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!
BASIC HAND TOOLS REQUIRED:
- 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.
MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE!
- 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
ELECTRICAL TOOLS REQUIRED
- 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
- Soldering Iron_ These are used to melt
lead, or solder, to cover electrical connections for better
- 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
POWER TOOLS REQUIRED
- 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
- 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.
AUTOMOTIVE TOOLS REQUIRED
- 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.
NEVER RELY ON
YOUR JACK ALONE TO SUPPORT YOUR VEHICLE IN THE AIR. ALWAYS SUPPORT THE
VEHICLE WITH JACK STANDS.
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
- 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.
THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT TOOLS REQUIRED BUT ARE NICE TO
- 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
- 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.
RENTAL TOOLS REQUIRED:
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
- 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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