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 Post subject: Digital Torque Wrench?
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:26 pm 
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Hi all.

I've got a couple of mechanical 'click' torch wrenches which I've had for years (a low range wrench and a high range wrench) - I'm not sure if they are accurate after all this time and fancy a fresh start with a new torque wrench - as I've got more experienced I don't bother with the torque wrench for basic tightening jobs and just go by experience and feel - however I'm going to be re-shimming the Hornet soon and want to make sure that the camshaft holders go back on properly - so I'm looking for a decent torque wrench with a 3/8 or 1/4 inch drive calibrated to work at the lower end of the torque range (the camshaft holder bolts are only 12nm).

I've heard that the latest, high quality digital torque wrenches are very accurate - just wondering if anyone has any recommendations?

I get the impression that my wallet is going to take a swift kick to the b*ll*cks if I want to get something with guaranteed accuracy and quality - which is ok - obviously I want my calibration tools to be very accurate - no point in cutting corners on calibration tools.

Thanks for any replies :D


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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:22 pm 
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Hi Hoon98 :)

I also have two (Still relatively new) click type torque wrenches covering the upper and lower ranges, I'm not sure how accurate they are but have blind faith in them when torquing critical fasteners. :angel

The trouble with any measuring instrument whether it be weighing scales, verniers, micrometers or torque wrenches their accuracy is solely dependent on regular re- calibration. The thing is how many of us home mechanics have anything re-calibrated?

Before spending your hard earned cash you could have you current devices professionally re-calibrated or try some of D.I.Y. calibration methods. :rollin Purchasing an expensive torque wrench doesn't guarantee accuracy... recent calibration does.


Just a note on the 'valve check and re-shim'

Slightly off topic...

Forgive me if you already know this but there is a lack of info in the 'book of lies' routine maintenance section regarding valve re-shimming. The critical info appears further on in the book under the engine dismantling section! Presumably the section that'l be next read if one goes by the 'routine maintenance section alone! (In the book of lies defence it does actually state to remove cams refer to chapter 2 )

Anyway here it is 8o

Image
Image
Regards removing the cam holders.


All the best :)

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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Another D.I.Y.

Obviously dependent on what state of calibration the scales were in.

Just make sure you purchase the luggage scales from China. :rollin

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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:18 pm 
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Cheers Biggabit - thanks mate - lot's of excellent info there for me to absorb at the weekend. :D

Cheers for the shimming info - yeah I read about the the danger of distorting/cracking the cam holders by undoing/doing up the bolts unevenly - thanks for mentioning it - it's very important.

I'll definitley check out the DIY calibration option.


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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:06 pm 
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Must admit, I fancy one of those digital torque wrenches, little adaptor that is used in conjunction with existing ratchet handle and sockets.

That said, I have both little and large click type wrenches, but have to say that I rarely use them, prefer to do things by 'feel'. One of my bugbears about torque wrenches is whether threads are clean and dry, or if lubricated, with what. Makes a big difference to point at which the wrench clicks. I'm never sure which is correct.

You often hear of folks stripping the sump plug threads despite ( because of ? ) using a torque wrench, I reckon super slippery modern oils make a mockery of torque settings. I also have a moving beam type torque wrench, with which you can see the torque increase on a scale as you tighten a fixing. Originally bought this for tensioning the cam belt on a Rover 1600S engine.

Same with caliper bolts. Many years back, when I did things by the book, I greased my caliper bolts, set my wrench to (AFAICR) 22 foot pounds and heaved away. Wrench didn't click, bolts stretched and ended up wasp waisted. I now anoint them ( new bolts ) with threadlock and do them up by feel.

That said, for critical parts in the engine, particularly with the cam carriers where all the bolts must have the same 'tightness', for want of a better word, torque wrench probably the best bet.

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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:26 am 
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Quote:
That said, I have both little and large click type wrenches, but have to say that I rarely use them, prefer to do things by 'feel'. One of my bugbears about torque wrenches is whether threads are clean and dry, or if lubricated, with what. Makes a big difference to point at which the wrench clicks. I'm never sure which is correct.

You often hear of folks stripping the sump plug threads despite ( because of ? ) using a torque wrench, I reckon super slippery modern oils make a mockery of torque settings. I also have a moving beam type torque wrench, with which you can see the torque increase on a scale as you tighten a fixing. Originally bought this for tensioning the cam belt on a Rover 1600S engine.


This totally replicates my experience of using torque wrenches and why for most things outside of the engine I now go purely by 'feel' coupled with experience.

I decided to ditch the torque wrench a few years back when I was doing up a sump oil drain bolt - as you say the sump bolt comes ready lubricated due to it's location - so when I was doing up the sump bolt with the torque wrench calibrated to the official shop torque value the torque wrench wanted to keep turning (and showed no sign of clicking) way past the point where I would have been satisfied that the bolt had been properly torqued up using a conventional wrench - It dawned on me that if I just kept slavishly turning the torque wrench waiting for the 'click' I was either going to strip the thread or crack the sump - after that experience I was happy to rely on my own judgement.

However - engine internal fasteners with their (often) low torque values are a different matter - in the case of (for example) the camshaft holders you absolutely want an accurate and evenly distributed torque load across the entire component to avoid any possibility of distortion - something which I cannot guarantee going purely by 'feel' - so obviously in this kind of situation you do need a properly calibrated, accurate torque wrench coupled with proper technique (e.g. tightening up bolts in two steps - half then full torque value, tightening sequentially across the component, ensuring external and internal threads are free from oil and other lubricant as far as possible to avoid distorting the bolts actual torque value).

Which brings me to a digital torque wrench which I have had my eye on - it's made by Draper and is part of their 'Expert' range - there are three different wrenches in the range (covering very low to very high torque values) - starting with a small wrench which operates within the 0-30Nm range - which matches up with many motorcycle internal engine component fastener torque values - it also comes with a calibration certificate and has had some decent reviews - although it's more expensive than cheaper mechanical torque wrenches it's not in Snap-On take out a mortgage to pay for it territory.

The thing that (at the moment) has swung it for me regarding purchasing a digital torque wrench over the older internal clutch mechanism wrenches was two things: firstly hearing that digital torque wrenches have improved markedly in accuracy over the past fifteen years and after intial scepticism among mechanics is now the torque wrench of choice among many pros - and secondly that the higher end digital torque wrenches are not simply old style torque wrenches with a cheap chinese digital display glued on top but are substantially different from their predecessors - principally they do not use the traditional internal clutch, but instead use a strain gauge* to measure tension so when the correct torque is reached, an electronic signal is sent to the control.

*I realise that the strain gauge is in itself a traditional method measuring torque - but in conjunction with electronics represents a departure from traditional torque wrenches of all types. 8o


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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:32 am 
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I used a halfords advance professional little wrench (10-60nm i thnk) when I did my valve clearances but I had bought it specifically for this job (so brand new).

I checked it against my giant old one (28-150nm) anf it seemed to match up and also came with a calbration cert.


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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:58 pm 
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Yeah - I've heard that the Halfords torque wrench is very good.

I'm going to carry out a DIY calibration test on my old low-range Norbar torque wrench (goes from 10nm to 54nm) to see if it is accurate.


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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:25 pm 
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HOON98 wrote:
Yeah - I've heard that the Halfords torque wrench is very good.

I'm going to carry out a DIY calibration test on my old low-range Norbar torque wrench (goes from 10nm to 54nm) to see if it is accurate.


Mind your toes ! :Bad

That's all we need .... Project Resurrection on hold !

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:27 am 
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Biggabit wrote:
HOON98 wrote:
Yeah - I've heard that the Halfords torque wrench is very good.

I'm going to carry out a DIY calibration test on my old low-range Norbar torque wrench (goes from 10nm to 54nm) to see if it is accurate.


Mind your toes ! :Bad

That's all we need .... Project Resurrection on hold !


Yeah - lot of potential for slapstick comedy involved :angel


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