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Old 03-20-2011, 03:12 PM   #1
DRTiraPiedra
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Question Air Compressor, Torque Wrench & Jacks

Picked up my wife's 2011 SWP WRX 5 doors. Taking the advice of this forum I have ordered a winter wheel package to use for when it snows.

My questions are as follows:

1) Reliable, low maintaince, durable air compressor? (to power torque wrench.)

2) Reliable, low maintaince, durable torque wrench? (to remove & install lugnuts.)

3) Reliable, durable, trustworthy Jack stands & jack? (to lift car as well as keep car in air so I can clean the undercarriage.)

I have a Harbor Freight Tools store within a 10 minute drive but I am willing to buy wherever.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:03 PM   #2
PARANOID56
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how big of compressor do you want? i have the 80gal 2stage one from home depot and love it, and its not that loud either.

i also have the husky torque wrench got that one mainly as it has a lifetime warranty unlike sears torque wrench (clicker type)

jack stands pick up the HF ones. i have a few sets and love them cheap yet strong.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:20 AM   #3
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I think you mean impact gun right?
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:57 AM   #4
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NEVER use a Tq wrench to take off or install lug nuts, only to do the final tightening, you will wear the springs out and the tq will not be accurate. I found to take off and install the best thing is a 4 way wrench, not as fast as an impact but you can take off and install lugs pretty damn fast without the risk of over tightening
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:21 PM   #5
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I've always had good luck with craftsman for the air compressor and jack stands. I'd suggest spending a bit extra to get a high quality torque wrench from snap-on, matco, mac, etc. I've had the locking collars on several craftsman torque wrenches break and they aren't covered under warranty.
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:26 PM   #6
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...you can't beat the HF aluminim racing jack. Don't spend the extra money on the rapid pump.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PARANOID56 View Post
how big of compressor do you want? i have the 80gal 2stage one from home depot and love it, and its not that loud either.

i also have the husky torque wrench got that one mainly as it has a lifetime warranty unlike sears torque wrench (clicker type)

jack stands pick up the HF ones. i have a few sets and love them cheap yet strong.
In terms of size I just need something that can store enough air to remove and reinstall the eight wheels. I'm really only going to use it for both of our wrx's as the seasons change between summer and winter.

I'll look up the husky brand. Lifetime warranty works for me.

Which ones at HF? They all look like they'll have to be replaced every few years.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonklein611 View Post
I think you mean impact gun right?
An impact wrench (also known as an impactor, air wrench, air gun, rattle gun, torque gun) goes by many names, so yes my torque gun aka impact wrench.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razrielle View Post
NEVER use a Tq wrench to take off or install lug nuts, only to do the final tightening, you will wear the springs out and the tq will not be accurate. I found to take off and install the best thing is a 4 way wrench, not as fast as an impact but you can take off and install lugs pretty damn fast without the risk of over tightening
Over tightening only occurs when the operator of the torque gun fails to use the correct torque specs for the vehicle. I am only going to use it after I have finger tighten the lugnuts.

I am not going to jeopardize my wife and daughters' safety to spare the life of some replaceable springs.

Do you have any idea how exhausting it is to jack up a car on all four loosen and remove 20 lugnuts to switch out four wheels to reinstall 20 lugnuts and retighten them with enough force so that they don't fly off the car when the car is being driven?
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boost junkie View Post
I've always had good luck with craftsman for the air compressor and jack stands. I'd suggest spending a bit extra to get a high quality torque wrench from snap-on, matco, mac, etc. I've had the locking collars on several craftsman torque wrenches break and they aren't covered under warranty.
Thanks for the info I'll look into craftsman and snap-on. Maintaince and reliability wise how have they held up for you?
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by thrdeye View Post
...you can't beat the HF aluminim racing jack. Don't spend the extra money on the rapid pump.
I was looking at those I know I need something low profile since these cars sit lower than my last vehicle. Do you have anything you can recommend from your experiences?
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:36 PM   #12
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I would go the electric torque gun route however I'd need the air compressor to fill up the tires too. I figure I can switch them out, fill them up and inspect them without having to lower the car and drive anywhere. I'm not lazy just OCD when it comes to my families' safety.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRTiraPiedra View Post
Over tightening only occurs when the operator of the torque gun fails to use the correct torque specs for the vehicle. I am only going to use it after I have finger tighten the lugnuts.

I am not going to jeopardize my wife and daughters' safety to spare the life of some replaceable springs.

Do you have any idea how exhausting it is to jack up a car on all four loosen and remove 20 lugnuts to switch out four wheels to reinstall 20 lugnuts and retighten them with enough force so that they don't fly off the car when the car is being driven?
I think he was referring to this:





Not this:

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Old 03-22-2011, 04:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRTiraPiedra View Post
Do you have any idea how exhausting it is to jack up a car on all four loosen and remove 20 lugnuts to switch out four wheels to reinstall 20 lugnuts and retighten them with enough force so that they don't fly off the car when the car is being driven?
Really? Marginally more exhausting than using an impact. How often are you planning on doing this?

Anyway, whatever you do, DON'T buy the Craftsman aluminum jacks. Look at the reviews on Sears' website to find out why. Any jack stands are fine. There isn't much to them, especially if you're just lifting your car high enough to change tires. I have a 26 gallon Craftsman compressor that works fine for me. I wish it had a higher volume output, but for the couple hundred bucks I paid I can't complain.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:26 PM   #15
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Really? Marginally more exhausting than using an impact. How often are you planning on doing this?

Anyway, whatever you do, DON'T buy the Craftsman aluminum jacks. Look at the reviews on Sears' website to find out why. Any jack stands are fine. There isn't much to them, especially if you're just lifting your car high enough to change tires. I have a 26 gallon Craftsman compressor that works fine for me. I wish it had a higher volume output, but for the couple hundred bucks I paid I can't complain.
Marginally? Just so I understand to you it's marginally better using a torque gun, that within itself generates the forces needed to loosen & retighten wheel lugnuts vs a human having to do this by hand with a tool that won't assist you ie: a tire cross? You did read I own two WRX's and that I will need to do this at the beginning and end of summer on both cars every year?

That's 40 lugnuts to loosen & retighten, jacking up the cars removing and installing wheels, adjusting tire pressures and inspecting both wheels off car as well as the wheels on the car. All this during the course of a Sunday.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:42 PM   #16
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What you just described is a half hour process you'll be doing in mild temperatures. I do it 4 times a month in the summer and never thought it was so overwhelming. A PITA for sure, but exhausting? And none of those tools are going to help with removing and installing wheels, which is the most burdensome step. I'd suggest taking it to a tire place if it's that big of a deal. Shouldn't cost more than a rotation would.

You're welcome for my answers to your questions. If you'd like more: Don't buy a Harbor Freight torque wrench; you'd be better off tightening them by feel. I have a Craftsman torque wrench I'm happy with. I picked up a HF jack on the way home tonight. I'll let you know how I like it. HF jack stands are fine.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #17
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you can use whatever you like **EXCEPT a torque wrench** to remove them - but really you should get off your high horse here and listen to what folks are trying to tell you about torquing them up

using an impact gun to tighten lugnuts IS likely to overtorque and stretch the threads - in the long term this is EXACTLY what causes problems with lugnuts coming loose - THIS is what is going to jeopardize your wife and daughters' safety here

it should take very little effort to spin lugnuts on by hand and then just torque them up with a proper torque wrench - PROVIDED the studs are clean, dry and undamaged - even running open ended nuts up here in the salt belt I've never had a problem

snug them in a 'star' pattern and then torque them to spec, again in a star pattern - it's recommended to check / re-torque after 100m or so but tbh I've never had one come loose yet

fwiw I have a Makita MAC2400 + IR 2100G composite impact but I find it's barely worth hauling them out of the basement just for a wheel change - it's a nice combo for tougher jobs though


** using either a dial-type or click-type torque wrench will likely screw up the calibration and brick it

Last edited by UkNuck; 03-22-2011 at 09:35 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRTiraPiedra View Post
Over tightening only occurs when the operator of the torque gun fails to use the correct torque specs for the vehicle. I am only going to use it after I have finger tighten the lugnuts.

I am not going to jeopardize my wife and daughters' safety to spare the life of some replaceable springs.

Do you have any idea how exhausting it is to jack up a car on all four loosen and remove 20 lugnuts to switch out four wheels to reinstall 20 lugnuts and retighten them with enough force so that they don't fly off the car when the car is being driven?
In fact I do know how exhausting it is, I worked around in a street sweeping gig helping the mechanic before I joined up in the Air Force. That is the exact reason I suggested the 4 way wrench.

To me when you say Tq wrench, I think of the hand operated one, not air powered, either way, you NEVER loosen with it, thats the best way to ensure your Tq measurements get thrown off, Ask me how I know this. I would only use an impact gun to loosen, never tighten. If you want to use the impact gun, I would HIGHLY suggest getting some of these at least
Amazon.com: Neiko Heavy-Duty Torque Stick, 1/2-Inch Drive Extension Bars 60 to 140 Ft Lbs - Chrome Molybdenum: Home ImprovementAmazon.com: Neiko Heavy-Duty Torque Stick, 1/2-Inch Drive Extension Bars 60 to 140 Ft Lbs - Chrome Molybdenum: Home Improvement
I personally do not have any experience with them but if they work how they are supposed to, you dont have to worry about over tightening lugs, but I would always double check with a hand operated Tq wrench.

C/N: Use impact gun to take off bolts, Use 4 way to install them, Use HAND Tq wrench to get final Tq

Last edited by razrielle; 03-22-2011 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:05 AM   #19
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What you just described is a half hour process you'll be doing in mild temperatures. I do it 4 times a month in the summer and never thought it was so overwhelming. A PITA for sure, but exhausting? And none of those tools are going to help with removing and installing wheels, which is the most burdensome step. I'd suggest taking it to a tire place if it's that big of a deal. Shouldn't cost more than a rotation would.

You're welcome for my answers to your questions. If you'd like more: Don't buy a Harbor Freight torque wrench; you'd be better off tightening them by feel. I have a Craftsman torque wrench I'm happy with. I picked up a HF jack on the way home tonight. I'll let you know how I like it. HF jack stands are fine.
Thanks for answering my questions and I rather trust myself to do it rather than have some stranger do it. How am I to know that they were focused and Did the best job they could? They might be half assing it. From my experiences delivery auto parts 95% of the time they are doing multiple things to earn as much as they can within a certain time frame.

I'll go and look at what HF has in the store. What model did you buy?
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRTiraPiedra View Post
How am I to know that they were focused and Did the best job they could? They might be half assing it.
...
I'll go and look at what HF has in the store. What model did you buy?
Agreed. I was on the road and had someone change my oil once. For the rest of the 7 years no one has touched my car but me.

This is the jack I bought. So far so good.

My parents bought me a 2 ton Craftsman aluminum jack for a birthday or Christmas or something a few years ago. It leaks like a sieve, lifts poorly, the handle at the back fell out (and then the jack on to a friend's foot). They're just junk. While trying to find a manual to tell me how to service it (no guarantee from Sears, no rebuilt kit available) I found the user reviews. Looks like it's up to 2/5 stars now, but it was below that when I first looked.

At autox, for a while, I would break the lugs with my cross bar and use an electric torque wrench. It didn't have the power to break them but it made changing tires a bit easier, and I didn't have to worry about over tightening them when I put them back on.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:07 AM   #21
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you can use whatever you like **EXCEPT a torque wrench** to remove them - but really you should get off your high horse here and listen to what folks are trying to tell you about torquing them up

using an impact gun to tighten lugnuts IS likely to overtorque and stretch the threads - in the long term this is EXACTLY what causes problems with lugnuts coming loose - THIS is what is going to jeopardize your wife and daughters' safety here

it should take very little effort to spin lugnuts on by hand and then just torque them up with a proper torque wrench - PROVIDED the studs are clean, dry and undamaged - even running open ended nuts up here in the salt belt I've never had a problem

snug them in a 'star' pattern and then torque them to spec, again in a star pattern - it's recommended to check / re-torque after 100m or so but tbh I've never had one come loose yet

fwiw I have a Makita MAC2400 + IR 2100G composite impact but I find it's barely worth hauling them out of the basement just for a wheel change - it's a nice combo for tougher jobs though


** using either a dial-type or click-type torque wrench will likely screw up the calibration and brick it
I'm not on a high horse my sincerest apologies if that's how you feel Im acting. I'm not a noob when it comes to changing out tires, however the traditional way of doing it is not for me. What you described is exactly what I am going to do. I'm not going to use the torque gun excessively. If a lugnut has been overtightened by the dealership I rather have the correct tools needed to assist me in the removal. The less I have to depend on the dealership the better.

I'll look into the setup that you have since it will be kept in the garage it will not be an inconvenience.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:42 AM   #22
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If you want to save some time by putting the lug nuts back on with an impact, you could use a torque stick that's rated for slightly below the recommended torque, then go back and use a torque wrench for final tightening.

http://www.torquestick.com/cart/55-f...-LETTER-S.html
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:31 PM   #23
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Please, do not consider even using an impact wrench for installation. I have never seen a impact gun rated for accurate torque. Theres a reason why the majority of shops still use hand torque wrenches. The only time I ever use an impact wrench is for removal, the reason is already stated above, it will stretch out the threads of the studs. As stated above I would never buy anything that needs a halfway precise measurement from HF, there is a reason the tools are so cheap.

You're saying that you don't want to half-ass it and are looking out for the safety of your wife and child, that is why were telling you what we are. I understand that yes an impact gun is easier, trust me, truck tires aint that easy to remove and install, But the easiest way isnt always the best way.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:02 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by razrielle View Post
In fact I do know how exhausting it is, I worked around in a street sweeping gig helping the mechanic before I joined up in the Air Force. That is the exact reason I suggested the 4 way wrench.

To me when you say Tq wrench, I think of the hand operated one, not air powered, either way, you NEVER loosen with it, thats the best way to ensure your Tq measurements get thrown off, Ask me how I know this. I would only use an impact gun to loosen, never tighten. If you want to use the impact gun, I would HIGHLY suggest getting some of these at least
Amazon.com: Neiko Heavy-Duty Torque Stick, 1/2-Inch Drive Extension Bars 60 to 140 Ft Lbs - Chrome Molybdenum: Home Improvement
I personally do not have any experience with them but if they work how they are supposed to, you dont have to worry about over tightening lugs, but I would always double check with a hand operated Tq wrench.

C/N: Use impact gun to take off bolts, Use 4 way to install them, Use HAND Tq wrench to get final Tq
Thanks for all the info, so if I'm going to buy a torque gun air powered is the best way to go? I'll buy what you've suggested and will pm with my review, I'll do a test run with all the equipment once I get it.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:03 PM   #25
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I got this Jack from Sams club for around $75 I think..



Its heavy, but works great.
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