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Thread: Tools Any SC Mechanic should have.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lakeville, MN
    Posts
    13,517

    Post Tools Any SC Mechanic should have.



    The following lays out what I feel are the KEY tools to have on hand to do nearly anything under the hood of the SC.

    I’ve recently finished replacing the motor mounts in my car. To do so, I chose to take off quite a few parts from my car to make it as easy as possible without having to remove the exhaust. (I have terrible history with doing my own exhaust work).

    Thus I removed the following:
    Radiator
    Intercooler
    IC Tubes
    Alternator
    Coil Pack
    P/S Pump Pulley
    A/C compressor
    Drivers Side Accessory Drive Bracket (Alternator/P/S pump, tensioner all bolt to it)
    Passenger Side Accessory Drive Bracket (A/C compressor and JackShaft pulley bolt to it)
    Passenger and Drivers Motor Mounts
    High Pressure P/S line

    Quite a bit of stuff.

    And to do this I needed quite a few tools, but not as many as you might think. The tools I have came from Christmas and Birthday presents, and from a buying spree last summer as I prepared to remove the engine from my pickup. Feel free to add or comment. I didn't have to purchase a single additional tool to do the motor mount job!?

    Critical Tools – Must Have
    Only buy Craftsman, or Husky, or any other that has a lifetime warranty and you can readily replace. Cheap tools will only break. I twisted the end off a 3” extension on this project that had made in Taiwan stamped on it’s side.

    Craftsman 101 Piece tool set. (1/2, 3/8, ¼ standard and metric sockets plus spark plug socket and some deep wells). They now have a 171 piece for about $150
    The key parts of this set are the 3/8 6point metric sockets and the 3/8 deep well 6-point sockets. 6-point sockets give you the most torque and are least likely to slip. If you get anything get 6-point sockets. Our cars use from 7mm to 20mm. Most sets come with 4mm to 18mm. 10mm, 13mm, 15mm, and 18mm are the most commonly used sizes.

    Craftsman 3/8 drive offset flex wrench. $31.99
    Probably one of the most useful wrenches I have. I used it exclusively to get at the rear most motor mount bolts with a 3” extension and a deep well socket.

    Craftsman 15” ½ drive Flex Handle $23.99
    Better known as a breaker bar, with ½ sockets, there aren’t many fasteners you can’t remove. Used this to take off the bolts to the front accessory drive bracket assemblies along with a 6” extension.

    ½ Socket Set, Metric – 6 point around $30.00
    You need to have a 6point ½ drive metric sockets to go with the breaker bar and the ½ ratchet that is in the 101 kit.

    11pc Combination Metric Wrench Set $39.99
    You have got to have a combination wrench set. Make sure you get one that goes up to 18mm and down to 10mm. Any others are a bonus. 8mm comes in handy.

    12” Channel Lock Pliers $14.99
    These come in handy so many places you just need to have them. Especially those radiator hose clamps.

    5” Vise Under $60.00
    You’ve got to have a vise to do the motor mounts. When they come out you need it to hold the mount while you unbolt it. Without a vise it couldn’t be done.

    Not Critical But Handy.

    7 pc Metric Gear Wrench - $59.99
    These are also very handy. Makes those bolts in tight spaces much easier to work on. Like the drivers side nut on the lower intercooler tube. Just a little room in between the bars, but the gear wrench has plenty of travel for 4 clicks. Very nice.

    3pc Adjustable Wrench set. $29.99
    Another handy tool to have around. As far as the car is concerned, it comes in handy if you just need another of the same wrenches for that jam nut but you only have one. I used mine on the motor mount bolt that has a jam nut.

    3” and 6” ½ drive extensions.
    I only have a 6” and I wish I had a 3. For those tight bolts, in tight spaces.

    Battery Carry Strap.
    Designed to lift a battery by it’s posts, works very well to pull the battery out of the SC’s tight space.

    Beefy ½” drive ratchet wrench
    I have a Pro-Built ½ drive wrench that is very beefy with a solid round grip. I use this one with a breaker bar extension I made. Haven’t broken it yet.

    3/4” Steel pipe 12” long.
    Beat on one end to allow for a standard Craftsman wrench to fit inside. Other side can be used for beefy wrench you have. If you have some serious hard bolts, get a 3 foot ¾” pipe as well. I had to use one of those 3’ jobs for exhaust manifold bolts on my Ranger. Bent the pipe a little!

    Hammer
    For those little too tight items. I needed to pound on a wrench to get the high pressure p/s line out at the p/s pump. Couldn’t get the wrench square on there, but with the hammer tapping it, it broke loose.

    Wire Cutter
    To cut wires and tie straps and stuff.

    Pliers
    Just a general pliers for the stuff too small for a channel lock.

    Battery terminal cleaner
    Get those battery terminals clean.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    LAS VEGAS
    Posts
    204
    you forgot the case of bud

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    A van down by the river.
    Posts
    959
    A few more valuable items I have needed:

    3/8" stubby swivel head ratchet (like Craftsman 44834): this will make the spark plug change much easier! Cut my time in half.

    12mm 12pt box wrench: for the 4 bolts on the driveshaft flange, long handle style is better

    1" socket, deep: for ACT and ECT sensors

    Harmonic balancer remover/installer

    The only metric socket over 18mm I remember using is a 21mm, that is for many of the suspension bolts.

    Rob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lakeville, MN
    Posts
    13,517
    Ahh, yes, better is a cooler full of ice and your beverage of choice.

    and jackstands


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    calif
    Posts
    125
    Dont forget the industrial air compressor for your impact gun and air wratchet, and most important a well padded creeper for rolling under the bird to work on the bottom end ! I guess im getting to old to lay on the ground, so i talk one of my buddies into opening his shop for me on the weekends to use the lift. so make me an offer on my well used and well padded creeper, i even have a creeper seat for doing work on brakes and suspension. I may be too old to lay on the ground and work on my bird, butt im not to old to enjoy laying a little tire rubber on the pavement

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    calif
    Posts
    125
    I almost forgot to say for work under your bird the best thing to have at home is some steel ramps, GET GOOD ONES! it is the safest and fastest for oil and filter changes and trans service.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lakeville, MN
    Posts
    13,517
    Keep in mind that I did all of that work without an air compressor.

    I have to run a sub panel into the garage yet before I buy my compressor, but there is very little you can't do without a compressor if you have a good breaker bar and some extensions for it.

    But yes, a good compressor (not those terribly noisey oiless bastards) is something everyone should strive for. I purchased a Impact, Air Ratchet, and Air hammer kit and borrowed a compressor when I worked on a truck. The air ratchet is very handy, and the impact can make short work of many bolts. But they are "necessary" for many items.

    Steel ramps I have, but I find my Hydraulic Jack with jackstands is much easier. For Oil change I don't even use jack stands. Ramps give me issues with slipping on the concrete garage floor when trying to drive up on them. I use the jack to change the oil so I can lower the car to help all the oil drip out.

    I don't lift the car high enough to use a creaper. Though one of those low riding $100 babies might work. But I find myself changing position too much such that a creeper get's in the way.

    With lifts available for under $4000, as soon as I have a 3 car garage, that's what's going in. That's what home equity loans are all about!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    1,707
    I have a friend who just bought one of those home garage lifts and it is awesome! A worthwhile investment if you have the $ and work on you vehicles a lot...
    SCCoA Member# 1786,
    1990 SC, AOD, 193k, Twilight Blue, bought in 1994, 1.7 AR tuned by Dave Dalke
    1994 SC, 4R70W, 139k, Teal Metallic, bought in 2014
    2014/2016 Carlisle 1st Place Winner, 94-95 SCs
    2014 Carlisle SCCOA Doug Fraleigh Best of Show Modified Trophy


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    calif
    Posts
    125
    Yea Buddy air compressors are required for any home mechanic, you can find a nice one at costco or price club. mine is the 5 HP industrial 2 stage with 80 gal upright tank, the only thing you need to do if you buy one of these models is to wire in a magnetic motor starter that can save you 200.00 or more than if you buy a unit that already has one installed. it very easy and all you need is a box, switch, coils, wire and starter, electrical outlet supply store can help you out just take compressor motor power wireing diagram with you. it is a little noisy but it runs for a very short time and not very often. mine is in a seperate tool room that is built off to the side of my garage and doesn't bother me . I had one of the little 3 hp chraftsman models that was always running to keep up with my work now my dad has it for filling up tires and blowing dust around his garage LOL . Ill bet the first thing you will use yours for is to paint that black fender and hood so invest in a good binks or devilbess spray gun and get that bird looking good again.

    EddiE 92 coupe

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    So. Cal
    Posts
    518
    Another handy tool to have is a Snap-On 13-14mm, box end s-wrench. It is very effective removing and installing I/C tubing flange nuts.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    6,368
    I use a 1/4" drive sized ratchet that has a 3/8" drive head. It's made by Wright Tools and I use it to do the spark plugs and any other confined space operations. It sure was nice to do the header installation.
    Kurt K (e-mail)
    SCCoA Member #: 443
    '92 SC AOD -- 11.521s @ 116.748mph, 2.0 AR power
    . . . . . . . . . -- 13.547s @ 101.01 mph, only w/ bolt-ons
    '95 SC 5spd -- All Stock, except 17" Simmons wheels.
    '90 SC 35th Anny 5spd -- 3rd owner, 16k miles
    2 '89 XR7 5spd's -- on their way out, really!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    5,641
    I only have 1 item to add or reiterate:

    2 ft long cheater bar. 1" diameter steel conduit will work. Essential for holding back the belt tensioners and for loosening up things like engine mount through bolts, lug nuts, etc. I couldn't make it without this simple little piece of steel.
    Last edited by TbirdSCFan; 10-05-2005 at 01:32 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lakeville, MN
    Posts
    13,517
    See that piece of 2x4 sitting there in the picture. That and a hammer for the nut.

    I know, it's sick and it's wrong... but I did it.

    Aniversary is coming up and a strap wrench is already on the list.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lakeville, MN
    Posts
    13,517
    bumpity bump? Thought it might be worth exposing some more recent folks to this.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Ottawa, Ohio
    Posts
    5,395
    i cant do with out my Snap On reversible ratchet wrenches 8mm-19mm, the 13 gets the most work out
    SCCoA Member#: 2515
    1990 SC AOD 2.1L Kenne Bell
    11.676 @ 121.35 mph
    506hp/478tq
    My Garage

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