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Bull6791

Torque Wrench

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Fish

I am think about getting a torque wrench. What do you personally use it for on your car.

Would it really benefit me. What kind should I get and how high should it go. I probably want one that reads foot- pounds

Any help would be appreciated

Frank.

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I think this was discussed at length on this forum before, was pretty recent I think. Anyways, I have a couple of them from different makes - depends on what I need to do.

 

For most DIYers - a simple 1/2" or 3/8" torque wrench would be fine. Something like those you can find at Sears. As for range - depends on what you want to tackle - something like this 3/8" Sears micro-clicker - http://www.sears.com/craftsman-micro-clicker-torque-wrench-3-8inch-drive/p-00931423000P?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2 - will have a pretty wide range, 25ft.lbs, to 250ft.lbs pretty much will cover 95% of what you want to do. Accuracy is rated at +/- 4% of the load, which for this price is pretty good.

 

Don't have to spend a lot of money, as you will not be using the torque wrench all the time. Only thing the more expensive ones will get you is better accuracy and sometimes extra features (digital display, pushbutton setup, etc.)

Edited by fishexpo101

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Fish

I know you can use a torque wrench for spark plugs and lug nuts for tires. Would you advise me to use it for these purposes since I am fairly new to car maintenance/repairs. On the other hand would it be better until I get more into it down the road and just use it for suspension work

Frank

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Anything that is sensitive to proper torque will need a torque wrench. These are only designed for tightening fasteners to a predetermined torque setting (ie, many are only designed to tighten in a clockwise direction, for those rare left-handed nuts and bolts - have to make sure the torque wrench is reversible).

 

Suspension bolts and nuts, work on or around the engine, drain and fill plugs, sparkplugs (depends if they have a gasket or not), lugnuts, etc. - lots of fasteners have specified torque ratings. A torque wrench should be in any weekend DIYer tool box. Can't tell you the number of times that I've tightened bolts a little too much or too little, having them snap off or back out on their own.

 

You'll have to research and figure out what torque wrench fits your budget and requirements. For some additional information - here is article on the turbodiesel forums:

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/wiki/torque-wrench-faq-recommendations-and-how-to-use/

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For Denso plugs with 14mm plug threads, flat seat washer - torque can vary from 18 - 22ft.lbs. NGK plugs of the same size and setup have torque ranges a little less. I'm pretty sure they tell you to turn some faction of revolutions after the gasket makes contact. Atleast, that is what my replacement NGK plugs said on the box. Part of that is the threads can get covered with oil and/or owners smear anti-seize or the built-in coating can throw off the actual torque ratings. Compression of the gasket, after it makes contact with the head with x factional revolutions of the plug is less sensitive to those issues.

 

If you want to use a torque wrench, with that low of a torque, most of those wrenches will not work. Need a special wrench (ie, more expensive) to get the proper torque. Rule of thumb, most torque wrenches are most reliable/accurate from the bottom 20% to top 80% of their range. So a wrench that is spec'd to run from 25-250ft.lbs, may only accurately resolve torque ranges from 60ft.lb to 205ft.lbs. Not gospel truth, as even though their are not 100% reliable at their extreme ranges, they can be close enough for this.

 

I haven't had to use a torque wrench on my plugs in some time. With experience, you'll develop a "feel" for how tight bolts need to get - so called muscle memory. Plus - the box will say turn an additional X fractional revolutions.

Edited by fishexpo101

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Fish

The plugs I have to install are the NGK Iridium IX plugs. That torque is probably lower than 18.

So when I install spark plugs unless I want to buy an expensive torque wrench I can not tighten plugs with torque wrench. The reason being is the Sears one you showed me can not read all the way down to 18-22 ft-lbs for Denso and lower for NGK.

So for me to tighten plugs when I do job i must use a spark plug socket and follow manufacturers instructions for tightening plugs with out torque wrench.

Now I think I got it.

Frank.

Edited by Bull6791

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Fish

Thanks for all your help. I forgot but hope you had a good ThanksGiving.

I wanted to know your opinion on this torque wrench. Also is there one torque wrench that covers everything like spark plug torque and lug nut torque and other stuff or I have to buy two separate wrenches. I am going to be getting one shortly I was hoping you can steer me in the right direction.

Also if you do not mind where can I get instructions on how to set use and store the wrench.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00C5ZL2EG/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1411230481&sr=8-1&pi=SX200_QL40#

Edited by Bull6791

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Instructions on how to set and store the wrench should be included with the wrench - as the instructions may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

 

As for one wrench that covers the widest range of torques - you might be able to find one, but keep in mind that you are likely sacrificing resolution - just the way they work. But for something that goes from plugs to lugs - should be able to find one that will span that range.

 

The one in your link - not familiar with that brand - but the picture looks like most basic torque wrenches that I've seen.

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Fish

It would be better to have on torque wrench say 3/8 for spark plugs and a separate on like 1/2 for lug nuts.

What is the pattern for tightening up lug nuts and why must you use a torque wrench not other wrenches

Thanks.

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I only have an old Snap-On 1/2" drive dial-gauge torque wrench which reads from 0-200 ft/lbs which I rarely use... Criss-cross pattern for lug nuts, sorta like as you draw a star. They should be properly torqued as for anything, although I don't pull out the torque wrench for lug nuts. I just do it by feel and experience.

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The torque wrench was my father's. It's an early 1970's model... I use a 1/2" drive breaker bar with a 13/16" socket to loosen or tighten lugnuts. I only carry the supplied lug nut tool with the spare in the trunk though. All other tools normally remain at home.

Edited by dom

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