Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

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See Figures 1 through 13

The last thing you want to do is to rush out and buy an enormous set of tools on the theory that you may need one of them some day. The best approach is to proceed slowly, gathering together a 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 the extra money and use quality, name brand tools than to mangle your knuckles when one of your bargain sockets cracks and looses its grip. Some tools are guaranteed for life, which means you buy them once and only once, unless you lose them. Forged wrenches, 12-point sockets and fine tooth ratchets are far preferable to their less expensive counterparts.

Begin accumulating those tools that are used most frequently: those associated with routine maintenance and tune-up. In addition to the usual assortment of pliers and screwdrivers, you should have the following tools for routine maintenance jobs:



Metric wrenches and sockets to at least 22mm. Combination open end/box end wrenches are the best buy and there are some applications that require deep sockets.
 
Metric Allen wrenches: not necessarily a full set, but make sure it includes 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 17mm. These are available as sockets that can be used with a torque wrench.
 
A floor jack for raising the vehicle
 
Jackstands for safety and support
 
Oil filter wrench
 
Oil filler spout or funnel
 
A low flat pan for draining oil
 
A supply of rags for cleaning up the unavoidable spill when changing a Volkswagen oil filter
 



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Fig. Fig. 1: A simple dwell/tachometer unit



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Fig. Fig. 2: Inductive type timing light



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Fig. Fig. 3: Compression gauge and a combination vacuum/fuel pressure test gauge



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Fig. Fig. 4: All but the most basic procedure will require an assortment of ratchets and sockets



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Fig. Fig. 5: In addition to ratchets, a good set of wrenches and hex keys will be necessary



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Fig. Fig. 6: A hydraulic floor jack and a set of jackstands are essential for lifting and supporting the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 7: An assortment of pliers will be handy, especially for old rusted parts and stripped bolt heads



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Fig. Fig. 8: Various screwdrivers, a hammer, chisels and prybars are necessary to have in your toolbox

The second set 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 will work well for the average do-it-yourselfer. A tachometer which can be used on 4, 5, 6 or 8-cylinder engines is most useful if you plan on performing work on other vehicles; otherwise, a model for 4 or 5-cylinder engines is probably all you will need. Just be sure that it goes to at least 1,500 rpm on the tach scale. Basic tune-up equipment should include:



Tach/dwell meter
 
Spark plug wrench
 
An inductive type DC timing light that works from the vehicle's battery
 
A set of flat feeler gauges
 
A set of round wire spark plug gauges
 

In addition to these basic tools there are a few other tools and gauges you may find useful, but don't go out and buy them until you need them. These include:



A compression gauge. A screw-in type is slower, but eliminates faulty readings due to escaping pressure.
 
A manifold vacuum gauge
 
A test light
 
A fuel pressure test gauge with the appropriate fittings. Being able to read the fuel system pressure is essential to repair and troubleshooting, especially on CIS fuel systems.
 



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Fig. Fig. 9: Many repairs will require the use of a torque wrench to assure the components are properly fastened



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Fig. Fig. 10: Although not always necessary, using specialized brake tools will save time



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Fig. Fig. 11: A few inexpensive lubrication tools will make regular service easier



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Fig. Fig. 12: Various pullers, clamps and separator tools are needed for the repair of many components



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Fig. Fig. 13: A variety of tools and gauges should be used for spark plug gapping and installation

As a final note, you will probably find a torque wrench necessary for all but the most basic work. There are four types available: deflecting beam type, dial indicator, click type and digital. The beam and dial indicator models are adequate, although the click type and digital models are generally more precise and easier to use. No matter what type of torque wrench you use, have it calibrated periodically to ensure accuracy.

 
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