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Old 02-25-2015, 09:11 PM   #1
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Torque Wrench Reminder!

Just a reminder to newbies to torque wrench's such as myself. Make sure you buy one with foot-pounds NOT inch-pounds if your using it for lug nuts. I bought a nice craftsman 25-250inch pounds thinking it was the right wrench merely because the word pounds was on it. My lugs call for 75 foot-pounds of torque. That setting on this wrench would have only yielded 75/12 = 6.26footlbs!!! instead of 75 footpounds. A recipe for disaster. It would take 900 inch pounds to make 75 foot-pounds on that wrench which was impossible. I knew something was wrong but it took 6 youtube videos and a lot of head scratching. Hope I helped somebody.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:12 PM   #2
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Wow, thanks for the heads up
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:33 PM   #3
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Thank you soo much for this post. We forget after a while to pass this very,very important information on. I know you'll never know but I'm sure you just saved someone from disaster .
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:48 PM   #4
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.....or just tighten them up until their good and tight......
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:04 AM   #5
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Also, remember when storing a torque wrench to back off the tension to the ZERO mark. Most trailers have 13/16 lug nuts on them - I bought a dedicated 13/16 deep socket (YOU NEED A DEEP SOCKET TO CLEAR THE TIRE).
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:21 AM   #6
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Good Reminder!

Being in the auto repair industry, I will add that many torque wrenches also have "Newton Meters" as well as foot pounds. They are close, but not quite the same, so you will want to make sure when setting the torque wrench, you are using the foot pounds!
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyBound View Post
Also, remember when storing a torque wrench to back off the tension to the ZERO mark. Most trailers have 13/16 lug nuts on them - I bought a dedicated 13/16 deep socket (YOU NEED A DEEP SOCKET TO CLEAR THE TIRE).
... and be sure the socket you buy is the correct DRIVE size for your torque wrench (3/8" or 1/2" square).

Also, buy the 6-point socket (6 flat surfaces contacting the lug nut) as opposed to a 12-point: Why? Because if the socket is not square on the lug nut, the 6-point socket is less likely to round off the corners of the lug nut; or, if your lug nut corners are already rounded, the 6-point will still work when a 12-point won't.

Also, buy an 'impact' socket. Those sockets are a bit more expensive and have thicker material. On the side of the road with a flat tire, having the socket break is one more thing you don't want to have happen.

And I'll include this: Unless you have tightened your lug nuts yourself, and you plan on put on your spare tire by yourself, you'll need a way to jack up your trailer (Attention newbies: Jacks are not usually included with trailers) and be sure YOU can remove the lug nuts.

Short story: I had tires rotated on a class-B. When I went to install my mounted snow tires a few weeks later, I could not remove the lug nuts by hand. I had to go back to the 'service station' and have them use their impact gun to loosen the lug nuts on all 4 wheels. I was glad I found out before I had a flat tire, but that was the last time I ever went back to them.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:57 AM   #8
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I have several torque wrenches but I never use one on lugs. I have turned so many bolts in my life that I just tighten them up. If I lean my upper body weight on a 1 foot moment arm T shaped lug wrench it's about 75 to 100 foot lbs. Close enough. Torque is important, it's a method of insuring your lugs are seated, but what's really important is they are not lose. You can check them with a simple lug wrench if you have a feel for what you are doing. If you don't then by all means use a torque wrench.

But, Torque tools need calibration, read the fine print on the tool you purchase. Where I work we calibrate torque tools monthly and in most cases they need adjustment and these are the best of the best tools. I don't actually trust cheap torque wrenches. But I suppose they are better than nothing if you don't know that 1 lb of force applied 1 foot from the center of rotation = 1 foot lb.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:46 PM   #9
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Have a torque wrench. Never been calibrated; let alone monthly.

Thanks for the information. Will buy a tire iron and donate torque wrench to someone who wants to maintain it.

PS if I just dial it up to the top can I use it as a breaker bar instead?

Dave
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:04 PM   #10
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Have a torque wrench. Never been calibrated; let alone monthly.

Thanks for the information. Will buy a tire iron and donate torque wrench to someone who wants to maintain it.

PS if I just dial it up to the top can I use it as a breaker bar instead?

Dave
I would keep it as a torque wrench. I have several myself. I use an inch pound one on aluminum stuff like spark plugs because stripping is a real issue there.

Calibration on a new tool is good for some time if it's not used to often. But springs are springs and things do change over time. There are methods of calibrating a home use tool.

here is one:
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