Amout of torque for an impact wrench.

Discussion in 'Motorized Vehicles' started by aan310, Mar 4, 2010.

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  1. aan310

    aan310 Notebook Virtuoso

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    So, i'm going to get an impact wrench. The most i'm ever going to use it for is suspension. So i'm wondering what's the lowest torque amount impact wrench i could pull this off with? (brand wise i'd be getting Craftsman or Campbell Hausfeld)
     
  2. Trottel

    Trottel Notebook Virtuoso

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    No idea. I have used my dad's impact wrench, but I much prefer using a big 'ol breaker bar. It doesn't hurt my ears or my arms and is a lot stronger. There have been many time where the impact wrench has not been able to get stuff off, but the long breaker bar has. For extra hard jobs, the breaker bar gets even better because you can just put a pipe on it. I have a 5ft steel pipe I have used to loosen and tighten the biggest most demanding bolts and nuts that all but the air tools in a professional garage, if even them, wouldn't be able to touch. So yeah, I think the hundreds you will pay for an impact wrench seems like a real bad investment for the casual mechanic.

    My dad's is a craftsman he bought a while ago and was not their weaker ones.
     
  3. K-TRON

    K-TRON Hi, I'm Jimmy Diesel ^_^

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    aan310, you know that an impact wrench requires an air compressor with a certain amount of cfm, and pressure, right?

    I am with Trottel on the breaker bar. They are cheap. You can get a 1/2" or 3/4" breaker bar for under $100.
    What Trottel didnt mention was that with an impact wrench you run the chance of rounding all of the sides on the nuts. You will not run into that problem with a breaker bar.

    However you are going to need some strength to tighten them properly. I am pretty strong, but when tigheting parts to the specific torque upside down with a 22" torque wrench, I can get up to about 125lb/ft torque. I simply cant turn it any more than that. You will want to know what torque the suspension bolts need to be torqued to, or you run the risk of stripping a bolt/nut, or driving off with loose nuts/bolts.
    They have torque wrenches which go up to 1000lb/ft torque or so, but they are only for tightening. You can use a breaker bar for tightening or loosening.

    I have a nice Snap-ON TQFR torque wrench for up to 250lb/ft torque. That is more than enough for just about any user end application. I also have a 1/2" snap-on breaker bar. I think it is 26" long. You need one with the other, when doing precise torques.
    Air ratchets can be precise, but they are bulky, and really only needed for putting on tires.

    K-TRON
     
  4. aan310

    aan310 Notebook Virtuoso

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    Thanks for the replies guys!
    I have a 1/2 in breaker bar already, and a Campbell Hausfeld 2gal compressor too (which is enough to handle an impact wrench, i've used a $150 Craftsman on it before, i forget the model but it's kidna irrelevant anyway though).

    I found a $40 craftsman that does up to 340lb/ft so looks like that should be good. It's kinda funny my torque wrench and breaker bar were more expensive than the impact wrench heheh
     
  5. K-TRON

    K-TRON Hi, I'm Jimmy Diesel ^_^

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    Well, I would find out what the torques you need for the suspension, and then spec out an impact wrench.
    I do not have any big air tools, other than small cutoff wheels, but I would look for Ingersoll Rand, they are a big name, and there products are pretty good.
    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_7958_7958
    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_17802_17802

    I was just looking at some air impact wrenches online, seems like as price goes up you are getting more accurate torques.

    K-TRON
     
  6. aan310

    aan310 Notebook Virtuoso

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    Alright, i'll have to dig out what the torque specs are for the suspension then, and thanks for the suggestion on the Ingersoll Rands!
     
  7. Trottel

    Trottel Notebook Virtuoso

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    Be aware that many bolts and nuts may be much harder to remove from your car than their spec'd torque would suggest. They may have been overtightened at some point and/or partially corroded. In the same vein be really careful about overtorqueing. It probably won't damage anything steel, but it may make it extremely difficult to remove later on down the road. I had a shop overtorque my wheels so that I had to use my breaker bar with the pipe over it to get them off. Also in a lot of places you really wouldn't be able to fit a torque wrench unless they have extensions and swivel joints for them but I'm not sure if they are available.
     
  8. DR650SE

    DR650SE The Whiskey Barracuda

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    Like K-tron said, you'll need an air compresser and Impact sockets. A breaker bar is good, but I've sheared the end off a 3/4" breaker bar before, but the nice thing about craftsman is I took it to sears and gave it to them, and they handed me a new one and I was out the door. Excellent warranty, no questions asked, and the breaker bar at that point was 5+ years old. But breaker bar/cheater (pipe attached to breaker) is the way to go
     
  9. Tippey764

    Tippey764 Notebook Deity

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    Just get a big pipe and stick it on the end of your breaker bar. You will be able to snap off lug nuts then.
     
  10. maozdawgg

    maozdawgg Notebook Geek

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    I've rented an electric impact (supposedly was rated at 250ft-lbs since I needed to take off a wheel hub spindle nut that has a torque spec of 181ft-lbs on my accord) from a local hardware store and it didn't do jack. It wouldn't even budge the 36mm spindle nut. Although I'm guessing air-powered tools would be much better?
     
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