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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright so before I can start my extremely tight budget build I need to build a basic tool collection. I want to check all the mechanical stuff first before I start any modifying.



First off, I've got a loud tick under the right valve cover so I'm assuming it will need adjusting. I'm looking at feeler gauges and I'm not sure if I should get the straight ones here or get the angled ones here



Also, there must be some problem with my wiring because I can wiggle the headlight wire and the headlight will come on and off when it feels like it. I've decided to get a cheap multimeter, but have ZERO experience with electrical (not that I'm very good with mechanical stuff either) so I was looking at this one



Anyone have opinions on whether these items should do the job or if there is a better option?
 

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I buy the cheapest feeler gauges I can find as I know they won't last and or I'll abuse them<grin>






Most cheap Multimeters are good enough for our use but get one with a buzzer/beeper when on it's continuity test(Zero Resistance test) as it makes finding bad grounds really easy but even this cheap one will do,



http://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-digital-multimeter-90899.html
 

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If your budget is extremely tight you can't beat Habor Freight for starter tools that can be replaced with better ones later.



While I'm unsure about their choices on feeler gauges they often have their basic multimeter on sale for $1.99 or $2.99 which I think is what it's on sale for this month with the coupon that's in their flyer. A copy of the flyer is usually available at the door when you walk in. Decent enough metric wrench kit on sale too. It pays to visit their website and get on their mailing list; it also pays to register with a different name and a work or friend's address as some things come up tht you'd like to have two of the coupons for. http://www.harborfreight.com



They used to be known for junk, but over the past few years the quality of their house brands has improved greatly.
 

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If you're close to a harbor freight the go there and buy the basic stuff cheap. Eventually you should see what you are using the most and then you can replace them with quality tools. You don't need to go nuts like some people who might suggest snap-on or matco but something with a warranty like craftsman would be good. In 10 years I have only broke my 10mm deepwell and they quickly replaced it. I only decided to go with them because a saw and older man who had brought in 3 tools that he found in his yard. Obviously not his but rusted solid and they replaced them without a fuss. Not saying that would happen to you or I but that's a deal.
 

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If your budget is extremely tight you can't beat Harbor Freight for starter tools that can be replaced with better ones later.



While I'm unsure about their choices on feeler gauges they often have their basic multimeter on sale for $1.99 or $2.99 which I think is what it's on sale for this month with the coupon that's in their flyer. A copy of the flyer is usually available at the door when you walk in. Decent enough metric wrench kit on sale too. It pays to visit their website and get on their mailing list; it also pays to register with a different name and a work or friend's address as some things come up tht you'd like to have two of the coupons for. http://www.harborfreight.com



They used to be known for junk, but over the past few years the quality of their house brands has improved greatly.




I agree. You can't beat their $3 digital volt-ohm meter for bang for the buck. I have no idea how they can possibly make these things for the prices they charge but they are so cheap I have one in the trunk of my Silverwing, one in my car, one in my truck, and one in my toolbox in the garage.



If $2.99 isn't cheap enough, they frequently go on sale for $1.99 !



I've bought a lot of hand tools from Harbor Freight and they work just fine. I don't have a high opinion of their electric tools but their pneumatic stuff seems to be OK.
 

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The Harbor Freight multimeter is great deal. It's all you're likely to ever need to track down electrical problems on a bike. Multimeter usage and troubleshooting techniques are described here.



The toolkit carried on my bike is described here. These tools are all you need for the vast majority of basic maintenance tasks.



Beyond that, a couple of good torque wrenches are highly recommended, one for small torque values up to 12 lb-ft or so, and another for torque values up to 75 lb-ft or so.
 

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I used to work @ a harbor freight tools here in Pittsburgh. You get what you pay for there. If you buy a $5.99 52 piece sae-metric socket set it is a piece of crap. the super cheap ones are crap. don't buy these

or these



All of their hand tools are lifetime warranty...



If you buy a $29 socket set it is as good as a $150 craftsman set the same size. I have a good amount of their hand-tools. socket set



They are really nice if you buy the smaller 10 piece wrench or socket sets in the $10-$20 range. wrenches impact sockets



Their smaller AC 3/8" drill is really good for $12. Most of this stuff I own is top notch I've beat them up for 3 or 4 years now and still work great.drill



their composites are some of the smoothest ones I've ever used. 72 teeth so they don't need much room to work right in tight spots and tough as hell!1/4" ratchet 3/8" ratchet



Buy their professional pliers individually in the orange packages they are nice too pliers



torque wrench is great deal too torque wrench

spark checker
 

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Alright so before I can start my extremely tight budget build I need to build a basic tool collection. I want to check all the mechanical stuff first before I start any modifying.



First off, I've got a loud tick under the right valve cover so I'm assuming it will need adjusting. I'm looking at feeler gauges and I'm not sure if I should get the straight ones here or get the angled ones here



Also, there must be some problem with my wiring because I can wiggle the headlight wire and the headlight will come on and off when it feels like it. I've decided to get a cheap multimeter, but have ZERO experience with electrical (not that I'm very good with mechanical stuff either) so I was looking at this one



Anyone have opinions on whether these items should do the job or if there is a better option?
I agree with Shep about getting a multimeter with an audible setting for continuity. You should be able to get one for under ten bucks. I use the audible setting for circuit tracing and running down shorts very often. It's a lot handier than just using the ohms scale. I usually buy the cheapest feeler gauges that I can find and when I need an angled feeler it takes about a minute to grab a plier and angle a straight one. You'd want to make sure that you get feelers that suit the job without having to stack two or three to get the thickness you want.
 

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Alright so before I can start my extremely tight budget build I need to build a basic tool collection. I want to check all the mechanical stuff first before I start any modifying.



First off, I've got a loud tick under the right valve cover so I'm assuming it will need adjusting. I'm looking at feeler gauges and I'm not sure if I should get the straight ones here or get the angled ones here



Also, there must be some problem with my wiring because I can wiggle the headlight wire and the headlight will come on and off when it feels like it. I've decided to get a cheap multimeter, but have ZERO experience with electrical (not that I'm very good with mechanical stuff either) so I was looking at this one



Anyone have opinions on whether these items should do the job or if there is a better option?
I agree with Shep about getting a multimeter with an audible setting for continuity. You should be able to get one for under ten bucks. I use the audible setting for circuit tracing and running down shorts very often. It's a lot handier than just using the ohms scale. I usually buy the cheapest feeler gauges that I can find and when I need an angled feeler it takes about a minute to grab a plier and angle a straight one. You'd want to make sure that you get feelers that suit the job without having to stack two or three to get the thickness you want.
 

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I just picked up a 3/8 torque wrench from harbor freight. It did the job for $17.


You know they have a 1/4 drive torque wrench for about the same amount. I have both. The 1/4 drive is nicer on little things.
 

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I saw a picture on one of the posts here showing how to measure the gap when adjusting the valves. He was using a feeler guage that spanned both of the valves at the same time. Was he able to purchase a 4 and 3 thousand guage individually or did he just take a set apart. I guess if a set was cheap enough it would be a good idea to take one apart as it would be a lot easier to use and only 2 guages are used on the valves.

The only problem would a hole at one end of the gauge. BillRod
 

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That's the picture from Larry.





I took 3 blades out of mine and put them in a special box just for doing valves.
 

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I am not a fan of anything made in 3rd world countries with slave labor, line China, so I can't be an advocate for anything at Harbor Freight unless it's something disposable that isn't made anywhere else. I've also had and seen horrible quality for several of their lifetime warranty items, including their Pittsburg sockets. It's great that it's a lifetime warranty, but if it's junk and it breaks when you are using it, it's not fun...then you have to spend time returning the Made in China piece of trash.



That being said, I stick to lesser expensive stuff that can be found Made in USA or another leading nation, like SOME Craftsman and Husky tools. I steer clear of expensive tools where you pay for the name, like MAC and Snap-ON...too expensive for me!



All of that aside, the best place i've found to buy tools is craigslist and garage sales...by far. You can find some insane deals from people just getting rid of entire toolboxes after a death or something, filled with great quality stuff!
 

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Do you have the OEM tool set that originally came with the bike?  If not, you'll need a 19 mm thin wall socket for the spark plugs.  The straight feeler will work, it's easy access to the valve adjusters.  Also, have you gotten a manual for it yet?  If not, I've got a Clymer's I don't use much any more, I have the FSM also and I find myself using that more often than the clymers.  You'll need a basic set of metric sockets if you don't have them, from 8mm up to 19 (? are there any bigger than the spark plugs??  I don't remember).  
 

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Poncho the guy's comments about Harbor Freight ring true, and there really is a kernel of truth in getting what you pay for. Be careful when using the lesser quality stuff, busting a socket at the wrong time can break a knuckle or hurt anything going in the same direction.



That being said, Craftsman has those boxed sets of tools you can buy on the internet, some for pretty cheap. I look out on C-list a lot for deals where people are trying to get rid of tool sets, impact wrenches, paint sprayers, you name it, it will show up somewhere. You can find other sets at Home Depot, Pep Boys, ect. As was mentioned by another astute member, having a guarantee don't make it good, it just means more trips to the store.



Also try to find some folks in your area that have tools you might need one time only and ask NICELY if you can borrow them. I have done that in the past, and anything I do borrow I return in same or better condition than I borrowed said machine/tool. It greases the skids for later requests.



If you were near me I'd loan you the voltmeter once I knew you were checked out....remember you can "smoke" one pretty easily if you hook it up the wrong way....the better ones have a fuse to prevent that.



Good luck and tell us how it goes.......



Randy
 

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The guys are giving you some good advice. And there are Sears, Harbor Freight, Walmart(Stanley) and Kobalt and even some Coast To Coast(bought over 40 yrs ago) tools in my toolbox. Along with a few Snap-on & Mac.

Though I have to admit, that this is an acumulation over 40 yrs.



I have found a few cases where the premium professional tool would do the job the less expensive tools would not. As an example, last week I had to replace a brakeline on my daughters Oldsmobile and needed a brakeline bender. The Cheap klunky looking bender was $15 and the K&D I bought for $36 was smaller neater and I could use it under the car in the tight confines, wher I don't believe the other would have worked.

Just get the best you can afford (which may be the least expensive) and add as you see the need for better.



I play head games with myself. I find that at this point in my life, the least expensive tools have less value to me. Therefore I tend to abuse them and not take care of them as they should be. So I try to buy tools that exceed my abilities and talent. They have value to me and are taken care of properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Most cheap Multimeters are good enough for our use but get one with a buzzer/beeper when on it's continuity test(Zero Resistance test) as it makes finding bad grounds really easy


So the harbor freight one doesn't have a beeper for the continuity test? Would you have an example of one (maybe a cheap one so I can just buy that
)
 

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