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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was in Lowe's the other day to get a ladder stabilizer to give me more confidence on our shaky ladder putting Christmas lights on high gables when I happened to see a 1/2" Craftsman ratcheting reversible 30" click torque wrench in a nice case on sale for $45!

It comes with a certification of accuracy with actual test results for that particular wrench from 25-250 ft-lbs.

Since this thing is so inexpensive, I'm thinking of tossing it in the underfloor storage bin at the hack of the Pilot as a lug nut wrench, not just for properly tightening but also loosening stubborn lug nuts given that the long 30" handle should make easy work of things for an old weakling like me. Once when I had a flat out in the boonies, I couldn't get two of the lug nuts off with the truck's lug nut wrench, even jumping on the handle with all my 200 pounds of weight.

See any reason using a torque wrench would not be a good idea, the loosening part, if I set the torque value high enough to break all the lug nuts free before the torque wrench clicks? Yes, I realize a 30" half inch breaker bar costs less than $45 and steel pipe cheater bars even less or a $19 Harbor Freight torque wrench with shorter handle ... but I'm just asking anyway ... you know, the ole, justify buying something you didn't really need because the price was too good to pass up. :cool:
 

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You should do what you want to do.
Generally though, torque wrenches are not used to 'loosen' bolts, but you knew that.

My vote is set it all the way up, it should work fine?
 

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For emergency roadside repairs I would say it is sufficient, but I wouldn't necessarily trust it's accuracy anymore. When you get home grab a torque wrench you can trust and retorque everything.

Wouldn't a breaker bar be cheaper?
 
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Exactly. I just carry a cheater pipe to slip on over the factory lug wrench for leverage. That's essentially free.
 

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I would keep the new torque wrench at home and use it to re-torque the lug nuts to the recommended 90 ft-lbs - or whatever the spec is for your model. Then you have both a nice calibrated wrench and lug nuts that will come off with the factory bar.
 

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To get mine off, I just Jump Up Higher and land onto the little lug wrench bar it comes with. LOL
I'm 165#'s.
 
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See any reason using a torque wrench would not be a good idea, the loosening part, if I set the torque value high enough to break all the lug nuts free before the torque wrench clicks? Yes, I realize a 30" half inch breaker bar costs less than $45 and steel pipe cheater bars even less or a $19 Harbor Freight torque wrench with shorter handle ... but I'm just asking anyway ... you know, the ole, justify buying something you didn't really need because the price was too good to pass up. :cool:
Good deal on a decent torque wrench that I would prefer to keep at home. HF sells a 25" 1/2" breaker bar $20>$15 that makes a nice trunk addition for tackling lug nuts even ones with two legs. Best to maintain the accuracy of the torque wrench for torquing nuts to spec.
 

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I did a full service on K's 4Runner today. I grabbed a 1/2"extending ratchet to loosen the lugnuts, and since they were last installed with proper torque they came off butter-smooth. Went back on with the correct torque and I fully expect that they will loosen as easily next time.

With that in mind, you'll have both the factory lug wrench and the torque wrench in your arsenal next time change a tire.

Also -- Using the torque wrench to loosen a nut is no tougher on the wrench than tightening one. Since you won't need to jump on the wrench to loosen a properly-tightened lug not, no reason to believe you'll be abusing a torque wrench using it for loosening.

If I was really really worried about such damage, I'd leave the wrench at its loosest setting so no risk of damaging the cam or the spring inside.
 
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You can mess up a torque wrench that way... I would just toss a cheater pipe in the back of the trunk. A 3/4, 36" black pipe is like $12 at Home Depot
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also -- Using the torque wrench to loosen a nut is no tougher on the wrench than tightening one. Since you won't need to jump on the wrench to loosen a properly-tightened lug not, no reason to believe you'll be abusing a torque wrench using it for loosening.
Exactly! If this is a reversing torque wrench I can't see left hand torque being any worse than right hand torque of the same amount.
If I was really really worried about such damage, I'd leave the wrench at its loosest setting so no risk of damaging the cam or the spring inside.
I was thinking the opposite, using a higher setting so the thing never clicks, but I guess that does make more sense to just use a low setting and isolate the cam and spring. I guess another approach would be to keep sneaking up on the torque setting until the nut starts to move before the wrench clicks. That would give some idea of how tight the nut was. If the setting reaches say, 130 ft-pounds and clicks without moving the lug nut, then using something besides the torque wrench might be a good idea at that point since it would be safe to assume the nut is over torqued, is rusted in place, or the wrench clicker quit working.
 

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^^^ That's the one (or two...). One goes in the car, the other in the toolbox. Huge investment, huge results. Leave the tension at zero between uses.

Working on the 4Runner today, I reminded myself that the studs get copper anti-seize, the "culottes" (the cups where the nut seats in the wheel) are dry on the German cars. The 4Runner has washers that stay dry. Lots of different theories about what's dry and what gets a little rust-avoidance.
 
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:) Umm, there's a poll...

 

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^^^ That's the one (or two...). One goes in the car, the other in the toolbox. Huge investment, huge results. Leave the tension at zero between uses.

Working on the 4Runner today, I reminded myself that the studs get copper anti-seize, the "culottes" (the cups where the nut seats in the wheel) are dry on the German cars. The 4Runner has washers that stay dry. Lots of different theories about what's dry and what gets a little rust-avoidance.
Do not bother torquing if you use anti-seize. You will not get a true value. On the threads just apply a drop of tranny fluid.
When certification became mandatory for commercial vehicles, it was mandated no anti-seize on the threads, just a drop or two of oil. If a wheel off happened and the MTO finds anti-seize on the threads, the last installer is liable to up to $10,000 fine. Years ago in Ontario we were having many cases of wheel offs. Hence why they brought in certification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Do not bother torquing if you use anti-seize. You will not get a true value. On the threads just apply a drop of tranny fluid.
When certification became mandatory for commercial vehicles, it was mandated no anti-seize on the threads, just a drop or two of oil. If a wheel off happened and the MTO finds anti-seize on the threads, the last installer is liable to up to $10,000 fine. Years ago in Ontario we were having many cases of wheel offs. Hence why they brought in certification.
How on earth would the MTO determine who the last installer was and if possible prove he/she was the one who put on the anti-seize? If the culottes are dry wouldn't the larger surface area over a longer moment arm (than the threads) provide the surface friction to prevent wheel offs if properly torqued?
 

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How on earth would the MTO determine who the last installer was and if possible prove he/she was the one who put on the anti-seize? If the culottes are dry wouldn't the larger surface area over a longer moment arm (than the threads) provide the surface friction to prevent wheel offs if properly torqued?
They dig up the last work performed. Then you have to try to prove you were not the last one to service it.
Paperwork trails. That is why I made every footnote on my paperwork.
 

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They dig up the last work performed. Then you have to try to prove you were not the last one to service it.
Paperwork trails. That is why I made every footnote on my paperwork.
Sorry, I do not know how to edit.
We are talking about hub and stud pilot wheels. Different world than passenger.
Edit... It works, I know how to edit now.
 

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It's really close to passenger, and the use of the anti-seize on the stud is a regular discussion. I opened it a decade or more ago with Porsche, as owners were suffering when aluminum lug nuts were welding to aluminum wheels particularly when a rattle gun was used and/or there was any significant overtightening. We proposed a non-graphite lubricant for the friction faces. Porsche came back and said that a thin film of anti-seize is OK on threads only; the friction faces need to stay dry. For steel-to-steel interfaces, copper anti-seize is the weapon of choice among metal-based products, so that's what the 4Runner and Pilot get.

As far as using ATF or engine oil on clean threads vs. the anti-seize, the effect on final tension is identical. For critical bolts, there's a derate schedule for lubricated vs. dry. Varies based on thread size and pitch. For fine-thread wheel studs, there's a bigger issue with corroded dry threads. Regardless, I use the copper stuff, wipe it off with a paper towel so minimum remains in the stud threads, and tighten to normal spec. I'm interested in the copper layer, not the oil carrier.

This is straying far from the original question about using a torque wrench to loosen lug nuts.
 
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