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  #1  
Old 04-25-2003, 02:37 PM
LarryBible
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Anybody \Use a 1/4" Air Ratchet?

I bought a tiny little 14" drive air ratchet and gathered up a few of the larger size sockets that are not typically in a 1/4" set. I got 1/2 9/16 5/8 11MM 12MM 13MM 14MM and 15MM.

When I was putting the water pump in my 300E was the first time I really got some use out of it. The tiny little thing will fit into some tight places where running a nut or bolt with a wrench or ratchet is somewhere between very slow and impossible.

This little thing REALLY saved me some time.

The only thing I found out later was that you can get the same exact ratchet in 3/8 drive which would've kept me from having to chase down these odd size 1/4" sockets.

Anyway, just wanted to share my experience with it.

Have a great day,

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  #2  
Old 04-25-2003, 02:41 PM
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I have one too, and love it! I also have one the same size, but it's a 3/8" drive.
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  #3  
Old 04-25-2003, 03:34 PM
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The 1/4" air ratchet is a great item to have. Don't know about yours but my Snap-on one is loud as all hell!
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Old 04-25-2003, 04:00 PM
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That's good to know. I was wondering about those things. Any worries about over-tightening fasteners?
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2003, 08:31 PM
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I've been thinking about getting an air ratchet. It's been years since I used one, kinda got gun shy after the first attempt. I managed to start with the only frozen bolt on a Chrysler alternator bracket and promptly broke my fingers when the darn thing came around , of course back then I was too dumb to let go of it. I'm not finding any frozen bolts on either Benz and the air ratchet would make for rapid disassembly.
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Old 04-26-2003, 12:32 AM
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Larry

A mechanic friend inherited a lot of very nice tools and since he already has a fortune invested in nice tools, sold me some of his "extras" Among them was a Snap On 1/4 air ratchet. Very handy, used it to get an oil cooler out. I also got a 1/2" impact wrench so when i needed to remove a heavy guard for a hydraulic pump on my tractor .. .Wow.. wish I had that when I had to take one of the back tires off last fall. I had never realized how nice these air tools are.
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2003, 07:46 AM
LarryBible
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As air wrenches go, the 1/4" is a specialty item. It is probably the last one you would buy. It's really only good for running bolts where you can't run them efficiently any other way. It only makes 18 ft. lbs of torque. But in one of those places where you have to fumble with an end wrench just to get 1/12th of a turn, it is a real time saver.

My first impact wrench was an Ingersol 1/2" that I got in the mid seventies. What a beauty, but it only works in open places. Greaft for lugs, head bolts and the like.

Then I got a 3/8" butterfly in the late seventies, early eighties. This is great for areas that are a little tight. It handles easily, simple and makes an amazing amount of torque.

Then about 15 years ago I got a 3/8 air ratchet. I had used my Dad's a few times when helping him but was never really impressed. But once I got my own I grew fond of it. You can break something loose like a regular ratchet, then run it at a medium speed, not near as fast as the butterfly. The real beauty of the 3/8 ratchet is that you can assemble with it if you're careful. You can run the fastener with the air then tighten it by hand so that you can feel how tight so that you don't overtighten.

Now that I have the 1/4" I have a pretty good collection.

I have put swivel connector pigtail hoses on all of them which makes them except the 1/2" which makes them a little more manueverable.

If I had it to do over though, and had known it existed, I would've bought the 3/8" version of my 1//4" air ratchet. That way I would not have had to gather up the large 1/4" drive sockets.

Have a great day,
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  #8  
Old 04-26-2003, 11:17 AM
Charlie Mitchel
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air ratchet:

What brand did you buy?
The one twenty years ago would't break nut loose. You had to hand break them then use the ratchet.
Charlie
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  #9  
Old 04-26-2003, 07:13 PM
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Larry:

When I inquired about preferences in air tools on the Ritter/Easley list, Stu said he uses the air ratchet a lot. He also said that they are basically a consumable item, so do not get too hung up on brands. The thread is in the archives there titled: "[MB] Air Tool Brand Names (marginally on topic)"

-Scott
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2003, 08:38 PM
LarryBible
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Charlie,

That's the way you use an air ratchet. You tighten and loosen by hand so you can bust something loose that's really stuck and you hand tighten so you can feel that you are getting it the right tightness.

That's the beauty of an air ratchet.

I bought a Campbell Hausfeld. It was a little over $30. It's not the cheapest nor the most expensive.

Good luck,
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2003, 10:31 AM
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Walmart does the Campbell Housefield and you can get the Ingersoll-Rand at Sears.

The air ratchets are as fragile as hand ratchets and, like a hand ratchet, you get what you pay for. $100-$150 will last a lifetime if you keep it clean and oiled, and the new ones can't really be called "knuckle busters" anymore.

The IR-2131 has become the weapon of choice for the 1/2 inch impacts, and can do 450 ft-lb forward and 600 ft-lb reverse with very little kick, which is plenty for any home work. It can hit so hard that the socket will spark the nut/bolt. Sears sells the same thing with their sticker on it for about $180. My old Chicago Pneumatic got junked.

If you do a lot of work then consider an oiler, which looks like a water separator. Otherwise oil by hand.
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  #12  
Old 04-28-2003, 07:13 AM
LarryBible
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I agree that the Ingersol are some of the very best. If the day comes when I am doing car work for a living (and given the state of the company I work for that day may not be too far off) I will replace my air wrench set with Ingersols as my cheap ones wear out. For my occasional use, the cheap ones are hanging in there okay.

The fact that I lube them whenever I use them doesn't hurt anything either.

Have a great day,
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  #13  
Old 04-28-2003, 10:35 AM
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Re: air ratchet:

Quote:
Originally posted by Charlie Mitchel
What brand did you buy?
The one twenty years ago would't break nut loose. You had to hand break them then use the ratchet.
Charlie
Yah, these little things aren't really for breaking stubborn nuts loose. I do the same thing, and I have Ingersols. But they're great for runnung the nuts off the rest of the way, and putting stuff back together. They seem to tighten things better than break them loose.

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past MB rides:
'68 220D
'68 220D(another one)
'67 230
'84 SD
Current rides:
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'93 Ford F-250
'96 Corvette
'99 Polaris 700 RMK sled
2011 Polaris Assault
'86 Yamaha TT350(good 'ol thumper)
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