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Essential Tools For the Home Wrencher ?

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Essential Tools For the Home Wrencher ?

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Old 04-07-2018, 09:25 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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Essential Tools For the Home Wrencher ?

It's now come time that I need to start gathering any "special" tools that'll be required with keeping this thing up.

Out of personal preference I aim on getting a Mityvac 7400 for oil changes to make life easier,
to those who use extractors, is there a better brand to get?

So far as "special" tools,
know I need:
-----------------
belt tensioner tool
s/c pulley puller
36mm oil filter housing socket
Mini specific crank pulley puller or is generic okay?
crank pulley installer - wise to buy or unnecessary?

will I need this in the future?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Laser-3940-...4383.l4275.c10

Anything to add?

I like easy solution alternatives also, so links to posts which list good ideas are most welcome here,
like this:
21 5 030 - slave cyl. compressor
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ml#post3875296

Sometimes alternative tools work fine, but sometimes not and they're more trouble than they're worth --- if it's a cheap (like $20) I'd rather go ahead and buy the proper tool to make life much easier as opposed to fiddling with possible damage and other headaches,
as seen here:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ml#post4271850

Clue me in and let me know what the essentials are please. Personal preferences and opinion on the topic is very much welcome as well.

Also,
I like seeing pictures of well-worn/favorite tools,
so to add a little spice to this thread here's a few pictures ---
I'd love to see yours too so please share!
















Heirloom tools are especially treasured, the old Craftsman ratchet above was my fathers.

Found an old torn ripped pic of an old Saab I used to have in the bottom of a toolbox,
took right after I had just got a new set of Panasports from Paul Spruell Alfa,
and including pic of early style OE Saab oil filter just because I like how it came out...






PS
I plan on replacing many of the crimp connectors as I come across them if it'll seem to work better, I have a good pile of quality old Saab hose clamps, but if anyone knows a source for brand new good high quality hose clamps, I'd love to get hip to it, thanks.
 

Last edited by Oldboy Speedwell; 04-07-2018 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:27 AM
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A scan too like this BMW/MINI specific tool would be helpful. They seem to go on sale a couple of times a year. https://www.ecstuning.com/b-schwaben...020sch01a~scf/

Also, checking to see if Mod MINI has posted a how to video with some great info and tips before you start your project. Here’s his S/C pulley video.


A rear brake caliper tool will be needed in the future. The one you listed is expensive as you can get cheap kits for about the same price, or less. Depending on the quality of the eBay tool it might be worth it, especially if you don’t need a complete kit for other cars.
 
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:54 AM
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One of my favorite specialty tools:

http://www.jegs.com/i/Sunex/344/3720...waAnJ2EALw_wcB

(The Jegs isn't special, I just used it as a reference)

And the brake caliper kit form Harbor Freight works just fine.
 
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:14 PM
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My god, where did you get that Craftsman ratchet? I have gone through at least two 3/8 drives or theirs.

I have a good Autozone nearby where you can rent with only a deposit allot of good tools including the crank pulley puller. I made my own belt tensioner tool as well as modified a wood clamp so that I could work on the rear brakes. Some other good things to have are a long 8mm socket, along with normal length 21 and 22mm sockets.
 
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:21 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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Thanks for weighing in guys!



Originally Posted by RB-MINI View Post
A scan too like this BMW/MINI specific tool would be helpful. They seem to go on sale a couple of times a year. https://www.ecstuning.com/b-schwaben...020sch01a~scf/

Also, checking to see if Mod MINI has posted a how to video with some great info and tips before you start your project. Here’s his S/C pulley video.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=UUidMrO_BbCrugARNdm4PFzA&v=KpQuHeJLFHk

A rear brake caliper tool will be needed in the future. The one you listed is expensive as you can get cheap kits for about the same price, or less. Depending on the quality of the eBay tool it might be worth it, especially if you don’t need a complete kit for other cars.
The previous owner gave me an iCarsoft i1910 --- is that a decent scanner?
In fact, I'm just about to try and use it for the first time because last night I got a SES light and need to figure out why.

Mod MINI is great and I'll be watching all his videos, all of which are very well done and it's a valuable resource to have.

Note taken on rear brake tool, thanks.

Originally Posted by BlwnAway View Post
Cool!
That's exactly what I was hoping for in this thread!
Those hose clamp pliers with the remote cable for hard-to-access areas look dandy to have and they weren't on my radar,
I'll pick one up!

Note taken on the rear brake tool.

Originally Posted by Whine not Walnuts View Post
My god, where did you get that Craftsman ratchet? I have gone through at least two 3/8 drives or theirs.

I have a good Autozone nearby where you can rent with only a deposit allot of good tools including the crank pulley puller. I made my own belt tensioner tool as well as modified a wood clamp so that I could work on the rear brakes. Some other good things to have are a long 8mm socket, along with normal length 21 and 22mm sockets.
It was my dad's, so it's an heirloom and I don't use it, but yeah they made 'em much better back in the day --- yesterday I went to Sears just to browse their tools and see what they had instead of buying yet again online, and man was it a sad disappointment as they hardly had any stock and it was quite barren, the only thing I found was a cool pry bar but didn't even buy it, the whole experience made me kind of sad. I've always liked Craftsman tools.

Good idea about the rental approach, a money-saver in the end because really how often am I going to do that certain job.

Many thanks about the heads-up on a long 8mm socket, exactly the sort of info I was looking for!
I already have the 21/22mm and most normal stuff...

...I just wanted to get a headstart on all of this and be well-prepared because it's always a drag when you're elbow-deep into something and realize that you need a specific tool that you don't have and have to pause to go buy one and then the store you go to doesn't have one , then you drive to the next store and they don't have one either, and then you get mad and cuss excessively and bang your head on the wall because that little "pause" has just ate up an hour or two and now it's getting dark...LOL
 
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:26 PM
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Success with using the scan tool --- to be honest, it's all the dingdong lights and electronic nannery which had me most concerned and intimidated with these cars, too much digital stuff to go wrong and it ain't exactly in my wheelhouse so I am a little out of my comfort zone.

Pulled up code 0341 which is camshaft sensor,
will wait further to see if it reactivates --- I was happy that I succeeded in erasing the code for the time being, but if it does return, is it solid proof that indeed I need a new sensor and if replaced will do the trick?

Right,
off now to remove that infernal factory armrest!

All the hairy...
 

Last edited by Oldboy Speedwell; 04-08-2018 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:35 PM
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Did anyone mention an Impact Wrench?
 
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gumbedamit View Post
Did anyone mention an Impact Wrench?
That's always good too!

Wish I had a good air compressor so I could use pneumatic tools, but sadly I do not and get by with a cheap Harbor Freight electric impact whenever the big guns need to come out and it's saved my *** on more than one occasion --- very handy to have around.

 
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:41 PM
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1. A good floor jack and jack stands. I messed around with cheap floor jacks for years before getting a good aluminum one recently. Greater range, more steady. Also messed around with cinder blocks and wood blocks for years before getting a good quality set of jack stands. What a difference!

2. Ramps make oil changes a breeze. I picked up the Rhinogear ramps from Walmart last fall because jack and jack stands was enough work that I put off changing the oil. With Ramps it makes the job that much easier.

3. Caliper compression tool for the rear brakes - like others mentioned. These may be available on loan from AutoZone.

4. good set of metric socket and box wrenches. Harbor Freight seem to be good enough quality and reasonably priced. Use their coupons. Never buy anything there without a coupon- they always have 20 or 25% off coupons available online.

5. Torque wrenches. 3/8" and 1/2" - I like tightening things to their proper torque. Harbor Freight frequently has them on sale for something like $12 ea.

6. LED work light or two.
 
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:31 AM
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caliper compression twister thing for the rear brakes, you can get them from UK Ebay made to fit the r53, none of my US versions fit right
 
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:39 AM
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:23 AM
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For the home wrencher, I thing the can of beer pictured is the most important.
 
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:31 PM
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Just curious - what is the Thor hammer used for? Is it like a deadblow hammer?
 
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:06 PM
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Looks like it could have been for knockoff hubs.
 
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:54 AM
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On a kindle working out of town right now so my response is limited...

...love the Jeremy gif!
Top cool, I've never seen it before...thanks for posting it

Vette is correct...used for knockoff wheels originally. There was an English spares shop long ago close to home with much MG/Triumph stuff and I picked it up there....Never used it for knockoff wheels but over the years I've used it for knocking off lots of other stuff!
:D
 
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:12 AM
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The remote clamp tool is essential, much easier than futzing with the channel locks that mostly work, but slip often.

Sounds like you've got quite an arsenal already and with the mini specific tools you already listed, only thing I'd recommend is getting a cordless tool for the low torque fasteners.

Watching the Mod Mini videos, I homed in on the Craftsman 12volt Nextec impact driver. Nice size and plenty of power to loosen up to 13mm fasteners. Found one on clearance at a Sears outlet and couldn't be happier. You don't need one of these, but a cordless impact tool, helps speed up the smaller jobs.


Fun little tool
 
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:21 AM
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most used tool I have is a 1/4" drive cordless impact, I have a milwakee but if I were buying today the new harbor freight Hercules would be in my garage
 
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:54 AM
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a 1/4" impact gun is probably the tool I could use the most that I don't have.

I just added one to our wedding registry...
 
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:42 PM
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Socket Caps:

https://m.harborfreight.com/3-piece-...aps-67011.html

Super Cheap, and really handy for tight spaces. (Esp if you also have ratchet wrenches)
 
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Old 05-20-2018, 03:19 PM
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hose clamp pliers

Today I removed the SC to change oil. Boy, am I happy that I have these hose clamp pliers. You will always encounter very tight quarter working with modern cars, and the one with the cable sounds good on paper until you try to use one. 99/100 time there is simply no room.

These set is the one These set is the one
you want. With some hard to get to clamps even this set was challenged. With some struggle I managed to get all of them.


the one on the left is most useful; these set is like $12 shipped on Amazon


this clamp was buried 3 inches in the abyss from this position and is clocked to 2PM plus the tabs are designed to be very low profile
 

Last edited by pnwR53S; 05-20-2018 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by pnwR53S View Post
Today I removed the SC to change oil.
Looks like you have a crank sensor o-ring replacement in your future...

Just curious; How did your s/c oil look? I have that job in my future...
 
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:23 PM
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It has been done only a few thousand miles ago. Those are existing grease and road particles to keep the Mini engine warm. I didn't degrease the engine as the temperature was rather low. SC oil not too bad, the water pump side are a bit low as they tend to be.
 
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pnwR53S View Post
SC oil not too bad, the water pump side are a bit low as they tend to be.
Did you replace the green gasket? How long did the entire operation take? Any unexpected surprises or roadblocks encountered during the task?

This was going to be on my “Spring Service” list (that I just completed this week), but has been bumped to the “Fall Service” list.
 
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pnwR53S View Post
Today I removed the SC to change oil. Boy, am I happy that I have these hose clamp pliers. You will always encounter very tight quarter working with modern cars, and the one with the cable sounds good on paper until you try to use one. 99/100 time there is simply no room.

These set is the one you want. With some hard to get to clamps even this set was challenged. With some struggle I managed to get all of them.


the one on the left is most useful; these set is like $12 shipped on Amazon


this clamp was buried 3 inches in the abyss from this position and is clocked to 2PM plus the tabs are designed to be very low profile
Excellent.

I ended up getting a pair like in the ones on top in the pliers photo, this happened the other week when I was doing a coolant change and got very very frustrated while trying to undo the lower hose with a pair of duckbill pliers and finally said F this! and went to the parts house to buy a set, went to NAPA first but all they had were the remote variety and were asking $72!
I then went to O'Reilly and got a regular pair for $12, they work a charm too.

I still plan on getting a remote version though because I'm sure it'd come in handy in certain situations.

By the way,
I love the phrase 3 inches in the abyss!

It would be a great name for an emo deathmetal band!

In other news,
I decided to upgrade my lifting equipment.
In the past with my old Saab I rarely used a hydraulic jack because I greatly preferred the factory jacks...



...so all I had was a cheapie hydraulic jack and it freaked me out when using with the MINI because the release mechanism was too quick and dropped the car too harshly, I ended up getting a decent jack from Northern Tool on sale for $99 --- I'll get to test it thoroughly this week as I'm off work and will be doing some wrenching...



I also had the usual run-of-the-mill jackstands...



...I mean, yeah of course they work and do what they're supposed to do, but I've always wanted a set of nice jackstands and finally pulled the trigger, going nuts and getting myself a set of Esco LowBoys because I've always loved the design of them:



The Esco design is pretty much a knock-off of an older AC design:

http://www.acjacks.com/acjacks_004.htm

The AC's were made in Denmark, I'm unsure where the Esco's are made but they're very solid and heavy.
 
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AoxoMoxoA View Post


Did you replace the green gasket? How long did the entire operation take? Any unexpected surprises or roadblocks encountered during the task?

This was going to be on my “Spring Service” list (that I just completed this week), but has been bumped to the “Fall Service” list.
Performing oil change on the SC is a major endeavour. As I hate to rush and only break things I took my time. You need a lot of patience and care to remove the SC. The SC input charge tube is most challenging and you can damage parts easily if you fail to disconnect something and use brute force. Failure for me is not an option as I have registered many track events. Mini has to be shipshape and back on the road within a few days. I have not reinstall the SC yet as I am waiting for the o-ring for the water pump to engine block. I see no reason to replace the green gasket as mine is still very flexible given the low mileage.

I decide to go ahead and tackle the crank damper, which I conquered. With time left, I went ahead and do the front lower control arm bushings, sway bar bushings, and the steering poly bushing. I dreaded all these but it is not looking too bad.
 
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