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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I just bought a torque wrench and it is rated for 20 - 250 inch-pounds. This converts to 1.67 - 20.8 foot-pounds.

I bought this one as it was shorter (measures about 20 inches) than the other one that was rated at 25 - 240 foot-pounds. My thinking was that it being smaller it would fit into cramped areas of the engine compartment easily.

I am now wondering if it is rated high enough for some of the torquing required for basic engine work.

Some things I plan on doing myself when the time comes is:
1. Oil Change
2. Fuel Filter change
3. Brakes
4. Tire rotation
5. Maybe timing belt (but my car is new so that could take a few years)

So any advice on whether I should keep this wrench, bring it back and get the larger one (which is about 30 inches long), or keep the small and get the large one?
 

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2,243 Posts
It's a bit small for general mechanic work... (the lug bolts, for instance are rated at 89 Ft*Lbs - at least on the older cars)

More important, is the accuracy. How much did this unit cost? The cheaper (Harbor Freight / Princess Auto come to mind) brands have been known to be considerably off the mark on occasion... Most of the time you'll need to torque things somewhere between 15 and 90 Ft*Lbs, and most wrenches are only accurate in the middle (~70-80%) of their range. (In fact, I've given up on my cheapo click-type torque wrenches and have gone back to my old reliable (more-or-less) beam-type... I only use the click ones on my wheel lugs...)

There was an old episode of the show "Columbo" where he goes into a wine store and wants to know how one can tell a good wine from a bad one... The store owner says: "It's simple... by the price..."

Yuri
 

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It is not. A GOOD 20-100 ft-lb will be the only other one you'll need and it will be used frequently. You might need a higher one but a cheap one should be OK since you'll only use it rarely.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yuri,

I bought it at Canadian Tire and it is a MasterCraft Maximum (click type I think). It was regularly prices at 125.00 and I got it for 1/2 price.

The bigger one is about 135 and is also on sale for 1/2 price.

I think as well it is a click style.

Here is a link to it:

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/6/Tools/Wrenches/SpecialtyWrenches/PRD~0588562P/Mastercraft%2BMaximum%2B1%252B2-in%2BDrive%2BTorque%2BWrench.jsp?locale=en
This is the larger one that has the larger torque specs.

Any opinion on that one?

Thanks!!
 

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The quality appears to be rather adequate, but you're missing an important range of measurment: there are many fasteners that need 18 Ft*Lbs (close to the limit of the smaller one you have) and 30 or 33 Ft*Lbs - and that range you're missing entirely.

Personally I don't care for the plastic handles on these, but... that's a personal choice...

Check out the Husky 3/8" drive torque wrench at Home Depot... 20 - 100 Ft*Lbs range - although as I said above, I wouldn't trust the top and bottom 10-15%...

Yuri
 

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As Chitty says the one that will cover most work on your car is a 20-100 lbs-ft. If your not used to tightening nuts/bolts then a smaller one will also be needed. Don't forget you only get what you pay for so thinking of buying the cheapest you can get won't always be the best policy?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thx everyone for the advice.

I brought the wrench back that I purchased and will probably go for the Husky one that Yuri recommended as 20 - 100 ft-lbs should suffice for any job that I take on.
 

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Thx everyone for the advice.

I brought the wrench back that I purchased and will probably go for the Husky one that Yuri recommended as 20 - 100 ft-lbs should suffice for any job that I take on.
I would get one with a larger range than 20-100. Our wheel bolts are 89 ft-lbs which is already close the the wrench's limit.

I have both the Craftsman 20-150 ft-lbs and 25-250 in-lbs versions. 20-150 gets most of the use (like lug nuts, suspension bolts, etc.) but the small one gets surprisingly frequent use for cylinder heads and other more delicate parts.

For most jobs, the 20-150 ft-lbs version is perfect.
 
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