Torque Wrench advice - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-19-2016, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question Torque Wrench advice

Ok, so I'm pretty savvy when it comes to mechanical and technical stuff, but I was hoping you guys/gals could help me out.

I'm looking to buy a torque wrench, but I'm not sure what range (i.e. 20-100), increments (i.e. ft/lbs), size (1/4, 3/8, 1/2), and type (clicker/beam) I should buy.

My primary goal right now is to use it for things like fairing bolts, oil filter, oil drain bolt, etc.

Could someone advise me on these parameters so I know what torque wrench I should get?? A link to a quality torque wrench with a reasonable price would be helpful as well. My only concerns about a clicker type is the potential for loss of calibration and future calibration costs, but the beam seems like it would be difficult to read accurately at times.

Please don't tell me that I should just tighten by feel. I'm kinda strong and have a habit of over-tightening everything I get my hands on (even soda bottles...) Using a torque wrench over time will be a nice way to get the feel of the proper forces down as muscle memory, which will make me more confident in the future about not using one if necessary.
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-19-2016, 08:33 PM
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Most the savvy folks here will recommend using a torque wrench, rather than tightening by feel. I'm in the hunt myself, so I can't recommend anything in particular, but I do believe it's recommended to get one that'll go to 200 ft-lbs or so, and another small one that'll do inch-lbs, for the smaller stuff like fairing bolts, and other easy to snap pieces.
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-19-2016, 08:39 PM
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I own all three in click type from Harbor freight and a beam type for 3/8 just in case it doesn't "feel right". I've never had an issue with the Harbor Freight torque wrenches but do plan to buy a digital torque wrench with a strain gauge.

The sizes have different ranges.
The 1/4 is measured in in-lb (range of 20-200 in-lb), 3/8 is ft-lb (range of 15 - 75ft-lb), and the 1/2 (range of 20-150 ft-lb).

The 1/4 is useful for m6 bolts that can easily be stripped if over-tightened on aluminum.

The 3/8 is best for bolts for the rearsets, engine mount bolts, etc.

The 1/2 is best for the axle nut, top triple nut and countershaft sprocket nut which are higher torque applications.
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-19-2016, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd41 View Post
I own all three in click type from Harbor freight and a beam type for 3/8 just in case it doesn't "feel right". I've never had an issue with the Harbor Freight torque wrenches but do plan to buy a digital torque wrench with a strain gauge.

The sizes have different ranges.
The 1/4 is measured in in-lb (range of 20-200 in-lb), 3/8 is ft-lb (range of 15 - 75ft-lb), and the 1/2 (range of 20-150 ft-lb).

The 1/4 is useful for m6 bolts that can easily be stripped if over-tightened on aluminum.

The 3/8 is best for bolts for the rearsets, engine mount bolts, etc.

The 1/2 is best for the axle nut, top triple nut and countershaft sprocket nut which are higher torque applications.
This is what I've been looking into since they aren't extremely expensive like the others haha

2012 Ninja ZX6R
Ohlins TTX MKII Rear Shock - Ohlins Steering Dampener - Yoshimura Carbon Fiber R77 Full System - Power Commander 5 tuned to 121rwhp - Schnitz ECU Flash - Zero Gravity Corsa Windscreen - Vortex Clip Ons - Core Moto SS Brakelines - Armour Bodies Track Fairings - Motion Pro Quick Turn Throttle - Woodcraft Case Savers LHS, RHS, Timing Cover - Driven Block Off Plates - Driven Gas Cap - Driven Sprockets and Sprocket Nuts - Servo Buddy - Ballistic 8-Cell Li Battery - SpeedoDRD

2007 ZX6R( Deceased 3/1/16 @ Laguna Seca )
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-19-2016, 09:26 PM
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Same as jd. I bought all 3 from Harbor Freight. Granted they aren't the most accurate, but they're good enough. I think I got them for $9 a piece.
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-19-2016, 10:26 PM
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Same as jd. I bought all 3 from Harbor Freight. Granted they aren't the most accurate, but they're good enough. I think I got them for $9 a piece.
I've seen reviews that they are pretty accurate compared to other major brands. If off its like by tenths of a decimal

2012 Ninja ZX6R
Ohlins TTX MKII Rear Shock - Ohlins Steering Dampener - Yoshimura Carbon Fiber R77 Full System - Power Commander 5 tuned to 121rwhp - Schnitz ECU Flash - Zero Gravity Corsa Windscreen - Vortex Clip Ons - Core Moto SS Brakelines - Armour Bodies Track Fairings - Motion Pro Quick Turn Throttle - Woodcraft Case Savers LHS, RHS, Timing Cover - Driven Block Off Plates - Driven Gas Cap - Driven Sprockets and Sprocket Nuts - Servo Buddy - Ballistic 8-Cell Li Battery - SpeedoDRD

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post #7 of 23 Old 02-20-2016, 01:00 AM
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I've seen reviews that they are pretty accurate compared to other major brands. If off its like by tenths of a decimal
Yeah, I didn't mean to make them sound bad, if I remember correctly I think they advertise it to be within 4-5% accuracy? I was just kinda saying that its not going to match the accuracy of the more expensive "professional" ones, but who the hell needs those? The Harbor Freight ones work perfectly fine.
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-20-2016, 04:04 AM
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Considering I've been a 'by feel' guy for decades, the HF torque wrench 'clicker' types are good enough for a home mechanic who doesn't want to invest in the Snap On driver's house.

When I bought the majority of my tools in 1984 to rebuild an old Brit bike, I bought a beam type torque wrench which has sat in my tool box ever since. I pooh pooh'd clickers as less accurate at the time -- but they are so convenient, and accurate enough that I reach for the clicker every time.

I'd consider tossing such a cheap unit if I dropped it hard enough to dent it somehow. At that price point it wouldn't be worth repair.

Knowing I'd only use the thing maybe 3-4 times in a year, it's hard to justify a quality tool.
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-20-2016, 05:50 AM
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If you are using this for fairing bolts and oil filters, a HF wrench would likely be fine. I am not a big fan of any HF precision tool (and I use a LOT of HF hand tools) as the one torque wrench that I tested from HF clicked 10nm earlier than my calibrated one but again, that would hardly matter for what you are doing.

Since I do some motor work where precision matters a bit more I needed something that would give me better results but not break the bank since these tools end up at the track and things have a habit of disappearing.

I ended up with Neiko Pro after some digging. Price was right and the accuracy was dead on with a Snap-On.

http://www.amazon.com/Neiko-03706B-A.../dp/B000N7D32C

To me, this was the best compromise between quality and price at the time (this was probably 5+ years ago).
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-20-2016, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Do I need NM or in/lbs? Does the HF torque wrench show NM as well?
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post #11 of 23 Old 02-20-2016, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladius View Post
Do I need NM or in/lbs? Does the HF torque wrench show NM as well?
The shop manual shows both values.
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post #12 of 23 Old 02-20-2016, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladius View Post
Do I need NM or in/lbs? Does the HF torque wrench show NM as well?
It has both units on the tool.
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post #13 of 23 Old 02-20-2016, 04:43 PM
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I have the HF 3/8ths and a Craftsman beam type 1/2. It covers everything I need on a racing motorcycle. Im not building engines like PS, but Im confident Im much closer to spec than 90% of the bikes out there for everything else
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post #14 of 23 Old 02-21-2016, 02:32 AM
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I use a 3/8 drive craftsman thats 25-250 inch-lbs for all my case cover bolts, etc. It's also good for oil pan bolts and valve cover bolts on my other vehicles. It can never go over 20 ft-lbs. I'd actually like their 5-80 ft-lbs, because my next wrench is a 1/2" drive 25-250 ft-lbs, so i have nothing reliable in the 20-25 ft-lb range.

Also, keep in mind that torque wrenches are less accurate at their low and high extremes.

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post #15 of 23 Old 02-21-2016, 07:10 AM
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I've stopped buying the Craftsman one. The ones with the plastic handles don't last and all eventually break. Unless they have redesigned them there is a part inside that engages the spring mechanism. Eventually it brakes and you can no longer adjust them. I have had 4 brake over about a 8 year span. Some lasted longer than others but they all eventually broke. Maybe if you only use them a few times a year they will last longer but for the price, I think they are junk now.

BTW, I don't think they are covered under the life time hand tools warranty either. If I remember correctly it's only a 1 year warranty.
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