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What torque wrench for most basic maintenance stuff

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by tw4, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. Feb 2, 2020 at 6:32 PM
    #1
    tw4

    tw4 [OP] Member

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    What torque wrench work best for everything ? ie plugs, differential etc..
    or do you guys not torque?
     
  2. Feb 2, 2020 at 6:39 PM
    #2
    DG92071

    DG92071 Well-Known Member

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    The only time I use a torque wrench on my own stuff is on cylinder heads, bearing caps, etc... I don't do my own differential work, I know a guy and he's done mine for 25 years.

    When I'm on the clock I use a torque wrench on anything that has a torque spec. The least expensive Harbor Freight torque wrench gets used the most by far and for engine stuff I use an old manual torque wrench.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
  3. Feb 2, 2020 at 6:45 PM
    #3
    StillNoPickles

    StillNoPickles Well-Known Member

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    A basic Pittsburgh 20-80lb torque wrench from harbor freight should cover most general maintenance torque requirements for our trucks and many other cars
     
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  4. Feb 2, 2020 at 6:48 PM
    #4
    boogie3478

    boogie3478 Tacomaholic & Hollywood

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    I've got 2 from EP Auto and have been pleased with both.

    This one for smaller things like plugs: https://amzn.to/2uWrRug

    ... and this one for everything else: https://amzn.to/2SaXeZP
     
  5. Feb 2, 2020 at 6:52 PM
    #5
    Jonah

    Jonah Well-Known Member

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  6. Feb 2, 2020 at 6:53 PM
    #6
    08TacoTrD

    08TacoTrD Well-Known Member

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    I need a new one too since mine locked up on me. The torque click still works but it won't ratchet.
     
  7. Feb 2, 2020 at 6:56 PM
    #7
    hfjeff

    hfjeff Well-Known Member

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  8. Feb 2, 2020 at 7:02 PM
    #8
    127.0.0.1

    127.0.0.1 AKA ::1

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    for plugs I use a small one that only goes to 25nm, so i get better accuracy down low
    for everything else an ac delco digital...[really only used on lug nuts]
     
  9. Feb 2, 2020 at 7:04 PM
    #9
    Dacapster

    Dacapster Well-Known Member

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    My Snap on 40-200in and Husky 20-400

    foot have never failed calibration/
     
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  10. Feb 2, 2020 at 7:33 PM
    #10
    Taco'09

    Taco'09 Well-Known Member

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    Op, what is your approx. budget? I'm going to be the contrarian here about the HF torque wrenches and say stay far away from them. I used to be a proponent of them for the cost -- in fact I had all the sizes. But I found it too easy to forget about it being a cheap tool and grabbed one one day to do a fastener in aluminum and stripped the threads in the block. It took quite a while to do a thread repair.
     
  11. Feb 2, 2020 at 8:32 PM
    #11
    Chuy

    Chuy Well-Known Member

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    It depends what all DIY maintenance you plan on doing. Generally speaking, there is no torque wrench that works for everything. At least not one you can afford. You’ll need an inch pounds wrench for tran and oil pan bolts, and up to 175 foot ponds for axle nuts. Maybe more for diff’s - I have no idea of diff torque values.
    I have a few:
    3/8 and 1/2 inch Craftsman beam style TW’s
    1/4 inch click Tekton 24320
    1/4 inch Neiko 10573B, screwdriver style
    3/8 and 1/2 inch click SK
    Digital AC Delco ARM602-4, and
    A 1/2 inch throwaway HF for road trips
     
  12. Feb 2, 2020 at 8:46 PM
    #12
    XSplicer62

    XSplicer62 Well-Known Member

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    I don't work on anything terribly critical and my 1/2" HF wrench does what I bought it for. I use it on my lug nuts when I rotate tires.
    Everything else I do, just basic maintenance really, I do by feel. Same as I have for more than 50 years.
     
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  13. Feb 2, 2020 at 8:52 PM
    #13
    DG92071

    DG92071 Well-Known Member

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    I checked mine against a Snap On and a Craftsman, when it clicked at 85 ft lbs it was actually at 83 ft lbs.
     
  14. Feb 2, 2020 at 9:03 PM
    #14
    wilcam47

    wilcam47 Well-Known Member

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    Was going to say the same...need inch pound and foot pounds, yes you can do the math conversion, but usually some torque specs will be out of the range of one or the other
     
  15. Feb 2, 2020 at 9:05 PM
    #15
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 Well-Known Member

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    I have a TQFR250E (made by Precision Instruments) and it did the same thing. Showed as a few ft lbs low on a tester.
    But I'm yet to use it on something really precise and a calibration service is about $60 so I haven't sent it out.

    The torque range on it is narrow though (doesn't go to the lower end) at 40-250 ft lbs, and I hear torque wrenches are best used closer to the middle of their range rather than at the top or bottom.
    So I am looking for an additional smaller one for lower specs.

    I think they have TQFR100 and TQFR50 but the former is rarer to find at a good price used to I might have to look elsewhere (Precision Instruments blue handle, EP Auto, Tekton, Craftsman, HFT, etc.)

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Feb 2, 2020 at 9:09 PM
    #16
    wilcam47

    wilcam47 Well-Known Member

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    Unless specified a certain number, if you take it to the top of the range and break the torque over 6 times before going to the setting, it gives a better torque setting
     
  17. Feb 2, 2020 at 9:13 PM
    #17
    XSplicer62

    XSplicer62 Well-Known Member

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    To my point (above in post #12) that's plenty good enough for lug nuts. Close enough to spec, and ensures equal torque applied to all.
     
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  18. Feb 2, 2020 at 9:40 PM
    #18
    Waasheem

    Waasheem The catholic radio bear

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    I have to agree. A torque wrench is used when the torque applied is critical. Head bolts, engine internals, certain brake components, etc.

    Using a cheap torque wrench increases one’s ability to fuck things up. I had one stop clicking and ended up bending a brake caliper sliding bolt.

    The ones with a spring need to be backed out so there’s no tension on the spring prior to storage.

    Some of the guy’s I work with got those electronic beep Snapon ones. Nice but super pricey. I’ve had good luck with the precision instruments split beam. It depends on what you’re willing to spend. There isn’t a one will do it all torque wrench. I own 2, and really need a 3rd. You could start with a husky or kobalt in the 40-250 torque range. They stand behind their tools, you can return for replacement if there’s a problem like craftsman used to do.

    If you plan to torque 6mm bolts, you’ll need a inch pound smaller one. Or if you plan to torque spark plugs, I believe the spec is something like 15ft lb, silly, that’s like less than a pinky pull tight.

    Experience will teach you how tight things need to be. It came loose, it wasn’t tight enough. You broke the bolt head off, too tight.

    If you plan to be super anal and torque every fastener, some you can find a torque spec in a Toyota service manual. For fasteners with no spec, you can measure the fastener, diameter and thread pitch, then google search the standard chart for fastener size & recommended torque spec. For Phillips & slotted screws you would need Phillips and slotted screwdriver sockets to attach to your torque wrench. Same for Allen head type fasteners, you’ll need sockets.

    Maybe a Toyota tech will chime in and say this is my go to, I also own this and this but never or rarely need it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
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  19. Feb 2, 2020 at 10:20 PM
    #19
    Waasheem

    Waasheem The catholic radio bear

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    I remember seeing a sema show hi lights, Matco makes a torque adapter. Bta150 $144 3/8 drive, with a good range of 10-150 ft lb. That’ll get you low enough to do spark plugs and high enough to do lug nuts. Close as it may get for one to do it all. Also a 1/2 drive cta250, $167, 10-250 ft lb.
     
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  20. Feb 2, 2020 at 11:10 PM
    #20
    tacotunner06

    tacotunner06 Well-Known Member

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    Don't bother paying for snap on just buy a precision instruments split beam if you want a good nice torque wrench. I have a electric snap on though and it does a very good job. My roommate just bought a 1/4 digital snap on for in lb stuff and its super handy for small engine stuff.
     

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