Cordless Impact Wrench Review

Dewalt cordless impact wrench

 

Update: June 24, 2017 – 1 year later. I’ve used this gun a lot in the past year and I swear it’s just as powerful as the day I got it. I will say the only negative about this tool is the button to switch directions is too close to the trigger and sometimes I accidently hit and turn the nut the wrong way. But that’s it. The rest of this tool is perfect.  

Most of the last 37 years in auto repair I’ve used Ingersol-Rand impact guns. A few years back I bought an 18-volt cordless impact from Matco Tools. It was very impressive. And very expensive. After about a year and a half, I had to have it rebuilt.
Recently I got a new Dewalt 20-volt 1/2 impact wrench. Oh. My. God. It’s amazing how powerful it is. And since it’s brushless, hopefully, it will last a long time before having to be replaced.  But even if I have to buy a new gun every year or so it will be worth it since it’s over 50 percent less cost than  the 18v Matco gun I first bought.  Plus, the Dewalt gun is shorter and easier to get into tight places. And the most powerful impact wrench I’ve ever used.
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Toyota Tacoma Wheel Bearing Replacement How To

Bad wheel bearings are a pretty common problem on late model Toyota trucks. Especially if the truck has over size tires  and wheels on it.

The good news is there is now a complete hub and bearing assembly ready to bolt on. Until recently it was a total pain in the ass to replace the wheel bearing on late model Tacoma’s and 4Runners. Now, it’s simple. Amazon has them.

4 Tips How To Get The Most Miles Out Of Your Tires

There are 4 things that must be done when installing a new set of tires so that you can get the most miles out of them. And one of them should be done monthly.

The 4 things you should do are:

  1. Set tire pressure monthly
  2. Balance tires every 15 to 18,000 miles
  3. Rotate tires every other oil change
  4. Check the alignment annually

Of course new tires should always be balanced and the vehicles wheel alignment should be checked at that time. I have folks call me all worried they can’t get in right away to check the alignment, I tell them not to worry, but do get it done within the first couple hundred miles.

Check Your Tire Pressure Monthly

The biggest thing problem I see on my customers vehicles on a regular basis is low tire pressure. That is the number 1 cause of premature tire wear. Not to mention it costs them extra in fuel. At the price of gas these days it’s even more important to keep the tires aired up.

Balance Your Tires Every 15,000 to 18,000 Miles

The reason you balance tires is because your vehicle will shake like a Chihuahua on a cold morning if you don’t. It’s not good for the tire and it’s not good for your vehicles suspension. It will put flat spots in the tread of the tire and cause your vehicle to have a noisy bumpy ride.

Rotate Your Tires Every Other Oil Change

That’s the easiest way for me to remember when to swap the tires front to back. Your owners manual will usually have a fancy diagram showing how to rotate the spare in and cross the two front on the 3rd Tuesday of the month of the full moon. See photo below. Me, I just swap’em front to back and call it a day. I say every other oil change because for most folks that’s about 7500 miles which is about the time to rotate tires. Unless, you’re running an off road mudder, then I’d be inclined to swap them every oil change. It will keep the lugs on the front tires from wearing all weird and causing a lot of noise. Or more noise if probably closer to the truth.

Check The Wheel Alignment

OK, what I’m about to tell you might not make the people who sold you the tires happy. If, and this is a biggy, your old tires wore perfectly. Do not let their alignment donkey anywhere near your ride.  I can call them that because in the 31 plus years I’ve been doing alignments I’ve met less than 10 guys (mechanics) out of 100 that really knew what they were doing when it comes to wheel alignment. If your guy is telling you it’s all about they have the “alignment machine”,  I got news for you, your guy’s an idiot and your tires are going to last longer by keeping him away from them.

But, if your old tires wore irregularly, then you have nothing to lose by letting the shop do an alignment and by all means have them do it. If there is an alignment shop in your area, go to them, it will cost you less in the long run.

Tire Rotation Diagram

 

 

 

 

 

Where Should The New Tires Go If I’m Only Buying 2?

Let me start off by giving you the answer. The new tires should always go on the rear.  Now all of you old timers give me a minute to explain before you go this guy’s full of crap and click away.

I was as many of you were taught that the new tires should go in the front. Well, things change, now we’ve learned that it’s actually better to put them on the rear. I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen the video with my own eyes proving that in fact, putting the new tires on rear is the best thing to do.

Michelin took 2 identical cars and on one car they put 2 new tires on the front, and on the other they put the new tires on the rear. Then they took them to the track and watered down a sweeping turn and proceeded to drive each vehicle at the same speed excessive speed through the corner and guess what? The car with the new tires on the front spun out.  Watch the video and you’ll become a believer too.

 

I sure was glad when I found this video, now when I have a customer complain about having new tires installed on the rear, I just have them watch the video. That pretty much always changes their thinking.

Online Repair Manuals vs Paper

I have 2 different view points about repair manuals. As a professional, online is the only way to go. I use Alldata’s professional version in the shop every day.

But I still remember the days before computers and having to buy books. I still cherish the first manual I ever bought, it’s a Chilton’s 1976 repair manual.  I needed it so I could change the clutch in my first car, a 69 Roadrunner. This is the part where a lot of older guys say “I wish I still had that car”. Not me, it was a piece of crap with bondo in the right rear quarter panel… OK, I lied, I really do wish I still had that car. 😎

Even to this day I still bust out the old Chilton’s about once a year to look something up that the online version of Alldata doesn’t show. Alldata only goes back to 1982.

But the problem with printed manuals is the amount of space they would take up in my shop to cover all the different models of vehicles that I work on.

Free Online Manuals Or Paid?

I’ve looked at the top 2 website listings in the search engines to see what kind of free auto repair info you can get when you enter “free  auto repair manuals” and let me tell you, it’s crap. Worth exactly what I paid for it, nothing.  Don’t waste your time with those types of sites.

You can get free info, but you have to go to the library to get it. Some library’s have subscriptions to professional automotive information sites like Mitchell On Demand or Alldatapro. This is the same industry standard repair info that I use on a daily basis and I have to pay about $170 per month at the time of this writing.

That’s what I miss about books, you buy it once and you own it for ever, just like the manual I bought when I was 16 years old. I still got it. But I digress…

Obviously you don’t need to sign up for a pro level subscription just to work on the family vehicle. Heck, you don’t if you work on a fleet of one or two makes, I’ll explain.

Alldata offers a do it yourself online version for somewhere around $18 to $20 and it’s for only one model of vehicle. So if you own a 96 Bronco for example, you buy a 1 year subscription and Alldata gives you access to all of their online repair information for your Bronco. You get access to everything that the professional shop does. It’s the exact same info.

I know this because for a 5 year period I downsized my shop to just me and I only bought 1 year subscriptions when I had something off the wall that I needed repair info for.

And the great thing about doing it that away is, you can buy additional models for only $14.95 ea.  So I was only doing that about once or twice a month for a few years. That’s a whole lot cheaper than $170 per month.

But now that I’m ramping back up with employees and doing more different types of maintenance and repairs, I had to step back up to the pro-version because I use it daily.

Earlier I mentioned if you were working on a fleet you could use the Alldata do it yourself version. There’s no point in paying full pop when you only need info for a couple of models.

Online Repair Manuals

Pros: Latest up to date repair info including technical service bulletins from the factory and recalls. Factory maintenance schedules and a bunch of other cool stuff that’s not included in a paper manual.

Cons: You have to renew subscription every year, even for only one  model. You never own it.

Printed Repair Manuals

Pros: You get to keep it forever, you can take it right to the vehicle and look at it while you’re working on the vehicle.

Cons: Information may be outdated. No technical service bulletins from the factory, no recall information.

One last great thing about online info, you can print it out and take it to the vehicle while you’re working on it and when you’re done, you throw the printout away and never have to worry about getting a book greasy.

Give Alldatadiy a try and see what you think. I think you’ll like it.