Automotive specialty tools may only do one or two things – but- they do those things better than anything else.
Why are they special?
Someone had a gut full of hammering, cutting, trying “old Tricks” or had run out of band aids, and thought there had to be an “easier way”.
Then went about doing something about it.
Necessity became the mother of invention, as I said over here.
Cars from every generation are full of parts that are beyond the capabilities of the average automotive tool set.
A hammer will sometimes create as many problems as it will fix.
So, while it is great as it is to have a toolbox full of sockets, hammers, screwdrivers, drills and keys.
There will be times when you’re going to need something more specific to the job at hand.
Buy or Borrow.
Most mechanics prefer having their own tools rather than borrowing.
Those that work in automotive workshops generally prefer to buy their own tool set. Like other trades they don’t want to worry about misuse, loss, and neglect of tools.
Additionally, some automotive workshops might not have enough specialty tools for all mechanics and this causes tool sharing which eventually leads to time wastage.
Some automotive workshops give their employees a tool allowance.
Hose Clamp Pliers.
A Long Reach Hose Clamp Pliers with Flexible Wire Shaft.
Great for getting at these flat-type hose clamps located in hard-to-access areas.
I don’t see it as much of a feature but – It also has a locking mechanism to hold the clamp in the open position while you work.
It will save you time, but more importantly, save your fingers from getting pinched when the clamp slips off the pliers.
For getting to all those hard to get hoses, this should be the go to tool. For around $45.00. depending where you live, these will make life that much easier.
Offset Extension Wrenches
These are a godsend. How many years did we put up with trying to get at nuts and bolts in awkward places before someone came up with this idea. They have been around for awhile now but it is surprising how many don’t have them.
These are available as sets of different lengths. or single units. Prices start at around $35.00 and can go up to $250.00 for complete sets.
Suspension Tools. The First Option Sucks.
When car makers make things, they make them so they are not going to fall apart. 99.9% of the time anyway.
It might be a pain in the butt for mechanics, but it is what it has to be.
Back in the day a nut on top of a bolt, and a whack with a hammer sometimes did the trick.
But with limited swing space the whack was no more than a tap. 2 dozen taps later, you were looking for options.
Or maybe not, Just kept trying, like the guys in the video who got a little desperate and turned to agricultural implements.
Option one. In the video below.
This next lot of tools for removing ball joints have been around for ages and are still, in many workshops the go to tools for removing ball joints.
The forks are heavy duty heat treated alloy steel forgings .
With one handle for hammering, and one for use with an air hammer.
All forks are interchangeable with the handles.
Quality sets are around $60.00 . With constant use you can expect a couple of years out of them.
There are cheaper versions that may be ok for a weekend warrior.
One More Ball Joint Remover.
There are two different ratings on these. The 8T ball joint remover is for your average vehicle or 4WD. The 12T ball joint remover is for Trucks, Buses and large 4WD’s.
Video further down.
- Simple to use
- Quick, easy Ball Joint Separation
- No more hammering suspensions arms
- Improve workshop safety
The specs for the 8T are. Jaw opening capacity: 56 mm (2.25 In.). Jaw width: 22 mm (0.86 In.)
For the 12T ball joint remover the specs are. Jaw Opening Capacity; 95mm. Jaw Width; 35mm. As you can see it is quite a powerful tool. The 12T costs about $150.00 The 8T will cost around $100.00.
Above these ball joint removers, your going to air powered tools. The Sewdish “Rehobot” is probably the pick of the pack.
With these, you talking more moving parts, air, oil, clamps, hoses. Up to 23T way above what we are talking about here.
There are mini press’s for installing new ball joints, but the average workshop should have a decent press so, moving right along.
Universal Overhead Valve Spring Compressor
Two here. Probably more for the engine builder / re-builder than mechanic.
But definitely a tool worth having around. You can work both with one hand.
The valve spring compressor on the left works on nearly all valve-in head and L-head engines, as well as truck and tractor engines.
Exceptionally strong, rigid frame -Medium offset and the jaws opening dimension of 1 3/8 – 5 5/8. Weighs 6 lbs.
The tool on the right will remove valve springs from overhead valves without removing the cylinder head. The Universal Overhead Valve Spring Compressor has offset jaws that grip the valve spring in parallel compression.
The tool maintains constant length as the spring is compressed.
Costs. The one on the left is about $80.00 the one on the right is about $35.00.
Damaged Lug Nut Removal Sockets.
these are among the three most important sockets in any mechanics tool kit. These would be handy for the DIY guy at home, and there are other trades who would find these useful as well.
For about $20.00 you get… The three popular sizes 17mm, 19mm, and 21mm. (will also fit 5/8”, 3/4” & 13/16” dimensions). To suit a 1/2 inch drive
Other Reviews on this site
A review on two of the most efficient harmonic balancer pullers can be seen here.
More reviews coming soon.
Conclusion. Where to Buy.
These 5 5 Automotive Specialty Tools and others can be purchased online or in store at any of these stores.