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Lug Wrench

Discussion in 'Driving Schools' started by pcbeckwith, Jan 15, 2009.

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    I know I should have put this with "Tires" but it would be buried somewhere in the thread and other readers would get bored before they got to it. Anyway, I read that a torque wrench is necessary at Driver's Schools to insure the wheel lugs don't come off in the middle of a session. Can anybody give me direction as to what type of tourque wrench would be both reliable and inexpensive? While we're at it, would a small portable air pump that draws power from the oulets in the car be feasible for the schools? By the way, it's 5 degrees in Northeast Ohio, which I assume is extremely balmy for those from Minn., while its 40 degrees in Alaska, there is something seriously wrong here. On the upside, we're getting closer to April.

    1996 328ti guest

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    The center range of the torque wrench should be around 85-90 ft ib.
    I like click types although I'm told beam-types are more accurate.
    Don't know the different brands.

    I have a cig lighter powered air pump. I find it useful but you can get extra air before you get to the track, then bled some out when your tires cool.

    I think a good air gauge is more important.

    I would not sweat it too much. There are always people around you can borrow a torque wrench from. Most tracks have air. Track etiquette would be to over inflate your tires and leave the area. Bleed air out when you get to your parking spot. No one like people hogging the air hose checking each tire at their leisure. Not when people are waiting anyway.

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    Steven's absolutely right, you can always find someone at the track that will be willing to let you use their torque wrench. I loan mine out multiple times at each event. Having said that, I do think a torque wrench is a fairly handy item for any 'car person' to have. I try to check the torque on the lug nuts at least once a month and I also re-torque them every time I get a car back from being serviced. If I get a tire repaired or get new tires installed, I watch them when they put the wheels back on. Even the ones that use a torque wrench have no idea HOW to use it. They tighten it until it clicks and then, just for good measure, they crank it another 1/4 to 1/2 a turn. As soon as I get home, I loosen and re-torque them all.

    Torque wrenches can run from the $19 Harbor Freight specials to high end ones from Snap-On that go for several hundred. I got the 1/2" drive Crafstman from Sears and it's worked great for several years. It seems to be fairly accurate when compared to one of those "really" expensive ones a friend of mine has and I figured for lug nuts, it's perfectly fine.

    One other suggestion...if you do get your own torque wrench, get a 6" extension and one of those plastic coated deep well sockets. The extension makes it a lot easier because it will clear the fender and the plastic coated socket will keep your wheels from getting scratched.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Torque wrenches, air, etc

    You need your own torque wrench so you can be the guy who hands it out to the lesser fortunate; that's how you gain status points at the track schools. A 12-volt compressor can be good or useless, depending on which one you buy; I was amazed to discover that the one that comes in the M roadster actually works!

    Better is a portable air tank---lots of status there! And yes, you need an air gauge with a long rubber tube. A liquid-filled gauge will make your pals swoon with envy.

    I have a Craftsman torque wrench---a clicker---I use on wheels. Do NOT leave it set at 80, however; always "unwind" it to 10 or so in order to keep the calibration. (I may be the only guy I know who has ever had his torque wrench recalibrated.) I have a Snap-On beam type but I don't like it; too subjective. Friends have Snap-On DIGITAL torque wrenches. These friends have too much money.

    You do want an extension, but I like the shortest one possible. And you do want the plastic-coated deep, soft socket from Griot's or wherever---more status at the track!

    Of course you have an aluminum track-jack and a Snap-On electric impact wrench to take off the tires. . . AFTER you wrap them in tire-carrier bags (hey, it took me years before I realized you can put the bag on the tire BEFORE you take it off the car!).

    One last thing: Make sure you charge the battery for the Snap-On budda-budda gun BEFORE you go to the track. You will look like a goldang idjit if you jack up your car, wrap the wheel, click on your deep soft 17-millimeter socket, apply the gun to the wheel, and pull the trigger---only to have it go BRAppdudadudadudadudadud. . . .

    :D :D :D :D
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    steven s

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    Portable air tank good. If you have the room.
    Tire Bags?
    Big black plastic bags work just fine for me :D

    An extension is necessary.
    Those plastic coated sockets are nice. After your wheels look like mine, you won't care. :eek:

    Don't get wrapped up in the gear. It is easy in the beginning.
    Spend money on the care and feeding of the car.
    Brake fluid, brake pads.

    Here's a tip. Park near the guy who has a trailer. Especially if it's enclosed. ;)
    All most people ask is from you is to return tools in the same condition and exactly where you found it.

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