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We went to a q&a session with the top BMW tech for the whole Southeast. This was about 2006. He said for BMWs, only use SnapOn torque wrenches and if it is cold out, warm them in the oven until they are 70 degrees. He said some sensitive bolts on BMWs would rattle loose with 1/2 in-lb too little and break off with 1/2 in-lb too much. (Maybe it was N-M??? cannot remember).
I know some will disagree, but that is what he said...and he was way up the BMW ladder. Right after that seminar,
one buddy bought a FJR, one a Verses 1000, and I bought an ST1300
I'm calling BS on that one:
1/2in-lb = .042 ft-lbs - not even snap on is that accurate, and no way a bolt is going to fail in any way if off by that;
If you meant N-m, then .5 N-m = .37 ft-lb and the same applies.
 

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Known some excellent mechanics over the years. Only time I ever saw one of them use a tq wrench was internal block assembly; rod bearings, crank bearings, etc. As one of them told me one time, "A good mechanic don't need no da-- tq wrench."
Just saying . . .
True story I have a calibrated elbow. I only torque rods,mains and lug nuts.


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Whal helz's bells, fellers; Ah jest titen dem lugs 'til Ah feel'm begin t' strip, then Ah bak'm off a' tad bit.

prs
 
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Ah, but you forget the many folks on this forum who say they've been DIY wrenching for years and have finely honed, sufficiently accurate torquing by feel alone. I would guess many professional technicians would say the same - that they have sufficient practical experience to know by feel the correct torque for various bolt sizes.

Tim

I only buy that school of thought just so far. And the higher the torque value, the less I trust someone's feel.
 

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I know this is comparing apples to oranges, but I have never seen a mechanic work on the helo that I fly without a (calibrated) torque wrench for any fastener. I figure if it's good enough for aircraft, it's probably good for my motorcycle.
 

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I only buy that school of thought just so far. And the higher the torque value, the less I trust someone's feel.
Can you imagine the screaming of "foul!" and the wringing of hands and cries of anguish among some members here if they were told their dealer's hourly labour rates were based on the requirement that technicians were REQUIRED to use a torque wrench on every single fastener?

Tim
 

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I know this is comparing apples to oranges, but I have never seen a mechanic work on the helo that I fly without a (calibrated) torque wrench for any fastener. I figure if it's good enough for aircraft, it's probably good for my motorcycle.
It's good practice generally--not slavishly--to follow a manufacturer's specifications, but unless a torque wrench has been recently calibrated, how can I know that I am (following a manufacturer's specifications)?
 
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It's good practice generally--not slavishly--to follow a manufacturer's specifications, but unless a torque wrench has been recently calibrated, how can I know that I am (following a manufacturer's specifications)?
I think that one has to assume that one has had their torque wrench since new, cared for it properly and it is reasonably accurate as it was delivered from the manufacturer. Unless one is assembling engines, I'm guessing most torque values for most fasteners will be close enough.

As an aside, one of my friends works at an Audi dealership; their service department sends all its torque wrenches for calibration annually as required for some type of ISO certification.

Tim
 

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I think that one has to assume that one has had their torque wrench since new, cared for it properly and it is reasonably accurate as it was delivered from the manufacturer. Unless one is assembling engines, I'm guessing most torque values for most fasteners will be close enough.

As an aside, one of my friends works at an Audi dealership; their service department sends all its torque wrenches for calibration annually as required for some type of ISO certification.

Tim
I've got alarm bells ringing, Tim. How close is "close enough?" A professional mechanic must, for reasons of both pride and liability--follow a manufacturer's procedures, but I'm living with a false sense of security if I'm relying on a Harbor Freight torque wrench's accuracy. I can't remember ever having seen a figure on torque-wrench packaging touting the tool's accuracy. Does anyone know if the high-end torque wrenches like Snap-On or those for aircraft maintenance--where it really matters--tout the tool's accuracy, if even within a range, say, "Guaranteed Accurate Within 2%)?
 

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I bought a Craftsman click type torque wrench before Sears closed. 1/4 drive 40-200 inch lbs. range. First time I used I was rebuilding a 420cc engine. I as setting the torque on rod bolts. First went fine, next went “snap!” Torque wrench and bolt head kept spinning. Wrench never clicked. Kept turning till the bolt snapped 3/4 of the ways into the piston rod. Brad new original Craftsman torque wrench was junk.
 

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I've got alarm bells ringing, Tim. How close is "close enough?" A professional mechanic must, for reasons of both pride and liability--follow a manufacturer's procedures, but I'm living with a false sense of security if I'm relying on a Harbor Freight torque wrench's accuracy. I can't remember ever having seen a figure on torque-wrench packaging touting the tool's accuracy. Does anyone know if the high-end torque wrenches like Snap-On or those for aircraft maintenance--where it really matters--touts the tool's accuracy, if even within a range, say, "Guaranteed Accurate Within 2%)?
I have seen some say +or- 3 percent…
 

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I have seen some say +or- 3 percent…
Thanks. Even this might be just print, as your experience with the Craftsman shows. I'm starting to think that for amateur mechanics like me with non-professional tools, this whole torque-wrench business leans toward the feel-good.
 
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I've got alarm bells ringing, Tim. How close is "close enough?" A professional mechanic must, for reasons of both pride and liability--follow a manufacturer's procedures, but I'm living with a false sense of security if I'm relying on a Harbor Freight torque wrench's accuracy. I can't remember ever having seen a figure on torque-wrench packaging touting the tool's accuracy. Does anyone know if the high-end torque wrenches like Snap-On or those for aircraft maintenance--where it really matters--tout the tool's accuracy, if even within a range, say, "Guaranteed Accurate Within 2%)?
I am not a mechanic. I don't undertake DIY bike maintenance. I am not a tool user or expert.

I AM somewhat addicted to YouTube reviews (but I can quit any time. :) )

I saw this Snap On vs Harbor Freight torque wrench comparison, using calibration tools.

Watch it. Make up your own mind.

I think you're overthinking the accuracy issue. But that's the joy of hobbies, right?


Tim
 

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I am not a mechanic. I don't undertake DIY bike maintenance. I am not a tool user or expert.

I AM somewhat addicted to YouTube reviews (but I can quit any time. :) )

I saw this Snap On vs Harbor Freight torque wrench comparison, using calibration tools.

Watch it. Make up your own mind.

I think you're overthinking the accuracy issue. But that's the joy of hobbies, right?


Tim
That would be my habit, but if I'm to take seriously the notion of torque values being important, I want to be able to think I'm close to the values called for, or what's the point?
 

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Can you imagine the screaming of "foul!" and the wringing of hands and cries of anguish among some members here if they were told their dealer's hourly labour rates were based on the requirement that technicians were REQUIRED to use a torque wrench on every single fastener?
Not necessarily so. Years ago when the current service manager at my BMW dealer came in, he mandated torque wrench use -- he said this suddenly dropped the number of broken fasteners and stripped holes to essentially zero.
 

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That would be my habit, but if I'm to take seriously the notion of torque values being important, I want to be able to think I'm close to the values called for, or what's the point?
I understand your point.

Obviously, the solution to address your concern about the accuracy of your torque wrench is to simply have it calibrated. Then you can wrench worry free.

Tim
 

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Not necessarily so. Years ago when the current service manager at my BMW dealer came in, he mandated torque wrench use -- he said this suddenly dropped the number of broken fasteners and stripped holes to essentially zero.
I was referring to the many forum members who complain vociferously about the high hourly labour rates dealerships charge.

If every technician used a torque wrench on every fastener, imagine how much time that would add to everyday jobs, and how much that would add to the labour charge. I can see the frugal folks' blood vessels bursting now.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Can you imagine the screaming of "foul!" and the wringing of hands and cries of anguish among some members here if they were told their dealer's hourly labour rates were based on the requirement that technicians were REQUIRED to use a torque wrench on every single fastener?

Tim

Agreed. And wholeheartedly. But, now you're taking it to the a crazy level/line. Which begs the question....where does that line begin and end ?? I get your point though.
 

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Agreed. And wholeheartedly. But, now you're taking it to the a crazy level/line. Which begs the question....where does that line begin and end ?? I get your point though.
The line begins and ends with competent, experienced technicians who know which critical fasteners need and ought to be tightened using a torque wrench (such as axles, brake caliper bolts, steering head stems, I'm GUESSING) versus bolts for body panels, mirror attachments, ECUs and the like.

But what do I know? I'm not even #2. (I'm so mechanically inept, they won't even give me a number. :) )

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
The line begins and ends with competent, experienced technicians who know which critical fasteners need and ought to be tightened using a torque wrench (such as axles, brake caliper bolts, steering head stems, I'm GUESSING) versus bolts for body panels, mirror attachments, ECUs and the like.

But what do I know? I'm not even #2. (I'm so mechanically inept, they won't even give me a number. :) )

Tim
Again...........couldn't agree more. Where are all these 'qualified' mechanics ? Life itself has shown ALL of us ( yes ) that they are hard to find.

And I don't believe you. You can't know less than me. :) :)
 
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