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What tools do you recommend to work on your truck?

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Old 03-06-2013, 08:09 AM   #1
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What tools do you recommend to work on your truck?

Didn't know what section to post this in nor could I find any similar threads.

Anyways, I'm now the proud owner of my first garage (came with a house too!) and I really want to begin to do my own maintenance/work. Problem is, I don't really have any tools nor do I know what's necessary to own vs what I can rent for the day from the local auto parts store.

What I have:
Standard Sears 300 pc Mechanics tool kit (standard sockets/wrenches/hex keys, etc)
Sawzall
Some woodworking stuff
Beer
Space

What I know I will need:
2 x jack stands
1 x floor jack
Air compressor/gun? (Size?)

Recommendations on what general tools are needed as well as any specifics you want to share (sizes, brands, etc) are greatly appreciated. I'm looking to do standard maintenance and install a lift/bull bar/sliders. Would also like to work on the old Z I have, too.

I really appreciate the help.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:17 AM   #2
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I usually like to stick with craftsman when it comes to automotive tools.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:25 AM   #3
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Tools are great to have. But if you cant find em then your S**t out of luck. Make sure you know where your stuff is. Otherwise 10 years later.... you have bought 10 differrent set of tools and have way to much ignorant crap lying around.

an air compressor that can sustain tools is great. also you can use it to operate a paint gun....

Axe and sledge are what i keep in my tool box along with a tool set. Just incase...

Ive gone with koblat for all my tools and ive never had a problem. they warranty most of there stuff for life.... but so does craftsman.... just depends on the best price...

Oh yea.... shop towels, degreaser, and gojo!!!!
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:27 AM   #4
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For a tacoma, a good set of sockets from 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, and 30 will cover most everything. An assortment of shallow/ deep sockets will help.
Most of my tools are 3/8's, you can choose 1/2" if you'd like.

I can practically take my whole truck apart with the tools in my 2x3' tool box.
I just started gathering and buying tools as I needed them for each specific job.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:29 AM   #5
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For hand tools in general, I use Craftsman; well-made, lifetime guarantee, and easy to get replaced at any Sears. For any kind of precision tools (dial calipers, squares, rules, etc.) I usually go with Starrett. For hand power tools, I usually prefer Makita and Ryobi. For large power tools, like my drill press, and my next table saw, I prefer to refurbish old American stuff, of which there are a variety of good brands.

I'd get the jackstands and floor jack at Sears, myself. Don't have any recommendations for the compressor and air tools, tho; don't much care for them, even in the shop.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:24 AM   #6
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To save money in the long run, you can stay with craftsman in a lot of cases. I have been a professional wrench turner for over 25 years and STILL have plenty of them, and still buy them. If you like the ease of use, look at air tools by Ingersoll Rand. 1/2 inch and 3/8 inch impact guns, and a 3/8 and possibly even a 1/4 inch air ratchet to save you a lot of time. If you are going to be doing a lot of wrenching, get you a compressor that can handle it. You want one that is not going to cycle constantly, or run all the time, so look at ones with a larger tank. I don't know your budget (And am not about to ask) but if you want a quality air compressor that will last a long time, expect to spend in the $500 or more range. You can get them for less of course, but again, you asked for recommendations. You want a 3/4 ton floor jack, and 2 or 4 of the 6 ton jack stands for safety. Better to overkill than be killed when it comes to safety.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:26 AM   #7
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I don't have tons of fancy tools. My hand tools are Kobalt and power tools Dewalt. I wish I had a garage.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:24 PM   #8
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Thank you for all the input!

Couple further clarifications:
-Torque wrenches? Needed? Not needed?
-I agree with craftsman for hand tools but all of their lifts are getting crummy reviews. Any other brands that are decent or are people being super critical.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:28 PM   #9
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You do need to get a torque wrench if you are going to do much more than just basic maintenance work. 1/2 inch drive is recommended.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:37 PM   #10
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I used to recommend nothing but craftsman for hand tools, but now I am clueless as to what is left out there. They still have their lifetime warranty and all, but just recently got completely phased out of being made in USA. I love my USA made craftsman tools, its a shame they are now made in China.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:38 PM   #11
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I am not sure if your 300 piece Craftsman set has Ratcheting Wrenches, but they are the best!

http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-8...5&blockType=G5

I will admit a few years back, for the first time in my life I went to a midnight black friday sale at Sears just to get a 16 piece standard/metric set of these for $50!...it was well worth my 2 hours there.

Along those lines, just check the sears circulars in your local paper, they have great sales on Craftsman tools several times a year...that is how I built up my tool set and continue to do so.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:47 PM   #12
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Second the dude above who mentioned storage and organization.

A good air compressor is non-negotiable, get one with at least 2.5hp, 21+ gal, 125+psi minimum. The impact wrench will be used for things beyond lug nuts. The air (gun) will come in handy beyond filling tires. A cut-off tool is handy. If you get into painting it's nice.

Other things I don't think were mentioned are: a few 4x4 or 4x6 wood pieces (~8") come in handy as does a pry bar. A mobile shop light or two is nice and one of those magnetic telescoping things are cool for when you drop bits into oil or down in the engine bay.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:48 PM   #13
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Hit your local pawn shops. Often times you can find craftsman stuff. There is local pawn place here that sells handtools (sockets, wrenches, extensions) by the pound in 1/4 pound increments. Usually I can get 3/8" drive sockets for less that 50 cents. I do try to stay with the brand names that carry lifetime warranty (Craftsman, Cobalt, etc). I have even picked up a few craftsman 12mm x 12 point that were pretty worn out and Sears did an even exchange. I also go to yard sales and estate sales.

Just a few ideas....

Good luck with your search.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:32 AM   #14
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Great info! Thanks for all the ideas and advice.

I'm sure I'll be back soon asking more silly questions (after using the search bar), but hey, got to start somewhere.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:44 PM   #15
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torque wrenches are a "must have", but won't do much good unless you know the torque specs for the fastener you're tightening. For that, you need the shop manual for your specific year & model truck. Get one directly from Toyota. Not cheap, but well worth it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:15 AM   #16
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Some of the most useful tools that i've gathered over the years:

1) ratcheting wrenches
2) ratchet with long handle
3) torque wrench, both 3/8" and 1/2" drive
4) 6 point sockets, in all sizes and drives
5) set of impact sockets
6) set of sockets in the bigger sizes (>20mm)
7) good aluminum jack with quick pump action
8) metal toolbox with lots of drawers to keep everything organized
9) bent nose needle nose plyers (90 and 45 deg)
10) set of hex sockets
11) non-marring brass hammer
12) good set of extensions in different sizes and drives
13) Dremmel
14) good worklight with magnet and oulet in the handle to plug additional stuff into
15) those little magnetic trays to hold sockets, tools, screws, ect.
16) telescoping mirror and magnetic pick-up tool
17) good set of padded work gloves
18) low profile creeper
19) Mityvac
20) C-clamps in various sizes
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:47 AM   #17
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Smile tools

for the long run, craftsman due to quality and ease of replacement if busted. for a one time fix, get harbor freight. forget the lift. looks cool, but cuses problems down the road. my $0.02 worth.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:14 PM   #19
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Thanks again for the many (and detailed) suggestions!

Hotrod45, why do you say the lift causes problems? My plan is a nice 3" lift with new uca's to correct the caster problem. What other issues are you referring to?
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:56 PM   #20
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subd
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