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torque wrench info & recommendation

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Looking for some help finding a new a new torque wrench.  I've done some research on google, but i still have a few questions.

 

Do split beam or digital torque wrenches tend to stay in calibration longer?

 

Is likely I will need to torque any bolts counterclockwise doing routine maintenance like timing belts?

 

Right now I'm leaning towards one of these two torque wrenches.  Can you calibrate either of these at the user level?

 

CDI Torque 2503CF3 Drive Computorq 3 Electronic Torque Wrench, 1/2-Inch

http://www.amazon.com/Torque-2503CF3-Computorq-Electronic-Wrench/dp/B000I1ZMCW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399126551&sr=8-1&keywords=2503CF3

 

Precision Instruments (PREC3FR250F) 

http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Instruments-PREC3FR250F-Torque-Wrench/dp/B002XMSFIM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399127123&sr=8-1&keywords=cdi+split+beam

 

 

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Looking for some help finding a new a new torque wrench.  I've done some research on google, but i still have a few questions.

 

Do split beam or digital torque wrenches tend to stay in calibration longer?

 

Is likely I will need to torque any bolts counterclockwise doing routine maintenance like timing belts?

 

Right now I'm leaning towards one of these two torque wrenches.  Can you calibrate either of these at the user level?

 

CDI Torque 2503CF3 Drive Computorq 3 Electronic Torque Wrench, 1/2-Inch

http://www.amazon.com/Torque-2503CF3-Computorq-Electronic-Wrench/dp/B000I1ZMCW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399126551&sr=8-1&keywords=2503CF3

 

Precision Instruments (PREC3FR250F) 

http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Instruments-PREC3FR250F-Torque-Wrench/dp/B002XMSFIM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399127123&sr=8-1&keywords=cdi+split+beam

1) I have no idea. However, during normal use and with proper care, I feel that re-calibrating a torque wrench for hobby-auto use is overkill. Don't even worry about it. I have a Snap-On torque wrench that is 30 years old, used often and professionally, and it still works fine to this day. Torque putty and instrument calibration are more common in higher pay grade situations (IE Aircraft repair)

 

2) Hardly ever do I find myself with the need to torque left-handed fasteners. It does happen but not often. Again, don't over think it - you will probably  NEVER need this.

 

3) Personally I have NO desire to own Torque wrenches with either a battery or an LCD screen. I need mine to work EVERY time I pick them up. I am a little old fashioned and impatient with things that are over-complicated  or designed to fail right out of the gate (IMHO). Again, just buy (2) good ones to start out with. First, a 1/2 drive for the larger stuff, and next a 3/8 drive unit for the smaller fasteners. When you get good with these and you turn super anal, treat yourself to a 1/4 drive unit for the detail work if you so desire (my advice here is to choose a unit that will read constant turning torque - for setting bearing pre-load).

 

4) Always clean them EACH and EVERY time when you are done using them. Return them to the original storage case. Keep them inside your home or garage, not bouncing around in the trunk of your car!  They will last for many years if you shop right and care for them properly.

 

5) Learn about the difference between torquing in aluminum vs iron. Torque sequence, angle, intermediate steps needed, and bolt stretch are also important factors. You should be familiar with the cause, effects, and remedies for thread galling. Next, the effect of Loctite, vs a lubricant (antisieze, light weight oil, ect) and when to use which one. Also don't EVER "hydro-loc" a fastener with too much assembly oil and gun the bolt in. You can actually pop the back side out of a threaded hole in a casting this way! I have seen it done on a Friday afternoon...

 

6) Finally, the use of extensions and adapters can also effect torque, as will the use of universal joints. All of these things need to be considered during assembly. I would also invest time to learn about threads, thread pitches, and torque angles. Also, all threads of any type have to be perfectly matched, chased, cleaned, and lubricated or sealed before the torque wrench even comes out of the box.

 

These are my opinions only. Please take them with a grain or two of salt and above all else HAVE FUN! :grin:

Edited by Crazyeights

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Thanks for that well thought out reply.  It's really helpful.  I think you've talked me out of the digital one.  I Just wish I knew for sure I wouldn't ever need to tourque any reverse threads.

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In the 30+ years that I have been doing this I can't ever remember a "mission critical" left handed torque situation. Of course as always YMMV.  I'm not trying to talk you out of the digital one. I just know in my shop with no heat on a cold morning the damn LCD screen won't work any better than my cordless butane soldering iron. Is there heat in your shop all winter?  Good Luck!

Edited by Crazyeights

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The only left handed thread situation is gonna be on tie rod ends, and you do not use a torque wrench to tighten them.

Do you do this professionally? Are you working on spacecraft? Ships? What? You have never stated what your mainstay of use will be.

 

I recommend checking out reputable pawn shops in your area. There are several that have good tool buyers, Others not so much.

I have a snap-on unit that was payment for some work I did. My buddy had purchased it at the pawn shop . Works awesome every time. Critical torque specs usually come with head bolts. Everything else is just kind of process whoring if you do not do it professionally. Meaning that you can just feel how tight things need to be more often than not.

 

A lot of the basics come from leverage. Don't use a lot of it . I like to do timing belts with a 1/4 inch drive. Just saying.

cheers

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It is for home use. I'm not looking for a professional torque wrench, but I don't mind spending the money if it gets me a more reliable tool.  I hate rebuying tools because i cheaped out the first time. I mostly use torque wrenches at home for car, and the occasional bicycle maintenance/repairs.  

Edited by sario

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I traded in my perfectlybgood snap on for a digital one and a year later I traded back to a clicker type snap on. Digital would cut out when doing hgs and batteries would go dead even tho I kept them stored outside of the tool. Get a flex head snapon and be done e with it

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I ended up buying the CDI. I did have the chance to use an electronic snap on side by side with my CDI. The snap on is probably a little more accurate because you can see when your getting close. That being said I'm happy with my CDI split beam.

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