Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...



Fallen Rib

EvilCrayon posted:

I'm looking for tools to start working on cars again. I used to use my friend's tool's or my dad's tools when I lived at home but now that my friend is in another state, I need some tools! I'm on a pretty low budget but I still want tools that last. I've been looking at getting a couple small pieces from snap-on or matco. Not too much but the bare minimum for working on cars.

I was thinking of some 1/2 sockets from craftsman and a snap-on socket wrench. Stuff like that.

I know there are some basic toolkits from Craftsman but how is the quality on those?

Craftsman have gone downhill in the past few years, but they are still fine for most jobs. I'd buy a big Cman set, and supplement that with some quality pieces as you can afford them. HF dead-blow hammers are fine, but their screwdrivers are only marginal. Basically, if you use something every time you work on a car (like a ratchet or a few specific sockets/wrenches), you probably ought to replace those with high-quality US-made pieces. Oh, and buy some spare ratchets and a bunch of extensions. A good addition is at least one universal joint in 1/4" and 3/8". They come in very handy.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

AnomalousBoners
Dec 22, 2007

by Ozma


I should probably add tat I think craftsman is a bit overpriced for what you get and wouldn't consider buying a new set. NT has decent, super cheap swivel sockets. It is likely you will need them at some point.

Kynetx
Jan 8, 2003


Full of ignorant tribalism. Kinda sad.


For cheap hand tools, you can hardly miss with Harbor Freight. Their wrenches and socket sets are nearly as good as Craftsman or Cobalt and they have the same warranty.

Nerobro
Nov 4, 2005

Rider now with 100% more titanium!


Kynetx posted:

For cheap hand tools, you can hardly miss with Harbor Freight. Their wrenches and socket sets are nearly as good as Craftsman or Cobalt and they have the same warranty.

You're wrong. It's easy to miss at harbor freight. I bought a small set of metric double ended wrenches... not a single one was machined to size, nor were they strong enough to work on fasteners they did fit. This is the same for almost every screwdriver they have. Most of the pliers they have are also soft, and poorly made.

That said, the Pittsburgh brand hand tools they have. THOSE are good quality. You need to be very careful about what you chose there, as to weather you got plated cheddar cheese, or you got actual workable metal.

And I really like harbor freight....

Drunk Pledge Driver
Nov 10, 2004


Kynetx posted:

For cheap hand tools, you can hardly miss with Harbor Freight. Their wrenches and socket sets are nearly as good as Craftsman or Cobalt and they have the same warranty.

I've bought a cheap socket set from there just to keep in my car. The socket wall was so thin I actually broke it when trying to loosen a really tight bolt.

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...



Fallen Rib

Kynetx posted:

For cheap hand tools, you can hardly miss with Harbor Freight. Their wrenches and socket sets are nearly as good as Craftsman or Cobalt and they have the same warranty.

As others have said... Their wrenches are soft and badly toleranced, and their sockets are fragile. Ratchets are OK, nothing I'd trust my knuckles to.

Sears stuff is regularly on sale, and if you are a craftsman club member, you can get the 254-piece kit in the molded box for around $180. Well worth it, as it has 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 in metric and standard, and a decent set of M/S wrenches too. Thats where I started.

Chauncey
Sep 16, 2007

Gibbering
Fathead




^^Just got the 260 pc with fitted trays and a box for Xmas. Found it for 169.99 a few weeks before Christmas.

Now, I usually only get out my sockets for big jobs or jobs I bring back to my workbench, as hex keys, 4,6,8,10 inch adjustables, screwdrivers and channel locks/pliers are the main tools I carry in my toolbag. But I've been wanting a "starter-set" and just wanted to say that this set makes a great backbone to any mechanic's tool set.

AnomalousBoners
Dec 22, 2007

by Ozma


HF ratchets are awful, I have their thumb ratchets and swivel heads as just-in-case-I-need-them type tools and they are not near loose enough to be useful. They will stop ratcheting before the bolts can be unscrewed with their fingers. Craftsmans are way way better about this and I'd say that that quality is as or more important than durability.

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...



Fallen Rib

RealKyleH posted:

HF ratchets are awful, I have their thumb ratchets and swivel heads as just-in-case-I-need-them type tools and they are not near loose enough to be useful. They will stop ratcheting before the bolts can be unscrewed with their fingers. Craftsmans are way way better about this and I'd say that that quality is as or more important than durability.

Have you lubed them up? I've got a set of the stubby flex's, and they used to be too tight. I soaked them in ATF, and they dropped a bunch of metal grinds into the can I had them soaking in. Now they are much better.

I've got one of the Pittsburgh 3/8" ratchets, and its just fine, the action is almost as smooth as my Cman, but nowhere as nice as my S-K.

Another source of decent ratchets is AutoZone. The Duralast ratchets are pretty nice, and their warranty is great.

\/\/My fiance just bought one of those ultrasonics for cleaning oboe reeds... somehow I don't think ATF is going in that thing.
A good soak in ATF helped all my ratchets loosen up, and the guys on GJ think its required.

sharkytm fucked around with this message at 19:33 on Jan 15, 2009

AnomalousBoners
Dec 22, 2007

by Ozma


sharkytm posted:

Have you lubed them up? I've got a set of the stubby flex's, and they used to be too tight. I soaked them in ATF, and they dropped a bunch of metal grinds into the can I had them soaking in. Now they are much better.

I've got one of the Pittsburgh 3/8" ratchets, and its just fine, the action is almost as smooth as my Cman, but nowhere as nice as my S-K.

Another source of decent ratchets is AutoZone. The Duralast ratchets are pretty nice, and their warranty is great.

I have one of HF's supersonic cleaners Ill give it a couple cycles in ATF and see how they do. Thanks.

Kynetx
Jan 8, 2003


Full of ignorant tribalism. Kinda sad.


Huh. I'm surprised everyone has had such bad luck. I've never had a socket split on me. The only time I've had trouble with a ratchet was when I had to loosen a lug bolt with one by standing on it and jumping. We're talking 300+ lbs of torque on a 10" 3/8 ratchet.

Now power tools? Don't get me started on those.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





I just got myself one of these:



Mityvac vacuum pump / bleeder kit. Holy poo poo, might be the best $30 I've ever spent at Harbor Freight. I had to replace the clutch master cylinder on the Miata and this made it so stupid easy...put a box-end wrench on the bleeder, hook the Mityvac up, pull a vacuum and loosen the bleeder. Repeat a few times until the fluid coming out is clean, tighten it all back up, and you're done.

I know mine will be getting some more use in the near future with a brake job on my brother's '79 280ZX and probably a once-over on the brakes on my truck. I wish I had this a few years back when I did the master cylinder on the Volvo.

With Craftsman, are they still just exchanging them in-store or are they repairing them? I've got a kick-rear end swivel-head Craftsman 3/8" ratchet with a long handle that was originally my late father-in-law's, but the ratchet mechanism has been jammed since long before I got a hold of it. Since it has some sentimental value, I'd rather repair the tool instead of swapping it out with a newer random part.

oxbrain
Aug 18, 2005

Put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip and come on up to the mothership.


The sears here gives you a repaired tool out of a bin. You turn in a 20 year old ratchet and they give you a butter steel replacement.

Fix it yourself, ratchets aren't that complex. Buy a similar HF ratchet to take apart first if you're worried about breaking something.

AnomalousBoners
Dec 22, 2007

by Ozma


Kynetx posted:

Huh. I'm surprised everyone has had such bad luck. I've never had a socket split on me. The only time I've had trouble with a ratchet was when I had to loosen a lug bolt with one by standing on it and jumping. We're talking 300+ lbs of torque on a 10" 3/8 ratchet.

Now power tools? Don't get me started on those.

Same thing here, only time I have cracked a socket is doing that. I also got a bolt basically pressure welded to a cheapo socket one time.

EDIT:
Just filled my little ultrasonic with ATF and put all my cheap ratchets in it. The ATF is too think for the vibrator to get any cleaning action going but I'll let them soak a while. How long should I leave them in there for?

AnomalousBoners fucked around with this message at 21:12 on Jan 15, 2009

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...



Fallen Rib

RealKyleH posted:

Same thing here, only time I have cracked a socket is doing that. I also got a bolt basically pressure welded to a cheapo socket one time.

EDIT:
Just filled my little ultrasonic with ATF and put all my cheap ratchets in it. The ATF is too think for the vibrator to get any cleaning action going but I'll let them soak a while. How long should I leave them in there for?

I left mine in there for a day or so, then ran them about 20 rotations in each direction, then soaked them for another day or so.

ACEofsnett
Feb 19, 2007

FILTHY CASUAL | CONSOLE PEASANT

IOwnCalculus posted:

I just got myself one of these:



Mityvac vacuum pump / bleeder kit. Holy poo poo, might be the best $30 I've ever spent at Harbor Freight. I had to replace the clutch master cylinder on the Miata and this made it so stupid easy...put a box-end wrench on the bleeder, hook the Mityvac up, pull a vacuum and loosen the bleeder. Repeat a few times until the fluid coming out is clean, tighten it all back up, and you're done.

I know mine will be getting some more use in the near future with a brake job on my brother's '79 280ZX and probably a once-over on the brakes on my truck. I wish I had this a few years back when I did the master cylinder on the Volvo.

With Craftsman, are they still just exchanging them in-store or are they repairing them? I've got a kick-rear end swivel-head Craftsman 3/8" ratchet with a long handle that was originally my late father-in-law's, but the ratchet mechanism has been jammed since long before I got a hold of it. Since it has some sentimental value, I'd rather repair the tool instead of swapping it out with a newer random part.

Odd, I have that exact same unit and it has never worked well for me AT ALL. I always end up getting frustrated and bleeding brakes / clutches manually. The rubber fittings don't seem to be very pliable on mine, and nothing ever seals right. I've actually had better luck with a simple 'one man' bleeder, just a sealed cup with a tube.


EnergizerFellow
Oct 11, 2005

More drunk than a barrel of monkeys

ACEofsnett posted:

Odd, I have that exact same unit and it has never worked well for me AT ALL. I always end up getting frustrated and bleeding brakes / clutches manually. The rubber fittings don't seem to be very pliable on mine, and nothing ever seals right. I've actually had better luck with a simple 'one man' bleeder, just a sealed cup with a tube.
Get some new lines. They must have hardened over time.

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...



Fallen Rib

EnergizerFellow posted:

Get some new lines. They must have hardened over time.

You can also swap the lines for the much-more-flexible tygon, or lines silicone.

CatBus
May 12, 2001

Who wants a mustache ride?

Just something to think about for those planning to buy a tool kit package:

Check the list for the kit, and don't waste your money if they pad it with 12pt sockets. 12pt seems to be the standard for cheap socket sets, though they are inferior to 6pt sockets. There are *very* few 12pt bolts, and if you come across one, just buy that one socket. 12pt box wrenches may have more angle options, but that isn't true for a socket (since you can ratchet to any angle you want).

PS: Don't bother with 12pt box wrenches either.


I'm guessing 12pt sockets and wrenches are more common because the tolerances don't have to be as tight, so manufacturing costs go down. Manufacturer may be down, but frustration and rounded bolt costs go WAY UP.

Lando
Sep 15, 2003

by T. Finn


Can you guys recommend me a decent, yet cheap impact gun. Cordless preferably but I'll do corded also. For changing tires in the garage, etc.

EvilCrayon
Dec 30, 2007


Actually, I've been able to find some sweet stuff on craigslist when it comes to impact guns.
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/tls/988119206.html

meltie
Nov 9, 2003

Not a sodding fridge.

CatBus posted:

Just something to think about for those planning to buy a tool kit package:

Check the list for the kit, and don't waste your money if they pad it with 12pt sockets. 12pt seems to be the standard for cheap socket sets, though they are inferior to 6pt sockets. There are *very* few 12pt bolts, and if you come across one, just buy that one socket. 12pt box wrenches may have more angle options, but that isn't true for a socket (since you can ratchet to any angle you want).

PS: Don't bother with 12pt box wrenches either.


I'm guessing 12pt sockets and wrenches are more common because the tolerances don't have to be as tight, so manufacturing costs go down. Manufacturer may be down, but frustration and rounded bolt costs go WAY UP.

They're theoretically useful for a breaker bar in a tight spot...


...but you do not want to be using 12-point sockets on a breaker-bar candidate bolt.

oxbrain
Aug 18, 2005

Put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip and come on up to the mothership.


12 point sockets are fast, I use them on anything 14mm or below. Just pay attention and switch to a 6 point if you're applying too much force.

6 point sockets are aligned with the mounting hole so each 1/4 turn aligns the hex in a unique position. If you can't get your breaker bar on a bolt, flip it over or rotate it 1/4 turn. 12 point sockets don't always follow this convention.

944
Sep 23, 2008

by Ozma


sharkytm posted:

Have you lubed them up?

First rule of Harbor Freight: you didn't buy something that's ready to use. As soon as you're done fixing it, it will work reasonably well.

I love that place.

944
Sep 23, 2008

by Ozma


IOwnCalculus posted:

Mityvac vacuum pump / bleeder kit. Holy poo poo, might be the best $30 I've ever spent at Harbor Freight.

Spend $65 or so on a Motive pressure bleeder. I have both, and they both have their place. Bleeding clutches and brakes with the motive is SO drat easy, and you get really good pedal feel the first time. I've even done a new master cylinder with no bench bleeding on the first shot and had it turn out great.

Clutches might be easier to bleed on the Miata, but they are a royal PITA on the 944. The vac method is better than pumping it, but just barely. With the pressure bleeder, it's no problem at all.

944
Sep 23, 2008

by Ozma


oxbrain posted:

The sears here gives you a repaired tool out of a bin. You turn in a 20 year old ratchet and they give you a butter steel replacement.

That's what I got offered on a 3 month old ratchet that was bad. I said "No way. I'd like to see a manager." He came over, I told him that was totally not acceptable (nicely but forcefully) and he said that he understood - let's go get a new one for you.

Stand up for yourself. It works.

944
Sep 23, 2008

by Ozma


meltie posted:

...but you do not want to be using 12-point sockets on a breaker-bar candidate bolt.

multiprotocol
Sep 16, 2004
label switching is fun. i can relate to that.

Craftsman shop vacs? I need a new smallish shop vac, and the 4 gallon one looks like it's pretty decent. Thoughts or alternative recommendations?

ChiliMac
Apr 13, 2005

That's why I never kiss 'em on the mouth.

944 posted:

That's what I got offered on a 3 month old ratchet that was bad.

When I was buying my suicide sticks, someone came in to return a ratchet and I saw the line of ratchets behind the counter with the sears employee. To the employee's credit, he asked whether the customer would accept a rebuilt one or preferred a new one off the shelf.

oxbrain
Aug 18, 2005

Put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip and come on up to the mothership.


944 posted:

Stand up for yourself. It works.

When I bring my 25 year old craftsman ratchet in I want it repaired and returned to me. Their quality has been on a steady decline since the mid '90s and their current stock is barely on par with harbor freight.

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



This is a tools stupid question but I figured it might be better answered here than in the stupid qs thread.

I have a grease gun and I have been able to pop the coupler onto a zerk. From there, I was able to get a couple squeezes before grease started oozing out from either the zerk or the couple itself. How do I know if I got grease in there? At what point do I know I'm done? FWIW, I wipe off all the excess grease.

Hypnolobster
Apr 12, 2007

What this sausage party needs is a big dollop of ketchup! Too bad I didn't make any.


multiprotocol posted:

Craftsman shop vacs? I need a new smallish shop vac, and the 4 gallon one looks like it's pretty decent. Thoughts or alternative recommendations?

Their electric poo poo is pretty solid. I'd trust a shop vac. We've got two. One is from the early 80's and has been beaten to hell and back and still runs perfectly, and the other is about 2 years old, and while it has a lot of irritating poo poo on it (hose carrier, pipe and attachment carrier, pop-off leaf blower) that the older one doesn't have or need, it still does its job well.



I'm starting to avoid craftsman for ratchets and such, and I'm replacing them with better things. Their wrenches are still solid as hell, as are their screwdrivers.

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...



Fallen Rib

Hypnolobster posted:

Their electric poo poo is pretty solid. I'd trust a shop vac. We've got two. One is from the early 80's and has been beaten to hell and back and still runs perfectly, and the other is about 2 years old, and while it has a lot of irritating poo poo on it (hose carrier, pipe and attachment carrier, pop-off leaf blower) that the older one doesn't have or need, it still does its job well.



I'm starting to avoid craftsman for ratchets and such, and I'm replacing them with better things. Their wrenches are still solid as hell, as are their screwdrivers.

I've got a Cman shopvac with the removable leafblower. Its awesome, and has held up very well.

And Cman wrenches are heavy, thick, uncomfortable, and not particularly well toleranced. They are fine for starting out, but its a good idea to replace them with something better when you get a chance.

That said, all I have are Craftsman wrenches.

AnomalousBoners
Dec 22, 2007

by Ozma


http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRI...742722&PMT4NO=0

ER32 Collet chuck: $123

http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRI...742678&PMT4NO=0

ER32 Collet Set: $357

Price on ebay for both from an American seller but made in china? $122 shipped.

Got them both today and will be ordering some more collet chucks. I freaking love buying tooling on ebay. gently caress ever using a drill chuck or hand making a tap holder to power tap poo poo. Collets rule and since I am not even milling with them (although I have heard they're good enough that I could provided I am not running RPMs that require balancing) I really don't have poo poo to worry about.

Also should be here next week:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...em=200094179608
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...em=200296096557
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...em=200296512600
Total: $50.73

Price at MSC: $27 + $71 (For smaller but comparable boring bar) + $345 (69 * 5pcs)
Total: $443


I am seriously about to go broke from all the good deals I've been getting. Not even joking here though you need so much poo poo you dont immediately think about just for simple lathe jobs. Just trying to tap and thread a few hundred steel aprts is going to cost me big $$.

AnomalousBoners fucked around with this message at 21:07 on Jan 17, 2009

D C
Jun 19, 2004

1-800-HOTLINEBLING
1-800-HOTLINEBLING
1-800-HOTLINEBLING


I feel so lucky to be able to shop at Canadian Tire for tools, sales all the time, and the Mastercraft Maximum stuff is awesome quality.

I think it's been brought up before, but it's true. If you guys end up in Canada at some point, I'd recommend checking it out.

944
Sep 23, 2008

by Ozma


oxbrain posted:

When I bring my 25 year old craftsman ratchet in I want it repaired and returned to me. Their quality has been on a steady decline since the mid '90s and their current stock is barely on par with harbor freight.

Should have mentioned that - on another run in there, I had one of my grandfather's ratchets. They gave me a rebuild kit for it for free. I'd rather do that myself than let the 16 year old mouth breather behind the counter do it.

944
Sep 23, 2008

by Ozma


kimbo305 posted:

This is a tools stupid question but I figured it might be better answered here than in the stupid qs thread.

I have a grease gun and I have been able to pop the coupler onto a zerk. From there, I was able to get a couple squeezes before grease started oozing out from either the zerk or the couple itself. How do I know if I got grease in there? At what point do I know I'm done? FWIW, I wipe off all the excess grease.

Doesn't sound like the grease it getting where it's supposed to go. You know you have enough in there when the oozes out of the part that is supposed to be getting lubricated, not from around the zerk. You might have some caked up crap in there that's not letting the grease get through. Try putting as much pressure on it as possible so the grease won't come out between the coupler and the zerk, and it should eventually break free - it will get easier to grease, and then you'll see all the old crap squeezing out from where its supposed to. Once you see some new grease coming out, you're done.

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



944 posted:

Try putting as much pressure on it as possible so the grease won't come out between the coupler and the zerk

Is holding the coupler down hard on the zerk ok? I mean I could do that but I'm not sure it would seal that side well enough to force grease through.

944
Sep 23, 2008

by Ozma


kimbo305 posted:

Is holding the coupler down hard on the zerk ok? I mean I could do that but I'm not sure it would seal that side well enough to force grease through.

It's "OK" as in it won't break anything unless you have something broken/ready to break already. But it also won't make a great seal no matter what.

If that doesn't work, you can always try taking the zerk out and replacing it (they are just threaded in, and easily/cheaply found at a decent auto parts store). Hopefully the crud is in the zerk. If not, you need to deal with the problem differently based on exactly what this zerk is going to.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

InitialDave
Jun 14, 2007

I Want To Believe.


What you need is an adaptor of some kind that screws onto the grease gun at one end, and onto the threaded hole where the nipple goes at the other, that way the grease can't go anywhere except into the assembly.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply