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Old 11-04-2014, 03:04 AM   #1
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Do you check lug nut torque with tires on the ground?

Wanting to know how folks are checking their lug nut torque, seems if tire is on the ground with trailer weight applied you're actually torquing the nut to the rim without knowing if rim is fully seated against spindle/drum.
Thoughts?
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:44 AM   #2
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Not only that........aluminum wheels are "spongy". That's why you have to check the torque a few times (after driving) to get the torque right.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:49 AM   #3
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By the time weight is applied to tire and wheel, you better already know that the rim is seated. The initial snug up is done while the wheel is in the air, then torque when the weight is on it.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:21 PM   #4
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What Atom said.

And no truer is the saying, "You get what you pay for." when applied to the purchase of a torque wrench. Stay away from Harbor Freight and whatever, other tool wholesalers that are scattered across the country.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:55 PM   #5
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I know that I have a hard time getting the torque up to 110 lb-ft that is the spec. When I purchased my Redwood, I went out and purchased a nice Craftsman "digital" torque wrench but soon realized I needed a piece of 1 1/2 inch pipe 3 feet long to provide the additional leverage need to achieve the required torque. Have any of you found an adjustable torque impact tool (battery operated)? I have looked many times in the tool stores and not found any. That would make the job of doing 32 lug studs to the correct torque a lot easier. I have to take a break after each wheel.
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Old 11-04-2014, 02:05 PM   #6
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A torque wrench is calibrated according to the specifications of that specific tool (weight and dimensions). As soon as you change any of those specifications, say you add an additional piece of pipe (a torque multiplier), you change the actual setting and the torque setting you now think is correct is actually incorrect. I'd recommend looking at a professional tool dealer for a length that suits your physical capabilities. Pricey...absolutely. However, if you'd like to see carnage resulting from incorrectly torqueing a nut, bolt or stud, I'd be happy to oblige.
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Old 11-04-2014, 02:18 PM   #7
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Guy, I agree, if you are having to use a cheater on it then something is wrong with your wrench, you should not have a problem being able to torque to 110-140.
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Old 11-04-2014, 02:42 PM   #8
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Now I have a real question..............isn't the torque point set by adjusting a breakover mechanism in the head of the tool? That breakover point should not be affected by the length of the lever only the ease by which the operator can achieve that breakover point. For example, at 100 lb-ft setting, you have to apply 50 lbs of force to a 2 feet long lever or 25 lbs to a 4 feet long lever or 20 lbs of force to a 5 feet long lever.

Guy
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:02 PM   #9
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Best deal we got was paying the local Kal Tire $90 to balance and install the G614's I bought online. Their service provides free lifetime pressure checks and torque checks. They also have an affiliate in the U.S. (Les Schwab) that we can use.

Installing and balancing probably cost less than a quality torque wrench.

I stop at our local shop at the beginning of each trip and then locate a shop every couple of thousand miles. When the dealer has the tires off, I also stop on the way home to get the torque checked after about 30 miles.

If we have to change a tire on the road, I'll happily call Road Assist, put the kettle on and enjoy a cup of tea while waiting for them to arrive. We're in no rush.

One less heavy tool to carry in our limited storage space.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:04 PM   #10
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Wow! I'm not sure if y'all are overthinking this or if I'm underthinking this. I've been using a Harbor Freight torque wrench for years now and I have never had a problem. I always check torque before pulling anywhere, and trust me, it needs to be checked often. On a prior fifth wheel, when I had to change brakes, I torqued using a cheater bar and nowyou have me questioning that.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rick and Mindy View Post
Wow! I'm not sure if y'all are overthinking this or if I'm underthinking this. I've been using a Harbor Freight torque wrench for years now and I have never had a problem. I always check torque before pulling anywhere, and trust me, it needs to be checked often. On a prior fifth wheel, when I had to change brakes, I torqued using a cheater bar and nowyou have me questioning that.
We require a yearly certification of all torques wrenches in the shop. I'm not trying to be a tool snob (well, maybe I am), but I see no difference in a professional who uses a torque wrench on a daily basis and us, who may use it rarely on a critical component.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:57 PM   #12
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I usually carry a cheater bar.......... and I've used a torque wrench. If anything I over-tighten the lugs.

I now need to replace some of my chrome lug nuts again. The last ones I bought at a auto parts store but they were cheap and now they're rusting.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
A torque wrench is calibrated according to the specifications of that specific tool (weight and dimensions). As soon as you change any of those specifications, say you add an additional piece of pipe (a torque multiplier), you change the actual setting and the torque setting you now think is correct is actually incorrect. I'd recommend looking at a professional tool dealer for a length that suits your physical capabilities. Pricey...absolutely. However, if you'd like to see carnage resulting from incorrectly torqueing a nut, bolt or stud, I'd be happy to oblige.
Not entirely true. If you use a "monkey bar" it won't change the actual torque being measured. What does change it is the use of extensions of any kind. Technically even a deep socket changes the value, however that's generally pretty minimal and we're not working on the Space Shuttle here...
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:37 PM   #14
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Not entirely true. If you use a "monkey bar" it won't change the actual torque being measured. What does change it is the use of extensions of any kind. Technically even a deep socket changes the value, however that's generally pretty minimal and we're not working on the Space Shuttle here...
Yes and no. I know we're getting a little nit picky here, but hey, it's fun. To be more exact, you can change the vertical distance by adding an extension to your socket. If you maintain the position of the wrench head directly over the fastener, the change in torque is negligible. However, adding extensions to the horizontal plane is more complicated. If you use a crows foot, or something similar, your torque setting is absolutely effected and it's necessary to go to a specific formula to calculate the change in torque. If you add a pipe to the end of the torque wrench it technically does not change the torque setting but is not recommended for a couple of reasons. The additional length can add a degree of flex to the pipe which can give a false reading. Also, the additional length can make it so easy to turn the wrench that you pass the setting before you realize it.

lwg's point regarding the Space Shuttle is a good one. IMHO, a measuring device is designed and built to be used in a specific manner. If a specific torque wrench doesn't allow you to do the job safely, get a bigger/longer torque wrench.

Now loosening a fastener is a completely different matter as you're not using a calibrated instrument. The length of pipe you use is only limited by the space you have to work in and the amount of weight you can lift.

And I think I've beaten this one to death...
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:48 PM   #15
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Wow! I really enjoyed the conversation! Am I better off with that info? Not so sure, but I will continue to do things the way I have with that info always keeping me on my toes when it comes to modifying a tool or cheating a little. So far I have not twisted a lug nut off, or had a wheel come off while traveling so I have to assume I am doing the right thing. I do really love the ideas though that this forum brings to us. Any personal knowledge through past or professional use always makes me think. Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:03 PM   #16
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We always used the "Knuckle" gauge......

1 white knuckle ...it's kind of tight...okay for aluminum bolts
4 white knuckles ....now it's tight
5 white knuckles....red face...groan...fart...YEP IT"S DAMN TIGHT! Make sure you're using grade 8 bolts or you'll be on the ground wishing you'd not snapped off the bolt.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:29 PM   #17
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We always used the "Knuckle" gauge......

1 white knuckle ...it's kind of tight...okay for aluminum bolts
4 white knuckles ....now it's tight
5 white knuckles....red face...groan...fart...YEP IT"S DAMN TIGHT! Make sure you're using grade 8 bolts or you'll be on the ground wishing you'd not snapped off the bolt.
hahahaha!

I confess I have a cheap Chinese torque wrench, but I figure I'm dealing with cheap Chinese wheels, studs nuts, so it should all work right!

I don't think precision is a requirement when the torque spec has a 20 ft lb range.

I will add that I've only lost one wheel (studs broke out of hub), and that was out the door in my new Montana with local tire shop wheels installed by the dealer with an impact gun. Long story short, after the wheel company investigated the fail, the Dealer was at fault for over torque (and installing underrated wheels) and had to replace all of the hubs, wheels and nuts as well as one brake drum. The over torque was so bad it mushroomed the wheel holes and stretched the studs.

I don't think its really necessary to recheck torque after the first 2 or 3 times after installing a wheel, or you could actually be over torqueing over time, depending on how cheap your torque wrench is.
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny View Post
We always used the "Knuckle" gauge......

1 white knuckle ...it's kind of tight...okay for aluminum bolts
4 white knuckles ....now it's tight
5 white knuckles....red face...groan...fart...YEP IT"S DAMN TIGHT! Make sure you're using grade 8 bolts or you'll be on the ground wishing you'd not snapped off the bolt.

HA HA HA HA ...Dave,

That's kind of the way I learned it growing up on the farm here in Indiana.......then I became a learn'ed, degree'd engineer. Now that I am retired, I think the farm boy learn'in wasn't all that bad. I think I will leave it there.

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Old 11-05-2014, 03:25 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny View Post
I usually carry a cheater bar.......... and I've used a torque wrench. If anything I over-tighten the lugs.

I now need to replace some of my chrome lug nuts again. The last ones I bought at a auto parts store but they were cheap and now they're rusting.

Ha Ha my nuts are okbut there are some "spots" coming on the rims


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Old 11-05-2014, 04:26 AM   #20
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I'm still using the same Snap-on 200# clicker torque wrench, that I received for Christmas in 1971. I had it checked last year and it's still accurate. I was always told and read that you never used a handle extension. And never anything on the threads.

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