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How critical is torque

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Old 06-23-2012, 05:41 PM   #1
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How critical is torque

I just completed the 30k oil change in the front and rear diff; and the transfer case. I purchased a torque wrench for the job but I think it failed so I am not sure what torque I applied to all of the drain and fill plugs. One I am sure I over-torqued because the washer became enlongated - I replaced it and applied less torque. Final test I gave the torque wrench was to set it at 20 and apply torque to the wheel lugs - it never released. Seems that all the plugs are in tight, so what is the risk of incorrect torgue on these plugs.
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
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You sure you didn't buy a torque wrench that measure inch lbs instead of ft lbs?
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:48 PM   #3
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You should be fine, as long as you tightened everything down.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakerla View Post
You sure you didn't buy a torque wrench that measure inch lbs instead of ft lbs?
It was ft lbs - Gearhead brand purchased at Pep Boys.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:22 PM   #5
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Overtorque on the drain bolts will strip the aluminum pans/housings/covers.
Overtorque on a steel pan/housing/cover is not good, but you've got to really crank to do damage.

Lug nuts are generally around 80ft/lbs. If the wrench is set to 20, it's going to click right away and you'll never feel when you reach 80.
A click type wrench does not release at the set torque, it simply clicks and you feel it. You CAN continue to crank... the click is just to let you know when you've hit your target.
In many respects, the old beam style wrenches were more idiot-proof because you could see when you were continuing to go over... if you could see the scale, which was not always possible and the reason for the clicker's invention in the first place.


Torque is important on all fasteners.
Some of us have been wrenching for 40 years and have a good sense of feel, and rarely use a torque wrench... I know a lot of guys who can install a set of spark plugs, then a check with a torque wrench will have them within a couple of inch-pounds of spec...
but we still bring one out when working an unfamiliar system, or high-torque situations where "Oomph" is not good enough to ensure safety.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:54 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Rich91710;5283346]Overtorque on the drain bolts will strip the aluminum pans/housings/covers.
Overtorque on a steel pan/housing/cover is not good, but you've got to really crank to do damage.


Is the transfer case aluminum casting? And when would overtorque "strip" occur - while torquing the bolt down or over time because of the constant pressure that the torque applies.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torspd View Post
When you surpass the strength of the aluminum casting, or the strength of the bolt. Aluminum will be the first to go in that case, and it will strip when you have over torqued it. Probably around 10-15lbs more than is spec'd.
Actually, On our trucks, the case is more prone to crack before the threads strip........
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnobleOne View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich91710 View Post
Overtorque on the drain bolts will strip the aluminum pans/housings/covers.
Overtorque on a steel pan/housing/cover is not good, but you've got to really crank to do damage.
Is the transfer case aluminum casting? And when would overtorque "strip" occur - while torquing the bolt down or over time because of the constant pressure that the torque applies.
Not sure... I don't have a 4x4.
Easiest way to check is to see if a magnet sticks to the pan/housing, since the only thing you're going to find is steel, iron, or aluminum... maybe magnesium on a motorcycle.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich91710 View Post
Not sure... I don't have a 4x4.
Easiest way to check is to see if a magnet sticks to the pan/housing, since the only thing you're going to find is steel, iron, or aluminum... maybe magnesium on a motorcycle.
Its aluminum.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
Its aluminum.
Torque wrench time.

And set to the proper torque.

And the proper SIZE torque wrench.
A wrench that goes from 5 to 60ft/lbs is useful at neither 5-10 nor 50-60 ft/lbs... you want to be in the middle 40-60% of the range for best accuracy (and I know you know this).

I have 5 torque wrenches including one 1/4" drive for small fasteners on the motorcycle.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
Actually, On our trucks, the case is more prone to crack before the threads strip........
I can't remember but is it a tapered plug? If so, cracking would be a very big concern!
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:15 PM   #14
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
I can't remember but is it a tapered plug? If so, cracking would be a very big concern!
cant remember.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
Actually, On our trucks, the case is more prone to crack before the threads strip........
I guess I am okay, except for the black n blue finger I got from "attempting" to overtorque the transfer case drain plug.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
I can't remember but is it a tapered plug? If so, cracking would be a very big concern!
Not tapered. Just a straight bolt.
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