® Hammer-type impact tools

All over my website I try to warn folks to not be deceived by user forums. If you are logging onto a forum you are seeking advice, and unfortunately you are not going to get good advice on a forum.

One thing I often see on forums is the advice to get and use a manual, hammer-operated impact driver. It makes me shudder! Using one of those is juvenile. I have been in the business for more than fifty years and haven't owned one for the past forty. There might be some context in which one of these tools is appropriate, but I can't think of one, and certainly it would not be around anything made of cast aluminum. Look at the picture below. The cam covers of CB550s are often broken and you can see why. And on carburetors--ack! Do you want to destroy them? If anyone needed proof of the idiocy of user forums and other Internet advice--and there is a ton of it--this is classic. Why would you tell a newbie to do this? It's incredible. The correct tool is a cordless impact.

There is also a breakdown in logic associated with the use of hand impact drivers. I've never witnessed a proponent of them who doesn't, after removing the Phillips screws with the impact, put them back in with just a hand-held screwdriver. Just looking at a CB550 cam cover should illustrate the fallacy of this. Honda put a mixture of Phillips screws and hex-headed bolts in that cover. Shouldn't all of them be tightened equally? If so, then tightening the Phillips screws with only a screwdriver is incorrect, as the only way to match the tightness of the 90 inch-pound bolts is with something more than a screwdriver. The careful use of a low-powered cordless impact, to be specific. And note that the CB650 uses all bolts.

One more thing. It shouldn't need to be said, but if Honda advocated only moderate tightening by using Phillips screws on the cam cover and clutch cover and similar areas, think about the contrasted tightness of using Allen (socket head) screws. It is a rare individual who will manage to tighten an Allen screw the same amount as the Phillips screw it is replacing. The demand for control is too high for most people to carry off. Ask anyone who has made a living at this how many times they have observed engines damaged by the use of Allen screws.

Never mind that this picture was staged--no one removes the screws on the cam cover before removing decorative the cam end cap. But this photo illustrates something important. There is hardly a good use of a hammer impact, and this certainly isn't one. The unsupported part of the cam cover is about to be broken off.

Suggested further reading on this site:
Forum backwardness
Lies from the ether
Real issues
Don't touch
Powersports orphans
Forums and me
They hate Honda
Where did the compression go?
Reasons for low compression
Valve recession

Last updated February 2023
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