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Old 07-31-2016, 08:08 AM   #1
John & Co
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torque wrench for lug nuts

I apologize in advance if this subject has been covered, but I couldn't readily find a thread that dealt with it.

I've never used a torque wrench before.

Is a torque wrench really necessary to tighten the lug nuts? I know the company says they should be used, but I didn't know if that was just a product liability concern.

I've never had a wheel fall off in my 50 years of changing my own tires, but maybe I've just been lucky, I don't know. I've also never owned any camper with more than one axle.

Your thoughts are appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:18 AM   #2
bsmith0404
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Yes they are required. Over torqueing is just as dangerous as under torqueing. The studs will stretch to a certain point and then go back to their original shape which creates the holding power to keep the wheel in place. When you over torque, you go beyond the yield point and will not spring back.

This link is to an article that does a good job of explaining this.
http://www.crashforensics.com/wheelandhubfailures.cfm
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:29 AM   #3
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Definitely, yes. Torquing your cars lugnuts is important, too, to avoid warping the brake rotors. Good shops use torque wrenches, and I always follow up after some miles. The only warped rotors I've experienced were on used cars I've worked on. Never on my cars.

I rotate my own tires, BTW. Making an appointment, driving into town, waiting, etc. makes doing it myself, with a torque wrench, so much more convenient. I also give a look for other issues while I'm under the vehicle and time the oil change, lube, rotate, brake pad check, etc. at the same time.

Buy a 1/2" drive torque wrench rated for 200#. I'm not going to get into brands. Other's will post their preferences here.
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:33 AM   #4
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Absolutely you should use a torque wrench. Tightening lug nuts down until they squeak just doesn't do the job. A 150 lb ft is all you really need for a trailer and unless you have a late Ford Super Duty (and probably Ram nad GMCs as well) which require 165 lb ft, and want to do them as well.

For an occasional user, a beam torque wrench is 'close enough' for lug nuts. Leave the dial and clicker types to the pro level mechanics as they will need recalibration occasionally.
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:37 AM   #5
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John & Co,
If you have steel painted wheels it is definitely a must. They paint the wheels and then don't burnish the mating surface where the lug nuts meet the wheels. When I started using the torque wrench I was surprised how much the I could tighten then them after each trip until the mating surfaces were seated better. It only takes a couple minutes to check all 4 wheels. I bought my torque wrench at Walmart for less than $30. It's worth the investment and time. FYI they make aluminum wheels that have a tag that says "Never Torque ". They still need to be torqued when installed.
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:43 AM   #6
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Wheel nut torque starts on the bottom of page 22.

http://www.keystonerv.com/media/3003...17_revised.pdf
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Old 07-31-2016, 04:57 PM   #7
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Go ahead and get you a 1/2" drive torque wrench. If you have a Harbor Freight nearby, they put them on sale occasionally for $20. You need one that will read from 80-130 foot pounds. Newton meters is metric. Do a little research on the do's and don'ts of torque wrenches.
I've got: 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", and 3/4".
The main thing is to return the click type to zero after use and for storage so the spring can relax.
Torque values are usually expressed with dry threads. Don't go swabbing grease on the threads.
And no...2 clicks at 60 ft lbs does not equal 120 ft lbs! I worked with a boy that earned the nickname "2 clicks Merle" for 30 years for that comment.
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Old 07-31-2016, 06:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead View Post
Go ahead and get you a 1/2" drive torque wrench. If you have a Harbor Freight nearby, they put them on sale occasionally for $20. You need one that will read from 80-130 foot pounds. Newton meters is metric. Do a little research on the do's and don'ts of torque wrenches.
I've got: 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", and 3/4".
The main thing is to return the click type to zero after use and for storage so the spring can relax.
Torque values are usually expressed with dry threads. Don't go swabbing grease on the threads.
And no...2 clicks at 60 ft lbs does not equal 120 ft lbs! I worked with a boy that earned the nickname "2 clicks Merle" for 30 years for that comment.
My Ram is 135# and some trucks are higher. A 200# will cover it all. Plus, they are most accurate in the middle of the torque range. Get one with a lifetime warranty.

I think a clicker is the way to go. Easy use and no batteries to die when you need it.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:11 AM   #9
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I'm a little late but I'll chime in; YES, get/use a torque wrench. 200# clicker for this stuff I think (150 will work just fine). Also, the longer the handle the easier it is to apply the torque. Trying to torque 200# with a 10" (just an illustration) handle is tough.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:20 AM   #10
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Having broken 2 wheel studs over the years, I would now not rely on anything but my trusty torque wrench for ANY wheel nuts. I keep an inexpensive one in the trailer just in case, keeping the good one in the garage at home.
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:34 AM   #11
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Sorry for this late reply to your GREAT information! Right after I posted that question I had to deal with a death in the family, so I couldn't respond until now.

Again, many thanks! I'll be looking for a torque wrench!

John
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:41 AM   #12
John & Co
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Thanks for all your GREAT responses! A death in the family prevented me from responding to you all until today. I'll be looking for a torque wrench!

Again, thanks!

John
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:04 AM   #13
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They can and do leave the vehicle when not properly tightened or checked. If so you will see it past you and maybe who it hits. Don't be that guy.
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:30 AM   #14
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I too never worried about proper torque. As we have added to the family and head out on the road fully loaded, I just take a little extra care and torque everything. This way there is no doubt things are correct. I got a Craftsman that seems pretty well made. I think it goes to 170# which is good for the F 250 lugs and the toy hauler lugs.
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:38 AM   #15
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I second everything already said about getting a "clicker" wrench rather than a beam model and its use. Also, the very last thing I do before starting out each day is to check the lug nuts because that is when the slides are in. I am too old to be crawling under slides to check lug nuts.
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