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1982 300TDT 150,000 miles 1985 380SE 130,000 miles 1991 560SEL 81,000 miles (a/k/a the nightmare)
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1,993 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, which are the most essential, hardest to find, give the most value, needed for the most complex jobs to keep a fleet of W126s rolling around for as long as I can afford the parts?

I'm putting together a personal garage, as Jonathan is too far away, and I can't trust mechanics to work on these cars for me any longer, nor can I really afford them, given what they offer for the money, or what they neglect to do which kills my cars quick. I think little by little I might be able to accumulate a decent stash of Special Tools, but I still would like input from those that have been in, out, and about their w126s and w123s.
 

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3,783 Posts
Not much special needed unless you get into major engine work, seems to me, but I'm fairly inexperienced. I've only used a handful of wrenches, a phillips head, and a 10mm and 13mm socket pretty much. I would like to have a ball joint press and a spring compressor, but I know someone on here successfully used a rental from auto zone for pressing ball joints, so that's probably not necessary to buy. It'd also be good to have some gauges, like vacuum and fuel pressure, and a multimeter is always good to have.
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
A breakout box for the computers. I started to make one.
 

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500SE AMG, E350 4matic, GL 450
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5,853 Posts
You pick up tools as you go. Sears is the best value for me since they are just down the road. Now and then there are tools than need to be ordered-the head bolt tool for the M103, the fan removal tool for the M113 come to mind. The biggest thing I need is more space.
 

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1982 300TDT 150,000 miles 1985 380SE 130,000 miles 1991 560SEL 81,000 miles (a/k/a the nightmare)
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1,993 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
As an aside, though relevant: why does the MB Special Tools Catalog in Star Tekinfo not list most of the special tools relevant to the W126 chassis, yet searches in Parts-dot-com and a call to my local dealer will come up with info? Do I actually need a Star Tekinfo subscription to be allowed access to vintage tool information? Why is this?

Additionally, the cost of some w126 special tools and tooling has now skyrocketed. Are some of these special tools now milled to order? Can anyone shed some light on this?

I've been going a very roundabout way of collecting special tools, but it would seem that MB has dumped a lot of old stock into the grey market only to raise their prices on tools and parts they have retained in stock in mainline markets.

It has never made sense to me that I can order a new fender, even anhave entire replacement door for a w123 for a shockingly reasonable cost, yet I cannot enjoy the same sort of surprise when it comes ordering a replacement trailing arm!!! Ludicrous. One would think MB is simply awash in w123 fenders, or something of the sort, again ridiculous from so many angles, whereas they are certainly attempting highway robbery when it comes to trailing arms for w126s, which are know to fail, have never been updated, are not cosmetic items, there are certainly more w126s still rolling about, etc. I just have a hard time fathoming what kind of modeling they are running for their parts business that maximizes profit in this way, while standing by their old ethos of quality, reliability, value, and longevity of their products which they try to represent to this day...

Rant over... so how do I go about authenticating and researching these special tools I have to hunt in grey zones?
 

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Registered
1982 300TDT 150,000 miles 1985 380SE 130,000 miles 1991 560SEL 81,000 miles (a/k/a the nightmare)
Joined
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1,993 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yes, I used to think pay as you go would work, but I would rather make an investment in tooling and parts now, as, sadly, it is unlikely that much value would be lost when competing with MBs pricing trend as itI would pertain to parts for our cars, and a very sad return on investment to be found elsewhere nowadays, given the outlay.
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Edd China from Wheeler dealers and spanners
 

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1981 300 SD, 1991 Geo Metro 4-door Automatic
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487 Posts
Since you asked for a dream list...

OK, let's dream. In addition to the usual tools...wrenches, socket sets, air compressor, impact driver, torque wrenches, ring compressor, ridge reamer, valve spring compressor, air ratchet, and other things I've accumulated over the years, and thanks to the Miracle of China are affordable, I would love to have the following:

1. Enough room...one of those 3+ car garages I see on fancy houses (and without all the junk my garage has in it

2. A lift...would be nice to not have to crawl under the car

3. A place far enough from neighbors that I could make some noise and not disturb them

4. Some bodywork tools (for making the aforementioned noise)

5. Welding equipment and the knowledge of how to use it...

6. If we're REALLY dreaming, a complete machine shop so I can rebuild engines w/o taking them to a regular machine shop.

I'm sure I can think of more...
 

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1986 420SEL/1995 E300D/4 BMW’s/2 Vanagon’s
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1,026 Posts
And honest to god heated, side downdraft paint booth outfitted with all the goodies!
 
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