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Beginner DIY mechanic. Basic tools check list and order of most urgent please?

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  • Beginner DIY mechanic. Basic tools check list and order of most urgent please?

    Hi all,

    I have just had to take over the maintenance of my 120 Series, 1KZ-TE 3ltr turbo diesel.

    **No negative comments please**

    I was going through the books the other day when I was being taken through how to change an oil filter and basics like that.

    There has been massive things overlooked for what ever reason. Weíre not talking slightly over looked... She is more then 100,000 kms over due to have her propeller shaft lubed and tighten. No diff oil changed for at least 90,000kms. Etc.

    So Iím now taking on the maintenance myself. Iíll be jumping in head first as it were.

    The responsibility of full car maintenance will be a first for me, itís a huge learning curve.. I have certainly never looked after a 4WD before.

    I do 600kms a week easy. She is my only mode of transportation & I feel like she has been run into the ground.

    Iím not asking for help, just advice. I need to get a proper handle on her condition & fix her as quickly and cheaply as possible. To have her at optimal running condition. I have no tools of my own but I can lend some in the meantime.

    I would like to get my own tools though, I donít want to be given a Ďbum steerí as it were about buying crap tools that wonít meet my basic needs by sales men.

    Could you please let me know your most used tools on a 1KZ-TE and what brands you like best? Why? Were they value for money?

    As for some of the things that need doing, I would think replacing the lubes oils and greasing up would be my first port of call followed by calibration and valve clearance, fuel filter a very close second?

    What has been neglected for 100,00kms or more are:

    1) Diff oils front & back
    2) Transmission & Transfer case oil checks
    3) Engine valve clearance
    4) Fuel filter and water settlement checks, lines and connections.
    5) Propeller shaft & drive shaft, engine & body mounts checks.
    6) Radiator checks & flush
    7) Brakes checks & flush, vacuum pump checks, lines and connections checks.
    8) I have a CV boot that is apparently cable tied somehow. I donít know how, I havenít got down to look at it yet. He said it was a few services ago so itís been that way for about 2 years (my car was put off for maintenance for 12 months) apparently itís not leaking grease. There are no strange shutters or noises.

    These are just the major ones I have found so far. As I said iím on a limited budget and need to get these things fixed ASAP. Iíd also like to get enough tools behind me to maintain her properly though.

    I did just buy a workshop manual so I can get started on finding out the processes to fix her but there is nothing in there about order for a neglected car and whatís best to do first, nor about best tools to own to get the basics for what needs to be done to maintain her properly. What should I be looking for?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Last edited by Jasmine; 02-03-2018, 04:42 PM.

  • #2
    Basically the usual assortment of spanners and socket sets (1/4 and 3/8 drive) ranging from 8mm to 19 or 21mm. The only extra tools I can think of are a 10mm hex key socket for the front diff, 36mm socket for front axle nuts (6pt impact), 24mm ring/OE or offset ring for gearbox/transfer plugs. An oil filter removal tool is useful as it can be hard to get at due aircleaner, to adjust the valves you need the special tool to hold down the buckets.
    Repco tools are OK, as are the Toolpro/SWG from SCA if you can get them cheap, sometimes they are up to 50% off if you get lucky. Maybe watch ebuy for Sidchrome or Kinchrome, but I wouldn't pay full price for either. When I started collecting tools 40odd yrs ago I started with a fairly basic kit and added the tools I required singly as needed. Also keep an eye out on ebuy for Warren and Brown torque wrenches coming up s/hand. Ideally a 10-120in/lb then another ranging 20-120ft/lb, but if you get onto things like axle nuts and prop shafts you need to go to 200ft/lb+. If you can, buy good gear second hand in preference to discount store garbage, because you will hand down good tools to your grandkids.
    I am sure others can add the tools I have missed.


    • #3
      Regular oil changes are the most important thing. Most diesel owners are doing 5k change intervals. The oil filter tool should be the 1/2 inch socket type so you can put a long extension on it, don't get the side lever type. When buying socket sets get the 6 sided hex sockets not the 12 point sockets. Both 1/4 and a 1/2 inch sets are needed in metric sizes also a long breaker bar. Your tool collection will grow as you do more work and there is plenty of good advice on Pradopoint and Youtube videos. Don't get under a car supported only by a jack, use additiional stands on chassis rails or axle.
      2008 D4D GXL


      • #4
        Thank you all for your comments.

        I thought I would flick a quick update.

        My first purchase was a workshop manual for my car. Between the manual, PradoPoint & YouTube, I have enough information to help me fix most things.

        I managed to get a decent tool kit. I got this kit, the ďToolpro Automotive Kit with 138 piecesĒ & a hex socket rail set which does my sump plug, this meant I had enough for the basics.

        I have been extending my tool set as I have needed items with things like, a mini grease gun and grease gun attachments kit so I can do things like joints that donít have Zerk fittings, bunch of pliers, seal picks, hammers, screwdrivers, brake & fuel line clamps, vice grips, pry bars, allen keys, gloves, even lighting because Iím out so much of the time with my day to day I am often working on my car at night & on weekends in my front driveway as itís the only time Iím at home.

        Some decent car ramps, 3000kg stands & torque wrench wouldnít go astray thatís for sure.

        I have even had to buy the blasted 35mm socket & an adapter to fit my current tools as both of my CV axels one inner and outer and the other outer have had to be or are currently in the process of being replaced. I just brought the plug and play version from Outer Control CV. Less work for me for stuff all outlay in comparison. I like that!

        She had a major service in April & is due one now too. All my filters were replaced, some need redoing, I have also changed my Diff oils twice in the last 3 month months because it had been so long since they were done. I was hoping to flush any metal bits out stuck in the cavity.

        I have had to completely rebuild my rear brakes, parking brakes, rear calipers, replace the boots and rotors. As they were utterly shot. Brake pad change for parking shoes, front & back & I replaced my brake fluid.

        Do you have any idea how hard it was to find caliper grease at my local auto shops. There are something like 7 or 8 auto shops in a 5km area locally. Oh my god! Doesnít anyone around hear grease their caliper slide pins? Thankfully I ended up finding these tiny brake grease sachets from Bendix at one shop.

        Oh & I must say... Damn those parking brake shoe hold down pins & springs are a royal pain in butt!!!

        I do a hell of a a lot of Kms around 10-12000 every 3 months. Learning how to fix my car is probably not a bad thing for me

        I feel like Iíve been left to jump in the deep end. I just wish I had of known sooner maintenance wasnít being done so I could of kept on top of things instead of unknowingly running her into the ground. Oh well, nothing can be done about that now I just have to deal with issues as they arise and hopefully I will get on top of things eventually.

        Along with another Major service & to finish replacing the CV axel, I may also now have a leaking rear main seal.

        She has obviously decided she has been neglected for far too long and I must fix everything, right now. So Iím working my way though all the problems as they arise & going through my list of forgotten chores according to urgency.

        Thanks for all your help guys.

        You were fabulous! :-)



        • #5
          Not sure about the number of kms on the clock but If itís neAr 200k the time g belt and water pump perhaps be added to th3 list... great effort btw


          • #6
            Yes, well I did say I do a lot of Kms. Sheís done just over 330000kms, sheís had two timing belt changes since I have owned her in ten years. I donít recall replacing a water pump. I will check it out for any issues. Thanks for the tip Pradosaur! Once I have her running a little more smoothly I will go and get her computer system checked at Supercheap.


            • #7
              Itís for another part of th3 world but for the most part itís a good starting point



              • #8
                Originally posted by Jasmine View Post
                Yes, well I did say I do a lot of Kms. Sheís done just over 330000kms, sheís had two timing belt changes since I have owned her in ten years. I donít recall replacing a water pump. I will check it out for any issues. Thanks for the tip Pradosaur! Once I have her running a little more smoothly I will go and get her computer system checked at Supercheap.
                Youíre welcome... not sure about the 120 but I think about 200k is the time to replace most pumps... Iím sure someone will correct me if Iím wrong


                • #9
                  If you intend adjusting valve clearance buy a genuine cam cover gasket before you start. For sure your old one will leak and aftermarket don't seem to do the job.
                  Some 3-bond sealant for the rear bung and the tight corners at the front.
                  Might have a listen to the viscous fan hub too or perhaps fit a proper coolant temp gauge so you can tell if the fan is working properly.
                  Depending where it's been driven, check the radiator core for accumulated mud etc which will reduce cooling capacity.
                  What's the colour/condition of the coolant. Should be Toyota red.
                  You don't mention gearbox so I'm guessing it's manual. With a leaky rear main oil seal the clutch won't be happy so prepare yourself ahead of time, research what duty clutch assembly you'd like, local machine shop to face the wheel etc.
                  The timing belt seems to have been changed but what about the tensioner? Often it will come in the kit which is great but you need to know.
                  Glow plugs ?? Remove the bridging rail and test the resistance of each plug. If you're not sure of condition just replace them but take care when removing as they like to weld themselves into the head over time. An old plug can drop the ceramic tip and that's bad news for your cylinder, valves even the turbo.