Buying a Torque Wrench

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Johnny Moondog, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Johnny Moondog

    Johnny Moondog Member

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    I was thinking of buying a torque wrench - so I can change my own tires.

    What do I need to know, to be sure I buy the correct one for my needs ?
     
  2. claudel

    claudel Member

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    If, like me, you would only use it 3 or 4 times a decade consider a rental...
     
  3. PBC

    PBC Member

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    They come in inch pounds and foot pounds and there is a big difference between the two. For home use there really isn't much point spending big money on a Snap On style wrench unless you just want to. At the same time the cheap $8 style with the mechanical pointer is fairly worthless as well.
    [​IMG]


    Something like this is exactly what you are looking for
    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't necessarily make it my wrench of choice for engine work but for lug nuts it will work find.
     
  4. fish78

    fish78 Member

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    Do you mean an imact wrench? I don't see how a torque wrench would be helpful in changing tires.
     
  5. oldlefty

    oldlefty Member

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    Unless I have my car at the track for "driver ed" I don't use a torque wrench.

    "About..... that tight. There."
     
  6. DYNA BILL

    DYNA BILL Member

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    I usually do my own tire rotation to extend the life of the tires.
    I've had enough warped brake rotors that I like to torque each lug nut to the same torque. Usually about 90-100 ft. lbs. But maybe that's just my OCD.
     
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  7. Rick Lee

    Rick Lee Member

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    When I take my wheels off for brake work, I put my torque wrench on the driver's seat, so I remember to torque my lug nuts at the very end. I'm not sure what else you'd need it for with regard to "changing tires." The machine to actually change car tires will run you a good $10k or more. Any halfway decent impact driver will take your lugs off and snug them back on, and then you use the torque wrench for final torquing. You shouldn't have to use a torque wrench for more than about half a turn on anything. They're not for tightening or loosening; they're for the final check.
     
  8. M138

    M138 100% Fenriz Approved

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    I check lug nut torque anytime a wheel comes off. On my work truck I check periodically just to make sure none have backed off. And I have found lugs that have started to back off.
     
  9. Johnny Moondog

    Johnny Moondog Member

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    I have an impact driver - just wanted to get a torque wrench to finish things up - get the end result correct.
    I want the basic gear - so I can change my own tires (seasonal change over ) twice a year.
    They are already on rims.

    I had a buddy show me how to do a basic brake pad job once.
    He tightened up all the nuts with an impact drill - didn't think the torque wrench was "necessary".

    A year later I had to replace my two back rotors.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  10. M138

    M138 100% Fenriz Approved

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    I would guess OP was only talking about tires already mounted on the rims. And +1 on the wrench being only for the final check.
     
  11. pbmw

    pbmw Member

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    I'm a tool junkie. (I own a machine shop)
    Craftsman torque wrenches are junk.
    The adjuster and lock are plastic and will break.
    I bought three for my shop. They didn't last a month.
    Craftsman won't warranty them. It's not a "wrench"... It's a "precision instrument"
    No lifetime warranty
    Buy a Proto. Good stuff
     
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  12. kebotrans

    kebotrans Gold Supporting Member

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    Air Gun and and a Torque Stick on those wheels is way quicker.
     
  13. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    This is right.... $10 with the coupon from the mail or online. 1/2" drive.
     
  14. Stew

    Stew Member

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  15. HurricaneJesus

    HurricaneJesus Member

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    I bought a SnapOn ft/lb used on eBay for tire rotation.
    I've also had a 1/2' Craftsman in/lb for about 5 years for various maintenance chores (I'm super paranoid about stripping threads on my Mustang's aluminum bits).
     
  16. BrewDrinkRepeat

    BrewDrinkRepeat Member

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    You cannot warp a brake rotor no matter how much you tighten the lug nuts.

    Rotors will only warp when exposed to extreme heat, and the symptoms often associated with rotor warp on passenger vehicles is actually friction pad material transferring unevenly to the rotor -- unless you're racing your car on a track you are very unlikely to generate anywhere near enough heat to actually warp the metal.

    Good job on rotating the tires frequently, though... and check your pressure at least once a week if not more often!
     
  17. mattamatta

    mattamatta Member

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  18. BuddyDog

    BuddyDog Member

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    What you will need is a 1/2" drive torque wrench and a deep set socket. Most vehicles lug bolts should be tightened to about 90 ft/lbs. but check the owner's manual.

    The issue with a torque wrench is how accurate the calibration is. Most less expensive ones are supposed to be around 6% accurate.

    I have one I bought through Tire Rack. Not too expensive, and it is all metal.
     
  19. DYNA BILL

    DYNA BILL Member

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    May be a wive's tale, but I tend to err on the side of caution.
    What's your opinion of the effect hot rotors being hit by cold water, as in a car wash? Any chance for some amount of warpage? I've heard yes and no.
     

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