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Technical Impact wrench - repair or replace?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dave Downs, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. Dave Downs
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 885

    Dave Downs
    from S.E. Penna

    A5F16D84-810A-47A7-B66F-67D9567F3B27.jpeg I have a NAPA impact wrench I’ve been using for 30+ years that suddenly stopped working. It sounds like it is running on low air pressure, it turns slowly and does not energize the hammers.

    The manual mentions a filter/screen under the air connection but the fitting seems to be frozen/seized in the handle and I can’t get it to turn.

    The manual also gives a part number for a repair kit but the local NAPA store hasn’t responded to my request.

    I’d hate to toss it for some minor repairable problem.
  2. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,140


    As much as I do not want to say this but...... Go to Harbor Freight and buy one of the Earthquake impacts. You will never look back.
    Gasser 57, JeffB2, slowmotion and 4 others like this.
  3. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,958

    from Michigan

    It can be repaired and last another 30 more years....
  4. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,382


    My only experiment with repairing an impact didn't work out. A friend was doing a deep clean and purge of things in his shop. I got an old IR impact and bought a repair kit. Installed it as best as I thought was correct and it still doesn't have much break-away torque at all. I break bolts/nuts loose with a breaker bar, sometime using a cheater pipe, and if I use the impact it's only to speed some nuts or bolts on or off, always using a ratchet to do final tightening. I've put up with not having a working impact for years but as much as I dislike throwing things away I'm cleaning now and might just toss the old impact in the scrap metal, recycling bucket today.

    If you get yours working, more power to you!

    Deuces, nochop and Desoto291Hemi like this.

  5. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,127


    I would think that after 30 years of service it's just worn out. Time for an upgrade.
    I know you probably want one that's air driven but, consider replacing it with a battery powered impact wrench. There are many great ones on the market. Plus, you can carry it in your trunk in case you have a flat tire on the road. Makes things a lot easier. Look here:
    Lone Star Mopar and dan c like this.
  6. uncleandy 65
    Joined: Jan 14, 2013
    Posts: 3,524

    uncleandy 65

    When I worked at Napa they had a lifetime guarantee on all their tools. Maybe that has changed..
    kidcampbell71 and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,348


    Take it apart, see what's wrong with it....

    then go buy a new one.
  8. It could be the screen ,,,but I suspect your problem is in that little turn knob on the side .
    There are not a lot of parts inside an impact,,,,and I’m certain that air fitting bushing is pretty tight .
    But it can all easily be taken apart,,,it’s already inoperable,,,you can’t hurt it more .

    Oh yeah,,,if all else fails,,,,,like the man said,,,,my Earthquake works great .
    The new ones are really bad dudes .

  9. 37 caddy
    Joined: Mar 4, 2010
    Posts: 388

    37 caddy
    from PEI Canada

    i have a old snap-on impact,when it starts to get tired,i give it a squirt of Marvel Mystery Oil. it clears it self out and works like a new one.I have run some brake cleaner through it first to clean it out,the vanes get gummed up,and wont spin to let the air work.I never use the air tool oil,i find it helps to gum it up faster.Try it and see if it helps,you have nothing to lose. Harvey
    bobss396, Desoto291Hemi and squirrel like this.
  10. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,399


    Depends upon how much you're attached to it. Unless you are confident of your ability to rebuild (assuming you can get a kit), your time and money will be better spent with a replacement.
  11. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,390

    from Oregon

    Like Squirrel stated, take it apart and have a look see. On a side note , i went to a garage sale years ago and bought a like new Chicago Electric (Harbor Freight)1/2 impact and it will take off a rusted lug nut off a rusted stud with no effort . The nice thing is the switch is a rocker style that you control the forward/reverse and has a lot of torque .
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  12. TRENDZ
    Joined: Oct 16, 2018
    Posts: 289


    That is a re- branded Ingersoll Rand ir231.
    Parts are readily available.
    Hammer pins are the common thing to break. Cheap to repair.
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,348


    it does look just like my 30 year old Mac....

    btw, how have you treated it? Regular oiling? nice dry clean air?
    Deuces, 5window and firstinsteele like this.
  14. When did you last oil it.?

    Deuces likes this.
  15. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,676


    My old boss used to say, "If I can't fix it I can F it up so no one can fix it"
    Hotrodmyk likes this.
  16. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,230

    from illinois

    The problem with battery operated tools is..........the battery . They're never ever charged when you need them ....
  17. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,675

    from Napa

    I started with a DeWalt 20V Max brushless drill, worked great and very strong- so got the sawzall- also great. 6-1/2" circular saw-check. So tried the 1/2" impact- and it is stronger than my IR air gun. In fact, not sure where the IR is.. When I go somewhere with the duallie and trailer, the DeWalt gun and impact sockets go with me with the jack and spare
    Hnstray likes this.
  18. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 21,040

    Staff Member

    A similar thing happened to me about a year ago. I have a snap on floor jack that is essentially a rebranded walker. I have owned it since the '80's and it has been a good jack. It had developed a leak and was leaving oil everywhere I parked it, and I thought of buying a new one, until I realized that anything I would have replaced it with would probably be made in China. So I ordered a rebuild kit that cost something like 30 bucks. I spent a few hours working on it and it is like new again... I bet it will last me another 30 years.. I say take your impact apart and inspect it. I bet the vanes are worn or gummed up. Buy a kit and repair it
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
    reagen, Deuces, Landmule and 7 others like this.
  19. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,230

    from illinois

    At my age , my times not worth much + I try to fix everything because I have no money to buy new..........Kit ? I fix stuff with wd40 , duct tape and whatever I can find that will work , bailing wire , epoxy , the list goes on ......
    reagen, Deuces, 61Cruiser and 3 others like this.
  20. harpo1313
    Joined: Jan 4, 2008
    Posts: 2,159

    from wareham,ma

    If you have been using it for that long , tearing it down should be enjoyable .
    Deuces and kidcampbell71 like this.
  21. They are rebuildable, and it might just have stuck vanes, or air leak inside. Try running Marvel Mystery Oil in through the air inlet. Letting it soak for a while. Sometimes, that will loosen it up enough.
    Deuces likes this.
  22. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,576

    from kansas

    I'd say if it worked good one day and then started messing up the next I'd bet a stuck and or dirty vanes.

    First thing I do is no air, pull the trigger, insert carb cleaner or brake clean nozzle deep into air inlet and pull trigger until fluid and dirt come out vents. After a minute or so I then go to wd40 for a minute or so.

    Once I've done that, I hook up the air hose and pull the trigger. Let it run a few seconds then hit reverse, do it a couple times. Once that's done then I put either trans fluid or air tool oil thru it and pull the trigger, forward-reverse a few times and it's usually good to go.

    If that doesn't work, rebuild time or replacement....
    Hnstray and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  23. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,230

    from illinois

    PB Blaster makes an air tool conditioner that cleans them out pretty well ....
    Deuces likes this.
  24. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,198

    dan c

    speaking of batteries, they ususally cost as much or more than the tool they're powering...
    reagen, Deuces and Driver50x like this.
  25. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,262


    That looks like an Ingersol Rand, probably relabeled for NAPA. They are good impacts, I'd get it rebuilt.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
  26. TRENDZ
    Joined: Oct 16, 2018
    Posts: 289


    If air blows through it with no anvil action, the problem is in the hammer side, not the motor side. Counter intuitive, I know.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  27. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,578

    Bandit Billy

    Did ya paint it metal flake, stripe it and chrome the wheels while you were at it?
    Joined: Feb 16, 2016
    Posts: 92


    IR used to have a repair center in White House TN. Had a friend of a friend that worked there. I understand they did factory rebuilds and did not charge outrageous prices. I have several IR air tools and would get that built. No way I'd do a HF impact-if anything goes wrong you'll never get parts for that.
  29. Dave Downs
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 885

    Dave Downs
    from S.E. Penna

    Been busy today, just saw replies, in no particular order-

    Oiled regularly, dry air maybe not so much.

    Had it apart, nothing broken, everything clean but oily, no dirt/sludge. No stuck, broken vanes.

    Tried to take air valve off, it is held on with small hex socket, can’t turn it

    Motor spins, but slow, sounds like it’s running on about 30 psi, wonder if I’ve got an air supply problem?? Blow gun seem to work OK but maybe not enough volume.

    Gonna take it apart again, try to blow air back thru valve and inlet in slight chance something is clogging air passages in gun.

    Thanks to all for replies.
    Deuces likes this.
  30. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,745

    Alliance Vendor

    Like most stuck things, "HEAT IS MAGIC"!

    Many air tools have fittings that are installed with some type of sealer. To break the bond, heat the housing where the fitting goes in. You're not trying to melt it, just warm it enough to 1) make the sealer give up and 2) expand the aluminum housing away from the steel fitting. I use the '3 times is the charm' method. Heat it, let it cool to the touch, do it again and on the third heating unscrew the fitting. If that doesn't work, send it to me and I'll remove the fitting and send it back, no charge!

    If you have a temperature gun, 350 is the good number for aluminum.
    Hnstray and Algoma56 like this.

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