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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for a Torque Wrench specially for working on the Vic. I'm not much of a mechanic but can do basic jobs...

what drive size - 1/2, 1/4, 3/8? I think all of my existing sockets are 3/8 but Standard not Metric so they are probably useless and I'll need to get some Metric sockets as well....

I see there are several types of wrenches:
1) electronic (expensive)
2) "old fashion" with mechanical gague
3) "click drive" - I assume you set a ft/lbs amount and there is some sort of "clutch" that stops it from turning once the threshhold has been met.

Would like to keep it under $100.
 

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Looking for a Torque Wrench specially for working on the Vic. I'm not much of a mechanic but can do basic jobs...

what drive size - 1/2, 1/4, 3/8? I think all of my existing sockets are 3/8 but Standard not Metric so they are probably useless and I'll need to get some Metric sockets as well....

I see there are several types of wrenches:
1) electronic (expensive)
2) "old fashion" with mechanical gague
3) "click drive" - I assume you set a ft/lbs amount and there is some sort of "clutch" that stops it from turning once the threshhold has been met.

Would like to keep it under $100.
At the $100.00 price point, you limit yourself. I recently bought two different ones; one to cover inch pounds and the other for foot pounds. One was from Lowes and one from Sears. Even on sale, they were more than $100.00.

I have heard a lot of folks say that if it's not Snap On, or one of the other major, high-end makers that you're wasting your money. I can't comment on the validity of that statement, but am happy with what I have.
 

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Firstly, the person who said you are wasting your money if you buy a Snap On torque wrench is wrong. However, for general use around the bike, I would not be afraid to use the Harbor Freight click type wrenches for general use, especially at the price point you are at. I bought my Snap On torque wrenches on Ebay at 1/2 price, they were and still are like brand new. I sent them out to get calibrated and the guy said they were perfect. I was working in aviation at the time, so good torque wrenches were essential. I would not assemble and engine with a HF torque wrench.

As for sizes, I would get a 1/2" ft/lb. 3/8" ft/lb and a 1/4" in/lb set. That way you can cover the larger items such as swing arm fasteners and the smaller stuff too (front axle pinch bolts for example). If you use the HF wrench (or any torque wrench) in the middle portion of its range they will be more accurate.
 

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Firstly, the person who said you are wasting your money if you buy a Snap On torque wrench is wrong. However, for general use around the bike, I would not be afraid to use the Harbor Freight click type wrenches for general use, especially at the price point you are at. I bought my Snap On torque wrenches on Ebay at 1/2 price, they were and still are like brand new. I sent them out to get calibrated and the guy said they were perfect. I was working in aviation at the time, so good torque wrenches were essential. I would not assemble and engine with a HF torque wrench.

As for sizes, I would get a 1/2" ft/lb. 3/8" ft/lb and a 1/4" in/lb set. That way you can cover the larger items such as swing arm fasteners and the smaller stuff too (front axle pinch bolts for example). If you use the HF wrench (or any torque wrench) in the middle portion of its range they will be more accurate.
You should read my post more carefully. I did not say that the Snap On was a waste of money. I said that I had been told / read that anything BUT a Snap On is a waste of money. thumb up
 

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I was never concerned with torque, before I got my Vic! Now I have 3 torque wrenches, all click type. Had some metric tools from my previous ricers, but have increased my collection substantially! Now I can't tighten a bolt, without finding the torque spec.:crzy:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I appreciate all the input...

Just to be clear - I will NOT be tearing down the engine, removing wheels, adjusting the belt or anything like that - I would have a professional do work like that.

I've seen some videos and Forum Threads where applying proper Torque was stressed: Oil Drain Plug, Clutch handle (removal for lub). This is the type of work I'll be doing

I'm thinking a "mid-grade" wrench would do...
 

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Me too!! I didn't go Harbor Fright, but didn't spend $100 each ether!!
 

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You should read my post more carefully. I did not say that the Snap On was a waste of money. I said that I had been told / read that anything BUT a Snap On is a waste of money. thumb up
Sorry about that. I had just woken up and misread...my bad.
 

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Most of the bolts on our bikes I use a 1/4" torque wrench for. Remember your only tighten with it never breaking bolts loose with it.
For axles you can go to Auto Zone and rent one for all most nothing.
All ways put it on zero when your done with it.
 

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You will need readings in inch pounds and foot pounds, so be sure you have both those scales on yours. As far as driver size goes, there are adapters.
I'm a bang-for-the-buck guy and went with the Harbor Freight torque wrenches. My neighbor has a digital big buck one and the HF ones are damn close. For a weekend mechanic, that's good enough. If I was a Monday to Friday, paid by the hour wrench, I'd go for the spendier ones.
 

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harbor freight here too , have checked mine against snap on that gets checked regularily and its close , good enough for me. if its in ft lbs or inch lbs just convert if needed, i have all three sizes also, and you can get them for $10-20 each.


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A good thing to know about torque wrenches is to unwind the handle when done, so there is no pressure on the internal spring. That will keep 'em accurate.
 

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I like my Harbor freight inch pound wrench. I have a 3/8 Craftsman foot pound and 1/2" snap on. Harbor Freight is the best bang for the buck for the house hold tinkerer and I have used them on Harleys and my Kawasaki. cheers
 

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Only SNAP-ON and PROTO used here.
 

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CDI makes the torque wrenches for Snap On, if you can find a good deal on a CDI you will have a good wrench. They can be had on Amazon for a good price, especially when compared to the Snap On price.
 

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I have a really nice Snap-on electronic; reads in in/lbs, ft/lbs and metric too. 3/8" drive and does everything.

You can find these for about $200-$300 all over the place. Many were given away by tool dealers for purchases of different tool sets, thats how I got mine for FREE! .... (yea right)

Or try this little gadget works with a breaker bar and tells you the torque applied. I think they go for about $130-$150

 

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Buy whichever brand you like. The click type would be your best choice, i would start with a 3/8 drive foot pounds and a 1/4 inch inch pound and if you see that you need one for higher torque settings than get a 1/2 inch drive. I am an auto tech so i use the high dollar ones but in your case i don't think you need to spend that much money on them.
 

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Torque wrenches

My torque wrenches are CDI or Snap on unless they are beam type wrenches.
I generally use dial type wrenches but do have at least one high quality click wrench.
They are expensive but last virtually forever doing work at home.

If I buy a Torque wrench and want a cheap one I buy a bending beam type wrench. Like this one: http://www.sears.com/craftsman-3-8-in-dr-beam-style-torque-wrench/p-00932999000P?prdNo=6&blockNo=6&blockType=G6

They never go out of calibration and are pretty hard to make wrong. You have to be careful when using one to get your eyes lined up so that you read the dial correctly. Aside from that they are accurate unless you do something incredibly stupid with them. When they are out of calibration it's obvious that they are because the beam is bent permanently. The pointer no longer points to zero at rest.
I have one 1/4" wrench that I have used for 35 years and it still is accurate.

There have been times when traveling that I need a Torque wrench to fix one of the HD's I own and I just go to sears and pick up a beam wrench for $20-$30 and call it good.

I do keep one cheap click wrench for doing lug nuts on cars but that is it's only job. I can't see taking a $300 wrench outside in the rain and weather. Don't want to bend over in the rain to get my face in line with the scale of the wrench and don't really care if the lug nuts are 5#'s off.
However I don't use it on anything more expensive than factory steel wheels.

When I was in aerospace manufacturing we sent our torque wrenches out frequently for calibration. They definitely go out of calibration and sometimes had to be scrapped because they could not be repaired. They were top end CDI or Snap-on wrenches.

Because of that experience I don't use something as complicated as a click or dial type wrench that was made in China by a guy who really doesn't understand what it does.
I've actually been to China and the working class, the guys building your torque wrenches etc. are just getting things more complicated than bicycles for their own use. This is a real problem for Chinese manufacturers. The fellow welding your harbor freight press together probably doesn't have much of a grip on what it really is used for and therefore doesn't realize when he is making it wrong.

I have a lot more faith in a bending beam type wrench built by that guy than I do anything more complicated.
I wouldn't trust a cheap electronic wrench either. Cheap is cheap.
Cheap electronics are no better than cheap mechanical tools.
Cheap electronics use cheap components with larger tolerances.
Larger tolerances can mean that your electronic wrench might not be as accurate when it is cold or hot in your garage and it will probably fail eventually. When it fails will you realize it before you damage what you are working on?

You really do get what you pay for. No free lunch.
When you strip a bolt out of a case or the threads out of a cam because the wrench failed to go click it never feels good.
Ask me how I know.
 
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