Restoration Tools


Below are the tools that I have used to restore my vehicles.   Most are pretty necessary, others are "good to have."  Where applicable, I'll try to list where I got the tool as well.

I think one of the basic tools every garage needs is a welder.  Mine is a Millermatic 220 volt Mig welder with shielding gas .  I have the 220 volt because I weld thick steel along with sheet metal.  For Jeep restorations you can get away with a 110 volt welder with flux core wire.

Ebay: $700

A good hammer and dolly set will go a long way in repairing and straightening steel panels.

Harbor Freight: $15

A stud puller set is a must for pulling those head studs, and exhaust & intake manifold studs.

Harbor Freight: $12

A cylinder bore gauge is needed to check for out-of-round on the cylinders if you are rebuilding the motor yourself.

Ebay: $35

A step drill makes quick, neat work out of drilling large diameter holes like the drain in the toolbox, and for firewall holes.

Lowes: $30

You will need a valve spring compressor like this to remove the valves for a rebuild.

Ebay: $15

This piston ring tool will help you install the rings on the pistons without breaking them (trust me, I know!).

Napa: $7

A cylinder hone will break the glaze on the cylinder walls and give them a nice smooth finish.  For best results, make sure you have the motor rebored.

Napa: $30

A cheap valve regrinding tool like this used with grinding compound helps reseat the valves.  The suction cups grips the top of the valve, and you spin the valve tool between your hands.

Napa: $5

Piston groove cleaner.  Does just that.

Napa: $15

Various brake tools.  A brake flaring tool, and a tubing bender.

Napa: $20

A good micrometer is needed to precisely measure anything.

Harbor Freight: $20

A compression tester will help diagnose certain motor issues.  This is the first tool I use when I get a new project home.  You can even take it with you to test a Jeep before you buy it!

Pep Boys: $25

This piston ring compressor does just that and helps in the installation of the pistons.

Pep Boys: $15

Torque wrenches are one tool you can not live without!  I have both a 1/2" drive, and a 3/8" drive.  Use these to torque all your bolts to factory specs.

Harbor Freight: $40 (on sale!)

You must have a good tap and die set (mine is cheap).  Helps clean up those old bolts, and restores rusted holes.

Harbor Freight: $30

Okay, here it is:  The one tool that you won't believe you ever lived without!  It's a hub puller.  If you have ever tried to pull the rear hubs from an early CJ, then you know what I mean.  I spent hours trying to make one, only to have it break in frustration.  Break down and buy one of these!!

Ebay: $70

A dial indicator and magnetic base like this one is used to measure runout on things like the flywheel, and endplay on the crankshaft.

Ebay: $40

A bench grinder and drill press are very helpful.  That wire wheel on the grinder is a must and makes quick work out of cleaning up parts.

Lowes: $200

Depending on how many Jeeps you rebuild, you may want to invest in an engine hoist.  I bought the foldable type and can't believe I ever spent $30 to rent one!  This has more than paid for itself.

Harbor Freight: $190

A large air compressor can be used for all sorts of stuff:  air tools, spray guns, and plasma cutters.

Lowes $250

I use a die grinder to polish the inside of the head ports, clean up metal, and use it with a cut-off wheel to repair panels.

Lowes: $20

This spot weld cutter works great and does just what the name implies.

Ebay $15

A plumber's torch is good for heating up and shaping metal.

Lowe's $30

More to come......