Tools
Since many of you have asked about what tools I have used for the work I have done, here is a good list to follow. The need for some of these tools depend on how much work you have to do to your car. Others are not required, but sure make the work easier. I assume that you all have a good set of mechanics tools like wrenches and sockets or you would not be trying to get this far into your car so we will skip that and move on to some of the more handy tools that I used.

When buying tools, use the guideline that if is a tool that you will depend on and use often, spring for the name brand and get a good one. If this is a specialty tool that is used occasionally but not depended on often, then shop in the off brands for a tool that can be called hobbyist level. Hobbyist tools are not the best grade, but certainly functional for the job it was designed for. Using these guidelines you can get the tools you need to make your life easier and the job better without breaking the bank and not have any money left over for the car.

On the links page is a group of links on where I found most of these tools and other places that have supplies that work well.



toolbox.jpg
toolbox.jpg
To start with you got to have a good place to keep your tools. After having 3 smaller boxes with some tools in each one, it became such a pain that my wife gave me this beauty for my birthday. What a great gift! The point here is when you need a tool, you need a tool not a tool hunt. Keep them together and orgainzed and most projects will go smoother.

air ratchet.jpg
air ratchet.jpg
This is a very handy tool for dissambly of the car. It uses 3/8" drive sockets and can fit in tight spaces and save many hours getting at all the bolts that hold your car together. The average cost of this item is about $50.00 for a hobbyist level of tool.

air sawzall.jpg
air sawzall.jpg
While not a really necessary tool this little gem can make short work of many of the cuts that you will need to make. It will fit into very tight spots to get that last piece to fit and it will make very clean trim lines in panels. This is a great timesaver and averages about $50-$80 for a hobbyist level of tool.

air wrench 2.jpg
air wrench 2.jpg
When size matters everybody should have a 1/2" impact wrench. From lug nuts to large bolts a good 1/2" impact will get your nuts off so to speak, with a minimum of headaches. This is where the cheaper brands do not cut the mustard in that they do not have the balls to break the bigger nuts. Buy a brand name here and expect to spend $150 to $250 on a good one. Avoid the $59.00 special because it just won't cut it.

air wrench.jpg
air wrench.jpg
The 3/8" air wrench is also a very handy tool when used in conjunction with the air ratchet. This is a good tool for disassembly of the car as well as a useful tool for putting it back together. If you are heavy into mehanics you will want to buy a good level of quality here. A good grade of air wrench will set you back $100 to $150 while a hobbyist level will run you about $50. Use your judgement here at what level you will be using this tool as to which quality level you will need.

big grinder.jpg
big grinder.jpg
For most of the welding you will be doing this grinder is a bit of overkill but if you need to do any substansial welding it will be a great help. This is the kind of grinder that uses stone discs to gring away welds as well as trim up edges. As I said a pretty heavy-duty piece for sheet metal work so you can probally go with the hobbyist level here for about $75. This is also available in electric versions for a bit more.

grinder straight.jpg
grinder straight.jpg
This is a great little tool if you get the right grinders and cutting tools to go with it. Very useful for shaping metals and getting into tight areas where you cant reach with a normal grinder. Don't spring for a pro level here as the cheap ones seem to work as well as the good ones. The going price for a hobbyist level straight grinder is about $30-$40.

grinder.jpg
grinder.jpg
If you are doing as much welding as I did you will feel like you are married to this tool. There is not much you can't do with an angle grinder like this. The hot setup for grinding welds is to get 3" and 4" backing plates that accept the "Rolux" style of grinding disc. These are made by 3M and come in a variety of grits from 24 to 80. Get a few boxes of the 24 and 36 grit discs for weld grinding. Use just the edge so you are only grinding the weld not the surrounding metal, which will weaken it too much and generate heat, which leads to warpage. When the grit wears out from the edge of the 4" wheels save them and cut off the outer edge then put them in the 3" backing plate for a second use. I went through about 300 of these discs on the Charger and was rewarded with nice smooth welds that were surrounded by nice thick sheet metal. Spend the extra here and go with the best you can find. Mine was a CP grinder I got for around $100 and it is still going strong.

zip wheel.jpg
zip wheel.jpg
A great tool that will let you acheive tremendous welds. With a 3 or 4 inch cutting zip wheel on this you can slice and dice any panel and even make those julian fries you see on TV. The best use is when welding two panels together overlap the panels then make a cut through both panels at the same time with a zip wheel. Cut a few inches then make sure the panels are smooth and tap it with the welder to secure the together then cut a few more inches. When you reach the end the two panels will be aligned and tacked together. I picked up the one I have been using for about $30.


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