See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10
Having the right tools for the job is essential. Without the proper tools and equipment it is impossible, or at least unnecessarily frustrating, to properly service your truck. It would be impossible to catalog each and every tool needed to perform every procedure in this guide. It would also be unwise for the amateur to rush out and buy an expensive set of tools on the theory that he may need one or more of them sometime.
The best approach is to proceed slowly, gathering together a good quality set of those tools that are used most frequently. Don't be misled by the low cost of bargain tools. It is far better to spend a little more for quality. Forged wrenches, 6 or 12-point sockets and fine tooth ratchets are by far preferable to their less expensive counterparts. As any good mechanic can tell you, there are few worse experiences than trying to work on a vehicle with bad tools. Your monetary savings will not be worth the consequent cost of frustration and mangled knuckles.
Certain tools, plus a basic ability to handle tools, are required to get started. A basic mechanic's tool set, a torque wrench, and a Torx® bit set. Torx® bits are hex lobular drivers which fit both inside and outside on special Torx® head fasteners used in various places on Plymouth and Dodge vehicles.
Begin accumulating those tools that are used most frequently: those associated with routine maintenance and tune-up.
In addition to the normal assortment of screwdrivers and pliers, you should have the following tools for routine maintenance jobs (your vehicle uses some metric fasteners):
In addition to the above items, there are several others that are not absolutely necessary but handy to have around. These include oil-absorbing material in case of spills, a long funnel for filling the transmission and the usual supply of lubricants, antifreeze and fluids. This is a basic list for routine maintenance, but only your personal needs and desires can accurately determine your list of necessary tools.
The second list of tools is for tune-ups. While the tools involved here are slightly more sophisticated, they need not be outrageously expensive. There are several inexpensive tach/dwell meters on the market that work every bit as well for the average mechanic as an expensive professional model. Just be sure that the tachometer scale reads to at least 1200 rpm (preferably 1500 rpm), and that the meter is suitable for the engine you are working on.
A basic list of tune-up equipment could include:
In addition to these basic tools, there are several other tools and gauges you may find useful. These include:
As a final note, you will probably find a torque wrench necessary for all but the most basic work. The beam-type models are perfectly adequate, although the newer click (breakaway) type are more precise and you don't have to crane your neck to see a torque reading in awkward situations. Breakaway torque wrenches are more expensive and will need to be re-calibrated periodically.
A torque specification for each fastener will be given in the procedure in any case that a specific torque value is required. If no torque specifications are given, use the following values as a guide, based upon fastener size:Bolts marked 6T
Bolts marked 8T
Special tools are occasionally necessary to perform a specific job or are recommended to make a job easier. Their use has been kept to a minimum. When a special tool is indicated, it will be referred to by a manufacturer's part number, and, where possible, an illustration of the tool will be provided so that an equivalent tool may be used.
Some special tools are available commercially from major tool manufacturers. Others can be purchased through your Plymouth/Dodge dealer.