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Discussion Starter #1
Watching some of the service videos on youtube I noticed the mechanics are using torque wrenches and torquing fasteners to torque specs in the low in/lbs. How imperative is getting everything torqued to exact specs? If you feel these specs are necessary which wrenches are you using?
 

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I follow torque specs pretty religiously. I even clean the oil from threads of bore and bolt with Q tips and carb cleaner on the tips. Also chase the threads of bore and bolt if they had thread locker on them. I recently did a valve adjustment and had my Proto in lb torque wrench tested.
 

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One huge part of this is knowing when you cant use the given spec in the manual. Like Avintage says, If a fastener has oil, anti size, or anything on it, you have to use less torque than the manual says to use. New torque wrench owners often times destroy things before they figure that out. You see a lot of damaged oil pans with new torque wrench owners.

For a motorcycle, you just about have to have 2 torque wrenches. A small, 1/4" drive lb/in model and a 3/8" drive lb/ft model. When you use one at its extreme settings, accuracy suffers. Without it being accurate, why bother?

I dont know how much you should spend. I have some junk from Harbour freight that is accurate. The tool is miserable to use. The ratchet head is way oversize, and it feels junky...but, it is accurate. When I tighten things with it, I never trust it.

My Snap-on 3/8" drive torque wrench. I think its range is 10lb/ft to 100lb/ft. I bought it in 2006. It's still in perfect condition. Used, its selling for about 100.00 more than I paid for it, brand new. It's kind of like exhausts, or bike stands in that good stuff always has value.

What specific parts are you wanting to use it on?
 

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I'm not digging into the engine or anything like that. I'll leave that to the experts. I see videos by The Sussex Biker and he's using torque wrenches on the fairing screws, oil and antifreeze drain plugs, oil filter, etc. Is all that really necessary? On my vehicles I've always tightened the oil filters, drain plugs, etc til it felt tight enough but not too tight and I've never had issues.
 

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That's so hard because you cant say it's not necessary. That would be wrong to say. With that said, if you gave me the choice, I'd rather have the pro mechanic, doing it by feel than the beginner with a torque wrench.

Especially when it comes to oil drain plugs. That's a fitting where you are playing with fire when you use a torque wrench. Not so much on Japanese bikes, but on Italian junk, you will bust the pan of you follow the recommended spec.
 

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You ought to try and torque with Crowe’s feet wrenches in your torque wrench, if you can’t get a 90 degree angle on the pull you have to calculate the angle of the pull against the torque specs to get the right torque with every pull, use to do that in the nuclear field and we had a engineer calculating every pull, what a pain in the butt.
 

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Watching some of the service videos on youtube I noticed the mechanics are using torque wrenches and torquing fasteners to torque specs in the low in/lbs. How imperative is getting everything torqued to exact specs? If you feel these specs are necessary which wrenches are you using?
As mechanics get old and more familiar with wrenching, they get more ability to feel a torque to sufficient accuracy. I was a torque wrench nut, with a selection of 3 of them that I actually have calibrated every few years. But as time goes on I use them less for usages I'm really familiar with.

The one low torque nut that I forced myself to learn the feel of the torque is the steering stem bearing nut. These always require a custom toothed socket that I never buy, so I usually hobble together some sort of hand tool to allow adjustment. But it's such a low torque it's hard to judge, and if you **** it up you wreck your head bearings - a wicked job to replace. So I get out an appropriate torque wrench, usually my 12", set it to the torque, and get some practice pulls in on other nuts just see what that feels like before I do it by hand.
 

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Isnt this part 2 of the question? Access. I used my torque wrench while rebuilding my dirt bikes top ends. Almost every fastener there had difficult access, and you needed a crows foot to access them. That meant calculations. Some were impossible to access with 3/8 drive.

Or, its like Zaph said. You REALLY want to use your torque wrench, but the special socket is 132.00 and two weeks out.

I do like the torque wrench for chain adjustments. For me, Those round eccentrics take more torque than what feels like a reasonable person would use. They slip if they are not tight enough.

I went to a compressor rebuild class, in Ohio. Torque wrench was number 1 on his lesson plan. He was going to show how inaccurate our arms and hands were as compared to the torque wrench. In 4 pulls, I was as accurate as the wrench. What he did not know is a friend had told me what the spec was. I believe it was 30 lb/ft. I practiced, at home, and got to class early. It took 10-15 tries before my arm was calibrated. I never told him I did this because he was a dick. I should have because it was a perfect example of why we needed to use them.
 

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Access to the bolts is a big part of torquing properly. And the answer to that is tools, tools and more tools.
Crows feet, boxed end extensions, the proper length drive extensions.. even a 1" can make life easier. And of course a full array of short, medium and deep sockets . Theres also the fast becomeing my favorite and somewhat new addition to my collection, the impact swivel sockets. Not as flexible as a wobble joint but much better in my opinion.

PSA when useing any tool/ adapter that offsets the drive centerline of your torque wrench. "torque wrench drive not directly over bolt head" your torque value will change. As RC said this takes math or if yoh have access to it I use Fastenals torque calculator and double check with math.
For example I used a 2 inch boxed end extension on my outside cam cap bolts. The value went from 106 inch pounds to 91 due to useing it in a inline away manner with my 12" long torque wrench.
 

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The only thing I actually torque anymore are axle nuts, pinch bolts (like forks or the eccentrics) and head or cylinder bolts. Everything else is by feel with a bit of bue loctite when needed. Been wrenching 30 plus years and never had an issue. Most things are not that critical if common sense is used, lol. I have never torque sidepanel screws for instance...:)
 

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Guilty as charged,. Ive done more damage with that big assed Torque wrench then anything else,,. Aluminum and plastic require a special touch, so Ive learned,,!!
 

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I just stripped the Torx head out for the drain plug on my little Beemer, probable because I used the dam torque wrench last time I replaced the oil plug,,. Was happier then a pig in **** when I was able to remove it myself with a file hammer and chisel,,. No fun leaving a bike over night at a shop because you screwed up,,. One minute routine oil change next minute your a total dum-***,,!!
 
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