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You don't need a AC machine man and you saying it is unprofessional is silly. get a gauge set, vacuum pump, refrigerant, empty tank, scale, and leak tester and you are gold. not using a machine requires more skill. I am guessing you are talking about the single use cans and yes that is raunchy .
I like shopping at Harbor Freight. Although, Lowe's has a nice grinder and also bench vise that I want. :) Imight want to get a wire brush for it, too (it works better than a buffer wheel). Anyway, for most things, I want, I go to Harbor Freight. After all, Harbor Freight is usually cheap.
Really like your vids.. I have a what you call a side hustle out of my garage at home. I installed a scissors lift right in the middle of my garage. It get the cars about 3ft off the ground real quick. I bought an oil caddy at harbor freight , cut and shortened the center pole, because my lift only lifts 3ft. up. Also bought a small rolling stool to sit down under the cars with tools on the stool tray. I got all my business from 20yrs at GM, and local car clubs because I have a spec Miata I also race. I'm half retired now, and deciding to continue with what I'm doing, or expand into a commercial building, and bring my to son's with me if that's what they want to do. Anyway, I like your sense, and steering new guys in the right direction so they waste a lot of money going in the wrong direction.
Great video and some solid advice. I know you don't agree but I'd have to say a tire machine a balancer would be an asset. Even just for tire repairs a good used machine would pay for itself in no time.
But what do I know? I'm just a guy in a garage with some tools.
Thanks for the video.
Hey Nestor, Great Video. thank you for giving back to the community of auto enthusiasts.
I am seeking for all and what it takes to build my own exotic car. Please holla back..Need the detailed info on
the garage - measurements of the garage
the list of tools
list of equipment
how to mold the body kit, steering wheel, gas pedals and shift gears..
working on welding metal, making the chasis how to put an engine and motor together..
glass and carbon fiber, mold the head lights and rear view lights
electronics including sound system, GPS, windows, lock and voice recognition system, blue tooth syncing,
rims, caliper breaks, break pads and tires
I got everything aside from the A/C machine (which would be nice) because currently have a hvac buddy of mine do them with his equipment when I need it, I do however have a tire machine and balancer which I'm surprised not to see in your shop yet. Got a commercial exhaust bender also and honestly that along with the lathe.... I never use them... hell i'm not even sure I know how to even set up the lathe even if I needed too really (never tried).. usually just get new rotors if needed, as cheap as the sob's are now. Maybe someday I'll piss with it for shits and giggles to figure it out.
I got the same brake lathe, charger, strut compressor as you. lol
With that being said though, my shop is purposely a crazy low key shop though... as in I purposely don't want much at all for customers nor have ever advertised it... I been building old cars etc. and am atm content with the completely deliberate lack of traffic in and out. If I was a smart man, id hire some young fresh blood mechanic with passion for vehicles to use one of the bays (giving him or her a hand of course) and drum up some business while I keep doing my thing in the other ones... Make some extra money while helping "a brother or sista" get a start.... but I guess I'm not a very smart man it seems and finding a young buck or doe that wants to "do work son" is a bitch these days anyways really. Meh...
Just given myself a quick high five,got all the stuff you mention,plus a whole load more. I went for four post lift rather than two post. Good bench grinder and pillar drill on my essentials list. The list could go on forever. Good work lighting also essential,lamps etc. Can't fix what you can't see!
Latest addition to shop is a Blackhawk body dozer, paid for itself after first two jobs! Great videos mate,we the brotherhood of oily hands!
why did you put the brake lathe so high? a set of new rotors typically cost around 25 to 45 bucks and will last a long time. to cut rotors you would have to be under this price, it would take long time to pay the lathe off. im thinking 100s of brake jobs
I can see your point.
I kno this is a general list... but the way your shop is set up could you ask shops near you to resurface rotors? Or use expensive machinery letting them keep a piece of the profit? Like if you were missing an alignment machine but did a job that needed an alignment afterwards. Could you take it to you nieghbors and just pay them?
I Watched 4 of your videos now , you have a great thing going right now ,Very inspirational. I'm 35 with a 11 year old son and I'm getting tired of being the tech / mechanic that gives another shop a good name by fixing cars that other shops couldn't. I've always wanted to open my own shop but am nervous about doing it for so many reasons. As I'm sure you know about that . I have my own scanner and scope along with all the tools I will need . I just don't have any shop equipment. I'm going to start looking on Craigslist , letgo , OfferUp . Good luck with your shop .
about the lift, is really not necesary so fast. at least for the small workshops. instead you can dig a pit of about 1.6m deep, or other desired depths, you make concrete walls, and make it rectangular, and the car just coming with the wheels on the sides, some jackstands, and you can do the work really fine.
I live on the east coast rust belt, I have a home shop with everything but a Brake lathe Im considering getting one. I have a deal on a aamco lathe with all tooling cabinet etc. for 500. My question is is this a good investment most rotors around me can be turned and Im tired of getting new ones lining the parts stores pockets, when I can charge the customer $10 to turn it.
Just a suggestion for anyone out there thinking buying a good compressor. Check out Dewalt , Milwaukee, IR, Bosch and many more other brands power tools. They don't cost much more compare to the air tools from all the big brands air tools and you can eliminate the need of having a big compressor . You would still need one unless you want to use electric tire pump and use plastic oil drainer lol
compressor can actually wait..if needed at all .I use all battery and electric power tools. you can get by just fine without one.if u wanted one you can get a small pancake one.for holding valves up when swapping out stem seals .worked fine for me
Don't recycle them! Build a small forge and melt them down. 25+ years as a pro mechanic and a side hustler. I have made brackets and many other things by forging my own aluminum from scrap.. Also I keep a nice bin of old sway bar end links for welding up new exhaust hangers and such.
Comments, since I own a shop....
Air compressor is spot on. But make sure you get a good one like the Champion he has. If buying used, educate yourself and you can get an amazing compressor like a Quincy or IR industrial for the same price as a chinese knockoff.
For jacks - you again want to get an American made jack. The Chinese ones wear out too fast for commercial shop use and rebuild parts are not available for most of them. I like Blackhawks and Walkers as they last forever and are fully rebuildable.
Jack stands are pretty simple, but you want two complete sets - a short set and a tall set for trucks. The habour freight ones are fine for this. If you have a lift, you NEED the pole jack stands.
For drain pans, you can never have enough of them. For catching drips and spills, buy aluminum industrial baking trays - get the thick ones. They are only an inch tall, and large enough to slide under a car without having to be too exact. The are perfect for doing jobs where you know there is going to be leakage or splatter. They are also about $8 each, so buy a couple.
Battery charger and jump box are spot on. The only thing I can add to it is buy the best jump box you can afford. The cheap ones batteries die too quickly.
Engine hoist is another one of those things that is indispensable, but I would also add an engine leveler to the hoist. They are about $50 and make engine installs much easier.
I disagree on the brake lathe. I don't think you need them anymore. You can't turn a lot of rotors or drums from newer cars as they are made to be replaced. Its a large machine that takes up a lot of space that can be better utilized. I haven't had to turn a rotor in years.
I also disagree on the strut spring compressor. Its nice to have, but again, not one of the first things I would buy. I don't have one and ready struts have made them basically unneeded. Ready Struts are struts that come in a unit with he upper bearing and spring already installed. They save you time and save the customer money in labor costs, making their overall cost about the same as the parts and labour to put together the spring and top bearing on strut. Most customers go for it since they get a new spring and top bearing also with their strut. If you buy good inside and outside spring compressors (like a bluepoint, Snapon or mac) and you can change the springs on a strut without too much trouble. Spring compressors are one item you do not want to cheap out on. You can also use the shop press if you make fixtures and your press is big enough to fit the body of the strut through. This is what I usually do, because after you make the fixtures, you have them forever.
Buy a tall free standing press, at least 30 tons. You need the free standing press for axle bearings, struts, etc. Don't buy the smaller table top presses.
The A/C machine is really nice to have. Its actually one machine I don't have and would like to get one day.
A trans jack is a must. Especially if you have a hoist. You will use it a lot - not just for transmissions. Basically anytime you need to lift something heavy up into the underside of a car. I made a saddle fixture for it (swap it with the trans plate) and even use it for doing exhaust.
For a shop - buy the best lifts you can afford as they are your money maker. Get them serviced yearly and they will last forever. I would buy an asymetrical 2 post lift with at least 9000lb capacity, Make sure it has a top bar so there is nothing on the floor, and I would only buy a Rotary or a bend pak if buying used. I have older Ford Smiths and getting parts is a pain.
Buy at least a 5" vise for your shop, and get a good one. You can still buy Records and BAE's for cheap used. Just make sure its in good shape with no welds, cracks, or damaged jaws. A Wilton is the best vice you can buy, but very expensive. Try to get a vise with a built in anvil. Its nice to have but not needed.
Spot on for the workbench, but you can have secondary benches that are wood. You do need at least one good steel bench, and I do recommend one built with a corner drain, and lip around three sides. It should slant slightly back so things roll to the back of the bench instead of onto the floor. They are commonly called transmission tear down benches and have thick steel tops.
There are other items I would get before a lot of items you have listed. You need a good parts cleaner. You also need a good set of oxy/ace torches. I would make sure I have a cutting head, and two different tips - a large one and a small one (I use a 000 for heating small things and a 1 for bigger stuff). And for any modern car, you really need a Scanner. I have a couple of Autoscans that I use, and have to update them regularly. They do everything from pre OBD import and domestics, to OBD1, and OBD2 computers. I would also put a bench grinder with a medium wheel on one side and a wire wheel on the other in there. I use mine constantly.
Also, buy quality tools. For impacts and air tools - IR is the only brand I use after breaking most cheaper brands. For my flare tool, I went through three or four less expensive ones utiil I bought a Bluepoint. The point is, that if I bought the good tool in the beginning, it would have been cheaper since I ended up buying anyways after wasting a bunch on money on junk tools.
Good advice. Only thing I'd suggest is moving that air compressor a bit. Looks like the safety cage is right up against the wall. The large pulley is also the fan for the compressor itself. Most manufacturers call for a foot or so of clearance between the cage and anything that could obstruct airflow.
I'd start buying according to the skill level, and maintenance needed to be done
1- wrenches then wratchet and socket set, will do most of the work+ oil wrench+ breaker bar, circlip pliers, hose clamp pliers, 12v tester,
2- jack, low profile and high lifting
3- stands,, i never bought them, i made wood stand, sturdier and fabricated to liking
4-mechanics creeper, can be made but its cheap and will save alot of time and effort.
till now, oil, spark plugs, belts, and brakes can be serviced, thermostat replacement , pumps, and a lot more but will be pain without the next
5-air compressor and impact, will save time and effort at the beginning, buy no less than 75litres if you can't, don't, it'll be a waste of money
7- engine hoist
engine overhauls can be done now
I have the same brand battery charger. it's identical. yours has more stickers. A sympathetic advance auto manager felt bad for me and sold it to me for $60. Things are beast and I bet it lasts as long as I do.
I just got done purchasing my hand tools so when the Snap On truck rolls by I already have everything and I won't be tempted to buy anything. I haven't started buying equipment because I don't have a garage.
Hey Nestor, this is the first time I watch your videos, and they are awesome man. I appreciate this type of video, because it opens up ideas to regular weekend wrenchers. My dad and I spend a lot of time together working on cars and motorcycles, but it's awesome to see a Hispanic mechanic doing great things. Keep it up!
The fear will never go away. Use it. Let it make you so paranoid that it makes you think and prepare for every possible negative and positive scenario. Once you've prepared your fear will go away. Be cautious though. Sometimes the fear can keep you from going through with your plan. The only way to keep the fear from stooping you is to build immense self confidence in your self. My affirmation that built my self confidence was "If my managers and business owners I know, that are complete fucken morons can run a profitable business, I SURE AS SHIT CAN TOO! AND DO IT BETTER!"
gotcha good to know. i want to open up a shop that specializes in euro mainly mercedes and BMW and I would like to do tires/alignment but the price of the equipment is kinda intimidating but I think it will be what makes people want to come to me vs the dealer. Also looking for a building is very intimidating.
You get an alignment machine if youre doing tires. Alignment machines sell tires and suspension work. If I did I would need more room and to advertise for it it could be if you had one guy for it and you had 15 alignments a day. Not worth it for a shop like mine. We dont have to volume or do tires.
Depends on where you live. Some guys have said, they need a torch to get off rusted bolts because they live in areas where cars rust. Mostly the Easy coast where it snows. In cali, Thats not a big issue.
UBBERTANKER As a mechanic we get a discount on all parts from dealerships to auto parts stores. If the shop your working at is charging that much there ripping the customer off. Even like the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks I only pay about $75 a piece. On the European cars the brake pads wear the rotors bad every time, so most of the time on those cars they can't even be turned.
8:30 "of course you can do A/C work without a machine"--not if you're getting paid for it. It is ILLEGAL to discharge any automotive refrigerant to the atmosphere if you are operating as a business. If the EPA catches you (or someone rats on you), you will be raped.
good videos man, hey I was wondering where do you get your repair manual information? do you use all data? I do lots of work from my buddies garage but man sometimes i run into some jobs that get done, but they kick my butt along the way. it would be nice to have access to repair manuals.