. Would NOT go back unless I absolutely had too. This one is an Owatonna -- have had it recalibrated once -- but they told me it was only off 1 lb at 100 lbs. So I am happy with that -Ken 46



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