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cityylightss
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I'm just curious what 'standard' equipment all you DIYers are using out there. I'm starting to get into DIY repairs on my '90 LS 400 and I was wondering what standard equipment I should buy. Ideally, I'll start with a few successful oil changes, then maybe move to a transmission flush, and then who knows from there! I've been reading DIY tutorials on lexls.com and some of the tools/equipment it seems I'm going to need are: socket set, torque wrench, jack stands, ramps, oil filter wrench, pliers, oil pan, etc etc.

I was wondering what everyone else seems to use. Do people prefer jack stands over ramps? What lbs ratings do people have on their torque wrenches?

Any tips on what to buy, and other DIY tips, are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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A Nice socket set. With 3 different sized ratchets. an array of box wrenches. Long and short needle nose pliers. Regular pliers. Locking pliers. I can't remember what my torque wrench goes up to.

I have a good sized Snap-On socket set with wrenches and everything. A Costco purchase. About $90.

Remember not to just buy the cheapest tools you can find. Try to spend a little extra to get some quality tools that will last years and years. (ie. Snap On, Craftsman..)

I prefer jack stands.

Oh.. and welcome to the club :cheers:

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Slowly but surely you will accumulate the tools you need.

I am only half kidding when I say that any savings you realize by DIY is usually burned up by buying more tools. This condition thankfully stabilizes after you acquire all the basics.

The quality/cost ratio of tools is better than ever. Sears lower line Gear Wrench are quite nice and relatively cheap. Craftsman tools are solid but not cheap and Snap-On is out of the question unless you really want to treat yourself. Craftsman are competitively priced on ebay. I treated myself to a Snap-On torque wrench figuring that as long as I take care of it, I could get most of the cost back if I sold it so the real cost of ownership is quite low. Try buying any Snap-On tool for cheap on ebay. Never happen!

A good assortment of 3/8" sockets. Extensions of all different lengths comes in real handy. I love my SK ratchets. Regular wrenches and line wrenches are needed. Stubby wrenches are important too. I have 3 torque wrenches, lo, medium and hi range. The lo and hi range get used the most. You need the lo for stuff like tranny pans. The high for your lug nuts and around your suspension.

I have both ramps and stands and use both. Get a solid, hi capacity jack. I got mine at COSTCO.

Shop COSTCO, play looky-loo at Sears and then buy on ebay.

Good luck,

glenmore

1990 LS400

1991 300CE

2000 C280

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I'm just curious what 'standard' equipment all you DIYers are using out there. I'm starting to get into DIY repairs on my '90 LS 400 and I was wondering what standard equipment I should buy. Ideally, I'll start with a few successful oil changes, then maybe move to a transmission flush, and then who knows from there! I've been reading DIY tutorials on lexls.com and some of the tools/equipment it seems I'm going to need are: socket set, torque wrench, jack stands, ramps, oil filter wrench, pliers, oil pan, etc etc.

I was wondering what everyone else seems to use. Do people prefer jack stands over ramps? What lbs ratings do people have on their torque wrenches?

Any tips on what to buy, and other DIY tips, are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

IMHO I believe that ramps are an accident waiting to happen. If you try and use them on a cement floor they want to "scoot" out when you try and drive up on them, and if you have a rear wheel drive it's even worse as you are trying to push up on them rather than climb up with a front or four wheel drive vehicle. If you use them in gravel or dirt, they tend to sink into the ground. Also the air dam is so low it will probably be damaged when it hits the ramp. I only use jackstands. If you're going to purchase a set, then go ahead and spend a little extra for a set of heavy duty ones, not the cheaper style. If you're reluctant to spend the extra dollars, ask yourself how much is your life worth when lying beneath several thousand pounds of car? Once as a very young lad I had jacked a car up with a bumper jack and crawled under it to do some repairs. I pulled on something and down she came. The only thing that saved my bacon is I had my toolbox under the car with me. Guess it just wasn't my time. Today much older (Thank you God!) and much wiser.

Regarding the torque wrenches, you should only need two. One to read foot pounds (1/2 " drive) and one to read inch pounds (3/8" drive). I see no reason to have a third one. The 1/2" drive will suffice to muscle anything you are going to run up against. However if you are so inclined they do make torque wrenches in 3/4" and 1" if you've eaten your box of Wheaties in the morning. Both of mine are Craftsman and they have worked just fine. I've had the calibration checked several times and they always remain constant. Don't bother with a dial indicator, as half the time you try and use them you can't see the dial. Here again, buy a quality tool. You get what you pay for and with aluminum the torque value is even more critical.

Lastly I agree with another comment to purchase a quality hydraulic floor jack.

Brett

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A Nice socket set. With 3 different sized ratchets. an array of box wrenches. Long and short needle nose pliers. Regular pliers. Locking pliers. I can't remember what my torque wrench goes up to.

I have a good sized Snap-On socket set with wrenches and everything. A Costco purchase. About $90.

Remember not to just buy the cheapest tools you can find. Try to spend a little extra to get some quality tools that will last years and years. (ie. Snap On, Craftsman..)

I prefer jack stands.

Oh.. and welcome to the club :cheers:

You bought a Snap-on socket set with wrenches and everything at Costco for $90? :lol: :lol: :lol::lol: I guess I've got a bit of Missouri blood in me as I'd have to see that to believe it. <_< We're flying down from Alaska to Washington state in a couple of days and I will run not walk to Costco to check that out. All I've ever seen in Sam's which is pretty comparable is the cheap stuff. BTW, we are going to relocate to Whidbey Island as soon as we sell out up here so might run into you sometime.

Regards,

Brett

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Nice to see someone else might be coming to WA! :D

and yes I did, I actually think it might have been from Sam's Club. It was however maybe +/- 3 years ago. They probably have a similar tool set now.

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A torque wrench 0-150lbs for tightening tire lugs properly...Harbor Freight tools a good buy.....Found this eliminates those warped disks from the tire folks...

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A torque wrench 0-150lbs for tightening tire lugs properly...Harbor Freight tools a good buy.....Found this eliminates those warped disks from the tire folks...

Harbor Freight might be a "good buy" as far as the amount of dollars you spend, but other than that most of their products are cheap garbage. Tools are like anything else, you get what you pay for. I would think you might have a bit of a problem when it comes time to exchange for a replacement. Save your money and buy quality, you'll save in the long run. Nothing is worse than wrenching in tight quarters and have the wrench or socket break on you. Kind of tough on those knuckles as well. Here's a suggestion though, hit the garage sales in your area. You can find some real bargains on tools. Also it wouldn't hurt to try the pawn shops. The nice thing about picking up quality used tools is they still are guaranteed for a lifetime, not just to the original owner. Keep a box of bandaids handy, you'll need them!

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hey thanks for all the info everyone. i was originally going to buy all the tools and change my own oil this time, but it seems like i have some shopping around to do so i decided to take it in for a change. i just didn't want to wait any longer on 5,500 miles. but next time for sure! can i get any examples of a 'quality floor jack'?

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  • 3 weeks later...
A Nice socket set. With 3 different sized ratchets. an array of box wrenches. Long and short needle nose pliers. Regular pliers. Locking pliers. I can't remember what my torque wrench goes up to.

I have a good sized Snap-On socket set with wrenches and everything. A Costco purchase. About $90.

Remember not to just buy the cheapest tools you can find. Try to spend a little extra to get some quality tools that will last years and years. (ie. Snap On, Craftsman..)

I prefer jack stands.

Oh.. and welcome to the club :cheers:

Update! As stated we flew down to Washington State and I drove directly to Costco in Tacoma eagerly anticipating those massively discounted Snap On tools. I would imagine you might have heard them laughing all the way up to your house. FYI, Costco, Sams and other similar discount stores do not, nor have they ever sold Snap On tools. So "methinks" perhaps it's time to buy a taller set of boots! :D Having said that though if you ever run across any more of those deals, be sure to post them here and I'm sure there'll be plenty of us to buy them up.

Regards,

Brett

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I'm just curious what 'standard' equipment all you DIYers are using out there. I'm starting to get into DIY repairs on my '90 LS 400 and I was wondering what standard equipment I should buy. Ideally, I'll start with a few successful oil changes, then maybe move to a transmission flush, and then who knows from there! I've been reading DIY tutorials on lexls.com and some of the tools/equipment it seems I'm going to need are: socket set, torque wrench, jack stands, ramps, oil filter wrench, pliers, oil pan, etc etc.

I was wondering what everyone else seems to use. Do people prefer jack stands over ramps? What lbs ratings do people have on their torque wrenches?

Any tips on what to buy, and other DIY tips, are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

I'm a girl and don't have the strength of the men on here, so I have to use my brain instead. What I have found is that these Lexus cars are 99% metric. So when you go buy your tool set, mine was from Lowes and was about $100, I made sure to get the metric and not the inch or whatever set.

Get Jack stands, you will need at least four. I have six. When you are not sure the car is supported, add another where it will fit. Support the suspension, whatever and the frame when you can. Look for the little notches under the doors where the factory jack fits. That is a good place to put your jack stands.

The best place to put the jack in the front is the cross member that goes across the oil pan. It is oddly shaped and you will have to look for a place that the 'claws' of the jack will sit without slipping. In the back, put the jack on the differential. It is the basketball shaped do-hickey that looks like a pumkin and has the gears that transmit power to the rear wheels. Just watch carefully as you raise the car. Things will move and shift around, but as long as the car looks balanced over the jack, you are golden.

FYI. Keep the jack in place even when the jack stands are used. I slack the jack and let the car rest on the stands, but unless the jack is in the way I NEVER remove it. Free insurance from being squashed IMO.

As far as a hydraulic jack, I bought one from a name brand parts store a few years back and have not had any problems. The ones at harbor freight look just as good to me. Harbor freight is a GREAT place to get special tools. If I am going to bleed my brakes once or twice in the life of the car, I'd rather pay 1/4 the cost of sears IMO.

The best thing to get is a set of little tools. Needle nose pliers, small crescent wrench, multiple standard and phillips screwdrivers, anti-seize lube to put on bolts that you remove from the car and don't want frozen on you the next time.

Above all, get on here and ask. As long as you are polite, we will give you the keys to the castle!

If you don't need it, don't buy it. TOOLS ARE ADDICTIVE!

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A Snap-On set of 6 3/8 drive sockets, standard or metric, cost around 90 bucks to whom it may concern. Not cheap. Matco makes some nice tools as well as Kobalt (Lowes) and of course Craftsman (Not Sears branded, but Craftsman branded). Here is a tidbit of info. Like it has been said, any tool that has a manufacturers lifetime warranty on breakage can be hunted down at flea markets. Seems people get this stuff broken as scrap metal and sell it for nothing. I mean who wants to buy a broken wrench?? You do if you can flag the Matco truck down a the corner garage and show him the broken part. I aquired a Kreuter (?) 3/8 ratchet and thought it was the nicest ratchet I had ever used. Fine tooth (more "ratchets" per twist so it can be used in very tight spots) and it had a sort of a rounded square handle that felt better than a round one in your hand. Of course a 1/2 inch ratchet with deep sockets will cover 90% of your needs. and last but not least is a 30" Chrome Moly 1/2 drive breaker bar. Hands down the great equalizer when it comes down to breaking 19mm suspension nuts and bolts. I used that Kreuter 3/8 drive with a 3 foot piece of 1/2 galvanized pipe as a breaker for years and I finally lost (got snaked?) the drive, never broke it.

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