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  #1  
Old 03-14-2005, 04:33 PM
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Location: Greenville, NC
Posts: 533
Tools

I am so tired of all the special tools that are sometimes needed. I wish we could have a special place on this forum for tool short cuts, alternatives and fabrication.

I have a w124 and w126 and need tools for both. Like injector socket, pre-chamber tool and alot of suspension tools. I am going to improvise on alot of this stuff like finding a 27mm socket 51mm deep for the injectors, JC Whitley for some tie rod removers $17, tie rod forks, Agri Supply for 3 jaw pullers $5.99, Various big washers, big sockets, nuts and bolts for a homemade puller. The only tool that I may purchase is a Klann type spring compressor (el paso $219). The Sir Tools c clamp type ball joint installer for $325 is crazy! Any alternatives besides a machine shop?. I have a vise and a 4 lb dead blow and can get alot done it.

Good deals on tools:

My favorite is Agri Supply Co (not just for farmers) 5" bench vise-$19, gear wrenches $3-$6 each, 22-32mm wrenches $5-$7 each, long needle nose pliers $3, big size sockets $6, 3 jaw pullers $3-$7, 12 ton jack stands $19 all with lifetime warranties.

Next is Northern Tools: 12-32mm 6 pt med depth sockets 1/2 drive with tray $14.99, creeper and seat $29, german made grease gun $19, 18" 1/2 drive flex bar $10, 1/2 drive 10" extension $3.99. I really like the quality and feel of Northern tools 1/2 drive stuff! 4 lb rubber dead blow hammer $12, 24" pry bar $3.99. Metric tap and die set $18. All with life time warranties.

Both of these stores are walk in and have the best price, good stock and selection. (alot better than Sears, Autozone, Adavance, Napa) I like them even better than Harbour freight.
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2005, 05:29 PM
88Black560SL
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 2,863
There are places that rent some of the more expensive specialized tools required to service you MB. I will probably be renting a chain link extractor next year for my 560SL timing chain. E-Mail me and I will give you a source.

But personally befor you rent a tool see if it might be worthwhile to have it done at a machine shop or MB service facility. Obviously in the case of my timing chain, It is not practical.

John Roncallo
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2005, 07:22 PM
LarryBible
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Although I have accumulated many MB special tools, most of them can be improvised or done with a standard tool such as a 27MM deep socket for injectors.

Most of the suspension tools are not specific to MB although they would like very much to sell them to you.

I have a pretty good sized drawer in my new toolbox that has nothing but special tools in it and that drawer is bulging at the seams.

It would be a good idea to simply start a thread where one can ask about a particular tool and then the response is added. As time goes along most of the special tools and their workarounds are posted.

Good luck,

Last edited by LarryBible; 04-25-2005 at 09:04 AM.
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  #4  
Old 03-14-2005, 08:19 PM
Strife's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: KY USA
Posts: 2,238
I've been thinking about the renting of tools. In preparation for timing chain work on my car, I bought a pin extractor, valve compressor, valve stem seal installers, stem pliers, circlip pliers, and a "cage" that fits over the cam gear (so the chain won't fall into the engine - I hope!). This was an investment of several hundred dollars, and at the rate I expect to drive, I probably won't use them more than a few times in 20 years. I'd like to get a rear subframe mount extractor and spring compressor but YIKES!! are they expensive.

Maybe a rental exchange at 15-20% with a full PayPal deposit would work.

Question on the link extractor: Is removing the link extremely difficult after grinding off the heads? Or does the extractor cut the links without grinding (may be safer not to have metal debris around there...)
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2005, 09:22 AM
LarryBible
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Strife,

Assuming that when you say link extractor you are referring to the timing chain link, there are no special tools needed. Simply grind off the heads of the two pins and pull off the plate, then push out the link.

To reinstall, put the pin portion of the new master link in from the rear. Feel the wear plate with your finger. One side of the plate will have sharp edges from the die cutting and the other side will be smooth. Put the smooth side toward the front of the car. Back up the rear of the master link with a body dolly or ball peen hammer. Then peen the links down flat with a ball peen hammer.

I have done this several times with great success. The only circumstance where you don't want to do this, is if you will be entering the car in a car show with the valve cover off and this link exposed, because it is not as pretty as if it were done with the fancy tool.

Except for the pin extractor, I have managed quite well with none of the tools on your list. I could get by without the pin extractor by using a bolt and a big nut, but I got the pin extractor before I realized this.

Good luck,
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2005, 10:22 AM
MB, love..hate..love..
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: NB Canada
Posts: 1,173
Here's a picture of a valve spring compressor I made up from some thin-walled pipe, some 1/4" round bar stock, a clevis pin, a bolt/nut, and a couple of large washers.
It did the trick on a camshaft replacement on a '76 450SE and a valve seal replacement on my current 380SE.....I found that the geometry was a bit off on the position of the pivot point for the camshaft holder, and I use a piece of pipe about 8" long to extend the handle for better leverage. Also, the washer at the bottom for the 'foot' that pushes down on the spring should have been at a slightly more acute angle to hold the spring flat when under compression.
It was about 1/2 day to build, using a buddy's copy of the real tool as a pattern. I think his might have been a bit off too, so having the real deal in hand to copy would have been better.
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  #7  
Old 03-16-2005, 01:01 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 82
Just so you know. I bought that same spring compressor from the same place and when I did my front spring pads it was worth every penny.
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  #8  
Old 04-03-2005, 02:56 PM
smoker
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 30
tools for barter (wine)

Gentlemen: I recently bought a 124 & plan to rebuild the entire suspension and the head. As all of you know I'll need a number of specialized tools. Some can be rented others can only be bought but either way it's going to cost me a fair chunk of change, which is contrary to being a DIYer. Most of you own these tools in some form or another & knew that you'd only use it once or twice before you bought it but you bought it any way. Your predictions were right & you now have any entra tool box just to hold their strange shapes not to mention an investment that's come & gone. Well here I am at the same crossroads as you once faced but would like to make a different choice that benefits us all.

What I propose is that we enter into some form of tasteful barter. I'd be more than happy to ship a few bottles of good wine to various members in exchange for tools. If you live in the Bay Area, I can bring you fresh salmon or tuna. When I'm done I'll send them back & I'm happy to cover shipping cost on both ends.

Think of it as a tool dividend and let's face it, if we all lived in the same neighborhood (whoa - I just had a flash in my head of a neighborhood full of Benzs) we would be doing this any way. The fact is we do live in the same neighborhood, it's just ours is virtual.

I'm currently in need of tools (spring compressor, ball joint press, etc) to rebuild the front suspension on my 87 300TD.

Robert

Last edited by rsheely; 04-03-2005 at 08:01 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-24-2005, 03:17 PM
Robert Ryan
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 222
Larry -
Are you saying that it is possible to crimp the timing chain link without the $200 special swaging press?

Has anyone found a source that'll rent-out the tool?

And lets get this tool registry up and running! I've got tools to lend and repairs that need tools!

In the meantime I'm going to update this thread with the ways that I've fabricated tools instead of buying them
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Last edited by r_p_ryan; 04-24-2005 at 08:34 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-24-2005, 04:23 PM
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I think Performance Products will rent out the chain crimper.

I used the E-clip type master link for mine. I don't want to get into the debate on whether or not these are strong enough here, but considering that this type of link is described in the M-B shop manual, I can't beleive that it is a poor fix - If you rip this link apart you've got much bigger problems than the timing chain, IMHO.

Maybe 15% of the cost of the tool+two-way shipping, full list price deposit via PayPal, return in X days or you bought it or something like this would work. Most of the tools I have can't really be "worn out" - maybe some adjustment can be made for those that can be worn out.

My specialized 117 tool inventory:
Valve compressor
Both valve stem seal installers
Valve stem seal remover
Timing chain cover
Pin puller
Valve shim go/nogo gauge
Three strap wrenches (not specific to MB, but work great on fan pulley, etc)

I'm going to do the front subframe and motor mounts soon and I'm wondering if the "Generic" type screw-type tie rod separator (not a pickle fork, too violent!!) will separate my tie rods.
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  #11  
Old 04-24-2005, 08:17 PM
Robert Ryan
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 222
Home Made Chain Crimper?

Is it insanity?

Why not take a piece of hardened steel and grind it to a shape that will swage the timing chain pins, and use a 4" C-clamp to apply the pressure? I bet a larger allen wrench could be ground on the side with a dremel to make the correct shape (something trapezoidal?). If somebody has a close-up picture of the 'real' tool I'll give it a shot. I'm sure somebody will do the math and conclude the $200 tool is cheaper than a valve job. But I guess that's just not my style. If I wanted easy I wouldn't love my old E's

The attached picture is the cross-section of the tool. I would guess that area A is where the tool mates with the pin and effectively swages it. I would also guess that area B is to ensure the correct fitting of the swage on the chain and the pin. (I will forego B for many reasons). So I'll give this a shot and post some pics of what I come up with and what the chain looks like afterwards...

Robert
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Last edited by r_p_ryan; 04-24-2005 at 10:31 PM.
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  #12  
Old 04-24-2005, 08:33 PM
Robert Ryan
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 222
Home Made EHA Harness

The EHA harness can be very easily made from a couple of pieces of wire and bullet-style connectors , aka crimp-on snap connectors (radio shack pn 64-3086). It turns out the size of the connectors is exactly the same size as the EHA terminals. One piece of wire is about 6" long and has a female at one end and a male at the other. The other piece of wire is a 4 foot piece of speaker wire. One end has a male/female pair of snap connectors and the other end (the multimeter end) has a pair of female quick-disconnect crimp-ons (radio shack PN 64-3039). The probe pins from the multimeter stick nicely in to the female quick-disconnects, and when you want to use the multimeter to read the O2 sensor instead you can push the two female connectors together and they'll stay put

A bag of snap connectors, $1.69 at your local radio shack
A bag of quick disconnects, $1.69 at your local radio shack
Getting the job done on a Sunday afternoon, priceless.

-Robert
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  #13  
Old 04-24-2005, 08:48 PM
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Location: Charleston, SC
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Cool I am looking for.....

I am also looking for a special tool. I have a '88 300SE and I would like to clean or replace my fuel gauge sending unit. I want to say off the top of my head that the size of the socket need is 27mm. Any one has one they want to sale? I will try the sites that you mentioned eariler I noticed that one thread I read said that it would be 1 13/32 or the 27mm I think.. any suggestions?
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  #14  
Old 04-24-2005, 09:13 PM
Robert Ryan
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 222
Home Made M103 Valve Spring Compressor

I redid the head a while ago and used a metal carpenter's sliding clamp to remove the valve keepers. This is the type of clamp that has an adjustment knob (like from a C-clamp) that slides on a rail. I think they're about $12 at the harware store and they're great for other uses as well. The addition of a 3" piece of pipe with a big V-notch taken out of the side of it allowed for the keepers to be reinstalled. The bolts in the inside sit on the top of the spring (the pipe is just big enough to fit over the spring). The piece of metal on top is where the clamp presses. I brazed it on but it wasn't necessary. Any 'ol peice of scrap metal or angle iron (even a block of wood) would've been fine.

Wear Goggles!
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Last edited by r_p_ryan; 04-24-2005 at 11:04 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-24-2005, 11:50 PM
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I don't think it's the expense of the tool (any of these tools mentioned), as much as it's the rare use of them. For example, I spent $55.00 on my 117 pin puller, and at the rate I plan to drive the car, I probably won't use it again (unless I buy another 560, heh heh) for 13-18 years, and after that...well, I certainly won't be working on cars. I'm still thinking that a rental pool is a good idea for everyone. If I sell my pin puller and buy a share of stock, in 13-18 years I'll have either a lot more money (maybe enough to have someone else do the job!) or a piece of paper (given the stock market these days...).

I did look at the ideas people had for doing this task with washers and a bolt. But given that in order to do it right, I'd have to notch the washers, probably make several trips to my (rather good) local hardware store, etc...

The homemade tools shown on this thread are ingenious and thrifty, but it just isn't practical or cost/time effective for many of us to do this - no metalworking facilities, no "government job" capabilities at work (I miss that), etc...
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