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Tool Kits - Lets get into specifics...

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' at netrider.net.au started by toast, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. I've been reading all the threads and posts about tool kits, most notibly about socket sets and torque wrenches.

    As is usual, there are lots of great information about brands, quality and value. But not much about the specific tools required in these kits.

    Take, for example, the general consensus that typical motorcycle toolkit socket set being in the range of 1/4 and 3/8, and that 1/2 is typically required for cars.

    I've found what I think is a nice little kit that could get me started with general maintenance. The kind that doesn't involve pulling engines apart. It is the Bahco S330 1/4 and 3/8 kit:


    Socket set 1/4" and 3/8", S330

    Socket set 1/4" and 3/8" drive, Dynamic-Drive Profile.
    DIN 3120/ ISO1174.
    Finish: Matt Chrome-plated.
    Material: Chrome Vanadium. Case: High Density Polythene (HDPE)
    Contents: 34 pieces
    12 pcs 3/8" 6-pt Sockets Dynamic-Drive 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 mm
    2 pcs 3/8" Extension bars 75 mm / 3" & 150 mm / 6"
    1 pce 3/8" Universal joint
    1 pce 3/8" x 1/4" Bit holder
    2 pcs 3/8" Spark plug Sockets 6-pt 16 mm (5/8"), 21 mm (13/16")
    1 pce 1/4" Spinner with two component handle
    1 pce 1/4" x 1/4" Bit holder
    3 pcs 1/4" Bits Flat 4 5.5 7 mm
    4 pcs 1/4" Bits Phillips PH 1 2 3 4
    6 pcs 1/4" Bits Hex 3 4 5 6 7 8 mm
    1 pce 3/8" Ratchet with two component handle, 60 teeth


    On further investigation, it is apparent that there are no 1/4 sockets, and that the 1/4 components in this are for screwdriver Bit attachments. So it got me wondering what the hell the 1/4 and 3/8 designations actually refer to. Is the 1/4 kit just a smaller range of sockets? Can a 3/8 kit take 1/4 sockets?

    Does the 1/4 and 3/8 refer to the size of the rachet?

    Can I simply purchase some "1/4" sockets to accompany this kit? Or should I just get smaller 3/8 sockets (below 10mm)?

    Is the rachet the handle to which the sockets attach? And is this like a torque wrench but without the torque measurement component (which would mean that I would need to purchase a separate torque wrench)?

    I can understand what the extenders are for, and that the universal joint is for getting to nuts on an angle. But what the hell is a spinner?

    If I get this kit, it looks like I still need to get the following:
    1. Spanners (open-open ended or open-ring ended - I dunno).
    2. Good quality allen keys (not sure if loose or fixed, like Gorilla keys, is important).
    3. Screwdrivers in fixed sizes.

    So, with this in mind, should I go for a 1/4 kit and a 3/8 kit separately, or will this little kit still cover most of the requirements for general maintenance, with some supplimentation to fill in the gaps?

    I need to know what this all means so I can make a more efficient purchasing decision. Perhaps this kit (S330) would be fine with an adapter for 1/4 sockets and a set of sockets only.

    Here is the 1/4 Bahco kit:

    Socket sets 1/4", S460

    Socket set 1/4" drive, Dynamic-Drive Profile.
    DIN 3120 / ISO 1174.
    Finish: Matt Chrome-plated.
    Material: Chrome Vanadium. Case: High Density Polythene (HDPE)
    Contents: 46 pieces
    12 pcs 1/4" 6-pt Sockets Dynamic Drive 4 4.5 5.5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 mm
    4 pcs 1/4" Socket drivers Phillips PH 1 2 3 4
    3 pcs 1/4" Socket drivers Flat 4 5.5 7 mm
    6 pcs 1/4" Socket drivers Hex 3 4 5 6 8 10 mm
    7 pcs 1/4" Socket drivers Torx T 8 10 15 20 25 27 30
    3 pcs 1/4" Sockets Torx E 6 7 8
    1 pce 1/4" Spinner Disc
    2 pcs 1/4" Extension bars 2" & 4"
    1 pce 1/4" Sliding T-bar
    1 pce 1/4" Universal joint
    1 pce 1/4" Spinner with two component handle
    1 pce 1/4" Flexible extension bar 6"
    3 pcs L-Keys Hex 1.5 2 2.5 mm
    1 pce 1/4" Ratchet with two component handle, 60 teeth
    3 pcs Removable three section plastic box with lid.


    The other thing is, if I'm not pulling the engine apart, do I even need a socket set? Perhaps all I need are Allen keys, spanner and screw drivers. If I want to just take things apart to lube, clean or replace, what do I need? For example, i might need to take the fairings off to get to the spark plugs, or to change the oil, or I may need to tighten the footpeg/gear leaver assembly (I had someone do this for me this week).

    Anything that isn't too complex or require good experience and skill/knowledge, I would like to do. Clearly stripping down and servicing the carbies is going to be something I'll leave to my mechanic.

    So what is the go?

    My bike is a Honda CBR250RR, in pretty good mechanical condition. I want to keep it that way.
  2. Yes

    Yes, but you wouldn't want to do it that way - you will possibly be able to exert more torque on the poor little 1/4" drive set, using the 3/8" tools, than they are designed to handle. You would also need a 1/4 to 3/8 adaptor (included in some cheap sets.)

    No, it refers to the size of the square "bit" which slots into the top of the socket.

    It wouldn't matter either way, except that small sockets are more readily manipulated using a small drive tool (1/4").

    Yes. A "ratchet" is adjustable to work in either direction - it will lock up when you turn it one way, and "ratchet" back (turn with a clicking noise) so you can gave another go without removing the socket from the nut/bolt you are tightening. Flick a button and it will do the same in the reverse direction, so that it can be used to tighten or loosen.

    No, not at all, really.

    A torque wrench is designed to only go in one direction. I don't consider those toy tools which have a scale in two directions to be real torque wrenches.

    An effective torque wrench will have a "clicker" which releases when the preset torque level is reached.

    I'm not saying.

    (Alright, if you insist: it's to provide simple finger assist in quickly removing a loosened nut, or for putting it on as well, when there is a longer piece of thread which must be traversed.)

    You need a set of ring and open-ended spanners - each spanner has one of each type in either end. Some inaccessible nuts will need a slim ring to fit them. Some will only be accessible via an open-ended spanner (not the preferred tool, though).

    You need a set of long hex keys with the ball ends, which allow you to work the allen head at an angle when access is not good.

    Ok, so now you are crying poor! ;-) A good ring/open-end spanner set will cover most minor things, but there are times when you will need a socket set as well.

    Look for quality spanners with slim ring sections. Look through the sockets - there should be a hole all the way through. In the better sets this hole is not smaller than the size/diameter of the bolt which the nut will be attached to.

    This last bit is important, since you will not get the socket to fit on the nut if it is screwed some way down on a thread, if the hole in the centre of the socket is not large enough. Most cheap socket sets have this flaw.


    Trevor G
  3. Hey Trevor, thanks mate, for the great reply. I'll look into getting the 3/8 set with the 1/4 Bits, first. Then I'll add a separate 1/4 ratchet and sockets to match.

    I don't think I'll need to get any other 1/4 components, other than perhaps some extensions and universal joint.

    Some great tips about the spanners and sockets, too. By the looks of it, the Bahco stuff looks to be the right quality at a good price. The S330 is sold at Magnet Mart for $85. The rest of the components, like the spanners and 1/4 items can be purchased from a few aussie online companies.

    I think I'll get a torque wrench if and when I intend to do any engine work.

    One question I have about the torque wrench. Do I have to get one for 1/4 sockets and another for 3/8 sockets?

    Thanks, again. I'm looking forward to getting to know my little baby.
  4. You might only need a small one - check the sort of torque figures given in the manual and search for an approrpiate tool.

    I only bought one to change the valve shims on a Kawasaki 4 - this required the removal of the 2 overhead camshafts! Sounds harder and longer than it is, but it meant being able to torque to about 40 inch pounds, or about 3.3 foot pounds. Ummm, guess what - I reckon everything will be in newtons or kilopascal weskits or some such thing these days...

    I would suggest getting a Warren and Brown type dual signal device - good tools are worth the investment. If you are ham-fisted like some other netriders you might need to use one for every little job to avoid pulling the heads of bolts, or removing needed threads. ;-)


    Trevor G

    PS Go to a good tool shop - alltools or similar, not bunnings!
  5. Agree with everything said so far however I will add my little bit to the toolkit.

    If you are new and are buying a socket set, then make sure you get one that has a set of deep sockets. This comes in handy when you have long studs such as those for the exhaust manifold and doesn't cost much more than sets without them. It will cost you far more for a set of them later. Also if the budget extends, a stubby rachet would come in handy for those tight places, although I have managed for a long time without one, it would make some jobs quicker and easier.

    I'm sure there is more but have just come off nightshift so not thinking too clearly on no sleep.
  6. Thanks, Woodsy. I'll check out the extended sockets.