View Full Version : Tools to buy

02-08-2005, 11:55 AM
I'm getting married this year, so I get to register for all kinds offunstuff. Since my fiance is awesome, she thinks it's a great ideatoregister for tools for the car (and the house too, butthat'ssecondary). So my question to you more experienced DIY-ers is -whatshould I get? I have a pretty limited set of tools at the moment(basicratchet set, decent jack and stands, torque wrench,etc). Sobasically,if you were starting from scratch or close toit, what do youget first?

Clearly this isn't quite a free-for-all, but I want to set myselfupwith what I need to start doing more of my own work. Bear in mindthatmost of this stuff will probably have to come from Sears, since Idon'tthink the local Snap-on guy is set up for wedding registries.Iappreciate any input.

'88 M3

02-08-2005, 12:52 PM
Well, I have been working on my own cars for about 20+ years now and have the following observations / suggestions.

1) You can never have too many screwdrivers. Philips, Flat, and Torx in all sizes from jewelers size to huge.
2) Deep well sockets are great. Longer than a regular socket, but shorter than an extension. Metric and English.
3) It is always nice to have a breaker bar or a long 1/2" socket wrench and sockets for those troublesome bolts.
4) While on the subject of sockets. A universal joint for your socket is great for getting to that hard to reach bolt.
5) Impact wrench.
6) A good set of cresent wrenches. Metric and English.
7) Brake piston reset tool. It has a plate shaped like a brake pad and a screw/bolt in the middle with a knob. You use it to push the brake piston back into the caliper when you are changing brake pads.
8) Multi-meter for tracking down electical issues.

02-08-2005, 02:07 PM
i always felt that we should have at least two torque wrenches. One smaller one and one larger one for the wheel lugs.

02-08-2005, 04:14 PM
I'm partial to my BFH, Torch, Sawzall, and Welder... but that's just me. :)

03-07-2005, 09:15 AM
I'm partial to my BFH, Torch, Sawzall, and Welder... but that's just me. :)

I know people like you. :)

But a few BFHs, especially dead blow ones are VERY useful.

Bottom line, you can't have too many tools. You will find uses for them. But that doesn't mean you can't do the job with less tools, it is just harder.

03-14-2005, 12:16 AM
Hey, what kind of price range do you need? How about Air Compressor, electric lift, pressure brake bleeder, garage floor tiles? Large tool chest, on wheels?

Rear wheel bearing tool? Short shift kit? Wait, I think I might be going too far...

03-14-2005, 07:56 AM
I'll sell you a tool chest. $1300 new from Sears, your's for only $849.99. :)

03-14-2005, 10:24 AM
Well, space is actually more of a limiting factor right now than price. We're still in an apartment, and although I do have a single car garage, it's small. So I really don't have much room for something like an air compressor that takes up floor space. Although I did register for a small-ish rolling tool chest... I'll make room for that. :)

I do already have a pressure bleeder, but I appreciate all the ideas. Keep 'em coming! Too bad I can't register for a bigger garage. :D

03-15-2005, 03:00 PM
Well, space is actually more of a limiting factor right now than price.

I can do almost any job on my e30 racecar with the tools I carry in a small toolbox (I can lift it with one hand) in the back of my truck. For an other bmws you will need different sizes. Off the top of my head here's what's in it:

1/4 ratchet and sockets

3/8 ratchet and sockets, selected sizes: 10, 13, 15, 17 and 19mm. 6 point sockets. 12 point sockets are the spawn of the devil.

same sizes open end wrenches

same sizes box wrenches, again 6 point. plus a 7mm for brake bleeders

1/2" drive torque wrench 10-150ft/lb

1/2" drive ratchet and a handful of 1/2" drive sockets 17, 19, 22, 25mm mostly deep. 17 and 19 impact sockets.

a handful of 1/2" drive SAE sockets for the truck and trailer.

18" long 1/2" drive breaker bar. longer would be better but wont fit it toolbox. for the truck a 24" is really handy

lots of extensions, adapters and universals, all sizes and lengths

large and medium pry bars

2lb deadblow hammer. 3lb would be better

24oz ball pein hammer

big channel locks

2 awls, big and small

magnetic retriever

big and small slot screwdrivers

#1 and #2 phillips screwdrivers

stubby #2 phillips and small slot

allen (hex) sockets for brake calipers, diff flanges, gearbox and diff fill and drain plugs

spark plug socket

3 torx for gearbox and head bolts, I forget the sizes

a few other things I dont remember

other non-tools that are indispensible

duct tape

zip ties

turkey baster

pump to fill gearbox and diff

brake bleeder tube

I've got tons of other tools at home but I can pretty much disassemble and re-assemble the e30 with these few tools (and the ones I've forgotten of course :))