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Need Tool Advice


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Topic Created by jmf889 on Tow411 in November of 2013:


Hi guys I'm fairly new to heavy duty been doing it about a year now but have been in towing since i was born.


The other night i had a 06 Volvo vnl tractor on the side of the highway first time dealing with a Volvo figured out that the front axle is different than any other truck used my wider forks that was easy then it was onto taking the drive shaft out my road service mechanic was already out there trying to fix the guy until i got there he stripped out the drive shaft bolts so taking that out wasn't going to work so i said ok ill pull the axle went to pull the axle which i've only recently started doing and found out that's it much easier than pulling the shaft and ive only ever needed a 15/16 socket well that didn't fit and i didn't have the socket that ft it so i let the truck run flipped it in high range and towed it back to our shop about 15-20 miles and didn't go over 45mph truck was fine when i got it back to the shop thank god. So my question is what are the other common axle bolt socket sizes i need so i don't get stuck like this and also what is the best axle to pull two different people have told me two different things my boss said pull the right rear our other heavy guy said pull the left front so im confused on that?

also something else that i was wondering if anyone else knows about i just got brand new BA axle straps i tighten them as much as i possibly can i make sure the ratchet is in the locked position and they constantly come loose on me its getting very frustrating anyone else have this problem??


SF Towing said:

You should carry a full socket set in your truck. I carry 3/8-1 5/16" in 1/2" Deep Impact and 10mm-32mm in 1/2" Metric. Never ever run a truck while towing it, you are just asking for trouble. If I remember correctly those Volvos are 1"(24mm) or 27mm for the axles. The front axle is different because it was air ride.


Unknown member said:

Volvos are generally 1-1/8 or so Ive found. Some people will tell you leaving it running is fine. Its all up to you and what you want to risk. Also youll need a cover with bigger holes for the studs for those.


Unknown member said:

Majority of trucks these days are 15/16" or 1 1/16" nuts on axle studs and 3/8", 1/2", and 12mm 12 pt bolts on drive shafts. I always keep fulls sets of everything in my truck in 1/2" and 3/8" drive. But my small toolbox that I grab for removing driveline and tapping into air system, only has those 5 sockets in it. -mcr


nybulldog tubegreen.gif said:

why didn't you tow it from the back? running the truck while towing is asking for lots of trouble. hose brakes on oil or water and you don't notice good by motor. trans jumps into gear going down the road and you could be needing a tow i keep every size tool ratchet from 1/4 up to 3/4 with every socket. the 3/4 not as many sockets but if i need to pull a tire off i can.


Queensway Tire said:

On the BA axle straps, what forks are you using? I would bet your forks don't fit the axle tight, and that is why the straps come loose. I have a set of front axle forks that fit very tight on the axle, and the straps never come loose. At the same time, I only use the straps on empty or very light trucks, I use chains on tractor trailer combos and heavier units.


teddy22 said:

Be careful if it was air ride front axle, you could do damage on the axle not using the rught forks or putting in wrong position!


rym611 said:

my ba axle straps came loose until they broke in. they like to stretch when new. I would hook go a couple miles, pull over and tighten them up. When they were new I was doing this alot. Now that they are broke in I don't have an issue with them loosening up anymore.


glnstwng tubered.gif said:

make sure you're not pulling all the slack out before ratcheting. the strap must contact itself on the ratchet so that the fibers can bite into each other, if not it will slip out of the ratchet.


Giddyup said:

gln is right. You need to have 2 wraps before it is tight. A lot of drivers pull the strap really tight and then ratchet tight. It will always come loose that way. I pull it tight, back it off so I have 2 wraps and ratchet it up and can go 300 miles and they won't come loose, new or old straps.

tteck151 said:

When buying drive line and axle nut sockets , very important to buy top of the line brand and duplicate putting your second set in cab away from others .  Nothing worse than 2 am 60 miles out and you break or it fly's off impact into tall grass .  That one time will pay for second set .

Vernon75 said:
Very true… I learned that the hard way.
jmf889 said:
Thanks guys sorry i haven't replied been crazy busy at work did 90 hours last week..... one more question maybe someone can help me out with ... i bought the new snap on 18v lithium ion 1/2" impact gun cordless its great i love it the gun is an animal but im noticing it might be to powerful it keeps stripping out drive shaft bolts im using craftsman 12 pt sockets should i spend the money and get snap on sockets im thinking maybe they will bite better?? or is the gun to powerful?
SF Towing said:
the gun isn't too powerful, it's the sockets. I have the same gun. Get a set of quality 12 point impact sockets, whether it's sunex, mac, snap on.
Rod Midkiff said:
my gun will not break drive line bolts lose. still have to break them lose by hand. I like the gun.. just wish It had enough umpth..

I've also worn out three snap on 1/2 inch drive line socket's out. (kinda surprised I've worn so many out in a few years of use)

I've also used craftsman sockets on it.. I usually end up with 2 halves of a 1/2 inch socket on the 1st or 2nd use. (good reason to not put your hand on the socket when you pull the trigger).

stay safe
Little extra but I paint and repaint my black snapon sockets yellow and orange makes them easier to see. 
svcmgrnow said:
Clean out the inside of your 12 point sockets regularly too, especially if you do a lot of construction or refuse trucks. Grease tends to pack up in there and this prevents the socket from seating properly on the bolt head, leading to stripped driveline bolts and prematurely worn out sockets. Don't ask me how I know this. lol
Tow Daddy said:
I use the same gun and love it. have learned to only use quality sockets (I use snap on) and haven't broke any of them but they will wear out and need replaced like others said. rarely find a bolt it won't break loose.
towing4u said:
One nice trick to use is the new wobble extensions, they allow the socket to move slightly when trying to remove a driveshaft that has a pitch to it. I usually use the small extension and a snap on socket on my snap on gun. If you have access, grab a couple of easy outs for 3/8, 1/2. It usually ends up being a 7/16 and 9/16 tapered socket easy out and that will remove the stripped out bolts when you have one that wont budge. It happens on Volvo's to me after it has been towed or had the driveshaft out before and someone over tightened them when they reinstalled.
I use a tool tote , you know the ones with the handel in the middle and tray each side get a quality one that will last.
I always carry and use a hand wire brush on the bolt heads before trying to loosen , have my go to sockets painted diffrent
colors for easy I.D . Use snap on worth the price and garranteed , rep has replaced mine a couple times no charge just because
they were getting worn on edge. If you need an extension use the extended snapon socket when you can , you loose tourqe
whenever you use a standard extension . I also have screw driver , 9/16 wrench and socket w/ rachet for the bolt cap style.
Pry bar and big hammer , those are my go to tools , tiger tool a must when needed in the truck till needed to big for the tote.
Don't forget to put your tote back in your truck when done , don't forget it and run over it . Don't ask how I know this!



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