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.)

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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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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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AL Farmall Boy
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Re: Air impact suggestions

Postby AL Farmall Boy » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:41 am

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


I'll say that we have 3 of the "middle of the road" battery powered Dewalt Impact Guns and LOVE them. They can be carried to the tractor bone yard where no compressor exists, and can be carried on trips where you can change a trailer tire in the blink of an eye. I have YET to have to get the air impact out to remove something the battery one could not remove, BUT I have had to remove a bolt with the battery impact that the air impact wouldn't remove!! Yes, I too wonder about how long they'll last but if they last 2-3 years for me each tool, it was money well spent! I'm on year 2 now for 2 of them.
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Stanton
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Re: Air impact suggestions

Postby Stanton » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:48 pm

Mrblanche, I'm glad to read of your success in removing the bolt. It certainly is a good feeling to accomplish a task so easily after working so long on it.

Recently, I was in a dilemma too. Had several lug and wheel weight nuts to remove on my Farmall AV project, to no avail with my existing air and hand tools. So, with only an average air compressor, do I buy a air impact to replace my failing one, or go battery powered? For the time being, I chose battery powered and bought a floor model Milwaukee #2767-20 impact from Home Depot, getting a $50 discount. Have to say how amazing it was to remove those stubborn bolts with ease. I had to laugh out loud.

Will probably buy a vertical compressor at some point, along with a quality air impact, but for now, I do like the portability of the Milwaukee.

The best to you in future "wrenching" activities!
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Re: Air impact suggestions

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:31 pm

I have some Dewalt 18volt impacts, an impact driver, and a 1/2 inch impact, and a big 1/2 inch impact, that are my first gotos ever since I bought them about 6 or 7 years ago. I also have a couple of Harbor Freight air impacts I bought nearly 35 year ago, one is the standard 1/2 inch impact, that is stronger than my big Dewalt, and the other is called an Earthquake gun (knock of of Thundergun the racing pit crews used to use). The Earthquake gun is my "going to come loose or break off" gun. The 2 smaller Dewalts the strength is adjusted by how far the trigger is pulled, the air guns are adjusted by turning an air flow knob beside where the air line enters. The big Dewalt, which is sold mainly for lug nuts is not adjustable other than brief pulls of the trigger. If you buy air guns, also keep a bottle of air tool oil handy and put 2 or 3 drops in the inlet at least once each day you use them. If you use them hard, may need to do it an extra time or two. It may spray a little oil mist out the tool exhaust port, but the tools will last much longer. They do not like moisture or running dry.

I prefer the Dewalts when possible, because they are lighter, easier to control power, and you do not have to drag the hose around, in addition to unwinding it and recoiling it, as well as draining compressor tank etc. Everything helps when you are developing arthritis. If you buy a battery powered gun, expect to replace the batteries every 2 to 4 years. For my Dewalts my preference for batteries is Amazon. Many of the aftermarket batteries have higher customer ratings than the Dewalt batteries, as well as being cheaper, plus even the Dewalt batteries are cheaper than any of the rebuilders.
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