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Old 05-07-2011, 01:19 PM   #1
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Torque Wrench or Best Guess

Just curious about how many of us a torque wrench.

I just replaced my Transmission fluid and Transfer Case fluid and I just snugged the plugs down to what they felt like when I broke them loose.

Given there are some things that require it, but I'm betting a lot of people swag it for none critical stuff.

So chime in, for most things do you Torque it or Swag it?

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Old 05-07-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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Swag most things but never the lug nuts.

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Old 05-07-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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I "swag" everthing except major engine, tranny, and axle components. There are just some things you must torque. There are also some things that, if you "swag", they might break. For example like mentioned in an earlier thread, "swagging" plugs in an aluminum head (which we don't have) could result in the plug being ejected.
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken1024 View Post
So chime in, for most things do you Torque it or Swag it?
I have an old school needle-type torque wrench, though I typically only use it in critical areas such as cylinder head bolts, connecting rods, etc. For most of the day-to-day stuff I just tighten things to German torque specs.

I like to use different ratchet sizes to limit my applied torque where helpful. For example, I'll use a 3/8" ratchet in situations where I am likely to overtorque something with my 1/2" ratchet. Using the proper tool can be a big help in situations like this.
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:23 PM   #5
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anything important, I will tighten down. but I have an old broken 4 foot shift tube thing off a snow plow in my garage, and I just do a 1/8 turn with that after its snug by hand. its not coming off. not exactly a torque wrench but it makes sure its tight. esp is places hard to reach and put enough push in
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:11 PM   #6
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I swag (scientific wild-ass guess) most nuts and bolts. But if the nut or bolt is securing something like a wheel, brake caliper bolts, engine head, exhaust headers, transmission pan, or engine pan, I always use a torque wrench.
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:58 PM   #7
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What's a good torque wrench to work on a Jeep? I returned the needle-gauge torque wrench from Sears because it was too large for working in tight-to-fit spaces. Thanks.
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:08 PM   #8
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Definitely get a clicker-style of torque wrench, they are a lot easier and faster to use. I'm no Harbor Freight Tools fan but I have to say their 3/8" and 1/2" clicker style torque wrenches work extremely well. I've been using them for well over ten years and pretty much all my local wheeling friends use them too. For HFT, they are surprisingly good quality. The 1/2" is typically $20 but when it goes on sale, it's often only $9.99... one of the real bargains around for what is actually pretty darned good quality.
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:56 PM   #9
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I use both methods. If I'm using grade 5 or 8 hardware, lug nuts, or the instructions specify a torque value, then I'll torque it, otherwise SWAG. I have both 3/8" and 1/2" torque wrenches, clicker-type, from Craftsman. Sold my needle-type last summer at a garage sale. Used most recently putting my Warn bumpers on.
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:05 PM   #10
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Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check them out next time I'm near one of their stores. Have a good one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Definitely get a clicker-style of torque wrench, they are a lot easier and faster to use. I'm no Harbor Freight Tools fan but I have to say their 3/8" and 1/2" clicker style torque wrenches work extremely well. I've been using them for well over ten years and pretty much all my local wheeling friends use them too. For HFT, they are surprisingly good quality. The 1/2" is typically $20 but when it goes on sale, it's often only $9.99... one of the real bargains around for what is actually pretty darned good quality.
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:19 PM   #11
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I use torque wrenches on most things covered in the service manual. I find it very useful when installing things with gaskets like thermostats, water pumps, oil pans, timing cover. And then I use them on anything that holds me to the road, control arms, tie rods, axle nuts, etc.

I have several now since I replaced my rear main seals on two TJ's, water pumps, thermostats, and timing chains. No leaks!

1/4 drive park tool TW-5 3-15 Nm great on the oil pan and timing cover.
3/8 drive park tool TW-6 10-60 Nm for most small stuff
3/8 drive husky for the larger stuff.

Borrow a friends large one when I need 200 ft lbs like on the rear yoke of a jb super short.

I have a factory service manual and I plan on keeping the jeep a while so I try to stick to the specs when I can.

I am sure there are plenty of people who can swag it, I have a habit of breaking things when I do that or having things leak. So torque wrenches for me
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
The 1/2" is typically $20 but when it goes on sale, it's often only $9.99... one of the real bargains around for what is actually pretty darned good quality.
WOW! Now I feel like a stooge for paying $70 for my Craftsman. However, X2 on Jerry's sentiments - a clicker is definitely the way to go. I like the idea of "positive equipment feedback".

I usually use the swag method, too, unless as said before, it's a critical component. I just installed a receiver hitch today, and broke out the torque wrench just for a sanity check. Wouldn't normally have done that for an attachment like that, but like I said, it was worth the extra five minutes for the peace of mind.
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:58 PM   #13
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Well I have been inspired to buy me a clicker type torque wrench, and endeavor to use it more than I have been using my old needle one.

Use my craftsmen 3/8 for almost everything and just short handle it for delicate stuff. I have a 2 foot long cheater bar for the heavy stuff.

Thanks for the great feed back!
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:38 PM   #14
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I have a 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" clicker style, the first two are HFT while my 1/2" is Craftsman. Honestly, I only worry about torqe specific on the head gasket job I did, transmission and clutch, I just use what felt right. Wheels, I just use my lug nut wrench and call it a day. I haven't had any issues and have put well over 90K miles on my truck since I've owned it.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:51 PM   #15
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I found a torque wrench very helpful when replacing the rear glass in my TJ... No worries of overtorquing nuts and cracking/shattering the glass that way. I am a bit ham fisted and while dealing with in.lbs. it is safer not to guess!!!
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:11 PM   #16
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Sometimes I a torque wrench, but not always.
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken1024
Just curious about how many of us a torque wrench.

I just replaced my Transmission fluid and Transfer Case fluid and I just snugged the plugs down to what they felt like when I broke them loose.

Given there are some things that require it, but I'm betting a lot of people swag it for none critical stuff.

So chime in, for most things do you Torque it or Swag it?
I love my torque wrench and would be screwed without it. But I do skimp on some bolts.

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