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Author Topic: Impact Wrench and air compressor.  (Read 1059 times)

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Offline klaviator

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Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« on: January 23, 2017, 09:14:24 AM »
I have a cheap electric Impact wrench that works fine on smaller bolts but recently fell short when trying to remove the Countershaft sprocket nut on my Versys.  I thinking about getting a small air compressor and air impact wrench.  This is not something I'll be using very often so I don't want to spend a fortune.  On the other hand I don't want to go too cheap and getting something that doesn't do the job.  I looked at the last catalog Harbor Freight sent me.  They have 100PSI and 150 PSI compressors.  Is 100 enough or should I go 150?  How about the Impact wrench?  Is 700 FT=LBS enough or go for 1000+


Offline bblass

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 09:47:36 AM »
Anything over the 500 ft lbs on a bike is overkill and likely to get you in more trouble than it's worth. Be careful when buying harbor freight air tools especially when using them with a smaller compressor. They advertise crazy high abilities but those  usually require a compressor capable of very high air flow (5.0+CFM) and most home compressors aren't capable of that. You'll probably be ok for most jobs but if you find yourself needing your rattle gun to perform at near advertised levels you'll be very disappointed. 

Example, I've got a cheap 150 psi kobalt compressor and an ingressol rand rattle gun, a friend of mine has the harbor freight version. Using the same compressor on the same settings, my gun had no issue getting lug nuts off a tire that his was not capable of. The ingressol rand gun is built to tighter tolerances and is more efficient so it requires less CFM to function at a higher level than the harbor freight gun. It's also about $80 more. On a larger compressor, it probably wouldn't be an issue but few things are worse than having a tool that doesn't work like it's supposed to. YMMV...


Offline norton73

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 10:30:50 AM »
500 fl-lbs!

I need to start buying stock in helicoils.
:-)

Nothing on a motorcycle requires anything near that.  To remove a countershaftsproket, put the bike in gear, get someone to hold the rear brake pedal down and use a breaker bar.
If that doesn't remove it, you must have forgotten to undo the locking tab.
I have several airguns, air rachets, and torgue wrenches. I can only think of one place on any motorcycle I have ever worked on that required more than 100 ft-lbs, and that was to hold something on a taper.
Loose nut holding the handlebars

Offline klaviator

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2017, 10:55:44 AM »
I couldn't get the nut off with a 2 foot long breaker bar.   My electric torque wrench claims 230 Ft lbs and it wouldn't budge it.  On the Versys forums some people said they got it loose with a really long breaker bar and it felt like something broke when it came loose.   My next project that will need an impact wrench is changing the Belt on my Majesty.  The Variator nut is much easier to get off with an impact wrench.  My electric impact wrench worked OK on my smaller scooters but I'm worried about it being enough on the Majesty.

I talked to the service manager at Allsport about impact wrenches.  He said electric wrenches work fine on smaller bolts but air is needed for some larger bolts.  He also said that as long as the air compressor has an air tank then air flow isn't really an issue for an impact wrench.

I looked at the Harbor Freight catalog to get an idea of what's available.  I may or may not buy there.

Offline Nice Goat

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 10:57:13 AM »
I have a small Kobalt air compressor from Lowes.  It's 125-psi and has a small tank (<2 gallons).  Got it on sale for about $150, I think.  I only use it about twice per month, so I do not leave it plugged in.  Had it for several years with no problems.

I like Harbor Freight for cheap cast tools, but I would not buy anything from them that has moving parts.  Their tolerances are too wide.
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Offline Nice Goat

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 11:04:44 AM »
I couldn't get the nut off with a 2 foot long breaker bar.   My electric torque wrench claims 230 Ft lbs and it wouldn't budge it...

Don't feel bad.  When Kevin and I changed the sprockets on my Versys, his impact wrench could not get the counter-sprocket nut off of mine either.  And Kevin has a large air compressor and a quality impact wrench.  In the end, we had to resort to a 4-ft cheater bar, and I thought we had broken the shaft when it came loose.  But all was well.

I ended up changing my front sprocket again a few weeks later (didn't like the 1T increase I had tried) and the nut came off with no trouble the second time.  Didn't need an impact wrench or a cheater bar.
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Offline bblass

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 11:08:56 AM »
Keep in mind that when they say 230 ft lbs that is under completely optimum conditions and you probably won't see that. Peak break strength in my experiences is way lower than what's advertised on the box. Still, you want it to be strong enough to quickly break the bolt loose with minimal drama.

I'd also get one that has multiple settings on it so you can unleash the power of zeus during extraction but avoid the helicoil monster Norton is referencing below on installation.

Offline norton73

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 11:12:04 AM »
My breaker bar is a 4" over fork tube from a 70s Honda. Slips over the end of a 1/2" breaker bar .
Axle nuts on old vw buses were supposed to be torgued at 375 ft-lbs, always worked for me.
Loose nut holding the handlebars

Offline klaviator

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 11:12:54 AM »
Over torqued nuts from the factory seems to be a common problem these days.  After the first time it shouldn't be an issue as long as you don't over torque it again.  Many of the small bolts on the air filter covers on my Majesty were over torqued and I had to drill some of them out.  Unfortunately and impact wrench wouldn't have helped there since they were JIS head bolts. 

Maybe the manufacturers are trying to create business for the dealers service departments?

Offline klaviator

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2017, 11:15:05 AM »
Keep in mind that when they say 230 ft lbs that is under completely optimum conditions and you probably won't see that. Peak break strength in my experiences is way lower than what's advertised on the box. Still, you want it to be strong enough to quickly break the bolt loose with minimal drama.

I'd also get one that has multiple settings on it so you can unleash the power of zeus during extraction but avoid the helicoil monster Norton is referencing below on installation.

I have never used an impact wrench to install a bolt, only remove it.  I've got a couple of torque wrenches for installation.

Offline Hammerdown77

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2017, 04:21:22 PM »
I've got a Craftsman 5 or 6 gallon pancake compressor, 150 psi, and it is plenty for light work with an impact wrench. Certainly for what you're using it for. I recently had to spin the nut off my countershaft sprocket. Was a Fuji nut, and had red Loctite. Spun that sucker right off with a Craftsman impact wrench. Don't know what the torque setting was, the dial was on 4 or 5 if I remember.

I'm sure you have the factory powdered threadlocker on that nut, which is basically equivalent to welding. You will probably have to heat it pretty good and then hit it with the impact. Or maybe just a good impact will spin it off.

All of those pancake compressors are basically the same thing, just different brand name on them. There are some differences in maybe pressure regulator switch design, but I think they're basically all Campbell Hausfeld internals. Could be wrong about that, though. I know when I've bought Craftsman parts for mine, it lists a whole bunch of other manufacturers that the parts will work for.

5-6 gallon pancake with 150 psi will be plenty for bike/car/home use. I recently got a finish nailer to use with mine, and it's awesome. Hammers are for suckers. And professional carpenters...
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Offline KevinB

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2017, 05:17:46 PM »
Apparently this is the guy Kawasaki hired to install counter-shaft sprocket nuts...



Both mine and Pat's Ninja 1K's were impossible to break with either a home impact gun or a 24" breaker bar with a 3' cheater pipe. I resorted to Dremeling the nut in half, and we took Pat's to a tire shop to use their impact gun. With Glenn's Versys, I seriously thought the breaker bar was going to snap at the joint before the nut finally let go.

Offline Chuck A.

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2017, 05:48:15 PM »
My brother bought an 18 volt Dewalt high torque cordless impact gun and it has 1000 ft pound breaking strength. He is a mechanic and it has broken loss any and every bolt on a vehicle he has used it on. He swears by it. I've used it to remove lug nuts and it was like they were already loose.
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Offline IceCold4x4

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2017, 09:50:09 PM »
500 fl-lbs!

I need to start buying stock in helicoils.
:-)

Nothing on a motorcycle requires anything near that.  To remove a countershaftsproket, put the bike in gear, get someone to hold the rear brake pedal down and use a breaker bar.
If that doesn't remove it, you must have forgotten to undo the locking tab.
I have several airguns, air rachets, and torgue wrenches. I can only think of one place on any motorcycle I have ever worked on that required more than 100 ft-lbs, and that was to hold something on a taper.

ask bblass about the time we tried that method to remove his. I broke his brake pedal...

Offline Slede

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Re: Impact Wrench and air compressor.
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2017, 03:24:21 AM »
get the biggest air compressor you can afford, that doesn't mean new, think pawn shop but you're buying instead of selling. negotiation works both ways in there too. you'll come out will name brand tools at harbor freight prices if not better.

give it a few weeks too. if it's not there today it probably will be tomorrow.
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