air impact wrench for auto work

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Old 07-28-13, 01:36 PM
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air impact wrench for auto work

I have a pancake style air compressor,2.6 at 90 psi 6 gallon Porter Cable.
I am not buying a new compressor. What impact wrench would be good for general auto work?? Should it be 3/8 or 1/2 ??? and do any have a built in torque rating at least roughly??
 
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Old 07-28-13, 01:59 PM
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Good questions. The pancake won't deliver much air though. It would probably be borderline on a 1/2" gun. A 3/8" may work ok.

Impact guns need high volumes of air......quickly. One or two pulls of the trigger could just about empty that tank. You may need to look into picking up a second tank that you can connect to the first one to store more air.
 
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Old 07-28-13, 04:08 PM
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You better look at an electric. You dont have enough compressor for an air wrench.
 
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Old 07-28-13, 05:04 PM
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Yeah, I'm not feeling it either. My 30 gallon compressor fails to keep up with balljoint removal and the like.
 
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Old 07-29-13, 04:30 AM
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As the others have mentioned, a compressor with a decent tank or a second tank will be needed.
The 90PSI probably won't be enough for most tasks. All the compressors I've had at home where ~125PSI cutoff which (can't remember the cut-in pressure).

As for the impact gun, I've had reasonable success with the cheap ones. Obviously the better guns will work much, much better, but will you get the use to justify the cost?
To improve the performance of your impact, keep the hose short (high quality) to reduce it from expanding under pressure. Also, I add a couple drops of oil in the inlet of my gun each time I take it off the shelf to use it. These two items will make a huge difference.
 
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Old 07-29-13, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by diy9999
I have a pancake style air compressor,2.6 at 90 psi 6 gallon Porter Cable.
I am not buying a new compressor.
There's a fair chance that any impact wrench will burn out that compressor.
Result being that you WILL be buying a new compressor.

Here's why. Your compressor is rated 2.6 cfm at 90psi.
Hold the trigger on an impact wrench and it pulls 25.4 cfm. And that's for the smallest impact wrench (e.g. my CH TL0502) which generates 60-250 ft-lbs.

The problem isn't CFM, it's duty cycle. Although PC is a good compressor, it's still oil less compressor so it's likely designed for 33% - 40% duty cycle. So for every 1 minute on - 2 to 2.5 minutes off.

Some quick gueses-
- eh, 1 minute for an impact wrench to drain a 6 gallon tank at 150psi?

    - 5 minutes for it to refill to 150psi.
    - 15 minutes for the compressor to rest.

    End result, you can use the impact wrench for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.


    As you add larger tanks, you are more likely to burn out the compressor filling up the tank.
    It's likely designed to "run for 1, rest for 2".
    If you add a 54 gallon tank, that's 10 times more air, so (guesstimating) 40 minutes of compressor run time to fill the tank. And running 40 minutes non-stop is going to kill your compressor in a short amount of time.

      Originally Posted by diy9999
      What impact wrench would be good for general auto work??
      Small impact wrenches usually generate 60-200 ft-lbs. Medium up to 500 -750 ft-lbs.

      In your situation, I'd think the most productive purchase would be an air ratchet.
      Invest in a good breaker bar to loosen bolts, then the 30-60 ft-lbs from an air ratchet should
      be sufficient to remove or snug the bolts.
       

      Last edited by Hal_S; 07-29-13 at 06:42 AM.
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      Old 07-29-13, 10:14 AM
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      I have an electric impact wrench someone gave me before I had a compressor and it does a pretty fair job. As stated, pneumatic impact wrenches take a lot of air.
       
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      Old 07-29-13, 06:46 PM
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      btw do all air tools need lubricating oil put inside the air inlet???? what is the best type oil to use??
       
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      Old 07-30-13, 03:28 AM
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      Most do, I'm not familiar with the ones that don't. They sell 'tool oil' for pneumatic tools but I've often used 3in1 oil when tool oil wasn't handy.
       
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      Old 07-30-13, 03:53 AM
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      I can't remember what oil I use. Bought a half pint for pocket change and have been using it ever since.
      I add a couple drops to any air tools that are not intended to blow air on the item (i.e paint gun, sand blaster, tire adapter).
      I had considered a auto oiler, but didn't think the mess in the hose would be a good idea for me considering I switch tools frequently.

      I would suggest a moisture remover however. The one I have was really cheap and does take some water out of the air hose. Really good if you need to use the compressor in cooler (or cold) weather as the compressor heating the cold air can generate a bit more water which is bad for tools.
       
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      Old 07-30-13, 04:01 AM
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      I've not used them but the self oiling systems are supposed to work good BUT it renders the hose useless for any painting [and I'm a painter ]

      I'd second the advice for a good moisture separator. I probably don't need it too much here in N.E.Tn. but when I lived in fla it was an absolute necessity!! With the fla humidity I needed to drain both the water separator and the compressor tank on a daily basis and depending on use - more often.
       
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      Old 07-30-13, 05:23 AM
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      Tool houses carry air tool oil, but a buddy of mine, who repaired air tools as part of his living, always recommended Marvel Mystery Oil. In my opinion, the proper way to oil an air tool is to drip it directly into the nipple on the tool; automatic mist oilers are not as effective, and, as mentioned, render the hose useless for painting or other applications where you do not want oil. And yes, moisture is an air tools worst enemy, so a moisture trap should be considered essential. If possible, route a hose from the air compressor to the trap, and then from the trap to the tool, because the cooler the air is when it reaches the trap, the more effective the trap will be. Back to the opening post though, in all seriousness, with the size air compressor that you currently have, you will be deeply disappointed with a pneumatic impact wrench. Pneumatic wrenches have an edge in some areas, but none that matter if you cannot sustain the pressure and volume to effectively run them.
       
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      Old 07-30-13, 06:27 AM
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      Originally Posted by diy99999
      btw do all air tools need lubricating oil put inside the air inlet????
      Basically anything with moving parts that spin, shear, saw, vibrate etc, you want to add a few drops of oil before you use. Some big air wrenches have an internal reservoir that must be filled before they'll work correctly.

      To keep oil in the tools, you can get air mist oilers that are usually mounted near the tank (about the size of a can of tennis balls) or there are individual tool oilers (about the size of a golf ball).


      Originally Posted by diy99999
      what is the best type oil to use??
      No real consensus. You'll find it's all over the place.
      Some people swear by (but others warn against) air tool oil, sewing machine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, chain saw bar oil, synthetic motor oil...
       
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      Old 07-30-13, 07:01 AM
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      I have seen Marvel Mystery oil used in air tools for over 50 years.
       
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      Old 07-30-13, 07:17 AM
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      I have seen Marvel Mystery oil used in air tools for over 50 years.
      I've never really put much thought in the brand or type of oil I've used. Heck, couldn't even tell you what the bottle looks like other then it's a light tan color around the top from the oil. Been using the same stuff year round, in plus and minus 40'C weather.
       
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      Old 07-30-13, 07:41 AM
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      Heck, couldn't even tell you what the bottle looks like other then it's a light tan color around the top from the oil.
      Basically, any oil as long as it doesn't say "ULIVO", or "extra virgin"
      That is, unless you're working on a Fiat... or Citroen (grin)...

      (Some imports use green mineral oil for brake fluid, it looks like olive oil)
       
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      Old 08-16-13, 12:36 PM
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      That compressor won't run an air powered impact wrench, I have them from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch and that compressor wont supply enough pressure at volume, it was intended to run a nail gun and not a big one. My brother in law has one.
       
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