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      09-22-2012, 02:04 AM   #1
Mk23
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Anyone know of a good impact wrench for caliper removal?

Looking to remove my calipers then rotors to fix my wheel squeak that has been ongoing for the better part of a year. I tried to see if I could get by with using a torque wrench, but it wont fit in the space behind the calipers, even with the wheel turned all the way.

Anyone know a good compact impact wrench? (have a decent air compressor if that helps). Needs to fit behind my caliper within the wheel well (sport Pkg 335i). Looking to spend no more than $150 if I can, but will go higher if there is no other way.

Thanks a bunch!
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      09-22-2012, 07:06 AM   #2
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Not really sure why you think you need an impact wrench to remove the caliper. A decent 3/8-drive ratchet and allen socket is all you need. The torque setting on the caliper pins is around 30 ft/lbs. They are quite easy to remove with a ratchet. Also, why are you trying to use a torque wrench to "remove" the caliper pins in the first place? The first rule of thumb for using a torque wrench is to NEVER use it to remove fasteners; it will take it out of calibration. Torque wrenches are only to be used for torquing down fasteners.

But if you want to use an impact wrench, you'll need an extension bar and universal joint. Not even a 3/8 impact wrench will fit straight in to line up with the caliper pins. An air ratchet may work, but that's not an impact tool.

Good luck. Please make sure the car safely lifted and solidly sitting on jack stands when doing this work.
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      09-22-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
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Some penetrating spray would help also
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      09-22-2012, 01:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Not really sure why you think you need an impact wrench to remove the caliper. A decent 3/8-drive ratchet and allen socket is all you need. The torque setting on the caliper pins is around 30 ft/lbs. They are quite easy to remove with a ratchet. Also, why are you trying to use a torque wrench to "remove" the caliper pins in the first place? The first rule of thumb for using a torque wrench is to NEVER use it to remove fasteners; it will take it out of calibration. Torque wrenches are only to be used for torquing down fasteners.

But if you want to use an impact wrench, you'll need an extension bar and universal joint. Not even a 3/8 impact wrench will fit straight in to line up with the caliper pins. An air ratchet may work, but that's not an impact tool.

Good luck. Please make sure the car safely lifted and solidly sitting on jack stands when doing this work.
30ft-lbs? I think we're talking about two different things here (at least I hope we are). I read and researched what I am doing pretty well and I found that the two bolts I have to remove require 81ft-lbs of torque (At least that's what I have read...). And I understand that you use a torque wrench for tightening only, I just didn't see any point removing the bolts if I didn't have anything to fit in there to tighten them.

This is what I am doing (up to the caliper coming off): http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76418

Then from there I remove the rotor and do this: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=697365

But the issue is that I need some way to torque the bolts back on when I put it back together. I have a decent torque wrench that is long and big, it also isn't very accurate at low ft-lbs but it does fine for higher ft-lbs. I was told from a local shop owner (who I've been going to for awhile) that what they would usually do is use an impact wrench to get them off and on. So that's why I am looking for an impact wrench.

So any help getting this caliper off? Impact wrench? Some kind of joint tool?
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      09-22-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mk23 View Post
30ft-lbs? I think we're talking about two different things here (at least I hope we are).
You're both talking about the same thing and he's right.

The 2 caliper bolts need to be torqued in the 23-30 lb/ft range (on my phone, I thought it was 23 but it could be 30,will confirm when I get home) It is NOT 81.

The problem is that if you're not doing this often, both the bolts and the rotor will be stuck in place, so you'll need to use some penetrating spray on the bolts and perhaps a rubber mullet on the rotor. Either a 3/8s ratchet or a breaker bar will do it. Do NOT use your torque wrench to loosen up bolts please.
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      09-22-2012, 08:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterM1 View Post
You're both talking about the same thing and he's right.

The 2 caliper bolts need to be torqued in the 23-30 lb/ft range (on my phone, I thought it was 23 but it could be 30,will confirm when I get home) It is NOT 81.

The problem is that if you're not doing this often, both the bolts and the rotor will be stuck in place, so you'll need to use some penetrating spray on the bolts and perhaps a rubber mullet on the rotor. Either a 3/8s ratchet or a breaker bar will do it. Do NOT use your torque wrench to loosen up bolts please.
Well I'm glad I found out the right torque for the caliper, but if anyone was reading what I originally said, I never at any point said I was using a torque wrench to remove anything, just that if the torque wrench doesn't fit in there then there is no point even taking the bolts out. And it doesn't fit, so a breaker bar would definitely not fit. My problem is that I can't find a way to remove the bolts and then later tighten them if nothing fits back there (with the exception of the 3/8s ratchet I have). So how am I supposed to torque these properly back ON when nothing but a small ratchet will fit back there? That was the whole point for the impact wrench, was hoping it could fit back behind the rotors/caliper.

Any help on how to actually torque the bolts once I am putting them back on?
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Last edited by Mk23; 09-22-2012 at 08:16 PM.
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      09-22-2012, 09:03 PM   #7
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Yes, the big bolts on the carrier housing are 81ft# on the front, and 50ft# on the rear....but the hex wrench bolts on the caliper are as said above. You don't need to worry about the carrier unless you are taking off the rotors.
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      09-22-2012, 09:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mk23 View Post
Well I'm glad I found out the right torque for the caliper, but if anyone was reading what I originally said, I never at any point said I was using a torque wrench to remove anything, just that if the torque wrench doesn't fit in there then there is no point even taking the bolts out. And it doesn't fit, so a breaker bar would definitely not fit. My problem is that I can't find a way to remove the bolts and then later tighten them if nothing fits back there (with the exception of the 3/8s ratchet I have). So how am I supposed to torque these properly back ON when nothing but a small ratchet will fit back there? That was the whole point for the impact wrench, was hoping it could fit back behind the rotors/caliper.

Any help on how to actually torque the bolts once I am putting them back on?
ok, you're talking about the caliper carrier, that's different. raceyBMW gave you the specs right above and yes, a full-size breaker bar fits, that's how I switch rotors every year. The bar (and wrench) movement is limited but it doesn't matter.

If you still can't make it fit, post a pic of where you think the clearance problem is, don't know what else to suggest at this point, this is a simple DIY.
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      09-22-2012, 09:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterM1 View Post
ok, you're talking about the caliper carrier, that's different. raceyBMW gave you the specs right above and yes, a full-size breaker bar fits, that's how I switch rotors every year. The bar (and wrench) movement is limited but it doesn't matter.

If you still can't make it fit, post a pic of where you think the clearance problem is, don't know what else to suggest at this point, this is a simple DIY.
Well I figured that maybe (since my jack stands are messed up right now) that I could jack one side up and get this done one side at a time. I am guessing you are saying put the car on stands and do it that way (which now that I think about it... it would be easier...).

Guessing you are saying get the breaker bar (and then torque wrench when putting it back together) on there from underneath the car? Guess I'm ordering new jack stands.
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      09-22-2012, 09:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mk23 View Post
Well I figured that maybe (since my jack stands are messed up right now) that I could jack one side up and get this done one side at a time. I am guessing you are saying put the car on stands and do it that way (which now that I think about it... it would be easier...).

Guessing you are saying get the breaker bar (and then torque wrench when putting it back together) on there from underneath the car? Guess I'm ordering new jack stands.
Doing this on a jack is extremely dangerous due to the force you have to apply to loosen and torque the carrier and the rotor itself. Jack stands are the only option and in general the only use for your jack should be to lift the car onto the jack stands.

Yes, the movement of the breaker bar/torque wrench is from under the car, neither will fit from the top side of the wheel well.
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      09-23-2012, 08:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterM1 View Post
Doing this on a jack is extremely dangerous due to the force you have to apply to loosen and torque the carrier and the rotor itself. Jack stands are the only option and in general the only use for your jack should be to lift the car onto the jack stands.

Yes, the movement of the breaker bar/torque wrench is from under the car, neither will fit from the top side of the wheel well.
This is really for the OP, but PeterM1 has good advice. I suggest that if you are going to continue to do work on your car that requires it be lifted off the ground, then get four (4) well made, hi-capacity jackstands and the proper extended-saddle floor jack (i.e. extended reach jack to get to the front central lifting point) to properly lift the car from the center jack points so to safely raise the car and set it on the four jackstands. Working on a car that has all four wheels off the ground and the car sitting properly on jackstands that are located at the four lifting points on the rocker panels is just as safe as if the car were on a commercial hoist.

Working on a car that is only on two jackstands with two wheels still on the ground is very dangerous as PeterM1 has indicated. OP, do yourself a favor and get the proper lifting equipment if you are going to tackle DIY projects such as brakes. It is well worth the investment and may save your life too.
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      10-01-2012, 10:33 PM   #12
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Maybe I'm late to the show, but all you need is this

http://www.amazon.com/GearWrench-812...sim_sbs_auto_4

Swivel makes it easy to work around obstacles. Various arm lengths allow different leverage.

I used breaker bar but very little clearance. Most useful part of breaker bar is the swivel flex head.
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      10-01-2012, 11:20 PM   #13
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I just did this myself on Saturday, I know you said an impact wrench is not needed ... but .. each one came off with easy because of the impact wrench. I say this is a great excuse to go get one!
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      10-02-2012, 11:10 AM   #14
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I just used a good 1/2 drive ratchet with a pipe to get more torque in. No compressor here, so when I tried with inferior 3/8 ratchets they literally snapped in all sorts of places as the required torque required was so high due to it not having been removed since build. The ratchet/ pipe works well because the the pipe with an I/D of about and inch and a half gets you enough movement to push or pull while being further away from the car's body.
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      10-02-2012, 12:29 PM   #15
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I just used the 1/2" Harbor Freight breaker bar, had plenty of clearance....and torqued them back up to spec after.
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      10-03-2012, 04:03 PM   #16
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If your having a problem with rusted bolts, try an impact driver. It's less costly than an air impact wrench. It's a tool you hit with a hammer and it creates a twisting motion at the same time as the hammer impact.

http://www.sears.com/craftsman-impac...p-00947641000P
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