Tools For The Job

It should go without saying that having the right tools to work with is a major aspect of any job. As shown in the photo to the right, most of what you need is an assortment of common hand tools that are usually already available around the average home or workshop.

I’ve listed below a few specialty tools that you should have access to in addition to your common hand tools. Most of these are relatively inexpensive and can be used for more than troubleshooting small engines.

Although it is possible to work without one, a commercial spark tester is a “must have” tool when it comes to serious troubleshooting. With a specially calibrated or adjustable air gap, these tools make short work out of testing ignition systems.

Squirt Bottle

Now, here’s a really high tech tool!

I can’t imagine working without this handy little jewel. This makes for an easy way to keep a couple of ounces of fresh fuel close at hand for use when testing a suspected fuel or carb problem.

With a short length of small diameter fuel hose attached, it’s easy to prime the combustion chamber or throat of the carb with a little shot of fuel.

Mine happens to be a 4 ounce bottle, but something a little larger or smaller works just fine.

Keep in mind that gasoline is HIGHLY FLAMMABLE in any quantity, so be sure to take appropriate safety precautions.

The tachometer is used to check and or adjust engine RPM.

Shown here is a dual purpose “inductive style” digital tachometer made by Tiny-Tach that also serves as a hour meter.

It can be used as a hand held test meter or if you prefer, surface mounted on the engine or equipment as a permanent installation.

The multi-tester is used to check both circuits and individual electrical components.

Shown here is an inductive style digital meter with auto ranging features. They also come in analog versions. Whatever type you use, it should be capable of performing the following types of measurments and tests:

AC-DC Voltage, AC-DC Amperage
Resistance/Ohms/Continuity, Diode Testing.

Jumper Leads

An assortment of colored jumper leads are useful when testing the electrical system or components.

They make it much easier to test otherwise hard to reach areas.

The continuity tester is an indespensible tool used to quick check electrical power circuits.

With the clamp attached to a good engine or chassis ground, the sharp probe is used to test various connections. The bulb in the handle lights up any time a 12 volt supply is present.