4 year old impact wrench is losing force- any repair options? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 12-19-2008, 10:48 AM   #1
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4 year old impact wrench is losing force- any repair options?

I got a new campbell hausfeld 500 ft/lb air powered impact wrench a few years ago for Christmas and it worked great at first but the last two years I can tell that it is losing its max torque.

I am trying to get a crank pulley bolt out and this thing can't budge it at 120 psi. (I know I am turning it the correct way) and it doesn't really feel like it is twisting that hard.

I've always faithfully oiled it (perhaps even over oiled it) I know it's an "off brand" but it was a $60-80 "high end" unit. I use it an average of 3-4 times a year and its never been wet.

Has anyone had a similar experience with their air impact wrench? Will taking it apart and cleaning it help or will I just have to buy a new one?
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:08 PM   #2
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I just put a crank pulley bolt in and it specified threadlock, so it might have that in. If it's on the engine, be sure you're locking it with something that doesn't have any give, anything that cushions the impact will lessen the effectiveness of your impact wrench.

Mine wouldn't loosen my lug nuts one time when I had the jack under it already with just a couple of pumps in, the give in the lightly loaded tire was enough to absorb all the shock and not let it work.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:20 PM   #3
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That's a good point that many people don't realize. You should be using an impact gun on an impact socket, or else a lot of the "shock" (impact) will be absorbed by the socket and not transmitted to the bolt. Same thing with using extensions - if you do use an extension it should only be an impact extension (which twists a lot less).

A regular extension on a regular rachet will transmit all of the torque, since there is no "time" factor. It might take 0.05 seconds to react, but that's irrelevant to a human.
-BC
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobc455 View Post
That's a good point that many people don't realize. You should be using an impact gun on an impact socket, or else a lot of the "shock" (impact) will be absorbed by the socket and not transmitted to the bolt.
I learned something new today. I thought the only reason was to avoid breaking the socket.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobc455 View Post
You should be using an impact gun on an impact socket
Actually you should use an impact socked on an impact gun. not the other way 'round. (Moron...)
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:28 PM   #6
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could be the fins are gummed up or worn. you could pull the back off and take a look. If they are gummed up, just take some brake fluid and clean them. If they are worn, get a fin kit. I have a snap-on xt7100 that i use everyday. After about a year, i noticed that it was taking a bit of time to get lug nuts broke free. I opened it up and the fins were wore down. After replacing them, it almost jumps out of my hand if im not paying attention.

But judging by how rarely you use yours, i would just guess that its gummed up and needs a good cleaning.

oh, make sure you use a quality air tool oil. I personally use MMO air tool oil. Mostly because i get it free, but its some good stuff. Another good brand is super red. Lucas makes some, but it is way too thick. Harbor freight brand is too think and offers no protection.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:01 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input guys I think you were all right- it was a combination of factors: rust around the shoulder of the bolt, the elasticity of the strap wrench I was using to hold the crank pulley stationary and the impact wrench was gunked up from me over oiling it with too much air tool oil through the years.

I figured that I had nothing to lose by spraying some carb cleaner into the air inlet to "cut" any excess oil inside it- so I did it and I noticed that it seemed stronger and would even spin faster (no load speed)- but it was still not strong enough.

The only thing I had to keep the crank pulley from turning was a rubberized strap wrench (this car has an auto transmission and I didn't feel like feeding a rope into a spark plug hole)- so I'm thinking that it was absorbing most of the impacts.

So, giving up on the impact wrench, I used a 2.5 foot cheater pipe on my 1/2" breaker bar. I twisted off one 1/2" extension section, but I heated the bolt center of the pulley with a propane torch and used another 1/2" extension that held ( I was using an impact socket). I was putting most of my weight on the cheater when it finally broke loose with a big pop- at first I thought that I had broken something!
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:23 PM   #8
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Good info on the fins etc. I bet mine are gummed up too. I thought mine was losing some power recently, however, I was using a standard type extension (about a 3' extension at that).

I ended up using the starter and a ratchet leveraged against the floor to break it loose. Break is the key word cause it snapped the head off the crank bolt. DOH! I was really lucky that the rest of the bolt ended up loose so I was able to back the broken off bolt out with a small scribe. This was in my crx hf. Whew...
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:58 PM   #9
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Intentionally liquid lock a cylinder to keep the engine from turning over when you get a really nasty crank bolt.

regards
gary
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:31 PM   #10
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Harbor Freight sells a 1/2" drive electric impact that has lots of torque. I have one that I've had for 10-15 years and it's still as strong as it was the day I bought it. I've removed crank pulleys with it and it never flinched. If you'll keep an eye on their sales lots of times they will run them for $42.-$50.
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