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Old 08-19-2019, 01:01 AM   #1
JFS
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Location: Silicon Valley
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2008 Astra XR
Default What Cool Tools Are In Your Car/Tool Box?

I buy tools because I cannot/will not pay crazy fees for labor.

.....for a $4500 car, at least on paper, worth much more to me because of no car payment and cheap insurance.

I have done about $1350 worth of labor on car projects since April, and have another $900-1100 to save in labor charges if I perform my own timing belt replacement. Labor charges at independent garages in Northern California range from $110-180 per hour. There are also some mechanics that will travel to your home with a van full of tools and they range from $65-85 per hour.

When I cannot do a repair myself, the repair shop I like has let me know that they will honor fees determined by https://repairpal.com/. They are also friendly to my bringing parts to them, but I know I cannot mess up and bring the wrong items.

I owe a posting for the suspension replacement I did over three weeks in July, but thought I'd start here by mentioning some tools I picked up that became indispensable for this and other projects. I have reviewed the previous threads on timing belt replacement, but would welcome any suggestions on what you think is the best kit or method to keep from causing interference/bent valves.

Brands and Marks

Up until recently, I have been a tool snob. When I was stationed in Germany, I was able to get my hands on some beautiful and inexpensive Solingen steel tools. As I have needed additional things over the years, I have tended to buy high quality used tools at swap meets or on Craigslist. I had not been successful finding things I needed like this for at least five years. There have not been enough examples to consider and they were often too far away to make the drive. Amazon and Harbor Freight (HF) have come to my rescue.

Not everything from HF is terrible stuff from mainland China. A lot of it is pretty good stuff from out capitalist brethren in Taiwan. After the Canadians here, my favorite is a crazed Quebecois who slices and dices tools from all over the world in his madcap review style. He refers to HF as "Harbor Fraught" "Had-a Fake" and other names. Keep the women and kids on the other side of the house when indulging in his rants. Have a look: https://www.youtube.com/user/arduinoversusevil/videos

HF Torch or Flashlight

This Bauer flashlight might be the best $40 I have ever spent. If you get on the HF e-mail promotion list, you will find they offer this thing 3-4 times a year for $25. I have two because I can no longer think about the one going down and working on my car without one.

Picture One


Picture Two


HF Earthquake XT 1/2" Air Impact Wrench


See the review of this item and see why this guy is my favorite foul-mouthed (in 2-3 languages, no less) SOB in the world. Of course I'd prefer Ingersoll-Rand.MAC, or Snap-On, but this is a device I will only need 2-3 times a year. While supercritical and I like his style, others have convinced me this item is fine for a hobbyist. Taiwanese made. Mine has an appointment with a crankcase bolt next month.

EQ XT With Shroud


EQ XT Without Shroud


Tekton Drive Set

I have always had a ratchet set in my car. This Taiwanese set is new and the lightest by far, especially if I take out the SAE sockets.

Tekton 1


Tekton 2


Unless somebody begs me not to, I'll stop back and present some Astra specific items.

What's in your car/tool box?

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Old 08-25-2019, 08:37 PM   #2
Astra08
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: What Cool Tools Are In Your Car/Tool Box?

I own 8 vehicles and 3 motorcycles, so anything I can do (properly) I'll do. This has given me an excuse to stock on some nice tools, including a dual stage compressor, three tool boxes, and more ratchets, sockets, etc. than I can count.

I have one tool which I've owned since HS. It's used for changing the 'old school' shocks which have the small oblong shaped shaft on top. I've used it maybe a half dozen times in the past 30+ years, but I'm always glad I've have it. Having the right tools makes the difference.

And that guy is hilarious.

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Old 08-25-2019, 09:32 PM   #3
focusofheart
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1998 SL2
Default Re: What Cool Tools Are In Your Car/Tool Box?

I failed to stuff my mechanic into the trunk so I opted for a good variety of general tools for my car plus a few others for peace of mind.

I keep a large organizer with:
Tool Box, Spare hoses, extra fluids, oil, distilled water, silicon rubber self fusing tape (love it),
Portable 12V DC Electric Pump
Portable Jumper/Charger to charge phone and start car
Wooden Baseball Bat
C.Crane Radio

Years ago my mother had me add a backpack with copies of insurance, AAA card, blanket, snack foods, alkaline water, personal supplies, a really good first aid kit, clothes, shoes, personal documentation.

All items are checked/changed every 3 months to make sure they are in order.

Too Anal? or are there additional suggestion?

...
1998 SL2

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Old 08-29-2019, 10:57 AM   #4
PaulR
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Default Re: What Cool Tools Are In Your Car/Tool Box?

Quote:
Originally Posted by focusofheart View Post
I failed to stuff my mechanic into the trunk so I opted for a good variety of general tools for my car plus a few others for peace of mind.

I keep a large organizer with:
Tool Box, Spare hoses, extra fluids, oil, distilled water, silicon rubber self fusing tape (love it),
Portable 12V DC Electric Pump
Portable Jumper/Charger to charge phone and start car
Wooden Baseball Bat
C.Crane Radio

Years ago my mother had me add a backpack with copies of insurance, AAA card, blanket, snack foods, alkaline water, personal supplies, a really good first aid kit, clothes, shoes, personal documentation.

All items are checked/changed every 3 months to make sure they are in order.

Too Anal? or are there additional suggestion?
Ha. Much like yourself I keep a vintage Wade Boggs T-ball bat on the floor between the front passenger seat and door sill. Oh... and a few other tools/supplies bungied through the tie down loops in the back.

...
PaulR

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2008 XE5 CEL Special Edition, 5 speed, heated seats, panoramic moonroof

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