OT - Impact wrench ideas

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Just bought a small compressor at Harbor Freight, for inflating tires, etc. Also wish to run an impact wrench for occasional car repairs.
I did some internet research. On the HF web site, Some of them take 4 CFM, others much more air than that. Of course, on Ebay I can get all kinds of choices. And naturally, I find that Sears has impact wenches. I don't much like the entire Sears company, so that's lower on my list.
I think Walmart also has an impact wrench, or two.
I'd go an extra dollar or two, to get a bit better quality. I'd like a 1/2 impact that's small enough to get under fenders, or into steering mechanisms. Like pulling out the allen wrench head pins from Chevrolet front brakes. That is a moment where my full size electric plug in impact wrench won't fit. Too long from tip to tail.
Anyone have experiences to share, with impact wrenches? Favorite brands, etc?
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

You probably don't have enough air for anything but a very small one and even that isn't certain depending on what compressor it actually is. Most HF compressors are optimistically-rated while most inexpensive i-w's are also (which two ratings are diametrically opposed).
As for experience/favorites -- can't beat I-R (but bring $$)...
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On Fri, 07 Aug 2009 09:17:06 -0500, dpb wrote:

I vote for the Ingersoll Rand. They got the balls to remove the nuts. They also need high volume & pressure air.
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How pricey, for IR? I know... DAGS. My air compressor is 0.6 scfm, and I do plan to use the impact in very brief bursts.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

It'll never even spin any impact wrench to velocity, what more do any impact so the "how expensive" question is moot...
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dpb wrote:

Unless you put it on a large pressure tank that it'll take a week ( :) ) to charge to pressure--which will undoubtedly burn it out overdoing its duty cycle.
The problem is there just won't be sufficient volume at the pressure for anything other than the tiniest of air ratchets and even any of them I've ever used wouldn't work successfully off the pancake compressors--air motors just take too much volume unlike the nailer piston that's a very small volume device.
I think whatever you spend $$ on will just be a doorstop until you acquire a larger compressor along with it.
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I'll let you know if that's the case. You can have a good "told you so" in public.
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On Fri, 07 Aug 2009 11:18:32 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

http://www.google.com/search?q=impact+wrench+ingersoll+rand&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.mandriva:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
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On Fri, 7 Aug 2009 11:18:32 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Anything less than a 6cfm compressor at 120psi effectively neuters an Ingersol Rand impact. anything less than a 5 gallon tank and you need the 6 cfm to run more than a few seconds.
A CP (Chicago Pneumatic) professional gun is less demanding, and marginally less capable. A campell hausfeild is a poor knockoff of a CP.
A MAC is/was a rebranded IR.
Snapon used to have a rebranded IR as well from what I remember.
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You're right, only enough air for very short bursts and a lot of runtime. IR? I bet that's out of my price range.
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dpb wrote:

Hmmm, I-R, I lucked out from an industrial auction. Runs off 220V and it is more than what I needed. Changing tires(snow/summer) is a cinch. Blowing irrigation out for winter, no problem. Using all kinds of tools, sander, drill, sprayer, etc. Best investment I made. I think that little compressor is not upto a real wrench.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

There's always "enough air" if you have 90psi or so. It's a matter of 'how long' can i pull the trigger. Judging from what you describe, i'd buy an air ratchet first. But any old 1/2 drive impact will probably do your automotive tasks. Ingersol rand makes a good one but they're a bit pricy. Chicago Pneumatic are good also.
s
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My mechanic uses the side handle air ratchet all day, every day. Looks totally useful.
What I'm thinking. I've had a couple cases where my electric plug in impact is too long to fit. Removing the pins from Chevrolet front brake calipers comes to mind.
Isn't Chicago, a Harbor Freight brand?
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Ingersoll Rand and Chicago Pneumatic are the standards in the industry. Your compressor will not turn either effectively. No, CP is NOT a Harbor Freight brand.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

I normally use mine for disk brake jobs but keep in mind that the air ratchet doesn't have the power to loosen tight bolts. You have to loosen them first and then the air ratchet will remove them without you banging your knuckles back and forth 50 times.
If you can, I'd return the compressor and get something a little bigger.
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You mean the sidehandle thing that looks a bit like a ratchet wrench? Yeah, I belive that they don't have much power.
I'm going to try the compressor, and see how it goes. Money is tight. I'm sure I'll find it inadequate, and end up buying a bigger one.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

I think we are talking about the same thing. It looks like a ratchet with a big fat handle and an air fitting on the end.

To loosen the bolt you can actually use the air ratchet just like a normal ratchet so you don't need any more tools.

You may want to look for a used one where someone upgraded to a larger model and wants to sell his old one that is still 4 x bigger than what you have. That also gives you a better chance at getting something with a belt driven compressor that isn't so dang noisy as the cheap *oil less* compressors.
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Steve Barker wrote: ...

"Enough" in pressure; not likely enough volume, though. The ratchet _might_ but cheaper tools tend to have higher cfm requirements at the same performance level. I'd not give it much of a chance but if it's from someplace w/ return policy all one's out is some shipping perhaps and the disappointment...
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Your compressor is most likely to small to make use of a meaningful impact wrench. For an air impact to do it's job there needs to be adequate CFM and a large enough static air tank behind it to generate real torque.
You made a very common mistake with too small a compressor if you intended to try to use an air impact.
Go back to Harbor Freight and buy their 1/2" electric impact when it's on sale.
Stormin Mormon wrote:

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It's very possible, you are correct about the under sized compressor.
Thanks for mention the electric impact. I'm on my second one of those. First one broke on the 2nd lug of a front brake and rotor job I was doing for a friend. I was about three hours drive from home, and not happy to be hand wrenching the rest of the job. The plug in impact wrench is just too big for some applications, and the air wrenches are shorter from front to back.
Of course, I'd use the plug in wrench when possible. Every time you convert energy from one form to another, there is energy loss. Just plug in the impact is the most efficient.
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