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Old 10-29-2011, 08:52 AM   #1
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Best Torque Wrench for JK?

Need to pick up a good torque wrench today to use with my JK. There are a ton available. What is the size and name brand of a good one to add to the Jeep tools? Any adapters, socket sets, etc... I might need with it too. I was thinking something between 10-150 ft pds. Thanks -

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Old 10-29-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
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The one we used to put on my first lift was from Advance Auto. 3/4" drive I believe, which is a pretty good size for the sizes of bolts that need to be torqued on the JK, including your wheel lugs if you start doing your own rotations. You should probably get a breaker bar too. There's a Harbor Freight in Durham that's great for basic tools like that.

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Old 10-29-2011, 09:05 AM   #3
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You can get two at HF for $20. They have a 3/8 drive and a 1/2 drive (I have both). you can find coupons for each of them at $9.99.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
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The one we used to put on my first lift was from Advance Auto. 3/4" drive I believe, which is a pretty good size for the sizes of bolts that need to be torqued on the JK, including your wheel lugs if you start doing your own rotations. You should probably get a breaker bar too. There's a Harbor Freight in Durham that's great for basic tools like that.
Thanks for recommendation. That's the part I was a bit confused on was which size "like 3/4" or something else that would be optimal for working under my JK. I think the largest bolt that I dealt with several times was a 21mm socket type bolt under there for the control arms, track bar..etc. Would I need any kind of adapter with a 3/4 torque wrench to remove/tighten those type bolts?

This morning I'd like to check the control arms upper and lower, the track bar and all wheel lugs. Which would I need to do that?
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:13 AM   #5
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My HF 3/8" and 1/4" drive has gotten the job done. Cheap too.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:20 AM   #6
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All you need is a 3/8" drive "click" type that goes from 20~150 ft-lb.
If you wanna' be prepared, a 1/4" drive "click" type for in-lb (small fasteners) would also be helpful.

Suggesting a 3/4" drive torque wrench is retarded unless you're torquing to 200+ ft-lb or more. Even 1/2" drive is too much IMO for getting into tighter places. 3/8" drive is just fine.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:25 AM   #7
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^^Not retarded, just might be misremembering the drive size I've got in the shed . . . it's probably a 1/2".
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:31 AM   #8
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Maybe just "slow".
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
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^^Not retarded, just might be misremembering the drive size I've got in the shed . . . it's probably a 1/2".
RETARDED!! Haha, JK (pun intended fo shizzle): the most common drive size for everyday mechanics is 3/8", then 1/2" for small little guys like interior fasteners. 1/2" and 3/4" are big boys ... a 3/4" torque wrench is probably 3-4 feet long.

I say we all just use 1" drive wrenches and crank it down 'til it snaps!! Then replace the damn Torx heads with internal or external hex.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:36 AM   #10
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Don't use your torque wrench to *remove* bolts. Use it only to torque them down to the specific required ft. lb. They get out of spec. Don't drop it. Take care of it. You can get it calibrated every once in a while.
Torque wrenches come in many price ranges/quality etc... and if they are not correct - out of spec or whatever (ex: 50 ft. lbs. reads 42...) why bother? You aren't accomplishing what you need to accomplish. And if it wasn't important, there would be no such thing as *torque specs*.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:37 AM   #11
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I prefer "developmentally non-expeditious," thank you very much.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:38 AM   #12
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Related question: Where is a good place to get torque wrenches checked and recalibrated?

Oh, and Jude, I'd also pick up a set of sockets that matches the size of your torque wrench and breaker bar, and then a smaller set along with a ratchet and an adapter that will allow you to use the smaller sockets with the breaker and the torque wrench. A set of torx bits is good too.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:40 AM   #13
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This thread is cracking me up. I know not to drop them, learned that the first time one was handed to me and NO I didn't drop it. Will get the 3/8 torque "clicking" type wrench then and a breaker bar "thanks MTH" for the wheel and other bolts when loosening them.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:43 AM   #14
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3/8" is perfect for torquing down wheels and such. I did have to use an extension due to the back spacing of my wheel though.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:46 AM   #15
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So HF is a good "cheap" one, any other suggestions to a certain brand? Any I should avoid?
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:49 AM   #16
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I've used a 1/2" drive on everything on my Jeep. I'm guessing it would be hard to put ~100 lbs/ft on a lug nut with a 3/8" drive wrench. I know it would be hard to put 250+ lbs/ft on pinion yokes and transfer case yokes. Both of which I have removed/replaced on my rig.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggo66 View Post
You can get two at HF for $20. They have a 3/8 drive and a 1/2 drive (I have both). you can find coupons for each of them at $9.99.
I purchased mine from HF a few years back. Think it was $29 then for the one I purchased. It is a 1/2 drive and goes up to 150 ft./lbs.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:53 AM   #18
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I use 1/2" drive for lug nuts and track bars, 3/8" for just about everything else. Have yet to use the 1/4" drive. Mine are Sunex brand, relatively inexpensive but get the job done.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:55 AM   #19
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Even cheaper torque wrench's accuracy isn't important enough for most automotive work, (Not engine/tranny overhaul) and more important than the accuracy is---

The consistency of your reuseing the SAME wrench for repetitive actions and that's mainly wheel lugs/spacers(adapters)/shocks/diff covers/plugs-

I agree the 3/8 torque/ratchet size is adequate and it's a good idea to have a little packet of size adapters ie--1/4 to3/8 --3/8 to 1/2-- and vise versa-

A good recovery addition besides torx ftgs is a full metric 1/4" socket set with corresponding open/box end wrenchs and thats all the way down to 5mm-

Also a bottle of asprin

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Old 10-29-2011, 09:56 AM   #20
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If your going to buy a torque wrench from Harbor freight use the following code for 20% discount. Expires October 31.

20% off coupon - Any Single Item
Click our coupon link, enter the coupon code into the coupon code box and instantly get 20% off HarborFreightTools.com any single item
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:04 AM   #21
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I had the Harbor Freight one for about two years before it stopped working. It was the 1/2" drive click type that went from 10 to 150 ft/lbs I think. One big problem I had with it, is it would occasionally pop out of its torque setting while in use. Well after that one broke, I decided I wanted to go with a good quality/accurate/durable one. I was looking at Snap-On, but those are way expensive, so I went with a CDI (a Snap-On company) model 2503MFRMH, which is a 1/2" drive click type 30-250 ft/lbs, and cost about $160. The CDI came with a calibration certificate (the HF one didn't), the adjustment handle turns smoothly and easily (the HF one didn't), stays where I set it (the HF one didn't), and has a longer handle for easier tightening at higher torque settings. The CDI feels so much better than the HF, and I assume it's more accurate since its calibration is certified. If it lasts me at least 5-6 years, I'd say it's worth the $160 for the quality.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ageless Stranger View Post
I've used a 1/2" drive on everything on my Jeep. I'm guessing it would be hard to put ~100 lbs/ft on a lug nut with a 3/8" drive wrench. I know it would be hard to put 250+ lbs/ft on pinion yokes and transfer case yokes. Both of which I have removed/replaced on my rig.

I use two so that I don;t have to change settings much. The 1/2" for the lugs and 3/8" for trans/TC/diff drain plugs.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:11 AM   #23
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I'm pretty sure the latest issues of 4Wheel & Offroad and JP Magazines have coupons for the HF torque wrenches for $9.99.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:14 AM   #24
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I use two so that I don;t have to change settings much. The 1/2" for the lugs and 3/8" for trans/TC/diff drain plugs.

You should never store your torque wrench set to any poundage, it will deform the spring. Always set it to zero after use.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:15 AM   #25
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I use two so that I don;t have to change settings much. The 1/2" for the lugs and 3/8" for trans/TC/diff drain plugs.
Huh. I've always heard to back them off when you're finished with them anyway, so I always have. I agree that a 3/8 drive would be more ideal for smaller fasteners. Those 1/2" drive ones can be cumbersome.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:16 AM   #26
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Huh. I've always heard to back them off when you're finished with them anyway, so I always have. I agree that a 3/8 drive would be more ideal for smaller fasteners. Those 1/2" drive ones can be cumbersome.
Quote:
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You should never store your torque wrench set to any poundage, it will deform the spring. Always set it to zero after use.
↑ Apparently Tiburon has heard the same.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:23 AM   #27
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So after each use it should be returned to zero pressure for storing?
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:27 AM   #28
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I have Craftsman "torsion bar" torque wrench and it hasn't varied accuracy in 20 years, the only thing that affects it's accuracy is extreme temperature change and "misuse" but

It is consistant and "no setting" for satisfactory use, oh and it's 1/2" !

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Old 10-29-2011, 10:28 AM   #29
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So after each use it should be returned to zero pressure for storing?
Yes. That's what I have always been taught. Tighten it to the setting you wish to use, use it, loosen it back all the way off.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:35 AM   #30
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I don't see anything like that in the literature for my wrench. Mine has a lockdown on the end and you twist the bottom to adjust. There doesn't apear to be any tension on anything if that lock is loosened.

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