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Old 03-02-2004, 08:12 AM   #1
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New Owners: Make sure you torque Lugs...

All,

Just got back from our first trip -- a shake down cruise of our Safari 28W...

I torqued the wheel nuts at each stop -- before we left, after we sent up camp, and after we got back.

Each time, I had at least 2 lugs on each wheel below torque spec, and in a couple of cases, they were a half-turn under torque.

I now have 100 miles on it, but I will continue the torque them at each stop until they quit moving around and fall back to checking them occasionally as per the manual.

Just wanted you guys to know -- it was not covered during our walk-through -- read about it from the manual...
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:16 AM   #2
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When the factory does a re-pack of bearings, they put a sticker on the curb side window reminding the owner to check the wheel lugs after 50 (i think) miles.

So this is good advice for both occasions.


Thanks
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:19 AM   #3
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Agreed. I was out looking at the lugs after they delivered our coach and my findings were identical.
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:52 AM   #4
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This brings up an issue not only for new owners but for mechanically challenged older owners as well. I've always "torqued" my lug nuts with the old "give the lug wrench a good jerk by standing on it to see if I can get one more squeak out of it" method. While this has always worked for me, I have broken off more than my share of bolts using this method.

Should a TT owner own a torque wrench? What torque wrench do you recommend? Is a torque wrench a form of a socket wrench handle?
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Old 03-02-2004, 09:19 AM   #5
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...I am 6' 4" and have bent wrenches and even a spud-bar once. I tend to used a torque wrench when it spells one out -- especially aluminum parts.

I bought a 3/4 inch 1/2 inch drive deep-well socket to go with my largish 1/2 inch drive torque wrench. It is the type that gives a click when you reach proper torque. I wanted a dedicated socket, and did not want to throw my entire 1/2 inch socket set in the trailer -- I would never use it...and I did not want the set minus the 3/4 sitting in the garage, either..

They are both in the AS tool kit -- The torque wrench is large enough to do cylinder heads and such. I would recommend to stay away from the kind that uses a metal pointer on a scale (I think it is called a beam-type). Get the kind that clicks when you reach proper torque.

The idea behind using a torque wrench is to not apply the torque all in a rush. You seat the socket, and you hold the torque wrench at the end of its handle, and you bear down smoothly and you keep a steady increase of force, and smooth steady increase, and you keep increasing until the wrench clicks. Did I say keep it smooth?

It is harder to do that if the nut is actually moving as you do this -- the tendency is to jerk the nut to get the wrench to click. If this happens, re-do it until you get a nice steady pull-click from it.

I find this easier if I am pulling on the wrench and not pushing on it. I start with the wrench at 12:00 high and pull it towards me using the muscles of your shoulder to do it. If the nut moves< then I start at 10:00. The idea is to do it in one, steady pull.

My wrench is about 20 inches long and is in a lttle plastic case. The idea is to be able to reach torque with one arm -- The torque wrench is not really engineered to be worked with two hands...be careful, it is easy to hurt yourself trying to apply forces like this smoothly...
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Old 03-02-2004, 09:32 AM   #6
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...The click torque wrench has a spring inside it and a rotary scale at the bottom of the handle. You screw the handle around until the dial gets to your torque setting, and then lock it with a set screw so it does not squirm around on you when you are torquing. It looks like a regular socket wrench, otherwise.

When you are done , relieve the pressure on the spring. Auto Parts stores has them -- I think I paid 50.00 or so for mine a few years ago...

I have an easy time applying torque to the wheels -- you want a longer one the weaker you think your arms are-- mine goes up to 200 foot-pounds. I would have to be in the right frame of mind to pull mine to 200 foot pounds with just one arm...I could not do it squatting next to the trailer, that is for sure.

I torqued my wheels to 85 foot-pounds, per the manual. That is not too bad...not even a grunt.
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Old 03-02-2004, 09:37 AM   #7
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Great info Hohne ... thanks!
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Old 03-02-2004, 09:59 AM   #8
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Thank you guys for this info....I haven't gotten around to reading the manual.

Brenda has got to have a torque wrench for her birthday!

Kistler
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:18 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info. I was just wondering exactly what the procedure was for using the torque wrench. And now I know which one to buy.
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:29 AM   #10
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So happens that I've one of the old "beam" types.
An old Craftsman.
No instructions, owned it for years, used it less than 5 times probably. Might not even be able to find it in less than 5 hours
I can think of maybe 203,000 things I'd rather spend $50 bucks on.

I don't think the "beam" type would serve well for engine overhauling spec work, but how critical is it that torque on the lug nuts be perfect? i.e. if all 4 wheels are different torqued (but still tight) what happens?
Or in other words is torqueing the lug nuts just to keep them tight? or do you propose it has some influence on the ride ?





So what is the downside of using the "beam" type?
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:30 AM   #11
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...I was an Aircraft Mechanic about 20 years ago, and I have forgotten a lot of things...

The idea is not to use any extensions on your socket while using the torque wrench -- you can get out of square and not torque to proper levels...and you do not want to slip off and hurt your AS, or less importantly, your back...

I bot the 3/4 inch deep-well socket at Lowes -- it allows me to clear (barely) the hub so I do not need any extensions to torque the wheels at any angle I care to. I would have got a 6-point socket as well, but alas, all they had were 12 point...

Now, if you do not have enough *ss to make the dang thing click, you can use a buddy. After all, you have lots of lug nuts on that wheel for a reason...(mine has six), and these are not airplanes... ( you would be surprised at how few bolts hold a wing on an airplane...)

If your helper puts their hand over yours, and pulls with you at the same rate, you can get a good torque that way. The idea is to apply the force on the engineered spot on the wrench...

R
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:40 AM   #12
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Beam types...

Picture this...

To get a smooth pull, I face my body towards the rear of the AS so I than pull the wrench towards my CG (belly button).

You squat like a catcher. Your head is looking at the socket to make sure things stay square. My shoulder is right next to that lovely-new skin, but not touching it, because we know how hard is it to fix a dent...and the wrench just barely clears that nice shiny hub.

You start to pull, thinking smooth, steady pressure...do not ding the skin, or the hub, because if you slip, you might do both.

And then you have to crane your neck around to read the beam type, and get square enough to it to get rid of the parallax error of reading it, as you try to put close to 100 pounds on the wrench...and the beam magnifies any lurching so you cannot really get it to with +- 10 pounds...if the wrench is accurate anyway -- drop it and the jig is up...

Get the clicky kind...you stay square to the work and the forces you apply...
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by jaco
So what is the downside of using the beam type?
The beam type requires you to pay more attention to the scale instead of keeping the wrench aligned to the short extension you will probably have to use.

The downside of the "click" type or "digi-torque" style torque wrench is they need to be recalibrated every few years. But, with lug nuts, especially on alloy wheels, you are most concerned with getting them all to the same torque. An out-of-cal torque wrench will do that, you just won't know exactly what torque they are.

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Old 03-02-2004, 11:05 AM   #14
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If I recall, our aircraft wrenches were calibrated once or twice per year...these were in daily use, as you can imagine...they had calibration stickers maintained by QC on them -- you were not allowed to use your own where I worked...you signed them out and into a tool crib...

If you make sure to relieve the pressure on the spring, it stays in better calibration a lot longer, so I have heard -- make sure you back the torque scale back down to zero...and put it back into its case.

Dropping them is generally bad.

I guess you could check your own by hanging a known weight on the center of the grab handle while hooked to a bolt. Measure the distance from the center of the bolt in feet to the place where you attch the weight, and make sure it hangs down straight. adjust the wrench to that torque, and add the weight to see if it is reading over or under...
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