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Old 02-20-2012, 07:48 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Hypothetical* question - please advise

Supposing I couldn't fit a torque wrench in the given space to properly tighten my front diff cover after a fluid change today... worst that could happen?

*it's not hypothetical, I was able to torque maybe half of them and then the ones on the top-right are all hand-cranked.

Should I have taken some of the suspension bars off first?

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:51 PM   #2
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Just snug the bolts.

Retired my 94 YJ 4cyl 5spd @ 200K
Now in a 04 TJ 4cyl 5spd CV @120K+
Both as a commuter vehicle in NW, NJ
April 2012.downsized and now a 99er.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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I've taken my diff covers off about a gazillion times, I've always just hand-snugged them down with a 3/8" ratchet, and never had a problem.
Always Remember: Safety Third!
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:56 PM   #4
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I'm with the others...

just snug the bolts and you'll be fine
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
Knows a couple things...

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First, whatever you do don't use a 1/2" ratchet drive to tighten them. That big of a wrench can easily overtighten the bolts and shear one off if you're not careful.

Use a 3/8" ratchet wrench or a standard length open-end wrench and just snug them down fairly firm... that size wrench is sized properly to allow you to get all the bolts tight enough without overtightening them. The cover only has to be on tight enough to hold a quart of gear lube without leaking, it's not a structural part so the bolts don't need to be that tight.
When you have a choice, buy American.

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Old 02-20-2012, 08:53 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone, that helps ease my mind a lot!

I have a 1/2 drive torque wrench but stopped turning them when it clicked at me. The 3\8 ratchet was only one I had that would fit up along the top of the cover anyway.

...should have seen the gunk inside there today, I've only had the Jeep a few short months and haven't been wailing on it while I find time for some of this routine maintenance. I would be astounded if the PO changed the fluid in there in the last several years..
Thank you all!
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:50 PM   #7
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I just guestimate for most bolts that need less than 50 ftlbs. I use the required tq to determine what wrench I use, and if I choke up on it or not. 15 ftlbs would be a 3/8" ratchet, choked up near the top and turning it 'hard'.

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2.5" SL, 1" BL, DIY highline, 35s with double beadlocks.
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