Tools used to repair motor vehicles. Avoid shopping questions.

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19
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4answers
2k views

Why would I want to measure torque while loosening a bolt or nut?

An answer to a question asking about torque wrench maintenance mentions to not use a particular kind of torque wrench for loosening bolts. This got me thinking. I would think it'd be preferable to ...
7
votes
1answer
53 views

Impact Wrench Mystery – breaks loose axle nut, but can't undo wheel lugs…

I think there must be something I don't understand about impact wrenches. After snapping a half-inch breaker bar (with a cheater) while trying to remove the axle nut, I decided that an impact wrench ...
4
votes
1answer
543 views

Is each turn with a beam torque wrench additive?

If I need to turn a bolt to 50 ft-lb with a beam torque wrench, and I turn it until the needle points to 20, then I need to stop applying pressure for some reason. Do I just apply another 30 ft-lb ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What to use to lock two flanges together?

I need to hold/lock two flanges together in such a way that I can lock the mechanism preventing someone else from separating the flanges (with some form of a key). I realize this isn't specifically a ...
8
votes
1answer
100 views

Where can I get my torque wrench calibrated?

I have a couple of torque wrenches and a torque screwdriver that I've had for some years. None has ever been recalibrated and although they haven't been abused and they seem to have good agreement ...
15
votes
2answers
427 views

Standard Practices for Use and Care of Click-Type Torque Wrenches

Torque wrenches, while straightforward in concept, require much different use and care compared to a regular ratchet. This can be confusing to someone who has never used one before. There are several ...
6
votes
2answers
191 views

Are there any risks if I use impact wrench to loosen lug nuts while the tire not touching ground?

I was watching a couple of videos on how to change tires and I keep hearing that it is recommended to loosen the lug nuts while tires are touching the ground. I followed this advice when I changed ...
9
votes
3answers
137 views

In Cylinder Pressure Testing With a Pressure Transducer and a Oscilliscope

Recently I've been looking into buying a higher PSI pressure transducer to do in cylinder pressure testing. I've encountered vehicles which would of benefited from this approach and wish I had thought ...
8
votes
3answers
261 views

Is it safe to place wood between a car and a jack stand?

I have a 2013 2LS Camaro and I am looking to change the rear differential fluid and need to jack up the rear end of my vehicle. Based on videos and enthusiast forums, people achieve this by putting a ...
7
votes
1answer
88 views

Is it acceptable to use a 3/4 inch socket to loosen what are presumably 19mm lug nuts?

I've have a spare six-point 3/4" flank drive socket I'd like to keep in the trunk with a breaker bar. (From recent experience, the little collapsing wrench that comes with the seventh-gen Chevy Malibu ...
7
votes
1answer
71 views

What kind of amperage and sticks needed to weld a nut to a stripped cap/bolt?

I was trying to get a cam gear cap/bolt thing off a 2000 Volvo S80 2.9l and stripped the torx pattern out of a bolt. I'd guess it's around 1-1/2" in diameter, and this is what it looks like: I have ...
6
votes
3answers
397 views

Uses of small sized 1/2" drive sockets

I'm currently a first year apprentice and building my tool kit as I go. I see often larger socket sets include 1/2" drive sockets ranging from 8 or 10mm. Is there a reason that 1/2" drive sockets of ...
8
votes
3answers
577 views

Does using a ratchet size adaptor on a click-type ratchet wrench reduce the applied torque?

Long story short, I have to purchase a torque wrench which I will use to torque things like brake calipers, wheels and the like. To make things interesting, I will have to buy it a different size ...
14
votes
6answers
640 views

How to keep wheel ramps from sliding?

I have a very smooth garage floor. When I try to use my wheel ramps for the quick and easy way to raise a vehicle, they will often slide, sometimes just one, but other times both. They will sometimes ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

How can you assure a torque wrench is working properly?

Torquing to a manufacturer's spec is important when working on an engine but I've wondered how do you properly determine if an adjustable torque wrench has been zeroed out over it's life and is still ...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

What is the maximum torque a 1/2 drive can withstand?

I just broke two 3/8 in. extensions trying to crack an underdrive pulley loose (specs say the pulley is at 130 ft/lbs, but feels much higher than that). This begs the question: are there standard ...
8
votes
1answer
130 views

Why does my air compressor fail to start when the tank is partially full?

I have a Harbor Freight (I know, I know) air compressor. It's the 21 gallon, 2 1/2 HP model. The problem is that when the tank is empty it starts fine, and pressurizes the tank to where it should be. ...
8
votes
1answer
85 views

Testing specific wires in harness cable

I want to do some electrical mods like adding a push/pull switch to my truck' tailgate to wire into my door ajar light to let me know if it is open along with splicing an electrical tailgate lock into ...
9
votes
4answers
93 views

Rusted gas tanks, how do you repair them?

If I have an extremely old vehicle that has limited parts availability for replacement, how would I fix a rusted gas tank in order to put it back in service in a vehicle? I've run into this issue a ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

What is a smoke test and what kind of tools do I need to do it?

I've seen 'the smoke test' referenced several times in answers to OP's. I would like to ask; What is a smoke test? What kind of tool(s) do I need to do a smoke test? What is the proper procedure to ...
7
votes
3answers
587 views

What is a tap and die set and how do I use them?

I have two questions. What is a tap and die set? and How do I use a tap and a die?
5
votes
1answer
97 views

Why would I want to magnetize a screwdriver?

Why would I want to magnetize my screwdriver? and How would I magnetize my screwdriver?
14
votes
2answers
443 views

What is a leak down tester and what can I do with it?

Background There are quite a few head gasket related questions on the site. Coolant or water in the oil, oil in the coolant or water in a radiator, etc. I'm thinking that some instruction on howto ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

Lubricating Spring Compresor Threads

I'm getting ready to replace the struts on one of my vehicles using a set of ampro T70570 coil spring compressors: I had vaguely remembered reading somewhere that it's a good idea to oil the ...
11
votes
3answers
186 views

Multimeter - Basic Functionality and Howto

Multimeters I'm looking for some responses regarding multimeter basics for the site tag-wiki to point OP's at when we want them to use one. The question is; What are the basic functions of a ...
43
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the most efficient method of getting your car unstuck from snow?

If your car is stuck in snow and you don't have any chains, what can be done to get it out? This can be an unnerving problem to have and it happens pretty easily with normal driving on ice. You wind ...
14
votes
5answers
477 views

How do I remove a broken drill bit from metal?

I was building a mount for my custom bobber. My 1/4" carbide drill bit broke off into 3/4" plate of steel. How do I remove it?
9
votes
3answers
343 views

What is the right tool to expand a large spring-type hose clamp?

My Touareg has the intake piping secured with a bunch of spring-type hose clamps. I currently use a miniature C-clamp to expand them, but it is painfully slow, prone to slipping and access can be a ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

How to choose the best jack stands and wheel chocks for a vehicle?

Some people say that when choosing jack stands/wheel chocks, we should always leave plenty of room above the vehicle weight. For example, if the car is 1.5 tons, we should choose jack stands with a 2....
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How to use an engine stand

This is one thing which I have asked many times on a car forum and never received a satisfactory response for. I know that the engine block is somehow bolted onto an engine stand like the one ...
11
votes
1answer
150 views

How does one use a chain press to remove a motorcycle chain?

I recently found out about this tool from this answer. I'm interested in understanding the steps involved in using this tool to remove/install motorcycle chains. Also, would it be possible to use ...
8
votes
1answer
368 views

What can I do with an Inline Spark Tester?

Due to my recent problem with weakly firing plugs, I'm looking at inline spark testers. I've seen three basic types: The simple flashing one which goes in between the wire and plug with the plug in ...
3
votes
1answer
33 views

Snap on flashlight lockout mode

I'm looking into a snap-on light, and it features a "lockout mode". Does anyone know what it is?
6
votes
1answer
227 views

What are these two rubber-ended attachments used for in a compression tester kit?

I'm looking to buy a compression tester kit and am a little puzzled by the purpose of the two rubber-ended attachments shown below. Am I right in assuming that these two attachments can be jammed ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Locating Special Tools for Auto Free Hub Removal

I am attempting to replace rotors on a 1988 Dodge Ram 50 (2.6L, 4WD). To remove the rotors, I need to use a special socket (visible around the auto free hub ) and the special locknut socket. Are there ...
4
votes
2answers
309 views

Any open-source OBD scanner analysis tools?

I've been having some weird problems with my '06 Pontiac G6, and finally broke down and bought a Bosch code scanner to see if the DTCs could tell me anything... they didn't. This scanner has the ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How hot does an exhaust manifold get?

If I want to use a non-contact infrared thermometer to read the temperature of each cylinder at the exhaust port during idle, how high of a reading should the thermometer be able to handle?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Impact vs. Regular Sockets

What is the difference between impact vs regular ratchet/breaker bar sockets? They look similarly shaped and their corresponding tool drives seem to be of the same dimensions. Are the impact stronger?...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Air Impact Wrench vs Air Ratchet Wrench

What is the difference between an air IMPACT wrench and an air RATCHET wrench? They appear to be of the same sort. Is there a difference in the drive shape in that the impact has a different drive to ...
1
vote
1answer
181 views

Oil resistant marker for timing chain positioning

This is a bit unusual of a question but does anyone know of really durable markers (as in Sharpie) that leave durable markings that resist erasure due to exposure to oil and other retarding agents? I ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Better instructions how to use a micrometer

I am confused by these instructions on how to use a micrometer. Does anyone know of better ones? I need to measure the thickness of my valve lifters (and then do a feeler gauge test but that is not ...
6
votes
2answers
204 views

What is this pump-type nut fastener called and where is it useful?

At 1:42 in this S62 production video the engine assembler uses a pump-style tool to fasten the plenum cover nuts. What is this tool called? How does it work? Can it be used to loosen and fasten nuts, ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Torque wrench vs regular ratchet

What is the difference between a torque wrench and a regular ratchet that you'd normally use with sockets? When should you use one vs. the other in automotive applications?
3
votes
1answer
146 views

What tools are needed to DIY wheel alignment?

As per this article, DIY-ing wheel alignment requires a camber gauge and either a toe bar or toe plates. Is that a complete list of tools required? Is it better to use a toe bar than toe plates?
3
votes
1answer
21 views

How does cylinder leakage tester kit work?

I was browsing Amazon in search for a combustion leak detector (AKA "block tester") and I stumbled upon a cylinder leakage tester kit, which is supposed to do similar things? But I am not quite sure ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there a trick to easily removing stuck rubber hoses off fittings?

Is there a trick to easily removing stuck rubber hoses off fittings? I saw there is a tool like this but I'm afraid of tearing the hose with its point. Is there a better way?
5
votes
1answer
655 views

Old Air Compressor Rebuild (and general piston engines) - Oil On Cylinder Walls?

So I have recently acquired (for free) a circa 1973 Speedaire 20 gallon compressor with no history. After a short while of use the check valve failed and when I removed it I noticed it and the air ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Can 1/2 drive impact wrenches be adapted to use 3/8 sockets?

I need to add a cordless impact wrench to my toolset do some exhaust work (loosen some really tight bolts, basically). I also plant to use it for CV joint-related work. They seem to be kind of pricey,...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

How to properly tighten a wheel on a bench grinder?

I just bought a 8" bench grinder from Harbor Freight to clean up some automotive parts with a wire wheel. On the left side of the grinder has a left hand threaded nut on it, while the other side has a ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Broken Socket Wrench: My Fault or Poor Quality

I was trying to remove the oil pan plug nut and found that it was on extremely tightly. I was using a fairly inexpensive socket wrench ( for only the second time ) and couldn't get it to budge. So I ...