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I don't trust my torque wrench

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself)' started by GregS_WI, Aug 12, 2008.

    GregS_WI guest

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    So, any good ways to test a torque wrench? I don't trust mine, but it's pretty new so I feel I should. I'm planning on changing spark plugs and don't want to risk over tightening.

    The background:
    I'm on my 3rd Craftsman torque wrench. The first two wouldn't 'click' from time to time...that is a bad thing. Sears won't accept a return, but gave me credit I could use for another model. I bought their "Microtork" model for around $70. However, when torquing the oil drain plug, and the wrench set at 18 N-m, it sure seemed like I was past that before it clicked. Or was it just the awkward angle I was at?

    Thanks
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    az3579

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    It is my understanding that it should be torqued to about 25 ft-lb... 25 N-m is approx 33.9 ft-lb...

    Or can this be different for different vehicles?

    Either way...


    ... with tools, you usually get what you pay for. $70 strikes me as an awfully cheap torque wrench, but then again, I've never looked for lower-power wrenches but instead the 0-140 ft-lb ones. Also, Sears has horrible return/warranty policies based on the waves of user reviews I've read concerning things bought from Sears, and it's not just with tools. I would never buy from them because of that, even if they are cheaper than other places.


    I was looking for a torque wrench the other day and looked at Griot's Garage website. The digital torque wrench they sell comes with a lifetime testing service, so if you ever doubt its ability to torque properly, just send it in and they will test it for you, but I don't think you're willing to spend about $190 for a torque wrench.

    GregS_WI guest

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    Sorry, corrected my own note. It should have been 18 N-m (or 25 ft-lbs). (

    Your words pain me greatly as this is exactly what I was going to do -- get my money back from Sears and then order the Griot's wrench. But I got talked out of it by folks on another board who have had good luck with Sears' wrenches. I might be better off just returning again and buy Griot's. $190 for a wrench is still a bargain if it keeps you from a few hundred in repairs if you over-torque something important.

    Thanks.
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    az3579

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    If you go that route, I would inquire about their warranty. Sure, testing is great and all, but if it fails, then it's useless.

    I'm curious myself about the warranty as I was interested in purchasing the digital wrench.


    I forgot to ask the last time I called. :eek:
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    steven s

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    BMW has a neat torque wrench tool.
    It goes inline with the socket and extension.
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    MGarrison

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    In conversations a few years ago about tool purchases with a couple professional mechanics I trust, they advised Snap-On (I'd think Mac and the other pro-lines would be good as well) for ratchets, and suggested Craftsman was fine for wrenches. I had a Craftsman ratchet that failed, replaced, and failed again - it didn't seem to be able to handle much torque application. I think Craftsman tools with the warranty that have no moving parts seem to hold up fine (I've never broken a wrench or socket, for instance), and the Snap-On ratchets and Torque-wrenches have given yeoman duty. The free calibration check is a nice peace-of-mind benefit for Griot's to offer, you'd certainly have to pay to check it otherwise.

    It's kind of interesting there's any number of things mentioned in the Bentley manual w/ an in-lb torque spec. I don't think I've ever seen an in-lb torque wrench, although they must be available!
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    EuroWerkz1

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    Torque Wrenches

    A few years ago, quite a few now actually, I was involved with a project involved with calibrating all the torque wrenched in the experimental build shops in and around Ford Motor company. This coincided with when they were going away from torquing bolts during production engine assembly (everyone now measures bolt stretch with very expensive monitoring equipment) We got to see all sorts of torque wrenches from 30 year old beam type to the latest multi thousand dollar electronic units from Snap-on. Funny thing, in every shop visited the old stand-by bending beam type torque wrench was the most accurate used by both expert and novices, no matter which brand, everything from the best to the cheapest auto parts store special. The only downside to these are for things like wheels where it is hard to see the beam and numbers. But wheels are not that critical, so for a novice do-it-yourself-er I'd suggest a bending beam for accuracy and a cheap Tire Rack special clicker for wheels and you always know you have a tool that would do the job, plus you can check the clicker with the bending beam type Torque Wrench.

    Enjoy!)

    GregS_WI guest

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    More info please

    More info please...I also have a beam type (plus a cheap 1/2" wrench for wheels). How do you go about verifying one with the other?

    Thanks,
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    EuroWerkz1

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    Torque

    There are two easy ways to do this. You can use a square drive socket on your bending beam wrench to apply torque to the clicker wrench in a vise set to a pre determined torque spec, or using a bolt nut and washer in a vise checking torque settings to tighten. Use a torque spec in the range of stretch for the bolt being tightened for best accuracy. Here is a link (below) to general torque specs for metric fasteners. Also for tire clickers most "good" tire shops have a verification tool mounted on the wall to check torque wrenches and torque sticks.FONT]

    http://dodgeram.org/tech/specs/bolts/M_bolts.html

    GCRCAZ guest

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    I have a Griot's torque wrench and like it very much. I've seen the exact same wrench in a tool catalog for $230.

    bradley01 guest

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    +1 on the Snap-On (or Mac Tools) for a torque wrench. They have lifetime warranties so you can return them to a local tool guy and get a new one if it breaks (or stops torquing). Check ebay for "used", cheaper options.
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    Brian A

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    What was accuracy of clickers like?

    How much of an issue did you find with the accuracy of the "clicker" type?

    (I own Craftsman clickers and, until now, have used them without ever even thinking about their accuracy).

    (MGarrison: FYI, the smaller of my two Craftsman clickers is calibrated in in-lbs.).

    GregS_WI guest

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    Thanks, I'll try it



    Thanks for the advice. I'll rig something up and give a try. (I think I'll give my local, friendly indi, where I go for service, a call to see if they have anything for validation/calibration.)

    GregS_WI guest

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    Hehe

    File under "Ignorance was bliss"? Or maybe "Auto repair and anal retentiveness"?

    Jeron guest

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    I trust my Craftsman torque clicker wrenches, but I'm paranoid about certain bolts. So I set it soft (about 75% of my goal), tighten to get a "feel" for it then move it to the proper torque and do the final tightening.

    This is of course unnecessary if I'm using a beam style wrench.
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    EuroWerkz1

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    The clickers are mostly accurate but are the least accurate I have seen. However for do-it yourself jobs like wheels or oil drain plugs not an issue. In fact for small things they can't be beat, I would never however use them for things like main bearing torques or anything super critical. The thing to remember about clickers is that they are spring loaded so keep them backed off in the rest position when not in use.

    Also while on the subject of torque tools, the newest thing even for DIY'ers are torque sticks for tightening wheels. A heads up on these though they are not accurate at all when used with a battery powered impact wrench that have become common at track events. They need to be tightened by a powerful air impact to make sure they break-away consistently.
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    chicane

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    I hear you brother. I had the same problem. I bought three NEW torque wrenches from different vendors and they never clicked when they were supposed to. I have an older Craftsman torque wrench that works like a champ. It not only clicks but releases and prevents you from over-torqueing. Most new torque wrenches simply click and that's it.
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    chicane

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    Do you have a link?
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    steven s

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    I'll see if I can find a part number on it.
    You going to be at VIR in Sept?

    GregS_WI guest

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    Survey says...bad, bad, bad...



    So I tested out the Craftsman set to 18.5 ft-lbs with my beam type. Result -- it released consistently at 40 ft-lbs!!!!!! Holy Crimeny! What would that have done to a spark plug? Looks like a heart-to-heart with the Sears manager next week.

    Thank you all for saving me much pain!

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