View Full Version : Tool Recommendations

05-27-2002, 06:05 PM
Hi Fellow VW Racers:

I need some tools and was looking for some recommendations:

Toe Gauge

Also going to get a new set of tires for an ITB Scirocco, what is the best to buy and from where?


Bill Miller
05-27-2002, 06:34 PM
If you've got someone to help you measure toe, it's as easy as getting two aluminum plates, cutting a slot in each one, and using a tape measure. Longacre sells a set of these for ~$50. You can also make one that you can use yourself out of some 1" and 3/4" box tubing. But you'll need a welder.

I use a Rebco digital probe-style pyrometer and I like it. I'm not a big fan of the infrared 'guns' as you're never sure exactly where on the tire it's reading.

As far as a source for tires goes, it depends on what you're using. Tirerack carries Hoosiers and Kumhos, but not Goodyears or Toyos. But then there's the issue of getting them mounted. Find out if there's a tire company that will be at the track, supporting the races you're going to run and talk w/ them. I believe Hoosiers are a fair-traded item, and no one can discount them below a certain point (at least everyone seems to seel them for the same price.).

MARRS #25 ITB Rabbit GTI

Dave Zaslow
05-28-2002, 08:19 AM
This is the Allstar toe guage that I use. Works with one person or with help. Very simple and accurate. It is available from a number of sources.


Dave Z

05-28-2002, 02:56 PM
I know Campbell didn't ask about other tools, but after 7 years of racing VW's I've come up with a list of tools a VW IT racer might want to consider owning:

1. Fuel pressure test kit. Impossible to set the control pressure, diagnose fuel pumps, etc., without one. ~$120-140 but worth it.

2. Front wheel bearing & front hub puller/installer. ~$200 for the Schley, but if you hunt around you can find them on Ebay for less. I bought one for $35 that was for late 70's & early 80's FWD Chryslers. I just had to get one piece (correct size bearing die) made at the local machine shop ($25). The bearings and hubs are relatively cheap and should be changed out every 6-8 races anyway. This tool makes it a snap. Otherwise you're looking at $20-40 of labor at your local VW or car shop.

3. Fuel injector puller. ~10. Keeps you from pulling on the lines!

4. Valve shim remover and bucket depressor, plus a good micrometer (0-1"). Every VW racer needs to have these. The trick is keeping a well stocked tray of adjustment shims. Once other racers find out you have them, you'll run out quickly! The micrometer makes it easy to measure the old shims and tell if they're dished.

5. Clutch alignment tool. Really cheap but handy!

6. CV Boot retainer clamp pliers. I usually visually check my CV's a couple of times a season and these pliers are needed to squeeze the clamps tight. Also keep an extra supply of these clamps!

As far as pyrometers, go to Ebay and look for one. I found a Snap On pyrometer with multiple probes (tire, air, liquid, surface) for less than ~$70.

Alignment bars? Go down to your local Home Depot or Lowe's and buy a 4' length of 1"x1" aluminum tubing. Cut it in half. Place up against side of tire near bottom of rim, have a helper do the same on the other side and use a tape measure! Works great.

Camber gauge: $40 bubble camber gauge from Racer Parts Wholesale. Cheap, reliable, easy to use.

Other tools I've find handy but not absolutely necessary:

Dial indicator with magnetic base. Makes it easy to check cam lobe wear.

30MM Impact Socket. Helps prevent shattering a regular socket when putting 200 ft-lbs on the front axle nut!

Digital Multimeter. Early Sciroccos have problems with corrosion in the wiring connections. Easy to trace and find with one of these.

Tools I'd like to find and have someday:

CIS Injector tester, for testing spray patterns of injectors. Expensive but cool!

Injector volume tester. Looks like 4 tall thin beakers with rubber plugs at the top. Used to measure fuel output.

#14 GP VW Scirocco

[This message has been edited by racer14itc (edited May 28, 2002).]

05-28-2002, 03:28 PM
Mark, the frequency with which people recommend replacing the A1 VW hubs/bearings, makes me wonder about getting a bearing/hub puller/installer... Where did you get the one that you got, from NAPA or a similar place? I've always thought a press would be a good thing to have as well, would pay for itself after a few uses...

Does anyone know if it's possible to make the valve bucket depressor out of a piece of metal? I've looked at them, and it's just a piece of metal with the proper bend to hook around the camshaft and lever the buckets down right? I even have a spare head I can use for fitment.

I made my own injector puller out of a 1 x 1/8" piece of steel, bent a hook on the end, and drilled/filed an opening on one end to slide around the injector.

On the subject of pyrometers, someone posted on the GrassRoots Motorsports message board awhile back about a small 'thermistor' you can buy from Radio Shack for $3, that responds quickly and accurately to temp changes and comes with a table to reference the voltages with actual temperatures. The thermistor even fits in a hollow ball point pen. Probably better than an infrared pyrometer, can't too much worse than a probe-type. I don't have the link, but if anyone is interested I'll look up the part #.

Re: multimeters, get one with a Dwell or Duty cycle function.


83 Rabbit GTI - future ITB

05-28-2002, 04:36 PM

The hub/bearing puller & installer tool I bought was from Ebay.

#14 GP VW Scirocco

05-28-2002, 06:52 PM
Why not just go through the Shop manual ("Bentley"?) to see (in whatever procedures are relevant to racers) where they list a special factory tool.

Make a list; see what you want and search eBay , etc. trying to get the actual factory authorized tool.

Bill Miller
05-28-2002, 07:04 PM

The dimensions on the bucket depressor are different for the 1.6 and the 1.8 cars. I got lucky and bought mine (1.8) and a set of shim pliers from a guy for $40 for the 2 of them. That's about what the stuff goes for each. I haven't broken down and bought the valve spring tool yet ($100) or the hub tool, although, I'm seriously considering the hub tool. Nice to not have to take the front suspension apart to change the hubs. Otherwise, I just use a press.

I made my injector puller the same way, and it's got a slot in the top to put a screwdriver in to use as a lever. Made my own O2 sensor socket out of an old impact socket. Just took the cutoff wheel to it. http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/biggrin.gif

Mark, a 30mm impact socket is a MUST!!! You can make your own fuel output volume tester out of 4 100ml plastic graduated cylinders and some aluminum bar stock.

MARRS #25 ITB Rabbit GTI

05-28-2002, 07:52 PM
I FORGOT about the valve spring compressor!!! I have a Schley "universal" compressor that works OK, but one day hunting on Ebay I found one that was made by Paul & Karl Hacker (from Rabbit Bilstein cup days) that is AWESOME! Aluminum cast towers that hold the shaft and a cast aluminum plate on the bottom which bolts to the head that will work for 8V or 16V motors. The plate has little dimples (one side has 8 dimples and the other has 16) to hold the valves closed while you depress the springs...really cool! Don't know if he has anymore, but if you ever see one BUY IT! It works SO much better than the Schley tool on the VW heads.

#14 GP VW Scirocco

05-28-2002, 09:35 PM
Thanks for all the input! I have most of the items suggested and am going to pursue a fuel pressure tester and really want the wheel hub/bearing replacement tool. I am not confident enough of how that stuff works and exactly what I need to buy anything off Ebay though.. worried I would get stuck with the wrong thing. thanks again

Bill Miller
05-28-2002, 10:10 PM

The Hacker bros. did some cool stuff w/ VW's back in the day. Looks of pics of their stuff in Greg Raven's book. I love the shots of their GT3 car! http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/biggrin.gif

MARRS #25 ITB Rabbit GTI

05-28-2002, 10:20 PM
I think you are referring to Andy King's and Tony Angioletti's GT cars. The Hackers ran Rabbit and Golf cup and then later GTIs in Firehawk before moving on to the shameful Oldsmobuick cars. http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/rolleyes.gif

Bill Sulouff - Bildon Motorsport (http://www.bildon.com) Volkswagen Racing Equipment

Bill Miller
05-29-2002, 07:56 AM

You're right, the picture I was talking about was the Pulsar racing car. Don't know why I always thought it was one of the Hacker cars.

And why did they switch????? :rolleyes?

MARRS #25 ITB Rabbit GTI