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Old September 29th, 2018, 10:39 AM   #1
kvgeorge1
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Question about torque specs

I recently changed my oil and the service manual says to torque the filter cover and plug to 14.5 ft/lbs of torque. However, it was getting so tight, that the bike was moving and I was not hearing the "click" from my wrench. It is a fairly new wrench (only used a handful of times) and was wondering, on these parts, if I tighten them hand-tight, then just give them both a little "oomph" extra, would that be enough to hold them in-place?
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Old September 29th, 2018, 10:56 AM   #2
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14.5 ft lbs is very low on the scale of most torque wrenches and very easy to go past without hearing or feeling the click.
As you stated, hand tight and a little “umpfff” for good measure will be good. Also start up the bike and check for leaks. No leaks and you are good.
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Old September 29th, 2018, 10:56 AM   #3
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14.5 ft lbs is very low on the scale of most torque wrenches and very easy to go past without hearing or feeling the click.
As you stated, hand tight and a little “umpfff” for good measure will be good. Also start up the bike and check for leaks. No leaks and you are good.
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Old September 29th, 2018, 11:39 AM   #4
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Awesome! Thx
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Old September 29th, 2018, 12:16 PM   #5
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Another reason I prefer beam type torque wrenches.
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Old September 29th, 2018, 05:37 PM   #6
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When faced with such a low torque, it should be in inch lbs. It's no secret that many ft lb torque wrenches will have issue with that low of torque.

fyi, the conversion to inch lbs is 174.

Good luck!
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Old September 30th, 2018, 08:22 AM   #7
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Get an inch-lb torque wrench to supplement your larger one. Choose the two wrenches so the upper end of one overlaps the lower end of the other.

You've likely overtorqued that bolt. Hopefully you haven't done any damage.

It helps to understand how "clicker" torque wrenches work. It's a misnomer. At lower settings, they do NOT click. They yield slightly. You're looking for that. Not a click or a sudden pop. A gentle displacement.

There are a few different ways to build these things. A concept diagram I created is shown below. The details of actual clicker wrenches vary but the principle is the same. Note that this is just my own understanding... I couldn't find an image online that accurately shows how I believe these things function.

Inside the wrench is a cup with a ball bearing in it (like a scoop of ice cream in a cone). There's a spring in the shaft of the wrench that presses on the ball bearing. When you crank up the torque setting, you're compressing the spring and pushing the ball more forcefully into the cup.

When you reach the specified torque the ball gets cammed out of the cup as shown.

At higher settings, the ball comes out suddenly. The click you hear is the head of the wrench slapping into the side of the handle. There is no "clicker" mechanism per se. The click is a side effect of the wrench yielding with enough force to make a noise.

But at low settings, the ball comes out gently. The exact same thing is happening, but the contact between the wrench head and the handle isn't sharp enough to make any noise.

Before you use the wrench again, I suggest you try it out to see what it feels like. Use the wrench to "tighten" an already-tight fastener that's installed with high torque... something like an axle nut on your bike or a lug nut on your car. Set the torque way too low, near the bottom of the range. You'll feel and see the yield, but there will be no sharp tactile sensation and no click. Now increase the torque to, oh, say, 30 ft-lb... still much lower than the spec of the fastener... and repeat. The wrench yields as before, but this time more suddenly and you can hear and feel the "click."

NEVER EVER use a torque wrench to loosen a fastener.
ALWAYS ALWAYS reset the wrench to its minimum setting before storage.
Use common sense. If you think "Hey, that should be tight by now," STOP before you overdo it.







PS: Shade-tree mechanic tip for those times when you don't have a torque wrench: When you've got the fastener finger-tight, do the last bit of tightening with just your fingertips. Press until you feel a good amount of pressure... until it hurts a bit or until your fingertip turns white (assuming you're white). One finger- about 10 ft-lb. Two fingers, about 20. Three fingers, about 30.
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Old September 30th, 2018, 08:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
PS: Shade-tree mechanic tip for those times when you don't have a torque wrench: When you've got the fastener finger-tight, do the last bit of tightening with just your fingertips. Press until you feel a good amount of pressure... until it hurts a bit or until your fingertip turns white (assuming you're white). One finger- about 10 ft-lb. Two fingers, about 20. Three fingers, about 30.
Is that lb*ft or lb*in???
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Old September 30th, 2018, 10:10 PM   #9
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Is that lb*ft or lb*in???
FT*LB.
And it depends on the length of your wrench.

"Snug" is suitable for almost all small fasteners AND steel fasteners going into tapped holes in aluminum.
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Old October 1st, 2018, 08:13 AM   #10
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Hey @Alex...

From time to time the whole torque wrench thing comes up, often after somebody has learned a lesson the hard way.

It occurred to me that some version of the explanation above plus the illustrations would make a useful reference.

I thought about writing something for the wiki but that part of the site appears to be broken.

What about a sticky? Could go in each of the tech sections, perhaps.

Happy to do a rewrite to accommodate, if you think it's worthwhile.
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Old October 1st, 2018, 10:57 AM   #11
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one thing I have noticed about the click type wrenches is that the first time they "break" or "click" after sitting a while it may be at a much higher torque than what you have it set for. It seems more pronounced the longer it sets and the lower settings within its range. This goes for good quality Snap On or lesser torque wrenches. I always start out by "clicking" them a couple of times at the minimum setting first and then adjust up to the required torque spec.
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Old October 1st, 2018, 11:32 AM   #12
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That's a really good point... never occurred to me. Thanks.
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Old October 1st, 2018, 01:21 PM   #13
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for the record, if there is a harbor freight around, pick up the torque wrenches on one of their "biggest sales ever!!!!" you can score a 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 drive for $11.99 each. i turn wrenches for a living, and have used all three sizes for three years with no issues. Rebuilt 15 liter engines, each year i have them calibrated when the guy comes around to our shop. each year they check ok. i used to catch flak about the cheap wrenches, till a friend had an 800 buck digital snap-on and under torqued a bolt, causing a little over $20,000 in repairs...
another good brand i have had good luck with was a gear-wrench 1/4 drive.
you dont have to break the bank to buy a good torque wrench.
like @adouglas said, always zero them back out. dont drop them, and if in doubt, check it against a known good wrench if you cannot get it calibrated by someone.
Personally, i have not worried about using the wrench in reverse, to torque, not breaking a bolt loose. they say not to, but what do you do when you have to torque a bolt with reverse threads???
with all this said, this is a precision tool, if it is not precise, its worthless. so take care of it, and double check it's accuracy before relying on it for precision work
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Old October 1st, 2018, 01:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THusker View Post
one thing I have noticed about the click type wrenches is that the first time they "break" or "click" after sitting a while it may be at a much higher torque than what you have it set for. It seems more pronounced the longer it sets and the lower settings within its range. This goes for good quality Snap On or lesser torque wrenches. I always start out by "clicking" them a couple of times at the minimum setting first and then adjust up to the required torque spec.
nice input...
likely from a little surface rust..
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Old October 1st, 2018, 02:14 PM   #15
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As adouglas said - if it feels like it's too much - stop.

My youngest son was replacing the sprocket on his R6, and the factory torque spec said something like 60 or 70 ft.lbs. I said I thought that was too much, but he went full steam ahead anyway (I wasn't there).

Stripped numerous studs before stopping (stop after the first one...). Turns out it's not uncommon for R6 owners.

He likes to learn the hard way.

Plenty of people snap small bolts trying to get to the torque spec. It's better to learn what "snug" is, and when to use a small ratchet like 1/4" drive instead of 3/8".
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Old October 1st, 2018, 04:59 PM   #16
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Yeah, without a calibrated tool, humans tend to over-tighten small fasteners and under-tighten larger ones.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 05:03 AM   #17
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for the record, if there is a harbor freight around, pick up the torque wrenches on one of their "biggest sales ever!!!!" you can score a 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 drive for $11.99 each. i turn wrenches for a living, and have used all three sizes for three years with no issues. Rebuilt 15 liter engines, each year i have them calibrated when the guy comes around to our shop. each year they check ok.
I'd love to have access to free/cheap calibration.

My experience with the HF torque wrench was different. I bought one thinking "how bad can it be?" and took it home to check it out.

Using a home-brew calibration rig (known weight, known lever length, basic arithmetic) I found that the wrench was off... by about 20 percent.

Returned it and haven't looked back.

This is the big problem with HF stuff. You might get something good and you might get a POS. Total crap shoot. So yeah... so cheap it's worth a shot, but caveat emptor. Protect yourself and test the thing.

My current 3/8 ratchet is an HF snap-on clone. I like it a lot.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 07:24 AM   #18
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FT*LB.
And it depends on the length of your wrench.
Exactly.

Ever wonder why box wrenches are different lengths? It's to make it harder to overtorque bolts.

This assumes a standard 3/8" ratchet handle, I believe. Learned that tip so long ago I don't recall the source or the details.

Quick story about "ever wonder why...."

A young guy pitted next to me earlier this year and was having trouble getting his brake calipers off. They were Allen-type and he'd mangled the hex pocket a bit. He eventually succeeded but when he went to reinstall them, I could see why he'd had a problem. He had put a piece of tubing several inches long over the hex key for extra leverage and was cranking 'em down German-style.... Gutenteit.

After dope-slapping the dude I talked him into buying a torque wrench and learning how to use it. He'd heard about torque settings but had never learned what they meant.

Watching him gave me insight into the millennial mind. Everything he did involved pulling out his phone and looking for a YouTube video, which he then followed blindly. Instant gratification, little deliberation or thought. He had no maintenance manual and no concept of how to properly use, organize or care for tools. His tool box was a plastic bin with everything just dumped into it.

Maybe it's because I'm an old curmudgeonly dinosaur, but I believe it's important to know how things work and why things are done in a certain way.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 07:36 AM   #19
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to fix it, you first have to understand how it works. no short cuts in doing things the correct way.
i recall the first time i ever used an impact wrench.
It was my first day as a paid mechanic.
oh boy..
it was a 1 inch drive gun, with a 3 and 5/16 inch or so socket. taking a pinion nut off a semi truck drive axle. i hauled that big impact up on the nut, and hit the trigger. that gun jumped like a mule, and busted my lip with the recoil. lol... i was wondering what kind of job i had gotten myself into.. four years later, i still learn new things each day, and i can diagnose issues that give the untrained fits of anxiety. i do still get my butt whooped on the regular. no matter how hard a problem is to find, it so many times winds up being a very simple repair. especially when it comes to electrical issues. might take 15 hours of labor at 130 an hr, and the fix is a short section of wire, and a good solder job.
90% of the work i do at the dealership is from the driver not taking care of the vehicle, or due to poor quality repairs made at an earlier date. if people did things correctly, half my work load would vanish...
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 07:53 AM   #20
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I know there are advantages to the click type torque wrenches, like you don't have to be able to see a scale when using it, but the beam type has some advantages too.

First, when tightening a bunch of bolts in sequence, you don't have to keep stopping and resetting the wrench after each time around the pattern.

Then there's the big advantage that there's really nothing to calibrate, as long as the pointer points to zero when there's no torque on the wrench. As long at the beam doesn't get damaged or very rusty, for example, it's going to stay calibrated for longer than a human lifetime.

Also, the range is huge. My big beam type goes to 100 lb-ft, but can be easily used way down to 5 lb-ft. My small one reads up to 600 lb-in, but can be accurately read down to 25.

I don't own a click type, and I admit that on a rare occasion I've had to place a small mirror somewhere so I could see the scale, but that's about twice in my 60 year life.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 08:27 AM   #21
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i have my dads old beam style craftsman. i've never used it. i myself do not care for the digital, electronic ones. i have seen them used incorrectly, and cause major issues. 20 grand on one repair in one case. the torque angle feature is very easy to mis-use the wrench, the wrench does not accurately measure angle if you are not careful.
a lot of fasteners are torqued to a lighter number, then angle tightened the final step, vs only a torque spec. say, 30 ft/lb, then 90 degree, 90 degree and 90 degree for a 6.7 power-stroke head bolt. i like angle specs, hard to mess that up. a simple $20 rig gets you as accurate as you'll ever need to be. i actually just mark my sockets at four points and use that to gauge my angle. lol. so simple, yet effective.

i admit, i do not torque most things to spec, sealing surfaces, i will torque, or if a fastener would cause a major amount of work or damage if it fails, i'll spec that out. other than that, i just use common sense and good feel.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 08:35 AM   #22
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I've never used a beam wrench because of parallax* . I wonder if it's really possible to get a proper view. You need to be looking at it dead-on to see what the pointer indicates, right?

Do you find this to be an issue at all? I know that most of the time I can't position myself to be able to see. Drain bolts, fasteners low down on the side of the engine, etc.

So yeah... clickers have an admitted advantage here but is my perception that you're rarely able to really see the beam-type scale/pointer overblown?



*For those who don't know the term, it refers to visual misalignment... if the pointer is hovering at some distance above the scale--which it is--and you look at it from an angle you won't really see what it's pointing at.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 09:13 AM   #23
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I've never used a beam wrench because of parallax* . I wonder if it's really possible to get a proper view. You need to be looking at it dead-on to see what the pointer indicates, right?

Do you find this to be an issue at all?
Essentially, no. With the wrenches I have, the pointer sits pretty close to the scale. I just looked at my 100 lb-ft wrench, and if I try to read the scale from a 45 degree angle, the error is about 2 lb-ft. If I had to read it like that, I could easily see that when I'm not applying force to the wrench the zero reading was actually 2, and I could make up for that when torquing the bolt.

It is possible to shove the wrench sideways, causing the pointer to rise off the scale about 1/8", but if that happens it's pretty obvious, and you can quit shoving sideways.

Now if I ran a shop and had entry level trainees torquing bolts, I might very well prefer they use the click type wrench, and insist they bring it to me to set it before each use, since it probably takes a little skill to use the beam type. Not a lot... a little.

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Old October 2nd, 2018, 10:40 AM   #24
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i have to go each year to re certify for engine's for both Ford and Mack. it really surprises me how many people that are supposed mechanics, keep turning after the wrench hs indicated proper torque. and i dont mean a split second, i mean going another 1/4 turn past. with digital, that beep and flash and vibrate, click style. you name it. it makes you wonder how much shade tree work is happening in ignorance.
the first time i saw it, i was shocked. pretty sure my mouth fell open a bit...
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 01:37 PM   #25
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Here’s something that I have seen shop mechanics do that makes my jaw drop:
I have seen then tighten up a nut or bolt with an impact gun, then check the torque with a torque wrench.
Problem?: checking it with a torque wrench does not insure you have the correct torque. It only insures that you have not undertorqued but have also most likely overtorqued the fastener.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 02:52 PM   #26
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When faced with such a low torque, it should be in inch lbs. It's no secret that many ft lb torque wrenches will have issue with that low of torque.

fyi, the conversion to inch lbs is 174.

Good luck!
You just need a low maximum torque wrench. My normal bike one is 5-40 ft/lb on a 3/8th drive. My 1/2” drive goes to 200ft/lb !

YMMV
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 06:29 PM   #27
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You just need a low maximum torque wrench. My normal bike one is 5-40 ft/lb on a 3/8th drive. My 1/2” drive goes to 200ft/lb !

YMMV
YMMV - ikr!!! Best be shopping some yard sales for a snap-on or....




Just trying to be real. Sooo many of us do not have such tools. Just buy one of each in/ft torque wrenches and learn to convert as needed. Your wallet will thank me later.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 08:08 AM   #28
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This is really good stuff!!! Thanks for sharing.
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Fastener Torque Specs Finder 2008 - 2012 Ninja 250R Tech Talk 7 August 28th, 2009 07:58 PM


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