Air impact suggestions

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Mrblanche
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Air impact suggestions

Postby Mrblanche » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:49 pm

I was just reading another thread that someone suggested using an impact air wrench to remove a stubborn head bolt. They recommended using a weak impact wrench, so as not to overstress and break the bolt.

I was recently trying to remove the brake anchor bolt on the front spindle of a 1957 Chevy Belair. If you haven't had this particular little piece of joy, let me recommend it for some weekend when you have nothing good to do and really want to build up your fund of "you're not going to believe this" stories to tell the guys.

You need to understand we're talking about a bolt that has a 1" head, with a stud sticking about 1" out of it, with a 5/8" fine thread shank into the upper part of the spindle. The hex head of the bolt only has about a 1/8" high sides. So you have every possible problem with a tough bolt. You have long fine threads into a piece that is hard to replace, is exposed to the worst of the elements, with a weak head and a restriction on how close you can get it.

The first one (the driver's side) came out pretty easy. I ultimately had to use my old air impact wrench, but it backed out pretty easily.

The passenger side was not so easy. First, I tried the impact wrench. No luck. Then the impact socket on a 24" cheater bar. No luck. Then a 6-foot cheater bar on the 24" cheater bar. I felt a little movement, but when I checked, it was clear I was just going to round off the bolt head. I figured maybe it was time to find a 3/4" air impact wrench.

It turns out my old impact wrench was exactly the kind of wrench someone was suggesting. It was weak, and proud of it.

Now, my old 3/8" impact wrench I have had forever. It will almost always get lug nuts off. I've had it so long, I don't remember buying it, but I'm pretty sure it cost me $19.95. I looked it up, and it was rated at 230 ft.lbs when it was new...whenever that was. I know it won't do 230 now, because I can tighten lug nuts as hard as it will go, and they still usually need a torque wrench to get to 100 ft.lbs. So, I looked at other impact wrenches available at Home Depot, etc. I found a Husky (Model #H4455) at Home Depot for $80, and it produced 650 ft.lbs. That's a major improvement.

So I drove down to Home Depot in Waco to get one. I got there, and they had that wrench, but right above it they had another unit that was not in their current web site. Also 1/2", only $30 more, and it had 800 ft.lbs. Model #H4480. So I got that one.

I went back home, applied a little heat to the bolt (which I had done before, without effect), hit it with the new wrench, and it was out in 5 seconds. I had worked on that thing for 5 days previously.

So, just a hint. That Husky #4480, for $110, is about as good a buy as you are going to find. In fact, it approaches the Snap-On wrench that costs almost $1000.

And I will tell you honestly, I did not know there was that good a tool available for that reasonable a price. I have used it a LOT on that '57, and it has really paid for itself.

I expect it to do the same on this little Cub.

And if you want a delicate, weak-kneed little impact wrench so you don't break bolts, the Powermate at Home Depot is Model # 024-0077CT. That's the same unit as my old wrench. Take a look at it. You can get it in every cheap tool emporium and pawn shop in the country. Home Depot will sell it to you (but you have to order it) for $28.

Jackman
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Re: Air impact suggestions

Postby Jackman » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:14 am

I just bought a battery impact from Lowes 299 dollars , WOW :shock: money well spent, the day of the air gun is over :D

Mrblanche
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Re: Air impact suggestions

Postby Mrblanche » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:11 pm

So you spent 3 times what I did for something that will almost certainly be in the trash before mine is well-broken-in, unless you are (like me) someone who takes care of their tools. I have an acquaintance who bought one like that, too, for use in a job, and he loved it. And, of course, he didn't have to depend on a compressor. (He was delivering new trucks, and had to "dismount" them at the dealerships where he was delivering. You can imagine that gave his little impact wrench a real workout. But it was small enough he could carry it onto an airplane.)

Jackman
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 4:26 am
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Re: Air impact suggestions

Postby Jackman » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:19 am

:D Yup I spent more money but I like it and and it actually works a lot better than my old cheap Chicago 1/2 drive air gun ,we'll see how long it last. Also really is nice to not be attached to a compressor . My post was just an added suggestion to your post not a dig :D

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Shane Nelson
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Re: Air impact suggestions

Postby Shane Nelson » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:12 am

I have a MAC I bought 16-18 years ago and think I paid $225 for it. The biggest difference between a Husky and a Snap on, MAC, etc. is you can find a tool truck and give them your air wrench and most times it can be rebuilt on the spot. That’s great if you depend on your air wrench for an income, minimal downtime. Nothing wrong with buying a different brand for less money but most people that pony up and buy a name brand one i.e. Snap on, MAC, is service after the sale that could be years away.
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