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Old Nov 24th, 2021, 19:50   #1
kiloran
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I'm in the market for the following items as I plan to do more of my own work on my 940 in the new year. Looking for recommendations for the following:
  • Torque wrench suitable for automotive use capable of doing big torque items like hubs and suspension/steering fasteners
  • Breaker bar
  • Axle stands
  • Socket set

Not looking at Snap-on level professional stuff but do want to take a "buy once" approach on quality vs price. I've got a very basic cheap Halfords socket set which is utter bobbins, appalling tolerances and incapable of taking or dishing out big torque.
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Old Nov 24th, 2021, 20:04   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiloran View Post
I'm in the market for the following items as I plan to do more of my own work on my 940 in the new year. Looking for recommendations for the following:
  • Torque wrench suitable for automotive use capable of doing big torque items like hubs and suspension/steering fasteners
  • Breaker bar
  • Axle stands
  • Socket set

Not looking at Snap-on level professional stuff but do want to take a "buy once" approach on quality vs price. I've got a very basic cheap Halfords socket set which is utter bobbins, appalling tolerances and incapable of taking or dishing out big torque.

Good second hand can often beat cheap new , in my experience!😀👍
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Old Nov 24th, 2021, 20:36   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiloran View Post
I'm in the market for the following items as I plan to do more of my own work on my 940 in the new year. Looking for recommendations for the following:
  • Torque wrench suitable for automotive use capable of doing big torque items like hubs and suspension/steering fasteners
  • Breaker bar
  • Axle stands
  • Socket set

Not looking at Snap-on level professional stuff but do want to take a "buy once" approach on quality vs price. I've got a very basic cheap Halfords socket set which is utter bobbins, appalling tolerances and incapable of taking or dishing out big torque.

Funnily enough the Halfords Advanced pro torque wrench ( 40 -200 NM )received excellent reviews. I bought one and it's been very good. Around 100

I have 2 sets of axle stands but the ones I've found to be good are the Faithfull 3 tonne https://www.amazon.co.uk/Faithfull-3.../dp/B007P0YC7U

Best thing you can ever buy for working on old cars is a good cordless impact wrench but your talking close to 300 for a good one ( DeWalt / Milwaukee )

Other than that just buy the best you can. Snap on are fantastic and I have the brake wrenches but they are 40 each

I now service all the family cars which is currently 7 so compared to garage bills it's a no brainer !
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Old Nov 24th, 2021, 20:51   #4
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Halfords Professional take some beating on price and quality, they also take a beating in the garage.
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Old Nov 24th, 2021, 21:00   #5
kiloran
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Ah, good point on impact wrenches. My hands and wrists are @$^$&ed from 35 years of keyboard work and I get burning/tingling after only a few minutes of heavy wrench work.
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Old Nov 24th, 2021, 23:09   #6
stephend
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Most of my sockets are Halfords Advanced, and I've always found them fine (the oldest set is about 30 years old). The only caveat is that the wrenches have quite a coarse ratchet, which is frustrating sometimes.

I've got a new set of Halfords axle stands, the 3 tonne per pair orange ones, and they've been holding up my 740 a treat.

I bought a Clarke torque wrench recently, and was very disappointed. All of the scales are in really obscure units, the conversion chart is in different units again (!), the scale's too small to read, and the tool is too short to apply the torque values it's rated to (ok, maybe I should get down the gym more!).
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Old Nov 24th, 2021, 23:11   #7
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ps sorry to hear about your hand/wrist problems, kiloran. If you're having problems like that, you might want to be wary of vibrating tools like impact wrenches.

I've had to give up using a strimmer: if I use one for any length of time, I lose feeling and control in my hands for an hour or two afterwards. I'm trying to limit angle grinder use for similar reasons.
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Old Nov 24th, 2021, 23:26   #8
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Tools.... a topic very close to my heart.

My main socket set (1/2") is a Draper one which I bought new from Halfords in 1985 when I was starting training to be a mechanic. I still have it and use it mostly, though the 10mm, 13mm and 19mm sockets have been replaced as they wore/broke. I bought it at the time as it came in a metal case - I was sick of plastic cases breaking and the hinges snapping off.

It's not this one but same vintage and very similar (BTW this one is worth EVERY penny and would be a good start).

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/185181254...Condition=3000

I also have a Halfords Advanced set for mobile use, which is superb quality, a lot of trainee mechanics get the Halfords stuff. Downside is you get very few extensions so you need to buy some of those as well - plus sets for big hex and torx etc, and a set of fixed ring spanners.

Battery impact gun is definitely worth it - especially if you have hand injuries - saves lots of undoing. The Bosch 18v ones are excellent as well as DeWalt/Milwaukee.

Machine Mart good for axle stands.
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Old Nov 25th, 2021, 01:19   #9
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Another vote for the higher end stuff from Halfords. I've found it to be very good quality and their guarantee is very good too. For stuff you're going to be using regularly buy the best quality you can almost afford. When you look back it will seem remarkably cheap.

Good tools are a joy to use and bad ones will make your life a misery.

I too have a Draper socket set bought in 1984 for 17 which has been excellent apart from the ratchet drive which wasn't quite up to the abuse that got thrown at it when I knew no better.

I'd intended to get an Elu socket set and went in to a well regarded tool shop to buy it. The chap behind the counter asked me what I wanted it for and I explained what it was likely to be used for. "There's no need to spend that sort of money unless you're using it all day and every day. This Draper set will do everything you need and more at half the price" over 35 years later I can confirm he was right. I lost one socket and broke another one as a result of extreme overload but otherwise it still serves me well.

As regards torque wrenches I have an old Norbar wrench bought from Argos in 1985 that covers 15 to 150 Nm and has absorbed everything I've thrown at it. I also have a much newer Norbar wrench covering the 8 -50 Nm range which is a lovely bit of kit. About 70 four years ago. Highly recommended.

To date I've managed without an impact wrench but I can certainly see its value and will probably end up getting one soon.

I've been fortunate enough to borrow a good quality set of axle stands and a reasonable jack from my neighbour. Each time I try to return them he claims he's a bit short on space in his garage and would I mind hanging on to them a bit longer. I'm not going to argue! Again get the best you can. When a ton or so of car descends on you unexpectely you don't get long to reflect on the wisdom of buying cheap. The same goes for things like spring compressors too.

A good breaker bar is well worth having. Apart from undoing tight nuts it's incredibly useful for angle tightening because of the control it affords. There's not a lot to go wrong with them so anything from a reputable manufacturer should be fine. Let price be your guide.

Don't discount good second-hand tools; there are bargains to be had if you choose carefully.

Hope this is of some help and interest.

Martin
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Old Nov 25th, 2021, 13:48   #10
Tannaton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Cox View Post

I too have a Draper socket set bought in 1984 for 17 which has been excellent apart from the ratchet drive which wasn't quite up to the abuse that got thrown at it when I knew no better.

Don't discount good second-hand tools; there are bargains to be had if you choose carefully.
Oh yeah - the ratchet drive on my Draper gave up in year 2 or 3, I've replaced that several times but now use a Britool one that I've had for about 20 years.

Agree on second hand tools - I'd rather have a second hand Halfords/Draper socket set than a new Silverline whatever....
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