Torque Wrench Recommendation? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Torque Wrench Recommendation?

Loving my new 2011 V and preparing to be able to do some of my maintenance. In the past I've had issues finding the 'right' torque wrench for my bikes- so I'm just wondering if anyone here has a recommendation for a particular wrench appropriate to the needs of the bike's specs. Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 09:14 PM
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Torque specs are the worst of all. It is hard for such specs to be accurate to a factor of two (if even that). Are the threads "clean and dry" or is there a specified lubricant?

I do not understand how certain wrenches may have caused you issues in the past. I personally use whatever is cheap from Harbor Freight (or equivalent) and I am pretty sure that is more accurate than most work on such bikes. I listen to invader to understand that I shoud listen to the manufacturer of the spark plugs to correctly torque them (the NGKs are indexed). Good luck.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 09:14 PM
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My girlfriends son has a Snap-On Digital Torque Wrench. I used it when i changed out my spark plugs. Set the desired ft lbs and when you reach it the torque wrench vibrates so theres no chance of a screw up.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Those Snap-Ons look nice- but $500.00 is WAY out of my tool budget. Does anyone know of a more economical way of solving the problem? To clarify: The 'Issues' I refer to in the past have mainly been finding a torque wrench that can be set to the low torque settings required for a bike. I saw a digital adapter on ebay, but it looks like the minimum torque rating on it is 30lbs... Anyone try one of these?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 09:48 PM
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I use Harbor Freight torque wrenches. They work fine. Get an inch pound and a foot pound wrench.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Tony. Those look much more reasonable.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 10:13 PM
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I have been using a Craftsman 3/8" drive torque wrench for several years with no issues. I do not remember what I paid for it but I'm thinking under $100.00.

It is calibrated in ft. lbs. and NM.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 11:16 AM
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I have Harbor Freight's torque wrenches in 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2" sizes, because you eventually need ALL 3. IF you watch sales, you'll get coupons (over time) to get all 3 at $9.99 EACH! REALLY important when using a low torque reading to 'test' it several times so that you don't go past the 'click' which may be barely audible. I do that by putting an old socket on the wrench and tightening it into a vice, then slowly and gently turning to find the 'click' point.

Very important to 'release' them back to ZERO after use, and NEVER use them instead of a 'breaker-bar' to loosen something. They might not be as accurate as a high $ wrench (Snap On, etc), but they are a helluva lot more accurate than tightening by-guess-and-by-God!

BTW, I also have THREE Snap-On torque wrenches in my Canadian tool-box, 1/2" and 2 different 3/8s, AND a Harbor Freight 1/4"!

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 03:21 PM
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I used to have a cheapo one from TireRack but I lost one of the screws that hold the spring assembly to the head and there is some play so I question whether it's still accurate.
I replaced it with a Sears craftsman 1/2" torque wrench, which I believe was about $79. I'm quite happy with it and use it for all sorts of stuff on the car. I think it goes to 150 ft-lbs.

The only problem is that it's not very good below 25 ft-lbs (not a surprise). I just used it for SS brake lines on my car to tighten the brake line banjo(?) bolts, which should be 24ft-lbs. I set it to 24 and proceeded to over-torque and snap the head off one of the bolts. Backed it down to 20 ft-lbs and it worked fine on a replacement bolt.

I echo what G19Tony said: get an inch-lb torque wrench too for things that don't have to be that tight!

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 03:36 PM
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Very good information on this one.
To add to it I have a torque wrench testing station for my work that will test from 5 inch pounds to 600 foot pounds, I test the torque wrenches of our 450 mechanics around the country once a year.
The most common torque wrenches to be sent in for calibration are Snap-On, not slamming the brand, it is what I use, but the Craftsman and Harbor Freight wrenches test out very accurate if you care for them properly, #1 is as writen below, set them back to 0 when done.

Kevin


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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
I have Harbor Freight's torque wrenches in 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2" sizes, because you eventually need ALL 3. IF you watch sales, you'll get coupons (over time) to get all 3 at $9.99 EACH! REALLY important when using a low torque reading to 'test' it several times so that you don't go past the 'click' which may be barely audible. I do that by putting an old socket on the wrench and tightening it into a vice, then slowly and gently turning to find the 'click' point.

Very important to 'release' them back to ZERO after use, and NEVER use them instead of a 'breaker-bar' to loosen something. They might not be as accurate as a high $ wrench (Snap On, etc), but they are a helluva lot more accurate than tightening by-guess-and-by-God!

BTW, I also have THREE Snap-On torque wrenches in my Canadian tool-box, 1/2" and 2 different 3/8s, AND a Harbor Freight 1/4"!
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 05:38 AM
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There is a reason some experienced professional mechanics call them "Guessing Sticks". Unless you send it out for calibration regularly it is likely inaccurate. If there is one item you should not buy from Harbor Freight it's anything that requires precision and accuracy. I have the $100 Craftsman and it seems to work okay but I don't really have any idea how accurate it is, like most torque wrench owners. I wish this weren't true.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 07:29 AM
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I have two Teng torque wrenches which cover everything from virtually nil to 80 lbs/ft. I think that they are the next best thing to Snap-On (which I also think are just way over priced) and are real nice quality.

http://www.tengtools.com/

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 09:08 AM
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I really like dial wrenches for < 50 ft-lb, but I don't know if they're commonly available for under $100.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldrotpk View Post
Very good information on this one.
To add to it I have a torque wrench testing station for my work that will test from 5 inch pounds to 600 foot pounds, I test the torque wrenches of our 450 mechanics around the country once a year.
The most common torque wrenches to be sent in for calibration are Snap-On, not slamming the brand, it is what I use, but the Craftsman and Harbor Freight wrenches test out very accurate if you care for them properly, #1 is as writen below, set them back to 0 when done.

Kevin
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chitownpete View Post
There is a reason some experienced professional mechanics call them "Guessing Sticks". Unless you send it out for calibration regularly it is likely inaccurate.
But it is not just the wrench that leads to "guessing" in torque specifications. Most common torque specs are for "clean and dry" threads. It is up to you to define how clean is clean and how dry is dry. Even a small amount of remaining lubricant/cleaner will significantly change the axial stress on connector at a given torque. Therefore, the error in the assembly is at best evenly distributed between the wrench and the mating surfaces.

When the state of the connection really matters then much more needs to be specified than just a torque value and "clean and dry." Specific lubricant application and calibrated wrench would be required. Some connections would require very specific indexing instead of specifying torque.

The first time I changed my spark plugs on my Versys I used the torque spec given in the service manual. Then I read a post by invader that had me actually look at the NGK plugs box and I found that they call out an indexed turn instead of torque. I now do what the manufacturer of the part calls out and use the index instead of the torque value.

The bottom line is that an accurately calibrated torque wrench can still be a "guessing stick."
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 03:07 PM
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I got 1/2" and 3/8" torque wrenches from Harbor Freight. HF frequently has coupons for their torque wrenches in the one-page ads they run in the cycle magazines and other publications. They also have frequent in-store specials on these items. IIRC, I paid under $10 for the 3/8" and under $20 for the 1/2". They also have very good prices on sockets for the axle bolts.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 03:08 PM
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I have a Kobalt 3/8 a Snapon 1/2 and a Craftsman 1/4 ( inch pound ) and a craftsman 3/8 beam type. The click type are more accurate without a doubt, the snap on holds calibration the best with Kobalt and then craftsman . ( i get mine done locally once a year) as i work on a lot more than motorcycles , s

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 07:50 PM
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You'll find that the beam wrenches are the ones that hold their accuracy. I have beam wrenches all the way from inch pounds to 400 foot pounds. No springs or moving parts, just a torsion beam.

As you work, you'll develop a sense of how tight a given fastener should be tightened. Most aren't particularly torque critical. Most pro mechanics don't bother using a torque wrench on them because they know through experience how tight they should be. They do use one on the critical stuff.

One of the best things you can buy for these bikes is a set of metric T-handle allen wrenches. You can tighten the small fasteners adequately without worrying about twisting them off.

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