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I want my B14!!!!
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Discussion Starter #1
My family has a spare car in the garage that's been sitting for the better part of 4 yrs. I've tried to talk them into donating it so we have extra room for the winter (namely for my old man's Z32) but they refuse. At anyrate, since we have the car, and I'd like to learn as much about the mechanical aspects so I would be able to work on my car later if need be, what should I do?

I already have a 254 toolset on the way, but I'm contemplating if I should get a 2 ton hoist. I know it sounds extreme for an amateur but since my younger brother is always blowing his engine or having some kind of other problem every few weeks, I figure it would be a nice thing to have for both of us.

Now I'll admit that I don't have any mechanic experience save for the little things, but if I could learn this stuff myself, then I figure it would be for the greater good. I have 5 haynes books for our particular cars so I'd already have a step-by-step guide.

Do you think it would b e a good idea to invest in a hoist at this stage or not? I watched a friend pull the engine out of his camaro using the 'tree method' and I'm not too fond of going 'ghetto' and increasing the risk of damaging something.

Thanks a bunch.

P.S. I know it sounds like I'm way over my head but you hafta learn somehow. Since I can't watch our mechanic and learn from him, nor invest in an automotive school, this seems to be a decent option.

What else would be a good investment?

Spring compressors? Stronger Jacks? Etc etc?

Any input would be appreciated.
 

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Neva2wicked said:
At anyrate, since we have the car, and I'd like to learn as much about the mechanical aspects so I would be able to work on my car later if need be, what should I do?

I already have a 254 toolset on the way, but I'm contemplating if I should get a 2 ton hoist.

Now I'll admit that I don't have any mechanic experience save for the little things, but if I could learn this stuff myself, then I figure it would be for the greater good. I have 5 haynes books for our particular cars so I'd already have a step-by-step guide.

Do you think it would b e a good idea to invest in a hoist at this stage or not?
Thanks a bunch.

What else would be a good investment? Spring compressors? Stronger Jacks? Etc etc?

Basic tools - floor jack, jack stands would be more appropriate versus engine hoist - rebuilding an engine is not for the first timer. Also, while the Haynes are good, the Factory Service Manual (FSM) are really good for step by step instructions for a hobby wrench.

Also, I know it's $750, but I'm taking an Auto Mechanic's home correspondence course. Together with the FSM and some real life experimenting on my race car, I'm learning a helluva lot. The course gives me the basics, the FSM/car gives me the hands on.

The course can be found here: http://www.educationdirect.com/autorepair/index.html

Good luck!
Regards,
Michael Shorten
 

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KA24DET
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Well, I think a basic set of hand tools (good 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2" sockets) along with a torch, good jack and jackstands, and some basic specialized tools (wire strippers, spring compressor, engine hoist) will allow you to do pretty much anything. For some really nasty bolts, air tools are needed. However, for these you can often either bring the car or just the part to your nearest exhaust shop and they'll pop it for free.
At my garage, we use only hand tools and torches, and we get everything done.
 

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I want my B14!!!!
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info guys. I appreciate it.

James:
I guess it is a step too far along. The main reason I was considering one was the fact that we have an old car that does nothing but take up space. In theory, I could learn to assemble/disassemble and engine should I need to. Just something to toy around with so- when the time actually came (I have been considering engine swaps, replacement) I would have a general 'know how' on the basics. Plus it would save money in the long-run instead of always running to a shop and having my car down for weeks (which seems to be the norm everytime I have to get something done).

A friend is already decent with suspension, another with audio, I figure as long as I can get the mechanics down, we'd be able to get our cars up to par in no time. But perhaps that's just wishful thinking for the moment.

Michael:
Thanks for the link. Its definitely something I'll be looking into. I've been talking about seriously getting into automotive things for a while now and most of the folks know me say I should just take a course.

Bydrive55:
A torch for welding. I don't think I'll be doing any welding for a very long time. Past experience with a buddy of mine who insisted I give it a try :p

I have a question though. For jacks/jack stands- what would you guys recommend?
 

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in^3,N20,RPM,PSI
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Yeah I understand where you want to do and what you want to learn. You'll get there eventually but for now your money is better spent on good hand tools and measuring tools, its better to learn how to use those properly.

Jackstands I just bought some 15 dollar 3 ton jackstands from Kragen. I got a 3 ton SUV jack from Costco, that thing is awesome. It was only 79 bucks and its lasted far longer than any of my friends crappy aluminum jacks (the Al jacks only have one single piston for the hydraulics and it usually starts to leak so the jack no longer operates)
 

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Viva el iPod
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Save your money for tools that you will need as you start working on the car. You'll find that you'll need to expand your tool set as you attempt to do more challenging jobs.

If anything you should buy a compressor and some air tools before you'll ever need a hoist. But you're not even at that point yet. Start with your hand tools, do a few things here and there, like regular maintaince, then move on to bigger things.

If you can change your own oil, rotate your tires, etc., you'll be beyond what most of the regular population can do car-wise.
 

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NPM Lead Editor/Webmaster
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James said:
(the Al jacks only have one single piston for the hydraulics and it usually starts to leak so the jack no longer operates)
That's why you buy Craftsman James ;) Lifetime Guarantee

I've seen this one on sale for as low as $88 (last week as a matter of fact)...just need to check the Sears site every couple of weeks..Craftsman 1.5 ton Jack

Sears item #00950240000 Mfr. model #G615

1.5 ton aluminum/steel floor jack. Speedy lift feature, 2 pumps of handle bring saddle to the chassis. Low profile design for low clearance vehicles
.............


A little more high dollar...Craftsman 4000 lb. Capacity Aluminum Jack
 

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B12 Enthusiast
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X 2 on Sears, and if you have any Sears Hardware stores in your area, make a point to stop there frequently. Craftsman is constantly changing the different tool sets offered and when this happens, the stores here will mark the remaining old stock down 40 to 50 percent to get rid of them. These tools are not advertised, so you basically just have to be there at the right time.

I just picked up THIS wrench set for $30 a couple of weeks ago.

:)
 

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astreamk1 said:
X 2 on Sears, and if you have any Sears Hardware stores in your area, make a point to stop there frequently. Craftsman is constantly changing the different tool sets offered and when this happens, the stores here will mark the remaining old stock down 40 to 50 percent to get rid of them. These tools are not advertised, so you basically just have to be there at the right time.

I just picked up THIS wrench set for $30 a couple of weeks ago.

:)
Good tip! I also check the clearence area on their website every few weeks.. You can usually get the same price instore if you print the page with item number and take it with you..

Been updating my socket sets with the new laser etched versions.. tired of stairing at those small metrics to see the size...lol
 

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What is Seven Ten for?
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myoung said:
That's why you buy Craftsman James ;) Lifetime Guarantee
Only on the hand tools mike. However my jack did come with a 1 yr on it.

I was able to catch THIS Jack on sale for $20. I don't have my car in the air very often so I didn't need anything amazing, but I did want something better then a damn sissors jack that is a PITA to use. Came with a carrying case and everything.
 

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xbrandonx said:
Only on the hand tools mike. However my jack did come with a 1 yr on it.

I was able to catch THIS Jack on sale for $20. I don't have my car in the air very often so I didn't need anything amazing, but I did want something better then a damn sissors jack that is a PITA to use. Came with a carrying case and everything.

That's a decent jack, But my 200 is too low for normal jacks,... the Aluminum low profile jack makes my life so much easier.. ;)..Used to have to get the scissor jack out just to lift it enough to get a jack like that one under it.. :rolleyes: ... plus gotta love the fact that 4 pumps and the car is high enough to take the wheels off is a back saver ...lol
 

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I want my B14!!!!
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Discussion Starter #13
Good info guys :) Sorry I haven't responded much. With such limited knowledge- it would be rather difficult to add something informative.

On the plus side, I have been taking notes (feels like HS again) so I hope you really don't mind as you discuss which tools are preferable.

I do have a question. In regards to taking off lugs, what air tool is used? I hear it all the time at this shop near my job (I'm always in there staring at the owner's supra or his wife's STI/Evo MR *&he bought her both* and I'm always seeing them switching the rims).

Changing the oil isn't that hard :p The problem was always not having the proper tools. A friend used to have one of those aluminum ramps but I've opted against it, as the one time we did my car- we over accelerated up the ramp and basically crushed it. But I am capable of changing the oil, changing the spark plugs, air filter, the timing belt/chain (had to do it on my stealth- which was extremely difficult without pulling the engine and having huge hands).

As a point of reference, what would you consider amateur jobs, intermediate, etc etc? I apologize for the noobish questions- but if I am to learn, I'd rather have a foundation of difficulty so I know ahead of time.

Thanx a bunch guys. I really do appreciate it.
 

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What is Seven Ten for?
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myoung said:
That's a decent jack, But my 200 is too low for normal jacks,... the Aluminum low profile jack makes my life so much easier.. ;)..Used to have to get the scissor jack out just to lift it enough to get a jack like that one under it.. :rolleyes: ... plus gotta love the fact that 4 pumps and the car is high enough to take the wheels off is a back saver ...lol
are you sure? I have no problem getting it under my b15 with Tien coilovers and the CF kit.

I think the clearence for that jack is like 3 1/2 maybe 4 inches.
 

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xbrandonx said:
are you sure? I have no problem getting it under my b15 with Tien coilovers and the CF kit.

I think the clearence for that jack is like 3 1/2 maybe 4 inches.
not sure about yours, measure it..I doubt it though... not for that price.... most of those normal jacks are at least 5 inches min saddle height.. and higher.... hence the need for low profile 3 3/4 and lower racing type jacks... mine barely makes it at 3 3/4". I can go pretty low with the shortened Motivational strut housing, with the same or more travel than stock.

plus pretty sure the B15 sits a little higher than a B14 normally.. on stock trim
 

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What is Seven Ten for?
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myoung said:
not sure about yours, measure it..I doubt it though... not for that price.... most of those normal jacks are at least 5 inches min saddle height.. and higher.... hence the need for low profile 3 3/4 and lower racing type jacks... mine barely makes it at 3 3/4". I can go pretty low with the shortened Motivational strut housing, with the same or more travel than stock.

plus pretty sure the B15 sits a little higher than a B14 normally.. on stock trim

wow, ok so it is 5" however on the spec the front lip is just over 6" high and the sideskirts are about 7"

So I have enough room to get it up there, hell I've done it already once so I KNOW it clears. Then again, mine is set up for purly street and not autoXing.
 

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Buy 6 point sockets whenever possible instead of the 12. Buy the best service manual you can find. They are not all the same. The manual is the most used tool in my shop.

Caution: More than one mechanic has been hurt or killed by improper use of jacks and stands. Always block your wheels so it can't roll forward or back. Never wear a tie or jewelry that can get caught in the machine. Safety first.

See what you did...I sound like my dad.
 

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dont buy tools until you need them. Buy tools from garage sales, like tools that have warranties. Then take them back when they break. Cheap way to get new ones. Garage sales and swap meets.
 

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go to your local bone yard and tear crap apart for the entry fee, thats how i find out how NOT to take my car apart :thumbup:
 

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I want my B14!!!!
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Discussion Starter #20
Hehehe

2nrguy said:
go to your local bone yard and tear crap apart for the entry fee, thats how i find out how NOT to take my car apart :thumbup:
Well about 2 weeks ago my friend fucked up his engine. Him and his girlfriend's father decided to try and do the belts themselves. Next thing I know- I'm getting a phone call talking about how the timing belt snapped and the engine won't start. So We've had something to toy with. Honestly, his problem sounds like the problem I had when I had my sportscar: complete powerloss, done timing belt, etc etc, so we figure he's gonna need another engine. So on my days off, I'm always down in Mayslanding, helping him rip it apart (within the engine bay) without a hoist. Its FUN :p

First I'd like to make a few complaints about engines :p Why do the bays hafta be so friggin cramped!! I can barely fit some of the sockets in without having to rip something else out beforehand. Secondly, I hate metal. How often do you all get cut? I'm gonna start calling mechanics 'scarred hand' for now on :p

I've been to the local pick n pulls for the heck of it (actually hoping to find some stuff I can snag for my car) so I've done quit a bit of testing and such. I know how to pull off pulleys, the camshaft, removing the heads, springs, calipers, and a few other miscellaneous things. Its just a shame his engine doesn't run, cause even though we're taking it apart and putting it back together- there's no real feeling of 'having learned how to do something right' because its 'dead'. Oh well.

Oh yeah. A 165pc tool set should be enough for just about any basic task right- cause that's what my friend picked up and so far we've been able to do everything with mostly the 1/4" sets.

I have some technical questions I'd like to ask, but I'll refrain from it, unless someones knows a good deal about the 6g72 engine found in the 01 stratus. Basically we pulled the top off and checked to see if the pistons and valves are bent but they are fine. But his car doesn't want to run. It cranks though. Since his ass is too broke to have the car towed, we can't hit up a dealership or a shop. What else should we check?We got new belts on and everything.
 
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