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The Dude
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Discussion Starter #1
So TokyoLunch ventures into the "Maintenance" forum....who would have thought.... :)


Torque Wrench. I have a vague idea of what it is. What am I looking for when I go to the shop? I see there are a couple different types, I know they come in different ranges, etc.

Any quick advice or pics of something you have would be really useful! (pics are good because I will struggle with language when I go looking.....)

sorry for the sad question.....

:ahhh:
 

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If you are going to change a rear wheel/tyre you will need one that reads to 220 Newton metres (Ha! none of mine go that high!) Also remember you torque up the rear wheel in the opposite direction to normal right hand threads so I would forget doing a rear wheel change unless you have the specialist equipment.

Our students here make their own torque wrenches, some make a click sound when you reach the preset torque and there are various forms of screw or sliding adjustment on various makes or models. Very useful tool, you should use it on everything till you become and expert and then there are tried and proven methods of torquing up a bolt when you havent got the torque wrench handy. Like 1 finger tight on an 11mm bolt two finger tight on a 12mm bolt three fingers for 13mm & 4 for 14mm and thats about all I was ever told!!!!

Here's a pic of a common type!
 

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The type shown above will do left and right hands threads I have some that only work on a right hand bolt!
 

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The Dude
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks gazman....

so it really is just a socket wrench with a meter.... And then i'm guessing you get your own set of sockets, etc.

won't be doing a rear tire, will be putting on some sliders and little bits like that.

cheers,
-colin
 

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I brought a secondhand Snap-on electronic torque wrench (the really long one) about 5 years ago. It was expensive then and its expensive now. Its a bit of of a wank, as the torque wrench vibrates when it reaches the preset torque settings.

I've used it about 6 times in 5 years and once to torque the rear wheel. Just get a basic one as this will do the job.
 

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You can also get the type without the dial but rather the barrel is scribed with the torque values, you just wind up the inner barrel until it reads the required torque on the outer barrel and go ahead and tighten up, it will 'click' like a ratchet when it reaches the designated value
 

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agusta01 said:
You can also get the type without the dial but rather the barrel is scribed with the torque values, you just wind up the inner barrel until it reads the required torque on the outer barrel and go ahead and tighten up, it will 'click' like a ratchet when it reaches the designated value
the only thing you really need to watch out for is to be sure it will work on LH as well as RH threads, the problem with getting one that will have the range for the rear wheel is it may not go low enough to be of use for brake callipers and the like, I have two snap on one's, a small 3/8 drive goes from 5 to about 50ft/lbs, the larger one starts at 20 ft/lbs and goes to around the 250 ft/lbs.
 

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The Dude
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Discussion Starter #8
I saw a 200 dollar one at the store from some top Japanese brand. It was electronic, looked very flash. Sadly, instructions were only in Japanese, so I gave it a miss.

For the time being I found a friends that I can used. Borrowed a few sockets as well. It's the cylinder type where you set the torque turning it and it'll ratchet when it gets there. From Halfords.... as is the socket set. not bad. I'll have to get something bigger at some point....but it'll do for the time being I think.....

I need to get to the states and get some tools I understand.... :)
 

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If you are looking to remove and replace the rear wheel as your main reason for getting a torque wrench that will work on left handed threads. these are expensive items to have sitting around in your tool box. Why not check out a local tool hire company and just hire the correct instrument for a day. :)
 

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The ones in the picture are a "beam" type, which are really nice because they usually don't go out of calibration unless you whack that meter on it. I have one I use for my back wheel, but it only goes to 200nm. I just give it an extra oomph and it goes on there OK.

When torquing, I put a winch tie down around the back tire and hook it to the rear suspension rod. I'm not sure if that's really a good idea, but it keeps the bike steady. My wife sometimes sits on it with the brake on if she can be bothered.

The beam type wrenches are not as good for the smaller stuff where it's hard to be really accurate with them. I use a Sears Craftsman one I got from my dad. I think newton/meters / 1.356 = ft/lbs?

Another good thing about a torque wrench is you can get a real feel for what you're doing. Most screws, bolts, nuts, etc have about the same torque setting for the size of the thing you are torquing. You can do it by feel once you've used the wrench a few times for non-critical stuff. But some stuff you should really use the wrench for, like cylinder head nuts, anything inside the engine, those pinch bolts on the rear eccentric, etc. Stuff where it's really important to get it right.

(Sorry didn't mean to turn it into a lesson. Working on bikes isn't a huge deal with patience and some logic.)
 

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The Dude
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No worries, appreciate the advice. I've not done any maintenance on my bikes. Never had a car, so haven't worried about those either.

I'm not doing the rear wheel. I don't really have a 'garage' to store all this stuff, so it takes up space in the apartment, and when I can, the 1 car spot in a garage that I get.

Anyway, track day next Saturday. First one.... just trying to be prepared...not convinced my 'friends' will have a lot of time to help me out there as it is limited time!!

(i say 'friends' in that they are mostly from an internet forum like this! only a couple I've even met.....)

yeeee ha....
 

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TokyoLunch said:
No worries, appreciate the advice. I've not done any maintenance on my bikes. Never had a car, so haven't worried about those either.

I'm not doing the rear wheel. I don't really have a 'garage' to store all this stuff, so it takes up space in the apartment, and when I can, the 1 car spot in a garage that I get.

Anyway, track day next Saturday. First one.... just trying to be prepared...not convinced my 'friends' will have a lot of time to help me out there as it is limited time!!

(i say 'friends' in that they are mostly from an internet forum like this! only a couple I've even met.....)

yeeee ha....

Great!

My best advice I can think of about working on the bike is get it all done before you get to the track. Figure out what you have to do to the bike, and do it. Also, don't assume the tire people at the track can balance your back wheel, they often don't have cones big enough to hold it. You can either bring your own cones (Pirate's lair has them), or do it at the dealer before you go. Working on the bike at the track sucks, not to mention it's very expensive to be sitting in the pits instead of riding...

Have fun. I'm sure you will.
 

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I haven't read all the post so if this has been stated sorry. I always buy the micrometer type torque wrench. The problem with the beam type is that it can be very difficult to use if you don't have two free hands. For instance, when I was building race motors for my tz250 I would need to torque the head bolts to a low value (12nm if I recall correctly). The problem is that since the engine was so light it would move, so I needed one hand to stabilize the engine. This made it difficcult to dial in the correct torque. The beam type also are a bit more insensitive due to the lack of calibration marks on the indicator.
I own two torque wrenches:
The first is a half inch drive which is the long one and I believe it goes up to 200ft-lbs. This is good for axles and such but not much else on a bike because it has large gapsin the adjustment range and at low torque values it is difficult to feel the click. I wouldnt use this on most motorcycle applications. The second one I have is a small three eights inch micrometer type that is for low torque. I don't remember the range off the top of my head, but I think 50ft-lbs sounds right. It has very small gradations between the torque values so low torque are easy to dial in. The micrometer type in my opinion are the best and most reliable because you dont have to worry about when you reach the torque values. The beam type require you to have a visual reference where the micrometer type click, so you have sound and feel. You will find instances where you will not be able to see the torque scale when you use the torque wrench. If I were to recomend which ones to get I would say start with a 3/8" drive low torque model first (about $50 USD) and then a 1/2" drive for wheels etc. They are like a standard ratchet driver and will torque in both directions.
 

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I have several in my box. They range in price and apparent quality, but I think it's important for any mechanic to have several at his/her disposal.

I've been in the business for almost thirty years and have held ASE Master Technician certification throughout that period. Guys that say "I know how much torque to apply, I have a calibrated elbow" are full of cr*p. A torque wrench is indespensible, especially when you are dealing with the alloys commonly used on motorcycles.

I check my torque wrenches regularly and find the beam types are as good (or better) than any of the others.
 

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Koop said:
I have several in my box. They range in price and apparent quality, but I think it's important for any mechanic to have several at his/her disposal

I second this. It takes at least two good ones to work on an MV and more likely three. Look for a higher range 1/2" for the rear wheel. A middle range dial or clicker type for most things and then a low range in/lb or cm/kg dial torque wrench for the low range sensitive things.

My ideal would be:
up to 300Nm 1/2" (prob 5 Nm increments)
A middle ground to 68 lb/ft 3/8"
A low range up to 280 or 300 in/lb or 28-30ish Nm. A lot of the smaller torques fall below 28Nm on an MV so if you have a good granular dial torque wrench that ranges from 0-28 in .5 increments you'll be in good shape, also 3/8" usually.

A good brand if you don't want to splurge for name brand Snap-On are their lessor known/same factory siblings "CDI".
 

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Is 1/2" drive as big as they go?

From what I can tell, the sockets sized big enough for the rear wheel are all 3/4"? I'm using an adapter to make that happen...
 

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acruhl said:
Is 1/2" drive as big as they go?

From what I can tell, the sockets sized big enough for the rear wheel are all 3/4"? I'm using an adapter to make that happen...
Nah! Your better off with one of the emoto type, or many other manufacturers for that matter, they all have the correct taper and also allow you to have the torque wrench located much closer to the wheel nut which stops it slipping off---much easier :)
 

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mikef4uk said:
Nah! Your better off with one of the emoto type, or many other manufacturers for that matter, they all have the correct taper and also allow you to have the torque wrench located much closer to the wheel nut which stops it slipping off---much easier :)
Good point, but maybe they should have made it 3/4" drive? I don't know..

Probably beats the heck out of using my Sears Craftsman 2 3/16" socket, but that was way, way cheaper than 40 pounds too... :) (I've yet to slip off while torquing, as well)
 
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