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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you are going to start for the first time doing a little wrenching on your bike, how or where can you find out what size tools you need?

Example: I plan on replacing the brake pads on my bike and don't know what size sockets and allen heads I need. I invested in the Service Manual, but unless I'm missing something, it doesn't tell you the tool sizes needed to perform the work. And it doesn't really tell you anything about if you need to use Loctite of any color when going back with the screws and bolts...The only info I see is the torque specs.

Thanks for any help.
 

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If I didn't have many, or any, sockets and allen wrenches I would go to Sears and get a decent sized set of sockets and allens. They are often on sale. And you can buy a whole set cheaper than just picking out a few individual sizes of each. Then if necessary you may need to add one or a couple to whatever set you bought.
 

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The Angry One
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YEARS ago (13+), my lovely wife bought me the "Masters Set" of tools at Xmas time from Home Depot, they are Husky brand, and it has served me well, I'm still using them today. I had sold off my Snap-On and Mac stuff when times were tight, and about the only Snap-On, Mac, Matco tools i have now are the tools I have broken too much skin, using the cheaper versions...i.e. ratchets and such.

It was a 290 piece set, for around $300. I would recommend a well rounded kit, it will cost you a little bit more, but you may be able to use a lot more than you think.

But, for your brake pads change.....You will need METRIC tools!!!! :eek
 

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The Angry One
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I started buying Craftsman tools when I was 16 , a couple of sets and added stuff on here and there over the years .

When I got back into bikes I started adding on more tools. I added a 1/4 in drive set of 12 pt metric & standard just for brakes on my Deuce as my last full set I bought was all 6 pt and many of my originals escaped over the years.

Also when looking for a Torx set T25 & T27 are vary close , make sure your set includes the T27 not all sets do.
 

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If I didn't have many, or any, sockets and allen wrenches I would go to Sears and get a decent sized set of sockets and allens. They are often on sale. And you can buy a whole set cheaper than just picking out a few individual sizes of each. Then if necessary you may need to add one or a couple to whatever set you bought.
Don't forget Torx sockets and drivers. My bike needs them as well.
 

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YEARS ago (13+), my lovely wife bought me the "Masters Set" of tools at Xmas time from Home Depot, they are Husky brand, and it has served me well, I'm still using them today. I had sold off my Snap-On and Mac stuff when times were tight, and about the only Snap-On, Mac, Matco tools i have now are the tools I have broken too much skin, using the cheaper versions...i.e. ratchets and such.

It was a 290 piece set, for around $300. I would recommend a well rounded kit, it will cost you a little bit more, but you may be able to use a lot more than you think.

But, for your brake pads change.....You will need METRIC tools!!!! :eek
Also 10mm metric for the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies.....So I guess there is no information published anywhere to get exact sizes needed to perform specific tasks and will just need to buy sets of tools that would fit in a range to do the work..........What about information where and what color Loctite is to be used?
 

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Generally Blue Loctite is used in 90% of the locations.

There is a High Temp (white) Loctite I use for exhaust applications.

I agree with Don. Find a good all around Craftsman or Husky set on sale and start there.

For brakes you will need Torx (probably not in the set). Buy a full set of Torx drivers and like stated before make sure it includes the GM size (T-27). It's not in every set, you have to look for it.
 

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The Angry One
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I think the brakes, on the touring bikes anyways, around 2011 model years, are a 5mm Allen, for the pad retainer pin, and a 10mm 12pt socket. I can confirm later tonight if that helps you. I have mine apart doing pads and shiny stuff anyways.
 

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After needing to do a battery swap while out on the road, I now include a 10mm box wrench in the saddle bag. I know someone mentioned the 10mm battery since most battery posts are metric, but having a wrench with you on the bike will keep you from needing to "improvise" while out on the street. Don't ask me how I know.... Main Street, Sturgis, 2014...
 

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Thanks for the replies.....So I guess there is no information published anywhere to get exact sizes needed to perform specific tasks and will just need to buy sets of tools that would fit in a range to do the work..........What about information where and what color Loctite is to be used?
I believe the service manual will specify red Loctite when required.


Just get yourself a stick of red, blue and a stick of silver anti sieze, then you'll be set!

 

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I buy alot of trinket tools for my bike, usually on the counters of the auto parts stores.Like mini ratchets with 1/4 and 3/8 heads on them or little sets of five or six torx sockets or allen heads great for the tool bag...Being a millwright for 30 years I built up a really good supply of hand tools and I have full sets of open and box end wrenches as well as all the sockets a man would need out to about 2 1/2 "...but the tools i like the most are the odd ball wrench that I have picked up at a yard sale here and there...you can get by with 1/4" through 5/8" and a 10 inch fit all,I like the 1/4" socket sets but they may need a little help when you have some heavy torque involved...sometimes you can't get the right wrench in a kit or set...roll up to a shop or store sometime and talk to them about a tool you need,more times than not they will help you get it figured out...
 

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Craftsman tools are reasonably priced, they might not be the best but if you are not going to be wrenching every day they will probably last you a life time and if not they are covered by a lifetime warrenty. Just bring them into a Sears and they will replace them on the spot.
Buying tools is like buying a bike. That is just the start. You buy the basic tools but then you need all the accessories like tool box, maybe a torque wrench, extensions, bike stand etc. But after the initial investment you can start saving money too.
Dont forget a magnetic bowl. They work great, if you ever knock one over you dont have to chase every nut, bolt and washer around your garage.
 

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OK -
Noobie here on bikes -
But I have wrenched on a lot of classic cars - mostly Mustangs.
Is most everything SAE on Harleys? (I have a 2013 FLSTC)

It seems that the only metric sizes I have heard people mention is a 10 mm and the Torx sizes.

I'm thinking I need to keep an SAE wrench or socket set plus a 10mm and some torx in the saddle bags - any other suggestions?

Thanks
 

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No argument with any of the info in this thread so far. I will add that I also find useful a set of ball-end allen wrenches. They give a little flexibility in tight spots, and there are a few places on the bike where nothing else will work. Expanding on Kainam's Loc-tite post, I would only use the red stuff where the manual specifically calls for it, and sparingly at that. Too much of that stuff and you may have to use a torch to break it loose. Blue is your friend everywhere else. Just make sure that if you're going to use Loc-tite, make sure the threads are clean and oil-free.

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