Torque Wrench use?

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TENdriver

TENdriver
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Question for the mechanics, engineers, Physics Majors or persons who are just good at working with their hands.

I need to torque something with a 1/2” crow foot wrench but only have a 3/8” torque wrench. Can I just use a 3/8” to 1/2” adapter on my 3/8” wrench and get a reliable torque value?
 

Hmerkle

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Hank
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Question for the mechanics, engineers, Physics Majors or persons who are just good at working with their hands.

I need to torque something with a 1/2” crow foot wrench but only have a 3/8” torque wrench. Can I just use a 3/8” to 1/2” adapter on my 3/8” wrench and get a reliable torque value?
yep!
the only thing you don't want to do is extend the handle as that changes the point at which you are pulling and CAN (it may not) but it can affect the torque reading especially on a beam style wrench.
 

Mike Davis

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Mike
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yep!
The only thing you don't want to do is extend the handle as that changes the point at which you are pulling and can (it may not) but it can affect the torque reading especially on a beam style wrench.

correct!
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
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Mike and Hank, Thanks for the help. I bought a HF click torque wrench (nothing but the best precision tools for me) but based on your comments, I checked my old beam style inch pounds torque wrench and discovered that it goes up to 600 inch pounds. I need 30 - 50 foot pounds so it sounds like my old one will work.
 

Hmerkle

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Hank
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Mike and Hank, Thanks for the help. I bought a HF click torque wrench (nothing but the best precision tools for me) but based on your comments, I checked my old beam style inch pounds torque wrench and discovered that it goes up to 600 inch pounds. I need 30 - 50 foot pounds so it sounds like my old one will work.
You will likely be fine, but if you really were going for precision - the 600 Lb. In. beam style would not "really" tell you 50 Lb. Ft. jsut be case it is right at the end of the capability - again - you will be fine.

for 30 to 50 Lb. Ft. I would take my 3/8 ratchet and turn, then pull once more lighter for the 30 and an extra grunt for the 50... ha ha
 

Jeff

Jeff
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Does your torque wrench have a foot-pound indicator. My old Craftsman wrench goes up to 75 ft-lbs but I only need about 28-30 for the riding lawnmower blade changes.

600 inch-pounds = 50 foot-pounds.
 
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Gotcha6

Dennis
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Point of order on the discussion:
Crowfoot wrenches have the bolt axis offset from the socket an incremental amount. This can skew the torque reading because conventional sockets don't need to compensate for the offset. If you have an application that specifies a bolt be tightened with a crowfoot wrench to a specific setting, by all means follow it. Otherwise you need to do some head scratching to calculate the compound leverage effect of the crowfoot wrench.
Also, a true crowfoot wrench would be open ended and would only apply force to 2 faces of the nut/bolt head and could round the faces. Better to use a closed end wrench if a socket can't be used.
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
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Jeff and Dennis, Thanks for some excellent inputs. It’s probably worth mentioning that the torque isn’t absolutely essential or critical. Just being conservative on a simple DIY.

The reality is, my 35+ year old torque wrench hasn’t been calibrated in decades, so no telling what value I’m really getting. Neither the HF click one or my vintage beam would be my first choice for anything critical or safety related.:D
 

JimD

Jim
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I have 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 torque wrenches only because HF has them on sale for $10 apiece periodically. I think they have another sale going now. I have probably given up doing any big engine or transmission work so the tasks I use them for are things like the oil drain plug on my bimmer. The pan is aluminum so I am trying to be a little more careful than my normal "snugl" with a 3/8 ratchet.

The converter is not changing the torque any but HF torque wrenches are cheap, in other words. If you need a 1/2 wrench you might want to just pick one up.
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
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I have 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 torque wrenches only because HF has them on sale for $10 apiece periodically. I think they have another sale going now. I have probably given up doing any big engine or transmission work so the tasks I use them for are things like the oil drain plug on my bimmer. The pan is aluminum so I am trying to be a little more careful than my normal "snugl" with a 3/8 ratchet.
The converter is not changing the torque any but HF torque wrenches are cheap, in other words. If you need a 1/2 wrench you might want to just pick one up.
I looked at their wrenches and the increments aren't what I'm used to. I usually use 1,2, or 3 grunts for specifications on most work. That being said, they are priced right for occasional use.
 

JimD

Jim
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I don't really worry about my HF torque wrenches accuracy but the tests I've seen do not support the conclusion that the are inaccurate. Hot Rod, for instance, found them within 1.3 lbs of the target 70 ft lbs with a 1/2 torque wrench. It was also within 0.2 ft lbs of a Snap On that costs about 10X as much. They are not bad tools. If I built engines for a living I would probably have something else but for my use, they are plenty good enough. It is also important to remember that the clamping force in the joint is not strictly a function of the torque we put on the fastener. The friction also varies and is a bigger variable than even my inexpensive torque wrenches.
 

danmart77

Dan
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Point of order on the discussion:
Crowfoot wrenches have the bolt axis offset from the socket an incremental amount. This can skew the torque reading because conventional sockets don't need to compensate for the offset. If you have an application that specifies a bolt be tightened with a crowfoot wrench to a specific setting, by all means follow it. Otherwise you need to do some head scratching to calculate the compound leverage effect of the crowfoot wrench.
Also, a true crowfoot wrench would be open ended and would only apply force to 2 faces of the nut/bolt head and could round the faces. Better to use a closed end wrench if a socket can't be used.
Dennis
I had to something like that on a car engine a while back. The way I solved the problem was to take a sample bolt and nut and a standard socket. I tightened the nut to 60lbs. I took the crow foot on an extension and tried to undo it. Much higher torque to undo.

Took the higher crow foot torque number and tightened the nut down to that setting. Came back with the straight socket at 50lb and she came off just right. I was satisfied but the torque setting were not the same for me the the axis 90 degrees different.

Maybe I missed something??
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
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I believe the orientation of the crowfoot relative to the wrench handle would impact the reading. A crowfoot tucked under the handle beam should produce a different reading from one oriented opposite the handle IMO.
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
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Thanks everyone for the help with the torque wrench. The DIY projects are completed with no issues at all.

I used my vintage Craftsman beam torque wrench with a 3/8” to 1/2” adapter. The adapter worked well and you wouldn’t even know it was there.
 

LeftyTom

Tom
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I looked at their wrenches and the increments aren't what I'm used to. I usually use 1,2, or 3 grunts for specifications on most work. That being said, they are priced right for occasional use.
Dennis, is that SAE or metric grunt(s)? :D
 
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