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can impact wrench be used to remove common bolts

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Old 11-14-2011, 06:46 AM   #1
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can impact wrench be used to remove common bolts

Can I use a impact wrench to remove common bolts like the once under the car on the engine splash guard, spark plugs bolts on the coil and other 10mm or 8mm bolts or is it too much. if so can someone suggest something to remove these sort of bolts.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:49 AM   #2
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No, its too much torque and you risk damaging the threads and snapping the bolts. To remove these bolts you would use a conventional ratchet and socket or other hand tools, if you really had to ask that I suggest you don't touch anything on a car.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:14 AM   #3
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it def doesnt matter if you use it on the splash shield bolts, especially if theyre seized to their caged nut.

but spark plug bolts????
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:20 AM   #4
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No, its too much torque and you risk damaging the threads and snapping the bolts. To remove these bolts you would use a conventional ratchet and socket or other hand tools, if you really had to ask that I suggest you don't touch anything on a car.
I replaced my radiator and belts with regular ratchets but was wondering if there is a power tool to remove the bolts with ease. The only one I could find was impact wrench. Can a drill/driver with socket adapter be used. If i am not wrong they are less powerful compared to a impact wrench.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:22 AM   #5
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You can maybe use one to unscrew them, but not to put them back in. But is it that difficult to use a ratchet?, so far I've only used a impact wrench for my crank pulley, cv axle bolt and the control arm bolts.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:22 AM   #6
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lol the tool youre looking for is either a "bit driver" which is a small handheld drill that uses a hex shank driver. a 1/4" adapter is then used with a socket to zip bolts off with a hand tools strength.

my boy also used to rock a snap-on 1/4" impact gun, which is the same size as my little *** bit driver. and its def not overkill like a 1/2" is, and czn be used on common bolts.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:24 AM   #7
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when youre using small guns like that tho, some bolts still need to be broken by hand.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by muthiahmerchant View Post
I replaced my radiator and belts with regular ratchets but was wondering if there is a power tool to remove the bolts with ease. The only one I could find was impact wrench. Can a drill/driver with socket adapter be used. If i am not wrong they are less powerful compared to a impact wrench.
Yea sure for little bolts you can use one of those small drill drivers but if they are slightly snug hands are much more powerful then those drivers plus they tend to spin fast and you risk stripping the bolt and damaging the plastic around the bolts in the case of the shields,etc. Are you really being that lazy? Just use your hands man
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:36 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the input. I will stick with regular gear wrenches.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:51 AM   #10
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Yea sure for little bolts you can use one of those small drill drivers but if they are slightly snug hands are much more powerful then those drivers plus they tend to spin fast and you risk stripping the bolt and damaging the plastic around the bolts in the case of the shields,etc. Are you really being that lazy? Just use your hands man
this is true, but some, like my makita bit driver, have two settings, and one is very close to hand speed. its also good to get one with a clutch.

but like dude above me said, theres barely any purpose for you to have this. these tools are made for people who are professionals and cant afford to waste time.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:13 AM   #11
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If the fasteners would be damaged by impacts, they'll be damaged by hand tools.

We're talking about removal only.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:24 AM   #12
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If the fasteners would be damaged by impacts, they'll be damaged by hand tools.

We're talking about removal only.
Oh so if I take a 300 lb-tq impact to a 10mm bolt thats holding the splash guard on its the same as using hand tools to remove that same bolt

Impacts when putting down higher numbers of torque will spin at a high spin when there is little to no load if that bolt is slightly rusted it may snap or it may damage the threads.

Last edited by 2000_MAXIMA_KING; 11-14-2011 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:25 AM   #13
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there are ratchet impact 'wrenches'..
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:34 AM   #14
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Use a long handle 12" ratchet for those tougher bolts. If you can't break something loose with that, then you need to hit the gym.

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Old 11-14-2011, 08:37 AM   #15
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I personally stick to using hand tools for anything on the motor, transmission and body. The only time I ever use an impact is for suspension/subframe work, and even then only to speed up the process (I stick to hand tools for the last thread or so always w/ reassembly).
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:52 AM   #16
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i was under the impression that the OP was asking about using any type of "impact" or drill in order to get work done faster... not for breakaway torque.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:02 AM   #17
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I personally stick to using hand tools for anything on the motor, transmission and body. The only time I ever use an impact is for suspension/subframe work, and even then only to speed up the process (I stick to hand tools for the last thread or so always w/ reassembly).
I'm exactly the same, I even do side work suspension installs, etc for others and they usually are confused looking for the air compressor in my garage. The only thing I use is a dewalt eletric driver to speed up removing wheels or the bolts/nuts on the knuckle, etc if I'm on short time.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:10 AM   #18
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Oh so if I take a 300 lb-tq impact to a 10mm bolt thats holding the splash guard on its the same as using hand tools to remove that same bolt
It won't develop 300 ft/lbs unless there is 300 ft/lbs of resistance.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:13 AM   #19
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hes also assuming that the OP is talking about some 3/8s or 1/2" impact with mad torque. when really im pretty sure he just wants a bit driver.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:15 AM   #20
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Can I use a impact wrench to remove common bolts like the once under the car on the engine splash guard, spark plugs bolts on the coil and other 10mm or 8mm bolts or is it too much. if so can someone suggest something to remove these sort of bolts.
I would say get a 3/8 Air Ratchet..impact is to much force..
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:57 AM   #21
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I would say get a 3/8 Air Ratchet..impact is to much force..
get your whorish 'force' outa hurr
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:11 AM   #22
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It won't develop 300 ft/lbs unless there is 300 ft/lbs of resistance.
True. I didn't necessarily mean it would put down the 300, but it would be overkill and you risk damage. Plus why would you want to do that anyway? How much time is it really saving, 10 secs?

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hes also assuming that the OP is talking about some 3/8s or 1/2" impact with mad torque. when really im pretty sure he just wants a bit driver.
He clearly said "impact wrench", where am I making assumptions?
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:21 AM   #23
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Air ratchet is what you need.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:30 PM   #24
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^^
Air ratchet will do that job or loosen/tighten by hand.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:39 PM   #25
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True. I didn't necessarily mean it would put down the 300, but it would be overkill and you risk damage. Plus why would you want to do that anyway? How much time is it really saving, 10 secs?



He clearly said "impact wrench", where am I making assumptions?
yeah thats what he said. but dude obvioulsy doesnt know what hes talking about. as the thread goes on he is clearly just asking for a tool that zips bolts off not an impact.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:29 AM   #26
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I would say get a 3/8 Air Ratchet..impact is to much force..
x2
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:20 PM   #27
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True. I didn't necessarily mean it would put down the 300, but it would be overkill and you risk damage.
I'm still not clear on how you've come to the conclusion that damage is a risk, as the torque requirement on the fastener DROPS, not increases.

Do expound.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:46 PM   #28
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I'm still not clear on how you've come to the conclusion that damage is a risk, as the torque requirement on the fastener DROPS, not increases.

Do expound.
Even though the torque won't be at its max output it would be at its rated output. Just because its very small resistance doesn't mean the impact will go down to that low of a torque in fact it will put out its rated torque and on a small rusted bolt, snap! and it will spin fast and you risk damage or can even hurt yourself since you'll be dealing with the extra torque since the bolt is such a small resistance compared to it.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:25 AM   #29
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IMO, using air guns for any bolt attached to the engine is a no no for me. All hand tools even down to the crank pulley bolt.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:01 AM   #30
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I would say get a 3/8 Air Ratchet..impact is to much force..
^ This.

If you're really insistent on using air tools, an air ratchet with adjustable torque settings will be just fine.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:05 PM   #31
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Even though the torque won't be at its max output it would be at its rated output.
Have you actually ever used an impact gun...?
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:15 PM   #32
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Have you actually ever used an impact gun...?
Yes I've used air and have an electric at home. Just do what you want ok? Go use an impact on your intake manifold just don't post a thread afterwards

This has to be the dumbest argument, its basic common sense. Do you not know the difference between rated and max outputs?
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:18 PM   #33
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Even though the torque won't be at its max output it would be at its rated output. Just because its very small resistance doesn't mean the impact will go down to that low of a torque in fact it will put out its rated torque and on a small rusted bolt, snap! and it will spin fast and you risk damage or can even hurt yourself since you'll be dealing with the extra torque since the bolt is such a small resistance compared to it.
IMHO the impact wrench has less chance of injury to self, because it's going to stay in its location no matter what... whereas many knuckles have been busted by slipping wrenches.

I've used my impact to remove all sorts of stubborn bolts... including some that had enough resistance that they were almost too hot to hold on to afterwards. Aka, there would have been LOTS of grunting to remove them the olde fashioned way... fighting the whole way.

I agree that assembly should be done the old fashioned way. But removing ten year old rusted bolts (that might not even need to be ... or able to be... reused)... I use big power as I see fit...

Den
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:26 PM   #34
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IMHO the impact wrench has less chance of injury to self, because it's going to stay in its location no matter what... whereas many knuckles have been busted by slipping wrenches.

I've used my impact to remove all sorts of stubborn bolts... including some that had enough resistance that they were almost too hot to hold on to afterwards. Aka, there would have been LOTS of grunting to remove them the olde fashioned way... fighting the whole way.

I agree that assembly should be done the old fashioned way. But removing ten year old rusted bolts (that might not even need to be ... or able to be... reused)... I use big power as I see fit...

Den
He was talking about small little bolts. We weren't talking about the regular appropriate times to use power/air tools.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:39 PM   #35
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despite what everyone says, theres absolutely nothing wrong with using this tool to speed up the process of taking anything apart(anywhere itll fit anyway). and even putting it back together. this gun would have to be in the hands of a toddler to damage anything on your vehicle. and can be adjusted to go as slow and weak as you want.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:41 PM   #36
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impact wrench has two actions in one - torque and hammer. Hammering can damage the thread, and too much torque can snap small bolts. So I would not use impact for everything. Even at reduced power, my IR 3/8 delivers about 70 ft/lb - this is enough force to snap small bolts.

I also use 3/8 air ratchet. It sucks down too much air so I don't use it anymore. The most air ratchet does not have hammering action so it should be better with smaller bolts.
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