Good place to buy tools for the bike in the bay area?

Discussion in 'Bay Area Bikers' started by Michael, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. Michael

    Michael Guest

    I need to get a torque wrench. The catch is that I need a wrench
    that operates in the range of ~0-20/30n*m. The valve cover bolts on
    my bike are spec'd out at 12n*m. As far as the wrenches I've seen
    go, this is on the light side: many seem to start around 10n*m and

    I also need a metric feeler gauge set: 0.? - 1mm, 20 to 25 blades.

    I did a bit of a search at Kragen[1], Sears[1], etc and didn't find
    anything suitable. Is there a good tool store that caters to
    mechanics in the bay area? Preferrably in the east bay?

    Or should I just break down and buy SnapOn?[1]

    -- Michael

    [1] Oops. A bit of flamebait there.
    Michael, Jun 24, 2003
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  2. I use a Craftsman model 44593 that works pretty well in that range, 3.6-29 N-m.
    Most feeler gauges are marked both Merkin and Metric, I think I got my
    current one at the local auto parts store.
    I don't know of one. I've built my m/c tool box with a combination of
    Craftsman (Sears/OSH), auto parts store stuff (circlip pliers, etc.), and
    Motion Pro specialty tools from Cycle Gear. An odd tool from Yardbirds,
    etc. Motion Pro tools can be even more expensive than SnapOn, but there
    are a few tools that are decently priced, or just hard to find anywhere

    I'm in the process of building my own leak-down tester. I almost bought
    Motion Pro's at $285, until I realized I could put my own together from a
    plumbing supply store for about $25. Of course, it won't have a nice
    carrying case...
    Up to you!
    Charles Stembridge, Jun 24, 2003
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  3. Michael

    bob prohaska Guest

    You might try
    Albany Tool Mart
    (510) 526-7074
    747 San Pablo Ave # B
    Albany, CA

    bob prohaska, Jun 24, 2003
  4. Michael

    notbob Guest

    Look in the Yellow Pages under:


    Most suppliers will carry commercial grade torque wrenches.

    notbob, Jun 24, 2003
  5. Michael

    cstatman Guest

    yeah, except that little stint for 48 years as a machinist....

    last year he did admit that the quality has dropped off since 1972 (the
    last time he bought a tool) and has started buying socks at "gasp" wal-

    agreed. I have been re-reading Alexander Weygers series on the making
    of tools. where he
    discusses what people actually NEED in tools.

    Most of the tools he made, designed, etc, are aplicable to mechanics,
    however, sockets, box-ends, etc, are easier to purchase than make.

    I am currently moving, but hope to set up shop in the new house, and
    begin making and re-making my tool set.

    Craftsman is okay, Snap-on is good, but self made, purpose made is

    cstatman, Jun 24, 2003
  6. Michael

    Michael Guest

    I did my search in RealSpace<tm>. It was a sunny, and a nice day for
    a drive...

    I did find and buy the 25 ( and the 36 ) feeler gauges from Sears. Call
    me anal, but I'd really prefer to have a metric only set.

    Sears had a _bunch_ of 1/2 and 3/8 torque wrenches, but nothing in the
    range suitable for my valve cover. I didn't see the model that you
    specified. Maybe I'll swing back after work and ask at the counter.

    Of course, the real question is: considering the comments made
    elsewhere in this thread, how reliable are Craftsman torque wrenches?
    How accurate are they? How often do they have to be calibrated?[1]

    -- Michael

    [1] I think I'm just looking for an excuse to buy SnapOn now... :)
    Michael, Jun 24, 2003
  7. ?

    In that case, I've got liter of turn signal fluid I'll sell you at a
    reasonable price.
    Orchard Supply Hardware also carries Craftsman tools (owned by Sears).
    They often have a better selection of Craftsman hand tools than Sears.
    It's not too hard to judge the quality of Craftsman hand tools. Pick them
    up, fit them in your hand, etc. The cheaper Craftsman ratchets are crap,
    but they have a "pro" grade that is decent. The pliers in general are crap
    too. But the sockets, extensions, drivers etc. are good.

    I'm happy enough with my 3 Craftsman torque wrenches, 2 are click-stop
    types, and one is an old-fashioned beam-pointer type. They feel well made,
    seem to work well, but I haven't tried to verify their accuracy or
    calibrate them, if that's even possible. They have all the SAE/ISO
    standards mumbo-jumbo on the labels though.

    With valve covers, the important thing is getting the bolts equally tight,
    less important is that they are exactly 11.703 Newton-meters or whatever.
    I think these wrenches will at least tell you when they are equally tight,
    and be close enought to the setting to do the job.
    Charles Stembridge, Jun 24, 2003
  8. Michael

    Michael Guest

    KISS. Shims are metric, shim chart is metric. Having a metric only
    feeler gauge lessens the chance that I have a brain fade and read
    the feelers wrong. It's really not that big of a deal... but feeler
    gauges are cheap. If I find such a set, I'll buy and use it.
    I'd like to buy it, but my signal has a small crack. It would
    just leak out.
    Didn't know that. Thanks!

    What part of "I think I want an excuse to buy SnapOn" don't you
    understand? :) [1]

    -- Michael

    [1] Yeah, I'll be buying Craftsman. Truth be told, I already own
    one. ( A clicker; rated to 105+ n*m )
    Michael, Jun 25, 2003
  9. KISS. Shims are metric, shim chart is metric. Having a metric only
    feeler gauge lessens the chance that I have a brain fade and read
    the feelers wrong. It's really not that big of a deal...[/QUOTE]

    OK, I can see that. Me, I like to see the merkin markings to help me get a
    feel for what the metric callouts really mean. I'm starting to get some
    intuitive sense of metric tools. Sort of like a cheat sheet.

    BTW, if you get a SnapOn torque wrench, can I borrow it once in awhile? Please??
    Charles Stembridge, Jun 25, 2003
  10. Michael

    notbob Guest

    I'm a machinist, too. What a machinist looks for in tools is
    definitely not what a home mechanic looks for.
    Egg-zactly! That's why I made the distinction between average-joe
    wrench and a professional. Sure, Craftsman will replace a broken
    wrench. But, that's worthless if you live 100 miles from the nearest
    Sears. Been there, done that. :) That's when I learned the
    difference between quality and marketing hype.
    Again, it's the application. If you are a weekend wrench, Craftsman
    mechanics tools are a good deal. I have SOME Craftsman tools in my
    box. But, if you are making a living at it, it's a whole different
    matter. I reiterate. It's a tool-by-tool basis. One of the best
    tools I ever owned was a Western Auto (remember them?) cheapo.
    OTOH, I've paid big bucks for Snap-On tools that were nothing more than
    rebranded junk that failed almost immediately..
    That's a broad generalization that doesn't always hold true. Put your
    brains and experience together and make an educated/experience decision.

    notbob, Jun 25, 2003
  11. Michael

    Alex C//415 Guest

    k-119 can come in handy after exhausting the sears-kragen-cyclegear-osh options.
    Alex C//415, Jun 26, 2003
  12. Michael

    Brandon High Guest

    I've got a set of wrenches... One that's 25-250 in-lbs, one that's 10-80
    ft-lbs, and another that 25-150 ft-lbs. I bought them at either the
    Sears in Pleasanton, or the local OSH.

    Brandon High, Jun 26, 2003
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