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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
55 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
24k views

What is a suitable air compressor for a home garage?

What type and size air compressor (HP, Tank Size, CFM, direct drive/2 stage... etc) would be suitable for a home garage where I'm going to do small amounts of maintenance but nothing major? So I would ...
6
votes
2answers
192 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

How important is it to use a real flare nut wrench when removing the fuel line on an old Ford tractor?

An article on overhauling the carbs on a Ford 8N tractor says to use a flare nut wrench to disconnect the fuel line. How important is it use that kind of wrench, vs. an open ended wrench?
9
votes
3answers
138 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
263 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
228 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is double-clicking a mechanical torque wrench just a habit?

I'm wondering if there is any benefit behind double-clicking when using a mechanical torque wrench. Could it be that some folks do it to compensate for slack in the ratcheting mechanism? In other ...
6
votes
3answers
398 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I remove a pulley where I have no way of stopping it turning anti-clockwise, like I'm turning the nut?

I've been told I need an airgun, but I have no means of getting one. An alternative is a tool that looks like this. It has a handle of flat steel that splits into a wide U, almost Y shaped but the V ...
14
votes
6answers
641 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
662 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
1answer
88 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 ...
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?
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. ...
4
votes
1answer
203 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
444 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
87 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
589 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?
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Mazda Lantis 323 1997: OBDI or OBDII?

I'm still trying to figure out if my 1997 Mazda Lantis 323 GLX 1.8L DHOC Manual is OBD 1 or 2. It's supposedly similar to the Protege of the same year and it says on autozone: In order to ...
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 ...
14
votes
5answers
482 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?
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, ...
9
votes
3answers
346 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
97 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....
3
votes
1answer
99 views

What kind of tools could I use for some aluminum body finishing work without doing any cutting?

I got into a really bad wreck last winter. My power steering was leaking and had locked up in the middle of an icy road, while I was trying to find a median at night. The guy hit me going around 70 ...
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

Remove rounded manifold bolt

I'm trying to take off the manifold bolts on an old Chevy 350 (the ones that connect the manifold to the header). I got 4 out of the 6 bolts out, but 2 are extremely struck and rounded due to all the ...
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 ...
1
vote
4answers
83 views

What good is a scan tool?

Other than reporting error codes, is a scan tool useful? Can it help you to tune the car to optimize gas mileage for example or other helpful things?
8
votes
1answer
374 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?
5
votes
1answer
135 views

How do I aim the headlights of a '95 Geo Prizm?

Two years ago, my grandfather gave us his old '95 Prizm when he bought a new car. A few weeks ago, I decided that the old headlight bulbs were too dim and I replaced them with new ones. The light ...
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
312 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Should a mechanical “click” Torque Wrench be set to zero when not in use?

I have a standard click torque wrench. I was told I should set it to zero when not using it in order to keep the accuracy high. Is this true? Secondly, I have not been doing this since I purchased ...
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?