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Old 01-05-2020, 12:42 PM   #1
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Torque wrench

I recently submitted a thread regarding my RV trailer hub studs breaking off and lug nuts coming loose. There was great response and the overwhelming advise was, "USE A TORQUE WRENCH!".
So, yesterday I went to Harbor Freight and picked up a 1/2" drive, 18", 20 to 150 foot pound, click type torque wrench. I also got two 13/16" x 1/2" sockets: 1 short, one deep. In addition the user manual states that the torque wrench is only to be used to tighten nuts, not to loosen them, so I got a 1/2" drive, 24" breaker bar. I am all set now. Except for one thing:......What should the torque setting be?

My unit is a 2018 Forest River Wildwood FSX 180RT. 15" Standard steel wheels w/ 5 1/2" bolt circle, 1/2" studs on a Dexter 8-407 hub on a 4,400 lb single axel. The only information I have located on line gives me a range of 90 to 120. That's a 30 lb range.

What does your experience tell you what the exact correct torque should be? Should I go on the low end, the high end or in the middle @ 105 lb? Looking for your input.
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:46 PM   #2
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I do 105
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:52 PM   #3
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My chart says 80 foot pounds but 90 wont hurt but remember most company's say drive fifty miles or so and recheck after that you should be ok. '
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:53 PM   #4
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I always split the difference. Torque wrenches a notoriously inaccurate anyway.


Harbor Freight? Yeah I love them for stuff. Fine tuning stuff. Not so much
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:01 PM   #5
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I do mine at 100 and take it with me. Get 20-30 miles down the road and check it again. Then, I check them daily if I'm on a long trip.

Not a bad idea to also carry a breaker bar and a socket big enough for the spindle nut and some pliers, a screwdriver, etc as well. Never know what you'll use them on.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by U.S.ArmyVeteran View Post
I always split the difference. Torque wrenches a notoriously inaccurate anyway.


Harbor Freight? Yeah I love them for stuff. Fine tuning stuff. Not so much
Car craft tested HF against name brand torque wrenches like Snap-on and they fared very well, I was surprised
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:30 PM   #7
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I carry Harbor Freight’s electronic torque wrench that snaps on to your 1/2” drive breaker bar, between the breaker bar and the socket. It is small and portable. The range is adequate for the toad, trailer, and the motorhome. I compared the HF unit to a recently calibrated Sturtevant Richmond click-type torque wrench, and the HF unit was nearly dead on accurate.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mike134 View Post
Car craft tested HF against name brand torque wrenches like Snap-on and they fared very well, I was surprised

Very Cool! Glad to hear.


Did they test anything else from HF?
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BehindBars View Post
I carry Harbor Freight’s electronic torque wrench that snaps on to your 1/2” drive breaker bar, between the breaker bar and the socket. It is small and portable. I compared it to a recently calibrated Sturtevant Richmond click-type torque wrench, and the HF unit was nearly dead on accurate.

I have one of those also. I needed the extra range for my hitch. More good news. Thanks
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:38 PM   #10
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Very Cool! Glad to hear.


Did they test anything else from HF?

No it was limited to just 1/4-3/8- and 1/2" torque wrenches.


After reading that I quick bought a 1/4" torque wrench on one of their $9.99? or was it $19.99? specials. Either way it was a good deal
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:00 PM   #11
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Google up torque settings for American and metric nuts and bolts. Torque settings are rated for the size of the Nut/ bolt.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:15 PM   #12
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Just remember to zero out your torque wrench after you're done using it. Otherwise, you'll lose your calibration.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:28 PM   #13
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Got it, thanks
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U.S.ArmyVeteran View Post
I always split the difference. Torque wrenches a notoriously inaccurate anyway.


Harbor Freight? Yeah I love them for stuff. Fine tuning stuff. Not so much


tests of the Harbor Freight torque wrenches have shown them to be comparable in accuracy to the truck brands, which have about a 6% error specification. I tested mine against a Proto and a Craftsman, they all tested within the same specifications.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U.S.ArmyVeteran View Post
I always split the difference. Torque wrenches a notoriously inaccurate anyway.


Harbor Freight? Yeah I love them for stuff. Fine tuning stuff. Not so much
Tested my HF against a snap on, both seemed the same. No scientific tools were used, just my brother in law and my use.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:58 PM   #16
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If you're looking for a good one and don't want to break the bank the eTork line on Amazon is great.

Easy to read display too..

eTORK Click-Style Torque Wrench (1/2" Drive 50-250 ft/lbs.) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BYG66BT...W-JeEbRTYJ1RP*

Yes, there is one that's 30-150lbs too..
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:03 PM   #17
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Sticker on my trailer say 100 ft-lbs. My torque wrench doesn't go up to 100 ft-lbs. So I stand on a wrench 0.4 feet away from the socket to exert 100 ft-lbs. (I am 250 lbs. torque = force applied at 90 degree angle (perpendicular) x radius (distance from pivot point, or lug nut). 100 ft lbs/250 lbs (ME!) = fraction of foot distance from lug nut to exert force.

Stand on does not mean jump on it, just exert a smooth downward pressure until nut stops rotating.

See? Physics can be fun!
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJKris View Post
Sticker on my trailer say 100 ft-lbs. My torque wrench doesn't go up to 100 ft-lbs. So I stand on a wrench 0.4 feet away from the socket to exert 100 ft-lbs. (I am 250 lbs. torque = force applied at 90 degree angle (perpendicular) x radius (distance from pivot point, or lug nut). 100 ft lbs/250 lbs (ME!) = fraction of foot distance from lug nut to exert force.

Stand on does not mean jump on it, just exert a smooth downward pressure until nut stops rotating.
There's a whole lot of fancy-talk there. LOL.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:23 PM   #19
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For simplicity, as long as the wrench is parallel to ground as you apply force to it, and that force is applied at a right angle (perpendicular) to wrench, all you need to do is divide your desired foot lbs by the force (your weight if you're standing on it) to get the fraction of a foot measurement needed away from the nut to achieve desired torque. In this case, 100 foot lbs/whatever you weigh = the fraction of a foot distance you need to apply this downward force.
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:22 PM   #20
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My old torque wrench only went up to 100 ft/lb . My TT label says 100 ft/lb and my truck label says 150 ft/lb. I only wanted to carry one torque wrench so I picked up a new 150 ft/lb wrench and it gets carried in my truck at all times.
After removing a wheel or loosening the lug nuts, I always check the torque after about 50 miles and then every day while on a trip. I have never had a lug nut come loose but I still check. It is easier than breaking something because I got lazy.
My wife also checks our tire pressure on the truck and TT every day before pulling out of my camp site. She is very competent in everything related to the TT. She can back better than most men that I have watched.
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