Author Topic: Tools... The ones you can't live without  (Read 20006 times)

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ethos42

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Tools... The ones you can't live without
« on: December 09, 2007, 12:02:23 am »
I've stated it before, and I'll state it again. I'm fairly new to wrenching, and I'm just getting my tool chest started. I have a pretty good collection of socket wrenches, basic multi-tip screwdriver, hammers, needle-nose pliers, vice grips, dremel, corded and cordless drills, compressor with VERY basic attachments, etc.

I see mention of people talking about measuring things to see if they are within tolerance, Grinding tabs off the frame, etc.

What kind of tools do you keep in your shop besides the basics? What would you suggest as high priority items you couldn't imagine not having when working on these old bike? I'm getting ready to do the full rebuild of the engine and would like to know what kind of tools I should expect to be using before I get too deep into it and have to stop to go buy a special tool to measure/remove/repair something.

EDIT: I modified the title a little bit, the direction of the thread changed to a more useful topic, tools other than the basic set that you have bought and found to be very usefull. Or tools you have created to help in your wrenching.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 03:31:23 pm by ethos42 »

Offline malcolmgb

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2007, 09:42:00 am »
Personally I would start your rebuild and buy the tool as the need arose, I know this isn't the answer you perhaps wanted, but you appear to have got all the essentials, although I notice you do not mention spanners (wrenches) and add an impact driver for any stubborn cross head screws.

These bikes are quite basic by today's standards and would have been repaired in their day by what you have.
Just my view but I am sure others will disagree.

I started 40 years ago and still cannot resist buying more  ;)
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Offline azuredesign

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2007, 10:17:08 am »


What kind of tools do you keep in your shop besides the basics? What would you suggest as high priority items you couldn't imagine not having when working on these old bike?

Probably the most important things for me to have when getting into disassembling and re-assembling bikes are adequate space and organized parts storage. Bins for keeping parts organized and a sharpy are good to keep around. A lot of paper towels, solvents, basic stuff although not really tools in the strict sense. The beauty of the sohc bikes is that they don't require many specialized tools. Basic tools will do the trick, especially for taking the bike apart. You probably will want some sort of torque wrench for reassembly. As has been suggested, you can get specific tools as you find you need 'em. 

One thing that I find satisfying is reassembling with clean and well polished parts. I enjoy using a bench grinder with various wheels to remove oxidation and clean parts up with. Mine has a slow setting of about 1750RPM and a fast setting of about twice that. It's strong enough so that I can push fairly hard against the wheel without stalling out the grinder's motor.

Good luck with your project, and I hope you have as much fun with it as I have.

ethos42

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2007, 11:14:48 am »
Bench Grinder. That's one I don't have
Bins for storage, another great idea!

I agree about the point of putting together nice clean and polished parts. It's also a great way of detecting later when you have a problem. If it was clean when you put it on, and a few tanks down the road it's covered in grime (other than the expected) it's time to look at what's going on there.

These are great suggestions and exactly what I'm looking for.

I think I need to pick up a Micrometer (sp?) and I'm going to try building a Manometer to sync the carbs.

jrtruckn

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2007, 11:21:14 am »
If you don't want to spend the money for storage bins I have found that plastic bags work well. They come in many sizes and they help keep dust or dirt from getting on parts that may have already been cleaned. Plus you can write on the bag. A friend of mine 2 years ago bought one of those bags you put under a real Christmas tree to help remove it from your house. He was able to place the bag over his whole bike everynight while he was tearing it apart and rebuilding it. Cost .97!

Offline malcolmgb

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2007, 11:32:47 am »
storage bins? - old food containers - cost , after eating food = free   ;D
Malcolm

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Offline steven400/4

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2007, 12:54:16 pm »
when i was 6 years old i was in my grandads shed and i looked up to the roof there was lots of jam jars with the lids screwed to it thay where full of nuts bolts washers when he needed one all he did was unscrew the jar simple but good and 35 years on it still works well
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Offline azuredesign

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2007, 06:32:11 pm »
I agree about the point of putting together nice clean and polished parts. It's also a great way of detecting later when you have a problem. If it was clean when you put it on, and a few tanks down the road it's covered in grime (other than the expected) it's time to look at what's going on there.

I think I need to pick up a Micrometer (sp?) and I'm going to try building a Manometer to sync the carbs.

That's a good point as well. It's much easier to see where leaks etc are coming from. I bought a carb sync tool and made a gas delivery stand from an old microphone stand and a plastic bottle with some gas line. It's nice to have a a micrometer, but I personally haven't used one much at all.


Offline dustyc

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2007, 07:34:47 pm »
The Honda toolkit for your bike.  It has some specific tools you'll need.  I actually prefer them to my other tools for alot of work on the bike.

Timing light.  Feeler gauges.  Small wire brush. 

How much money are you allotting for tools?  Maybe we can help prioritize if we know how much you're wanting to spend.
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ethos42

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2007, 07:51:55 pm »
The Honda toolkit for your bike.  It has some specific tools you'll need.  I actually prefer them to my other tools for alot of work on the bike.

Timing light.  Feeler gauges.  Small wire brush. 

How much money are you allotting for tools?  Maybe we can help prioritize if we know how much you're wanting to spend.

Hmm, I have feeler gauges, bought a set when I did the valve adjustments on my 86 Rebel.

Wire brush, I picked up a small wooden/copper one that was near the welding tools. I think I read somewhere that copper is one of the softer metals so I could use it to scape off gunk/carbon without too much worry for scratching anything important.

As far as how much is being allotted. Well, within reason. I don't have a ton of extra cash, but I figure I could buy a tool or two every payday, or save up for a payday or two to pick up the more expensive ones.

I think I also read about the timing light using allegator clips on a light bulb and hooking it up to the points.


Offline dustyc

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2007, 02:27:58 am »
You can make a timing light for static timing with a 12 volt light bulb, wire and alligator clips.  A strobe timing light with inductive clamp like this one will let you time the engine while it's running with the ignition advanced.  http://www.amazon.com/Actron-CP7504-Inductive-Timing-Light/dp/B00020BM1Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1197281734&sr=1-1

A Rotozip with angle grinder attachment is a really useful tool.

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Offline azuredesign

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2007, 08:38:06 am »
A Rotozip with angle grinder attachment is a really useful tool.

A Rotozip is basically a Dremel tool? Good to have for small stuff, but the Dremel burns out after a bit if you use it for more than it was intended.
 I use an angle grinder fairly frequently when trying to fabricate things. Its good for cutting off and smoothing unwanted frame parts etc., but I haven't used it for that.

I would suggest purchasing an electronic ignition rather than maintaining points. It's $120. for a Dyna S, but it pays for itself as soon as you don't have to mess with your ignition system. I'd also suggest getting a timing light used, as there aren't too many folks who still need 'em. If you're going to use the Dyna, borrow one to set it up, you won't need it much after that.

Offline JMURACN

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2007, 08:52:20 am »
I by no means have a "complete" tool box... I'm fortunate to be friends with guys that have a fair amount of tools ( .RJ).... here is some of the stuff i have in the garage.

-Bench (solid oak... found on CL for $200, made by an OLD school carpenter)
-Scroll Saw (bench top)... sears.com clearance
-Drill Press (bench top, with lazers!) sears.com clearance
-Bench mount grinder... sears.com clearance
-Dremel (with lots of cutting wheels and grinding bits)... black friday sale at Home Depot years ago
-Hand held, plug in, Grinder with 4.5 inch wheel ... harbor freight!
-Corded 3/8 Drill... it will save your life.... sears.com clearance

My tool chest is just your average sears/craftsman set up.  Just dont buy a lower section that has a big storage compartment... I find those useless.  Its better to spring for the 7 drawer lower instead of the 3-5 drawer lower IMO.

My tool set started life as a cheap Husky set i bought from home depot ... because they were closer than driving to sears.  So i have the basic 120 peice set or so.  I've bought some things to add to the set... allen T handles (HF), different sized extensions, a spare 3/8 and 1/4 ratchet, 1/2 ratchet, two torque wrenches (thank God for christmas), swivel sockets (10mm and 12mm are the ones that are used the most), a couple of breaker bars, .... traditional stuff like a hammer, mini sledge, screw driver sets (i freak out of people are trying to remove a #2 philips with a #1 philips driver), i used to do sheet metal work so i have a hammer specifically for that, tongs, caplipers, lineman pliers, etc.....

The rule with my parents and brother for christmas.... any tool i'll be happy with, even if i have one already, i'm sure i could use two.  I also shop on motionpro.com for their clearance tools... always look out for a good deal.  I have motion pro stem removal tools, ratcheting wrenches, some T handle stuff, and tire spoons.  Even at HF, as long as it doesnt have moving parts, its probably going to be worth buying.  

Every now and then, especially since we deal with older bikes... its good to ask for or save up for the stripped nut tools and screw tools....
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 08:56:25 am by JMURACN »

ethos42

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2007, 09:28:26 am »
I by no means have a "complete" tool box... I'm fortunate to be friends with guys that have a fair amount of tools ( .RJ).... here is some of the stuff i have in the garage.

-Bench (solid oak... found on CL for $200, made by an OLD school carpenter)
-Scroll Saw (bench top)... sears.com clearance
-Drill Press (bench top, with lazers!) sears.com clearance
-Bench mount grinder... sears.com clearance
-Dremel (with lots of cutting wheels and grinding bits)... black friday sale at Home Depot years ago
-Hand held, plug in, Grinder with 4.5 inch wheel ... harbor freight!
-Corded 3/8 Drill... it will save your life.... sears.com clearance

My tool chest is just your average sears/craftsman set up.  Just dont buy a lower section that has a big storage compartment... I find those useless.  Its better to spring for the 7 drawer lower instead of the 3-5 drawer lower IMO.

My tool set started life as a cheap Husky set i bought from home depot ... because they were closer than driving to sears.  So i have the basic 120 peice set or so.  I've bought some things to add to the set... allen T handles (HF), different sized extensions, a spare 3/8 and 1/4 ratchet, 1/2 ratchet, two torque wrenches (thank God for christmas), swivel sockets (10mm and 12mm are the ones that are used the most), a couple of breaker bars, .... traditional stuff like a hammer, mini sledge, screw driver sets (i freak out of people are trying to remove a #2 philips with a #1 philips driver), i used to do sheet metal work so i have a hammer specifically for that, tongs, caplipers, lineman pliers, etc.....

The rule with my parents and brother for christmas.... any tool i'll be happy with, even if i have one already, i'm sure i could use two.  I also shop on motionpro.com for their clearance tools... always look out for a good deal.  I have motion pro stem removal tools, ratcheting wrenches, some T handle stuff, and tire spoons.  Even at HF, as long as it doesnt have moving parts, its probably going to be worth buying.  

Every now and then, especially since we deal with older bikes... its good to ask for or save up for the stripped nut tools and screw tools....

Great post!

There's a few more things here that are on my christmas list (Drill Press, Bench Grinder, Hand Grinder, Mill, Lathe, etc)

I've been eyeing a Tap and Die set at autozone for awhile now. It's not the greatest, but it should get me by.

I ask everyone to buy me tools every holiday/birthday... but for some reason they think I need clothes, or nic-naks more than anything else.

Offline JMURACN

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2007, 10:01:20 am »
Generally I keep several oil filters and spark plug sets in the garage as well.  the FZR likes to eat spark plugs, so i now keep two sets of new plugs for it around.  There is the oil, PB blaster, stuff like that.  I buy the blue shop towels from walmart, in the roll... they are like 88 cents a roll, cheapest i've been able to find it anywhere. 

Every now and then when i have an extra $20-30 burning a hole in my pocket, I go to the Harbor Freight site and pick up cheap consumables... sanding pad packs, sand paper, brushes, stuff like that. 

When you think you have it all... you'll find some other tool to buy.  Just trust me on that one!

Offline Fuzzball

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2007, 11:26:15 am »
I picked up a vernier caliper because it was on sale when I was browsing at Harbor Freight. Didn't really know if I'd use it much, but I find it's my most versatile measuring tool. Does inside & outside diameters from miniscule up to about 6 inches. Has a LCD readout in your choice of SAE or metric, or if you prefer classic methods to match your bike and have better eyesight than me, you can read the stick.
Good for both quick rough measurements or fairly critical accuracy. I'd never want to do without it in my toolbox again.

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Offline azuredesign

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2007, 01:58:44 pm »
One tool I did pick up the year from Harbor freight is a oil extractor,  ITEM 45403-3VGA. It's great for oil changes as it sucks the oil out of the oil tank quickly with no mess. I purchased it for my car, but love to use it for the bikes.

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Re: Tools... The ones you can't live without
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2007, 04:20:11 pm »
DONT buy a combination mill/drill/lathe combo. the price is right but even the "good" ones are seriously lacking. if you want a lathe and mill then save your money and buy a good brand, preferable american made as the castings on the chinese/japanese ones are pretty poor.

Offline dustyc

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Re: Tools... The ones you can't live without
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2007, 04:58:50 pm »
The Rotozip I have is 5 amp and you can use a 1/4" collet.  Then you can adapt an angle grinder head to it using 3 1/2" cutoff wheels.  If you like a Dremel, you'll love this. 

It came as a kit like this one, except that it is 5 Amp:
http://www.amazon.com/Rotozip-101225-Revolution-Spiral-Saw/dp/B00005A1JD

Also a propane torch is excellent for unfreezing rusted nuts and bolts.

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Offline azuredesign

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Re: Tools... The ones you can't live without
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2007, 03:03:53 am »
Thanks on the Rotozip info!

Offline JMURACN

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Re: Tools... The ones you can't live without
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2007, 11:51:12 am »
my favorite tool is the 3/8 adjustable T handle by snap on... its a $50 tool, but it turns all your sockets into T handle tools. 

Offline OldSchool_IsCool

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Re: Tools... The ones you can't live without
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2007, 08:32:12 pm »
I know feeler gauges were mentioned, but I'm not sure if it was clear that you need two types.  First, the standard every day gauges, angled or not, to adjust your points gap.  The second, specific for valve adjustment.  I got mine here

http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/tools/tappet_feeler_gauges/

For dressing the points faces, I use a metal fingernail file.  I snap off the last half inch for fresh abrasive!  I looked for a points file at the local auto supplier and was met with a blank stare.  Don't use the paper emery boards as the abrasive on those can embed in the points face and actually promote pitting.

A word about sockets and box end wrenches.  Look for 6-point tools as they are less likely to round the soft metal of some bolts and nuts like 12-points will.

Also, many of the cross-head screws are JIS heads (Japanese Industrial Standard).  If you can find JIS drivers, you may save some of the tougher to extract screws.  You can avoid the issue if you change your cross headed screws with an allen head screw set.  I plan to do that when I rebuild the top half of my engine this winter. 

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Offline rbmgf7

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Re: Tools... The ones you can't live without
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2007, 10:05:06 am »
harbor freight is good for those odd-end kinda stuff. but i'd never get mechanic tools from them. i picked up a 6" jaw puller and it deformed after a few turns.

picked up a 3gal parts washer for $50. still going strong after cleaning 2 bike engines. picked up an assorted cleaning brush set for just a couple bucks. if the china motor ever burns up in the pump, a new one can be purchased from norther tool (probably another china motor, lol).

not tools but assorted nitrile metric o-rings, copper washers, circlip, cotter pin sets for dirt cheap at harbor. used it all on rebuilds.

autozone has circlip pliers for $6. can change the noses on them to various angles. a must have for removing those circlips. beats the heck outta using a screwdriver.

my favorite tool is the breaker bar. helps get leverage on those stubborn nuts and bolts.

if you intend on removing the engine covers, most likely the screws are corroded to the case. you can either drill the heads off, pull the cover, and use vise-grips to remove them or do it the painstaking way of drilling the head for an easy-out (i like the set lowes carries), hammer the easy-out into the head, and use a tap handle to remove the screw. fun, fun.

it isn't necessary to buy brand new tools from sears, wally world, etc. look in the local classified ads for auctions. i went to an auction (same auction i got my first motorcycle/project!) that was a pawn shop closing down. my buddy literally picked up an entire sae/metric wrench set, sae/metric sockets, socket wrenches, and tool box for about $50. all craftsman and snap-on brands too! i got a 150# torque wrench for $20. there were many more mechanics tools there, all name brand of various uses. goes to say you can go from nothing to a pretty good mechanics set for just a couple hundred.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 10:07:15 am by gearbot »

Offline ofreen

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Re: Tools...
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2007, 08:43:28 am »

I've been eyeing a Tap and Die set at autozone for awhile now. It's not the greatest, but it should get me by.


I'd suggest avoiding that set.  It is garbage.   
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Offline 754

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Re: Tools... The ones you can't live without
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2007, 12:22:31 pm »
Buy a real good Allen driver for 3/8 drive that fits the engine allen bolt kits.. 5 mm I think.. a lifesaver
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