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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to get some tools for xmas so I can work on my car without making it a mission just to get a bolt off - like that stupid EGR one all tucked away.
Can anyone recommend me a good toolset? Unfortunately my xmas budget is low, but I'll try and make due with what you guys say works best.
Thanks
 

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Its a good time of year to buy tools actually, with all the sales for Christmas, so you can likely do yourself right as far as budget concerns go. I would stay away from the 1/4 inch drive socket sets for my basic tool/repair needs. You will need to apply more torque than they can withstand to break loose that EGR valve bolt. 3/8 drive will do you a good job on most of the Insight repairs. A small set of open end/ box end wrenches, even a 4 or 5 pc. set, will get you a long way. You will definately want to get something with 10 and 12 mm in it. I think I remember using an 8mm open end but I dont recall where. I have used some hex allen wrenches a time or two. Look for a set with 4,5,8,10mm, in that range for sure. You could probably buy torks drivers one at a time as needed and spend your money at this point on general stuff. Do yourself a favor and go quality. I have lots of Craftsman stuff (Sears), lifetime guarantee. Even have some Master Mechanic from True Value, lifetime again. Some SK. Proto, etc, lots of good stuff out there, lots of poor stuff also. And hey, on the high end, stop the Snap-on truck running around town. And remember to pull toward you.........your knuckles will thank you :D .
And enjoy DIY :!:
Randall
 

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I know you're looking for a general answer about usefull tools, but I thought I'd mention that if you're having trouble with the nut on the EGR valve that's tucked under the valve a bit, so you can't get straight down on it with a socket, then I have the answer. I bought a set of "wobble extensions" which worked perfectly. There wasn't enough room for a standard universal joint, and the cable style just never seem to work well for me. But the wobble extension allowed just enough tilt to get in there very nicely.

Here's what I'm talking about.
http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/atd-1352.html
 

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For the weekend mechanic and general home usage Craftsman is hard to beat for availability, warranty and quality. Their "pro" line series is even nicer :!:

The standard Japanese hex increments are 8, 10, 12, 14, 17 &19mm.

A 3/8" socket set would be sufficient with regular and deep sockets. But buy the _fine_ tooth ratchets.1 long flex head and 1 standard with a variety of extensions. Wheel lugs being an exception as will be most any suspension part where 1/2 drive will be required to withstand the extra torque.

A 5/8" thin wall socket made for spark plugs will be needed for this task. Some regular thickness sockets won't fit down the plugwell. And this specialty type socket also has a rubber insert to hold the plug while in the socket.

A combination wrench (box end / open end combine) set in the same increments will also be helpful. AVOID adjustable wrenches since by their design the won't fit the fastener as well and rounded heads occur much easier.

Of course the standards assortment of screwdrivers (this is one tool where a good quality multiple interchangeable bit type isn't a "bad" choice) But you'll still need a basic set from time to time when the flat head's are needed for their most common usage (gently prying).

Pliers, long and short needle nose and in the "duckbill" variety will round out this basic assortment.

Of course there will _always_ be another wrench or socket type that will be "just the right tool for the job" and without it will be a real pain in the a**. But this should get you a good start.

But I've left off _THE_ most important one :shock: Anybody guess :?:
(scroll down)









The Factory Service manual. ;)

HTH! :)
 

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I recently got a good (lifetime warranty) set that includes:

8 Metric Crecent wrenches (crecent on one side loop on the other)
8 Standard Crecent wrenches

1/2" Drive with about a dozen metric/standard size sockets
3/8" Drive w/ same...
1/4" Drive w/ same...

standard/metric allen wrench sets
various bits phillips/flat/box/hex/etc. (about 24 total)
multibit handle
several 3/8" deep sockets
several spark plug sockets
couple of extensions/adapters/wobble tip/etc.

I got a set with all that (and I remind you a lifetime warranty on every single part against ANY failure) for about $149.99US. I got mine from a local Advance Autoparts (I think the brand of set was AmPro, but a lifetime warranty is a lifetime warranty and I know the guys that work there pretty well so I feel good going to them).

I have heard you can get about the same set from Craftsman for about the same price (a little higher) if you are paranoid about quality.

But my set feels really high quality, every part seems heavier than you would expect. Super smooth, yet rock solid ratchet action on the drive wrenches! Overall I'm impressed with their quality!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Insightful Trekker said:
But I've left off _THE_ most important one :shock: Anybody guess :?:
The Factory Service manual. ;)
HTH! :)
that's my next question, where to get one of those for cheap :p

thanks for the suggestions guys, keep 'em up. i think i'll just ask for a gift card for xmas and go by myself. much easier than doing a return!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
alright, my boss got me a toolset for xmas
http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product. ... 0936190000 if you feel like looking

and i'm still lurking ebay for a manual, but i also got a sears giftcard from my sister, and i was thinking that i havent played with my dads voltmeter in a long time, and how i'd like to get a new one of those (his is worn and ancient; not to mention lost).

so can anyone recommend me a voltmeter? or rather.. i suppose multimeters are cheap and better nowadays. i won't be needing anything too advanced ($75 is pushing it), but the gift card is for $15, so i might as well spend at least double that :lol:
i figure i could use it a bit for the insight, but also for stuff around the house. thanks in advance
 

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Digital multimeter

Tell your boss he knows a nice set when he sees one. :oops: Bad idea!

Yes, certainly you want a digital multimeter for a hybrid!

I've seen solid ones on sale around 30 dollars here in Canada. Nice features are autoranging, auto shutoff, transistor testing. Voltage, current, resistance, audible continuity test - diode/rectifier test are central. Less comon scales are Inductance, capacitance, and frequency. A heavy rubberized case guard is nice if you drop it.

The rectifier/diode/continuity setting allows you to determine diode type (silicon, germanium, shottky) by forward voltage drop as well as detemining polarity and color of LEDs, and will differentiate audibly between a forward biased junction and a short. 8) Unless you are carefull you will almost inevitably burn out the current range fuses by placing the leads in the wrong sockets.Speaking personally. :oops: :roll: The other ranges are self explanatory.

"Don't leave home without it!"
 

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There was a Christmas special on cheap multi-meters at Ace Hardware. I got one for about $12.

The main tools you need for any car are a decent small set of metric socket wrenches (8-19 mm covers the most common range), some screwdrivers (it's important to use the right size Phillips screwdriver), and a torque wrench. Search around in here for a pointer to a suitable low range Sears torque wrench that costs about $75. The problem with aluminum is that the screw torques are very low and you're likely to strip threads if you're not careful...

FYI, for the Insight the most commonly used tool is a large flathead screwdriver for removing the back wheel covers...
 

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An analog meter will be insufficent for even some basic testing since these don't commonly have sufficent impedance. This is particularly _critical_ for O2 sensor testing. Make sure whatever is used in that location has at least 10 megohm per volt impedance. Most better quality digital meters should meet this now "standard" spec.

A Fluke meter, even one of the more basic models will last a lifetime in daily use. Try eBay ;)

http://search.ebay.com/Fluke_W0QQfromZR40

The 8x series is probably beyond your budget (87 or 88 models), but the 23's or the older 73's should do nicely. The 73's aren't auto ranging so you'll have to "fuss" with the buttons a bit more each time when using. The 8x's are, dont know about the 23's. Fluke should have a website with the specs for each. As far as one you couldn't "outgrow" an 87 or 88 is the way to go :!: :D

[edited "oops"above, highlighted]

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks for the help, you guys rock

as for the wheel covers, i always seem to have a US 25 cent coin around me, and those work pretty darn well :D
 

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Dougie, if you notice that clamp around meter only will read AC amps. It takes an expensive clamp meter to be able to read DC volts. A DC clamp meter will run you a couple hundred bucks unfortunately. I keep wanting to get one.
 

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Yes, although the IMA motor is electronically commutated (by the controller in the trunk) so what goes on the wire is essentially AC. Well, it's a DC pulse train, actually. An AC meter won't give an accurate reading--nor will a DC meter--but it would be possible to figure out the conversion factor...
 

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True, but battery amps would be a much better reading. That could be done by adding a shunt and ammeter though pretty easily.
 
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