Installing stereo’s into many cars, means you will need a decent tool box for every possibility – Although there are only a hand full of tools that you would actually need for the most popular cars.
Organisation is key when installing stereo’s, making sure you keep track of all the bolts, screws, nuts you remove, and having a tidy tool box so you know where all your tools are at every possibility. There is nothing worse than going to a car and not having the correct tools. There are also times where you may have to improvise to complete the job (more on this later).
So this is my personal toolbox (I have lent this to my brother for the past few months, and he still uses this for work, so its missing a couple of bits, and a little messy as to my standards) – This is the tools you will find in an Stereo Fitters Toolbox:
Keter Cantilever Tool Box 22
I have gone through a few tool boxes in my time while fitting stereos, there was a point where I had tools in one box, connectors and wire in another, and then stereo removal tools in another tool box. I got tired of carrying three boxes around, and tired of the cheaper tool box falling apart. I stumbled upon this Keter cantilever tool box while doing a weekly shop in a Tesco supermarket, and found this was perfect, and the price was decent also. It had storage for all my connectors in the top, and storage for all my tools within the box its self.
The tool box features a large metal carrying handle, and metal catches, which usually broke or went missing on my old tool boxes. The best thing about this tool box is the way it opens, and is totally supported when open. All my tool boxes before hand used to fall over and tools used to roll about.
Stereo Removal Tools
These are one of the most important tools you can have to remove car stereos – There are only so many tools to remove a range of stereos. You will find car manufactures keep the same tools across their ranges for a few years – although new modern cars all seem to be going down the bolt in stereo route, as this prevents the stereos from being stolen easily, and allows for seamless stereo design.
Bullet and Butt Connectors – These allow for ease of connecting wires together, without the use of solder and soldering irons. Soldering Irons are extremely dangerous when working in cars, drop this on a seat or carpet while they are turned on, and you will be left with a hefty repair bill. Bullet and Butt connectors allow you to crimp the wires together, and with male / female bullet connectors, wires can easily be disconnected from one another in case of error.
Now drilling should be a last resort in most cases, and if you do need to drill holes, remember the good old saying of “Measure twice, cut once” well this goes for drilling holes, as when you have drilled a hole, this is a permanent change to the vehicle.
Another must have bit of kit for any stereo fitters are your screw drivers – Try and get a decent set of high quality flat head and philips head screw drivers, its also handy to get one’s with magnetic heads, which will stop you from dropping those precious screws down the back of the dashboard, especially when the panel gaps are small to get the screws out.
You should also get a hand full of Torx screwdrivers, as quite a lot of cars now use these screws to hold stereo’s and panels in place. T20-T30 are the popular choice.
Yes Yes Yes! Everyone should have a set of these tools – I have seen so much damage be done by using flat head screw drivers to pry plastic parts away from the dashboard. That is where these tools are number one at removing plastic panels and not leaving any marks. They are plastic composite tools created by Bojo Tools, there are a wide range of tools available from the compnay, but I stick with what is called the “Master Installers Tool Kit” which has all the tools I would ever need for installing car stereos. These are available from the Bojo Tools Europe.
Another major tool you should have in your stereo fitters tool box – This comes in handy for measuring voltage, and also for finding ground and also continuity between cables.
Everyone should carry spare fuses, as these are easily blown.
Always useful to any Stereo Fitter
You will always need spare wire in any application, especially when wiring in new devices into the car, such as a hands free kit, or hard wiring a sat nav into the car. Another must have are these neat little connectors below – They are know as fuse spur’s or fuse taps. As most modern cars can be difficult to find a ignition wire around the stereo area, the fusebox is the main place to find such a wire, but no one wants to start chopping the main wiring loom. These allow you to use your multi meter on the fuse panel its self to find that fuse which becomes live when the ignition is on. You can then remove this fuse, insert the fuse spur into its place, replace the fuse on top of the black connector, and this provides you with an ignition spur from this fuse, and also working as a fuse for the accessory you are tapping into.
So that is basically all the tools in my stereo fitters toolbox. I hope this opens peoples eyes and might allow people to get ideas what tools they should have in their tool box.