Alternator Decoupler Pulley Tool Kit
STATS: Website: techsmartparts.com Cost: Prices vary based on distributor; reviewer paid $99 Uses: Removes couplers and pulleys Training required: Training Materials currently being developed
David Friend is the owner of two shops in Wilmington, N.C. The first location is a 14-bay shop that opened in 2008. His newest location opened in December 2016 and features a hands-on classroom that Friend hopes to use as a teaching facility for the area to provide training for everything from telematics to hybrid vehicles.
Friend noticed an increase in late model vehicles that were coming into his shop with different fasteners, so when TechSmart’s flyer for a universal kit came to his shop, he immediately wanted to see what it was all about.
Friend is an ASE master certified technician and continues to work on cars, even though he’s the owner of two locations. Friend started his business out of the trunk of his 1996 Nissan Maxima eight years ago and grew his business to be the only qualified independent hybrid specialist in Wilmington. After training 20–30 technicians, he made the decision to dedicate more of his time to automotive training.
How It Works:
The toolkit allows couplers or pulleys to be removed from the alternator without damage and alleviate stress. The 23-piece kit has torx, spline, and hex adaptors that will fit most alternators available from the OEs.
Before purchasing the kit, Friend says that the shop was removing pulleys and couplers in a very crude way using a chain wrench and socket while holding the alternator in place with a vice. The kit was a major upgrade, to say the least.
“The biggest appeal is having all of the sockets in one kit,” Friend says. “It’s robust. We’ve yet to come across a vehicle that we weren’t able to work on.”
Friend says that the kit is easily used once per week and that it works on all of the vehicles he has seen in his shop. He adds that all of his techs love it and that it’s saved him the hassle of having to call his tool dealer each time he sees a new type of fastener.
The kit has 23 pieces, which are offered individually. This was done so that if a part went missing, that part could be ordered separately rather than having to purchase an entirely new kit, saving the shop hundreds of dollars. Luckily, Friend hasn’t lost a piece yet but he did say that was a big selling point for him.
Friend said that the kit, which cost him $99, paid for itself within the second use. Buying the sockets individually can cost between $40–$50 a piece. With all of the different options, Friend doesn’t have to worry about constantly having to purchase new tools.