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Hi

Can anyone recommend (or avoid!) a reasonable metric socket set for using on the 159 please? I don't need a top of the range one, or a cheap Chinese one but it would be good to know what sockets I would need i.e. do our Alfas have nuts that go up in 0.5mm steps or is everything a whole mm?

I also need a star driver to remove front seats, but may get that separately - I can't see a 1/2" one to go with my imperial Snap On ratchet :irked:

Argos, Halfrauds, Machine Mart etc.

Cheers :beer::beer:
 

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Hey - The Halfords stuff is pretty good especially if you get it on trade / when they have one of the big offers on the socket sets about 100 - 120 GBP for a set, I have had my set for about 5 years and only broken a few bits, it is my goto set I keep in the car at all times. The only let down with the Halfords stuff is that the 3/8 stuff is multipoint.... when a nut is rusted the multipoint will just round the nuts. S

Prime tools have some good prices on Facom stuff for a reasonable price. 3/8 set FACOM 3/8" Square Drive 6 Point SOCKET SET 8 - 22mm by PrimeTools: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home Depending on what size set you are wanting 1/2 Facom 1/2-inch Ratchet/ Socket Set: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools the facom are great if there is a slightly damaged nut I always insist on using my Facom 6 point sockets and never had a problem with rounding since. The nice thing about the Facom ratchets are the rubber handles you don't need to worry too much about the handle damaging the paint on the car.

For Female torx I got the Teng set off amazon : Teng M1210 1/2-inch Socket Clip Rail TX-E Drive (9 Pieces): Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools they had a offer on German Amazon at the time, they are high quality and durable but can be a little tight in space as they are pretty chunky. Unless you are doing a beefy job the 3/8 E torx are probably a bit more useful as you can get into the tighter spaces. When I did my upper suspension arm the 1/2 was too big and had to use my 3/8 set but a torx spanner set would of been even better.

Finally as far as I have found there are no .5 increments (I think these are usually only for electronics)

For my smaller tools (Micro ratchets, screwdrivers, torx keys, screwdriver bits etc). I usually go for Wera being located in Germany at the moment they are quite cheap over hear and are of a good quality.

Avoid the cheap stuff on Amazon, you will end up buying the tool again, but saying that you do not need to spend a fortune on really expensive tools there is a happy medium which usually the Halfords stuff manages to achieve. Teng, Sealey, Draper, Laser and Stanley also make some good tools depending on the price you can get them for.... Always use the on line reviews as a guide on what to purchase.


I hope this helps :)
 

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All sound advice especially about 6 sided rather than multipoint. I have had good success with draper. I bought a new set of Stanley sockets recently and the sockets themselves are very high quality but the ratchet failed very quickly. The draper ratchet is still working after 30 years and (naughty me) I have often whacked it with a hammer.

There is one (I haven't found any more) 0.5 step on the 159 and 147 and it is 5.5mm. It is a bolt headed self tapping screw used on some of the plastic parts like heater mounting. 5 is too small and 6 just spins without gripping the head at all.

My torx are 3/8 and I have both a 1/4 to 3/8 and a 3/8 to 1/2 adaptor. I also have a set of 1/4 drive deep sockets from 5mm (I think) - 13mm that I find very useful often used with a 2" extension.

My advice is to browse ebay and amazon but stick with the bigger names and 6 sided sockets.

If you get a 1/2 inch set covering 10 - 32mm and a 3/8 or 1/4 covering 4 or 5mm to 13 you should have all bases covered. For the 3/8 or 1/4 drive set you can go cheap as you shouldn't be putting much load on these sockets.
 

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Also be aware of the inner plastic cases. Some of these, especially if the outer case is steel, are really thin plastic and split and break up quickly leaving your sockets rattling around in the box. Not a deal breaker but disappointing.
 

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Have a look at Screwfix and Halfords I have this

My other sockets sets are old bomb proof sets from Draper and Halfords professional range that are an absolute bargain when on offer.

Avoid the multi point as mentioned.
 

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Don't be seduced by the "xxx-piece" socket sets! In reality you'll only use half-a-dozen or so, so it's better to buy quality rather than quantity.

I've got an ancient cheapo Kinzo 1/2" socket set, very basic, but it's lasted over 30 years so I can't complain; over the years I've added a few, e.g. deep sockets, as needed for specific jobs. If I were buying now I think I'd go for 3/8".

Buying a breaker bar is sound advice; while you're at it consider a torque wrench as well. A speedbrace is also useful - saves a lot of time on jobs like wheel changes.

Something to bear in mind is that, unless things have changed since the 147, many of the star drive fasteners on Alfas aren't Torx, they are Ribe. Now I do just happen to have. . .
 

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Bang for buck, quality and ease of replacement goes to Halfords Professional/advanced tools. I mostly use their sockets and screwdrivers for home use. As mentioned a breaker bar will prevent your ratchet breaking prematurely. I have been using a sealey 3/8 flex head and extendable ratchet for the last 3-4 years, serves most applications and can take a beating when you forget your breaker bar.
 

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The Halfords sets are excellent quality but you'll get a ton of non metric sockets that you may never use. Don't let that put you off though! Half price offer at the moment

Halfords Advanced Professional 170 Piece Socket & Ratchet Spanner Set

Full price but often sold at £150

Halfords Advanced Professional 200 Piece Socket and Ratchet Spanner Set

I've got a 170 piece set and have had to have one pice replaced (no quibble despite losing the receipt) in 3 years. I've also got a duplicate set of spanners that I got first.

Guy
 

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The Halfords sets are excellent quality but you'll get a ton of non metric sockets that you may never use. Don't let that put you off though! Half price offer at the moment

Halfords Advanced Professional 170 Piece Socket & Ratchet Spanner Set

Full price but often sold at £150

Halfords Advanced Professional 200 Piece Socket and Ratchet Spanner Set

I've got a 170 piece set and have had to have one pice replaced (no quibble despite losing the receipt) in 3 years. I've also got a duplicate set of spanners that I got first.

Guy
I have a really old Halfords socket set, 30+ years. Excellent.

I bought the ratchet spanner set a couple of years ago, excellent.:thumbup:

All guaranteed for life.
 

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Italian car? Use Italian tools! I've used BETA tools for years and they're fantastic. Great quality, true lifetime guarantee, easy to clean and nice to use (which is important). Far from the cheapest but every bit as good as Snap-On.

I worked for a team at Silverstone for 9 years and all my stuff is still going strong 10 years after leaving! If you're anywhere near Norwich then you're welcome to come and look at the stuff and I can recommend Silverstone Factors where I bought it all from.
 

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Another vote for Halfords Pro.

I have a lot of Halfords tools, none of which have broken or worn out except a 1/2" ratchet only lasted 30 years. Some I bought in 1971 are still good, though mostly AF and multipoint so not much use on AR. A mix of Elora, Facom, Laser, all good. Plus I was given a used £70 100-piece JCB socket set a few years ago which I expected to be chocolate crap, but it's what I use mostly and it has been excellent, as good as Halfords Pro. Sockets, ratchets etc are all very well made 6-point stuff, in 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2". I think it came from Argos, originally, of all places.

I've had some terrible stuff too, including a cheap Teng socket set that I bought to deal with a breakdown away from home. It barely lasted that one job, broken ratchet, burred sockets. Rubbish.

I have been surprised at how useful these RS spanners have been, especially for timing and aux belt bits. | RS Pro 5 Piece Chrome Vanadium Steel Metric Combination Spanner Set | They can get into narrow gaps that a ratchet+socket can't and take a lot of torque without danger of slipping off, plus (unlike a ring) a steel tube can be slipped over the end for even more leverage.
 

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+1 For the Halfords Pro socket sets. Got mine half price and they come with a lifetime warranty, win-win.
 

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Halfords Advanced Pro for sure. Frequently on offer and terrific value. Only slight grumble is that the ratchets are excluded from the lifetime warranty - but get a breaker bar and you won't ever need to really lean on the ratchet anyway. Also Halfords are everywhere, so if something does break you can easily get it swapped out. I have 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" sets and all have been excellent. I have the combination spanners too, and am about to buy the ratchet spanners to complete the toolkit. Superb stuff, especially at the regular offer prices.

No need to buy the vast sets, unless you don't have many tools to start with, and then they are an easy way to get started. In absolute terms it may be better to buy items individually, but with a set at least you won't get stuck with the car in bits and finding yourself urgently in need of the one size you don't have.
 
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You cannot beat Snap on.

Very, Very expensive but just buy the individual ones you need.

Good deals for used stuff on ebay, I have a great 1/4 drive Snap On ratchet that cost me £30. (New, hundreds!!)

I have a few select items that are Snap On, the rest are cheap Chinese.
 

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Snap on tools are good for someone that will use them daily. But I don't think anyone can justify the price of snap on tools for occasional use. Their normal sockets, ratchets and spanner are great. Electric tools and other specialist tools, not so much.
 

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Mac tools are comparable to Snap-On, similarly sold by franchised travelling operators to the motor tech trade, and a lot cheaper. Snap-On also has a cheaper range, branded Bluepoint. As far as I have seen, the Bluepoint stuff is identical except for cosmetics, and it isn't as extensive a range.

All these are aimed at pro users who use the tools every day, need the support of lifetime warranty replacement that comes to them, and don't mind spending literally thousands of tax-deductible squid...

There aren't too many mfrs of tools worldwide, and a lot of cross-branding goes on, with only detail cosmetic differences. Each of those ranges include tools you'll find elsewhere with other names on, marked up to suit the brand.

Halfords Pro are perfectly good for a few decades of weekend use, but there are many others more and less expensive that are as good. Where they all fall down compared to Snap-On is that they're not as elegant and lack the discerning pro expert kudos of the brand. They also don't get stolen half as much.

I think tools have got much better and cheaper in 30 years. You almost can't go wrong now unless you buy the cheapest Chinese stuff.
 
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