Toyota Pick-ups, Land Cruiser, and 4 Runner 1997-00

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

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Without the proper tools and equipment it is impossible to properly service your vehicle. It would also be virtually impossible to catalog every tool that you would need to perform all of the operations in this guide. Of course, it would be unwise for the amateur to rush out and buy an expensive set of tools on the theory that he/she may need one or more of them at some time.

The best approach is to proceed slowly, gathering a good quality set of those tools that are used most. 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.

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 poor quality tools.

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 / 83 / 4 in. or 319mm, as well as a 13 / 16 in. or 5 / 8 in. spark plug socket (depending on plug type).
 

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 chassis lubrication (unless your vehicle is not equipped with any grease fittingsfor 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.
 



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Fig. All except the most basic procedures will require an assortment of ratchets and sockets



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



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Fig. A hydraulic floor jack and a set of safety stands are essential for lifting and supporting the vehicle



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



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Fig. Various drivers, chisels and prybars are great tools to have in your toolbox



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Fig. Many repairs will require the use of a torque wrench to assure the components are properly fastened



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



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Fig. A few inexpensive lubrication tools will make maintenance easier



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



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Fig. A variety of tools and gauges should be used for spark plug gapping and installation



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



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



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Fig. Most modern automotive multimeters incorporate many helpful features



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Fig. Proper information is vital, so always have a car care guide handy

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 gravelsuch as cat litter) in case of fluid spills, 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 or a roll of mechanic's wire (to hold things out of the way), dental pick or similar long, pointed probe, a strong magnet, and a small mirror (to see into recesses and under manifolds).

A list of more advanced set of tools, suitable for tune-up work, can be drawn up easily. The key to these purchases is to make them with an eye towards adaptability and wide range of use. In addition to these basic tools, there are several other tools and gauges you may find useful. These include:



Spark plug wrench and gapping tool.
 
Compression gauge. The screw-in type is slower to use, but eliminates the possibility of a faulty reading due to escaping pressure.
 
Manifold vacuum gauge.
 
12V test light.
 
A high-impedance digital volt/ohmmeter (commonly called a DVM)
 
Induction Ammeter. This is used for determining 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 types (breakaway) are easier to use. The click type torque wrenches tend to be more expensive. Also keep in mind that all types of torque wrenches should be periodically checked and/or recalibrated. You will have to decide for yourself, which better fits your pocketbook, and purpose.

 
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