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    Thread: Best Tool Set For Under $200 & $500

    1. 01-03-2005 10:31 PM #1
      I see all the time how more and more people are buying their first MKII's. From coast to coast, continent to continent, people are choosing this car. One of the basic elements to making owning a MKII enjoyable, and rewarding is doing the work yourself.

      Even if you've never even changed oil before, with a bentley and a resource like a friend or the vortex you can learn to do just about anything.

      But of course you need tools. So all the expert techs and shadetree's chime in and let everyone know, in your opinion, what is the most complete, and durable tool set you can get or would need to specifically wrench on MKII's?

      Pics, prices and links would be appreciated by all.

      Best Under $200
      &
      Best Under $500

      p.4.v.




      Modified by Front9 at 2:39 AM 1-4-2005


    2. 01-03-2005 10:35 PM #2
      great thread. I've owned other dubs but the a2 is the first one i'm planning on really tearing apart and getting dirty. Figrured the best way to learn is buy a cheap car with a blown motor and try to install a new running motor.

    3. 01-03-2005 10:42 PM #3
      I do all my practicing on the New Beetle....then if I screw up something...."Really, I have no idea how that happened"....hehehe....Warranty is 'da bomb!

    4. 01-03-2005 10:55 PM #4
      I really need a bentley.
      To be a Rok, and not to roll

    5. Member VdubLuv82's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 12:16 AM #5
      Quote, originally posted by VWA2MKII »
      I really need a bentley.
      same...i think there is a group buy on them rite now, but i don't have a pay pal....looks like i'm beat

    6. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 01:16 AM #6
      Just go to Sears... I got a tool set for i think $250 (it was an Xmas gift) has a cmplete set of 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4" drive, metric and standard. It's Craftsman, so they got a free lifetime replacement warranty. Coupled with a few special tools from VW (which i get as i need), and some other basic tools (pliers, hammer, etc) it's awesome. It also has a complete allen wrench/torx set and wrenches too.


      Modified by VDub2625 at 1:27 AM 1-4-2005
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    7. Banned SoCal_GLI's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 01:23 AM #7
      definately get Craftsman, they are lifetime warranty just like snap-on and others, the only difference is you have to goto them rather than make a call to get you snap-on supplier to show up early (they normally show up once a week) not all tool are lifetime warranty, but the ones you use the most will be (specialty tools generally aren't lifetime)

      definately invest in a good air compressor and air tools it make jobs go alot faster (just be careful to not break bolts) i am getting good at fixing broken studs


    8. Member BoostedOne's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 01:33 AM #8
      I like the pic of the snapon box.. 200 bux will buy you some socket clips and like 3 screw drivers from them

      Craftsman is good, and the Husky tools from Home Depot are pretty decent. Only thing that sucks about the Husky is HD quit selling stuff in singles so I dont know how you go about getting things replaced when they break.
      Also get yourself a set of 12 point tools for CV joints and headbolts from Autozone.
      AND A DECENT FLOOR JACK AND JACKSTANDS. Pepboys has a beefy ass 6 ton jack, stands, etc for like 60 bux.


    9. 01-04-2005 02:24 AM #9
      Quote, originally posted by BoostedOne »
      I like the pic of the snapon box.. 200 bux will buy you some socket clips and like 3 screw drivers from them

      Craftsman is good, and the Husky tools from Home Depot are pretty decent. Only thing that sucks about the Husky is HD quit selling stuff in singles so I dont know how you go about getting things replaced when they break.
      Also get yourself a set of 12 point tools for CV joints and headbolts from Autozone.
      AND A DECENT FLOOR JACK AND JACKSTANDS. Pepboys has a beefy ass 6 ton jack, stands, etc for like 60 bux.

      I have Husky tools from HD and I liked them - considering the price that I payed. I have a Craftsman set from Canadian Tire, it's not too bad at all. That was probably $70 on sale and it's one of those complete 1/4, 3/8,1/2 drive sets. It also has Allen keys and Torx sockets. You could probably get a wrench set there for $40 and then you're pretty much set to go.

      However, I would like to interject on that 12pt tool - I bought 1 and I managed to get 1 halfshaft out of it before I stripped the tool out. Go to Napa or Snap On and get a really good lifetime warranty tool because you probably WILL wear that tool from autozone out.


    10. 01-04-2005 02:29 AM #10
      snap on is some good stuff wish i could afford those tools. I cant wait to get my hands on them up at wyotech. Ooo its gonna be crazy.

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      01-04-2005 03:16 AM #11
      A bentley and the craftsmen 254 piece set is perfect. Usually its on sale for 199.99. They also offer an all metric tool set that is a 140 piece for 199.99 in the catolog.

    12. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 03:20 AM #12
      i got a craftsmen all metric mechanics set for $300 something and it pretty has everything you need to dismantle a vw. ive picked up a couple hundred dollars worth of other odds and ends but that starter set is great.

    13. 01-04-2005 03:23 AM #13
      Quote, originally posted by ValveCoverGasket »
      i got a craftsmen all metric mechanics set for $300 something and it pretty has everything you need to dismantle a vw. ive picked up a couple hundred dollars worth of other odds and ends but that starter set is great.

      sounds good seeing as how craftsman has gotten a general seal of approval from everyone that has/wants/can't afford snap-on.

      did you get it straight from sears, or did you find a better deal online.
      what all did the set come with?


    14. Banned SoCal_GLI's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 03:34 AM #14
      well i am/was an auto mechanic and when you first start out you don't buy all snap on, cause if you did you'd spend about 20,000 on tools

    15. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 03:37 AM #15
      i bought it off of their website a couple of years ago although id imagine if you asked the store could probably order it for you...

      it was one of these guys, but i cant seem to find the metric only version which ends up having more sizes because they dont need duplicates of everything....so youve got 1/4" drive 12 or so sizes in deep and shallow, 3/8" drive 12 or so sizes in deep and shallow and 1/2" drive same thing. along with the hex keys and screw driver things and whatnot...but you get the idea


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      01-04-2005 04:16 AM #16
      you want decent tools for cheap, check this:

      http://www.harborfreight.com/

      some are REALLY cheap, and most made in China, but hey WTF?

      I got a 1/2" drive 150lb dial torque wrench for $15. YES

      ~ Sapere aude ~

    17. Member mechsoldier's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 04:56 AM #17
      DO NOT BUY HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS....

      Craftsman sells a 256 piece mechanics sets for like 199 bucks. That's all I've ever had, and they come in a plastic box with spots for everything now (at least when I got MINE). (The set that is in valvecovergasket's picture is the one I'm talking about)

      Craftsman only has one quality issue as far as I'm concerned and that's their ratchets stop ratcheting and start busting your knuckles under high torque (especially the 1/4 inch) and also I've had it reverse the ratchet mechanism on me before while loostening a bolt....but it has a snap ring holding it in and can be cleaned and lubricated if you want, or take it back and get a new one.

      Anyways Harbor freight is good for jacks and jack stands, a good 19 inch lift 2 1/2 ton jack is only 40 bucks, been using mine for 7 years now, jackstands are cheap there too.

      Some people swear by Snap on, and don't get me wrong, they ARE good tools, but in my opinion they're no better than craftsman, their wrenches hurt my hands when I have to pull on them hard because of their shape, they're WAY WAYYYYY TO EXPENSIVE, and if you break one you have to wait for the truck instead of driving to the mall and walking into sears....something to think about


      Modified by mechsoldier at 1:01 AM 1-4-2005

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    18. 01-04-2005 05:00 AM #18
      get craftsman. you think you can't break something, but there my ass is, breakin' sockets left and right. just show up, tell the person working that you're sorry, and they'll hook you up. lol

    19. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 05:01 AM #19
      Quote, originally posted by mechsoldier »
      (The set that is in valvecovergasket's picture is the one I'm talking about)

      mine came in a huge cardboard box all wrapped in various semi organized plastic bags. which is kinda lame cause it forces you to spend another $75on a decent box (go as big as you can afford cause eventually youll have to upgrade anyway) and then another few bucks on those organizer clips for sockets. but oh well...

      and i definetly agree on harbor freight tools. i had one of their torque wrenches and it was horrible, used it for about 2 days...completely inaccurate


    20. Member mechsoldier's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 05:02 AM #20
      I don't know how you broke a craftsman socket (unless you're using a non-impact socket on a impact gun) Only one I've ever broke was an 8 mm attatched to a ratchet that I had on an L shaped allen wrench and pushing on (trying to get the valve cover plug off a 944 to get the head off if you've ever worked on one )

      and @ valve cover gasket, I don't know when you bought them, but the first set I got about 6 years ago was like that, but I got another set about 2 years ago when I moved and left my old ones at home while at school, and it had a box....


      EDIT I lied, I got a 213 piece set the second time I believe, I don't know what all the other pieces were from the other set that this didn't have.....but I never really even noticed it.....THIS SET rules




      Modified by mechsoldier at 1:08 AM 1-4-2005

      Dub Autowerks VW, Audi, Porsche, and BMW parts and service
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    21. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 05:08 AM #21
      bought em a couple years back off their website

    22. Member mechsoldier's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 05:11 AM #22
      Yeah I edited and I just looked, basically, it's missing the lame ass nutdrivers that I never use and a couple other BS things, it still has the allens and the sockets and all, I think it has less 12 points (which I don't like anyways), but the bottom drawer is virtually empty when you get it, so you can pack it with a bunch of specialty tools, flywheel locks, etc.

      I just couldn't afford a good tool set back then, when I get out of the army I'll blow a couple g's

      OH YEAH PS go out and buy yourself a Multimeter, best tool in your box.


      Modified by mechsoldier at 1:17 AM 1-4-2005

      Dub Autowerks VW, Audi, Porsche, and BMW parts and service
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    23. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 08:53 AM #23
      Quote, originally posted by mechsoldier »

      Thats EXACTLY what I have. I cracked a 15mm deep socket on a door bolt once, and the 3/4" drive's ratchet lever thingy broke (I dropped a hammer on it lol) and they replaced both free. Awesome.

      Oh, and you might also be missing the special set of golden wrenches


      Modified by VDub2625 at 8:01 AM 1-4-2005

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    24. 01-04-2005 09:03 AM #24
      Just be careful with the tool trucks (snap on, cornwell, matco) You start with a few tools from them then before you know it your bill is completly out of control But then again Tools are a lifetime investment and worth spending $$$ on

    25. Member nickinboston's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 10:27 AM #25
      don't forget a set of big a$$ vice grips....and a breaker bar

    26. Member BoostedOne's Avatar
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      01-04-2005 12:15 PM #26
      Quote, originally posted by hatter36 »

      However, I would like to interject on that 12pt tool - I bought 1 and I managed to get 1 halfshaft out of it before I stripped the tool out. Go to Napa or Snap On and get a really good lifetime warranty tool because you probably WILL wear that tool from autozone out.

      I'd like to interject on your interjection
      I'm still waiting for my Autozone tools to wear out. I probably pulled a dozen sets of halfshafts with the same tool, and it looks brand new.
      For what its worth, as a young buck I used to have a problem with stripping those tools(and bolts) out. Until I learned to CLEAN OUT THE HOLE. I shoot a bit of brake cleaner in the holes just before I start to clean out the grit. After that, if you have to pull CVs as often as I have been, you almost dont even have to clean them
      At any rate, with the hole clean and the tool actually seating into the bolt head, they work just fine.


    27. 11-09-2005 02:36 PM #27
      Bump for the winter projects...

    28. Member Eric16v's Avatar
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      11-09-2005 02:56 PM #28
      i have mostly craftsman, but I have been collecting and losing tools for probably 15 years. no matter how many screwdrivers I have bought, they end up lost

      I get my specialty snapon stuff off ebay, must haves are the triple square and a 13m swivel impact


    29. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      11-09-2005 03:40 PM #29
      im still rocking the same set i mentioned above...
      only now its almost doubled in size with various special tools and sockets that werent included...and just random odds and ends that make life easier

    30. Member Eric16v's Avatar
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      11-09-2005 03:44 PM #30
      I also have a small assortment of 3/8" sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, multimeter, etc that travels in the car on road trips

    31. Banned knappy's Avatar
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      11-09-2005 04:27 PM #31
      The problem with Craftsman set is they mix metric and standard. I bought a set like 10 years ago and have yet to use any of the standard tools. Also there 1/2 inch drive sockets are all 12 point. I have over $15k in snap-on tools including my box that was 11k. Yes its alot of money but its all paid off right now and they take weekly payments.

    32. 11-09-2005 04:34 PM #32
      My first set of tools was NAPA Evercaft. My dad got them for me when I was a wee lad and I had just bought my first beetle. (actually, dad paid for half of that too. Of course with the stipulation that he pays half up front, I pay him back over time. Dad was an awesome man. ) That set was OK, and I still use bits of it. Lifetime guarantee, NAPA replaced fouled stuff on the spot.
      As I got older, I started filling the set out with Craftsman tools. Overall, just better quality. Only a little at a time, when I needed them. My hand tools are mostly Craftsman now, as is my compressor, jack and assorted kit. Most of my air-tools are Campbell Hausfeld. None of my stuff is top notch, but then again, I don't make my living working on cars.

      I've always wondered why Vortex doesn't have a tool forum?


    33. Banned knappy's Avatar
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      11-09-2005 04:37 PM #33
      Quote, originally posted by Danbodia »

      I've always wondered why Vortex doesn't have a tool forum?

      Make a poll in the suggestion box.


    34. 11-09-2005 04:48 PM #34
      Good thread

      Quote, originally posted by VWA2MKII »
      I really need a bentley.

      BENTLY>>>>best tool under 200, and coming in a dead second would be a good torque wrench(brand doesn't matter but be smart and buy a quality wrench)


    35. 11-09-2005 05:06 PM #35
      Quote, originally posted by mechsoldier »

      EDIT I lied, I got a 213 piece set the second time I believe, I don't know what all the other pieces were from the other set that this didn't have.....but I never really even noticed it.....THIS SET rules


      Modified by mechsoldier at 1:08 AM 1-4-2005

      This is my set and it works great. My only complaint about it is that the rachets suck and you don't have decent screwdrivers.

      If you buy this set scrap the rachets and buy a good set. I also have spent another $200 on other tools to complete the set i.e. vise-grips, pliers, screwdrivers, large sockets, allen key sockets, VW specialty tools, ratchets, and an extra set of 6 point metric box wrenches.


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