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Old 01-07-2018, 07:35 PM
Westerhuis Westerhuis is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Boston (MA)
Posts: 41
Default What tools are needed for basic maintenance


I just wondered what tools are 'must haves' when it comes to conducting some basic maintenance on an RV8. Obviously I have the basics: spanners, socket kit, hex keys, screw drivers, electric screw driver, pliers, safety wire pliers e.g. the very bare basics.

But what else is worth it's weight in gold when it comes to tools? What tools may be used instead of the obvious making a certain job so much easier..?

Also, what torque wrench(-es) would one recommend?

Any suggestions on where to buy? I am happy to pay for use' e.g. no point in paying over the odds for something that's used only once a year, but happy to pay a bit more for something that I end up using a lot.


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Old 01-07-2018, 08:59 PM
Whitman Whitman is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: FL
Posts: 211

These are pretty sweet for some of the screws closest to the ground on wheel pants:
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:29 PM
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az_gila az_gila is offline
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Originally Posted by Whitman View Post
These are pretty sweet for some of the screws closest to the ground on wheel pants:
I have those but I find this style works better on tight screws and in awkward locations. Pic of a typical one only, available from many manufacturers -

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Old 01-07-2018, 10:06 PM
Tracer 10 Tracer 10 is offline
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Default A must have tool.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:04 PM
gasman gasman is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sonoma County
Posts: 3,466

Purchase a 1/2" drive Beam torque wrench....... mine is a Craftsman. This is used to install spark plugs. The head is small and will fit the upper plugs with no problem. The reason I use a beam is it never needs to be calibrated and is plenty accurate for plugs.
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Last edited by gasman : 01-09-2018 at 12:15 PM. Reason: 3/4... what was I thinking!!.. to 1/2"
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:31 PM
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Auburntsts Auburntsts is offline
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Location: Dumfries, VA
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Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
I have those but I find this style works better on tight screws and in awkward locations. Pic of a typical one only, available from many manufacturers -

+1 on this. I have replaced just about all of my #6 Philips head screws for torx head ones so I use a regular torx bit (T10?) with this little wrench. The torx bit is just a run of the mill one bought from Lowes and doesn't snap into place like the bits that came with the wrench do, so I just hold my finger over the back of the bit to keep it in the wrench. This thing is a godsend for the bottom main gear wheel pant screws on my RV-10.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:33 PM
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Saville Saville is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: KBVY Massachusetts
Posts: 827

Hi Rogier,

I second, third and fourth, the suggestion for a ratchet type, right angle, thin, screwdriver. Vitally important.

You may already have the following in your kit but I didn't see them on your list. But here is what I found very handy to have:

Does your -8 have spring loaded doors or pop out buttons that allow access to the tire inner tube valve stems? If not, you might get tired of removing the wheel pants to check the air and install some. In which case you will also want a means to reach in the air pump - like a wand with a gauge on it. And some sort of air pump. I also bought a dedicated, fixed hex driver with a screwdriver handle to get the valve stem caps off.

A small but very powerful flashlight. You probably already have this but I didn't see it on your list

A tape measure - sooner or later you will be taking measurements.

And a pad or notebook in the hangar on which to write those measurements, along with a spare pen and/or pencil.

I have a long necked funnel that makes adding oil very simple and keeps me from making a huge mess.

A tube of Fuel Lube and maybe one or two other thread sealants.

Couple of spare quick drains. Not a tool, per se, but handy to have. Plus a few spare O rings for them.

Spare gas cap - in case one breaks.

My upper cowling is attached to the lower cowling by the piano hinge/ piano wire method. I find a small hook with a screw driver handle is very handy for pulling them out.

A blanket to lay down on when on the floor doing work.

I built a small foldable work bench that, when folded, sits behind my toolbox, but when opened, provides me with a small but useful work bench.

paper towels.

Spray cleaner for the paint work

Different cleaner for the canopy.

That's all I can think of now. Other stuff to acquire will depend upon what you intend to do yourself and what you want to have done. If I think of anything else I'll add to it.'
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:57 PM
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RV7A Flyer RV7A Flyer is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: US
Posts: 1,666

Look at each system, then figure out if you have the right tools for it:

- Fuel system
- Oil system: oil filter torque wrench, large closed-end wrench to go on hex fitting on end
- Electrical: mag timing box; spark plug gap tools; spark plug cleaning tools; spark plug socket (and I carry one in my emergency kit in the plane, too)

Electrical system
- Crimpers for whatever you have
- Strippers (the wire kind )
- Heat gun for heat shrink

Oh, and don't forget oddball stuff like the very few *metric* items on your plane (e.g., starter lug, Andair fuel things, whatever), or the odd Torx screw (Slick mags have one).

- Brake shoe replacement tools
- Bleeder

and so on down the line. Just putting together random lists of tools seems...haphazard. Figure out what you're going to work on, then what tools you need.
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:02 PM
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Raymo Raymo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Richmond Hill, GA (KLHW)
Posts: 1,801

Originally Posted by Westerhuis View Post

Also, what torque wrench(-es) would one recommend?

One 3/8" drive torque wrench 20-200 inch lb (click type), one 3/8" drive 10-100 foot lb and one 1/4" for smaller (AN3) hardware. Beam type are fine for some jobs but you cannot always see the gauge when, for instance, torquing the bottom plugs.

I survived 25 years without owning safety wire pliers but, if buying them, get good quality. I bought a used cheap set recently and they've already broken. Back to the old-fashioned method.

A set of stubby wrenches from 1/4 to 7/8 is also handy in tight spots.

Most jobs can be done with 1/4" ratchet/sockets but a set of deep well/reach will be needed, along with some "wobbly extensions."

Add one 3/8" x 3" wobbly extension too.
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:53 PM
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snopercod snopercod is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 1,440
Default Oil Filter Cutter

If someone hasn't already posted it, an oil filter can cutter.

Differential Compression Tester

Magneto Synchronizer

Aircraft Timing Indicator

Just remember, the one who dies with the most tools wins
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