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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to start doing my own rotations ect..
Can anyone reccomend a good torque wrench?
Also a good socket set for it? Do I need an extension? Or just a deep socket 22mm for my odyssey 2007?

Thanks!
 

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I would recommend a Craftsman 1/2" drive clicker-type wrench. It will set you back about $100. Cheaper wrenches will likely be less accurate to the point you'd be just as well off going without.

FWIW, I don't bother with a TQ wrench unless I'm putting a motor together or something like that. Common sense with wheels is usually good enough.
 

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If you're starting out, a big set from Sears is a great idea. You can also get these at about 50% off on Ebay. source, people get father's day gifts, birthday gifts, etc and many never even open them. You get a big discount buying a whole set and you will get a lot of the tools you will need anyway.

Although if you progress working on cars you may need specific stuff to add on, these are a great start.

Getting just a socket set and one wrench is better than not having anything, but you will quickly attack something where you need a combination wrench, vice grip, special extension, flex head, etc and that will be frustrating.

Here is a search for tool sets on eBay. Suggest you open a window to the Sears site, as some are overpriced and you can check sales.

ebay tool sets
 

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silicon_dt said:
You'd probably be as well off not using one.

I'd use a four-way tire iron myself.

Personally, if you don't have any tools right now, I'd spend the money on a basic set. The nice thing about Craftsman tool is that they are pretty good for the price and they have a lifetime warranty. Cheap tools can cost you more in the long run if you round of a bolt or break a tool. Plus, you'll keep these tools forever or until they get stolen.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hrm.. so not using a torque wrench... would I just tighten them until they are.. tight? Really tight? Whats the process?

Hand tighten then go another few turns with a ratchet?

Never really messed with wheels so...
 

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I use a Proto 6014 50-250 ft/lbs. I bought a cheaper one for $69 and it broke on the second nut. Returned it and got a real one. A 22mm deep socket is all you need. I bought mine from Sears.
 

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Well like Shall36 I rarely use TW's on repairs. I was taught in detail by my dad how to not strip threads and have learned with a lot experience how much torque different sized fasteners in various applications need - by feel and hand. Some may say well you can't do this and have a properly repaired vehicle. Well, with a LOT of experience you can But if you lack a mentor or experience, the torque wrench is your friend. It will keep you from stripping out fasteners. You don't tighten until it doesn't turn anymore, that's the breaking point. The idea is that you slightly stretch the steel to make the fastener hold tight.

While I've never had anything work loose, with the exception of wheels (rolling my eyes at embarrassment). For wheels, a torque wrench is a darn good idea, as I usually over tighten to make sure its not coming off before we want it to.

Yes, cheap tools can be decent for a while, I have a bunch of HF and Northern stuff to be honest. But I got tired loose fits, sockets falling off, wrenches bending, etc. yea, the $10 full socket set is appealing, but when you eventually replace it with Craftsman or similar, its actually extra money. And on Ebay you can score Craftsman really cheap, so I'm doing that now, but have duplicates now.

Smallish 3 drawer tool box and a top tray job for larger stuff, that's all I use for most things, and I'm a mechanic on a small race team and this setup has nearly everything I need, without bringing a whole rolling tool box. :cool:

It costs diagnostic fee just to roll your oddy in the shop. You can get a nice basic set for sears for the same price!

To answer your question, stick to a reputable brand. Protect it and follow instructions - unload tension spring in many is require when not in use.

I have a 1/2" Sears old school torsion arm job, and a new 3/8" sears clicker type. Bothhave advantages. The torsion bar job is probbaly never going to need calibration. Biggest problem with TW is that they are too big to fit into many spots where you need 'em. So you develop a feel for what is "tight" on like 12-14mm nuts you can almost feel the wratchet bend ever so slightly when you are getting it to torque. Increase that for 15-19 and add even more for 20+. Yes, a X wrench is perfect for lug nuts. I use one instead of my air gun so I don't over-do it. I feel when the X wrench starts to bend, give it a bit more and that's enough for my applications. If you have rust that may require more, but best really to clean the rust first with a wire brush or dremel...
 

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silicon_dt said:
Hrm.. so not using a torque wrench... would I just tighten them until they are.. tight? Really tight? Whats the process?

Hand tighten then go another few turns with a ratchet?

Never really messed with wheels so...
For a newbie, a ratchet will be hard to use to get enough torque on the lug without the ratchet moving from perpendicular to the wheel face. Most ratchets aren't long enough to give you the leverage you will need to break the lugs loose to begin with. This is why the 4-way lug wrench is great...you can get even pressure on the lug and not have the wrench move off at an angle.

1. Start the lugs by hand.

2. Use whatever to get the lugs to where they are seated on the wheel.

3. Begin tightening at one lug and then move to the opposite lug. The idea is to work the tightening pattern so that you aren't tightening lugs right next to each other in sequence. This distributes the clamping force as you are tightening to avoid warping rotors.

Rarely does someone use too little too little torque on a wheel unless they have just forgotten to tighten all the bolts. Shops often use too much torque or they don't both to use a cross-pattern when torquing and you end up with lugs you can't get off with hand tools and possibly warped rotors. If you are using a 4-way lug wrench, a good lean on the arm going down usually does the trick. We're not working on heavy duty trucks or tanks! You won't break a stud unless you are really, really strong or you cross-thread the lug.

Torque wrenches are great when they are calibrated properly. A cheap, uncalibrated torque wrench can do more harm than good. The shops I worked at would have the wrenches calibrated...of course one of the shops was an aircraft repair station, so we had to do that. Off the shelf wrenches vary greatly in both precision and accuracy.

If you don't feel like spending $100+ on a wrench, then buy the bending arm type at Sears and use that to calibrate yourself. It will allow you to get the feel for what 80 ft-lbs (or whatever) feels like. They can be a little tricky to use, but they're probably more accurate that the Craftsman click type. They just require more attention to use properly, which slows you down.

On a side note, manufacturers are moving away from ft-lb torque specs and moving towards angle from seating specs. This is because friction in the threads and between the bolt/nut face and surface can cause readings to vary. For example you would get two different clamping forces if you torqued a lug with and without oil on the seating surface. For wheels on passenger cars, this is not a big deal.
 

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I also started many years ago with just a 4way wrench. They are great for removing lugs. You have to be careful when using it to tighten lug nuts because they have a such good leverage that you can really over tighten. Especially using it to tighten lock nuts, you can easily snap them if you over do it. I did buy a torque wrench 10 years ago and have been using it ever since. No more guess work and never had one come loose on me.

On top of what everyone else suggested, I recommend you buy a $100 torque wrench and start using it, AND DO NOT DROP IT ON THE GROUND OR USE IT AS A CROW BAR so it won't screw up the calibration. If you are a newbie, start using a torque wrench and familiarize yourself with how tight it should be. Start learning with a good point of reference.
 

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I bought a Sears clicker type torque wrench a few years ago for about 100 bucks. It was a great purchase. I use it after every tire rotation. I was surprised at how easy it is to achieve 94ft lbs with it. It goes to show, if your lug nuts are difficult to take off then they are way overtorqued. When I torque them to 94ft lbs, they come off with moderate resistance. After returning from the dealer and they rotate the tires, I can tell right away if they were properly torqued.

One dealer so overtorqued my lug nuts, I practically had to stand on the bar to release them. I strained a lot with a tire iron to take them off, it was ridiculous. I also had warped rotors during those days. Probably related.

Now that I torque them properly, star pattern, 94 ft lbs, no warped rotors. No worry about loosening lugs if I get a flat, etc.

I bet you can overtorque them pretty good if your tighten them as hard as you can with a tire iron.
 

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OMG, I just got my van in July used, went to remove wheels for brake work, it was unbelievable how tight the front lugs were! An air wrench I was using did nothing! I had to get a large breaker bar, and even that was straining me and the tool, it must have been WAY up there maybe 500 ft lbs? I also had a warped rotor on one wheel... there was NO WAY that was coming off with the tool kit lug wrench!

Agree that when using TW on wheels you realize how much they are typically over-tightened.:eek:
 

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For occasional use in tire rotations and similar tasks, an inexpensive beam-type torque wrench may actually be better than a more expensive ratcheting one. Granted, the beam deflection type torque wrench isn't super precise, but it's always in the right ballpark and never goes out of calibration, no matter how long you let it gather cobwebs in your garage. Even the cheapest beam type torque wrench is definitely a step up in accuracy from "tighten until it feels right", or "tighten as tight as you can get".
 

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S-K and Utica torque wrenches (1/2" drive) and another S-K 3/8" wrench. However, there are less pricy alternatives that will fit the bill perfectly.

Presently looking for a torque screwdriver (10-100 in-lbs. range)for things like riflescope rings and scope mounts.

Even a beam wrench is much, much better than trusting the inherent inaccuracy of your very own personal "Mark-1 Torque-sensing elbow."

OF
 

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Use a bathroom scale and press it on your standard (sockets) wrench until it reads the correct lbs, assuming your wrench is about 1 foot long. If not, recalculate the needed lbs :D

I did this once before I bought a torque wrench. It's better than not knowing the torque.
 

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Torquing lug nuts is not something you want to "guess" at. The consequesnses can be warpded rotors at best, and, well, you can imagine a worst case scenario.

There is nothing wrong with the inexpensive "Pittsburgh" wrench the OP asked about, I have the same one and use it with each seasonal wheel/tire change. Being concerned with its accuracy myself when I first boufght it, I rechecked the torque on my lugs with an old beam/dial type wrench and was supprised by its accuracy. Ceratinly more accurate that using a 4 lug wrench to "feel".

While investment in quality tools is always good advice, for someone just looking to torque (or check torque) on their lugs, I don't see how you can go wrong with the less expensive tool option discussed here.
 

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A few years ago, I decided to replace the shocks on my Bimmer and found out you can "rent" a torque wrench at NAPA Parts stores for free. They will take a deposit using your credit card but after you return it, they void the charge. Their rental wrenches cost $300+, or at least that was what you were going to be charged if you did not return it. And no purchase required.

Alternatively, Black Friday is coming up. I believe Sears will be having their TWs on sale for $69. If you are going to buy one, lifetime warranty is the way to go.
 
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