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Author Topic: Time for an impact gun?  (Read 5497 times)
Buffalo SpaceShip
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« on: March 03, 2007, 04:21:23 PM »

Well, I spent a good chunk of the afternoon trying to rig up a contraption to bust the lugs off the back wheel to get after my leaky wheel seal project (replace seal, brake block, re-pack bearing, etc.). I used a 5:1 torque multiplier and a 3/4" ratchet w/ 12" extension, cheaters, etc... and only managed to nearly shear off the head of the extension (good old HF cheapie tools) and not even budge the first nut.

So... I'm thinking of getting an impact gun. The impact action alone might help stubborn nuts. And I don't want to spend an hour getting lugs off of a wheel when it's time to put on the spare or do maint. work.

Harbor Freight isn't too far away, and has a few models that might fit the bill. I'm torn between the 1"(link) and 3/4" (link) Earthquakes. They seem to use a LOT less air than the cheaper models, and that should make a big difference in using the bus air or a small-ish compressor for running it.

When I had a roadside guy replace a flat last fall, he struggled on one of the nuts with his mongo 1" IR, probably because of rust and/or an over-zealous tire monkey that put it on. So I'm wondering if "bigger is better". Anyone have particular models (HF or otherwise) that they've used with success on stubborn bus lugs.

I know that there's a school of thought that says "pay someone else to bust the tires off" and let them deal with the tools and the trouble. But I don't think I'm one of those folks. I've had two flats in the few years I've been bussing, and both times had no trouble helping the guy with the tire and getting it in and out of the well. Had I had an impact, I also wouldn't have been stuck waiting around for the service call. Also, I want to be able to get any wheel off to do maint. and repairs in my back yard.

Thanks in advance,
Brian Brown

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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2007, 04:57:16 PM »

I've used the cheap 1/2 in, 3/4 in, and 1 in. harborfrieght impacts. I could not recommend any of these, untill my friend Jerry Jenkinson aka sojourner showed me how to use an impact the right way!! My approach was to put the tool on the nut and hold the trigger until I ran out of air or the nut came loose.
  Jerry explained to me that if I put an air gauge on the line at the tool I would see what was happening. Holding the trigger more than a few seconds reduces the volum and pressure. Holding the trigger for a couple of seconds and releaseing for a few seconds allows the air to "catch up"  I went from taking off 1 nut to takeing 3 to 4 nuts off befor haveing to let the compressor catch up. Also lots of oil needs to be used in the impact. I can now take off almost any lugnut with my cheap HF 3/4 in impact.
  The ideal set up would be an airtank close to where you are working, with say a 6 foot 3/4 or 1 inch hose. With the tank being replenished by a hose from the compressor.
 
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ChuckMC8
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2007, 04:59:37 PM »

Brian, My 3/4" Torque Wrench has about a 4' handle and will handle most any lug nut (and properly torque your wheels) make sure to get one that goes to at least 600 ft lbs and clicks in both directions.
I also have a 1" impact, but I use the torque wrench most of the time-you'd also need a 12" extension and bud wheel socket.
Heres on one ebay
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Torque-Wrench-by-Central-600-Ft-Lbs-3-4-inch-Drive_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ43989QQihZ005QQitemZ150096045100QQrdZ1
HTH, Chuck
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2007, 06:27:02 PM »

I didn't think you were supposed to remove stubborn nuts with a torque wrench.
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frank-id
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2007, 06:32:22 PM »

I have had a 1 inch IR for many years, but it is very heavy and tough to use.  I got a new 3/4 IR from ebay.  This wrench will remove any lug nut.  The new titanium 3/4 is lite weight and very strong.  The secret with air tools is the size of the air supply hose and fittings.  My new 3/4 IR will do most heavy work with a 3/8 hose, but when a really tough task demands power, the hose size must be 1/2 and just 25feet to the air storage.  Our buses easily have enough air, but a very restricted air path.  To effectively use the bus air, a new 1/2 pipe line must be created.  The fittings all must be 1/2 inch with no restrictions.  The compressors on most buses can make about 15 - 18 cubic feet of air per minute.  My 10 horse shop compressor makes about 21CFM.  Frank
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Dallas
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2007, 06:38:25 PM »

Brian,
You might try heating each nut for about 5 or 10 minutes with a propane torch. Then hit it with your impact wrench.

I use an IR 2135PTI 1/2" drive impact. It has 700Lbs. torque forward and 900Lbs. torque in reverse @ 85psi.

I have no problem running it from my 2HP compressor or off the bus air.

Once in a while I've had to heat a lugnut to get it loose on a friends semi, but haven't ever needed anything larger.

Good luck!

Dallas
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2007, 07:01:08 PM »

What about going to a shop or a friend and have them run the nuts on/off a few times to break them free and clean up the threads, and then you can use your wrench. But it is nice to have an excuse to tell the Boss lady that you absolutely need those nice impacts and big compressor. Wink
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2007, 07:22:27 PM »

Brian, I had to break mine loose too.  I used a 3/4 rachet with a 4 foot pipe. Block up under the head and use your weight on it. However you get them off look at the threads to see what that extra torque does to them. I will run mine on with a 1/2 gun and tighten by hand. When the tire goes flat I need to know I can remove it. Good Luck.  Tom Y
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Tom Yaegle
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2007, 07:28:56 PM »

One of the big problems I had is with the local truck tire place uses 160 lbs of air with 1 inch IR to full torque and when I tried to remove them with my 1 in IR they wouldn't budge. I had 1/2 in hose with a backup tank and compressor with 125 lbs air. Well I thought that a little leverage would do the trick so tried a 12 foot cheater on the lug wrench and jumped on it with my 200 lbs like it was a diving board and still nothing. Well I finally cranked the compressor up to 150 lbs and finally the IR was working. Jerry
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2007, 07:41:10 PM »

Brian you had the right idea the first time, a torque multiplier, but you just didn't have a big enough one to do the job.   Last year i had to replace all of my air bags but could not get the wheels off with anything i tried until i borrowed a 12:1 torque multiplier. It worked so well that i bought my own and from now on will never let anybody else ever touch my wheels again. Grin
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2007, 07:49:25 PM »

Where is a good source for a torque multiplier? Whats the price range?

Laryn
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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Buffalo SpaceShip
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2007, 08:02:50 PM »

Good advice, all!

Now here's a crazy thing I found tonight that I thought I'd share. I seemed to recall a socket thing that came with a bunch of other bus cr*p with old Blue Velvet (the 4106 of yore), so I went out and rummaged around and indeed... it's this strange device called a Budd Tool Wrench made by Cole Mfg. A Google search did not turn up anything promising on Cole, but I found Ken Tool makes this same gadget. Here's a link to one. It has this captive 1-1/2" socket welded on and an adapter to wrench out the inner stud on the dual, and a couple of cheater pipes.

The site above says it's a 3:1 ratio. So, it's not near as good as my 5:1 multiplier I tried today... although the thing seems to be built like a tank. But doing some math... Assuming I dance on the handle (like a gandy dancer), my 175 pounds + 18" of cheater x the 3:1 multiplier will only give me about 800ft#. Since I nearly sheared off a 3/4" extension with the 5:1 today, the nuts are probably well over that.

Hmm, Dallas... so it adding heat to the lugs really OK on all of the internals? I guess brakes can get pretty hot on their own... so maybe it's OK.

Wow, Ed, a 12:1 multiplier is something! I was adding a LOT of torque to mine (about 3' of cheater x 175 x 5 = well over 2,000... could that be right??). I guess the HF extension couldn't take it, but the nut shoulda busted loose. Maybe I'll go get an "impact"-able extension tomorrow and try it with the 5:1 before buying an impact.

Thanks,
Brian
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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2007, 08:16:42 PM »

www.12times.com  is where i got mine.  They advertise it has a max output of 3640 ft. lbs.  I got the original X-12.....comes with a metal case and a 14" ratchet that extends to 22"  and the right sockets and extra shear pins for the price of $619  i also needed a torque wrench so got one from them for a total price of just over $700 including shipping.  It sounds a little spendy but the first time you use it i think you will agree it is money well spent. I know i did!!! Grin
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2007, 08:18:48 PM »

Your lugs must be a lot tighter than those found on and MCI.  I get mine off with this torque multiplier without problems.  Takes a bit of time, but once they are all cracked, a 1/2" ratchet will remove them.  You've got to have some way to torque the things when reinstalling. 
Also have a 1" Harbor Freight cheapo that works fine...have to use a 3/4" hose with it. Very air hungry.  Wouldn't be suitable for the bus on the road. 
I'd like to know how you make out with the new "Earthquake" impact (the one that uses less air) if you buy such an impact.   A 3/4" impact would remove my wheel lugs. 
If an impact wrench ad describes 1200 lbs of torque, my experience is that about half that much is really available.   I've got a 1/2" IR that does a remarkable job and very quiet...like to have a 3/4"...but, don't pull the wheels off the bus often enough to replace the el-cheapo.
Good luck with removing your wheels....someone has overtightened them I'd bet.  Have they been off since you bought the coach?  If not, I'd pull all of them and retorque.  Be sure that they can be removed while you're at home.   Save some grief on the road when tire changing time comes around.
JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2007, 08:22:57 PM »

Ed,

I donít think that link goes to where the tool is.

Laryn
 
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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Itís the education gained, and the ability to apply, and share, what we learn.
Have fun, be great, that way you have Great Fun!
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