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You would normally position the axle stands under the subframe or suspension mounting point rather than the floorpan itself, if you do need to do that (for access to a certain part for example) you can spread the load with a piece of wood. I would go with axle stands over ramps, not least because you obviously can't get the wheels off when it's on ramps...
My van: 2008 Berlingo 1.6 HDi Enterprise
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to RattyCortina for this post:
  • notsofast
Halfords socket sets are the business, with a lifetime guarantee on breakage. I've had them for years, look as good now as they did 10 years ago and they've had plenty of use.
My Van: 2012 B9 1.6 HDi Enterprise
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Zion for this post:
  • notsofast
Thanks. Think I'll get a Halfords socket set and pair of axle stands, then take it from there.
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
Ramps have their uses. 
They're much faster to get the car up and the underside accessible(for exhaust work, oil changes, anything else that isn't a 'wheels off' job). 
Personally, I feel a bit safer with ramps.

A 6wheeled 'Garage creeper' mechanics trolley is a must in any home mechanic's arsenal if they don't have a lift. Laying on cardboard or an old piece of carpet gets old pretty fast. 


Just the ease with which you slip under and back out makes them worth it. 

For sockets, I would also get at least 10 and 13mm 'deep sockets' in 1/4 and 3/8. You'll need the 10mm on the battery bracket.  

The large torque wrench should hit 250 or more Newtons. Can't remember what the hub nuts required now, but yeah...   

I have two breaker bars, one 40cm, and one 1meter bar. The first time you try to remove a front hub nut you'll understand why. 

Get a set of adaptors and short and long extenders for the sockets. 

If you can get a set of torx sockets:

The exhaust on my M49(1.4i) is attached to the gearbox with a bolt that requires one of these. 
A long version can be useful on the rear axle mounts. (must be a 'slim' one, though)

I have a full set of ratcheting spanners. (looks like regular spanners, but the closed end has a ratcheting mechanism), but if you get a 10, a 13, and possibly a 17... lovely things...    

There are special 'brake line' spanners with a narrow gap, but that can wait until you decide to mess with brake lines. 

You can never have too many LED worklights(rechargeables, so they can be moved around), a mirror on a stick(looks nearly like a selfie stick, but useful) and a flexible wand with a magnet on the end...

Oh, and if you can get it, a big box of black Nitrile gloves. 
(The black ones are for chemicals, and are stronger than the usual blues. )
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Gadgetman for this post:
  • notsofast
Thanks for all those extra suggestions.  The trolley is something I hadn't considered - I was thinking of using an old donkey jacket or old carpet (I'll be getting the stairs re-carpeted at some point and thought I could save a bit), though neither of those would be very easy to clean if they get oily etc.  I'd looked at some blue gloves in Halfords, but thought I might start with old gardening gloves - the rubber-coated cotton ones that I'm very used to wearing and that allow quite a bit of dexterity.

Everyone's replies have been really helpful - I've now got a good list of stuff I can pick my way through.
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
I had all my best tools stolen last year so just before lock down I bought a large tool selection from Halfords for around £160. Is in like a big flat socket set box but has a good selection of most tools you'd need on a car. I think I snapped one torx socket bit other than that has been really great.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Kieron G for this post:
  • notsofast
If you manage to break a socket, how good is the rest?
And 80% of these kits are never used.
They are actually good, but if you put a non impact bit or socket onto a breaker bar, it's not too hard to bust it. That's why the dearer black impact ones are made. Everything has a limit.
My Van: 2012 B9 1.6 HDi Enterprise

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