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Thread: Torque wrench

  1. #1
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    Default Torque wrench

    I keep reading articles on why it is important to use a torque wrench when tightening wheel nuts. So I decided to get one. But they vary in price from R500 to R6000. For a tool I hope never to use!
    Would really appreciate advice in which one to buy
    Thanks in advance

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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    Quote Originally Posted by TimTDP View Post
    I keep reading articles on why it is important to use a torque wrench when tightening wheel nuts. So I decided to get one. But they vary in price from R500 to R6000. For a tool I hope never to use!
    Would really appreciate advice in which one to buy
    Thanks in advance
    End of the day you pay for quality and accuracy, we went with the Wurth 1/2Ē 40-200Nm but it is used a lot not just for wheel nuts
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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    Ampro is a very good make but expensive. Midas and Autozone sell generics.

    It's not necessary to get scientific accuracy on this application so buy what looks nice and that you can afford. 110nm on wheel nuts.
    Last edited by Ubbo; 2021/05/16 at 09:22 AM.
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    Just a story of what happened to me three weeks ago.

    I bought a new caravan and after hand-over and as we were leaving the manager of the dealership insisted that the caravan wheel nuts be correctly torqued.
    Amidst great fanfare a man appeared with a great big torque wrench and proceeded to click away at the 12 wheel nuts, ending with a big grin and a thumbs-up to me.
    I asked him what the torque setting on the wrench was - he did not know.

    When I got home I decided to take off one of the caravan wheels to see if my towing vehicle spare wheel would fit should a spare on the caravan be needed.

    Lo and behold, I could not budge any of the wheel nuts with a standard X wheel spanner.
    I had to use a power bar to loosen the nuts.
    Heaven knows what the wheel nuts had been tightened to but the guy that did them certainly had had his weeties for breakfast.
    If you make a noise or need music in the bush or on the beach, youíre missing the point.

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    For lug nuts, any cheap torque wrench which covers the right range of torque values will be fine.

    While weíre on the topic, a lot of people donít realise that itís recommended to ďwarm-upĒ a torque wrench by clicking it a few times. I usually set the wrench about 10% low, tighten the nut until it clicks, click it a few times, then wind the wrench up to the desired torque and finish tightening. Again, lug nuts donít need to be this accurate but itís good practice.

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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    A super investment to make. Not an expert, but get the best you can.
    See post #4: I always check at home after any balancing/alignment.
    When travelling, the caravan's wheels and tow hitch bolts : every evening. Car every second or third evening. Surprising how often there are one or two bolts somewhere that needs just a bit.
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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    Hi I drive a LC 79 overlander which is permanently modded and quite heavy. Steel TOY LC 100 wheels fitted.

    TOY book requires 210 Nm for these wheels. Very high.

    I use a mid way at 170 NM with torque wrench. Use also a little copperslip on clean threads hence not the 210 NM. Know there is loads of debate about use or not of copperslip. I applied then cleaned to get much off to keep corrosion at bay. Use a drop sheet usually when i change wheels for whatever reason ( also when i work on anything in the bush so as not to lose important bits by dropping on the ground or in the sand) to prevent dropping wheel nuts in sand.

    i have a powerbar in truck to take off the wheelnuts and have helped a few in the bush with over tightened wheel nuts.. Often corroded studs without lube and over tightened wheel nuts is too common to see. My 2c

    I had the a wheel break off ago in a SFA raider. Had been to TOY for a long trip check - they used to offer/do that - and they hadn't tightened properly in Joburg. Wheel nuts went loose and the wobbling and flexing broke off the studs on one wheel in the middle of the Gamabub plains in Namibia. We eventually got out by borrowing some studs from a Chief some 30 kms away. Rented them to then travel for a day south to find studs off a rolled wreck ( i bought them from an Afrikaans farmer and his Herero wife and then replaced the rented ones - a mission and good tale to talk around a campfire !) and then returned the rented studs to the Chief.

    Hence the use of a torque wrench and an anal approach to wheel nut technology.

    PS still use the Raider 180k kms later with the studs off that old wreck.

    Have seen stories where garages use compressed air guns and over tighten wheel nuts and then the weakened studs shear off - reported many times.

    I bought a Geodore wrench on special from Makro long ago and use it on wheels and suspension/steering/prop shafts often.

    I tighten with ratchet in diagonal sequence after putting all nuts and threading by hand to prevent cross threading, using moderate force and then tighter. Then use torque wrench once or twice up to the desired value, also using pattern. Important not to bolt one nut too high to warp wheel or damage seat of bolt. With a bit of practice it goes quickly enough. Check the wheels offroad after hard days with corrugations etc. The way you torque is also important as some wheel shops let it click and then jolt the wrench again to another clock. This is the wrong way, using momentum too much.

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    If you're going to only use the torque wrench for your wheel nuts, get a cheap one. I use an old one (1990). No name brand from a spares shop. I broke it once by jumping on it to loosen the centre nut on a front wheel drive car. It still works to tighten things, accurate enough for wheel nuts, 86flb.
    Current - 2009 Mazda BT50 3.0CRDi 4x4 d/c
    Previous - 2005 Ranger 2.5 tdi 4x2 d/c (277 422km)

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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    This should be fine for most wheel nuts

    https://www.rbmidas.co.za/products/ta01m

  14. #10

    Default Re: Torque wrench

    Torque wrenches are a good investment - especially if you do normal servicing. Not only for wheels but these days most cars engine blocks and heads are aluminum so you donít want to over tighten bottles there either. Better to torque them to factory torque settings and not guess.

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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    if you wrench often get a proper torque wrench but if its just to tighten wheel nuts then a cheapie will do just fine. You are not worried about torqueing to 105 instead of 100nm, you are worried about 150nm vs 100nm so even a cheapie is accurate enough for that.
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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    Also use it for diff, sump, and gbox/transfer filler and drain plugs. These are all very abused in the motor trade.

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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    Quote Originally Posted by tadhgocuilleain View Post
    For lug nuts, any cheap torque wrench which covers the right range of torque values will be fine.

    While weíre on the topic, a lot of people donít realise that itís recommended to ďwarm-upĒ a torque wrench by clicking it a few times. I usually set the wrench about 10% low, tighten the nut until it clicks, click it a few times, then wind the wrench up to the desired torque and finish tightening. Again, lug nuts donít need to be this accurate but itís good practice.
    Iím always interested by this sort of information. If you donít mind me asking where weíre you thought this? Iíve spent a lot of time over the years learning about bolt theory, itís a simple device but quite complicated and counter intuitive in the specifics. Iíve never heard of this.

    In reply to the OP: Torquing bolts is about 30% accurate (the reason itís not good enough for highly critical bolted connections), so any wrench whoís output is reasonably based on reality will do for your application.

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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    My 500mm power bar with a spring balance works for me for the few times I need it.

    A question though.
    Why is it that advice is often given that caravan wheel nuts must be regularly checked but the towing vehicle wheel nuts not?
    If you make a noise or need music in the bush or on the beach, youíre missing the point.

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  21. #15
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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
    Iím always interested by this sort of information. If you donít mind me asking where weíre you thought this? Iíve spent a lot of time over the years learning about bolt theory, itís a simple device but quite complicated and counter intuitive in the specifics. Iíve never heard of this.
    I first came across this in the instructions/manual of a torque wrench I bought. I've also come across other references to it online in similar threads to this. I've googled it to find out the exact reason why it needs to be done but couldn't find a definitive answer. Some people say it's to let the user get used to the feeling of the click to prevent them turning past the click if they're not expecting it.

    From personal experience, I've sometimes found that if I torque a nut or bolt a little low, then wind up to the specified torque, the nut/bolt moves very little or not at all on the final tighten, which leads me to believe I would have over-tightened if I had just gone straight to the specified torque. For this reason alone, I believe it's useful. If I'm wrong, I'm doing no harm except wasting about 10 seconds every time I "warm-up" my wrench.

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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    Quote Originally Posted by PRA View Post
    My 500mm power bar with a spring balance works for me for the few times I need it.

    A question though.
    Why is it that advice is often given that caravan wheel nuts must be regularly checked but the towing vehicle wheel nuts not?
    Iíve pondered this myself. Iíve never had a car wheel bolt come loose, but my companionís came loose the first few 100kms. My theory is the relative quality of the components has an effect. Perhaps also the loading. Paint is the enemy of keeping bolts tight. I have a sneaking suspicion that once the paint cracked out of the required areas it settled down. The quality of the fasteners with integrated washers would have made it easier to even out the loading in the first place if you compared my bakkies wheel to the companion. My old Gypsy caravan never had this problem, but maybe I was lucky.

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    Default Re: Torque wrench

    Quote Originally Posted by tadhgocuilleain View Post
    I first came across this in the instructions/manual of a torque wrench I bought. I've also come across other references to it online in similar threads to this. I've googled it to find out the exact reason why it needs to be done but couldn't find a definitive answer. Some people say it's to let the user get used to the feeling of the click to prevent them turning past the click if they're not expecting it.

    From personal experience, I've sometimes found that if I torque a nut or bolt a little low, then wind up to the specified torque, the nut/bolt moves very little or not at all on the final tighten, which leads me to believe I would have over-tightened if I had just gone straight to the specified torque. For this reason alone, I believe it's useful. If I'm wrong, I'm doing no harm except wasting about 10 seconds every time I "warm-up" my wrench.
    Thanks, when I read your first post I was thinking it may be to get a even spread of lube into the ratchet system on a torque wrench that had been lying in a drawer for a year.

    On the 90% not moving, I believe you are under torquing your bolts. Static friction, or ďstictionĒ is higher than dynamic friction. So while you are busy turning the nut it will keep going, but once you stop you canít get it going again. This is fairly common in systems that are running very close to their limit. Iíve seen it as a junior engineer in wire drawing machines. Job is running beautifully, stop and youíre dead, machine wonít go again.

    This really is the issue with using torque for tightening bolts. There is a significant difference if the bolt is galvanised, if lubricant is used, is the thread cut or rolled and even to a much lesser degree between batches of bolts. As the designer you try and guess the friction factor to use when specifying a bolt torque.

    Keep in mind that that the biggest risk to failure in service is an under tightened bolt, and the biggest risk in installation is an over tightened bolt. In a properly designed connection the biggest load the bolt will ever see is during torquing, the stress itís subjected to in service will be significantly lower.

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