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View Full Version : Do I gotta use a torque wrench?


Kath
15th March 2005, 18:34
Do I have to use a torque wrench for simple stuff like putting my new derby cover on and my new luggage rack, or can I just use a regular ole socket wrench for stuff like that? I don't have a torque wrench, so that's why I'm asking if a regular wrench just tightened as tight as I can do it will do... :)

Darhawk
15th March 2005, 18:41
I only use a torque wrench on critical areas--------forks, heads, engine, wheels, bars, etc. Those things that can get me hurt. Rest of the time I use my calibrated arm and wrist muscles.:D

Kath
15th March 2005, 18:44
Good! Then, I have nothing more to hold me up from putting all my new bits on the bike. I did borrow a torque wrench when we had to unbolt the rear shock to install the bag guards, but I didn't wanna have to borrow it again for this simple stuff if I didn't need to!

Thanks, Dar! :)

XLFREAK
15th March 2005, 18:51
Be careful on the derby cover bolts... They're easy to strip.

They use a T27 bit, not a T25. Don't ask how I know all this stuff. :D

GOTWA
15th March 2005, 18:51
No. Torque wrenches are for things with specific ft/lbs requirements. Sometimes to make sure they are tight enough and sometimes to make sure they aren't too tight. Generally torque spec's are going to apply to the engine or other mechanical parts.

Simple bolt on shiny stuff just needs to be tight.

mickes
15th March 2005, 18:54
All bolts have a torque limit to them. The torques on items like these are more geared to make sure you don't break/strip the bolt.

xena
15th March 2005, 18:58
I'm with Dar. Although over the weekend I installed a fork spring lowering kit and while I had the torque wrench out anyway I used it on everything when I put it back together. As everyone said, the last thing you want to do is overtighten something to the point where you strip it. Sometimes it's not an easy thing to guess. Also, you do want to make sure you use loctite where applicable so you don't lose any nuts and bolts down the highway.

collinsb
15th March 2005, 18:59
I agree with Dar!
I just "snug" them, but also use a little blue loctite. However, gradually snug them, across from the other, on your covers. Torqueing small screws, for some of us, can lead to stripping in removal. The "snug'" factor keeps mine holding things together.
Billy

cantolina
15th March 2005, 19:00
I'm with Dar. Although over the weekend I installed a fork spring lowering kit and while I had the torque wrench out anyway I used it on everything when I put it back together. As everyone said, the last thing you want to do is overtighten something to the point where you strip it. Sometimes it's not an easy thing to guess. Also, you do want to make sure you use loctite where applicable so you don't lose any nuts and bolts down the highway.

Exactly....don't hammer them down....just tighten 'em, and use loc-tite...you'll be fine...

Kath
15th March 2005, 19:06
Ok...thanks all. I need to get some loctite too...didn't even think of that! I'm glad I asked! :)

missyd
15th March 2005, 20:05
Use torque wrench for important bolts like fork, jugs, gears etc.
All the others can be torqued with the well calibrated finger/hand/arm muscle wrench. ;)
I seldom used loctite and my Sporty has never lost one single bolt .... :D

klown
15th March 2005, 20:48
I would use a torque wrench on any torx head screws. The local indy mechanic told me that HD specs certain torque on those screws because of the risk if stripping the head of those soft chrome screws.

cantolina
15th March 2005, 22:50
Use torque wrench for important bolts like fork, jugs, gears etc.
All the others can be torqued with the well calibrated finger/hand/arm muscle wrench. ;)
I seldom used loctite and my Sporty has never lost one single bolt .... :D

Pardon me for saying so, but that's as silly as saying you never wear seat belts and never had a single problem yet....

Not a suggested course of action....

To each his or her own, but let's offer up safe, prudent habits for those who don't know better...

mark883
15th March 2005, 22:57
Don't use a torque wrench if you enjoy stripping out threads in aluminum and get erotic thrills from drilling out threads and installing helicoils.

[end sarcasm developed from self-inflicted wounds]

klown
15th March 2005, 22:57
I agree chuck, My advise is the following:

If you plan on doing your own maintenance and repairs, you should get 2 torque wrenches, one that reads ft-lbs and one that reads in-lbs. This is a smart way to ensure that bolts don't get over or under tightened, and heads don't get stripped.

cantolina
15th March 2005, 23:00
I agree chuck, My advise is the following:

If you plan on doing your own maintenance and repairs, you should get 2 torque wrenches, one that reads ft-lbs and one that reads in-lbs. This is a smart way to ensure that bolts don't get over or under tightened, and heads don't get stripped.

I ended up getting 2...just because I didn't trust the first (ratchet-style) one...turns out they both ROCK!!!

They each have their own uses in certain tight spaces....I use it all the time now....just because I have it....

Non-critical parts seem to be pretty happy with about 10 ft.lbs. or so....

XLFREAK
15th March 2005, 23:48
Partly because I've been using them for years and have a few, I use torque wrenches quite a bit. Even if they are smaller screws. Not so much for prevention of stripping (even though that is quite important), but also to ensure even pressure throughout the part (like a derby cover). It's well worth the extra 2-3 minutes it takes to pull the socket off the ratchet and put it onto a torque wrench.

All of the bolts on the engines we work on are measured in in-lbs. And you'd be surprised how many seasoned mechanics can't estimate a torque value with a calibrated-arm. There was even a study on it and the results were disappointing.

I'm sure some parts aren't as important as others. But what part wouldn't you mind falling off?

Also, when you use locktite, make sure you get the right color/strength. The last thing you want to do is to put something that requires heat to remove on a carburetor bolt.

stevo
15th March 2005, 23:49
A few points here guys.......

The only thing I use a torque wrench for is head bolts and crank pin nuts...

Blue loctite is a blody good idea for almost every bolt on your bike...

Using your hand/arm etc is great but very few people have a good enuff feel to get it right unless ya doin it all the time...

To give you an idea, I've never striped or had come loose, the small bolts in the bottom of the rocker box that "everyone" seems to strip..... that's feel and loctite.
and that only comes from years of doin this stuff and developing the correct feel.


Get you torque wrench and put an extension in the vice with the square in the jaws...

set the torque wrench to different settings and judge how much that feels like

Then get someone else to set it and you turn it and see if you can guess what the setting was...

Now look in your factory manual and it will tell you how many pounds for each size bolt..

This will calibrate your elbow ;) and you'll find that for certain small bolts just putting your hand on the head of the wrenc and turning is enuff...
some you need to lever on the end with your hand
some you will need to use you arm
some you will need ta put ya back into it....

gearhead1972
16th March 2005, 01:01
Some thing I noticed that works great for non critical bolts. I have a Stubby Snap-On ratchet, the handle is only like 2 inches on it so you really can't crank down to hard on it. This ratchet has become my main ratchet when doing most work.

willprevale
16th March 2005, 01:15
It's ok not to use a torque wrench... if ya need to learn how a helicoil works.

TechRep
16th March 2005, 01:53
Just crank it down till it strips and back off a half turn!!!!! :clap

But Really.... IMHO....
If you are conserned that it may strip... use a torque wrench.
If you are conserned that it may come loose, use a torque wrench.
If you have been doing it for years and know the difference, then you know what to use a torque wrench on and what you don't need to worry about.
But what ever you use... use loctite.

Stevo is correct with the feel issue. Aluminum parts can bite you. There is also a standerd torque sheet for bolts with out a listed torque.

barry1967
16th March 2005, 01:55
wrist muscles.

HA HA HA HA HA HA


Were'd ya get them from?