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should i trust my rotors to torque sticks?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by concretejungle, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    I had my tires rotated and balanced the other day and i watched the guys run the lug nuts down using an impact wrench. They just kept hammering on them. I then told them after they finished that i always watch to see if the tire place uses a torque wrench to torque down lug nuts and that tells me if i will give that place return business. THey informed me that they use torque sticks. Each color represents a different torque. Should i trust those or should i re-torque my lug nuts? I've never seen these things.
     
  2. firetruck41

    firetruck41

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    IMHO, they are better than nothing, but no replacement for a torque wrench. Most of the reputable tire shops I have seen, use an actual torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts.
     
  3. lowtops

    lowtops

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    I agree with firetruck. I used to work in a tire shop for a couple of years. Some of the less motivated tire guys would use the torque sticks. I always prefered the torque wrench and still use one everytime I put lugs back on. I retorque even if I go to the dealership.

    Brad
     
  4. dfmorse

    dfmorse

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    Torque wrench

    If you start having weird braking problems after you have left the shop, they may have worped the rotors.


    Personally; I would get a good torque wrench, and retorque the wheel nuts. Alloy wheels can take 75ft/lbs (78ft/lbs spec). I usually set mine around 65. Use some WD40 on the nuts.



    :cheers:
     
  5. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    I do have a torque wrench and i'm curious to see what the torque stick set them at. Would it be logical to assume that loosening the lugs with my torque wrench should give me a pretty close indication as to how tight they were put on?
     
  6. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    No! Set your torque wrench at 60 lbs. and see if it "clicks" without moving a lug nut. Continue by advancing the value in 5lb. increments until you move a lugnut before the wrench clicks (assuming you don't have a beam type).

    When done, loosen all lug nuts and torque them to specs. yourself.
     
  7. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Rationale please?

    The rotors and hub can easily take 110+ ft/lbs without warping anything... probably a whole lot more.

    CJ,
    It doesn't bother me for the tyre place to use a torque stick. The place I go to uses the torque stick to get the lugs to ~70 ft/lbs then they hit each lug in the proper sequence with the torque wrench at spec (76 ft/lbs for my '97). It is good practice to retorque your lugs after a short distance (~25 mi) so I usually retorque the weekend following a rotation at the tyre shop.

    -B-
     
  8. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    alloy wheel, right?


    B, I'm just paranoid because about 2 years ago i had a tire place wrenching down on my lug nuts when i got new tires that resulted in warped front rotors. I called dan, put new rotors and pads on and ever since have rotated and torqued my wheels by hand and haven't had a problem. I don't want to have one now.
     
  9. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

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    A good tire place will only use torque sticks as pre-torque. They will limit torque to keep from over tightening, but will not assure they are tight enough.

    Torquing Land Cruiser lugs to 65 is not a good idea. Torque them to the factory specifications. Very few if any of us know these vehicles half as well as the engineers who designed them. Going looser based on anecdotal evedence could be dangerous. Loose lugs will warp a rotor in a minute. I've got a set of four MB rotors at the shop with 50 miles on them because the guy used a torque stick on an impact and didn't tighten them enough. He's fortunate he didn't take out the rims as well.
     
  10. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Alloys are 76#. Factory steel wheels are 106# (I think that's the right number.)

    -B-
     
  11. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    IMHO you need to use only a torque wrench with a valid calibration tag on it.
     
  12. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    An impact wrench is still an impact wrench even when a torquestick is used, meaning your lug nuts literally get hammered tight. I am a firm dis-believer in this practice. As far as I am concerned an impact wrench should be used as a tool of last resort to remove stubborn fasteners , not as a method to "flat-rate a job to do it faster.

    In over 12 years I have had my wheels off dozens of times, never using air, and all of my wheel studs and lug nuts are original.
     
  13. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    Impact wrench: Taking off bolts=good
    putting on bolts=bad
     
  14. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

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    I must have done a half dozen stud replacements this last school year. None of the kids puts lug nuts on with anything but their hand and a torque wrench. I hid the torque sticks.

    I blame it on NASCAR.
     
  15. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    Only if they will not come apart otherwise. Impact wrenches bang the s*** out of chrome lug nuts and destroy the finish. Imagine what else is getting knocked around.
     
  16. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    You have the luxury of working in a shop; most of us are at the mercy of Discount Tires and Sears Auto and those guys use impacts for removal and spinning down the lugs. If you are lucky enough to be in the shop area when they bring in your vehicle *and* if you are lucky enough to get a nice mechanic *and* if you are lucky enough to get him to listen while you diplomatically persuade him to not use the impact..... you might get results. I haven't been that lucky 9 times out of 10 so I just decided to go with the flow.

    -B-
     
  17. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    From my experience the more common problem with impacts are the chance of cross threading the nut and driving it home without knowing it. On the few studs that I have had to replace it was from someone else doing this. These guys place the nut into the socket, place the loaded gun up to the stud, give the socket a twist and pull the trigger. I worked in a Goodyear shop for a year and saw this sort of thing first hand.
     
  18. firetruck41

    firetruck41

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    Also, IIRC, some of the early 16" alloy wheels had steel inserts, and should be 106#. (right? I think?) :)
     
  19. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    109 lf-ft actually and it also applies to alloys thru 94 with steel inserts and conical lug nuts.

    It is important to stress that one can't go by year application as gospel. We are now seeing vehicles with mixed year wheels on them, EG rgsiii's 94 with 95-up wheels on it when he bought it. So it is important to inspect the alloy wheels closely to determine if they have the steel inserts or not.
     
  20. seabeecruiser

    seabeecruiser

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    torque stick troubles

    as mentioned earlier, torque sticks are better than just hammering the lug nuts down with an impact wrench, but are no substitute to a calibrated torque wrench.
    Also, one poster mentioned spraying wd-40 on the jug nuts. This is not advisable. Torque specifications are set by engineers to be applied "dry". Adding any sort of lubricant will alter the forces that make that torque work. If you do that, you don't really know what your true torque is.