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THAT'S EASY!
its the skill level and experience of the guy or gal IN that garage that determines the level of expertize,and the resulting finished work, hand tools a decent set of jack stands and knowing what your doing will ALWAYS produce better results than all the lifts, compressors,welders etc. in the world in un-skilled hands.
Im a tool junky, IM a firm believer and having the correct tools for any job youll do repeatedly,but while having the correct tools speeds up the work and makes it easier to do, hand tools in skilled hands can do just as much work, and at times get better results, it just takes longer and requires more effort.
you DON,T need to be comfortable, or have the best tools, but you do need to understand what your trying to accomplish and how the parts work, what caused them to fail and what you'll need to do to correctly repair or modify them
having the correct lighting, a lift,air conditioning, cold beers etc, may be nice, but it adds little but added comfort or ease of access to the guy doing the work, its the skills of the guy doing the work and his extensive experience and understanding of mechanics that gets the job done

some reference info

http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/index.php

other than an extensive list of HAND TOOLs
like a VOM meter
timing light
vacuum gauge
fuel pressure gauge
IR TEMP GUN
JACK STANDS
and shop manuals/ and a decent set of diagnostic meters sure helps (ILL POST MY TOOL LIST BELOW)

Id say a good
quality welder,
die grinder
compressor,
DRILL PRESS
QUALITY lift,
are nice but not MANDATORY, because you can usually borrow or sub out some of the work

BTW heres MY TOOL LIST, IVE POSTED BEFORE,.....IF IT FITS IN A COUPLE OF MY PRO SIZED TOOL CHEST ITS A HAND TOOL.....and YEAH IVE GOT 90% or more PLUS of those tools in my tool chest...LIKE I SAID IM A TOOL JUNKY......but the lift, compressor, welders are great but not necessarily mandatory

GRUMPYVETTES BASIC TOOL LIST
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
l items that may come in handy -not a comnplete list but it will get you started
A set of quick release tools for late model gm fuel lines and a/c line disconnects.
ACETYLENE TORCH
ADJUSTABLE LENGTH PUSH ROD
ADJUSTABLE POINTER ,
Adjustable stand, for dial indicator
Air compressor
Air ratchet
Allen wrenches
Allen wrenches
ASK QUESTIONS (its important to get answers BEFORE screwing up)
ASSORTED FILES
Assorted pliers/vise grips
ASSORTED SOCKETS,OPEN AND BOX WRENCHES 1/2",3/8".1/4" DRIVE
auto xray software
Ball joint press tools
Ball joint separator forks
Battery charger(full size shop type)
Bench grinder w/ wire wheel
Bench grinder w/ wire wheel
bearing press 12 ton hydrolic
Big huge screwdriver which doubles as a pry bar
BORE GAUGE
Brake spring pliers and retaining spring tool
Breaker bar
CAM BEARING INSTALLER
CAM DEGREE WHEEL
CAM HANDLE
CARBIDE BURRS
Carburetor stand
CC Burette Kit/PLUS STAND
Checking springs
chisels (assorted sizes/types)
clamp for compressing calipers
CLUTCH PILOT
Coil spring compressors
COMMON SENSE
Compression gauge
Compression tester
Compressor
CRANK SOCKETS
Creeper
Crows feet
Cutting torch
CYLINDER HONE
Deep sockets
DENT PULLER
DEPTH GAUGE
Dial indicator,
Die grinder
digital meter
Differential Set-up Kit
Distributor wrench sae
Distributor wrench metric
Drain pans all sizes
Dremel tool set to cut rivets etc.
DRIFT PUNCHES (assorted sizes/types)
Drill bits
DRILL PRESS
Drop light (florescent preferred)
Duct tape
Dwell meter for the older cars
EASY OUTS
ELECTRIC SOLDER GUN
Electrical connectors assorted
Electrical tape
Engine hoist
ENGINE LEVELER
ENGINE STAND
Feeler Gages
FIRE EXTINGUISHER co2
FIRE EXTINGUISHER powder
Flexible dwell key for point distributors
FREEZE PLUG INSTALLER
FUEL PRESSURE GAUGE
Full set of assorted hammers all the way up to 5 lb hand held full set of tap and dies metric and standard
Full set of torqze tip screw drivers and sockets male and female all sizes
Full size vice
Gasket scraper 2"
Gasket scraper4"
Gear Pullers (assorted)
GM disk brake caliper Allen key 3/8 and 5/16
GOOD KNOWLEDGEABLE FRIENDS
Grease gun
Harmonic balancer puller
HARMONIC BALLANCER INSTALLER
HONING STONE
Impact sockets
Jack stands and a 2 1/2 -3 ton full size service floor jack
JEWELERS FILES
LAPTOP COMPUTER with diagnostic software
Leakdown tester
LIFTER BORE HONE
LIFTER GROOVE TOOL
Line wrenches
LUIS TOOL
Magnet
MAGNETIC PICK UP TOOL
MAGNIFYING GLASS
Mallet
MANUAL LUBE PUMP
MICROMETERS
MIG WELDER
Mini Valve Spring Tester
MIRROR
Multimeter
Normal screwdrivers all sizes
NUT SPLITTER
OIL CAN
Oil filter and regular spin on filter wrenches.
Oil filter wrench plier type
Oil filter wrench expandable type
Oil pump primer chevy
Oil Pump Primers hydrolic
ONE NEW SOLID LIFTER
Paint gun
PB BLASTER OIL
Permanent marker
Pipe cutter
PISTON RING COMPRESSOR
Piston stop,
Pitman arm puller
Plasma cutter 200amp
Plasma cutter 60amp
PLASTIC HAMMER
Plastic zip-lock bags
Pneumatic chisel
Pneumatic impact guns 3/8 and 1/2 drive
Pressure bleeder for brakes
PRY BAR
PUSHROD CHECKER
Putty knife
Ramps
Rear caliper piston turning tool
REFERENCE MANUALS
Retracting extension cord
RIFLE CLEANING ROD AND BRUSHES FOR OIL PASSAGES
Ring expander pliers
RING GAP FILER
Rochester idle mixture adjusting tool
ROD BOLT GUIDES
ROD BOLT STRETCH GAUGE
Safety glasses
Sandblaster
SCAN SOFTWARE
Shorty wrenches
Sledge or mall hammer
SMALL FLASH LIGHT
Snap ring pliers internal and external
Speed wrench
SPRING COMPRESSOR
Standard set of drift pin punches, alignment punches, and centering punches.
Steering column lock plate compressor
Steering wheel puller
Stethoscope
Stick/arc welder
STUD INSTALLER
TAPE MEASURE
Taps & dies
Test light
Three or four of every size socket and wrenches plus extensions ETC.
Throw-away vinyl gloves
Tig welder
Timing light
Tire iron
Tire Pressure Gauges
Torque wrench 3/8'
TORQUE WRENCH 1/2"
Transmission jack
Tubing bender
Tubing cutter
Tubing flare tool
Utility knife
Utility knife
VACUUM GAUGE
Valve spring compressor
Wheel chocks (keep cars from rolling)
Wire crimper

surprisingly a good deal of that stuff fits inside three pro-size craftsman tool boxes,that stand 6 feet tall and 40" wide and have 22 drawers each (at $2000 each..ON SALE??) and the stuff like various welders,bearing presses,hoists ETC. don,t take up as much room as you might think, YEAH! its taken YEARS to acquire all that!,
but Ive done lots of minor repairs in exchange for tools guys were not useing
 

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Dam my two typing fingers hurt gust reading that:laughing: Your right the craftsman sets are the best bang for your buck and don't forget a pair of overalls a bar of lava soap and lots of patience. Nice write up grumpyvette :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nothing to do today, huh Grump? :laughing:
partly new post to answer a question,partly a RE-post of old info that fit the question
 

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Thanks Grump, fantastic list! I was expecting patience and a lot of beer. ;)

Yea I use my grabber tool alll the time, so many places to drop things in a C4. Since my dad-in-law got me full set of Craftsman wrenches, I've been using them quite a bit. They definitely can take a beating.

I'll have to wait a bit for my welder, but I enjoy using 'em. Always a use for a welder.
 

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hummm I'd have to agree with the service manuals, floorjack and jack stands.

I like to have one of those low profile light weight aluminum race jacks that only require 3-4 pumps to full lift. Easier to manuver around the car and fit in tight spaces.
Then I like to have one of those big heavy duty jobbers as a precautionairy measure and if things get complicated.
Make sure that whatever floor jack you get it eases down fluidly.
I had this big floor jack that you would loosen the handle and nothing would happen then all of a sudden the damn thing would drop an inch or so.
Always use jack stands. I have a set of 4 tall bulky ones when the entire car needs to be up in the air and a set of 2 small yet strong ones when I only need to raise it up a tad to get some work done.
I also find a tiny bottle jack handy sometimes, especially when messing with the rear leaf spring settings.
A pair of good mechanic gloves are always great especially in the winter months and a one peice mechanic suit when its chilly out and you're not so fortunate to have a lift and will be spending time on your back. I have two :laughing:
I also have ceran wraped an old old laptop (not the vents) that I only have the internet on so I can ask questions/read responses on the net & forum while i'm out wrenching.
AND stay organized...nothing worse then looking for a dang tool that you know you have but can't find. Turns a brake job into a weekend ordeal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
a few useful engine related calculators:thumbsup:

http://www.idavette.net/tech/ratioc.htm

heres some calculators you might use

http://www.angelfire.com/fl/procrastination/motor.html

http://www.bgsoflex.com/holley.html

http://www.rickwrench.com/bunchofcalculators.html



http://hotrodworks.net/hotrodmath/hotrodmath.html

http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=5893

http://kb-silvolite.com/calc.php

http://www.wallaceracing.com/dynamic-cr.php

http://www.dsm.org/tools/calchp.htm

http://www.wahiduddin.net/calc/calc_hp_dp.htm

http://users.erols.com/srweiss/calccr.htm

http://users.erols.com/srweiss/index.html#jcalc

http://wahiduddin.net/calc/calc_da.htm

http://www.diamondracing.net/cocalc.htm

http://www.crower.com/misc/valve_timing_chart.html

http://www.bob2000.com/carb.htm

http://www.ondoperformance.com/page2.html

http://www.rbracing-rsr.com/camshaft.html

http://www.rbracing-rsr.com/runnertorquecalc.html

http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~allan...ngth/pipe.html

http://www.rceng.com/technical.aspx

gear spread sheet that comes in handy THANKS TO 1FATGMC

http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sum...eet-index.html

HERES OTHER INFO LINKS

http://www.wallaceracing.com/reargear.htm

http://users.erols.com/srweiss/calcmph.htm

http://users.erols.com/srweiss/calcrpm.htm

http://users.erols.com/srweiss/calcrgr.htm

http://users.erols.com/srweiss/transc.htm#tabtop

http://users.erols.com/srweiss/transc.htm#Auto

http://www.pipeflowcalculations.com/airflow/index.htm

http://victorylibrary.com/mopar/header-tech-c.htm

http://www.uucmotorwerks.com/html_pr...torquemyth.htm

http://tom.marshall.tripod.com/exhaust.html

http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~allan...a/effarea.html

http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~allan...ngth/pipe.html

http://www.pontiacracing.net/js_header_length1.htm

http://www.wallaceracing.com/runnertorquecalc.php

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question172.htm

http://www.auto-ware.com/software/eap/eap.htm

a few resources to allow you to calculate the ideal results


heres some differant calculators

http://www.kb-silvolite.com/calc.php?action=comp2

http://www.wallaceracing.com/dynamic-cr.php

http://www.smokemup.com/auto_math/compression_ratio.php

http://not2fast.wryday.com/turbo/com...pressure.shtml
average the results
 

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Don't forget a pair of overalls a bar of lava soap and lots of patience. Nice write up grumpyvette :thumbsup:
:agree: :agree: Nice write up Grumpy...Uhmmm now I need to go shopping...Anyone need overalls???? :laughing:
 

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Thats leaves me out:thud: Hammer and screw driver is all I have:surprised
 

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the tools of patience and common sence followed by Craftsman, Harbor Freight, etc
 

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When all you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail! :partyon:
I think the proper terminology is: When all you have is a Ford Tool, every problem is a nail!
;) ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ive got a portable radio in the shop but I rarely leave it on as the power tools, fans,and air tools make listening to it a bit difficult most of the time
 

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turn it up that way you wont be able to hear dinners ready dear or similar when you are in the middle of fixing something
 

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I find sometimes the most important tool is that second set of hands (preferrably connected to an attractive young lady (or guy if the lady is turning the wrenches ;) ))

....now how can i fit that lift in my garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If your starting out thinking you want to be a professional mechanic, you really need to get some schooling and certifications before anything else or your very unlikely to get hired,tool will be important but get the schooling, degrees first, if your just doing it as a hobby,thats a different ball game, in either case, a lot of guys will tell you MAC and SNAP-ON tools are the better choices but let me point out that , the whole idea behind being a mechanic is about a mix of KNOWLEDGE and SKILL used in diagnosing and knowing whats wrong from a few tests, one of the more common mistakes I see guys make is getting far in debt for an impressive tool box and some tools before they start making a reasonable profit.
my advise would be to keep a constant watch on craigs list and the local bargain trader magazines , and visit local pawn shops, for a complete tool set, or partial tool sets, from some retiring mechanic or mechanics widow that you can pick up for 40-60 cents OR LESS on the dollar
Ive seen several freinds buy complete filled snap-on or mac, tool chests at estate sales for $4000-$8000 that would very easily cost 4 times that amount if each item was purchased individually,
you can frequently pick up small handfuls of used major brand name life-time guarantee wrenches at yard sales and pawn shops for far less than list prices
kobalt,
stanley
SK
craftsman,
mac,
HUSKY
snap-on,
all make some decent tools
youll find most sets include a good deal of small tools that build up the component count making it appear that your getting a good value, but they are seldom used, youll want a good set of SAE & metric open end and box end wrenches
several 3/8" and 1/2" ans 1/4 ratchets with both deep and shallow sockets, for each size drive,(preferably in 6 point, in most cases)
an assortment of torqx bits and Allen keys and ignition wrenches and screw drivers,a decent torque wrench, and multi meter won,t hurt either, but only buy the small stuff and the larger tools as you need them

heres a really nice basic starter set
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00935309000P?prdNo=6&blockNo=6&blockType=G6

but ID bet most of us started off with a less expensive set like this
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00933200000P?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2

I know I did

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I find sometimes the most important tool is that second set of hands (preferrably connected to an attractive young lady (or guy if the lady is turning the wrenches ;) ))

....now how can i fit that lift in my garage.
I agree, nothin' like an extra pair of hands at times,

Now, having said that if the hands were to be attached to an attractive woman the most important tool would be mine.:laughing.
 
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