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Torque Wrench Range


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Hi all,

Looking to buy a torque wrench for working on the Spitfire (and Mini) and thinking of the Halfords Professional 40-200 nm (30-150 lbf.ft). The question is whether people think that is a suitable range of nm to go for to cover the most common jobs.

As always welcome your expertise / experience.



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Should be OK, crankshaft pulley 90-100 lb ft, rear hub nut 110-115. There's lots of bolts that need lower than 30 so if you buy this one you might need  a smaller one as well. I've had a Britool for 40 years which does 20 to 120 but again there's some nuts that need less than 20. I wonder if they go out of spec? Perhaps I need a new one!

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Most wrenches do stay calibrated quite accurately, you could make a steel bar with a1/2"sq hole and a means to hang a known weight on to check

a bar 12" with a 10 lb weight gives you 10 lbft make the bar 24"long and you get 20lbft

its just length x weight


most hand spanners are designed of a length to give the approx right torque from good hand pressure

if you jump on it or club it to death with a birmingham screwdriver then thats .....not calibrated

a good firm pull on a 1/2drive ratchet will give around 60lbft

a 9/16af spanner with a firm hand gives around 28/32 lbft





if you have two wrenches you can with a odd socket check one by its reaction to the other


there are places and factories that will calibrate wrenches

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Yes, I just said "out of spec" as an excuse to by a new tool  (Pete may remember that as Dan Miller syndrome (where is he?)) However, I have a 25 kilo sack of water softener salt in the garage, I may wile away an afternoon with it and my torque wrench.

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dan was on the CT forum for a while back but has gone off the radar


  dont spill the salt 


I have some techy wrenches that measure torque , angle and yield , but always revert to my simple Norbar I had when i was 21

    its so simple and stays accurate and still works all theses years on.


    spend spend spend    its good for the soul...........Ive just bought another soldering iron ...like I need one 

    just a Lidl excuse , nice flexi lead , one day I  may finish me railway.   the garden one failed to materialize  and sold it off

      but    .......................................... the spare room isnt  spare any more    pete

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I have a lighter fuel powered soldering iron, the spark mechanism's had it so I have to light it on the cooker. Time for a new one! Hooray!


I have some Triang OO in the loft, some nice engines, wagons and Pullman carriages, never did get the brake van (or carriage 79 as it appears to be called), but they're still available. 



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Ill save up for you 




for the garden railway i bought a calorific gas powered devised from a cow de horner,  for track joining .....loads of heat

     too big for  any 00 but the  LGB has gone and I still have the  soldering gun for .....were's the cow then !!

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Having ruined an engine block by using a torque wrench that was under-reading by 30%, I believe in two rules:

ALWAYS store the wrench unwound, no tension in the spring.

CHECK it annually.     Number of ways to do this:


Professional test house.  EG http://www.calibrate.co.uk/torque/

Electronic torque adaptor: EG http://www.alltradetools.com/catalog/torque-wrenches/2086-940759-.html  Less costly that a 'proper' electric torque wrench

DiY.  As Pete says, it's a straightforward process, by hanging a heavy weight from your wrench.  See pic.


For low torques, consider a "Beam" torque wrench, in which one arm bends to the torque, and a second is unstressed, reading a scale on the first.   See the diagram.   Much cheaper than a 'click' wrench, and they just don't go out of adjustment!






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Going on from what John has stated, I had my Sealey TW checked at my local garage when the "Snap-On" guy popped in to check the accuracy of the garage TW's. 


He found mine was 25% out which is considerable.


The TW has never been misused and has always been left in zero tension when not in use. Basically, you never can tell and under these storage conditions why has that happened ?? Probably the answer is that mass produced TW's do not have the care given that they should. 


An obvious option is to have the TW professionally calibrated as soon as you purchase it; at least you stand a fighting chance of having the item working as it should.


Since this I have invested in an electronic TW, which is currently the way forward. I accept they are not cheap, but probably cheaper than a mechanical failure of some significance.


You can have the TW's calibrated yearly, but is it worth it in the long run ?? Yes it probably is if you cannot afford the extra funds.





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Thanks as always everyone for the all-encompassing responses, I will keep an eye out for the next Halfords 10% off e-mail.


However, in the meantime I have covered all bases and ordered all the ancillaries I seem to need; a sack of water softener salt, soldering iron, lighter fuel and a model railway. The only problem is the cow – can’t see any listed on e-bay at present… :D

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good now we're getting somewhere....Hmmmm  !!  


       we all collect  Stuff,  glad to see the suggestions were all useful   Ha !!


                      tell you what a giant calorific iron (or whatever ) is great when outside and  the 240v  is miles away 


                           enjoy the railway great to unwind when the cars gone Thingys Up



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