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Click! Clack! Bang! Klunk! Ouch!


Stan Walker

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Stan Walker

Click!

 

That's the sound my Sears torque wrench makes when the dialed in torque is reached.

 

Today, while tightening the valve cover on one of my F650's it seamed to be slow in coming.

 

Finally a clack, but not from the torque wrench, but from the bolt I was tightening. :(

 

The bang is the sound of a small sledge hammer beating my torque wrench to death.

 

And the klunk is the sound of what remains of the torque wrench getting tossed into the trash.

 

Ouch! That's the sound my wallet made after I ordered two new torque wrenches from Amazon. One CDI digital for most torque values, and a smaller CDI clicker for lighter torque values.

 

As for the bike, it was only one valve cover bolt out of 5 on what appears to be a very strong valve cover. Hopefully it will all seal and not leak oil. I did plug the hole where the broken bolt used to be. I won't know until I get the new torque wrenches and put the bike back together.

 

Pulled the valve cover to check valve clearances. Everything was fine.

 

Think I'll replace the fork oil while I'm waiting...... I couldn't possibly get into trouble doing that!!!!

 

Could I?

 

Stan

 

 

 

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I bet ya that felt good!

 

I mean, the beating the wrench to death...

And you know, someone took their time to design that wrench and get it to market.

I think they should have been present during the wrench death.

 

Congrats on your new purchase. Also, CDI will help you out with the calibration of your new ones, plus they're local in the City of Industry.

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This is the reason my go-to torque wrench is my beam style types (if I use one at all). I readily admit to tightening non-critical fasteners by feel...and most are non-critical.

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One CDI digital for most torque values, and a smaller CDI clicker for lighter torque values.

 

 

Stan

 

 

 

Stan,

What were the model numbers of the CDI torque wrenches you purchased?

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This is the reason my go-to torque wrench is my beam style types (if I use one at all). I readily admit to tightening non-critical fasteners by feel...and most are non-critical.

 

eddd, I agree 100%!

 

You wouldn't believe how many people "trust" a click type torque wrench for light torque applications. I have customers break off clutch pressure plate bolts frequently while trying to use a 3/8"or 1/2" torque wrench on 7 lbs. ft. rated fasteners. I use the palm of my hand over a stubby ratchet and "feel" them to torque.

 

I trust my old Craftsman beam type over all the others for critical jobs.

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Craftsman used to advertise lifetime warranty on tools. Sears branded tools were not ( there is a big difference, Sears was imported although I have seen Craftsman branded tools imported also).

 

But, the warranty is useless. First Sears stores carry so few tools now that they won't have the good stuff to exchange with you. Most just want to send it in for repair/relacement. I have not tried it for probably 10-12 years. So to me the warranty claim is no added value.

 

Harbor Freight Tools has a better warranty than Sears.

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Quoting myself from a thread a while back in a public display of self-deprication...

 

Incidentally, I own the crappy Craftsman Digitork wrench the article trashes - it has never let me down, and I have never heard of any rider in the history of this board comment that a nut fell off or was stripped due to the failure of their torque wrench.

 

Can't say that anymore! Anyone want a slice of humble pie? :smirk:

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I am now dreaming up ways to cause an inventive and grisly death to my Craftsman torque wrench this weekend. I can't wait.

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Stan Walker

What were the model numbers of the CDI torque wrenches you purchased?

 

CDI 1002CF3 - 3/8 Electronic 10 to 100 ft-lb (13.6-135.6 Nm)

 

CDI 2502MRPH - 3/8 Clicker 30 to 250 in-lb (4 to 27.7 nm)

 

Both were ordered from Amazon Prime and should be here tomorrow.

(hard to beat free 2 day shipping).

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Stan Walker

You wouldn't believe how many people "trust" a click type torque wrench for light torque applications

 

Guilty as charged! :cry:

 

In my defense: I've owned this torque wrench for many years and never had it fail to CLICK correctly until now, even on fairly light settings. While valve cover bolts aren't critical as to torque, they are inaccessible on that bike once the fuel tank is installed and I wanted to be sure they were right.

 

I destroyed the wrench as I wouldn't ever trust it again, and if I just put in in the trash as it was someone else might find it and think how lucky they were. Plus it felt good!

 

Stan

 

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It seems like a kind of unlikely failure for the wrench to suddenly be that far out of adjustment. Are you certain that you had set the wrench correctly? I say that because 'someone I know' who is an extremely competent amateur mechanic once set their wrench to 18 nm instead of 8 and then went forth to strip a valve cover bolt. It's not hard to do.

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If it is the same wrench I have (a bunch of us bought them back in the day) the measurement markings under the little view window were reported to move around a bit - whatever they are printed on may not be secure. I've been watching for that possibility.

 

Still, my wrench is dead meat this weekend out of sympathy to Stan. It is standing outside the circle of trust now, and must meet its demise.

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Stan Walker

Are you certain that you had set the wrench correctly?

 

Pretty sure.

 

After the bolt failed I used my Craftsman Beam type torque wrench to check it's calibration. The clicker was off by 4 or 5 ft-lbs at low settings.

 

Stan

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Probably not a good time to talk about having one also...

 

Remind me not to cross you Jake.

:grin:

"Circle of trust".

Anyone know the torque spec on that?

:Cool:

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Stan Walker

the measurement markings under the little view window were reported to move around a bit

 

Interesting, I had never heard that.

 

I would check mine but after beating on it with a sledge hammer I don't have any little view windows anymore......

 

Stan

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John Ranalletta

Re: circle of trust.

 

Friends who live on Table Rock Lake will tie a few boats together at anchor and party, swim, drink, etc. There's a perimeter around the boats called the circle of trust, i.e. no peeing inside the circle.

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My son works for a gas pipeline company and tells me they are required to have their torque wrenches recalibrated at specified intervals. Do any of you guys do that? I'd never heard of that either. :)

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Just a "thanks" for this topic. I recently used a torque wrench for the first time after it had sat for a few years. I remember thinking "How do I know this thing is still accurate?" Then I ignored the little voice in my head...

 

and re-torqued the heads on a Moto Guzzi, which then developed a minor oil weepage from the head gasket. Now I think I should calibrate the wrench - and re-re-torque the heads.

 

Oh - blame the tools whenever something goes wrong. You'll feel better and you don't have to waste time learning stuff*

 

*please don't take offense, this is intended playfully, and I am also guilty.

 

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Stan Walker

required to have their torque wrenches recalibrated at specified intervals. Do any of you guys do that?

 

From time to time I "compare" my other torque wrenches against my Sears Beam torque wrench. Since there are no mechanisms to fail it makes a very stable standard. My sears clicker had last been checked when I prepped my R1150RT for the 15 day trip I took in July. I think I will adjust my policy to check torque wrenches every time I start a new bike servicing. It only takes a few minutes and probably would have presented this incident.

 

Stan

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Stan Walker

Oh - blame the tools whenever something goes wrong.

 

I did! :)

 

Actually I blame the dead head that was holding the torque wrench saying to himself "I wonder why it hasn't clicked yet". If only I had stopped at that moment in time......

 

You have absolutely no idea how much I hate making 'stupid' mistakes. And that is what this one was. Stupid stupid stupid!

 

I was going to ride that bike tomorrow. Guess not.

 

Stan

 

 

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Don't beat yourself up too much Stan. Been there done that, not exaclty that. But during the wonder years I installed some HP heads on my SB Chevy 350 and when I removed the carb I stuffed a rag in each intake plenum but didn't "see" em upon reassembly. Start engine, clunk! And when I removed the headers I saw rags hanging out of the exhaust ports.....well it wasn't a good day. Dumb kid! Sometimes the best lessons are those that require CASH...

Maybe we could start a"dumb-stuff" thread. Takes some humility though.

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Stan Walker

Maybe we could start a"dumb-stuff" thread.

 

Sounds like fun!

 

I suspect I could fill a page or two all by myself.

 

Lets see, there was the time I told my girlfriends mother...... :)

 

Stan

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Maybe we could start a"dumb-stuff" thread.

 

Sounds like fun!

 

I suspect I could fill a page or two all by myself.

 

Lets see, there was the time I told my girlfriends mother...... :)

 

Stan

 

Now that would be really dumb. Nothing ever leaves the net. :-)

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My son works for a gas pipeline company and tells me they are required to have their torque wrenches recalibrated at specified intervals. Do any of you guys do that? I'd never heard of that either. :)

 

Many years ago, I used to be in the Fleet-Air-Arm.

In my workshop I would test the torque wrench against the calibration rig every time before using it on ejector seats.

Now, I dont! (as I don't have a calibration rig). However I still try to use 'feel' even when using the torque wrench. If it feels wrong, I stop to work out what is amiss.

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Don't beat yourself up too much Stan. Been there done that, not exaclty that. But during the wonder years I installed some HP heads on my SB Chevy 350 and when I removed the carb I stuffed a rag in each intake plenum but didn't "see" em upon reassembly. Start engine, clunk! And when I removed the headers I saw rags hanging out of the exhaust ports.....well it wasn't a good day. Dumb kid! Sometimes the best lessons are those that require CASH...

Maybe we could start a"dumb-stuff" thread. Takes some humility though.

That brings back memories. Used to rebuild the fuel pump for the 350 small block turned diesel that gm sold to the poblic back in the late 70s. If not rebuilt correctly as soon as diesel is started it begins to race at wide open throttle and only one way to stop it. Throw a LARGE rag over snorkle, my rag wasn't big enough. Half a days work later I got my shop rag back.

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That brings back memories. Used to rebuild the fuel pump for the 350 small block turned diesel that gm sold to the poblic back in the late 70s. If not rebuilt correctly as soon as diesel is started it begins to race at wide open throttle and only one way to stop it. Throw a LARGE rag over snorkle, my rag wasn't big enough. Half a days work later I got my shop rag back.

 

you talking about the SB 350 oldsmobie engine!

Where GM slapped a "new" set of heads on the SB350 block and did not use additional head bolts. They blew more gaskets than Linda Lovelace! Plus...the fuel pumps were crap, as you said, mucho water in the diesel those days, NO water fuel separator, fuel pumps crapped out. That whole snafu led to earlier Lemon Laws passed by congress. BUT, it was congress who passed the EPA emission LAWS that GM was trying to comply with by GOING diesel.

The GOOD? We wont see that ever again! Feds will simply buy em out with YOUR dollars (and mine too). Its just hlarious now isnt it?!

 

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  • 5 months later...
required to have their torque wrenches recalibrated at specified intervals. Do any of you guys do that?

 

From time to time I "compare" my other torque wrenches against my Sears Beam torque wrench. Since there are no mechanisms to fail it makes a very stable standard. My sears clicker had last been checked when I prepped my R1150RT for the 15 day trip I took in July. I think I will adjust my policy to check torque wrenches every time I start a new bike servicing. It only takes a few minutes and probably would have presented this incident.

 

Stan

To briefly resurrect this old thread, I recently tested a few torque wrenches to see if they were still in — or at least close to—spec. I thought I’d share my technique (gleaned from Google searches) and, if I can figure out how to attach a file, an Excel spreadsheet.

 

Clamp a large bolt into a bench vise and tighten two nuts against each other. Then acquire some known weights (I used a 45lb dumbbell for the larger wrenches and a 10lb plate for the inch-pound wrench) and loop some strong twine around/through them. Next, mark a reference line on the handle of the torque wrench. The line must be a known distance from the centerline of the socket. I used approximately 18” for my ½”-drive, 12” for my ⅜”-drives.

 

Multiply the weight in pounds by the length in feet for ft/lbs or by length in inches for in/lbs (or pound-feet/pound-inches, if you prefer).

 

(Note: torque wrenches are notoriously inaccurate at the extreme ends of their ranges. Accordingly, I tested in the mid-range for each wrench. i.e. for my 20-150 ft/lb wrench, I calculated the mid-range as (150-20)/2=65 ft/lbs. A 45lb weight at 18” is 45x1.5=67.5 ft/lbs. Close enough for me.)

 

Set the torque wrench a few pounds over your calculated torque. Place the torque wrench on the outermost nut and orient it to a horizontal position. Gently lower the full weight onto the reference line on the wrench. Don’t drop it, else acceleration etc affect your results. If your math is right, and your wrench is set OVER the result, it should not click. Now remove the weight, adjust the wrench’s setting up or down, as appropriate, and try again until you find the highest setting at which it clicks.

 

Hopefully I’ll be able to attach the spreadsheet I created to facilitate this math. To use it, simply enter your known weight in pounds and ounces, the known distance between the centerline of your socket and reference line on the wrench in inches and 16ths. (ie enter “10” for 10/16” aka ⅝”) This will give you the “applied torque”. Set your wrench above that number and work your way down.

 

Enter the highest setting at which your wrench clicks. The spreadsheet compares the applied torque with the actual reading and calculates how much over or under (as a percentage) your wrench is.

 

If this helps anyone, I accept gratuities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A couple possible refinements:

 

A digital scale is great for checking your weights. We have one with a 65lb capacity and a kitchen scale, accurate to a gram, max capacity of about 17 pounds.

 

shows methods to adjust a couple different types of wrenches so the reading actually matches the applied torque. Takes a little bit of trial and error as you adjust and re-check, but usually it only takes two or three adjustments.

 

I use a hook made of coat hanger wire at the desired distance that carries a large fixed weight (like a dumb bell) AND a bucket that holds a smaller, adjustable weight. Remember to include the bucket and hook weight in your calculations. I've used sand and gravel in the bucket. Last time I dropped in a couple hammers & raided my coffee cans of miscellaneous screws and bolts - proved to be cleaner and easier. A 2" lag bolt was about 1/2 ounce.

 

Set up the wrench with a weight a bit under the torque setting and add weight until it just clicks. When the one bolt that brings the weight up to the necessary total causes the wrench to "break", you're done.

 

Don't have a strong enough bench vise? Instead of a double-nutted bolt, use one of the lug nuts on your car. Typically they are already torqued over 80 ft-lbs. They will remain stationary at any torque under that value.

 

Like photos, sharing attachments on this forum requires hosting them elsewhere. Dropbox and Google Drive let you set up free accounts where you can share files.

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Thanks for the suggestions.

 

I also used a kitchen scale, two actually for the 10lb plate. They are very precise, reading in 1/8 oz increments. But at least one is not very accurate; they read about one ounce different from each other. Close enough for my purposes, though.

 

The only issue I would take is that adding a series of small items could lead to a "sum of the errors" mistake. Easy enough to manage if you re-weigh the combined final load.

 

Anyone have info on how to calibrate a Craftsman Digitork wrench? I've searched on line and havent come up with any info on how to access the internal parts of this puppy. Sears sells replacement parts for it, and they even have a detailed parts breakdown/diagram on their PartsDirect site. But they don't have instructions on opening the thing.

 

On another Sears page, a Sears rep repsonded to a similar inquiry that because the manufacturer considers that info proprietary, Sears could not offer any info on repair or adjustment. The rep could only sending the wrench to Sears Calibration lab.

 

The style to which I'm referring is shown here Although the part # on my wrench is different than what is shown here: 44473.

 

 

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