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Thread: Tools to buy

  1. #1

    Tools to buy

    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

  2. #2
    Senior Member SMOODY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Golden, CO
    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.
    2001 330i (my car)
    2004 Audi Allroad (wife's car and family truckster)

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Great Falls, VA
    i always felt that we should have at least two torque wrenches. One smaller one and one larger one for the wheel lugs.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Doby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Balmer HON!!!!
    I'm partial to my BFH, Torch, Sawzall, and Welder... but that's just me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Doby
    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.
    Terry Carraway
    02 Topaz E46 M3 SMG
    00 Dakar M Roadster
    95 Alpine E36 M3 LTW
    SCCA Spec Racer Ford Red/White

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Manassas, VA

    registering for tools

    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...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Doby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Balmer HON!!!!
    I'll sell you a tool chest. $1300 new from Sears, your's for only $849.99.

  8. #8
    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.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    washington dc


    Quote Originally Posted by mssVT98
    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 )
    Last edited by JoelG; 03-15-2005 at 03:05 PM.

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