torque wrench suggestions - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 12 Old 04-06-2010, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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torque wrench suggestions

Hey guys-

My parts from eagle mike showed up yesterday and i'm just waiting for the rain to stop here in seattle long enough to do the doohickey replacement (i live in an apartment without access to a garage to stay dry in while working).

After reading the directions and watching the videos, it apparent that I will need to invest in a torque wrench. So I have the following questions:

- Do I need a 1/2" drive AND a 1/4" drive torque wrenches?
- Is it ok to use a 1/2" drive wrench with an adapter to 1/4" for the smaller sockets?
- are special sockets needed on this type of wrench?
- I figure if I'm shelling out for new wrenches I want to get a quality set, no harbor freight this time. Any suggestions at to brands? Seems as though craftsman ain't what it used to be since Sears and Kmart merged.

Thanks for the advice.

Brian C.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-06-2010, 08:54 AM
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Torque wrenching ain't brain surgery. I've had HF for years. Initially tested them against my garage buddys SnapOns. Not enough difference to tell. Since they're not used much, I see no reason to spend more.

Couple of things, if you do use adapters or extensions they will cause some deviation (I'm told ----makes sense). How much, I dunno. I figger the longer the more.

Reset to zero when your job is complete. They (at least the clicker kind) will take a set and screw something up. There's been a couple of horror stories posted here about that. Don't need special sockets or extensions.

Problem w/ using a 1/4 adapter, is that most uses for 1/4s are in inch/lbs while the 3/8 is ft/lbs. Get both. Can't have too many tools.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-06-2010, 09:21 AM
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Get a 1/2" AND a 1/4" drive torque wrench. You can not use socket adapters to convert 1/2" to 1/4" with a torque wrench. A 1/2" torque wrench can not go down low enough to torque small bolts. That's a bad practice anyway as a 1/2" ratchet with a 1/4" socket on it will give you too much mechanical advantage and you'll end up breaking the head off of the bolt. Small tool for small bolts, big for big.

I've got 5 different torque wrenches to cover different ranges of torque.

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-06-2010, 12:38 PM
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Usually a 1/4" wrench will be in Inch Pounds (12 Inch Pounds to a Foot Pound)..

Truthfully, while I have access to professional grade torque wrenches, I use my Harbor Freight wrenches instead.. I checked them against works calibration standards and they're actually closer to correct than the "Pro" wrenches at work!!

I have a 1/2', 3/8", and 1/4" from Harbor Freight and they're perfect for someone who's not using them on a daily or more basis. If you gather a sale catalog or coupons, you can more than likely get all three for the price of one Craftsman.

And as BigIron said, make sure you run them back to zero when you're done to keep them in calibration.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-06-2010, 11:07 PM
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Useing HF 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2. Bought all 3 on sale for $30.

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post #6 of 12 Old 04-07-2010, 05:14 PM
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For the amount of use you will need them for go with the HF cant go wrong there get both you will need them most 1/2 inch will not go that low for your small bolts.

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-08-2010, 10:57 PM
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The size of the drive has nothing to do with foot/inch pounds. I have both and they are both 3/8 drive. You don't need a 1/2 drive unless you are tighening really big bolts. There is nothing on a bike that requires a 1/2 drive.

Using an adaptor doesn't make any difference in accuracy. The torque wrench is caliberated for the length of the handle. An adaptor for changing the drive doesn't change anything any more than using a different size socket. Using a crows foot will make a difference because that is like lengthing the handle.

It is better to have spent more than you wanted than less than you should have. Cheap Chinese crap doesn't last very long. You can figure buying one good wrench or several cheap ones.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-09-2010, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimklr View Post
There is nothing on a bike that requires a 1/2 drive.
Rotor bolt when you're doing the doohickey, does..

Quote:
It is better to have spent more than you wanted than less than you should have. Cheap Chinese crap doesn't last very long. You can figure buying one good wrench or several cheap ones.
Normally, I'd agree when it comes to tool quality, but since my torque wrenches are used less than a dozen times a year when servicing all 5 of my bikes, cheapo Harbor Freight units will last a lifetime if run back to zero when work is finished.

While a 1/2" isn't needed for regular work, sooner or later you'll find a use for it elsewhere.. My 1/2" has been borrowed by my neighbor a couple times on his utility tractor.. I know he's careful with it, and I get paid back in beer.. A couple more times and that wrench will be paid for..

And while inch/foot pound settings can easily be converted, most 1/4" models are displayed in inch pounds.. If you have a small fastener that's listed in foot pounds and your wrench is shown in inch pounds, just take the value you're to tighten to and multiply by 12 to have foot pounds. Same thing when going the other direction.. Divide by 12 and you'll have your inch pound value.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-09-2010, 02:05 PM
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I have Craftsman 3/8" in. pnds, 3/8" foot pnds and a 1/2" foot pnds. models. Sears had them on sale for $39 not too long ago. They're usually in the $70 range and more. I like them-They work well. I also have a HF 3/8 foot pnd model that seems to work well.
Craftsman gets a lot of flack for some reason but as I said these have worked well for me.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-09-2010, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by john37 View Post
Craftsman gets a lot of flack for some reason but as I said these have worked well for me.
I had a Craftsman 3/8 years ago and it was a good unit until a co-worker decided to use it as a breaker bar, rather than a torque wrench..

After that, it was a breaker bar/hammer.
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