Torque wrench query

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by fiwi, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. fiwi

    fiwi Been here awhile

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    Hello all. Im am in the process of stream lining my tool kit and have a couple of questions.

    I dont have a torque wrench, have never had one, but im wondering if it is really that important to be using one when tightening up things on my f8. Some people seem to be truly anal about using one, some seem to just go by feel. I am going to buy one anyway, but am wondering about a few things.

    Is a torque wrench a tool that most people leave in their tools at home, or is it a tool that people take on trips?. Can I but a torque wrench that is small enough to take on the road with me?.

    At the moment, for the most part, my tool kit consists of a 3/8" ratchet driver, various torx sockets, 3 or 4 spanners and other miscellaneous tools. I would like to ditch the standard ratchet driver, get rid of the spanners also as they are quite bulky, and if possible, get a compact torque driver(I have only seen 1/2" but can get an adaptor if need be), and some sockets to replace the spanners. Would that seem to make sense?.

    I really do think my travel tool kit is far too heavy/bulky. If i could streamline it a bit that would be great, if i need to have a travel kit and heavier/bulkier tools at home as well, thats fine .

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Grant
    #1
  2. Sean-0

    Sean-0 straya carnt

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    Any Quality tension wrench torque wrench will set you back a few bucks , it would be the last thing i would want to carry on my bike , i have 2 , small and large ,large cannot do the small ft pounds i require on some projects so i need both , i wont guess how much they were , im scared , but they are both snap-on so there up there in price
    #2
  3. lmclamore

    lmclamore Citation Collector

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    I have them in my garage for "needed" times. I don't think they are good candidates for m/c travel. Large, heavy, and not needed regularly. They fall into the same category as the kitchen sink IMO. Although all bolts are given a torque specification range, I think you can use common sense to get you by until you reach your (or someone's) garage.
    #3
  4. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Dreams

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    Yeah... same thing. I have two nice ones at home I use all the time when I am working on the bikes. This gives me a good feel for what kind of torque is required for which bolts. Some bolt take less torque than expected for their size.

    In the field I go by experience, no torque wrenches :D Mine are too big to carry on the bike anyways!
    #4
  5. chipmessiah

    chipmessiah just farkling around

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    Jet, a Canadian tool company makes a torque wrench that's less than a foot long and has settings that go from 6 to 250 Nm. I'm at work, when I get home I'll post the part # or link
    #5
  6. Motoriley

    Motoriley Even my posing is virtual

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    I've never seen anyone carry a torque wrench on the road. That being said I think it is important to have one (or two) in the shop. On the F8 there are a lot of times you are tightening bolts that are going into aluminium. Some of these specs are very low. You will be amazed how little pressure some of these fasteners take before the wrench says whoa! Strip one bolt that requires major work to repair, loose one brake caliper at speped and the "savings" over not having a wrench disappear pretty quick. The crowd with the magic hand that "knows" what torque to apply sans wrench will disagree.

    #6
  7. jscottyk

    jscottyk Been here awhile

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    Check out the wrenches from CDI. These are made by Snap-On. After a couple of failed plastic bits on Craftsman torque wrenches I bit the bullet and got one of these all metal wrenches. Worth the money. Reasonable prices can be found with a quick google.

    Definitely a 'shop only' tool.

    In my opinion, unless you are professional mechanic with 10,000 hours of wrench turning the go by feel method is not sufficient for critical parts. All the mechanics I have run across with that kind of experience grab the torque wrench for critical parts. If the fastener is holding a part that I'm going to trust my life with, and the OEM engineers specify a torque value, then I grab the wrench. If that's considered anal, then I'm anal.
    #7
  8. KnuckC

    KnuckC F8er

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    I don't bring one on the road but use one frequently in the shop. If money is an issue, get one good quality 20 - 100 Nm wrench, it will cover most of the values on the bike. For lower values slightly more than hand tight works. I don't think it is necessary to be exact at these low torque values.
    #8
  9. AlanI

    AlanI Adventurer

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    One point that hasn't been mentioned yet is that it is inadvisable to use a torque wrench to unfasten bolts/nuts as the quality torque wrenches are carefully calibrated tools. So if you were to find a torque wrench of suitable size covering all the required range you'd still need to carry a normal wrench for the removal of the bolts/nuts.
    #9
  10. modeselector

    modeselector Common as muck

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    Good advice.
    #10
  11. lookaught

    lookaught Loner Extraordinaire

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    DOn't you know that German bikes and car use German torque?

    gutentight!


    I carry blue locktite and no torque wrench. Everything is by feel unless it's at home and a critical part for which I have the torque spec (usually engine internals, etc). Otherwise, tighten by hand until snug, and a little extra. Be very careful when threading into aluminum, particularly with small diameter bolts under M6. Above M8 aluminum can take quite a lot of torque, and if you feel like it's only needing a little bit of torque, then grip up toward the top of the ratchet instead of the end of the handle and it's much harder to overtighten.

    I loctite everything under the sun. It's an thread locker and anti-corrosion. There is no downside to using blue loctite IMO.
    #11
  12. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Dreams

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    You could get sticky fingers.... :eek1


    Also some bolts with weak heads like small allens may strip if you over-tighten them and use blue loctite... but at least this bike uses better fasteners... some of the zinc plated crap steel screws I've seen will strip if you look at them funny.
    #12
  13. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    Torque wrenches are getting more important every year!

    The fasteners on a K7x bike are one or two sizes smaller then would have been used on a motorcycle 10 years ago.

    On a low performance bike there was a huge window of torque that would make a satisfactory connection. New highly engineered bikes have a smaller window of bolt torque that will work without bolts failing.

    The failures may not be immediat, but over time and mileage...

    I don't carry a torque wrench on the road, I use my arm which has been calibrated through 22 years in industrial occupations, then when I get home, I check bolts with a torque wrench. My arm has never been correct yet.
    #13
  14. The Griz

    The Griz North Forest Rider

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    Great advice! +2!
    #14
  15. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Proper torque is important. Do you know the proper torque of all the nuts and bolts on your bike? Up until a few months ago, all that info was on a CD that required a computer to read. So much for lightening the load, not to mention the added cost of buying a lap top if you don't have one. Some how we got by.

    What are you going to fix on the road? Other than axle bolts and oil plugs, I can't think of much that won't require parts that you probably won't have either.

    Buy a good torque wrench and keep it in your garage. If you break down in a remote area you will probably resort to McGyver mode, so an educated guess will do in a pinch.

    More important for off road travel is carrying things that will get you out of trouble. Patch kits, tubes, air supply, misc nuts and bolts,epoxy, bailing wire, zip ties, tire irons, wrenches, straps, well you get my drift.

    I found a small ratcheting screw driver at the local hardware store that will adjust to a 45 or 90 degree angle and will use torx drivers or large sockets with adapters. A little weak for exerting large torque loads, but will do in a pinch.

    Cruz tools put together a kit for the bike, using my bike for what was needed. Cheaper to buy what you need individually, especially if you have part of it, but a source if you don't.
    #15
  16. fiwi

    fiwi Been here awhile

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    So, if i was to get a 1/4 drive wrench with a range of 5 to 30 nm and a 3/8 drive wrench with 20 to 100nm range, would that be enough to cover pretty much everything?
    #16
  17. conrado

    conrado Been here awhile

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    Sounds good.
    #17
  18. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    I would get the 5-30 in 3/8' drive also. Adapting down to 1/4" at the lower range for the little sockets if needed. GH
    #18
  19. sno-where

    sno-where Adventurer

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    Torque wrenches need periodic calibration to stay precise. If you are not going to do that, you are better off with the old school beam type wrenches, which are more accurate, but more difficult to use. I keep a ¼ beam type in my home garage which I use for most my bike needs. In the shop I manage/work in, we get our torque wrenches calibrated yearly, but to tell the truth, we only use them for head studs and similar, everything else we can just tighten by experience. Little fasteners take a ¼ wrench and you go to ‘tight’ and then a little more. You can train yourself to know what different torques should feel like by tightening stuff with the torque wrench, and then doing it by hand and checking with the torque wrench.

    One thing to keep in mind, any extension or addapter on the wrench will alter the torque being applied. Just a small adapter or extension, the change is minimal. Larger stuff it can be more problematic. I was doing the head bolts on a Audi engine this week that required a long extension with a wobble extension too. I had to adjust that torque upwards to ensure the stud was properly torqued.
    #19
  20. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    The only reason a math factor would have to be applied to a torque wrench with a wobbler is because you might be changing the angle just enough to create a forward extension of the torque wrench when wobbler "wobbles".
    Using an adapter or an extension which simply runs perpendicular to the torque wrench changes nothing. The torque will be the same. However, if you effectively extend the torque wrench by using a crows foot type wrench end or the special tool required for the head torquing on say a KDX for example, then you have to apply the math factor to get it right.

    Let's do the math SEE NOTE

    R = T X L
    L + A

    NOTE:
    I can't get the forum to put the L + A part directly under the T X L part for some reason the spacing won't work. Please take this into account that the T X L is over the L + A like an equation.

    Where R is the corrected torque factor
    T is the torque called for in the manual you are using
    L is the lever length of your torque wrench from center of the grip to center of the drive (center to center)
    A is the extension length from drive to drive (where it attaches to the wrench and where it attaches to the bolt you are torquing)

    Easy as Pi, no? LOL! ;)
    #20