Paramotor essential toolkit
by Had Robinson
Updated July 29, 2020
You have purchased a $6,000 paramotor and you are going to use $10 worth of tools (some screwdrivers and a pair of pump pliers) to work on it. I hope this does not make sense.
These are the tools that you need to properly service most paramotors including the Top 80. While Harbor Freight does not make professional quality tools, they are more than adequate for the occasional mechanic. Failure to use the proper tools is a guarantee that you will damage your engine. Suffice it to say, there are some who lack basic mechanic-type skills or would rather not work on their engines. In that case, contact a competent local mechanic who knows high performance 2 stroke engines. These are almost always the chainsaw, kart racing, or dirt-bike guys and it is worth the effort to find out who they use to service their engines. If at all possible, find a kart racing engine expert. These guys are the world experts on 2 stroke engines and the diaphragm carburetors.
If a pilot is unable or cannot service his own paramotor, what should he do?
The tools listed below are followed by the Harbor Freight stock number, if they carry it. A few items are only available from auto parts stores, a specialty tool supplier, eBay, or Amazon.com. The stock numbers, brands, etc. may change over time so pilots may have to do a little extra work to locate the tools listed here. Often enough, these tools are on sale at HF, sometimes at 50% or more off. These tools are also available in auto parts stores but you will pay much more for them and they are of the same quality or more. The basic tool set will allow pilots to work on nearly everything except some parts of the ignition system, redrives, and the crankcase assembly.
- When working on engines: "cleanliness is next to godliness." Memorize this phrase if you want to prolong the life of your paramotor. The untidy will pay for
their bad habits.
- If you need help on how to use a digital multimeter, Fluke has
instructions here on how to measure resistance.
- Use the correct tool for the job. Screwdrivers of all types must fit snugly in the slot(s) of the screw. For flat blade slotted screws, choose a screwdriver with a
tip that is the width of the slot and which fits tightly in the slot. For those pilots who do their own carburetor work, it pays to have what the gunsmiths use: a Chapman screwdriver kit
model #8900. With precision tools, you will not wreck important parts of your engine.
- Study the manuals that come with your paramotor (if any) along with the information on this site. However, Italian manuals are inscrutable, disorganized, and in bad English. The exception is Vittorazi which has very fine manuals for their engines.
See the Fuel equipment for suggestions on the equipment needed to safely fill, drain, mix, store your fuel.
Air compressor with accessories #61615, #68260, #60356
(best) or a can of compressed gas used for removing dust
Air-tool oil #68094 – this oil is lightweight and contains no detergents or additives as does automobile engine oil.
Anti-seize lubricant – available from auto parts stores
Brake cleaner – this is required to remove grease, oil, and grime from parts before assembling. Auto parts stores have it.
Clutch puller Tool #MANEF (Top 80 only) – available from Miniplane-USA. Most engines require special pullers!
Compression Tester Kit 8 Pc #69885 If you have a flash starter on your engine, this tool will not work.
Depth gauge – used with the digital caliper to measure the metering lever value (optional – see the tune up page)
6 in. Digital Caliper with SAE and Metric Fractional Readings #68304 Professional calipers are more accurate but the HF ones are adequate.
7 Function Digital Multimeter #90899 It is an amazing value at $10 for its accuracy. The more expensive ones are easier to use and tougher.
Permatex part #81950 Ultra Slick Engine Assembly Lube, 4 oz. – put on all sleeve bearings when assembling them. In auto parts stores.
3/8" x 6" extension – available singly from auto parts store but not from Harbor Freight
16 oz. ball peen Hammer #61304
2.5 lb. dead-blow Hammer #69003
1500 Watt Dual Temperature Heat Gun 572°/1112° #96289
10 Pc Metric Hex Key Set # 94597
6 Pc 3/8 in. Drive Metric Hex Socket Set #69546
7 Pc 3/8" drive metric extra long hex bit socket set (Top 80 only)
Fine Hook & Pick Set #93514
Mini Hook and Pick Set #66836 – very handy for picking out seals and small parts that fall down holes in the engine
Hoses – 1/4" and 1/8" OD fuel resistant hoses are handy to have. Miniplane USA and auto parts stores sell them by the foot.
White lithium grease, small tube – available from auto parts stores. I don't recommend the spray-can type.
18 in. Telescoping Magnet tool #37187 Ever drop a nut down some hole? Can't get your fingers in somewhere? This tool can be very useful.
Technical Measuring Set 6 Pc #94447
Needle File Set 12 Pc #00468
7 Pc Pliers Set #69357
Puller set, bolt type #62620 – used to aid in the removal of propeller hubs
Puller set, three-Jaw 3 Pc #69105 – used to disassemble a redrive on engines that have them
Pin Punch Set 8 Pc #93424
3 Oz. RTV silicone #96041 – DO NOT USE ORDINDARY HOUSEHOLD SILICONE GLUE!
8 Pc Screwdriver Set #94607
Chapman screwdriver kit model #8900 – optional and available from Amazon or eBay, it is expensive precision set of tools.
Siphon for fuel transfer – see the "Fuel equipment" section. A "jiggle-type" siphon is the best way to move fuel around.
Battery operated fuel transfer pump – optional but at $10, a real bargain and time saver.
21 Pc 1/4 in. Drive Metric High Visibility Socket Set #67998
20 Pc 3/8 in. Drive Metric High Visibility Socket Set #67999
Lead-Free Rosin Core Solder #69378 – used to measure cylinder head/piston spacing (a.k.a. "squish")
K-D 165 Spark Plug Gauge & Gap tool – this is the only gauge I have found with the right sizes. Available from Amazon.com
Lisle #20200 14mm Spark Plug Hole Thread Chaser – available from Amazon
Pirate Mfg Spark Plug Hole Thread Chaser 14mm and 10mm (for the newer Top 80 engines)
3/8 in. Drive 13/16 in. Sparkplug Socket #67793
18 In. Low Voltage Test Leads #66717 (these are needed to connect the multimeter to various part of the engine)
0.20 oz. Semi-Permanent blue Threadlock #96059
0.20 oz. Permanent red Threadlock #96055
3/8 in. Drive Click Type Torque Wrench #807 DO NOT USE TORQUE WRENCHES WITH ADAPTERS!
1/4 in. Drive Beam-type Torque Wrench – It is better to get this beam type torque wrench rather than the HF cheapie which is not as precise.
6 in. swivel vise with Anvil #67040 (highly recommended but optional)
9 Pc Metric Combination Wrench Set #42305
If you plan to do any ignition work you will need these tools:
Feeler Gauge 32 Pc #32214 quantity (2)
Hand Riveter Set #38353
Aluminum Blind Rivet Assortment (500 Piece) #67668
3/8 in. Variable Speed Reversible Drill #60614
High Speed Steel Drill Bit Set 13 Pc #61723
42 Pc Marine Heat Shrink Tubing Assortment With Case #67598
Here are the special tools needed that are not included above:
Pop-off pressure gauge
– It is impossible to check fuel system health or properly tune a diaphragm carburetor without a
Welch plug remover – optional see this page on the details. This tool is rarely needed.
If you are planning to check or adjust the timing of your engine, go to the check timing page or the timing page on this site, respectively, for the tools needed. You should not have to check/adjust the timing unless there has been some catastrophe.
Engine overhaul tools
Please go to the bearing replacement page for these special tools.