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Old 03-30-2020, 07:59 AM   #1
Brohymn
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Member#: 512966
Join Date: Mar 2020
Default Noob with a noob question.

First off I'd like to say hi and introduce myself. I got a lot of good information creeping on this site and would like to thank you all for sharing your experience and knowledge.

After years of dreaming and saving I finally purchased a 2020 WRX Base Model that's currently 500 miles into the break in period. This is my daily driver. Mods for this summer include upgrades to wheels, tires (all season), headlights, and brakes. I drive mountain roads at all hours to work and I figure I need to be able see hazards then be able to stop quickly when I see them.

My question, after doing some searches on here coming up with nothing, is what is a good starting point for basic tools? I'm talking oil changes and such for now assuming I have no tools. I can research brands with most bang for the buck on my own, just looking for what do I need for basic maintenance.

Thank you all again for the knowledge and experience you share!
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:18 AM   #2
oichan
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Member#: 492327
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: A garage in the Midwest
Vehicle:
19 WRX 16 STI
17Golf-R 16FiST 20Supra

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First would be either hydraulic jack for you to be able to swap wheels. Harbor freight has some 2ton cheapo aluminum racing jacks (anodized blue in color) for like $80 which are quite good. I have 2 of them in my garage and I've only had to bleed the air from time to time over the last decade.

For oil changes you can use jackstands but I prefer to use ramps. I use RaceRamps with the extension to clear lower riding cars. They seem costly but a great investment. Ive had mine for 7-8yrs and no show in wear.

As for oil change you'll want to get the Fumoto valve for your car. Makes your next oil change super easy. You can use a strap wrench or oil filter wrench to loosen your oil filter if it's tight. Get a drain pan and a funnel, I use brake cleaner to clean my tools. A papertowel dispenser is handy too to have, and disposable gloves.

I also suggest going with a 3/8 drive ratchet (long and short handle) and socket set (deep and regular sockets, wobble extension adapters) to start so that you can use it to remove your oil plug and also work on your lug nuts.

I've been doing this for a long while so have several large tool cases worth of tools and power tools but one does not need all that to do basic maintenance. GL with your car tinkering.
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Old 03-30-2020, 06:09 PM   #3
08redWRX
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Member#: 186068
Join Date: Aug 2008
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: NC
Vehicle:
2019 STi
DGM

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Welcome and like posted above I use a harbor freight 2 ton jack that works great. I'd also buy a small tool set ie, 100+ tools with sockets/wrenches what not. Can be from Harbor Freight, Lowes, HD where ever, just a basic set of tools to get you started. I have a large toolbox filled with tools and use my Huskey toolbox set that my father gave me more than my toolbox because its easy to move around with you.

For jacks/ramps I bought the set of ramps from Advanced Auto for i think $50 something and they work great right now. I'm lowered on RCE Blacks and if I were to go lower I'd either have to build a extension or like suggested above go with Race Ramps with extension. For what I use the ramps for right now the Advanced Auto onces work great. I bought a set of Race Ramps for my father-in-law (corvette lover) probably 10 years ago and they are expensive and work great but so do the Advance Auto ones for my current needs.
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:00 PM   #4
Backroad Rex
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Member#: 414188
Join Date: Feb 2015
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: SE Michigan
Vehicle:
2015 WRX
Silver

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+1 on Fumoto valve. Would also recommend a Torque wrench. With many aluminum parts on this car proper torque is essential.
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:09 PM   #5
Kickinbeatz
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Member#: 497677
Join Date: Feb 2019
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Groton CT
Vehicle:
2018 WRX Premium
WRB

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One of the most useful tool sets I have gotten since owning a Subaru, is interior/exterior clip removal set. I have seen them for sale all over any Auto store, Walmart, big box.... They come in handy when you have to go into engine bay and pop all the clips that hold intake manifold in. When working with headlights, you want to have as much room as you can!! Also, I got a breaker bar for my wheels that matches socket size for lugs and my torque wrench. I never tightened them over 86 lb-ft but it makes it easier to remove than smaller bars.
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Old 03-30-2020, 09:40 PM   #6
moby4dick
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Chapter/Region: Tri-State
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Here is a toolset that isn't terribly expensive and will be a great way to start: https://www.sears.com/craftsman-276p...p-00954449000P

It's $169, and has most everything you need to get started other than a breaker bar which you can pickup. It includes a tool chest to organize it so you don't have a pile of tools in a cardboard box.

You would also need jacks and jackstands, or go the route of a ramp. I own Raceramps but unless you're going to start lowering your car you won't need them. Ramps are safer than jacks and jackstands, but also get a set of chocks for the wheels to help prevent the car from rolling. You'll really want both though for different situations.

I've never owned Harbor Freight tools, never owned Snap On either. The Craftsman stuff always worked for me, seems to be a good in between. I think unless you're going to be a paid mechanic, Snap On is probably overkill. But you also don't want tools that always have some issue or break easily. I always remember my dad saying, never buy cheap tools, you will always regret it.

Enjoy servicing your car, it's rewarding and saves some money in the long run! Plus you'll know it's been done right...
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Old 03-31-2020, 01:40 AM   #7
GoFrogs
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Member#: 507317
Join Date: Oct 2019
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: SW Ohio
Vehicle:
2019 WRX
Pure Red

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Quote:
Originally Posted by moby4dick View Post
I've never owned Harbor Freight tools, never owned Snap On either. The Craftsman stuff always worked for me, seems to be a good in between. I think unless you're going to be a paid mechanic, Snap On is probably overkill. But you also don't want tools that always have some issue or break easily. I always remember my dad saying, never buy cheap tools, you will always regret it.
I will add to this a HF 1/2" breaker bar (25" or longer) to assist with lug nut removal. I have one and it lives in the trunk along with the correct deep well impact socket (19mm?).

HF always has a "Tent sale" or "'liquidation sale" going on and is kind enough to mail out 20% off coupons weekly and/or provide them in the store. It may not work on certain jacks, but it will help with a lot of the other hand tools; just one trick, it's one item only at a time.
  • Find yourself a good set of allen keys (metric/SAE) preferably with an extension handle or T-handle.
  • Find a good set of torx bits, either 1/4" or 3/8" socket-type.
  • As mentioned above, a good set of trim/panel removal tools (available at HF for under $20).
  • A nice set of screwdrivers, philips and flat head, from 2" stubby to 8"+ long reach or one of those fancy reversible-ratchet screwdrivers that come with 10 bits.
  • 1/4" and 3/8" ratchet handles and a good set of accompanying sockets. [available in most "mechanics sets"]
  • a nice set of combination wrenches (Metric/SAE) - some sets out there can do both metric/SAE so you only need one set vs buying one of each.
  • a good light source; something small, portable and bright (rechargeable is optional) - might as well add a headband light to allow hands free operation
  • a telescoping, pivot head inspection mirror
  • pliers to include needle nose, locking jaw and expandable jaw
  • diagonal cutters
  • zip ties...lots of zip ties of various sizes
  • a good torque wrench or 2 (3/8" and 1/2"), the larger for torquing lug nuts and suspension parts; the smaller one for everything else
  • Rhino ramps or similar
  • safety glasses

as far as brand of tools, that is up to you and what your budget will allow and where you going to put them.

I have all sorts. I have Metrinch [metric/SAE in one; owned for 25+ years and not a single issue), Kobalt, Craftsman, HF, Irwin, Channel Lock, Husky, Dewalt, etc. Lifetime warranty is nice, but not necessary.

Base model for the win! Good luck.
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Old 03-31-2020, 05:20 PM   #8
Brohymn
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Member#: 512966
Join Date: Mar 2020
Default

Thanks for the responses everyone! I've had a bad experience with ramps on my first ever car, a Pontiac Fiero or "the Tupperware coffin" as I called it. Probably going to look into one of those vac pumps for regular oil changes and get a jack and stands for everything else. Thinking Craftsman, it's all made in China these days unless you're doing it for a living or have money to burn on Snap-On or Mac. Probably going to do my first oil change next week after break in then possibly the tranny and differential soon after. I love the car and plan on keeping it for a very long time so I'd like to replace all the fluids that might have metal floating in them between 1-1.5k.

Thanks again all!
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Old 03-31-2020, 05:38 PM   #9
Backroad Rex
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Member#: 414188
Join Date: Feb 2015
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: SE Michigan
Vehicle:
2015 WRX
Silver

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Tranny & diff fluid? Add a turkey baster to the shopping list....
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:00 PM   #10
dangerousatom
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Member#: 70710
Join Date: Sep 2004
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Quakertown/AREA1320 391whp
Vehicle:
2002 04STi Swaped RS
w/PPGS & 02 Wagon w/PPGs

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Harbor Freight is great, but if you are near an outdoor market "flea market" many of your tool needs can be found for super cheap. Particularly Vice Grips, Wrenches and Pliers usually USA. Walk through Lowes/HD and look at the prices so you know a deal when you see it on the cheap. Id recommend getting only impact sockets you will never brake them, even the cheap ones. eBay and FB market is also an excellent place to tool hunt for the good used stuff, I have scored 10 assorted vice grips for under $40 shipped via eBay and buck a wrench n pliers at local markets.

A good 18-22v impact driver and large bit assortment is very helpful
Magnetic pic up tool...antenna type and flex shaft

I used to sell tools import Harbor Freight type and top quality UAS stuff.
There are many tools made over seas that are excellent quality, you just need to know what to look for. Many US Cos have their stuff made over seas and 51% of the cost is finishing and chroming in USA so they can be technically call made in USA

Were do you live, this is a big determining factor for what you should have and can have. What I mean is your house or parents, garage paved or stone driveway, In town/city parked on curb. Lugging tools in and out and up n down stairs sucks and working on stones is just terrible

Dont change your oil with a Vac Extractor it doesnt do it well ....get one of these and jack it up. The more your under your car the more you will know whats right n wrong

Dont change your trans n diff fluid till 10-20k particularly since your in warranty

Last edited by dangerousatom; 03-31-2020 at 07:13 PM.
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