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fmorelli

Brigadier General
Staff member
Aug 11, 2017
2,516
Virginia
So while we're on drivers, moving from screwdrivers to something else handy. A full set of flexible shaft nut drivers is a great thing to have. Really one only needs a few sizes - the couple for hose clamps, along with 8mm and 10mm. On BMW's we have a lot of 10mm hardware floating around, and I find the 10mm flexible nut driver super convenient for taking stuff apart and putting it together. Rather than a ratchet with extension and sock, of course. Once you use the 8mm and 10mm you will wonder where they were all your life. And if you are using a screwdriver or ratchet for your hose clamps, tsk tsk. These flex drivers tend to collapse at about 6 ft-lbs or so, which is perfect for a hose clamp.

I have a full set of these, a mix of both Stahlwille and Wurth. But honestly today I think the best deal is the Wiha 7-piece set one can purchase for about $125. If you want to save money, there are two ways to go - the first is just buy the common sizes you would use in the engine compartment, rather than the 7-piece set. The other option is to consider the KCT Auto Tools set for ~$60 shipped, though I am not recommending them as I have no direct experience with the set.

Filippo

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NoQuarter

Captain
Nov 24, 2017
1,149
Indiana, USA
I don't even know where to start on this thread ... cripes. I guess I'll start at the tool box. I had a bunch of Stahlwille euro style boxes (narrow) and decided it was time to go American style. I grew up working in shops with the usual massive Snap-On and Matco boxes, but dropping ten large was not in my plans. So after a crap ton of reading and reviews, I came to the conclusion that US General Pro from Harbor Freight was the right choice. It took an extra long while as HF is generally suspect. I bought last fall. The reviews were right, these are great boxes.

I snagged the 72" bottom box, 56" top box, and a 16" side box. I added a magnetic paper towel holder, and a magnetic glove holder. With sale stuff I think I spent about $1,600 total, and the HF guys forklifted the pallets in the bed of the powerstroke. Unloading was a bit of fun.

Finish quality is good, fit, and finish. The roller bearing drawers are great. The drawer label system has end caps which pop out in the version I have, but the new ones in the store have an updated design. The drawers are all positive latch, which is a hidden. I highly recommend taking the time to buy tool control items so the drawers are organized - helps move quickly, and know when stuff is missing.

If you go look at HF toolboxes, make sure you look at US General Pro - they are the only ones of this quality. They also have a tool cart which is well priced, and a few smaller configuration boxes if you are not looking to go super sized.

Filippo

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Looking on their site. Seems only Series 2 is available.

Edit- seems like this is a new model and is the Snap-On/Mac quality version from the reviews.

Looking at the 72" cabinet.
 
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fmorelli

Brigadier General
Staff member
Aug 11, 2017
2,516
Virginia
Nice, Jim. I can't wait to see the photo of everything in place!

I want to share a few things with my installation, if they might be helpful.

I added power in the top. Was convenient for me. Here are a few photos. The APC power strip I used is simply held in place with 3M VHB double stick automotive tape. For the cord, drill a pilot hole, then use a step drill, then some touch-up paint to protect the bare metal. I used an electrical threaded cable clamp, which makes for a clean and positive installation. To run the cable through, take the power strip apart, disconnect the cable, run it through the hole, then reassemble.

I added the side vertical box. Too bad it is not 22" deep (only 16") but it hangs just fine and I found it gives me space for some vertical stuff, and two small drawers in the bottom which are more storage (manuals for me).

Two other things from my experience: keep an eye on the black tab inserts ... I still have the Series 1 which fall out. They updated the ones you have and they hopefully don't pop out. Second, I found printing labels on 8.5x11 paper, cutting them as strips, and sliding them between the HF white paper insert and plastic insert, was easier and allowed me to change things up as I figured out my box organization.

BTW the glove holder, paper towel holders work well and are cheap with coupons.

Nice buy!

Filippo

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fmorelli

Brigadier General
Staff member
Aug 11, 2017
2,516
Virginia
So while @NoQuarter is buying big stuff, I decided Friday to make some additions to my setup. I wanted to clear some space out of my box (one can never have enough tools). Electronic equipment has been slowly creeping up on me, and filling my box. At first I thought about buying another small box (26" wide) with drawers, but then realized an electronics cart was the answer. First off for anyone buying HF stuff, especially anything that costs money, you have to know about the online coupon database: http://www.hfqpdb.com/. From here I was able to find a coupon for $169 on the General Pro 2 Cart. I then used a 20% off coupon from the web site to purchase the folding side table. So basically $200 out the door for a 5 roller bearing draw cart with pneumatic top and side table.

I am still building up the car. A bit of rebadging and BMW motorsport tape (can't help myself :sunglasses:). I'm adding power (like I did to the big box in the above post) with this surge protected power strip. The folding table will get black toolbox drawer foam stuck on with 3M adhesive spray, so nothing slides around. I'm making a wood insert which will be a riser for the laptop so it is easier to type with it sitting in the box. Finally I will put some rollbar hoop padding on the corner uprights so when rolling, I don't accidentally bump a car. Photos below of where I'm at thus far.

Filippo

p.s. For logo geeks ... aliexpress.com ... one can buy BMW and motorsport decals, chrome decals, et cetera for absolute peanuts. I have a drawer full at $2-3 each, for when I feel inclined to label something up lol.

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NoQuarter

Captain
Nov 24, 2017
1,149
Indiana, USA
Nice upgrades on the cart and the power strip is a great addition.

Right now I am going the phase of not knowing where anything is! Then the inevitable moving it around again as I decide what I like and don't like.
 

fmorelli

Brigadier General
Staff member
Aug 11, 2017
2,516
Virginia
I wanted to do some quick temp testing when I install my AFe intake. At some point in my future I may get a fancy data logger (i.e. AIM) but for now this was cheap and accurate enough for my needs. $21 shipped from Amazon got me a 4-channel thermocouple sensor. Another $14 shipped got me 5 K-type thermocouples 3 meters long, which will get to my engine compartment via my A pillar.

I did a bunch of testing - using ambient temp and boiling water. Bottom line is I measured ~208° F degrees on boiling water (which is 212° F). Reading is 2% low versus actual. Deviation across all four sensors was about 0.5%. Good enough for most anything we'd do with a car.

Filippo

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Jeffman

Captain
Jan 7, 2017
1,338
Any suggestions for a nice and heavy work bench, about 60” wide, for mounting a good-size vise?
 

langsbr

Lieutenant
Apr 5, 2017
995
I wanted to do some quick temp testing when I install my AFe intake. At some point in my future I may get a fancy data logger (i.e. AIM) but for now this was cheap and accurate enough for my needs. $21 shipped from Amazon got me a 4-channel thermocouple sensor. Another $14 shipped got me 5 K-type thermocouples 3 meters long, which will get to my engine compartment via my A pillar.
What are you planning to test? FMIC delta? Are you going to do a thread on how you did the testing? I'm trying to think of the best way to install them - maybe the silicone coupler ends?
 

fmorelli

Brigadier General
Staff member
Aug 11, 2017
2,516
Virginia
We'll see. It's been monsoon season here after all the ridiculous Heat. Barry and I are hoping to get a day on the car on Thursday. If I get the intake installed will look at where we're going to put the probes. I had thought to put one at the air intake, one at the filters, and two around the perimeter of the driver side engine compartment. I'm wondering if the AFE will leak hot air.

Filippo
 

fmorelli

Brigadier General
Staff member
Aug 11, 2017
2,516
Virginia
Any suggestions for a nice and heavy work bench, about 60” wide, for mounting a good-size vise?
Heavy is the trick so it doesn't move around. In my guitar shop I have a 300 lb bench I built with a 3" top (3/4" plywood top and bottom with two 3/4" composite board center). If you have a circular saw you can build your own out of those materials, and use 4x4s and end up with a sturdy, heavy bench.

Otherwise I don't know of heavy duty benches for any reasonable prices. Someone else may, though.

Filippo

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fmorelli

Brigadier General
Staff member
Aug 11, 2017
2,516
Virginia
You can make a 3" sandwich with 4x4 framing and you'll have the heft you want without the cost or complexity.

Filippo
 

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