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Essential Tool List
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ItsAVanagon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:29 am    Post subject: Essential Tool List Reply with quote

I looked around and searched a bit and there isnt any list of tools one should have in their vanagon at all times. Im new to this so I dont have any suggestions, but I would sure like to hear everyone elses.
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That list could vary from a 13mm combo wrench to a complete shop full of tools. My basic opinion on this;

Get a tool roll from Home Depot.
Get a set of Gear Wrenches from Sears in Metric (they have the ratcheting box end and combo end)
Get a 1/4" drive cheap socket set
Combo screwdriver(one that the end pulls out and it switches between phillips and slot in different sizes)
Channel locks
Vice grips, needle nosed and regular
set of Allen wrenches in Metric
19mm deep socket with a breaker bar (throw out the factory lug wrench)
17mm deep socket
Crescent wrench (adjustable spanner)
A cheap digital volt meter
small screwdriver in phillips and slot
Diagonal cutter (dikes)
bunch of tie wraps in various sizes
self fusing tape
Selection of light bulbs for exterior lights, to satisfy any police officers
Reflective Triangle
Three road flares to simulate dynamite or wave in space alien's faces
Piece of 3/4" plywood about 12"x18" for jacking on uneven soft surfaces
Folding shovel
Rags and some of those Lava hand cleaning wipes in the small flat pack
Bentley Manual on disk or Protraining on disk
AAA Gold Card
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rhpaw
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh boy.. it's such a hard question since with something like a vanagon technically you could carry absolutely every tool you could ever need and want.
But, given the case going out on a trip and having the scenario of "uhoh.. temp gauge in the red" or "click-click-click, no start after lunch stop" what good are those tools going to be? it's a hard gamble to take, since most likely you really won't have what you need, or the time/patience/skill required to resolve the issue in the parking lot of the Flying J anyway.

With that said.. I take with me

1. Cell phone and AAA card.
2. Cheapo walmart 50pc tool kit that has sockets, allens, pliers, wirecutters, screwdrivers and such (basic tool kit, around 20$)
3. Set of metric combination wrenches from 8- 19 mm
4. Tape, Duct and Electrical.
5. Leatherman type thing.
6. 12volt air pump
7. Fuses
8. Quart of oil.
9. First aid kit.
10. Tire changing stuff.
I should throw in an extra V belt, but I haven't thought about it til right now. I should also carry my Bentley with me, but I always have in in the garage.

Historically, when things go T.U. up with me I find that it's either easy enough that I don't bother fixing it til I get where I'm going (simple electrical) or something random and specialized, like a water pump dying or oil line bust. Unless you haul around an entire engine of spares, it's hard to say what will fail and when.

Best advise I can give it to become as intimate as possible (legally) with all parts of your vanagon.. .That way you know the noises it makes, what should and shouldn't be how it is right now, and if you're planning on a big trip, go over the thing ahead of time making sure everything's up to snuff.

In addition, I find that good karma helps. Don't kill any bugs atleat 2 week prior to the trip and be really nice to everyone.
Failing that, you could go to the darkside and carry one live chicken and goat for sacrifice.

But I'm lax.. I've broken down too many times in the middle of nowhere in cars that shouldn't break down(Honda).
Now, I just drive a westy. If I break down now, BAM! I've got a bed, some food.. Adventure Camping!
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ItsAVanagon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definately need to get a AAA card soon... It looks like my collection only needs to be updated a little bit. Thanks for the suggestions and keep them coming.
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Volksaholic
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogpilot wrote:
That list could vary from a 13mm combo wrench to a complete shop full of tools. My basic opinion on this;

Get a tool roll from Home Depot.
Get a set of Gear Wrenches from Sears in Metric (they have the ratcheting box end and combo end)
Get a 1/4" drive cheap socket set
Combo screwdriver(one that the end pulls out and it switches between phillips and slot in different sizes)
Channel locks
Vice grips, needle nosed and regular
set of Allen wrenches in Metric
19mm deep socket with a breaker bar (throw out the factory lug wrench)
17mm deep socket
Crescent wrench (adjustable spanner)
A cheap digital volt meter
small screwdriver in phillips and slot
Diagonal cutter (dikes)
bunch of tie wraps in various sizes
self fusing tape
Selection of light bulbs for exterior lights, to satisfy any police officers
Reflective Triangle
Three road flares to simulate dynamite or wave in space alien's faces
Piece of 3/4" plywood about 12"x18" for jacking on uneven soft surfaces
Folding shovel
Rags and some of those Lava hand cleaning wipes in the small flat pack
Bentley Manual on disk or Protraining on disk
AAA Gold Card

I would generally agree with Dogpilot, except I would say you only need a handful of box/open end wrenches. I haven't got it totally nailed down for the Vanagon yet, but it seems to generally follow my preferred air cooled set:

6/8*mm, 7/9*mm 10/11mm, 13/15mm, 17mm in open end and box. Some places you'll want the open end, some the box, and some you'll be glad you had one of each instead of an open end/box combo. *You only need the 8mm and 9mm IIRC... brake bleeders, accelerator cable, etc., but this is how they break down in the combo wrenches.

3/8" ratchet of decent quality, along with the breaker bar and sockets in the same sizes as the box/open end wrenches.

19mm socket should be a 6 point of decent quality if the lug bolts seize up like I've had them do in the old VWs, but I agree with carrying a 19mm & breaker bar and tossing the stock wrench. If you can find a good Hazet lug wrench they're a very sweet alternative, but the socket and breaker bar are readily available.

Collapsible wheel chocks... you may be trying to change a flat on a hill without any rocks available to block the wheels.

Metric Allen wrenches; the set is small but for a minimal tool kit the only one I've found I needed so far is a 5mm or 6mm for the AC compressor to bracket bolts.

Possibly that little star driver for the CV joint bolts unless someone's replaced yours with Allen heads.

Electrical crimp tool, blue crimp splices, both male and female spade connects (about 1/4" ... 4mm?), and some ring type crimp connectors. A few feet of 12 or 14 gauge wire to go along with this. It wouldn't hurt to have some yellow splices too, but I think you'll find blue will work for 90% of any emergency repairs.

Jumper cables and maybe a tow strap (I've used the tow strap to rescue others more than to help someone rescue me).

Small stash of hardware: M8x1.25 bolts in a few lengths and matching nuts and lock washers, maybe some self drilling screws, I used to carry the cooling tin screws as well (M6) but that may not be a concern if you're running watercooled.

As Dogpilot said at the outset; this list will vary quite a bit from one person to the next. Also, I only specified a broken set of open end/box end wrench and a couple of sockets, but I think you should buy full sets and don't cheap out, then keep most of them at home for other major operations or the Subaru/Toyota/Honda/bicycle.
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Captain Pike
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Force"
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mr_vanagon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This idea comes up every few months. Seems to always degrade into a parts/tool list that would require a support vanagon to carry. But I'll play along. Don't forget the "emergency scotch". It fixes cuts, scrapes and can get you into scrapes where you'll get cut. A good thing to keep sealed except in emergencies. I always wanted to watch a game in every major league park in the same season (even before that visa commercial with the two kids and the bus). I figured it would be a good thing to have a list of all the VWofA dealers in the US. Might be able get an odd part off the shelf that you couldn't hope to find otherwise. I also figured I'd buy spares of the parts I could change in the field and leave them in a box with a family member. Then if I need a new alternator I can call my sister and wait for the fedex man.
Oh and a cell phone.
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fyrgrrl
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So Dogpilot....are the stubby Gear Wrenches the way to go or should I get the standard length. The standard length ones are on sale for about 10 to 20 dollars off....but I want to get the ones that would work the best.

And while we're on the subject of Gear Wrench....Sears has the same product in their Craftsman brand. What's the diff???? Why not buy the Craftsman set with the lifetime guarantee and Made in the US of A?
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have both long and short. For the on the road application I'd go for long, and as the others said, pare down the selection to the essentials. When I bought mine, they were at Sears under the Gearwrench label. If they had them labeled as craftsman, that would be better. Just this year alone, Sears has replaced my SUV floor jack, the drop light (which really cannot be dropped), two breaker bars and a whole host of punches and sockets. What a deal!

BTW, the made in USA part, read the fine print, it more than likely reads packaged in the USA. Even Microsoft burns their CD's overseas and put them in the box in Redmond. I did hear a rumor that Sears may drop the Craftsman line.
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ItsAVanagon
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craftsman are a bit pricey, and now almost all automotive stores are carrying their own made in America/Lifetime warranty brand. I havent been out comparing prices, but I wouldnt be surprised if Sears is thinking about it. Im pretty sure they wouldnt, but you never know. I need to start putting together what I already have. Thanks for the great suggestions people.
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[email protected]
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vise grips and a rusty steak knife make for great emegency tools!

I can't remeber offhand where I had heard it from but the "gearwrench" was a better built unit than the craftsman's were when I bought a set. Plus at the time of purchase seems like the crapsman set did not have a popular size that I use often as compared to the gearwrench set anyway (they were right next to each other on the shelf). And yes they have become my favorite wrenches, very handy to have!
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fyrgrrl
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great....i think i will go for the standard length Gear Wrench metrics. Besides, they happen to be on sale....sweet! And they say they are made in Taiwan....better than mainland China.

Thanks Dogpilot! Laughing Laughing Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every tool is a hammer, except for a screwdriver, which is a chisel.
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CF
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

some of this
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/catalog.asp Shocked Shocked Shocked


i use to work as a road call mechanic for BFI corp,when they use to be around.

but it is hard to say what to bring.remember the tools you use on the side of the road is still going to be your most used tools around the house.the last thing you want is a tool to fail when you need it the most.

craftsman is one of the better home use tool for the money.me being a mechanic i have a lot of snap on,mac,matco and yes craftsman.

i had huskey (home depot) and the other from lowes. the huskey broke on me doing a simple starter.

so what to bring for the "emergency tools" ummmm lets see


1/4"drivefrom 5mm - 14mm short and deep
3/8' drive 8mm - 16mm yes you will need 16mm so find one they are not in a set in short and deep
1/2' drive 10mm-22mm just short
various size extensions for all drives
a adaptor drive set 1/4"male to 3/8 female

wrenches- 6mm - 20mm in combo
stubs wrenches 6mm-17mm
flare wrench set (most of the sets from 7mm-19mm)

knimplex plyers,they are like channel locks but they have a real bite on them.
dykes- cutting
crimper - for the electical end of repairs
regular plyers
long needle nose vise grips small and large
regular vise grips small and large
2 different sizes of adjustable 6" and 10" wrenches
screw drivers with various tips

multi meter
electical tape
duct tape

hose clamps various sizes
ty wraps in different thickness
various nik naks

there is more but i have to look in my box Embarassed
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Lanval
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CF,

I like your list - pretty simple, but covers many, many problems.

I always think this question of 'the toolkit' is really about another question - where are you, and how self-sufficient do you need to be?

If I'm driving around LA/OC, I don't really need ANY tools. You're never more than a few minutes from some place of business, and a cell phone + some kind of towing coverage (check with your insurance, too - AAA isn't bad, but my insurance offers 100 mile towing to my place of choice, not the nearest repair facility, which is, if I recall, AAA's specification for the towing) is all you need.

If I'm going camping, to the beach, far enough from home (say Las Vegas, San Diego, Oregon) then CF's list, or some variation thereof, is more than adequate.

If you're going backcountry, well, what problems do you want to be able to deal with? In Oregon, some kind of gun would be added to this list for many of the areas we camped in that were more than 20-30 miles of logging road from the next nearest human; I'd probably need one to feel comfortable in the desert down here in SoCal as well.

Winch? Boards for getting out of deep mud? stuff to repair/replace broken axles, etc? In my old Jeeping days I saw guys that had air compressors mounted in their Wranglers/CJ-5's so they could up/down the air to get where they want to go... blowtorch set-ups, etc. You name it, it's been done.

Best,

Lanval
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what is the correct spelling of "knimplex" the pliers listed above ("plyers")

I cannot find anything by searching under "knimplex"...
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

its actually KNIPEX
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a craftsman toolset that I keep in my van at all times.

If you have a 7 pass, the toolset fits perfectly between the middle seat and the side of the van. I never know its there unless I need to use a tool.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:17 pm    Post subject: OBD-II Reply with quote

OBD-II is so nice... when you have a late mod Subaru conversion. it stays in the Van!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some cheap flare nut wrenches that is not strong enough to undo the brake line nut. In stead of undoing the nut, it round off the corners. I have to buy a used Snap-on of the right size on ebay. Do not get cheap tools. They will not last and can cause more trouble down the road. I am still using the Craftsman socket set I bought in 1982. The oldest hand tool I am still using is a hacksaw that was made in Sheffield, England, I bought it in 1972.
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