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Are 90° power ratchet wrenches good for Mooney?


redbaron1982
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I'm trying to put together a set of tools to keep in the hangar for when I get my airplane back from the shop. 

I was looking at Makita's ratchet wrench and the 90° screwdriver as well. 

Are they good? I'm not asking much about the brand but if they are useful for work in tight spaces in a Mooney. 

PS: I was sure there was a post about tools, I search for it but couldn't find it. If there is one and any of you has the link at hand please share it. 

 

Thanks. 

 

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In my opinion no, you should not be in that much of a hurry, sometimes in loosening fasteners you get a feel of it’s about to break and then resort to means like penetrating oils to remove a part. Power ratchets are good for wringing fasteners off and sometimes that’s difficult to overcome.

Best left to auto mechanics who are paid by book hours to complete a job

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The best way to figure out what tools you will need or not need is to just do whatever work you need to do and figure it out.    Different people work differently and it's hard to predict what tools one person finds extraneous or invaluable compared to somebody else's assessment.    Often when I buy something another mechanic says is a "must have, invaluable tool that I don't know how I lived without" and I get one it winds up sitting unused and taking up shelf or drawer space.  ;)

 

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The “best” tools are often the ones you modify to work, usually takes an Oxyacetylene torch to get one hot enough to bend though.

But I have a bunch of bent wrenches, ones I’ve thinned out with a grinder and trimmed with a grinder.

Ratchet wrenches are nice to have as is short wrenches and off set wrenches. I generally like smooth thin wrenches like Proto or Snap-on, best to buy used if you can.

There are copies and usually they are fine, you want a wrench that will wipe clean easily, old style Craftsman won’t.

Ratchet screwdrivers, an angle drill, if you do much work you want air tools, rivet guns and squeezer, bucket of cleco’s.

You will build what you need once you get there, different people do different kinds of work so different tools

But I think you need a GOOD BIG work table, with a shed load of lighting, I mean lit up like a Football field, with nice stools to sit at the table, good drop lights, more than one type, maybe a creeper, but honestly I find the large size Home Depot cardboard box more useful, and I grew up under cars on a creeper, a really good high quality Big vise, decent drill press, good Big compressor, pretty much every accessory for a Dremel tool, multiples.

A Fluke multimeter, good soldering iron, good wire stripper, good crimp tool, not those cheap ones, good Anchor butt splices, the kind with hot glue inside of the heat shrink, at least 10’ of every size aircraft wire 10 Ga and down to 22 Ga. Good wire terminals.

Ball driver Allen wrenches, maybe a set of T Allen wrenches

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I use my drill(either electric or pneumatic) for drilling holes, I use a Snap On ratcheting screw driver to turn screws and Snap On wrenches and 1/4 drive sockets to work on things once they’re opened.

Your airplane was lovingly hand crafted, leave power tools for auto mechanics.

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Don't use anything that makes sparks in the hangar. If you must use a drill, get a brushless one.

Drills can be dangerous when loosening screws because you might just strip them. Hand loosening is better. You could also overtighten screws with a drill. Better feel the tightness by hand.

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17 minutes ago, MisfitSELF said:

My favorite tool I hope to never use again.  It's my Rapco vacuum pump wrench.  Removed my vacuum pump and good riddance!

I bought the cheapest wrench from harbor freight, heated it with butane torch in the vise and bent it with a hammer. But of course I needed it only for removing the vac pump for one last time...

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When you have to remove the 75 (yes...75) screws from the cowl of a 1963 C model....a power screwdriver comes in handy.  Not a drill, a power screwdriver.

Same goes for the belly pans and inspection panels! I bought 2 of these DeWalt gyroscopic screwdrivers (one for home and the other for the airport).

Without activating them, they act like a regular screwdriver but with a slight rotation of the wrist, you have variable speed screwdriver that increases or decreases speed with the amount you rotate your wrist. They make them in both a straight version or one that bends into a pistol grip.

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Hey all, thanks a lot for the reply's. I was more concerned about if the tool would fit in the tight spaces, but I totally agree that power tools tend to strip up screws, so maybe better to avoid them at least in the aircraft.

I liked the idea of the gyro screwdriver, I have seen that and was curious about how "natural" it feld. That my be an option, although it still breaks the "romantic" idea of not using manual tools in an aircraft that was assembled with manual tools and lot's of dedication.

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I'm a big fan of the Milwaukee M12 and M18 product lines.  I have and use the M12 1/4" drive ratchet (with care!), mostly for disassembly when needed.  I use the M12 drill with adjustable clutch for removing and installing the machine screws.  My current favorite driver bits are made by Wera with a diamond coating that grips really, really well and reduces the tendency to slip and strip.  They're better than my previous favorite Snap-on bits with some serrated features.  I've also used the M12 die grinder with scotch brite discs for surface cleaning, sealant removal, etc.  I've also got a bunch of M12 and M18 work lights, which are perhaps their best products!  You cannot have too much light when working on a Mooney.

Otherwise, I agree with M20Doc... I've "grown up" to being a Snap On fan for hand tools and believe they're worth the premium.  They just fit and grip better, and are a joy to use.  They make a set of angle wrenches that are extremely handy for aircraft work.  (different angles for the open end vs. the standard combo wrench).  

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I love my Milwaukee power ratchet but I use it primarily on automobiles. There are perhaps a few Mooney related jobs where it might be of benefit but not many. Power ratchets are good for removing multiple same size fasteners or fasteners located in tight spaces where a standard wrench/ratchet can break them loose but have limited space to manipulate the tool. They can be a god send for engine, break and suspension work. Not so much for airplanes.

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Hey all, thanks a lot for the reply's. I was more concerned about if the tool would fit in the tight spaces, but I totally agree that power tools tend to strip up screws, so maybe better to avoid them at least in the aircraft.
I liked the idea of the gyro screwdriver, I have seen that and was curious about how "natural" it feld. That my be an option, although it still breaks the "romantic" idea of not using manual tools in an aircraft that was assembled with manual tools and lot's of dedication.

Do a couple of owner assisted annuals and you’ll appreciate power screw drivers.

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5 minutes ago, chriscalandro said:

If you’re looking for an excuse to buy 90 degree power wrenches I say just buy them. 
 

On one side they will not be very helpful on this airplane. On the other, you will have 90degree power wrenches. 

I don't need excuses if I want to buy one, I just wanted to know if this would be a good addon to the toolbox I'm trying to put together.

So far I think I'm going to focus on getting some good quality manual tools, taking into consideration not getting a traditional screwdriver set but having a set of bits from say Wera.

Eventually I can add a gyro screwdriver to my set for things like inspection panels, cowling, etc.

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2 hours ago, redbaron1982 said:

Hey all, thanks a lot for the reply's. I was more concerned about if the tool would fit in the tight spaces, but I totally agree that power tools tend to strip up screws, so maybe better to avoid them at least in the aircraft.

I liked the idea of the gyro screwdriver, I have seen that and was curious about how "natural" it feld. That my be an option, although it still breaks the "romantic" idea of not using manual tools in an aircraft that was assembled with manual tools and lot's of dedication.

I have a couple of these as well as a small Dewalt gun style screwdriver.  The Gyroscopic screwdrivers (I have a DeWalt and Craftman) really do give you a feel of the screw tightness and you can easily control speed.  They are worth the money.  A Snap-On Ratcheting screwdriver, even a 2X the cost of the gyroscopic one, believe it or not, is also worth the money.  By your Snap-On tools on ebay.  I also found that magnetic sockets are helpful to remove or replace nuts from tight places.  There is a set of deep magnetic sockets with the magnets on springs so the you and get to nuts when there is a long bolt involved.

John Breda

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1 hour ago, FlyingDude said:

Skytech starter 12V input is metric. I think battery terminals are also metric but I’m not certain about that.

 The remaining 12000 hardware are not.

A few M8s that need light torque is worth keeping an adjustable around for. Still, it's not a bad idea to keep metric around as you never know when a transient Diamond or a Tecnam pilot might need assistance.

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In terms of screw guns I find cheaper is better with the gun itself.  This has zero torque works great and is cheap.  The more expensive ones generally have more power and power is not what you want. 
 
Spend the money on the bits.

SKIL 4V Pivot Grip Rechargeable Cordless Screwdriver, Includes 9pcs Bit, 1pc Bit Holder, USB Charging Cable - SD561802 https://a.co/d/hT0t0JS
 

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