Impact Torque wrench on tire nut

In summary: I don't think it was the case that the lug nuts were on too tight. Instead, I believe there was some corrosion binding the nuts to the studs. When they finally got the lug nuts off, they recommended exchanging the studs for new ones, which I agreed.
  • #1
jake jot
302
17
A car service center used a hydraulic impact torque (is this the one used?) on the car tire nuts. See video. The car tire nut are rated at 88 ft lbs torque.

What is the estimated torque in the hydraulic impact torque? Could it be double or more? I know he should have used a torque wrench but didn't.

 
Engineering news on Phys.org
  • #2
jake jot said:
What is the estimated torque in the hydraulic impact torque? Could it be double or more?
Sounds like it's a lot less! So tighten by hand to stay alive.

Actually there is no estimate possible if nothing is measured.

##\ ##
 
  • Like
Likes jake jot
  • #3
BvU said:
Sounds like it's a lot less! So tighten by hand to stay alive.

Actually there is no estimate possible if nothing is measured.

##\ ##

After that I bought a Torque Wrench and checked/tighten the nuts for the 88 ft.lb rating. But I was concerned if the impact torque has delivered more torques and could have overtighten the nuts. In the video, what is the estimated size (wattage and maximum torques) of the impact torque? is it hydraulic? Are the torques in an impact wrench adjustable?
 
  • #4
The way to tighten "by feel" with a power tool is to quickly seat the nut and then give it a ¼ turn or so; you kind of "see it" tightening and get a feel for the angle you need with experience. It's a little bit like using a torque angle measurement.

You don't just put the tool on it and tighten it as much as the tool can give because, yes, you can overtighten it easily, maybe even breaking the stud.
 
  • Like
Likes CalcNerd, jake jot, sysprog and 2 others
  • #5
jake jot said:
A car service center used a hydraulic impact torque (is this the one used?) on the car tire nuts. See video. The car tire nut are rated at 88 ft lbs torque.

What is the estimated torque in the hydraulic impact torque? Could it be double or more? I know he should have used a torque wrench but didn't.
That tool is fed by compressed air.
Please, see:
https://itstillruns.com/oil-impact-wrench-8153030.html

If your torque wrench was applied over an overtighten nut, it would still click at the specified torque.
The torque wrench should turn the nut some prior to reaching that point.
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Likes jake jot, Keith_McClary and berkeman
  • #6
Many shops use torque limiters with these pneumatic guns - but it's not clear that one is being used in that video...
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes CalcNerd, Keith_McClary and jack action
  • #7
Lnewqban said:
That tool is fed by compressed air.
Right, making it a pneumatic-powered tool rather than a hydraulic-powered impact wrench. Just for the record, I've never seen a hydraulic powered impact wrench.

IMO, it's OK to spin the nut on with an impact wrench, but then tighten it to 90 ft-lb or so using a torque wrench. Most tire shops that I've seen do exactly this.
 
  • #8
Mark44 said:
...
IMO, it's OK to spin the nut on with an impact wrench, but then tighten it to 90 ft-lb or so using a torque wrench. Most tire shops that I've seen do exactly this.
At least in Florida, most tire shops I know don’t bother using a torque wrench.
They also spin the nuts way too fast, to the point of damaging the threads by overheating them.

Last time my wife took our car to a tire shop, it took me half a day of sweating and fighting to lose those nuts, using an electric impact wrench and a 36 inches break bar.
After you apply the specified torque and use a cross pattern during installation of a tire, it is very easy to change a flat on the road using specific hand tools.
 
  • Like
Likes CalcNerd
  • #9
Lnewqban said:
At least in Florida, most tire shops I know don’t bother using a torque wrench.
That's not good, especially if they overtighten the lug nuts, and you need to change a flat while you're on the road.
Lnewqban said:
Last time my wife took our car to a tire shop, it took me half a day of sweating and fighting to lose those nuts, using an electric impact wrench and a 36 inches break bar.
I had a car some years ago that developed a slow leak. The lug nuts were on so tight, I couldn't get them loose -- I didn't have an impact wrench at the time. I called a tire shop that sent a truck out with a compressor in its bed. He wasn't able to get the nuts loose, either. In the end, he inflated the tire enough that I could drive it the short distance to the tire shop, which had a beefier compressor than what was on the truck. At the shop, they still couldn't get the lug nuts loose, and ended up using a pneumatic chisel to cut them off.
I don't think it was the case that the lug nuts were on too tight. Instead, I believe there was some corrosion binding the nuts to the studs. When they finally got the lug nuts off, they recommended exchanging the studs for new ones, which I agreed to.
 
  • Wow
  • Like
Likes Lnewqban and berkeman
  • #10
Mark44 said:
Just for the record, I've never seen a hydraulic powered impact wrench.
TADA!

615150010_Schlagschrauber_Hydraulik_01-853x1024.jpg

https://www.spitznas.de/en/tools/impact-wrenches/hydraulic-impact-wrenches/615150010-en/

Oh! Before you ask, You can get a gas-powered one too!

 
  • Like
Likes Lnewqban and CalcNerd
  • #11
jack action said:
Oh! Before you ask, You can get a gas-powered one too!
Can I get a steam-powered impact wrench? That hydraulic one looks pretty beefy, with 3/4" drive.
 
  • Haha
  • Like
Likes Lnewqban and jack action
  • #12
One way I've had luck breaking free lugnuts is to use a cross wrench and while you have as much torque on that as you can muster have a helper hit the bell shaped socket that fits the nut with a hammer. Alot of times the impact will knock it loose. It should go without saying to be careful. Things can move in a hurry resulting in skinned knuckles, etc.
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Likes Lnewqban and jack action
  • #13
Averagesupernova said:
One way I've had luck breaking free lugnuts is to use a cross wrench
What's a cross wrench? I'm off to Google Images...
 
  • #15
Around here, those shops that bother with a torque wrench at all, use an air impact wrench to install the lug nuts.

Then they look up the torque spec, set the torque wrench to match, and make sure the nuts don't move before reaching the spec.

Of course this makes a 'field repair' rather difficult! I use a combination wrench as shown in @berkeman's post above, with a wood block supporting the opposite end of the wrench. I then stand on and bounce on the wrench crossarm to break the lug nut loose.

From that point I give the wrench a good spin or two and the nut comes right off.

Addendum:
A few years ago we bought a newer car, one of those with the 'low profile' tires. I had always had the full size tires and cars before, and could drive over curbs and park by 'feeling' the curb with the tire. That does not work with low profile tires; the sidewalls are too weak. End result was my wife and I had lots of practice installing the spare.

I must have learned Something along the way, haven't needed a new tire in over a year!

Cheers,
Tom.
 
  • Like
Likes sysprog and Lnewqban
  • #16
berkeman said:
Oh, a combination lug wrench thing (I never knew the official name)...
Years ago, 1969 to be exact, I had a VW bus that I had resurrected from a junkyard by installing a new engine that I put together, and half of the windshield. I was coming north on I-5 near Grant's Pass, OR, heading back to Ft. Lewis, WA when I had a flat on a rear tire. I had a 4-way lug wrench similar to the one shown in @berkeman's post. For the life of me, I could not break the lug nuts, and was merely deforming the lug wrench, twisting it.
Some time later, a trucker stopped to give assistance. With his beefier 4-way wrench, and possibly a length of pipe (it was a long time ago), I was able break the lug nuts loose and get my spare installed.

As with the car I mentioned in post #9, it probably was not the case that the lug nuts were overtightened, but rather that they were stuck due to corrosion.
 
  • Like
Likes Lnewqban
  • #17
Tom.G said:
A few years ago we bought a newer car, one of those with the 'low profile' tires.
This one bit me in the butt a few months ago. Last year I bought an '02 Porsche 911 with low-profile tires. The rears were getting a bit thin in the tread, so I replaced them in April with a pair of Pirelli 265/35 R18 tires. In November I was driving somewhere when I discovered that one of them had gone flat, and in the process of slowing down from about 60 mph, the tire completely destroyed itself. Luckily I didn't have any problems getting the lug nuts loose alongside the highway I was on, to put on the spare, and the tire company replaced the tire at no charge.

I took the wheel with shredded tire to them, rather than drive on the spare 20 miles, and had them mount the new tire. I used my impact wrench to spin the lug nuts on loosely, then torqued them to 90 ft-lb.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes Lnewqban

1. How does an impact torque wrench work on tire nuts?

An impact torque wrench applies a sudden and intense rotational force, or torque, to the tire nut. This force is created by a hammering mechanism inside the wrench, which rapidly rotates the output shaft. The sudden impact allows the wrench to break loose even the most stubborn tire nuts.

2. Can an impact torque wrench damage my tire nuts?

While an impact torque wrench is designed to apply a strong force, it is also designed to do so without damaging the nut. The hammering mechanism is specifically calibrated to deliver the appropriate amount of force without causing any damage. However, it is important to use the correct size and type of impact torque wrench for your specific tire nuts to avoid any potential damage.

3. What are the benefits of using an impact torque wrench on tire nuts?

The main benefit of using an impact torque wrench is its ability to quickly and easily remove tire nuts. It can also be used to tighten nuts with a high level of precision, ensuring they are properly secured. Additionally, an impact torque wrench can save time and effort compared to using a traditional torque wrench or manual tools.

4. Are there any safety precautions I should take when using an impact torque wrench on tire nuts?

Yes, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind when using an impact torque wrench. Always wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection. Make sure to use the correct size and type of impact torque wrench for your tire nuts. And be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and recommended torque settings to avoid any potential accidents or damage.

5. Can an impact torque wrench be used on all types of tire nuts?

No, an impact torque wrench may not be suitable for all types of tire nuts. It is important to check the manufacturer's instructions and recommended torque settings to ensure compatibility. Additionally, some specialized or delicate tire nuts may require a different type of torque wrench to avoid damage. It is always best to consult a professional or the manufacturer for specific recommendations.

Similar threads

Replies
10
Views
1K
Replies
10
Views
1K
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
14
Views
2K
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
18
Views
984
Replies
9
Views
257
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
21
Views
542
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
20
Views
2K
Replies
16
Views
10K
Replies
2
Views
1K
Back
Top