How to repair air tools?

Discussion in 'Workshop and Home Improvement' started by Wile E Coyote, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Dave's not here! SILVER Star

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    3,114
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    It's hard for me to throw anything away, hence this question. My 5-ish yrs old Crapsman air ratchet has apparently taken a dump. I can hold the socket adapter still with my fingers, it's so weak. I took it apart, cleaned the fouling out and inspected it for any obvious bad seals, etc, but didn't find anything outta place. (Didn't really see any seals to suspect, as a matter-of-fact) I'll presume the 'pneumatic motor' (best name I can muster) is bad and the ratchet is toast unless anyone else can chime in?
  2. -Spike-

    -Spike-

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    Paging Tools R Us to aisle 5. :D

    Sir, there will be someone here shortly to assist you.

    -Spike
  3. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    The vanes wear in most pneumatic tools. They look fine but they are smaller and thinner than they should be.

    Check the price of the replacement parts against the price of a new ratchet. They shold offer a vane kit for it.
  4. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Dave's not here! SILVER Star

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    3,114
    Location:
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    Yeah, the vanes inside what I'm calling the 'motor'...Everything else looked servicable, ie. gears intact, head still in great shape. This was a "promo" tool from Sears, and from prior experience, promo's lack the support of the regular lines, but I'll look into a vane kit for it.
    Thanks :cheers:
  5. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

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    :whoops: I guess I don’t get to aisle 5 enough!:p

    90% if the time this symptom is caused by insufficient tension on the head stationary springs (the springs next to the output anvil in the pic). Their job is to provide drag on the head, if they are weak, when the yoke turns (the part with the gear teeth in the inside that goes around the head) the head turns with it and doesn’t catch the next tooth.

    This can be caused by weak/collapsed springs or the spreading and/or wear on the head frame. To check the frame, insert the yoke, the frame should be even, parallel with it, also look where the top of the head contacts the frame, sometimes the head wears the frame allowing slop. If the frame is spread, it can be carefully bent back in a press or vice, but it’s life will be shorter, :hillbilly: temporary fix. If the frame looks good it’s probably the springs, they can be replaced or slightly stretch them by using wire cutting pliers between each coil. Stretching them is also a :hillbilly: temporary fix, but is effective and can last pretty well. Also check the balls that go on the springs, they are known to wear flat, reducing the tension, most of them are common .155” ball bearings.

    Most Crapmen ratchets are like the design pictured, but depending on the manufacturer of your it may be a different design, if your head doesn’t look like the pictured one post a pic and we will get into how to fix the other types.
    107xp_head_p.jpg
  6. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

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    Location:
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    The air motors in ratchets are not very stressed, unless rusted, most of the time they last the life of the tool.

    On “less quality” ratchets the yokes are soft and the gear can get warn, causing the head to slip, the same goes for the pawl gear(s) in the head.

    When the head is installed, the tension springs should about even with the bores, the balls should be setting outside of the bores. When the thrust washer is installed it should be even or slightly proud of the surface of the frame and needs to be compressed to get the snap-ring in place.
    107xp_head1.jpg 107xp_head2.jpg 107xp_head3.jpg
  7. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Dave's not here! SILVER Star

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    Just checked back to see that Da Masta has arrived! Thanks for the detailed advice.
    Your pics look like my offender, so I'll disassemble the head and check it as described.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  8. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Dave's not here! SILVER Star

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    3,114
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    Spent some quality time with the ratchet, and it will now live to fight another day! Thanks again.
  9. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

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    17,946
    Location:
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    Good deal!

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