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Torque wrench

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I'm ready to do an oil change on my 01 XR400 for the first time. Do you guys use a torque wrench when doing an oil change or any routine maintenance for that matter? I don't want to strip a bolt but then again I dont want to spend $70-$100 on a torque wrench if it's not really necessary.

Any advise for a newbie is greatly appreciated...

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Not a big deal if you are only doing an oil change. If you are going to start working on it on your own, get one. For the two oil drains, let the gasket do it's work, not very tight at all. Hand tight, then maybe a quarter turn. Oil filter, even less. Those skinny bolts around the filter are REALLY easy to strip, so hand tight, and maybe just a small amount more. Get that wrench, though, if you wil be doing other work, it will come in handy. :cry:

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Get the wrench and use it on bolts with a torque value of 10 lbs. and greater.

Hand tighten the bolts under 10 lbs.

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Thanks for the advise guys...

Has anyone tried this wrench from Harbor Freight?

Torque wrench

It sure is a good price, not sure about the quality though.

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You don't need a torque wrench if you're only torquing the drain bolt.

If you're torquing lots of big bolts in the range of 60 to 100 ft/lbs, then this wrench might be semi accurate, but there's a reason good tools cost more, especially when accuracy is concerned. The low cost off shore made torque wrenches like this one aren't always accurate or consistant from one wrench to the next. Even if you get a better quality torque wrench, it's best accuracy will be in the middle of the torque range and the outer limits will be the least accurate, hence the need for mutiple torque wrenches if you're working with different sized fasteners and accuracy is important to you. For instance, this particular torque wrench has a torque range of 10 to 150 lb/ft. I would not use it on fastners that need to be torqued at 10 or 20 lb/ft because this will be the least accurate portion of this wrench. If you decide to get one of these types of torque wrenches, make sure you do not store it at a torque setting or your tool will loose accuracy, so make sure it's stored unloaded at 0 lb/ft and do not drop it or use it as a hammer because this will also also alter the accuracy.

Dial torque wrenches on the other hand show real time & rolling torque and they're not suseptible to being left in a preloaded position that can permanently alter the accuracy of the tool until its been recalibrated. You can sometimes find some killer deals on high quality dial torque wrenches on eBay (i.e. closeouts) from SnapOn, Mac, Proto, CDI, etc.

A torque wrench can be a very useful tool, but there's more to know than simply setting a torque value and turning the wrench. For instance, if the bolt, nut or washer is made from or plated with a different material that the stock fasteners, then that may change the torque spec required for a given fastener. If the fastener is lubricated, the you'll need to take that into account and reduce the torque setting appropriatly. Let's say you have a bolt that requires 25lb/ft of torque per the manual and you're using this $19.99 torque wrench. You lube the bolt with anti-seize because its a bit corroded and torque it to the spec in the service manual, but the bolt snaps. If you've lube the bolt with anti-seize, you should reduce the torque by ~20% and set your torque wrench to 20 lb/ft instead, but if you didn't know that, then 25lb/ft may have been too much, especially since the margin of error with this torque wrench is at its worst at this end of the torque spectrum (near the end of it's torque spectrum) and that may be another contributing factor as to why the bolt snapped.

Fasteners are an interesting topic and there's more than one way to torque fasteners. There's also the 'part turn' method which is a proven way to tighten 'some' types of fasteners (usually lower grade fasteners as opposed to the highest grades). This method involves tightening the bolt until joint surfaces are in close contact (snugging it down) and at the point where just before solid tightening starts, you turn the nut 1/4 turn and wait a couple seconds for the joint to relax. Then you sligtly loosen the bolt and give it another 1/4 turn and you're done. This method works very well and doesn't require you to buy any special tools.

You can also buy special bolts or washers that directly indicate their tension by squeezing out a tab or a colored mark or deforming under load once the correct tension is reached.

If you really want to gut nuts on this topic, check out this web site about Bolt Science.

http://www.boltscience.com

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If you go to:

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/HondaXR/files/

and click on torque.gif, you will get the page from

the Honda Common Service Manual that gives the details

as to why you will overtorque a lubricated bolt if the

specs didn't explicitly say to lubricate.

Makes you think twice about things like oil drain bolts;

just how often are the threads on them (bolt and hole) dry

of oil? Not often.

:cry:

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Heads up on over tighting the lower drain plug. The guy I got my 400 from had to replace half of the case due to cracking it by over tightening to drain plug. As for the low cost torque wrench, if that is all you can afford, its better that nothing.

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I bought one of the Harbor Freight T. wrenches for the fork clamp bolts on mine when I lowered the forks in the tripples. It's may not be the greatest, but like lucky said, at the time a $150.00 Snap-On wasn't in the budget. When checked against a neighbor's Mac, it's actually pretty close (~2-3 ft/lbs @ 22). one other trick is to sneak up on them. A buddy of my dads taught me to always set 30-40% low, and work up to the spec'd torque setting. Kind'a like the snug approach to let the joint relax.

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