2015 - Volume #39, Issue #1, Page #38[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Torque Multiplier Made From Truck Planetary Gears“The lug nuts on my Kawasaki payloader were so tight and rusted I couldn’t break them loose with a 1-in. impact wrench using 145 lbs. of air pressure,” says North Dakota heavy equipment operator Gene Sickler. “I practically burned out the air wrench and wore out my arms trying to get them loose, but they just wouldn’t budge”.
Sickler knew that getting the nuts off was a job for a torque multiplier, but with a price tag of $5,000 to $10,000, he wasn’t about to buy one, and they weren’t available to rent. He also knew that a multiplier worked like a system of planetary gears, so he decided to improvise and try to build one himself.
“I looked through my scrap yard and found a transfer case from a 1996 Dodge pickup,” Sickler says. “I removed the planetary setup from the case and bolted it inside a large piece of pipe, using bearings on each end to secure the shaft.” Sickler ground the input shaft down to fit a 1 3/4-in. socket and ground the output shaft in the shape of a 1-in. arbor. That setup allows him to use any size socket on the device. A metal handle welded to the casing holds the multiplier against the wheel and keeps it from turning.
“The nuts I needed to remove from the 115Z payloader were 1 1/2 in. in dia.,” Sickler says. “I tried the multiplier on one of those using a 5-ft. cheater bar on the handle. With that setup I twisted off the output shaft at the socket. I had no idea I was applying that much pressure, but when I did the calculations, I found out the ratio was 2.66 to 1. I was applying more than 2 1/2 times my normal strength.”
Sickler repaired the output shaft, then tried turning the same nut again with an 8-ft. cheater bar. This time it came loose. “It was still a tough pull, but I put all my weight into it and it broke loose,” says Sickler. “With success on that first one I was able to use my homemade multiplier to remove the 31 lug nuts on each wheel.”
Sickler says removing a wheel on the 100,000-lb. payloader is a far cry from changing a tire on a truck or even a farm tractor. “Each wheel weighs 5,000 lbs or more, so it’s a 3-person job. We use a W14 payloader to lift and move the wheels. Without the torque multiplier we wouldn’t be doing any of this and I’d be paying someone a lot of money to fix the brakes.” Sickler built his multiplier, which weighs about 60 lbs, from spare parts in just a few hours. He says the device probably saved him a couple thousand dollars the first time he used it.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Eugene Sickler, 10309 23rd St. S.W., Manning, N. Dak. 58642 (ph 701 225-0395).
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