Tools Required to Build Your Custom

Ready Your Build Site: Tools Required

The definition of a tool, provided by dictionary.com, is "anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose." Do you have the tools required to build a custom car? There are several tools that a custom car builder will definitely need in order to complete the project. A list is provided below of the tools that any custom car builder will need, but first and foremost, purchase a manual that tells you how to diagnose fix or repair problems for your specific vehicle. These manuals are available at your local auto parts store and are an invaluable tool for you to have!


  • Wrenches _Standard (SAE) sizes should include but are not limited to: 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 7/16”, 1/2”, 9/16”, 5/8”, 11/16”, 3/4”, 13/16”, 7/8”, 1”
  • Wrenches_ Metric (mm) sizes should include but are not limited to: 4, 722mm
  • Sockets_Standard, Metric and Torx (1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2” drive): The sizes should include all mentioned above. The Torx bit/sockets are “star” shaped and will be used to remove things like seat-belt mounting bolts, headlight adjusting screws, and a few other odds and ends that require the use of Torx bolts
  • Torque Wrench_ This is used to precisely set how much you want to tighten a bolt or nut (i.e. wheel lug nuts, engine parts, chassis parts)
  • Ratchets and an assortment of socket extensions, some long and short, universal socket elbows for getting into tight spaces. These will likely be the most used of the tools required
  • Adjustable Wrenches and Pliers_ These will be use when none of your wrenches or sockets seems to fit, or when you just need to pull a hose off (pliers)
  • Lockable Pliers (Vise Grips)_ These lockable pliers can help you in a thousand ways. These work very well when you need to unscrew a bolt with a stripped or broken head (the part of the bolt where you would normally use a wrench), these will also work well when you need to clamp metal together for welding or patch repair, and many other uses will be available.
  • Screwdriver Sets_ Phillips Head (+), Flat Head (), and Torx Head (*)
  • Allen Keys_ Standard, Metric, Torx
  • Hack Saw_ Inexpensive tool to use for cutting thin metal and pipes quickly
  • Metal File_ You will need a metal file for “deburring” the edges of cut metal in order to smooth the jagged edge of the cut.
  • Picks_ These can come in very handy when removing cotter keys, among many other uses.
  • Measuring Devices_ These tools required include a tape measure, rulers, yard sticks and will come in very handy when measuring the metal that you might need to cut.

  • Proper Lighting_ You will need sufficient lighting in order to be able to see what you are doing. Working with inadequate lighting is not only dangerous and bad for your eyes, but it is easy to make mistakes, especially electrical mistakes when you can’t see what you are working on/with. Some good lighting sources may include Fluorescent light fixtures overhead, a light stand, or even a flashlight


  • Wire Strippers/crimps_ You will need these tools required in order to make your electrical splices, or connections when installing automotive accessories like radios/CD players, and fog lights, etc.
  • Test Light_ You will use this to determine if electrical current is present
  • Multimeter_ This is an advanced version of a test light. It will not only tell you if current is present, but also specific voltage, continuity, resistance and much more. These are very important to have when diagnosing electrical problems.
  • Electrical Fittings/Connectors, Electrical Tape_ You will need these in order to connect power wires to your electrical accessories.
  • Soldering Iron_ These are used to melt lead, or solder, to cover electrical connections for better conductivity.
  • Timing Light_ This is used to help you adjust the timing of the ignition system in your engine.
  • Battery Charger_ This is important of the tools required because it is an invaluable device that is used to recharge the battery in your car. After prolonged use of your battery, during electrical accessory use and installation on your car, the battery can discharge and cause your car not to start due to lack of battery power.


  • Power Drill_ This will be necessary to have in case you need to drill holes in something, perhaps so you can pass electrical wires through, and also to make new bolt holds for attaching things.
  • Angle Grinder_ These are used to grind metal, or to remove paint from a service. Cutting discs can be attached to these to provide another method of metal cutting.


  • Hydraulic Jack_ A hydraulic jack is what you will use to lift your vehicle off of the ground in order to remove the wheel(s), or to work under your vehicle, perhaps to change the oil. We recommend that you use a hydraulic floor jack with at least a 2ton capacity.
  • Jack Stands_ These are very important. You will use these to support the vehicle you are working on after you have lifted it off of the ground.


    Hydraulic jacks have been known to fail and allow the vehicle to fall to the ground and either crush or seriously injure people under the vehicle!
  • Wheel Chocks_ These are placed in front of or behind your tires on the ground to prevent the vehicle from rolling. during testing and electrical accessory use and installation on your car
  • Extend-able Magnets_ These come in handy when a bolt or metal part is dropped into a crevice or down some place where you can’t fit your hand. Use these to pick up the metal piece.
  • Grease Gun_ Use this to lube all of your grease joints on your chassis (ie. ball-joints, steering linkage) to allow for smooth movement an extended life of the joints. Oil Filter Wrench_ These are used to assist you in tightening an loosening the oil filter on your engine during oil changes.
  • Oil Drain Pan_ Use this to catch the oil that is being drained out of your engine during an oil change. You can then take the used oil to your local auto parts store, Like Auto Zone, or Advance Auto Parts to recycle the oil. It is a violation to pour chemicals like this down your drains at home or in the street. Contamination of city water can occur if you do this, plus there can be very large fines to pay.


  • Air Compressor_ Air compressors are used to power your air tools such as and impact wrench, air hammer, air grinder, etc. These are very helpful when you need the extra power for removing large or stuck/corroded bolts and fasteners, or when you need to do some metal grinding or cutting.
  • Welder_ Welding metal means to heat the metal to a temperature that liquefies it and allows the metal to be joined to another piece of similar metal. Welding is an art form and should not be attempted without proper training by a professional.
  • Bench Grinder_ This is a stationary grinding tool that is mounted to a work bench or stand and allows you to grind metal.
  • Vice_ These is another workbench mounted device that will allow you clamp down, or hold the part you are working on.
  • Electric Sander_ Use these to prep your part to be painted or welded.
  • Vacuum_ A clean work environment is a good work environment.
  • Tin Snips_ These are basically scissors that are used to cut sheet metal. They are available in different styles. These styles include tin snips for making straight cuts, left turn cuts and right turn cuts.
  • Razor Blades and Scissors_ Use for scraping old gasket material or cutting material.
  • Organizers_ When dealing with a lot of little parts or fasteners, it is a good ideas to have a method of organizing these parts in order to avoid confusion when reassembling.
  • Pry Bar_ In Case you ever need some extra leverage, a pry bar can be used to help you turn your ratchet or wrench for loosening or tightening those extra tight nuts and bolts.


Some tools that are required to do specific things to your vehicle’s engine, or chassis and suspension are so infrequently used that you might just want to rent them so that you can use them and then return them for a rental charge refund. Many Auto Parts Stores will allow you to do this like Auto Zone and Advance Auto Parts. Some of these tools may include:
  • Engine Pulley Remover for removing engine pulleys
  • Steering wheel puller for removing a steering wheel hub
  • Spring Compressor used for compressing the spring in your vehicle’s suspension in order to remove them from the vehicle.

    Some of these tools can be very dangerous to use, so PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

Tools Required should also include some common sense of the builder.

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Kannapolis, NC 28083

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