Back home, the new impact wrench did nothing. I had to resort to my 3/4 inch breaker bar with a three foot cheater pipe AND another bar beyond that. It was a total of just under 8 feet and by putting all my weight at the end I was just barely able to move the lug nuts a little. When I got them a bit loose, the impact wrench finished the job.
This is my "breaker bar"
The Craftsman 3/4 drive breaker is at the right, next is the pipe, and then the steel rod.
There are 10 nuts on each wheel and I got all the ones on the rear right and six on the rear left before the socket split. I was actually amazed that the breaker bar and socket lasted this far. The Craftsman is a quality product, but the 1 and 5/16 socket came from a 3/4 inch socket set that I bought at one of those flea market tool stores. I paid $49.00 for the whole set of sockets, breaker, ratchet, slide bar, and extensions. Made in China, but I sure got a lot of use out of them. However, without a socket I was out of business. Monday morning I checked every place local, but there was no socket of that size to be had. Even at Sears, an impact socket of that size had to be ordered. Phooey!!!
I checked the internet and found the item at Amazon.com for $11.99 with a lifetime guarantee. At Sears it was $49.99 plus tax. From Amazon it was $20.99 with overnight shipping and I had it early Tuesday afternoon. Once the tires are off, the actual shock replacement takes about 3 minutes using my new impact wrench. I think all men like tools and I perhaps more than most.
A second benefit to doing the job this way is that I was finally able to read the date codes on all the tires and found them to be much newer that I had suspected. The rear tires were made just a couple of months before I bought the Journey and I can't imagine why someone would replace tires on an RV he was trading in. The front tires are a few months older, but I still have two or three years before new tires are needed.
Many times on the RV forums it has been asked if any of us could change the tires on our coach if we had to. I changed the tires on my Southwind (19.5 inch wheels) and I changed the tires on my Safari (22.5 inch wheels). I have always believed that I could do the job on the road IF I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO! Many have commented that the weight of such a heavy tire and wheel combination would be too heavy to lift. That is true! Anyone who tries to lift one of those suckers is a fool. My biggest problem was breaking the bolts loose and I ended up using a very long cheater. I could and I have used a jack to pry up on the end of the breaker bar. With the bolts removed, I use a bar to "walk" the tire back into position and lift it back in place with the pry bar.
Before I started on the shocks, I made sure that I would still be alive if a hydraulic line failed. Levelers make it easy, but they are not safe by themselves.
Here I'm putting the inner tire on by "walking" it back. I never lifted the wheel, so my back is still OK.
Getting closer, so I'm using a bar to pry the tire into position. Part of the trick is that you don't want the tire to be way off the ground. All you need is a little space to work with.
Here the inside tire is back in place. The outside tire will go on the same way. As soon as there is enough of one bolt to put a nut on, I do that to ensure that it doesn't come off. Then you just push until you can get another nut in place and tighten to bring the wheels into place. Add the rest of the nuts and tighten in a proscribed pattern.
This is my torque wrench. When I place this on the wheel nut, my weight on the blue stripe gives 500 ft/lbs. I did the math and at my weight the blue stripe is 2 feet 2 inches from the axis of the bolt. I could also slide the pipe out and let my wife stand on the line, but I can't tell you how far because then you could figure her weight and I'd be in the dog house.
Now I have to admit that I have a road service and used it many times in the past when I had Michelin tires. I do not plan on doing this myself, ever again. But.......it is a comfort for me to know that if I'm on one of those long stretches of the Alaska Highway with no cell and no other service............I COULD do it myself. Perhaps a much younger man might see the plight of this old codger and choose to help out.
At the end of this job, two of the levelers refused to return. They are 10 years old and the springs are pretty rusty, so new springs are on order. Another job for next week.
Work safe and live longer.