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Air Ratchets, and working on your Bike


Dans08

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With about 30 bolts just on the body work I was wondering if anyone has used a air ratchet to remove some of the fasteners when working on your bike.

 

I have an old air compressor and just picked up a 3/8" drive 55Ft LBS air ratchet and thought about using it for removing body work bolts etc. Is this a bad idea?

 

Dan

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With about 30 bolts just on the body work I was wondering if anyone has used a air ratchet to remove some of the fasteners when working on your bike.

 

I have an old air compressor and just picked up a 3/8" drive 55Ft LBS air ratchet and thought about using it for removing body work bolts etc. Is this a bad idea?

 

Dan

 

Dan, with the proper background & feel for tool usage you could use a 3/8 air ratchet to remove motorcycle bolts & nuts.. Like any air tool they can get you into big trouble if you don’t have a good working feel for the tool & how it sounds/feels when things are right or wrong..

 

I have lots of air outlets in my shop,, & many many air tools,, & use air tools pretty exclusively on automotive & tractor repairs.. That being said I seldom use large air tools on my motorcycles.. Mostly either use Tee handles,, smaller drivers,, or if lots of small screws use a battery powered drill/driver.. If I do use an air ratchet on smaller motorcycle parts it is usually a small precise ¼” drive air ratchet..

 

Those fairing screws & panel attaching screws on the BMW’s are fairly easy to cross thread or strip when using hand tools why make it even easier to mess up with a 3/8” air wrench..

 

Twisty

 

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"Like any air tool they can get you into big trouble if you don’t have a good working feel for the tool & how it sounds/feels when things are right or wrong.."

 

Completely agree with Twisty on this one. Personally, I like manual tools, battery, or electric. I don't miss the 30 screw exercise one bit.

 

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Gotta agree. I would rarely use air tools on my bikes. Maybe to remove a stubborn swing arm bolt or such. I save the air tools for more rugged stuff, like lug nuts. Too much can go wrong in a hurry on the light weight stuff.

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Silver Surfer/AKAButters

I do use light a weight powered screwdriver with a good slip clutch. My experience with air tools suggests more robust applications.

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Good advice here. I use airtools when appropriate (i.e. larger stuff). Love T-handles for smaller fasteners. You break it loose then give the handle a spin and voila!

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My experience with air tools suggests more robust applications.

Oh I don't know... my 450 ft.lb. 1/2" air wrench gets those fairing screws out right quick...

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Calvin  (no socks)

I regularly use a 3/4" Ingersol Rand impact wrench on stubborn fastners on rusty cars. It wears me out....Never have been tempted to use my 3/8 air ratchet on my bike. My 1/4 air ratchet is the 3rd one I have worn out, but not on my bike...

 

I do use a clutch protected power driver... but, iffin I strip sumpin out I know whose arse to kick! :grin:

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Well, you see, I know enough to ask before trying. I didn't have a warm and fuzzy feeling about it when I first thought about it.

 

I'll stick to the hand tools.

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I regularly use a 3/4" Ingersol Rand impact wrench on stubborn fastners on rusty cars. It wears me out....Never have been tempted to use my 3/8 air ratchet on my bike. My 1/4 air ratchet is the 3rd one I have worn out, but not on my bike...

 

I do use a clutch protected power driver... but, iffin I strip sumpin out I know whose arse to kick! :grin:

 

Calvin, I hear you,, I have an older Ingersoll-Rand ½” drive that posed to kick out over 600 ft lbs… I do know it is strong old bugger but weighs a ton & is a real air hog as it will run my 28 cfm compressor full time when I get a stubborn nut on a long stud.. It really needs a ½ feed hose but my shop hoses are 3/8” so it probably has a hard time getting a full breath.. I run my shop air at 175 psi but not sure that helps much..

 

Twisty

 

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I just used my trusty speed handle fitted with any number of adapters. If your technique is good, you can spin those panel screws on and off with one hand.

 

ProductUser

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With about 30 bolts just on the body work I was wondering if anyone has used a air ratchet to remove some of the fasteners when working on your bike.

 

I have an old air compressor and just picked up a 3/8" drive 55Ft LBS air ratchet and thought about using it for removing body work bolts etc. Is this a bad idea?

 

Dan

 

I once heard that you can generate 6 ft/lbs of torque with a screwdriver. That helped me put things in perspective. So, the amount of torque required to remove/install a fastener dictates the tool...and starting smaller has never failed me.

 

So, my rule of thumb is to use the smallest reasonable tool in any given situation. 1/4" is my drive of choice for the bikes. Also gives me a much better feel for the threads. I cannot tell you the last time I stripped a fastener.

 

Can you use a 3/8" drive air ratchet on the bodywork fasteners? Absolutely. But I know I would add too much torque to most situations (even if the air and tool were set very low), and I'd lose the feel.

 

That said, my 1/4" drive air ratchet was my favorite tool for automotive work. I did everything but the head bolts and engine mounts on 4-cylinder head R/R with that ratchet...valve cover, TB covers, accessories, intake/exhaust manifolds, tensioners, water pump...zip zip. Can't say I have ever used it on my motorcycles...but I probably have. Bikes are so easy to work on that I generally stick with hand tools. It is a Zen thing...

 

bb

 

 

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Tim, I don't like the looks of the screw.

What I thought I'd try was break loose all the screws on the body work and then use the air tool to remove them all.

After reading the above I think for me, it my be best to use a cordless drill set on very low torque.

 

bb, I do see where a 1/4" drive air ratchet would be good to have around the house.

 

11101110, I like to looks of the Wera Kraftform tools. I'd also like to locate a US dealer and check them out.

 

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Dan, I think you have a pretty good consensus here. Like many of the others, I have air tools, but do not use them on the bike. ( I don't have that feather light touch that Seth has.) I do use a clutched battery drill to remove the tupperware screws, but always re-install then with the "T" handle by hand.

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Dans08, I get my Wera from MSC (mscdirect.com). I also have a set of the electricaly insulated screw drivers. If I had a pile of money I would buy a bunch more of the Wera kraftforms (after another bike of course)

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Not a bad idea, are grade 8 fasteners available for the Tupperware screws?

 

 

Bob, the Tupperware screws are metric so if graded would more than likely be something like 8.8 or 10.9 but as a rule smaller stainless steel screws are just called out by their stainless composition.. Such as 304 or 316 or maybe something like 18-8..

 

Doesn’t matter as you can’t tighten them enough to get any where near elongation as there are plastic panels & soft inserts involved..

 

The important thing on Tupperware screws are thread quality,, smoothness,, & having slightly pointed ends (like the black OEM) as they will start easier & tend not to gall on installation..

 

Twisty

 

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russell_bynum
Dans08,I use a cordless screwdriver to remove the screws, but always put them back in manually.

 

That's what I usually did for the fairing screws on my R1100RT.

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