Every Mustanger should have a good set of tools. How else can you work on your stang if you don't? Obviously everyone can't have a top of the line Snap-On tool set that costs $40,000, but you should at least have a decent set of ordinary hand tools, and a few other things such as a timing light.
We've put together a little guide to help you decide which tools you need, or want.
The first and most important thing to get is a quality set of hand tools. Many companies make good hand tools. Some of the better ones are Snap-on (one word: expensive), Matco, MAC, and Craftsman. Personally I (the webmaster) like the Craftsman brand tools. In my opinion they are the best quality you can get for their price, and price is one of the most important things you may be considering if you are only buying the tools for working on your 'Stang on the weekends.
A starter set of hand tools usually includes wrenches, socket and ratchet sets, screw drivers, and pliers.
One of the first things you should consider getting is a good set of wrenches. The most common type of wrench is a combination wrench like the ones shown. They are called combination wrenches because they have a "combination" of a box and combination wrench in one.
Next on the list of "must haves" is a good set of sockets and ratchets. Socket and Ratchet sets come in three common sizes... 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" drives. You'll want different sizes of extensions and universal joints to make jobs like changing spark plugs easier. Speaking of spark plugs you'll want to get the common sizes of spark plug sockets too. 1/4" sockets are usually used for light duty work, 3/8" is the most commonly used and 1/2 inch is for heavy duty work.
Almost everyone has the regular stuff like screw drivers and pliers, but something many people totally over look, and never even think about is screw drivers with torx tips, or a set of torx sockets. Eventually you'll need them for something, so you might want to get a small set of them, "just in case". The image on the right is of a torx screw driver tip.
Most tool companies make small sets of tools which come with most of the regular hand tools. Sets like the one pictured to the left can be bought for under $200, which isn't bad considering the number of tools you get and the fact that they all come with a life-time warranty. One thing to remember is that many hand tools like wrenches and sockets come in two different sizes, Standard (aka...SAE) and Metric. Many of these tool sets come with both standard and metric. The tool box on the left has both standard and metric sizes of 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" drive sockets. It also came with wrenches in both standard and metric sizes.
Now that we've gone over hand tools, we're going to go over some other stuff you may need when working on your Mustang. (or other Fast Ford)
From just bumping up the timing for more power, to lowering it for your brand new Nitrous kit, there's nothing you will need more than a good timing light. Although they may all seem the same you get what you pay for in most cases. There have been tests done by one of the major Mustang magazines in which they found that the cheap timing lights can be off by as much as 5 degrees. Alot! What's the sense of setting the timing if its going to be way off? Many companies such as craftsman, matco, and snap on make quality timing lights.
Wanna make life easier? Do you want to be able to loosen your lug nuts without popping a blood vessel in your forehead? Well the best way of doing that is to buy a compressor and air tools to go with it. Although they aren't alway cheap, a good set of air tools can make many jobs go way easier. The air compressor on the right is a 4.5hp 20 gallon unit, which is probably the smallest compressor you can get that will let you run an impact gun off of it.
Air tools like the ratchet and impact gun shown above are made to work at certain psi, (pounds per square inch) and a certain CFM. (cubic feet per minute) So your biggest concern when buying a compressor is to make sure you get one big enough to run whatever tools you want off of it. Many people make the mistake of buying a compressor that is too small for the job. When buying a compressor you are better off getting one bigger than you need right now, so you can buy different air tools for it later. Remember one thing, just because a compressor can produce 120 psi (more than enough for an impact gun) doesn't mean it can pump out enough CFM to run the tools you want, so make sure you get one that can.
If you are planning on doing any type of work under your stang you will need something to lift it up....right? Well you have a choice of two different ways to get under that car (unless you have a lift). You can get a jack and a set of jack stands, or you can get a set of ramps like those shown to the left. Although its more of a personal preference both choices have their advantages and disadvantages.
The ramps are great because all you have to do is drive the car up on them and your done, but the problem with them is that you can't pull the wheels off if you use them. (what if you want to check the brakes?)
The jack and stands take a little more time to set up, but you can do more stuff with them.
The ramps shown are made of steel, but there's also a company that makes them out of a hard rubber....known as Rhino Ramps.