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Discussion Starter #1
OK..I'm debating on what to buy here...bar or wrench.

I have an axle nut that needs to come off my 93 LS...who knows if it has ever seen the light of day.

My 2 foot breaker bar won't do the job. I want to get an impact wrench soon anyways, but how much max. torque will I need to free this puppy?

Would 530 foot pounds of max torque do the job?

Or should I just go for a 36 inch or 42 inch breaker bar?

Your advice would be greatly appreciated!
:p

Thanks. (I've got a compressor already...so am half way there anyways)
 

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Do both. The air is an investment you will get more use out of it. A breaker bar is really cheap ( possible free at a job site if you ask nicely if they have any scrape ). All you need is a length of thick wall tube.
 

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If you know a local mechanic, just swing by and let them pop it with the air wrench and then tighten back up enough to get home safely. It should then come off easily. Worked for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys,

I think I'm going to spring for the gun....it should be worth it as I've realized that actually I like working on my car. And being a 93 it stilll is not exactly perfectly restored to like new condition.
lol
I'm gonna get this gun from Amazon, but if it can't pop the nut, I might return it and get a more powerful one.

This one is the: Ingersoll Rand 231C 1/2 inch Super Duty...it seems to be pretty popular.
 

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i think torque ratings for that axle nut is like 250-275 ft/lbs. Not sure, but I know it's up there somewhere. an electric impact wrench definitely won't do the job unless you find one with at least 300. giant break bar with a long pipe should do the trick :p harbor freight has breaker bars for cheap. they also have electric impact wrenches but I think the rating on those are only around 200 or so ft/lbs

Keep in mind you'll need to get the torque wrench, compressor, air lines, oil (make sure you keep the wrench lubed, and impact wrench sockets big enough to fit over that axle nut which I think is like 34mm?

breaker bar route is much cheaper. I'd go that route first and if you break the breaker bar, then go the impact wrench route
 

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Give an Ingersoll-Rand 2135Ti a try. It is a 1/2 inch drive impact that puts out 1100 ft-lbs. of torque @ 90 psi. I use one everyday, it should run you in the 250-300 dollar range. It is the absolute best i've ever used.
 

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I have a big electric impact wrench that I picked up at pepboys of all places years ago to break axle nuts. It was ~$70 and while heavy and large is quite badass. Its broken bolts free that I couldn't get with 3 feet of breaker bar.

When thats not handy my tool of choice is a 2 foot breaker bar with a 4 foot fence post slid over it. Much cheaper then multiple breaker bars ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Well...I like to collect tools, anyways.

My compressor is just big enough basically to get the job done well with the 231C...it can do 5.6 CFM @90psi which is nothing to brag about, but it's good enough for this particular model, which has an average consumption of 4.2 CFM.

I would like to have gotten a bigger compressor, but didn't want to spend the money on it at the time. This one only cost me $200 which I though was pretty inexpensive for it's class. (10 gallons, 3.5 HP)

Thanks for the tip Johnny...now someone just lend me the extra $200 and I will be set!
:)

At $115 (list pricel $260) this one is more in my price range. It's rated at 425 ft/lbs for max torque. So if it breaks the nut loose, it's a keeper, but if not will send it back for one with more power.
 

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My dad and I heated one of those bolts up and then tried taking it off. We just used an angle grinder to get them off eventually since the driveshaft kit I bought had new nuts.
 

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In this instance a breaker bar is a better bet, but in the long run an impact wrench is much better.

Remember: your body weight x feet of breaker bar = lb/ft of torque placed upon the nut/bolt
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My impact wrench came today. so it immediately got put to the test.

It popped the nut easily 2nd try. (after a 60 second application of PB Blaster to gve credit where credit is due.)

Looks like this wrench is a keeper then!
:tup:
 

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i think torque ratings for that axle nut is like 250-275 ft/lbs. Not sure, but I know it's up there somewhere. an electric impact wrench definitely won't do the job unless you find one with at least 300. giant break bar with a long pipe should do the trick :p harbor freight has breaker bars for cheap. they also have electric impact wrenches but I think the rating on those are only around 200 or so ft/lbs

Keep in mind you'll need to get the torque wrench, compressor, air lines, oil (make sure you keep the wrench lubed, and impact wrench sockets big enough to fit over that axle nut which I think is like 34mm?

breaker bar route is much cheaper. I'd go that route first and if you break the breaker bar, then go the impact wrench route
250 is about right for the torque on that axle nut. the socket needed would be a 32mm, preferably a deep or impact socket.

i have a cordless impact wrench [it's a DeWalt ;)] and it takes off the axle nut just fine. this one is rated to 300 ft-lbs. only thing is that they're not cheap. i picked up mine mostly for track use, but i wind up using it more often than my regular impact only out of convenience.

do the job right the first time. if you plan on using the impact wrench a lot, get a good compressor to go with it. it looks like you've already chosen a tried-and-true wrench [the I-R 231C, i have this exact model], which will do the job quite well. as for the compressor, check out this one, but make sure that it can hold a decent amount of air. if you get one that holds less than 5 gallons, that poor compressor is going to be working hard just to keep the regulated pressure @ 90psi [which is what the impact wrench needs to run effectively].

lastly, pick up a set of impact sockets and extensions. they're built to handle using impact/air tools more than traditional sockets are. i mean, the regular sockets can stand up to it, but i've seen them fail just from being used with an impact wrench.

if you want, you can pick up a 3/8" impact wrench as well. they work really well at taking off some of the smaller bolts, like on the oil pan and valve covers. ;)


i've done this job with hand tools. i wouldn't recommend doing it that way unless there were no other alternatives.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If I was going to buy a compressor over again it would probably be something like this one:

60 gallon tank....12.8 CFM @90 psi....very good price. (runs on 220 volts however)

- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

It all depends, of course, what you will be using it for, but I already know that my compressor can't run my cut off tool worth a darn for more than about 3 seconds lol.

I think you really need alot of capacity for painting and sanding air tools, also.
 

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About 3.5 years ago, I had to change the axles on my 91 PGT because the CVs were clicking. Well, the car was a rust bucket underneath anyway so it was no surprise the axle nuts were going to be difficult.

Anyway, I broke many tools on it. From ratchets to breaker bars to loaner breaker bars. The biggest breaker bar I broke was using a 5 foot black iron pipe on it with the other end sitting on a 2x4 block of wood, then I rolled the car. :) I finally got that nut off by drilling a couple holes through one side and then taking a cold chisel to split the socket. Once cracked, I hit it at an angle with the cold chisel to help persuade it around.

After that, I picked up a 1000 ft/lb 3/4" air impact gun so I wouldn't have to deal with it again. Was working on a 2g doing a ZE swap two winters ago and broke my 3/4"->1/2" impact stepdown getting those nuts off. Went to the local harbor freight and picked up a 3/4" set of sockets with breaker bar. Gun broke it free with that 3/4" 32mm socket.

As far as guns and compressors go, I've had a little experience. I forget what my 1000 ft/lb "requires", but I was using it fine with a cheap 26 gallon Craftsman stand up compressor. I have since upgraded to a 60 gallon two stage compressor and it still goes well. I find that it's not the SCFM requirements that really matters and that you can pretty much run anything with anything (within reason, so lets say 10+ gallon minimum tank size required). It's just that you can't expect to run the larger SCFM required tools for long. My 60 gallon works a vacuum pump just fine, even turns on and shuts off while the pump is still going. Same with my angle grinder (though it runs for a lot longer before shutting off if I'm constant with it). Angle grinder still worked fine with my 26 gallon.
 
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