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Chevrolet Repair/Automotive Special Tools

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Question
QUESTION: Hey Tom,

I mainly stick with the big-3 US manufactures, Chevy, Ford, and Dodge when working with cars.

I've been looking in (Matco, Snap On) catalogs on mechanic's special tools. For instance, the special tools for working on (brakes, changing oil, ignition, spark plugs, carburetor, inside engine, piston, valve, cam shaft, transmission, drive shaft, differential, etc.), and also under-car (suspension, wheels, tie-rods, etc.).

Which 'special tools' should an 'Individual' mechanic have in his/her toolbox? For the particular areas?

Please, break down by category like what is in a Matco or Snap-On catalog.

Thank You Much,
Greg

ANSWER: HI GREGORY,,THIS IS A [VERY INDEPTH QUESTION,] THIS WOULD TAKE ME 3 MONTHS OF SUNDAYS TO ANSWER COMPLETELY.  I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR WELL OVER 35 YEARS AND I FIND MYSELF STILL BUYING TOOLS..
MAC,MATCO AND SNAP-ON ALL GOOD TOOLS..SNAP ON FOR WRENCHES AND SOCKETS THEY HAVE WHAT THEY CALL FLANK DRIVE WHICH REALLY LOCKS ON THE BOLTS THAT YOU ARE REMOVING..THIS IS MY CHOICE FOR HAND WRENCHES..IF YOU ARE STARTING OUT I WOULD SUGGEST GETTING ALL KINDS OF HAND TOOLS FIRST..THIS IS THE FIRST STEP. AS FAR AS WHICH TOOL COMPANY GET A LIST TOGETHER AND GIVE THEM TO EACH TOOL GUY IN YOUR AREA AND WHO EVER HAS THE BEST PRICE,GO WITH THAT. YOU CANT GO WRONG WITH THESE COMPANIES. ALL LIFETIME WARRANTY..ONCE YOU HAVE ALL OF YOUR HAND TOOLS START BRANCHING OUT FROM THERE SUCH AS A MUTI-METER,SCAN TOOL,BATTERY TESTER,PICKLE FORK FOR FRONT END WORK,DIAL INDICATOR,TORQUE WRENCH, THIS SHOULD GET YOU GOING.. EVERY MECHANIC BRANCHES INTO THERE OWN SPECIALTY,AT THAT POINT YOU WILL KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND OR NEED TO TAKE YOU FURTHER IN THIS CAREER...I HOPE THIS GETS YOU STARTED AND BY ALL MEANS IF YOU NEED MORE INFO OR YOU FEEL I DID NOT GIVE YOU THE ANSWER YOU WERE LOOKING FOR, BY ALL MEANS GET BACK TO ME..I WILL HELP YOU AS MUCH AS I CAN...GOOD LUCK TO YOU,,,TOM

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: For which special tools does a mechanic need in the particular area of work, I was mainly going for something like this, for example:

Brakes - spring pliers 131a, adjuster B1461, brake Bleeder wrench 1463A, 1/4" driver TM48, and spring cap G6118A.

I know that anyone cannot have every single tool.  I mainly look at the minimum, most-used special tools per particular area like above example(brakes, changing oil, ignition, spark plugs, carburetor, inside engine, piston, valve, cam shaft, transmission, drive shaft, differential, etc.), and also under-car (suspension, wheels, tie-rods, etc.).

And, I've been looking at Armstrong Tools, they are the industrial version of Matco tools and both made by Apex Tool Group.  What do you think about Armstrong Tools?

Thank YOu,
Greg

Answer
HI GREG,I HAVE NEVER USED THIS TYPE OF TOOL [ARMSTRONG] BUT I DO KNOW OF A FEW MECHANICS THAT DO USE THEM AND THEY SEEM TO DO THE JOB WELL..THESE NUMBERS YOU GAVE TO ME REFER TO THE KIND OF TOOL IT IS..EACH TOOL CO WILL BE DIFFERENT. WHAT I WOULD DO IF I WERE YOU TO MAKE THIS REAL EASY IS GO TO A SHOP IN YOUR AREA AND ASK THE MECHANICS THERE WHEN THEY DO A BRAKE JOB OR TUNE UP OR REAR DIFF SERVICE ETC WHAT STYLE TOOL THEY NEED..THIS WAY YOU CAN SEE FOR YOURSELF WHICH TOOL IS USED THE MOST FOR A PARTICULAR JOB. I WOULD ALSO TAKE A PHOTO OF EACH TOOL THAT YOU SEE THAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU AND THEN YOU CAN MATCH THEM UP IN YOUR TOOL CATALOG..I DO NOT THINK A SHOP OR MECHANIC WOULD MIND HELPING YOU OUT WITH THIS AS LONG AS YOU GIVE THEM A HEADS UP..IF YOU WERE CLOSE BY, I WOULD BE MORE THEN HAPPY TO SHOW YOU WHAT TOOL IS BEST FOR EACH JOB. AGAIN, HAND TOOLS FOR SURE TO START OUT WITH..THIS WILL COVER MANY MANY JOBS..BRAKES YOU WILL NEED SOME SPECIAL TOOLS,RETURN SPRING PLIERS ETC.BUT NOT A LOT...LET ME KNOW HOW THIS GOES...TOM..

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TOM SHEETS

Expertise

PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS BEFORE ASKING ANY QUESTIONS. IF THIS CHEVY SECTION IS MAXED OUT.YOU CAN REACH ME IN THE OLDS/BUICK SECTION. Will answer questions from 6:00am to 10:00pm all days [EST][[[ NO DIESEL OR PAINT QUESTIONS]]] will answer all 1965 to present QUESTIONS ON ALL GM'S on mechanics of these cars. Keep in mind i am not there in person i am going on what you are telling me !! PLEASE IF ASKING A QUESTION GIVE ME AS MUCH INFO AS POSSIBLE. THE MORE THE BETTER. SUCH AS YEAR,MAKE,MODEL,ENGINE SIZE. THIS WILL HELP ME HELP YOU. I will not be able to answer all questions because of some situations that i would really need to be there and see things for myself,such as electrical issues. In many cases i would need wiring diagrams. I can also give you an estimate on what the cost would be at our repair shop as an idea to help you. Keep in mind that my answer is ONLY MY ADVICE,ck with your mechanic as well.. >> THANK YOU, TOM..

Experience

I have been a ASE certified master mechanic for over 30 years and certified IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES,[engine repair,engine performance,auto trans,manual trans,clutches,steering and suspension,brakes,electrical systems,heating and air/cond. I am also a state CERTIFIED inspector for over 30 years. I do computer work [pcm]fault codes,pcm flashing,state inspection monitor readiness,repairs on exhaust,fuel service,[injection and carburetor,] charging system problems, running issues,alignments,frame problems,tire balance,struts and of course standard and anti-lock brakes.

Organizations
nys state auto repair industry and ase group.

Publications
N/A

Education/Credentials
high school,4 years of tech school,and many many hours of auto training with many gm classes and aftermarket training classes..

Awards and Honors
ASE MASTER TECH CERTIFIED IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES.NYS INSP LICENSE AND A/C CERTIFIED

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MANY CUSTOMERS IN OUR BUSY SHOP.

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