Paramotor essential toolkit
by Had Robinson
updated May 18, 2021
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. Paramotors are not Toyota-engineered wonder-machines. They are made mostly in small shops in Italy where incompetent and/or lazy workers cannot be fired and this makes quality control a serious problem. I see enough of it in the engines that come in here. But Italian engines can run at full throttle better than any others, so we put up with it.
These are the tools that you need to properly service most paramotors.
While the Harbor Freight tools listed below are not their professional (and more expensive line), 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. If at all possible, find a kart racing engine expert. The kart clubs are everywhere in the U.S. and these guys are the world experts on 2 stroke engines and the diaphragm carburetors used in paramotors.
The tools listed below that are available from Harbor Freight are followed by a stock number. A few items are only available from auto parts stores, a specialty tool supplier or eBay. 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. 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 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 manual that comes with your paramotor (if any) along with the information on this site. However, most Italian manuals are inscrutable, disorganized, and in bad English. An exception is Vittorazi, I am happy to say, which has fine manuals for their engines.
See the Fuel equipment for suggestions on the equipment needed to safely fill, drain, mix, and store fuel.
"*" = an essential but special tool used often
Air compressor with accessories #61615, #68260, #60356
(best) or a can of compressed gas used for removing dust from computer keyboards
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. Unfortunately, most auto parts stores only have the "non-chlorinated" versions which are next to useless, thanks to the enviro-nazis who spend their lives being busybodies and nitpickers. If you do not live in the Happy Socialist Republics of New Jersey or California, you may be in luck as the chlorinated versions of common brake cleaner (a powerful degreaser) are still available.
Chain wrench (optional) – this tool is essential if you regularly work on small engines. This special Vise-Grip tool tool by Irwin (avoid the Chinese cheapies) holds anything round without damage. eBay also has used ones at a very good price.
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.
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
Fuel line – 1/4" and 1/8" OD fuel resistant fuel line. Miniplane USA sells it by the foot (page down twice to see the fuel line)
White lithium Grease, small tube – available from auto parts stores. I don't recommend the spray-can type.
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
*Ignition coil spark tester – this $10 tool will test every part of the ignition system except the spark plug
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
*Metering lever gauge for Walbro carburetors – the simple way to check the metering lever height. If it's not correct, the engine will not go to wide open throttle.
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
3.5 Oz. RTV Permatex Ultra Grey premium sealant 82194 #599 available in auto parts stores – DO NOT USE ORDINDARY HOUSEHOLD SILICONE GLUE
8 Pc Screwdriver set #94607
Chapman Screwdriver kit model #8900 – optional and available from eBay, it is expensive precision set of tools
silicone grease – available in small packets from most auto parts stores
Siphon for fuel transfer – see the Fuel equipment section. A "jiggle-type" siphon is the easiest way to move fuel around
battery operated fuel Transfer pump – optional but at $10, a real bargain and time saver
6 Pc 3/8 in. drive metric hex Socket set #69546
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")
Wright 9531 Spark plug gauge & Gap tool
Lisle #20200 14mm Spark plug hole thread chaser
*thread chaser 14mm and 10mm (for the newer Top 80 engines)
3/8 in. Drive 13/16 in. spark plug 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
Torch – either propane/MAPP or (better) oxyacetylene
DO NOT USE TORQUE WRENCHES WITH ADAPTERS. Note: the inexpensive torque wrenches from Harbor Freight are very poor quality.
3/8 in. Torque wrench click-type
1/4 in. Torque wrench beam-type (preferred as it is more accurate than the click-type below)
1/4 in. Torque wrench click-type
6 in. swivel Vise with Anvil #67040 (highly recommended but optional)
9 Pc Metric Combination Wrench Set #42305
Ignition tools (special)
If you plan to do advanced ignition work you will need these tools:
Feeler gauge 32 Pc #32214 quantity (2) for adjusting the gap between the ignition coil and the flywheel. You must have (2) of these to do it.
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
Carburetor tools (special)
Here are the special tools needed that are not included above:
For the most stubborn screws/bolts, pilots should consider using this ingenious Japanese hand tool, the Vessel Impact Driver, to remove them.
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.