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use a torque wrench or not

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Hey guys I am doing a top end rebuild and I was wondering if I have to use a torque wrench. My uncle and grandpa said to just tighten them in a star pattern without over tightening. Keep in mind they have both been working on bikes forever! I have heard of people that don't use them with no problems. Can you guys shed some light on this for me?

Thanks!

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If you have a torque wrench, use it. It is insurance against something either getting loose, or stripping. Unless you've wrenched on things forever, and have "calibrated" yourself, it isn't worth the risk IMO.

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I've made my living fixing stuff for hire in my career, and learned that the sign of a true professional is one who uses quantifiable (measurable) process's to reproduce the exact same results time and time again.

You don't "guess" when making a cake, or building a house.....you use measuring cups and tape measures for a reason.

And for the same reason, you use a torque wrench when building engines, transmissions, differentials, installing wheels, or anything safety/performance related that would be bad/expensive if it came apart.

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Alright thanks guys. I have asked all my buddies and all my buddies buddies and nobody has one. So what store could I rent one from? Also I have tried finding torque specs but can't find them. Could you guys help me out? I am riding a 2001 kx250

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i usally wont tear my bike down without a torque wrench, its jsut not worth the risk of striping a head bold or having ur spark plug to loose. torque it, ride it, done.

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Alright thanks guys. I have asked all my buddies and all my buddies buddies and nobody has one. So what store could I rent one from? Also I have tried finding torque specs but can't find them. Could you guys help me out? I am riding a 2001 kx250

If you're rebuilding an engine, it probably would be a good idea to get a service manual for the bike....very handy.

You can usually rent torque wrenches from auto parts stores for a few bucks...usually less than $10.

But, it may not be a bad idea to invest in your own if you plan on doing alot of work on your own bikes in the future.

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=829422&highlight=kx250+torque+specs

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You just tighten everything till it strips and then back it off 1/4 turn and it will be just right.:smirk:

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I rebuilt lots of 2 stks without a torque wrench including vintage Elsinores and Maicos and never had a problem. I did buy one when I got my first 4 stk. though, just to be safe.

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Ya I really need to pick up a service manual. But I have heard some people torque their bikes correctly but the bolts end up getting loose so they just tighten them by hand.

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problem with torque wrenches and dirt bikes is your dealing with a lot of small fasteners threaded into alum. Add that to a wrench (even an inch lb) that has a handle a foot long, which gives no "feel" and your at the mercy of the tool. Seen way more stripped and snapped bolts on bikes using a tw than without. But I guess if your not confident in what a tight bolt feels like.......?

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Ya I really need to pick up a service manual. But I have heard some people torque their bikes correctly but the bolts end up getting loose so they just tighten them by hand.

I never really used a torque wrench until I got back on a 2t again...they vibrate a lot. I don't even use loctite on my bolts anymore. I use grease and then on the real important ones I put silicone on the other side

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problem with torque wrenches and dirt bikes is your dealing with a lot of small fasteners threaded into alum. Add that to a wrench (even an inch lb) that has a handle a foot long, which gives no "feel" and your at the mercy of the tool. Seen way more stripped and snapped bolts on bikes using a tw than without. But I guess if your not confident in what a tight bolt feels like.......?

I attended a trade show/convention for professional repair technicians from across the nation. There was everyone across the board from bike techs, auto techs, and guys who worked on heavy trucks and machinery, farm machinery, etc. If it was a machine and someone worked on it, they were represented.

One seminar was talking about the importance of torque wrench use, quality of torque wrenches and proper calibration. Amazingly, it was put on by a fastener manufacturer.

The invited several techs up from the audience....not young whippersnappers, guys who had been doing it for 30+ years.....so you'd think they'd ace this one, right?

They were each asked to torque different sized fasteners, some dry, some lubed, using the tool of their choice (ratchet, wrench, etc) to a specific torque value.

Out of more than a dozen participants, each torquing 10 or more fasteners, not one guy got it right. About half were within 10%, but many were WAY over, some more than double the value.

I really wish I have video of that, it was a real eye opener. Sadly, this was about 12 years ago or so.

I guess the moral of the story is, if you're using a cheap, who-knows-how-accurate/has-it-ever-been-calibrated torque wrench, you might be better off without it. But if you're not using junk, it's best to rely upon it rather than guesswork.

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I attended a trade show/convention for professional repair technicians from across the nation. There was everyone across the board from bike techs, auto techs, and guys who worked on heavy trucks and machinery, farm machinery, etc. If it was a machine and someone worked on it, they were represented.

One seminar was talking about the importance of torque wrench use, quality of torque wrenches and proper calibration. Amazingly, it was put on by a fastener manufacturer.

The invited several techs up from the audience....not young whippersnappers, guys who had been doing it for 30+ years.....so you'd think they'd ace this one, right?

They were each asked to torque different sized fasteners, some dry, some lubed, using the tool of their choice (ratchet, wrench, etc) to a specific torque value.

Out of more than a dozen participants, each torquing 10 or more fasteners, not one guy got it right. About half were within 10%, but many were WAY over, some more than double the value.

I really wish I have video of that, it was a real eye opener. Sadly, this was about 12 years ago or so.

I guess the moral of the story is, if you're using a cheap, who-knows-how-accurate/has-it-ever-been-calibrated torque wrench, you might be better off without it. But if you're not using junk, it's best to rely upon it rather than guesswork.

That doesn't surprise me a bit. I've been working on motorcycles for over 35 years. I have a pretty darned good calibrated wrist but I still use my torque wrenches almost every time I work on a bike. I often have to remind my friends that a broken bike can kill you.

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no arguments , seen the same kind of machinery demo's my self. But 90% of the hacks on this forum aren't buying good tools, calibrating, storing them right or even have a straight shot at the fastener in a bike frame or know anything about dry, wet torque.

I'd like to have a collection of the dozens of posts on THIS forum from guys asking how to repair or extract and broke bolt that they "torqued" to the book value with their crappy clicker wrench and swivel extension, LOL.

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no arguments , seen the same kind of machinery demo's my self. But 90% of the hacks on this forum aren't buying good tools, calibrating, storing them right or even have a straight shot at the fastener in a bike frame or know anything about dry, wet torque.

I'd like to have a collection of the dozens of posts on THIS forum from guys asking how to repair or extract and broke bolt that they "torqued" to the book value with their crappy clicker wrench and swivel extension, LOL.

A good mechanic never blames his tools.

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A good mechanic never blames his tools.

I think his point is there are not as many good mechanics on this board as they would have you believe. I for 1 use my SK torque wrench on critical stuff, like triple clamps (don't want to pinch the forks and cause unnecessary stiction) , engine parts, and bigger chassis bolts that have high torque values. All the little chassis bolts just get snugged up with my T-handle and a dab of loctite or never seize, depending on how often the bolt goes on and off.

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I've been using a torque wrench less and less as the years go by... I don't think it's left the top drawer of my tool box in a few months. And I turn wrenches every day.

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I think that a major thing that is overlooked too many times on this subject of torquing or torque wrench values whether it be dry or wet torquing, is the simple fact that after a fastener is removed and put back in the same hole so many times (especially aluminum) torque values that were once applicable to that application are no longer valid. Everyone knows damn well that things weaken over time, and fasteners and bolt holes are no different, plus the bolts stretch over time in our bikes thus throwing once valid torque values out the window. Now who here has replaced there case halves every time they have had them split? How about the case bolts replaced every time it was taken apart also? Torque values are applicable to when both the thread hole and fastener are new, anything after that is guess torquing even with a well calibrated torque wrench. Too many times people grab a well calibrated expensive toy that cost 1,000 times the price of a simple little 35~40 cent piece fastener/bolt that they are going to be torquing - and guess what - either snapped or stripped and assume naturally that their $350~$550 Snap-On torque wrench is junk, and that is not what caused the fastener failure. The failure was caused by not recognizing the fact that to apply the recommended manufacturer torque value, everything has to be new in the application and secondly, the manufacturers are just playing it safe and usually having you over-torque slightly anyway. If I am not replacing everything in an application, I will use a dab of fastener locking agent and back the specified torque value off by a couple inch/pounds or whatever the application calls for. A person can attend a thousand seminars on this very subject of torquing and torque wrench settings; however, if everything isn't new in the application, everything learned is non-applicable or moot at best in any situation that doesn't have all new parts and thread holes.

Edited by nokickstandsallowed
Miscalculation.

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