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Old 07-03-2019, 11:49 AM   #1
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Asking Mechanic to Torque Lug Nuts

I took Bramble in to get inspected and brake maintenance recently. While dropping off, I asked the man if he would hand torque the lug nuts and if he needed to know what FP to tighten to. He replied that he always torqued to 90. I asked if he would do mine to 110 as that is what is spec'ed.

Would someone who is fluent in all of these languages (as I'm only fluent in mine lol) tell me if this is an unusual or unreasonable request? Or if I should have dome things differently? I don't want to be a pain but I also want to make sure things are done properly.

Thanks!

Kim
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:12 PM   #2
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IMHO that is certainly not an unreasonable request. The spec is there for a reason and should be followed. And a mechanic certainly should have the tools and know how.

In the last issue of Blue Beret there was an article about the importance of torquing the wheels to the proper specs. Apparently there have been incidents of wheels coming off while traveling. I personally know of it happening to someone in our unit.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:16 PM   #3
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Most tire stores don't torque at all.
They put the lug nuts on with an air gun and "feel" how tight they are.
Asking is not unreasonable, and the worker should do as asked or explain why not.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:27 PM   #4
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At home, I use a manual torque wrench and wouldn't have any problem using a different torque, but I may ask to see the spec as it may have been remembered incorrectly. One common error is mixing up foot-lbs and newton-metres. I have a European vehicle, and the spec is in n-m.

In a shop, I did and still would do what the customer asked, but I would also note in on the work order so that there was a record.

My brother's shop uses air impact guns with torque limiter extensions (they have a set, with various preset torques) They seem fairly accurate if good quality. He hand checks as well.

My local tire shop torques lug nuts as per the manual, and asks that I return after 2-3 days and so that they can retorque them for free, without any appointments necessary.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:33 PM   #5
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Most tire stores don't torque at all.
They put the lug nuts on with an air gun and "feel" how tight they are.
Asking is not unreasonable, and the worker should do as asked or explain why not.
Almost every tire store I've visited in the past 8-10 years mechanics are using torque sticks, which limit the amount of torque applied. They can't be used with anything other than an air impact wrench AFAIK & they have a range of torque.

The mechanic should still use a torque wrench for final values & to confirm the torque stick. You also might want to ask how recently the torque wrench has been re-calibrated.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:24 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone. I greatly appreciate your thoughts. And I will check the torque before my next trip.

I am learning that some people have learned this stuff through others and so they may have faulty procedures/knowledge. For instance, I asked my son to help me with my first torque job. He wanted to use my torque wrench to loosen the lug nuts and I said NO! I've read the manuals, he learned from others on some job. A good lesson for me to learn that even if this is not my comfort zone, I may well know better than others!
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:57 PM   #7
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Please consider extending your comfort zone so that you can learn to check torques yourself. Then you know someone hasn't messed it up. It's a simple job.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:13 PM   #8
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Please consider extending your comfort zone so that you can learn to check torques yourself. Then you know someone hasn't messed it up. It's a simple job.


What mimiandrew said!
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:25 PM   #9
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Asking Mechanic to Torque Lug Nuts

My local Costco has a torque wrench calibration rig with a digital readout in their shop area. The manager uses it before he checks torque after the tire busters are done. Also has a free check anytime you want one.

One of these days I will bring my personal torque wrench there for a sanity check on their calibration rig.

It’s a good tool to have, but needs checking regularly. Do NOT leave it set. Mark where it’s right, then back it all the way off when not in use. Set it to the mark when you are actually using it. The spring takes a set and can be off a bit after sitting around set to a torque level.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:03 PM   #10
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YES, in other words... you "check" the torque by re-torqueing.
Not by setting the wench to spec and seeing if it clicks or hit's the numbers as you tighten. Some threads are leftie tighty. And you're torque wench works in both directions.


I use the "old fart" muscle memory cross bar.

As tight as I can get loose, without a hernia.👍

Disclaimer... In always used 'torque sticks' on my pneumatic, and checked against my Snap-on click, when I was bucklenusting. Always within 5-8lbs.

Bob
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:27 PM   #11
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Most tire stores don't torque at all.
They put the lug nuts on with an air gun and "feel" how tight they are.
Asking is not unreasonable, and the worker should do as asked or explain why not.


Most tire stores use "torque sticks" that tighten to a certain foot pounds when used behind an impact wrench.

The way they work is lost on most people who don't understand the greater realities about how impacts tighten and loosen fasteners.

I'm not being smug, I'm just saying it like it is.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:34 PM   #12
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Manual says to torque after 10, 25 and 100 miles. Do people really do this? I won’t even get home from the dealer without stopping twice
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:50 PM   #13
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It’s probably a darn good idea to check torque often, but that’s not reality...
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:32 PM   #14
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Asking Mechanic to Torque Lug Nuts

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Manual says to torque after 10, 25 and 100 miles. Do people really do this? I won’t even get home from the dealer without stopping twice


Probably like about 1/10 of one percent of the people........

(Airstream Forums responses will not be able to prove or disprove my assertion, but I'll still be very very close to correct. )
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:35 PM   #15
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I simply don’t trust “torque sticks” UNLESS they are for a lower torque than the spec and followed by the use of a manual torque wrench to the specs.

If a manual clicking torque wrench clicks without previously rotating the nut/bolt, all you know is that the actual torque is AT or ABOVE the torque wrench’s setting.

FWIW when I return home from a tire shop I break every lug nut and re-torque them to specs using my own torque wrench. When the shop uses “torque stacks” the most common error is not too little torque, but too much. One result of too much torque is that you may not be able to change a spare in case of a flat tire etc.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:41 PM   #16
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Asking Mechanic to Torque Lug Nuts

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I simply don’t trust “torque sticks” UNLESS they are for a lower torque than the spec and followed by the use of a manual torque wrench to the specs.

If a manual clicking torque wrench clicks without previously rotating the nut/bolt, all you know is that the actual torque is AT or ABOVE the torque wrench’s setting.

FWIW when I return home from a tire shop I break every lug nut and re-torque them to specs using my own torque wrench. When the shop uses “torque stacks” the most common error is not too little torque, but too much. One result of too much torque is that you may not be able to change a spare in case of a flat tire etc.


And still, I have hundreds of tires on the ground right now as I assert that lug nut science isn't necessarily an exact science.

There is a wider range of "acceptable" than the very specific torque ratings might indicate.

I'm of the "a little too tight is cool crowd".

But that's just me.

I don't think that most people can appreciate how much clamping power is represented by six, eight, or ten fine threaded lug nuts tightened to anywhere near a hundred pounds of torque........

most lug nut issues are caused by a wrong style nut or a wrong wheel, not by insufficient or excessive torque.....
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:28 PM   #17
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Manual says to torque after 10, 25 and 100 miles. -- snip --
Yes, but the trailer came from somewhere. Ours got towed on it's own axles. About 2000 miles we figure. Pretty well worked in by the time we picked it up. Initially, not much change in torque required. The new 15in wheels did require successive retorque, like you suggest. The aluminum moved a bit for the first 1K miles.

The other break in issue is brake shoes. Might ask the dealer about both. Pat
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:35 PM   #18
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Yes, but the trailer came from somewhere. Ours got towed on it's own axles. About 2000 miles we figure. Pretty well worked in by the time we picked it up. Initially, not much change in torque required. The new 15in wheels did require successive retorque, like you suggest. The aluminum moved a bit for the first 1K miles.

The other break in issue is brake shoes. Might ask the dealer about both. Pat
My dealer always has some un-nuanced version of "what, me worry?"
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:52 PM   #19
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You are not asking them to worry, only for information. If they don't have it, then you may need to worry. But you'll learn from all that worry. You'll probably stop two to three times on the way home just to figure out why all those people are looking at you. Just torque the lugs while you are stopped.

Brakes need about 20 applications that slow from 40 mph to 20 mph with cooling in between to bed them into the drums. You will likely cover that if you tow home on the two lane.

All good. Enjoy the new toy. Pat
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:54 PM   #20
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You are not asking them to worry, only for information. If they don't have it, then you may need to worry. But you'll learn from all that worry. You'll probably stop two to three times on the way home just to figure out why all those people are looking at you. Just torque the lugs while you are stopped.

Brakes need about 20 applications that slow from 40 mph to 20 mph with cooling in between to bed them into the drums. You will likely cover that if you tow home on the two lane.

All good. Enjoy the new toy. Pat
Just like a car. I'll take the two lane across town instead of the four around.
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