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Old 03-10-2014, 11:46 PM   #1
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Best Garage/Workshop Tools

Hi Everyone,

After a string of bad experiences with different mechanics, I have decided to start doing the regular maintenance on my 986 myself (brakes, oil, minor repairs, etc). I know that I will take the time to do everything properly, like getting the oil level right or not scratching anything. Plus it will be cheaper.

I don't have a lot of experience working on the mechanical side of cars (I plan to learn) or a huge amount of space (ei - no room for a lift). What would everyone recommend as some must have tools for working on a 986? Anything unique to working on the Boxster?

I have the basics like a jack, jack stands, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc. And I know I need to get an oil wrench and drain pan. What else do you recommend, use often, think is awesome, saves time, makes life easier?

Thanks!

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Old 03-11-2014, 02:33 AM   #2
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As well as your mentioned oil wrench and drain pan + assorted hand tools:

1) Make sure your hydraulic jack lowers far enough to get under the car + lift high enough for the jackstands.
2) A good set of torx head sockets.
3) A good set of 3/8" drive allan keys (for the brakes) and standard allan keys.
4) Oil catch can of at least 15 litres.
5) Good quality torqe wrench.
6) High powered lead light / flash light.
7) The Bentley Boxster Service Manual and Dempsey's 101 Project for your Boxster.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:38 AM   #3
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I bought a set of hydralic jackstands off ebay. I use my floor jack to get the car way up then put the jackstands underneath. they come with a locking pin so they are safe and you can use the built in jack to get the car higher if needed. Find your nearest Harbor Freight or Sears you will be there often. I have done most of the work on my 99 Boxster myself. I enjoy doing the work I couldn't possibly afford the dealer prices and I have found much of the info can be found on these forums. What isnt here someone will usually offer up their experience/advice once you ask the question. You will need torx wrenches and star wrenches. I had an extensive set of tools prior to owning the Boxster but have added to my collection as needed. Working on these cars is not that difficult of course mine is not a daily driver so if it sits in the garage on stands for a couple of weeks it's no big deal. Many parts can be found on ebay or craigslist along with Pelican and other internet suppliers.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:25 AM   #4
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Motiv Black Label European Power bleeder
air compressor - about 5 cfm@90psi, 15 gallon tank min.
Uview Airlift Vacuum tool
Good torque wrenches - 40 - 250 in-lb, 5 -75 ft-lb, 50 - 200 ft-lb (Snap-On if you can)
remote hose clamp tool, rad hose picks
16mm security triple square bit
very good quality metric flare wrenches - the cheap ones spread under load and fu your fittings. Go with Mac, Snap-On, Craftsman

That should get you started
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:38 AM   #5
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Honestly, by doing it yourself the car will get more attention and will save you time over dropping it off somewhere and waiting hours/days for it to get done.

Once you've done things a few times it will go very quickly.

Oil change in <30min
Bleed all brakes <40min
New brake pads all around <1hr
New Muffler system removal and install ~3hrs

All you need is:
Good metric/SAE socket set ~$60
Clicker Torque wrench ~$30
pressure bleeder ~$60
Floor jack ~70
4 Jackstands ~$60
Oil catch pan ~$15

I have a compressor and airtools but only use them to remove wheels, you have to be careful not to cross thread or shear things with an airtool so always get the nuts started by hand first and do final tightening/Initial loosening with a hand wrench.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:01 AM   #6
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Clicker Torque wrench ~$30
I have to disagree with you on that price. All you can get in that price range is junk. You need to spend over $100 to get a decent torque wrench. You can get $300+ Snap-On torque wrenches on ebay for around $120, just have the calibration checked when you get it.

I've used cheap beam wrenches and they're ok, just not too accurate. I've used cheap PA wrenches (same as HF basically) and they are inconsistent and inaccurate and generally feel like junk in your hands.

I have a Craftsman 3/8 5/75 ft-lb unit that seems to work well, but it lacks the definite click of the Snap-On that I replaced it with. CDI are supposed to be ok but I have no first hand experience with them.

JFP should jump in here - his toolbox is the size of boxcar. I think he lives in it.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:54 AM   #7
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Thanks you to everyone for the responses so far! It doesn't seem like I will need to purchase too many new tools, I already have a good set of the basics. And I will make sure not to skimp/buy from Harbor Freight, especially for the torque wrench.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:12 AM   #8
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I work on big and old heavy trucks and have a lot of tools around. So I keep separate roller tool cart with my high quality precision tools for the Ducati's and now the 986. They don't get jumbled around with the dirty heavy tools. And they get put away clean!

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Old 03-11-2014, 10:00 AM   #9
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What has worked for me....

Low profile Jack, got mine from Costco for ~ $120:

http://www.amazon.com/Arcan-Quick-Lift-Professional-Service/dp/B000Y9YGX4

Esco Jack Stands, I've seen them for less than this and also on group buys:

ESCO Jack Stand — 3-Ton Capacity, Model# 10498 | Jack Stands| Northern Tool + Equipment

Good size Oil Drain jug, I've been using this exact one for nearly 30 years:

http://www.amazon.com/Hopkins-FloTool-11838-Oil-Drain/dp/B000AMGYNA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1394556921&sr=8-2&keywords=15+qt+oil+drain

It got bad reviews so you may want to try this:

http://www.amazon.com/Lumax-LX-1632-Black-Drainmaster-Storage/dp/B0059HJSA2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394556921&sr=8-1&keywords=15+qt+oil+drain

Smallish Tool Boxes from Sears, great for organizing types of tools (I have all buffing / polishing tools with pads and compounds in one, another with only bicycle specific tools in it, etc.) and keeping them together yet separate:

20" Craftsman Plastic Hand Tool Box $10 + Free Store Pickup - Sears Deals, Coupons and Promos

I have an older Craftsman 1/2" Click Torque wrench which they do not sell anymore, it has served me well. Never saw the point of buying / paying for Snap-on unless you used them for a living.

A heckuva tool set for the price:

Sears.com

That's all I can think of off the top of the noggin for now.

Last edited by coreseller; 03-11-2014 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:47 AM   #10
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JFP should jump in here - his toolbox is the size of boxcar. I think he lives in it.
Would not be fair as the OP is just starting out and as you mentioned, I already "own the candy store". But I will comment that it is a bad idea to buy tools on price alone, as you typically get exactly what you paid for. Buy quality and reputation, you will never be disappointed. Tools, in spite of what many think, should be a life time investment, and approached as such. I have tools in my "boxcar" that have been in continuous service for more than four decades, so the price I paid for them is insignificant in relation to their value.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:19 PM   #11
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On the torque wrench, I figured even having one that is off say 15% is better than not using a torque wrench at all for someone new to DIY.

I agree that an expensive torque wrench is better but lets not give the guy sticker shock or any reason to be discouraged from forging ahead on the DIY path.

I have a HF clicker and it fine for most things that normally just get the "Thats about right" manual wrenching.

All Internal engine components and covers need accurate torquing like the oil pan so that you can get a good seal and not strip bolts into aluminum.

Cross threading is also something to beware of as its easy to do in aluminum.

Be careful with spark plugs too and torque them properly.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:32 PM   #12
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I currently have a 24" HF torque wrench, which only gets used to check the lugs about a hundred miles after every summer/winter wheel change. I will start by looking for a smaller, high quality one to start, because I think it is a safe assumption that the correct torque (ei - not over torquing) is more important for smaller nuts and bolts vs the lugs.

I am well aware of cross threading issues. One of the repairs done to my car was a hub replacement courtesy of a tire change where they just went right for it with the impact gun, it cost them $800 at the dealer.

I am making a list of all the recommended tools/brands mentioned and plan to acquire them as I go, thanks again for all the recommendations/suggestions!
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:51 PM   #13
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Collecting Snap-On tools via Ebay has become a hobby for me. It started off with wanting a set of the old black hard handle screwdrivers and it took off from there. After buying a few of tools a week for several years I now have a nice set of mechanic-grade tools in the garage, and I have my old tools in my basement workshop. It's nice not having to run back and forth every time I need a tool and it's not where I'm working.

BTW, if you're going to buy an impact gun, don't mess around, get the MG725.
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:58 PM   #14
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Would not be fair as the OP is just starting out and as you mentioned, I already "own the candy store". But I will comment that it is a bad idea to buy tools on price alone, as you typically get exactly what you paid for. Buy quality and reputation, you will never be disappointed. Tools, in spite of what many think, should be a life time investment, and approached as such. I have tools in my "boxcar" that have been in continuous service for more than four decades, so the price I paid for them is insignificant in relation to their value.
Agreed on the life time investment, but if you are more of a hobbyist / maintainer type vs. using them Mon - Fri 8 to 5 duty a decent set of Kobalt or Craftsman (Pre-Chinese mfr.) would likely suffice. I bought a decent sized Craftsman kit in the mid 1980's, restored a few cars, probably rebuilt a dozen motors / transmissions, bla bla bla, I think I've traded out one 3/8 drive ratchet along with a couple of screwdrivers in 30 years.

Snagging snap-on or equal quality tools off of ebay is a great idea if just starting to build up your collection, for me it would present too much of a PITA factor vs. buying the whole kit and being done but to each their own.......
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:51 PM   #15
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I have some really good torque wrenches- one is even made in Germany- which I will assign to the Porsche tool box. I also have some Harbor freight torque wrenches. I checked them against a certified wrench- and one of the cheapies was right on. Another was off 2 lbs and the worst off 4 lbs (50 ft lb test). That's a 4% & 8% error (I think).

So a 8% error on a 7 ft lb bolt is not much to worry about and probably factored in on the design. So I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:20 PM   #16
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Agreed on the life time investment, but if you are more of a hobbyist / maintainer type vs. using them Mon - Fri 8 to 5 duty a decent set of Kobalt or Craftsman (Pre-Chinese mfr.) would likely suffice.
To me, that is like saying that if you only drive your car on weekends then you don't need a Porsche because a Mazda will suffice. High-end tools, to me, are more than just tools. They are art and a joy to behold. The Lee Valley catalog should have a centerfold.

Quote:
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Snagging snap-on or equal quality tools off of ebay is a great idea if just starting to build up your collection, for me it would present too much of a PITA factor vs. buying the whole kit and being done but to each their own.......
Hunting down old Snap-On tools on ebay is a hobby in itself for me. I get no joy from buying tools over the counter, unless maybe it's a kick-ass deal on something I've wanted for a while.
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:30 PM   #17
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I have some really good torque wrenches- one is even made in Germany- which I will assign to the Porsche tool box.

Stahlwille?
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:32 PM   #18
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To me, that is like saying that if you only drive your car on weekends then you don't need a Porsche because a Mazda will suffice. High-end tools, to me, are more than just tools. They are art and a joy to behold. The Lee Valley catalog should have a centerfold.

Hunting down old Snap-On tools on ebay is a hobby in itself for me. I get no joy from buying tools over the counter, unless maybe it's a kick-ass deal on something I've wanted for a while.
Well, since we're making observations, to me, I think it's foolish and laughable to drop several thousands of dollars on what could be had for a few hundred and accomplish the same purpose. From my experience the above mentioned Kobalts and Craftsman tools never let me down, again my experience. Probably like 90% of people who see me going down the street in a 911 and think "What a tool, could of gotten around in a decked out Camry for a third of the price".


If you see tools as more than just tools, as art and a joy to behold, more power to you. I see it as an utter waste of money, unless their superior quality actually provides a benefit for you (please refer back to the hobbyist vs. professional remark). Not razzing you Mark, just pointing out we all have different priorities.....kind of like my shaking my head at my partner's Rolex Presidential, my Seiko does the same thing.........


I wish ebay was around decades back, wouldn't have had to drive to Kansas City for a 442 decklid, nor to Canada for a Shelby 7 quart oil pan, etc., etc. All we had then was Hemmings. But then again, back then road trips were fun .

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Old 03-11-2014, 09:18 PM   #19
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Stahlwille?
I'll have to check when I head back up north for the summer. I cant recall the name.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:14 AM   #20
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I am going to break down and buy a breaker bar this spring so changing from winter rims/tires to summer/all season will be a lot simpler. It is a real pita using the tool kit wheel nut wrench plus I have got rid of those idiotic security locking nuts. Guy

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