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Discussion Starter #1
I installed the JBR rear adjustable camber arms and Megan Racing adjustable toe arms over the weekend.

I ran into many stubborn bolts and I wasted many hours working on bolts that would just not move...even with Liquid Wrench applied.

I had my car in yesterday for its regular maintenance check (I'm still under warranty somehow), and asked my mechanic, Freddie, about it. He said when working on suspension components, you really need a 6 pt impact socket to generate enough torque to get them moving. It will also prevent rounding of the bolt corners, which a standard 12 pt socket will do.

So, in short, if planning any suspension work, save yourself some headaches and get a 6 pt impact socket set. 14mm, 15mm, 17mm and 19mm are popular sizes. Also, I'd get a deep socket set, a standard socket set and some extensions. Not being able to properly fit or reach a bolt in a tight spot can literally make or break a job.

I've also learned having the keys to a second car can save your bacon when you need a tool in a pinch.. or an energy drink.. or a beer.. you already have the concrete walls to bang your head against when things go wrong at least..

Any other tips for essential equipment needed for these jobs? Liquid Wrench is another essential in the tool box, as is a 24" breaker bar and a 3 ft pipe (part of my hydraulic jack) too.
CK
 

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Harbor Freight has lots of good tools for this. All sorts of ratchet handles, torque wrenches, impact sockets, breaker bars, etc for not a lot of money. I like the extendable ratchet handles especially. Some even have lifetime warranties....
Home Depot has some good Husky 6pt impact socket sets. Get some wobble extensions too, adapters and an impact universal or two. The Husky gimbal palm ratchets come in handy a lot....
GearWrench box ends are fantastic. Home Depot has similar gear drives with locking pivot heads....
A pass-through socket wrench set can help with those fasteners that have an allen key in the end of the stud like on the OEM end links.
Good torque wrenches are a must have, and not just one. A big one for stuff like wheels and suspension parts that require 100 ft lbs or so, a smaller one for small fasteners, maybe one that registers in in/lbs too. I have one with a pivoting head for hard to reach spots too.
Portable lights you need under the car. Magnetic mount LED lights are a good thing......
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had a feeling you would already have all of the cool tools I need to still get.

Thanks for mentioning the lights..OMG.. those Husky hockey puck like LED lights are a life saver. They fit in the weirdest spots.. have magnets for hanging upside down and provide a lot of light. I have 3 of them going when I do work on the car.

Any others?
CK

 

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Theres lots of other things to make life easier. Offset wrenches, obstruction wrenches, stubby box end gear drives, rubber dead blow hammers, pry bars, both steel and nylon, and lots of other stuff...including multiples of the ones you use most. Lots of hammers, screw drivers, pliers, vice grips....metric and SAE tools because some aftermarket stuff can be either...or both...:surprise:
Magnetic and finger type parts retrievers, inspection mirrors to look in places you can't see....
One thing thats not really a tool is a roll up floor mat, like the kind back packers use for sleeping on.

Another thing is a way to measure and add oil without spilling. I use one of these-


If you are going to have a bunch of tools the most important thing is storage space..:smile2:











 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think Harbor Freight better insure you or their future profits may be at risk. :laugh2:

I'm seriously jealous.. I fit all of my tools in a big back pack. Makes it easier to lug them up and down stairs in my apartment..

Not having a garage sucks bad, but at least I get to chat with neighbors while doing my work. I've even made a few friends that have grabbed a wrench from time-to-time to help out. Everything has pros and cons I guess.
CK
 

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I noticed you mentioned Liquid Wrench. That may make disassembly easier, but do you use any sort of never seize when you put things back together? Makes a huge difference, especially on things that are notoriously hard to remove such as the stud that secures the bottom of the rear damper. I keep a small container handy in the roll-round box.
 

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I got this 43pc Sunex 1/2" impact socket set for Christmas and love it. Goes for about $140, but it has a great range of socket sizes, extensions, and even a wobble extension. They make 3/8" drive and 1/4" drive sets too, as well as 3/4" drive and 1" drive.

After doing enough automotive work I've learned that there is basically no need for 12pt sockets. 6pt is the way to go. And if I could ONLY choose one set it would be 6pt deep well 3/8" drive (for non-impact work). Of course, additional sizes are handy too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I haven't tried using that yet. They don't salt the roads around here, so it may not be as necessary for me. I just need to deal with ordinary grime, rust, dirt and Loc-Tite. I'll do some research on it though and grab a can the next time I'm at an auto shop.

Now that I have a 6 Pt. Impact socket set and a proper breaker bar, doing suspension work has gotten a ton easier. I went back at things last night and made sure everything was nice and tight. Rechecked the torque on a bunch of nuts and bolts and tightened up the nuts securing the subframe. Re-greased the JBR camber arms and the Progress rear swaybar bushings.

She feels very solid now and the road feel is great. Vast improvement overall.

I love that I learn all of these tricks and little work-arounds after I'm done installing everything... I guess you need to learn somehow though.
CK
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, Sunex makes some high quality stuff. I was looking at that yesterday on Amazon, but my credit card decided to run away in fear of the price tag... I ended up getting a basic 13 piece deep impact 6 pt set from Gearhead.

There should be a disclaimer on suspension components.. don't use a 12 pt socket knucklehead! I literally spent 2 hours working on a bolt and just ended up mashing the corners... Got a 24" breaker bar and a deep 6 pt impact socket and it moved on the first hard thrust... Like BAM! I had to buy a new bolt for $3.33 from my dealer, but oh well.
CK
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A good set of mechanics gloves with padding on the back of your hands and fingers. Saved me many scrapes and bruises when a wrench has slipped or you just mash your hand into the rotor when trying to take a stubborn camber bolt out... not that I would know or anything...
CK

 

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Speaking of breaker bars, HF has a huge 3/4 ratchet handle...it works better than having to re position a breaker bar every time you run out of room..... just sayin....:smile2:

 

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Better if you do it under the rain, covered in mud hahaha
The job wasn’t really as bad as it seems. 1000 miles later still haven’t drop the car for alignment, don’t trust anyone anymore
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It wasn't hard. It was just alot of work.

If I had the 6 pt impact set and breaker bar at the start of this, things would have gone much faster.

I went back and checked all of the parts that I worked on in the rear. Tightened a few nuts/bolts. Everything is looking good and the car feels really solid. I'm very impressed.

Handling and road feal vastly improved.

Alignment from a shop that specializes on lowered rides coming up ASAP. They charge a little extra but make all of the necessary adjustments without using wheel weights and dial things in to your liking.
CK
 

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I got this 43pc Sunex 1/2" impact socket set for Christmas and love it. Goes for about $140, but it has a great range of socket sizes, extensions, and even a wobble extension. They make 3/8" drive and 1/4" drive sets too, as well as 3/4" drive and 1" drive.

After doing enough automotive work I've learned that there is basically no need for 12pt sockets. 6pt is the way to go. And if I could ONLY choose one set it would be 6pt deep well 3/8" drive (for non-impact work). Of course, additional sizes are handy too.
^^This. Quality tools vs Kwality tools.
 

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Try not to use adapter with impact drivers. Any looseness will reduce the impact greatly. One time I was too lazy to get up to get my 1/2 impact socket and use the 3/8 with an adapter which were already there. Didn’t matter how I tried, the lug nuts wouldn’t budge until I got the 1/2 directly attached with the driver. It they spun right off.

Oh, if you use those magnetic led lights, make sure to take it out when you are done..:)
 

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Try not to use adapter with impact drivers. Any looseness will reduce the impact greatly. One time I was too lazy to get up to get my 1/2 impact socket and use the 3/8 with an adapter which were already there. Didn’t matter how I tried, the lug nuts wouldn’t budge until I got the 1/2 directly attached with the driver. It they spun right off.
I've heard this before and really figured that people were exaggerating on the effects of adapters (1/2" to 3/8" reducer), extensions, etc. BUT IT'S REALLY TRUE.

I was taking off some Mazda head bolts recently. They are T60 torx head bolts, and since I didn't have that size torx bit I went and bought a cheap Husky socket from from Lowes. It was a 3/8" socket and I had to use my Craftsman 1/2" to 3/8" adapter with my nice Milwaukee 1/2" impact.

I was able to get off a few of the 10 head bolts, but mostly the impact just rattled. After trying and retrying, the socket eventually broke. I did not return the socket because it was only $3 and I had used it for something it wasn't intended for. By the way, both the socket and adapter got super hot from all the rattling back and forth because the connections for cheap adapter and socket just were not very snug. The heat is an indication of a lot of energy loss.

Then I bought a 1/2" drive $11 Williams socket (Snap-On's industrial brand made in Taiwan) and put it directly on my impact. BAM! Every remaining head bolt came off without any fuss. Not only was I impressed but I was a convert. Eliminate adapters and extensions if you can. Oh, and use quality tools! Check out the pictures of the Husky vs. Williams.
 

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I've heard this before and really figured that people were exaggerating on the effects of adapters (1/2" to 3/8" reducer), extensions, etc. BUT IT'S REALLY TRUE.

I was taking off some Mazda head bolts recently. They are T60 torx head bolts, and since I didn't have that size torx bit I went and bought a cheap Husky socket from from Lowes. It was a 3/8" socket and I had to use my Craftsman 1/2" to 3/8" adapter with my nice Milwaukee 1/2" impact.

I was able to get off a few of the 10 head bolts, but mostly the impact just rattled. After trying and retrying, the socket eventually broke. I did not return the socket because it was only $3 and I had used it for something it wasn't intended for. By the way, both the socket and adapter got super hot from all the rattling back and forth because the connections for cheap adapter and socket just were not very snug. The heat is an indication of a lot of energy loss.

Then I bought a 1/2" drive $11 Williams socket (Snap-On's industrial brand made in Taiwan) and put it directly on my impact. BAM! Every remaining head bolt came off without any fuss. Not only was I impressed but I was a convert. Eliminate adapters and extensions if you can. Oh, and use quality tools! Check out the pictures of the Husky vs. Williams.
I'd never heard of Williams brand tools, so thanks for that nugget of info. Ideally, the tools I prefer these days are Hazet, Stahwille, and Koken. Pay once, cry once, and never worry of a failure at the moment of truth.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
After reading this thread again..I'm itching to go to a hardware/auto store..bad.

I need a good 1/2" ratcheting socket wrench and a regular length 6 pt. impact socket set. And..And..

I'm going to jack up the front of the car and get the tires off. Make sure everything is nice and tight.

The rear is feeling really solid..no noises or vibrations..handling great.

The front is good, but I think the shock tower and camber bolts still need a turn or two. That reminds me.. I need a 1/2" torque wrench with a decent sized handle..
CK
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
P.S. Pittsburgh Automotive Deep Wall Impact Set rocks! 24" long 1/2" breaker bar and nuts/bolts don't have a chance. Why didn't I buy this before?!
CK
 

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