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Old 05-02-2013, 08:33 AM   #1
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Torque Wrench Recommendation

Bought a propride 3p. Sean recommended using a torque wrench for install. I don't own one. Does anyone have a recommendation?

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Old 05-02-2013, 08:46 AM   #2
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Just bought a 1/2" torque wrench from Harbor Freight for $9.95 plus $6.95 shipping a few months back. Works great.

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Old 05-02-2013, 08:52 AM   #3
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The harbor freight is good but it tops at 150ftlb if you do not want to buy call local parts stores (autozone. Advance auto. Oreilly) most have lend a tool where you put a deposit down take tool use it return it get deposit back
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chfranco View Post
Bought a propride 3p. Sean recommended using a torque wrench for install. I don't own one. Does anyone have a recommendation?
If you are planning on adding it to your tools, get a good one from a reputable firm. I have a Williams 0#-250# which cost over $100 and that was 35 yrs ago. Read the reviews on the HF torque wrenches and you'll find they are only an oversized ratchet. Not good for actual torqueing.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:11 AM   #5
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I would say it depends on what you are using it for. Make sure it can handle the job. We took delivery of a TT about a month ago and the driver over torqued the WDH bolts because he didn’t have the proper tool. The job called for 257 ft/lbs and most standard wrenches (under a $100) do not get that high. As a result when we needed to make an adjustment to the WDH we snapped a wrench trying to get them loose.

“The ball height needs to be 1” to 2” higher than the trailer coupler height, adjust as necessary. Torque the 3/4”-10 bolts to 257 ft/lbs.”
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:19 AM   #6
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I know that HF get a bad rep, and I'm sure that their tools do not perform or last as well as Snap-on, etc. However, I can confirm that the torque wrenches from HF that I have owned for several years have mainteined calibration, as confirmed in the labs where I work.

Like any tool, use them for their intended purpose, follow instructions, and do not torque beyond their rating, nor beyond where you have them set.

The good thing is that if my wrench does go out of calibration after 5 years of use, I can't just buy another one and not break the bank. I just don't use them enough to justify top dollar.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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caveat emptor
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:34 AM   #8
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Being a Mechanic (retired) for over 36 years, the best money can buy are Snap-on or Mac, however there are lesser know brands that can do the job! Sears (craftsman), Gray, Proto, etc. Now there are different types as well, beam, dial, click type. Starting at approx $30 and up. Get what works best for you as long as it works properly!!
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:52 AM   #9
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I looked all over town and could not find one to rent that goes up to 300 ftlbs. so I bought one. Came in handy anyway for redoing the front end of our truck. I got one from Princess Auto which is sort of our equivalent of HF. Even came with a certificate with a signature from the guy in China that calibrated it. Sure am relieved to know it's gonna be super accurate.

My trusty ol' 3/8" Snapon doesn't go high enough for the lug nuts on our truck so the new 3/4" drive torque wrench is good for that too. Had the tires balanced recently and found that the shop was quite low using their pneumatic torque wrench. So for the $99 I invested in the new torque wrench, I think it is a good long term investment. Can never have too many tools anyway. Interestingly, I checked the by-hand torque value on our Subaru when I took the snow tires off and found that I was pretty close.

When I picked up our new trailer and took our new Reese strait-line along, the dealer just used a battery operated impact/torque gun. Yikes. Torqued it all when I got home. I can't believe a dealer would not use a torque wrench on a hitch.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:54 AM   #10
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If you can push straight down on the nut, then it might not even be necessary for a torque wrench. It hard to justify spending a couple hundred dollars on a 500 lb. torque wrench that will be used on a couple of times a year.

As you all know, torque is measured in foot pounds. All of my 190 lbs. exerted on a spot 1 foot from the bolt axis is 190 ft/lbs. 2 foot from the bolt axis is 380 lbs. If I need to tighten the bolts on my hitch, I turn the shank over so that I have to push the breaker bar down to tighten the bolts. My 190 lbs. exerts 15.8 lbs. every 1 inch (190 divided by 12). If I need 300 ft/lbs, then I mark a spot on my breaker bar 19" from the bolt axis. (300 ft/lbs/ divided by 15.8). I then center my hand over that spot, put my knee on my hand, and carefully balance all of my weight there.

You can also use scales. I have a breaker bar with a union on it exactly 4 ft from bolt axis. Standing directly over the scales, and getting the breaker bar as near parallel to the ground as possible, I push down on the union until the weight on my scales show 115 Lbs......a loss of 75 lbs. (300 ft/lbs divided by 4 (ft) is 75 lbs.

The same goes with tightening the hitch ball to 450 lbs....for this I have to turn my hitch 1/4 turn to the right. My 190 lbs. minus 112 lbs (78 lbs.) is what should be showing on my scales using the 4 ft breaker bar, again making sure the bar is directly over the scales and parallel to the ground. Using the other method, I would need to put all of my weight on a point 28.5 inches from the bolt axis (450 ft/lbs. divided by the previously calculated 15.8 lbs per inch)


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