Just daydreaming..can an impact wrench be used to power a go cart?

Just wondering, since impact wrenches can spin at 10000 rpm easily, and provide hundreds of pounds of torque and are fairly cheap…

Using compressed air? You would need a very long hose . . . and a very light go cart . . . I don’t see any reason why it would not work, at least in theory. Lots of torque but very little horsepower.

Have you looked around the web for vehicles powered by compressed air? It is perfectly feasible. And though I doubt that the power plant is ever an impact wrench I’d imagine the design of the motors could be similar. Something would work - at least for really short distances.

I believe that the only reason that impact wrenches in shops are pneumatic is safety. They can’t zap the mechanics if the hose gets pulled into a puddle of coolant in the adjacent bay. But they do make electric powered impact wrenches – even 12 volt DC versions. They are just an electric motor with a mechanical impact device that is probably best removed if your goal is to drive a go cart.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just hook a electric or pneumatic motor to an appropriate gear train to get the desired torque/speed?

An impact wrench will not provide hundreds of foot pounds of torque steadily. When the wrench hits resistance (like a tight nut), an internal mechanism hammers (impacts) the socket, spins 1/2 turn, and hammers it again. This cycle repeats until the nut is loose. An impact wrench doesn’t produce much torque when freely spinning. The impact mechanism is why a half inch drive wrench can exert 500 foot pounds of torque on a bolt without tearing your hand off.

It seems to me that there were pneumatic starter motors for the diesel engines on big semi tractors. I suppose a suitable air tank and one of these motors could be rigged up to power a gocart.

A cordless drill can be geared to drive a 'cart…saw it online, so it must be true :wink:

Somewhat underpowered, but workable. A better bet would be the motor off of a treadmill (~1.5 hp).

And as pointed out, an impact wrench supplies short bursts of high torque–it can’t maintain that torque. (Think of it a “hammering on the end of a wrench” vs. “just pushing”: lots of torque, but only for a split second.)

So, Middleagedivorcedguy, the only thing she left you was your impact wrench? I know the feeling.

Well an impact wrench AND a go kart with no engine.

You don’t need the “impact” and your range is going to be very, very short…

Middleageddivorcedguy, Since You’ve Obviously Got Too Much Spare Time And You’ve Just About Exhausted This Ponderance, Ask Yourself, “Can A Go-Cart Be Used To Power An Impact Wrench ?”

Meanwhile, see if you can develop some type of social life. You need to get out more.



Thanks for the laugh, Oldschool.