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  1. #1

    Who here uses an impact wrench or air socket wrench on their ski?

    Just curious to see who here uses an air socket or impact wrench when working on their ski. I was thinking of picking one up but not sure how much use it would get. I bought a 3/8 drive adapter for a drill today, might give that a shot for some things like removing spark plug boots.



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  3. #3
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nich6 View Post
    Just curious to see who here uses an air socket or impact wrench when working on their ski. I was thinking of picking one up but not sure how much use it would get. I bought a 3/8 drive adapter for a drill today, might give that a shot for some things like removing spark plug boots.

    Great question...

    I couldn't have survived the great two stroke revival of 2011 without my rusty yet trusty snap-on 1/4 inch air ratchet

    But take some advice from the Captain, they can often cause significant headaches to the uninitiated, so my advice is that if you are under 50 take your time and stick with manual tools.

    But I know how unappealing that can be...so here we go...

    most common air tool mistakes:

    ratchet changes direction as your jacking it into a tight spot in the hull and snaps off the faster you are trying to deal with

    ratchet works like a charm, but as the bolt spins out, the ratchet becomes trapped between the hull and fastener and it's very difficult to change direction under that circumstance

    same as above, but it's your hand gets caught between the tool and the hull as the bolt spins out

    back before fire was invented, i worked in a car shop. A co worker was installing a cross member and he got his finger stuck between a air tool driven bolt and the car frame.. Looking back it was somewhat hilarious, as he dropped the ratchet and his hand was literally bolted to the car he was working on. Luckily I didn't go to lunch with the other guys that day and came back from the head to hear him calling for help at the back of the shop He lost his fingertip.

    sure my air tool allowed me to remove a dozen difficult Allen bolts holding the carb in on older seadoos in mere minutes, but looking back it was barely worth it given the difficulty the tool introduced into some jobs

    most handy for spinning the bolts out of engine cases, pto covers and other multi bolt easy access jobs. A "butterfly" type air tool is a better choice for those applications.

    I'd use a 1/4 inch model to get my feet wet as they can certainly be handy on valve cover bolts.

    You need a good compressor to use one effectively a 5hp/20 gal would be the minimum. One of the better deal on the market is the ingersol rand 20 gal units ( run about $400) v twin compressor, great recover time and built like a tank. Mine is 12 years old and still runs like new. Well prices have gone up considerably for that bit..now looks like $700!

    remember you're not in a nascar race changing tire, you drop a specialty bolt or two in the hull you'll be sneering at your wrench in no time

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    I will mention that with stainless steel bolts and screws, especially the medium to smaller sizes, a power impact tool can twist the bolt head or snap the nut clean off using impact power.

    Or round out the Allen head hole in the bolt rather completely.

    If you are expecting a fight with a stainless steel fastener, plan your attack and methods carefully.

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  6. #5

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    I have a rebuilt 1951 Kellogg American 331TV 5hp 80 gallon industrial compressor. I use IR air tools, some of which are old rebuilt hand-me-downs from my father (ex-GM mechanic). I feel there's a time and a place for air tools.... but would never use them on aluminum parts, that's just what I was taught. Plus, working on the ski with my 15 y/o, using only hand tools teaches finesse and patience....which will serve him well for a lifetime.

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  8. #6
    mittens's Avatar
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    I use my 1/4 inch dewalt a lot.
    but normally for removal and spinning to snug then finishing by hand.

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  10. #7
    MSX 150 guy lives on Mr. GP1800's Avatar
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    I use a 1/4 hex drive impact driver to spin bolts out after breaking them loose by hand.
    Last edited by K447; 01-17-2021 at 05:42 PM.

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  12. #8
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    I use an impact driver to disassemble, and run bolts back in. BUT snug and torque by hand. I also recently got a li-ion rechargeable ratchet that I'm really learning to like.......no air hose in the way! I used it a bunch on a single charge yesterday. This Scout was 100% together at 10am yesterday and looked like this by 5pm....
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  14. #9
    I like using these tools (although I'm a cordless milwaukee M12/M18 addict) to DISASSEMBLE stuff.
    Maybe in certain situations to carefully run a difficult/long threaded fastener that I have already started by hand....but not torque it!
    Torque by hand, using loctite or whatever the manual calls for.
    Impact tools don't feel the beginning of a stainless bolt galling itself in aluminum.
    It is too easy to create a bad day for yourself trying to save a few minutes!! Just my .02!

  15. #10
    boudin's Avatar
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    3/8 DeWalt cordless impact to dissassemble. Will use to reassemble, but just to run the bolts in then hand tighten or torque.


    -Greg

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