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and Art Home Disclaimer
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You really must have a complete set of tools at your disposal if you have a mog. It is just not practical to expect that you will NOT need them. Some of the moggers I know basically have 2 complete sets of tools: one in their rig and one in their shop. I have duplicate tools, but the more complete set of tools was in the truck. Of course, the scope of that tool set was "discovered" over the years by not having the correct tools with me when I needed them. So, to prevent the same thing from happening to you, I will attempt to list the tools that we had in our truck and then you can elect to carry them as well. Just so there is no confusion, the minimum set of tools for the truck is quite brief. I believe the Unimog Owner's manual has a list. But, if anything serious goes wrong, you will be stuck empty handed, so beware. If you were not aware, the Unimog is a metric-only truck, so that means metric-sized wrenches and sockets.
Over the years, we tried a number of methods of storage of our tools, but finally settled on a combination of wrench rolls and soft tool bags. Because the stock Unimogs have limited tool box capacity, the rolls and bags fit more easily in the confined space. I generally do not use the plastic boxes that some tools come in because while more organized, they take too much space.
In general, I am not a fan of made-in-China tools. That said, I have had very good luck with hand tools from Harbor Freight. They have proven to be at least as robust as the Sears "Craftsman" brand (which is made in China) and they are lower in price. Your mileage may vary, but on non-critical components they work fine. On critical stuff, like the 24mm sockets, you may want to consider going up-scale on those. A 1/2" drive 24mm deep impact socket at Harbor was $4. That same component (which we broke) from Sears was, as I recall, around $14. You be the judge.
I want to restate that this list of tools is IN
ADDITION to the tire tools described in that
section. If you are doing serious wheeling, you have to
have the ability to service your tires, so jacks, irons, foot
blocks, etc are a requirement.
Wrenches. Multiple sets of wrenches are
useful. I suggest a set of combo wrenches (open/box
end) in addition to any trucks that came with your truck
(some trucks have MB-supplied tool sets). You may
also want to consider additional sets of offset box end
wrenches; ratcheting box ends; stubby wrenches, etc.
17mm and 19mm are critical sizes, so you will want to have
several styles of these wrenches in case one gets lost or
broken. Also, note that most kit sets of metric
wrenches stop at 18mm. I have usually had to
purchase the 19mm "a la carte" to complete the set.
The set should go down to 8mm if possible. The brake
bleeders are 9mm so you will need at least that small.
On the upper end, some of the chassis bolts and torque
tubes are as large as 27mm, so examine your truck
carefully before you select your final kit. Lastly,
you may want to consider a set of metric tube wrenches for
air and brake lines.
Sockets and ratchets. Having a full set of
sockets is very useful and can greatly ease/speed
repairs. I suggest both shallow and deep sockets
with 6-point sockets for the bigger sizes over 12mm, but
having both 6 and 12 point can be useful. You will
also need multiple 24mm sockets. 24mm (AKA 15/16")
is the size of the lug nuts and the hub bolts. I
personally like getting both 1/2" and 3/4" drive 24mm
sockets for those applications. We have broken many,
many sockets on the hub bolt removal, so you will need to
get the strongest thin-wall 3/4 drive socket for those
uses. You will also need 1/2 and 3/4 drive breaker
bars and cheaters for those bars. On the
bigger sockets, I have been only purchasing hardened
impact sockets as they seem to be more robust. You
should have a set of extensions for each size socket that
you have (we did not carry 1/4 drive in the truck as they
were not needed). The extensions can be cascaded so
multiple short extensions might be more useful/practical
than a short and a long.
Torque wrenches. Having a torque wrench is a
luxury, but if you get the correct wrench it can double as
a breaker bar. I doubt that a 3/8 drive wrench is
useful, but both a 1/2 and 3/4 would be particularly for
critical items like lug nuts and hub bolts. These
components are long and will likely not fit in the regular
tool boxes and will have to be stored in the cab or in the
Breaker bars: 1/2 and 3/4 drive. I mentioned
them above, but on some common issues (lugs and hubs) they
are needed frequently enough that it deserves an
additional mention. Get the most robust breaker bars
you can afford. It sad when you attempt to crack a
bolt only to find that the thing that cracks is your
socket or breaker bar. We have broken many of these,
so beware. You will need a set of cheaters to assist
your breaker bars. I use nesting cheater bars to
reduce the storage requirements and typically cut these
from sufficiently large diameter pipe (DOM tubing works
great and is more than strong enough). These pipes
should be no longer than 22" to fit in the main tool box
(measure YOUR box before you cut the pipe).
Hex keys up to 17mm. Depending on your
truck, you will need a large key for the tranny,
differentials and oil pan. For my 1300, the critical
key was 14mm. I do know that some trucks also
require up to 17mm for the differentials. Check
before you need them. You can buy keys that fit onto
your ratchet (as opposed to actual hex "L" shaped
wrenches). It is also useful to have these keys down
to 2-3 mm which is normal for a standard metric hex key
set from the hardware store. These sets frequently
stop at about 8mm, so getting a 10 and 12mm key is a
Pliers and cutters. You should have
slip-joint pliers, compound wire cutters, several sizes of
needle nose pliers and perhaps some large "water pump"
(AKA "groove joint" ) pliers. Having small locking
pliers like hemostats can be very useful for precision
Vice grips. A set of vice grips are always
useful. I suggest that in addition to the normal
style grips that you also purchase a "large jaw" locking
pliers as well.
Pipe wrench. Having one medium size pipe
wrench is a good thing. While you don't need them
very often, when you need them, you really need
them. I use the standard steel body Rigid pipe
wrench, but an aluminum body wrench would be nice due to
Adjustable ("Crescent") wrenches. I hate
adjustable jaw wrenches as they typically damage nuts and
bolts. But, sometimes you need the adjustability,
particularly if a previous owner on your truck has
installed English bolts. A 19mm is 3/4" so that is
no problem, but other sizes are potentially
problematic. I only carry one large size adjustable
Screwdrivers. Various sizes, both Phillips
and Straight blade. I suggest getting a set that
spans the full range from very small to full size.
Pry bars. You will need several pry bars and
I had 3 kinds in my kit. Normal offset pry bars,
rolling head pry bars, and a "Wonder Bar" (both 12" and
4") that had sharp ends for starting the prying
action. The small wonder bar was used to remove
inner upper hub gears from the casing. The large pry
bars can be useful in tire actions. NOTE: a large
bar is not a substitute for a set of tire irons but rather
Hammers. I have a set of hammers that I
carry in my truck: a machinist ball peen hammer (medium
size), an engineer's hammer, a dead blow mallet and
finally a long handled duck-bill tire hammer. If you
have to economize due to weight, space or budget, realize
that a large hammer can be substituted for a small hammer
but not the reverse.
Gasket picks. Having a dental tool or set of
gasket picks is handy. In many cases, a small
straight blade screwdriver can be used instead, but there
is no substitute for having the right tool for the
job. These sets are small in size and easy to store.
Box cutter or utility knife. $7 at Home
Depot will get you a folding & locking utility knife
with replaceable blades. The blades can be removed
if you need to scrape old gasket material off the block.
Wire stripper and crimper. If you are doing much
electrical wiring having a stripper and crimper combo tool
is very useful. If you get one, be sure to get one
that is for automotive use (rather than AC house wiring)
as the AC one will not have a crimper and the wire gauges
are marginally useful.
Tie wraps. The universal restraining tool,
these come in various sizes and lengths. I purchase
the 12" ones and then just cut to length. I also
suggest getting a package of the 0.3" or wider 24+ inch
long wraps as they can be used for connecting larger items
and are much more robust. These tie wraps also come
in stainless steel for heavier duty use.
Air tools. Your mog has a high-pressure air
system. With an appropriate attachment (via the
emergency brake glad hand or a physical modification of
the air system) it can be connected to standard air tool
connectors. Once you have these connectors
available, there is a set of very useful items that can be
run from that system. Of particular interest is the
air sprayer. If you are running in a dusty
environment, just hook this up and spray out the cab to
remove the dust. Plus, you can blow off your clothes
and equipment. An impact wrench will make your life
easier particularly with respect to the tires and in
particular removal of the spare tire from the frame.
Get the most powerful 1/2" drive impact wrench you can
buy. Don't consider a 3/4" drive wrench because they
use too much air for the mog compressor to keep up with
the demand. I also have a 3/8" air wrench with a
3/8" -> 1/2" converter. This allows me to use the
wrench for the full set of sockets. I also have a
die grinder with carbide bit. The carbide bit is
essential as it allows you to do easy removal of material,
cut lock hasps, grind bolt heads, etc. Make sure you
have the air tool wrench set with you in your kit.
NOTE: THE DIE GRINDER WITH CARBIDE BIT SPRAYS METAL CHIPS
LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW. USE A FACE SHIELD AND
SAFETY GLASSES WHEN USING THIS TOOL.
Excavation tools. Having a long-handle round
point (#2) shovel is a handy item. The shovel is
invaluable in preventing injury when doing tire work and
handy for tending camp fires. And, in a pinch, you
can actually use the shovel for digging yourself out if
stuck. But, I can say that is a rare use.
This list is incomplete; I would have to pull my truck kit
and take photos to insure that I have the full scope of
equipment. But, this should serve as a reasonable
starting point for assembling your kit.
Mogs are big and heavy and any service or maintenance actions around big or heavy equipment can be dangerous. Recognizing and accepting the mass of components and planning accordingly can go a long way to preventing disasters. Protect your back when lifting heavy items and when in doubt, use a tool.
When we did hub repairs, we use an engine hoist to support and lift the hub assembly. Likewise when doing a brake rotor service, we use a jack under the rotor to support the weight when the last bolts are removed. Having the rotor fall on your foot would cut it badly and break some if not all the bones therein.
Always use safety glasses when when working under
the truck. Mud and debris will dislodge and fall into your
eyes. Oil or brake fluid can drip into your eyes.
Tools can slip out of your hands and poke you. If you are
using a die grinder, use a face shield in addition to safety
Ear plugs are very useful and required when using air tools or hammers. Sadly, the human body suffers from a syndrome called "Cumulative Auditory Trauma" where exposure to even modest amounts of noise for extended periods can result in hearing degradation. I have it as do most of my friends; it is why older folks are hard of hearing. I use ear plugs when driving on the road for any significant distance. If I am doing anything really noisy, I will use ear muffs over the ear plugs.
Some chemicals used in the mog are considered toxic. Be careful when disposing of them and do it in accordance with local regulations (within reason). Radiator coolant is particularly toxic for dogs and cats. Clean up any drips as they find the coolant sweet and therefore are attracted. Any pans of coolant must be removed from where dogs and cats can access them (harder with cats, of course), the ethylene glycol is toxic to their liver.
I suggest using gloves when working on the
truck. I use rubber gloves when working with any chemicals
that are irritants and use mechanic's gloves when doing
everything else. Using gloves helps protect your hands,
but mechanically and chemically, but also makes clean-up
easier. Keep both kinds of gloves in your "away
kit". We have multiple kinds of leather gloves and use the
dirtiest pair for fueling only. I keep a box of nitrile
gloves under the seat so they are handy when needed.
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Errata Parts and Parts
Truck Sales Service
Engine Fuel Hydraulics Radiator and Cooling
Air System Brakes Wheels Tires Electrical