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Old 09-06-2010, 10:07 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 194
5-30 Nm torque wrench and ramps question

Yeah, I'll probably get complaints about combining these two topics in one post but, ah well, some flaming just goes with the territory...

I have two 300CDs. Finally have the time and funds to do transmission service, a cooling system (read: radiator and hoses) rebuild, an A/C system rebuild, front end work, etc.

Question 1:
Can anyone confidently recommend a torque wrench for the low end (read: 5-30 Nm)? I already have a nice torque wrench for the upper range. I'm not that comfortable with the "Yeah, that feels like about 10Nm" approach to some nut and bolt tightening.

Question 2:
Should I own a pair of ramps for making these under-the-vehicle jobs easier?
Dumb question: Are ramps only for the front end or do people use them for the rear end also? Maybe I shouldn't own a pair if I asked that question?!

Thanks for the advice-

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Old 09-06-2010, 10:35 AM
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Posts: 8,731
Originally Posted by dogguy View Post
Can anyone confidently recommend a torque wrench for the low end (read: 5-30 Nm)? I already have a nice torque wrench for the upper range.
I would recommend a beam-type wrench. You probably won't use it enough to justify a micro type. And the beam type doesn't loose its calibration like a micro.

Originally Posted by dogguy View Post

Should I own a pair of ramps for making these under-the-vehicle jobs easier?
A jack and jack stands are a lot more versatile. Ramps take up a lot of storage space and are useless for a many common jobs.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:20 AM
Biodiesel300TD's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Albany, OR
Posts: 4,845
I agree with tangofox on both accords, but I will add that ramps are a lot quicker to get the car up than jacks and jack stands. I have a pair I and I use them occasionally. If you're working on something not wheel or suspension related the are useful. But they do take up some space. I wouldn't say they are critical, but nice to have sometimes.
'04 Jetta TDI Wagon
'82 300TD ~ Winnie ~ Sold
'77 300D ~ Sold
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:48 AM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,801
I use ramps front or rear.

Ramp or stands depends on the job. I find ramps are less in the way of engine, transmission and diff work. Also hurts less when my hand slips and slams into a ramp vs a stand

87 300D
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:05 PM
Diesel911's Avatar
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Location: Long Beach,CA
Posts: 34,979
As long as the read of your car does not bottom out on the top of the Ramp you can use them on the Rear.
As other have said it is better to have both Ramps and Jack Stands so you have a choice.
The Jacks stands are cheaper and allow more room for you to move around when you are under the Car.
Getting up on Ramps can sometimes cause problems. I have had one Ramp move while the other did not. I have also driven too far and off of them.
Ounce the car is up on Ramps and the Wheels are well Blocked/Chocked to prevent any chance of roll back Ramps are safer than Jack Stands.
84 300D, 82 Volvo 244Gl Diesel
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:43 PM
compress ignite's Avatar
Drone aspiring to Serfdom
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: 32(degrees) North by 81(degrees) West
Posts: 5,554
Tq Wrench and Ramps

Beam Type
(OOh! On Sale ,save $3.00 USD...'Wonder how much it was marked up? First.)

'Looks like it comes with a 3/8 to 1/2 adapter.

[Had one for 15 years...If it were to be "Mal-Adjusted",you only need to bend
the pointer back straight (so it points to ZERO, at rest).Almost Foolproof]

I'm enamored of the Rhino Ramps(Composite Plastico,Lightweight)
[Get the 12,000 Lbs version]
Howeveah,The Rubber anti-skid plates on the bottom MUST be intact!
ALSO,A Good set of RUBBER wheel chocks are necessary for safety.

Mr. Obsessive
(I hate having to dial the cellphone whilst 3,000Lbs of auto constricts my
diaphragm,even if I get the 911 operator on the cell I can't move enough
air to Speak.)
ALSO uses "Failsafe" 12X12" (Double Stacked @ 90 degrees) Timbers,If
whatever' s supporting the chassis (Or a Seismic event occurs) FAILS I
still get another shot at completing the attempted repair.
Attached Thumbnails
5-30 Nm torque wrench and ramps question-screenhunter_01-sep.-06-14.26.gif   5-30 Nm torque wrench and ramps question-screenhunter_02-sep.-06-14.42.jpg  
'84 300SD sold
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:10 PM
okyoureabeast's Avatar
Rogue T Tolerant
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North America
Posts: 1,675
I own a pair of ramps. They helped a great deal when I did my oil cooler line job.

I feel safer working under ramps than jack stands. Obviously it sucks if you need to access a wheel, but for doing engine work that requires you to be under the car for an extended period of time I feel that ramps are the best.

When I did my axle job, I had to use jack stands. Being under a car like that was a bit scary. I shook down the vehicle prior to getting under it which helped calm my fears a little, but it still makes me uncomfortable.

I also own one of those craftsmen dial torque wrenches. It's been great to me so far. I retorqued the bolts holding the differential mount to the frame and getting 25nm exactly was reassuring since I torqued the bolt apart the last time I did the job.
-Typos courtesy of my mobile phone.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:40 PM
JamesDean's Avatar
Electrical Engineer
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 5,034
I have a micro type torque wrench, I think its good down to maybe 13Nm.

It works for me.

I also prefer stands over ramps as I can do more with stands. I used to have some metal ramps not sure where they ran off to, I never really liked the idea of driving up them..always feared i'd right right off the end and be stuck. ha.
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:11 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 194
Hey thanks for all of the advice. I've used jacks and jack stands for years and they seem ok. Doesn't sound like ramps are a necessity for what I typically do. Plus, I'm thin enough that I can slip underneath the vehicles and move around fairly easily. Seems like those low (5-30Nm) spec'd. torque wrenches aren't used all that much. Can't say I've seen them around much either. Anyway, appreciate the help!

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