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Can You recommend the right torque wrench?

robert wagner

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robert wagner

I decided to change the transmission and final drive oil on my 96 R1100 today, all went well except whenI read in the Climer book, "torque to 17 foot pounds, or 23 NM, well I have a "dial" or "pointer" torque wrench, I was lying on my back, looking up thru bi-focals trying to find 17 foot pounds for the final drive drain plug! need a clicker or a toner...lesson learned

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If you buy a clicker type, make it a habit to operate the clicker a couple of times ( I do it at minimum setting ) before you set it to torque up anything.


That way the action is free and any lubricant within the wrench is redistributed ensuring more even / repeatable operation for the likes of cylinder heads etc

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The other tip for a clicker-type torque wrench is to completely unload the spring when it's stored.


YES! Be sure and do this.


I've had a Snap-On clicker since about 1986. It was worth the $.


Also have a larger, cheaper one for doing lug nuts, and a smaller "pointer" type.


Both styles have their pluses and minus

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Use a bending beam and put a piece of tape on the backside of the indicator reference plate. Clicker types are too easily mis-set (mis read) and the calibration accuracy is marginal.


Be careful with any torque wrench as the handles are usually so long for the torque to be achieved that all kinesthetic sense of torque is lost.


Also be careful of incorrect torque conversion tables in any manual.

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Great White North

+1 on Digital.


I have a digital unit (Mastercraft), with color leds & audible tone. When the torque is near the preset value,the led goes from red to blinking green to solid green. The audible tone lets you know when you are near and at the preset value also with faster and faster beeping, then solid tone. Great for those situations where one can't see the torque reading or leds - i.e. working in a low spot, or under something.


This unit also has a wide torque range compared to my mechanical wrenches. Find the digital unit more versatile.


Love it !



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One more to consider, I have a Precision Instruments, it is a clicker, you adjust the torque setting on the side and you don't have to back it down when you put it away, has a 15 degree flex head, only ratchets one way. you can't use it to loosen even by accident. Okay here's the best part, my girlfriend bought for me for Xmas. no she doesn't have any sisters.

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Peter Parts

No surprise the recommendations are for clickers. Shiny technology, eh.


From a human factors point of view, a beam provides you with lots more human-usable information about the situation and just waiting to hear a click does not.


I've checked my beat-up beam wrenches against lab-calibrated clickers: always quite close. You can check a beam any day of the week by walking into your neighborhood supply store.


High precision just isn't important but feeling what you are doing is.



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Clickers good


We have good luck at work with armstrong. I picked up a 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 drive from ebay. All checked good.

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Secret Buzzard

Just bought a Stahlwille torque wrench off eBay. Like the Precision Instruments tool you don't have to set it to zero when you're done, easy and quick to set to any value as it's a sliding scale on the side. But with this one you CAN use it to loosen fasteners, it specifically states as much in the instruction manual. To torque in the reverse direction all you do is flip over the removable ratchet head. Pretty slick tool.

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I use a beam for very light jobs (a freshly calibrated Sidchrome) and a Digital for heavy lifting (GearWrench).


For torquing BMW tappet covers (7-8Nm) I wouldn't use a clicker or a digital unless the digital was at the extremely expensive end of the scale.


Linz :)

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Had a clicker-type, purchased from Sears. Used it on a number of replacement projects - worked well.


Then, replaced rear brake pads, and torqued caliper to 'indicated' torque value. After a 2000 mile trip, was exiting freeway near my house. Applied rear brake, and to my surprise, had no resistance, but lots of noise. The rear caliper had FALLEN OFF.


Shortly after that, replaced FD fluid. Torqued drain plug to 'indicated' value. After ~100 miles, took a rest break. Noticed fluid near rear wheel. Drain plug had fallen out.


Upon further investigation, found that the torque wrench was used as a breaker bar (innocent party unnamed), destroying the internal plastic mechanism of the torque wrench. This was done prior to the brake job.


When using the wrench, I 'thought' the torque value was light, but I was taught to 'believe your instrumentation'.


Anyway, I bought a new clicker-type - it is kept in a special place. while the old wrench has 'Breaker Bar' written on it in magic marker.


Moral: trust your instrumentation, but trust your gut first. (And keep the torque wrench in a safe place)

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