As we all know high quality workshop tools are a commodity that one simply needs, yes, actually needs. In fact they rank well above food and shelter in our hierarchy of needs and the fact that we as DIY mechanics so seldom use them shouldn’t sway your argument either!
That all said, as a DIY mechanic there are jobs that we will do which are simply impossible without the right tools and today we have just a selection of these show stopping necessities for you. First up we give you the 7mm hex key. Yes we have mentioned this before but if you are servicing the brake pads on a European salon car, VW, Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz then there is a good chance that the car uses an Ate designed brake system. The beautifully made fist type calipers are going to be located on parallel guide pins which you will find inside a rubber tube with a little plastic cap. Easy you think as you start fishing around inside the rubber tube with your whole selection of Allen keys only to find that none of them fit. Yup, the 6mm hex will slip and damage the socket while no imperial one will grip the 7mm hex socket. The only way you’re getting this caliper to cooperate is with a 7mm hex tool so while you are in OTTO getting pads and sensors, grab one of these too!
You won’t find a 7mm allen key on a metric or even one that is close on an imperial sized set!
Our little tip to you is to take these pins out of the caliper completely and soak liberally in WD40 while you clean the caliper carrier and replace the pads. This will loosen up the grime which collects here and which we strongly recommend you clean off. Scotch brite works well. While you are at it and we know it’s not a tool per se, we really do suggest that you apply a little Ate Plastilube to the back of the pads, on the sliding faces of the caliper carrier where the pads bear and of course on the slide pins before you put the cap over these.
So it’s not a tool but it is invaluable if you ask us!
We’re good on special tools too like cam shaft timing equipment which is something else you won’t want to work without. There are some engines which are not even keyed to lock timing but for somebody putting decent mileage on a Tdi motor, a VAG camshaft looking tool set will make life so easy. Yes you will still have to support the engine and remove an engine mount. You will have to remove the front panel if it is an inline + transaxle powerplant layout or remove the wheel arch liner if it is transversely installed. The last thing you want to do is put it all back together and turn the key only to get a thud and a couple of bent valve stems to put you back to square one!
Our range of AST Tools won’t leave you stuck for timing sets.
Let’s assume that the timing belt service went fine, water pump fitted and all working well and no bent cylinder head valves but you still need to pull the head for service. Yeah, it can happen, porous surfaces, gasket failure or even just cleaning or valve stem oil seals. You will take the head off quite easily with either sockets or if needed a multi point tool such as you will again find on many European marques. Putting it back together can be a bit of a trick and to ensure you pull the head down snugly onto the head gasket and without putting a buckling load on the cylinder head itself you are going to need a torque wrench. Now our advice is to buy wisely as this is the sort of tool you will want to hand down to your grandchildren!
We work closely with Hazet in Germany, the people who make the tools that make your car and the choice of most European manufacturers. Hazet make some of the finest torque wrenches on the planet with torque indication by either a traditional adjustable “break” type wrench or a sophisticated electronic wrench. These are the type of wrench you will find in the aerospace industry where the wrench will log a day’s production for validation but hey ho, man maths apply to tools don’t you know!
You’ll hang this on the sitting room wall it is so tasty but that’s the right thing to do!
You might also find that the workshop manual for your car tells you to close the fixing bolt to 30Nm and a further 120º. Now do you guess the 120º? Do you go and print a paper protractor or try to lash a piece of coat hanger wire to your torque wrench? Well no, we give you a couple of choices. You can select an electronic torque wrench from the Hazet range which will have a built in solid state angle measuring system, a digital display and even a beeper.
We can offer you an upgrade to your own torque wrench that will afford you this sophistication! Our tools partner Vigor Equipment manufacture an electronic module that you can clip onto the lever of your torque wrench which will accurately measure the angle you are turning those special head bolts. How cool is that? This is just the business as tools go and comes complete with a selection of adapters which allow you to put this on pretty much any torque wrench!
This has to be the ultimate upgrade for your torque wrench!
No matter what your plans are when it comes to maintenance and service we have the tools to help you out. Special tools are one of our chosen subjects so do give us a call at 01 4000058, drop by or email to ask for advice.