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General Tools. Some advice. Please discuss


Big Landy Fan
This was in answer to what tools are required to look after a Defender.

As a mechanic please listen.
Buy GOOD tools for the workshop.The "Rubbish" stuff can stay in the car.


The BEST are Snap-on.They are also the best price.However if you find a good dealer you'll be able to pay each week!!!
The 90/110 has a mix of A/F metric.
So try for sockets from 7/16A/F to 3/4A/F.
Also sockets from 10mm to 19mm.Anything larger buy as needed for the job.
Where sockets are concerned I use 3/8 drive for most things although you'll need to use 1/2 inch drive for the stubbon sizes from about 9/16A/f 13mm.again buy as required.I don't even have a 1/2inch drive ratchet only 3/8 drive.I do have two 1/2 inch knuckle bars.one long and one a sensible size.


Again,follow the socket advice.I find the Draper Elora[sp] series good,I generally get the combination type.Buy the sets 1/2in A/F to 3/4 A/F and the similar sizes in metric.
A cheap 1/4 drive socket set will do for most work.You can buy new sockets if you break them as and when.
You'll need a good hammer.2lb ball or 1 1/2lb.


A variety of blade widths and lengths also the Phillips/pozi drive.
Don't go uot and buy "everything" get them as needed.

I notice Halfords are selling some very nice ratchet combination spanners as a good price.

Throw away that bent wire wheel nut spanner supplied by Land Rover.Get a deep impact socket and a knuckle bar to use instead.Also a two foot length of pipe to fit over the knuckle bar for the difficult wheel nut.

Have a look at the Difflock site as well.Ther'll also be advice there. Ask again if you need more info.

This in reply to why I use a deep socket for wheel nuts. Two reasons,

It stands the bar away from the wheel bodywork!!You will have complete confidence if you have top stand on the knuckle bar to remove a stubbon wheel nut.

You can always lend it to the tyre fitter to remove your wheels with his windy gun.They often "loose" that size socket so as not to do the job.LOL

Go to a scrapyard and get a couple of small scissor jacks.The small ones in most of the little Jap cars are good enough.
These can be used in a variety of ways. Never for lifting the Land Rover.

Holding bits into place,moving a component. Even jacking bodywork into place. Anything but lifting a car. Use a trolley jack for that please.

Dont also get a hacksaw and junior hachsaw, buy the blades in full packets, you always have a spare.

Bench and vice.

If you are lucky enough to have a dry place to work, not necessarily the vehicle inside, get a good heavy workbench. Wood ones tend to move less than a metal one. Quieter to work on as well. Put a leg either under or a near a possible to the vice.
Get the largest vice you can afford or aquire. Mine was a throw out from work as one jaw was missiong,I soon found a jaw!!

To fit a vice....

Put the vice on the bench. Put either two pieces of metal or wood into the jaws hanging down so they'll hit the front of the bench. Push the vice up to the front of the bench until the two bits of wood/metal hit the front of the bench. Drill, fit bolts and remove the wood/metal.

Now you can fit anything into the vice and the front of the bench won't stop you.

Vice Grips.

I prefere this make to all others.Get a variety of sizes.Used for all sorts.

There are plenty of sensably priced two ton trolly jacks about.
Yes a two ton jack will lift one corner at a time. You may need a block of wood to gain extra height with the jack.

Axle stands are also needed.You might want to look at fairly high ones to fit under the chassis.

Another tip for jacking. You can use this with a Hi-Lift recovery jack as well. Screw some plywood to the undersisde of the battery box lid. You now have a jack spreader plate.
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Thats great Mike,thank you so much.a lesson for me and hopefully a few other members.
Makes me feel good that i joined the best Landy forum.
I would say that for the amateur mechanic, Snap-On stuff is overkill as it is fiercely expensive. Halfords professional stuff is easy to obtain, has a lifetime guarantee and is made, as far as I know, by Facom - a reputable manufacturer.

My screwdrivers are Britool, beautifully made (also by Facom!!)

Like the jack plate idea. I've just got some plywood in to build my workbench
whats the MAC stuff like ??? ive been told its made by stanley !! and well lets put it one way stanley stuff can be crud!!
Good advice Mike.

You said "Get the largest vice you can afford or aquire. Mine was a throw out from work as one jaw was missiong,I soon found a jaw!!"

Were you the one who caused the jaw to go "missing" in the first place? ;)

I might also add that a good, solid set of axle stands is a must buy. Not the flimsy little things for cars, but something rated at 1.5 tons or more.
Good advice Mike.

You said "Get the largest vice you can afford or aquire. Mine was a throw out from work as one jaw was missiong,I soon found a jaw!!"

Were you the one who caused the jaw to go "missing" in the first place? ;)

I might also add that a good, solid set of axle stands is a must buy. Not the flimsy little things for cars, but something rated at 1.5 tons or more.

Funny you should say that Marc..The vice on my proper workbench that I can't see under the junk, was a throw out from work, with a jaw missing. I found the jaw months later in a drawer. Not that I did anything except take the jaw home....
I use halfords professional, i bought a socket set in an emergency and in 7 years of heavy use in all weathers outside in rain etc i have never broken a socket or stripped a ratchet yet. they have a lifetime gaurentee the same as snapon. you can buy a complete metric and imperial socket set for the price of a snapon 3/8 ratchet and are every bit as good. everything on my discovery 300tdi is between 8mm and 24mm except hub sockets. £100 would get you started at halfords, by the way i wouldnt give halfords a cold never mind buy anything else from them but i honestly cannot fault there professional range of tools.
You're all correct - I have fair to decent tools in the garage and some older ones in the S3. But remember you need enough tools with you to get it done. I managed to change my alternator on the side of the road using only what was in the back (plus the spare alternator I bought the previous day!)

Remember land rovers aren't exactly secure, so only store cheaper stuff in the car. Weight is also important - I have ~40 KG of tools and try to choose lighter and dual purpose tools.

Also, don't be put off by the way a tool looks... Grandad's old tools might look like they built the ark, but they've not broken since then.

There's a flip-side too... if you haven't got the tool for the job (and can't buy/make/borrow one) then consider getting the job done right. How many times have we cursed previous owners who bodged something.... (computer fan in the heater, gunge holding the sump on, chewing gum sealing some other leak, muffler tape on the exhaust, ... endless list :)
I have to take issue with a few things in this thread, but I'll start here, with....


Sorry, but DONT throw that bit of 'bent wire' away! Put it in the car, where it belongs! After doing this:-

DO NOT STAND on the breaker bar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's another accident in waiting, usually when the socket slips off the head of the wheel-nut,. becouse you are applying a torque in two axis with an offset socket!

Vice Grips

I have just GOT to comment on the advice offered on these!

a sure way to round off fasteners, skin knuckles or otherwise wreak carnage! even the supposedly 'good' ones that DO grip...... you'll just be able to apply more force before hurting something!

These are a pipe fitters tool, and have LITTLE place in a mechanicing work-shop, except for holding bits opf metal together when welding...... and even then you should be using welding clamps!

for WHAT they are usually used for the CORRECT tool would be a PROPPER stud extractor, the best kind being the eccentric cam sort, which is what you SHOULD be using to remove cylinder head studs etc with to begin with, but with two or three sizes available the larger ones can normall be pressed into service to go over the head of a rounded off nut or rounded out allen bolt, or similar. Also good for getting out the end of a bolt where the head's sheared. Beyond that, drill and easy-outs!

And HERE I actually have to offer the advice that the 'best' when it comes to easy-outs isn't! I have snap-on tools and thier sheared stud extractor is one I gave up giving back for replacement after I toffee twisted the forth one! There are a few tools in the Snap-On range like that, and thier screwdriver 'multi-bits' are another...... the ratchet screw-driver's good though..... one of the few changeable blade screwdrivers that works.... without breaking....... but get Britool 'nibs' for it!

Pleas see my article here regarding Jacks and wheel braces
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I have a good collection of tools built up over time. I too would avoid the "Pro" big brands like Snap-on & Teng in favour of Draper, Silverline & Halfords - I would also steer clear of Argos type sets - the quality is not good enough - broken spanners/sockets are proof. My guidance would be pay as much as you can afford but also based on how much you will use the tools. Heavy work needs a quality tool to avoid damage to you and the car - nothing worse than try to recover from a rounded off nut or bolt. Many online shops on ebay have great offers from time to time. I obtained a full set of Silverline spanners for £19.99 from Lawson-His becuase the plastic spanner holder had perished. So in summary buy based on your budget and usage and keep your eyes peeled on ebay for the brand bargins for a reputable supplier (shop based).
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