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Where to buy a good torque wrench


SpaceKing

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Where can I find a good price on a good quality torque wrench for working on my GS? I heard someone say Sears some time ago.

Cheers

beno

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Ben -

 

Agreed. The Sears Digitork 3/8" 5-80 ft./lbs. is a staple for woking on the Boxer engine. Covers just short of everything.

Here's a link to the online Sears page.

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russell_bynum

I've got a few Craftsman torque wrenches (from Sears) that seem to do fine.

 

Keep in mind: A torque wrench loses accuracy at the outer ends of its range. I wound up with four torque wrenches to cover everything from the 8nm valve adjuster locknuts to the 250nm (or something obscene like that) nuts that hold the hubs on my 325.

 

The fancy digital torque wrenches that buzz and vibrate are cool, but the old style work fine and cost less.

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Sears has a digital model that is really cool. You use your standard ratchet. This tool or meter fits between the ratchet and socket and it gives you a digital readout as you tighten the bolt. Very cool. I tried to find it on the Sears site but did not see it. You may have to go to the store. Cost is about $100 or so.

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russell_bynum
Sears has a digital model that is really cool. You use your standard ratchet. This tool or meter fits between the ratchet and socket and it gives you a digital readout as you tighten the bolt. Very cool. I tried to find it on the Sears site but did not see it. You may have to go to the store. Cost is about $100 or so.

 

Just a note on that kind of setup: It adds to the overall length and bulk of your wrench. Usually that's no problem at all but if you're in a tight space, it could be problematic.

 

Just my $0.02.

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Sears has a digital model that is really cool. You use your standard ratchet. This tool or meter fits between the ratchet and socket and it gives you a digital readout as you tighten the bolt. Very cool. I tried to find it on the Sears site but did not see it. You may have to go to the store. Cost is about $100 or so.
I had one of those but decided not to keep it. It is pretty nifty in that you can easily carry the capability of a range of torque wrenches in a small space so perhaps good for travel, and I found it handy for checking calibration of my other wrenches, but otherwise a standard clicker wrench is a lot easier to use and for the reason Russell mentioned you'd probably need a standard wrench as well as sooner or later you're going to find a place where the electronic tool won't fit.
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The fancy digital torque wrenches that buzz and vibrate are cool, but the old style work fine and cost less.

....and because Young's Modulus cannot change, beam types cannot go out of calibration unless the zero is off (and that is easy to fix). Digital types mislea you into believing they are highly accurate, but you not only don;t need 3-figure accuracy, you have no way of knowing just how true it is reading.

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2wheelterry

I have a clicker style Craftsman 3/8" drive (to 75 ft/lb) that I use for about 90% of my torquing. But I also bought a 1/4" and 1/2" drive torque wrenches from Harbor Freight for under $25 each for the other 10%. I can't vouch for how accurate they are. But they are better than what I used to use when outside the range of my 3/8" drive.

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While there may be bargains to be found on Ebay, if it was anything other than new in an unopened package, I'd have to calibrate it before using it. There is just no way to tell how a used torque wrench was stored or abused.

 

BTW, if I was only going to have one torque wrench to service a m/c and I wasn't planning a major teardown, I'd get a 1/4" 0-250 inch-pound wrench first. There are a lot more 8-25 Nm fasteners than the few large values. Lots of people strip valve cover bolts, but few strip the rear wheel lug nuts. Of the routine maintenance items, the only things that come to mind right off that are beyond the range of the small wrench are the lug bolts and brake caliper mounting bolts.

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The fancy digital torque wrenches that buzz and vibrate are cool, but the old style work fine and cost less.

 

They are cool.

 

They tell you the torque you're at as well as the peak torque.

 

It's been awhile since I compared, but I thought given the better range of the digital (SnapOn's is in my head in this case), you could actually replace 2-3 of the craftsman's w/ the snapon. In the end, if you didn't already have torque wrenches it was close to a wash. Assuming you need that range of course.

 

And it's cool. Really cool. smile.gif

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Oh ya, and Russell, weren't you bitchin' about anal-ness in another thread?

 

To be honest, there are a lot of fasteners on the RT that have torque specs but really aren't that super-critical. The valve cover bolts. I'll bet more people strip em out using a 1.5' long torque wrench either set wrong or mis calibrated than do just snugging them up by hand.

 

I know I've had a couple episodes where the "torque hand" said to stop, and the torque wrench said to keep going, and I broke the bolt off in something.

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Ok, did some research and I can't order the digitork in Canada from US Sears. I did find one on sale in Sears Canada here in vancouver, but it is 25 to 250 rather the 5 to 80 that the Digitork is. Is that a low enough rating or should I really get the 05 to 80? This is for doing valves, switching out the shocks and all things asundry on the GS.

Thanks gents.

Ben

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russell_bynum
Oh ya, and Russell, weren't you bitchin' about anal-ness in another thread?

 

To be honest, there are a lot of fasteners on the RT that have torque specs but really aren't that super-critical. The valve cover bolts. I'll bet more people strip em out using a 1.5' long torque wrench either set wrong or mis calibrated than do just snugging them up by hand.

 

I know I've had a couple episodes where the "torque hand" said to stop, and the torque wrench said to keep going, and I broke the bolt off in something.

 

True enough. In my case, my mechanical ineptitude is surpassed only by my inability to know when I'm in over my head. So I try to use the torque wrench whenever possible.

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daveinatlanta

Don't know about Sears or the digital wrenches -- but I can suggest that you not get one at Harbor Freight. I bought one there about 2 years ago and took very good care of it. Yesterday I used it to torque the bolts from the front fork to the right front brake caliper. The setting was about 40Nm and, as I was tightening up the bolts, expecting the click, no click. I briefly thought "this is not right" but kept going and eventually snapped the bolt! frown.giffrown.gif

The clicker never clicked. After removing the rotor - to get the caliper off - to remove the bolt which had snapped off about 3/8" inside the fork mount, I put in new bolt and tightened it by feel. The torque wrench is in the trash and I'll be looking for a new one(s)

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HRminneapolis

I have read that torque wrenches (the normal 'click' type) require a bit more care than I knew. I read that they should be set to a slightly differnt mid-range torque value before storing each time, and that excessive heat can cause the lube inside them to run or oxidize. I have an inexpensive wrench I leave in the detached garage, and it gets damn hot in there, but I check it once a year against an old beam-type wrench to make sure it hasn't gone haywire. All of this could be old-wives-tales, but I haven't had anything snap off or come loose in a long time.

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I know people like fancy tools, but if price is a concern, a beam-type wrench is quite sufficient. It's a little inconvenient when inverted, but for the usual maintenance on your GS, it will work just fine. I think I got mine at Sears.

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Eckhard Grohe

I have seen beam types at Canadian Tire, department type store, with a square to drive the socket on both sides of the wrench. Can use it to torque drain plugs and see the torque from the top side. Handy.

 

There must be some in the USA now too.

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  • 5 months later...

I don't trust click types unless they are frequently calibrated. Casual users should stick with the bending beam models.

 

Be careful of any published torque spec conversion errors as I've seen where the conversions from NM to ftlbs/inlbs or reverse are not correctly done.

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Ben -

 

Agreed. The Sears Digitork 3/8" 5-80 ft./lbs. is a staple for woking on the Boxer engine. Covers just short of everything.

Here's a link to the online Sears page.

 

Geez, I'll never wonder why mechanics charge so much again. eek.gif

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Agreed. The Sears Digitork 3/8" 5-80 ft./lbs. is a staple for woking on the Boxer engine. Covers just short of everything.

Here's a link to the online Sears page.

Geez, I'll never wonder why mechanics charge so much again. eek.gif

Except that more often than not they don't bother with a torque wrench... grin.gif

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Admittedly, I'm an old guy that has been working on on vehicles for a long time. That said, I am partial to my two beam type wrenches (3/8 and 1/2) for the reasons mentioned and a couple of others:

 

They do not need calibration, I can see actual torque values as I'm tightening, I don't have to reset the wrench multiple times as I sequentially tighten down multiple bolts to the correct specs, and these same wrenches have served me well for 40 years.

 

As mentioned, there are instances where the beam type is difficult and sometimes (though rarely) impossible to see. Truth be told, I don't pull them out all that often. Like someone mentioned, many times it is not that critical, and years of experience give you a good feel for many situations, but...

 

Being able to see the actual torque is very reassuring, especially for those who are new to wrenching or don't use the torque wrench that often. Waiting for that click can be quite nerve-racking. You don't want the click to be the sound of the bolt snapping off! eek.gif

 

Admittedly, the clicker style probably bothers me, personally, more because I have lost my comfortable visual reference.

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