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Old 08-03-2004, 09:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Pittsburgh torque wrench

Me & a friend are finishing up replacing his timing chain,we have alot of harbor freight tools.He thinks we should buy a decent torque wrench, I think we can get by w/ this.What you guys think will the hf torque wrench suffice.
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Old 08-03-2004, 10:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The HF POS is probably not very accurate, but it's probably close enough.

If you care enough to actually take the time to torque a nut/bolt etc, I'd think that you would want to use a quality tool.
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Old 08-03-2004, 10:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yea I need to break out & at least get some craftsman tools.Thanks
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My advice: never buy a Craftsman torque wrench, esp the "digi-tork" units. The plastic handle WILL start to spin, throwing the calibration off ('cause you can't accurately read the numbers anymore). I've talked to several other people who have also been dis-pleased with Craftsman torque wrenches.

I've got the $85 SK unit from Harbor Freight (might be catalog only?) and I love it.

Otherwise, I always figured the cheap Harbor Freight unit was *close enough*
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you do not have an accurate bar type torque wrench to calibrate against, comparing your old wrench to new units will give you an idea of accuracy.

Take your old torque wrench into a store and compare it's release point (the click) to new wrenches on the shelf (by a square drive socket adaptor). The store has nothing to lose (if the old wrench is out of calibration you are likely to buy a new one). I would do this every month when I was abusing wrenches (or more, and still do before every major build project).

We used to do compare calibration every time the Snap-On truck stopped by (and the salesman sold quite a few torque wrenches as the cheapies wore out, and calibrated the Snap-On brand wrenches for free).

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Old 08-05-2004, 09:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would very very very very very (get the point yet) strongly recommend that you do NOT use this torque wrench. I bought the pittsburgh snapping torque wrench last year when I was rebuilding my motocycle engine (you know, they snap loose when the set torque is reached). Anyways, I had just spent days working on this thing non-stop, and as I'm reassembling and torquing the cam shaft housing bolts to spec, I came to realize that the snapping release of the torque wrench feels surprisingly similar to the snapping of bolts. Before I realized that, I had already snapped 4 bolts... 3 of which were now snapped off and stuck lodged in there.

To make a long story short, I tried to save a few bucks, and ended up costing me more $$ and more time. The wrench is an innaccurate piece of garbage, and I will never use it again. I would strongly recommend the extra few bucks for a nice wrench (metered kind... not a snap release).
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Old 08-05-2004, 11:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiftedUp
I would very very very very very (get the point yet) strongly recommend that you do NOT use this torque wrench. I bought the pittsburgh snapping torque wrench last year when I was rebuilding my motocycle engine (you know, they snap loose when the set torque is reached). Anyways, I had just spent days working on this thing non-stop, and as I'm reassembling and torquing the cam shaft housing bolts to spec, .
Generally called a "clicker" torque wrench.

What was the torque spec in the instance you describe above?

Did you free it up by clicking it a few times before use?

There's nothing wrong with clickers and they're generally preferred, at least for higher-torque apps. You just get what you pay for. My understanding is that the HF unit uses sliding bars of some sort, this creates friction. The SK unit I have (and surely other quality torque wrenches) use a ball bearing mechanism which creates less friction and makes the wrench more accurate.
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Old 08-05-2004, 11:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've got one in the bronco. It was $10 on sale and works fine for me. Better than just guessing. Unless you are building a 500hp+ or 8k rpm engine then it will work fine for you too...if you know how to use a torque wrench properly...
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Old 08-05-2004, 12:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braxton357
I've got one in the bronco. It was $10 on sale and works fine for me. Better than just guessing. Unless you are building a 500hp+ or 8k rpm engine then it will work fine for you too...if you know how to use a torque wrench properly...
I basically agree. I got mine on sale for $10 as well. I pretty much just used it for u-bolts, I torque my 5/8"s to about 140 ft lbs. Better than guessing as you say, and u-bolts aren't exactly NASA territory.

It was fine for other things, too, but I dunno if I'd trust it below, say 30 ft lbs. But one could argue that you shouldn't be using 1/2" drive for stuff below 30 ft lbs anyway, at least if proper torque is critical.

And you absolutely must free it up before use by clicking it several times in a vise or something. Also with any torque wrench you have to hold it at the handle in order for it to be accurate.

And I think that wrench tops out at 150, so using it for 140 ft lbs as I was is not ideal, IIRC torque wrenches are most accurate in the middle of their range..............but again, for u-bolts I didn't care. Trying to guess by hand is entirely relative to the size of the ratchet or breaker bar you are using.

That's another thing I like about my new SK - it goes to 250 ft lbs
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yea were using it it works fine dont know how accurate it is,I guess better than nothing.Hell its a 20 year old motor I bet its good enough.Thanks for all the replys.
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have one and use it with the assumption it could be off +/-10% in either direction.

and I would NOT assemble an engine with my HF wrench...
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Old 08-05-2004, 07:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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(you know, they snap loose when the set torque is reached).
Not trying to flame you or anything, but did you expect the torque wrench to actually "snap loose" when it got to torque? They don't do that - they just "click" a little bit - and you can blow right on through the click and dust the bolt!

I used to work quality control in a major hydraulics plant - and was responsbile for over 100 different types and sizes of torque wrenches. There is no such thing as one that "snaps loose" when at torque... There are specialized tools that will actually break when a certain torque is reached for safety purposes, and there are beam types, needle types, and clicker types - plust the dials that insert between a regular breaker bar and a socket, and of course, the highly technical bolt stretch guages, but no "snap loose" torque wrenches.

BTW, I also HIGHLY recommend quality in a torque wrench. The cheap ones simply will not repeat. I use Snap On only.
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Old 08-05-2004, 09:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glfredrick

BTW, I also HIGHLY recommend quality in a torque wrench. The cheap ones simply will not repeat. I use Snap On only.

I definately agree that a torque wrench is not something that you wanna cheap out on, but some people just aren't building engines and don't need the nice shit...hell most people I know with the nice ones never even have them recalibrated so they could be just as off as a $10 one.
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Old 08-06-2004, 07:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have to agree with glfredrick, there is no substitute for a quality tool. Ill keep lower end tools in my DD but when it comes to the garage, not a chance. I picked up a Matco torque wrench a while back, great purchase. Now I think my friends look for any excuse to torque shit lol.
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Old 08-07-2004, 07:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I am still using the Snap-On I got for my 18th birthday. Recalibrated last year, spot on!

If you're gonna use a torque wrench, use a good one, or don't use a torque wrench.

My torque wrench gets used far more for torquing wheel lugs than anything else. My liability insurance agent likes it
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Old 08-07-2004, 04:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Buy a Proto or Utica the best for the money, as for snap-on they suck to repair and craftsman are sh&t period. I have been repairing and Calib. that crap for years. Micro Precision Calibration if you guys need anything let me know have lots of misc. used tools. Sheri
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Old 08-08-2004, 10:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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i've got the 3/8 and the 1/4 drive husky torque wrenches from home depot and i am really impressed for the money. they were definately cheaper than the craftsman torque wrenches too.
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Old 08-09-2004, 09:04 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glfredrick
Not trying to flame you or anything, but did you expect the torque wrench to actually "snap loose" when it got to torque? They don't do that - they just "click" a little bit - and you can blow right on through the click and dust the bolt!
I really didn't mean like the tool would snap loose. I just couldn't think of how else to word it of what it feels like when the wrench clicks... like it loses its pressure for a second... I don't know.

I have used several before so I know what it feels like, and know how to use one. But like I said, I had picked up a cheap HF wrench, and now that I think about it, I believe the torque spec was towards the lower end of the tools range, so that could have something to do with it. But either way, I still just don't think its worth using a cheap one and compromising your engine.
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Old 08-09-2004, 10:53 AM   #19 (permalink)
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That's cool... I just wanted to make sure that you weren't making the same mistakes that I have seen others make (people newbie to torque wrench use). They just crank away and never even feel the slight "click" becasue they mistakenly believe that the torque wrench will "break away" at the proper torque.

Low settings hardly ever click as hard as the higher ones, BTW, that is a function of the internal spring pressure in the wrench.
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