GM Lumina/Silhouette/Transport APVs 1990-1999 Repair Guide

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

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Naturally, without the proper Tools and Equipment it is impossible to properly service your vehicle. It would also be virtually impossible to catalog each tool that you would need to perform all of the operations in this guide. It would 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 at some time.

See Figures 1 through 15

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Fig. Fig. 1: All but the most basic procedures will require n assortment of ratchets and sockets.



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Fig. Fig. 2: In addition to ratchets, a good supply of wrenches and hex keys will be necessary.



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Fig. Fig. 3: A hydraulic floor jack and a set of jackstands are essential for the lifting and supporting the vehicle.



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Fig. Fig. 4: An assortment of pliers' grippers and cutters will be handy for old rusted parts and stripped bolt heads



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Fig. Fig. 5: various drivers, chisels and prybars are great tools to have in your toolbox.



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Fig. Fig. 6: Many repairs will require the use of a torque wrench.



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Fig. Fig. 7: Although not always necessary, using specialized brake tools will save time.



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Fig. Fig. 8: A few inexpensive lubrication tools will make maintenance easier,



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Fig. Fig. 9: Various pullers, clamps and separator tools are needed for many larger, more complicated repairs.



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Fig. Fig. 10: A variety of tools and gauges should for spark plug gapping and installation.



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Fig. Fig. 11: Inductive type timing light.



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Fig. Fig. 12: A screw-in type compression gauge is recommended for compression.



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Fig. Fig. 13: A vacuum /pressure tester is necessary for many testing procedures.



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Fig. Fig. 14: Most modern automotive multimeters incorporate many helpful features.



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Fig. Fig. 15: Proper information is vital

The best approach is to proceed slowly, gathering 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 better 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 be far outweighed by frustration and mangled knuckles.

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:



Wrenches, sockets and combination open end/box end wrenches in sizes from 1 / 8 in. or 3mm -19mm (depending on whether your vehicle uses standard or metric fasteners), and a spark plug socket to fit your vehicle.
 

If possible, buy various length socket drive extensions. Universal joint and wobble extensions can be extremely useful, but be careful when using them, as they can change the amount of torque applied to the socket.



Jackstands for support
 
Oil filter wrench
 
Spout or funnel for pouring fluids.
 
Grease gun for lubrication (unless your vehicle is not equipped with any grease fittings-for details, please refer to information on Fluids and Lubricants, later in this section).
 
Hydrometer for checking the battery (unless equipped with a sealed, maintenance free battery).
 
A container for draining oil and other fluids.
 
Rags for wiping up the inevitable mess.
 

In addition to the above items there are several others that are not absolutely necessary, but handy to have around. These include Oil Dry®(or an equivalent oil absorbent gravel-such as cat litter) and the usual supply of lubricants, antifreeze and fluids, although these can be purchased as needed. This is a basic list for routine maintenance, but only your personal needs and desire can accurately determine your list of tools.

After performing a few projects on the vehicle, you'll be amazed at the other tools and non-tools on your workbench. Some useful household items are: a large turkey baster or siphon, empty coffee cans and ice trays (to store parts), ball of twine, electrical tape for wiring, small rolls of colored tape for tagging lines or hoses, markers and pens, a note pad, golf tees (for plugging vacuum lines), metal coat hangers, a roll of mechanic's wire (to hold things out of the way), dental pick or scribe or similar long, pointed probe, a strong magnet and a small mirror (to see into the recesses and under manifolds).

A more advanced set of tools suitable for tune-up work, can be drawn up easily. While the tools are slightly more sophisticated, they need not be outrageously expensive. There are several inexpensive tach/dwell meters on the market that are every bit as good for the average mechanic as a professional model. Just be sure that it goes to at least 1200-1500 rpm on the tach scale and that it works on 4, 6, and 8-cylinder engines. However, a special tachometer is required for diesel applications since they don't use spark plug ignition systems. The key to these purchases is to make them with an eye towards adaptability and wide range. A basic list of tune-up tools could include:



Tach/dwell meter
 
Spark plug wrench and gapping tool
 
Feeler gauges for valve or point adjustment. (Even if your vehicle does not use points or require valve adjustment, a feeler gauge is helpful for many repair/overhaul procedures.)
 

A tachometer/dwell meter will ensure accurate tune-up work on vehicles without electronic ignition. The choice of timing lights should be made carefully. A light which works on the DC current supplied by the vehicle's battery is the best choice. It should have a xenon tube for brightness. On any vehicle with an electronic ignition system, a timing light with an inductive pick-up that clamps around the No. 1 spark plug cable is preferred.

In addition to these basic tools, there are several other tools and gauges you may find useful.



Compression gauge. The screw-in type is slower to use but it eliminates the possibility of a faulty reading due to escaping pressure.
 
A manifold vacuum gauge.
 
12V test light
 
A droplight, to light up the work area (make sure yours is UL approved, and has a shielded bulb).
 
A volt/ohm meter (multi-tester).
 
Induction Ammeter. This is used to determine whether or not there is current in a wire. These are handy for use if a wire is broken somewhere in a wiring harness.
 

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. The breakaway torque wrenches are more expensive and should be recalibrated periodically.

 
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