Torque Wrench Calibration - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Torque Wrench Calibration

Is there a way to calibrate a torque wrench? It never feels like I have the bolts tight enough when I am torquing them. It does have a long handle, so I may just be misinterpreting the amount of effort I need to get to that torque.

Steve

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 08:48 AM
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What kind of t. wrench is it?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Steve

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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I did find this article. http://www.stockcarracing.com/howto/...t_results.html

Steve

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 11:27 AM
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My neigbor has some very expensive digital torque wrenches, Sears I think. I got mine from Harborfreight for under $20.00 and they were almost identical nut for nut when I tried them.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 10:51 PM
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Is there a way to calibrate a torque wrench? It never feels like I have the bolts tight enough when I am torquing them. It does have a long handle, so I may just be misinterpreting the amount of effort I need to get to that torque.
I guess my answer to the question is to offer another question - What does it matter? I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about torque specifications for work where our group must tighten and remove 1+" bolts a lot. It is important that these bolts do not fail and they experience significant dynamic loading, but we have to put them on and take them off so often, we cannot afford to take too long in the process. The purpose of a torque specification is to put the necessary axial stress on the bolt for it to perform the job it was designed for. The issue is that torque is not axial stress and is related to stress through other factors, like friction. Depending on the state of the threads, different stresses can be achieved with the same torque (hence torque specs often use the phrase "clean, dry threads"). Because I do not think that it is easy to keep our threads identical given the variety of environments they see, I do not see torque specs as more than general guidelines.

I would definitely not use a "broken" torque wrench, but I do not think that precision in a torque wrench is important. Being an engineer, I do actually think that such specifications are an important aspect of design. If a design requires a great deal of precision in the stress loading on bolts, then it should call out bolts with embedded strain gauges (or something similar) that actually measure stress/strain.

These are the ideas of someone who has some degrees in mechanical engineering, but who has limited practical experience in messing with the machine that he rides to and from work every day. When the manual says to check torque on my Versys (or my other vehicles), I just get my cheap (under $20) harbor freight click-type wrench and go to town. Hopefully this will not lead to a serious issue with my bike while I am riding it!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharrison56 View Post
Is there a way to calibrate a torque wrench? It never feels like I have the bolts tight enough when I am torquing them. It does have a long handle, so I may just be misinterpreting the amount of effort I need to get to that torque.
sorry I though that was one of the reasons to use a Torque Wrench.. to make sure that sufficient torque was applied, not to little, and not to much.

I you want to calibrate the wrench then the supplier may be able to do that for you at probably significant cost.

easiest way I can think of calibrating a wrench is to find someone else with a torque wrench and see if both indictate similar loads. as the post above says I doubt its 'that' critical, it could be out by a few Nm of FtLbs but providing the wrench is near enough I'd expect it to be good enough.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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It is an interesting position. I can see Musili's point. I was mainly just concerned that I wasn't getting the bolts tight enough, but I suspect it truly is because of the length of the tool. It makes sense that you actually need more requirements than just the torque to compensate for other factors that create friction. My wrench isn't that old and hasn't been used very much so I think I will just trust it.

Thanks for all of the input...makes for an interesting discussion.

Steve

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 08:17 AM
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One of the biggest tricks to keep a torque wrench calibrated is to turn it back to 0 after each use. Just something my dad always stressed to me as a kid.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 09:31 AM
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One of the biggest tricks to keep a torque wrench calibrated is to turn it back to 0 after each use. Just something my dad always stressed to me as a kid.
Plus 1 on that comment , and as for getting your Torque wrench calibrated they do come from the factory calibrated . Unless your high end user of the tool such as a tradesmen ie: Mechanic i dont see much need in getting a regular calibration done. As long as its stowed & used properly it should provide many years of accurate service for most recreation users.


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 05:13 PM
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Unless something has changed since the LAST time I had my "SNAP-ON" torque wrenches calibrated (few years ago...), Snap-On will calibrate them for LIFE! (And I'm NOT the original owner.) I also have 4 other-brand t-wrenches.
Ed
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 07:35 PM
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Unless something has changed since the LAST time I had my "SNAP-ON" torque wrenches calibrated (few years ago...), Snap-On will calibrate them for LIFE! (And I'm NOT the original owner.) I also have 4 other-brand t-wrenches.
Ed
This thread has really helped me since I spent some time looking online about torque wrench calibration. One of the pages that seemed quite competent was the Snap-On page. The next time I buy a torque wrench it may very well be a Snap-On (unless they are ridiculously more expensive than the cheap harbor freight wrenches). I will not purchase a $200 0.5" torque wrench, but I would most likely purchase a Snap-On for around $100. I wonder if I am dreaming.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 09:57 AM
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The next time I buy a torque wrench it may very well be a Snap-On (unless they are ridiculously more expensive than the cheap harbor freight wrenches). I will not purchase a $200 0.5" torque wrench, but I would most likely purchase a Snap-On for around $100. I wonder if I am dreaming.
Snap-On T-wrenches ARE pricey, but if you check at used-tool stores, or Ebay, you may find deals! That's what I did.
Ed
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Snap-On everything is pricey. They had some sets at Road America that appeared to be pretty good prices. Check at most any kind of race. There will usually be a Snap-On rep somewhere with some deals (still pricey).

Steve

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 12:41 PM
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There are two basic classes of fasteners. The first is applications where the axial load applied is critical, as in bearing caps and head bolts. In these applications, the fastener acts as an extremely stiff spring that loads the two faces together with a force greater than the dynamic loading exerted by the engine when in operation. These are torque and tension critical, and the fastener actually stretches as it's tightened down. I always torque these.

The second class are those that hold parts on that are not loaded significantly in operation such as side and cam covers, and the main function is to compress a gasket to prevent leaks. For the most part, I don't use a torque wrench. Through experience and a sense of feel, I can tighten these adequately by hand. The 6mm fasteners seem to be the ones that always get reported as stripped or twisted off in these forums when a torque wrench is used, and I'd suggest not using one on them just for this reason. Almost all of them are non-critical, and would result in a minor oil leak at worst if not tightened enough. Just because a torque is listed in the manual, it doesn't necessarily mean one has to trot the torque wrench out. It's only a guide.

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