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Toolkit
#1
So, I'm intending to start doing some of the maintenance and repair work on my M49, to help keep it on the road, but I don't have much mechanical experience, nor much of a toolkit. The last time I did mechanical stuff was over 20 years ago on a Fiat Panda - I did basic stuff like change the oil, coolant and clutch cable (after it snapped on me while in the middle lane of Hammersmith roundabout.... Sad )

I currently have a very basic set of tools - various screwdrivers, small spanners, pliers.  Does anybody have any recommendations for tools that would be good to invest in?
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
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#2
A decent 1/2 socket set covering 10mm to 24mm then if you need the odd larger size buy them when needed plus Torq keys or sockets especially 55 torq bit for brake calipers. A decent breaker bar for really stubborn fittings like wheel nuts. A decent make torque wrench and mole grips a multimeter to, blimey this list could go on for ages. You will find as you do jobs that you need a certain tool and you can add to your toolbox as you go, it is a never ending process.
Are we there yet????? Huh
Ex 1.6hdi van now 3 seater 1.4 multispace
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  • notsofast
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#3
I would personally go for 3/8" drive for the smaller stuff, you can't always get in to places so easily on modern vehicles with 1/2". A 1/4" drive set is useful for the very small stuff and to get at screws in places you can't get to directly with a screwdriver (or they are tight!)
My van: 2008 Berlingo 1.6 HDi Enterprise
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  • notsofast
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#4
I have to agree with both sides, depending on what you tackle. I don't do so much now, where as I used to do every job myself unless it needed a big ramp or specialist kit.

I have a big 1/2" socket set, two breaker bars (one 24" and one 18") with a set of deep impact sockets (the black ones) 13mm to 32mm along with 2 X 1/4" socket sets, one is standard metric and the other is half sizes from 3mm to 13mm and a full set of impact torx bits. Most bolts are torx on these cars so they are a must-have.

Finally a set of ratchet spanners which make life easy, a 1kg lump hammer and a pickle fork.

Oh and a set of pry-bars from 6" to 24".

And two torque wrenches, a small 1/4" drive one that goes from 5nm to 20nm and a big 1/2" one to 150nm for big stuff.

I've collected a lot more than that, but these I'd say are needed for most jobs. My favourite toy is a DeWalt 18v XR rattle gun with a 1/2 drive. Great for confined spaces and nothing resists that bad boy for long Smile
My Van: 2012 B9 1.6 HDi Enterprise
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  • notsofast
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#5
Thanks for the replies. Looks like there's quite a bit of stuff to be purchased!  Should I also get some axle stands or some ramps to support the vehicle while working underneath, or is it OK to manage just by parking half on a kerb with some added blocks/slabs/bricks under the kerbed wheels?
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
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#6
Maybe wait for Boot Sales to resume - I've had some real bargains with tools like 2  torque wrenches for a fiver each, and pullers & joint breakers, but have seen plenty of crap sockets and the like! If you find any big names like Elora etc. then they are likely to be good. A set of ramps at a sale won't be much as not many folk do 'mending' any more.  A good ratchet bar for sockets, and Halfords do (did?) some nice metric spanners that have micro ratchets - just buy a 10 and 13mm and they'll do most jobs.
Big sets - I have a set of sockets for 50 years, bought for me on my 18th Birthday,  and some have never been used.
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  • notsofast
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#7
As above, car boot sales can turn up some good stuff, just be cautious you're not buying something that someone else has been 'relieved' of...

Autojumbles and steam fairs are a good hunting grounds too, you can often find the odd sizes of sockets and spanners that don't come in the sets.

As for ramps, just bear in mind that older ones may have been made when 4 inch wide wheels were the norm, so may not be wide enough to get modern stuff on.
My van: 2008 Berlingo 1.6 HDi Enterprise
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#8
Just to mention that apart from tools, of which the list is endless if you want it to be, I carry in the car a pair of those cheap disposable white painter's overalls in case of being out on the road with problems and an old carpet square to kneel on.
And an old style torch.
Now a 2019 K9 1.2 petrol.
Before a 2010 B9 1.6 HDi diesel.
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  • notsofast
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#9
(05-04-2021, 08:47 AM)notsofast Wrote:  Thanks for the replies. Looks like there's quite a bit of stuff to be purchased!  Should I also get some axle stands or some ramps to support the vehicle while working underneath, or is it OK to manage just by parking half on a kerb with some added blocks/slabs/bricks under the kerbed wheels?

Get proper axle stands, please don't risk your life working under a vehicle propped up on bricks or slabs. They can can crumble without warning. By the same token never rely on a jack. I know how tempting it is when you're 'just changing the oil', but...
My van: 2008 Berlingo 1.6 HDi Enterprise
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  • notsofast
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#10
Being realistic, I'm unlikely to peruse boot sales unless I know in advance I'll definitely be able to pick up something I'm after - 'browsing' has never been my forte (particularly if I'm a bit unsure about what I'm buying). I guess auto jumbles might be a surer bet?

I popped into a local Halfords this evening and looked at some stuff - they had a 3/8" metric set of I think 9-19mm sockets, for £26, and they also had a 'stubby' (i.e. short-handled) socket set of 1/4" and 3/8", which was only £20 but their were fewer sizes of each, though it also included some screwdriver bits.  I also looked at axle stands (£18 for pair of 2-tonne) and ramps (£50 for a pair of 2-tonne) - so ramps are much pricier, though a concern I have with the stands is: what if the bodywork they prop under is unknowingly a bit weak?
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
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