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I've made it this far in life with little more than a basic toolbox to call my own. Wrenches, sockets, pliers, elbow grease, patience, hammers, beer, good friends, and obviously this amazing unstoppable forum comprised of the holders of All Known Tacoma Knowledge; these have gotten us through basic maint/repairs and some larger jobs including clutch/pilot brg replacement and steering rack rebuild.

Background:
Having moved out of state 2 years ago, I haven't had access to a garage or even a decent workspace for bigger jobs. I could formerly use my dad's garage for days at a time, and there was a larger set of tools than my own; nothing specialty but a bigger arsenal of stuff to bang on other stuff with. A friend had jack and stands, some other auto-repair basic tools, and lots of Volvo experience.

Now it looks like I may be getting access to "my own" garage soon, and I'm super stoked to be ready to start buying real tools. I have access to most big fab tools like lathe, mill, press, grinders, stuff that's good for making special tools for seals and bearings etc, but I want to fill out my personal home tool kit to the point that I can do suspension, axle, driveshaft work in a more comfortable manner.

There are a lot of obvious basic tools I need, listed below:

Torque wrench, 3/8 and 1/2
Cordless impact, 3/8 (12V) and 1/2 (18V), and associated sockets
Floor jack, large ***LOOKING FOR SUGGESTIONS***
Jack stands, tall and sturdy? ***LOOKING FOR SUGGESTIONS***
Grinding/polishing/cutoff wheel? ***LOOKING FOR SUGGESTIONS***
Plastic mallet(s)
Hooks/pics
More 3/8 and 1/2 u-joints!
Pullers ***LOOKING FOR SUGGESTIONS***
Pickle fork(s) ***LOOKING FOR SUGGESTIONS***
More broken screw extractors...

What are some other items I should be thinking about? I'll be buying over time and in order of importance-per-price. My ball joints need immediate attention (yes I'm an idiot and let a lower fail), so what will be helpful for replacing upper and lower ball joints?

Any input on these or related subjects will be much appreciated. I'm going shopping today because I've got the itch, so there's a good chance one or two items on this list will be checked.
 

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Regarding jack stands: for as bad of a rap that harbor freight gets, their jack stands are pretty good quality. I've had my set for a few years now without any issues.
The 3 ton orange stands are about the perfect size for a tacoma with 33's or 35's.
After my solid axle swap I'm going to need the 6 ton stands if I want to support the frame and let the suspension fully hang.
 

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Do you have the angle grinder already? RORK Tools has some good deals on grinders and wheels on Pirate once in a while. Maybe here too I forget.

Battery impact...Make sure it is the one designed for sockets and not the 1/4" hex chuck(for wood screws). My Hitachi has the power. But it is an impact driver not impact wrench. So I snap the 1/4" hex to socket adapters all day.

I'd get Snap On, Milwaukee, Dewalt or Hitachi

What about a compressor? Big enough for future air tools.

Jackstands. I have some but they are not tall enough. Think about that when you buy. Lame to have wood blocks stacked up under them.

I have a Harbor Freight torque wrench but I wonder how acurrate it is. I'd buy a better one next time.

Don't forget all the little shit too. Lubes and Loctite, anti seize, gloves etc.

Specialty tools depends on what truck and what projects. Me: I had to get a socket for my CV nut. That size was not in my Craftsmen set.

I'd like an engine hoist.

A good light is also worth thinking about.

Welder?

I think we all agree here, buy the best you can afford.
 

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A Scan Tool.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Forgot the scan tool! Def been needing that.

Planning to get a Ridgid 1/2" Impact 18v because I have a couple batteries for the similar drill. Had the drill for a while and it seems pretty tough.

At work I use a 12v 3/8 Milwaukee and it's pretty awesome, small, light, fits well in the hand, and packs a punch. It would have to be a sweet deal on a top brand to lure me away from that one.

Today I found a great small shop that has probably any tool I'll need within one day, so I can get most job-specific tools as needed.

I can't think about air until I see how much room there actually is at the new place.

I've got access to welding equipment, but I'm a terrible welder so that may be a ways down the road, once I get this truck back into better shape. I will let someone with skill do any important welding for me.

You checked off several items I didn't list in the spray/lube dept which I actually do have. Gotta have a can of PB Blaster to do anything on this truck.

Thanks for the input
 

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Also storage of the new tools. If your garage is closed from the elements a rack may be nice. Costco sell modular metal wire racks. They look like what restaurants have. They are rated for a few hundred pounds per self. I have 2 and love them.
 

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I have 2 sets of jack stands, 3 tons for under the back axle where they don't need as much reach and 6 tons for under the front frame, they go tall so i can get all wheels off the ground for rotating tires, hard to do with bigger tires and ifs

floor jack I'd look for one that is at least 3 ton and the higher it lifts the better, otherwise you need to stack a wood block in between the jack plate and the truck to get it to get the tires off the ground, kinda sketchy

a creeper dolly for sliding around under the truck is a must if you have smooth concrete, if you're trying to work in gravel, you're stuck with a piece of cardboard. I like the craftsman professional one I have, its padded, rolls easy, and you can change out the casters if they fail

Sockets and such I say get a decent set like craftsman or similar, Mac and Snap on are ridiculously pricey unless you use them everyday, for the rig I have a decent set with everything I need, socket for CV flange nut, diff and tranny plugs, hex (think it's 10mm) for the front diff

Impact is def good, I'm a carpenter so I have good tools, Makita and Dewalt are best in cordless market IMO, Milwaukee also good, air tools go Ingersoll and Rand, Aircat, Chicago Pneumatic, get a set of impact specific sockets as well.

Torque wrenches I have an 3/8" drive 30-250 inch/lb, a 3/8" drive 10-150 ft/lb, and a 1/2" drive 30-250 ft/lb, all made by CDI, all steel clicker type, very reliable. You'll need the beef for doing heavy stuff like if you decide to do your own timing belt to get the main pulley nut bolt cranked back on to spec, and need the little guy for stuff like valve cover gaskets and other light duty tasks. The better the brand, the better the accuracy, the longer it lasts.

Once you start getting into the bigger shop tools, I like my Harbor Freight 20 ton press, love my Miller welder, have an oxy/ace setup, and the bigger the shop compressor you can get the better, especially if you plan to do air ram setups for presses, benders, and press brakes, and a good brand is important.

I fully believe the mantra you buy the best you can afford and spare yourself the agony of having it fail when you need it most. Each tool has paid for itself by this point, hell, the press was $170 on sale, and considering a shop will charge you to do the press work, and you have to take time work to get it there and down time while they do the work, it paid for itself the first time I pressed my axle bearing off. If you sign up with Harbor Freight they send you coupons all the time, and Northern tool has awesome selection to just drool over and add to your wish list.

Have fun, and welcome to the empty wallet club
 
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