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Old 05-21-2008, 03:02 PM   #1
DavidtheDuke
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Default How do these torque sticks work?

I just got these today:

http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/tools...e=snapon-store

I tried the 100 ft lb on a Ford Escape, and had the MG725 on full blast.. it stopped at a certain point. I checked the torque with a wrench it was 100 ft lbs. What I don't understand is how the torque stick works... I don't see the female drive moving at all, even though I know my impact wrench is giving more than 100 ft lbs. I thought the stick had a clutch of some sort, and would spit under the desired load. So where is the torque going?
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Old 05-21-2008, 03:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

It's basically just a rod of spring steel. when it reaches a certain torque it flexes under the load and that absorbs the impact of the gun. they only work with impact wrenches, if you use them with a breaker bar it won't limit the torque.
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Old 05-21-2008, 03:22 PM   #3
48548
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

Same thing as he said, when they get to a certain point they flex so that the end other end doesn't move and that is also related to the thickness of the metal, the thicker the metal the more torque it can handle. I bought a cheap genius set and it works great on my milwaukee v28 impact wrench to limit the torque when it is wide open.
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:01 PM   #4
SpiderGearsMan
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

not the preferred method anymore
they want you to use a torque wrench now
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:10 PM   #5
wilbilt
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

Never the preferred method for some of us.

I have seen some pretty widespread results from using those things.

They are gimmicks for lazy people, IMHO.
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:23 PM   #6
Ducroix
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

We have a snap on set the dealership bought, i checked all of them with a torque wrench and they are quite accurate so I try to use them when possible
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderGearsMan View Post
not the preferred method anymore
they want you to use a torque wrench now
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilbilt View Post
Never the preferred method for some of us.

I have seen some pretty widespread results from using those things.

They are gimmicks for lazy people, IMHO.
I'm with this group. I changed tires for 1.5 years, and saw wide spread results. Checking them with a clicker wrench doesn't count, put a beam or dial torque wrench on them to see what they move at. It might scare you. I know I just about shat my pants when I saw a GEO lugnut went on at 98 ft lbs.

Torque sticks vary per impact, cfm, p.s.i., etc.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nissan_crawler View Post
I'm with this group. I changed tires for 1.5 years, and saw wide spread results. Checking them with a clicker wrench doesn't count, put a beam or dial torque wrench on them to see what they move at. It might scare you. I know I just about shat my pants when I saw a GEO lugnut went on at 98 ft lbs.

Torque sticks vary per impact, cfm, p.s.i., etc.
Well I guess my PSI is correct and what not. Almost all the lugnuts clicked when they should've, and a few just needed to be turned maybe a degree or two more to reach the 100 ft lbs. I"m going to check each one for awhile though.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

lol everyone else at my works just runs them up with there impact and don't even bother torqueing them, they say if you want to make money flat rate thats the way you got to do it.... I dont want to have to pay for something i broke because i was lazy lol
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

They might be close, but are they correct 99% of the time?

To answer that question, you would have to check them with a torque wrench.

Why not use a torque wrench in the first place?
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:30 PM   #11
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidtheDuke View Post
Well I guess my PSI is correct and what not. Almost all the lugnuts clicked when they should've, and a few just needed to be turned maybe a degree or two more to reach the 100 ft lbs. I"m going to check each one for awhile though.
"clicked when they should have"

This is what I'm talking about by innacurate check. Just because it's a 100 ft lb stick, and you put your torque wrench at 100 ft lbs and it clicks, doesn't mean it's good.

That GEO was supposed to have 60 some ft lbs on it. If I set a wrench to the spec, it would have clicked. Problem is, it wouldn't have told me it was set at 98 ft lbs. Hence, why clicker torque wrenches are junk for checking torque against a torque stick. You need to use a beam or dial type.

Those lugnuts that "clicked when they should have" could have been 40 ft lbs more than they should have been.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:40 PM   #12
DavidtheDuke
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

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Those lugnuts that "clicked when they should have" could have been 40 ft lbs more than they should have been.
You know, you're right, the only way to check it with a clicker would be to set it about 2-3 fl lbs above the torque being checked, and maybe that's still too close.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

I believe as torque sticks wear, the steel loses its springiness and ends up applying a lower torque than is indicated. Therefore I always tighten the nuts down with the stick and then check them with a beam type wrench. It's not going to tell you if its 102 ft lbs vs 100 ft lbs, but it will let you know if the stick limited you to say 80 ft lbs.
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:01 PM   #14
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

I bought this set from torquestick.com and here is a list of the specs As you can see +/- 3% using an impact with 375-400 ft/lb. I would say that is good for me, look at the specs on a snap on torque wrench and when was it last calibrated? Just a thought, this would appear to be better in my mind. Then I bought a set up thin walled deep 6 point lug sockets(impact) from them with plastic liners on the inside tip and outside and it also came with a spare, not cheap, but I read a lot of reviews and this stuff seams to work great and have a lifetime warranty!!!!




*OUR BEST SELLER!*
Set will cover most foreign and domestic cars/light trucks.

STICKS INCLUDED:
65 ft/lb(90 Nm)-Green
75 ft/lb(100 Nm)-Black
80 ft/lb(110 Nm)-Yellow
90 ft/lb(120 Nm)-Red
100 ft/lb(135 Nm)-Blue
110 ft/lb(150 Nm)-Orange
120 ft/lb(160 Nm)-Grey
130 ft/lb(175 Nm)-Maroon
140 ft/lb(190 Nm)-White
150 ft/lb(200 Nm)-Light Blue
(ALL 7" STICKS)

All sticks are: (1/2" drive female-(gun end), 1/2" drive male (lug nut socket end)

Sticks are color coded and engraved with ft/lb and Nm settings for quick reference.

Once the correct torque has been reached; The shaft will flex in sync with the blows of the impact gun and bleed off torque.

Torque Sticks are accurate to within +/- 3% when used with a 375-400ft/lb impact gun.

Made of ultra high quality Chrome Vanadium Steel.

*PREMIUM Carry case included. Top of case can be removed to convert to a tool chest TRAY. [full case pictured]

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Used by AUTO and TIRE SERVICE Professionals around the world.

Manufacturer: Genius Tools

*TOTAL SHIPPING CHARGE FOR (US 48 STATES) =$6.00
Details


Weight 10.00 lbs
Price: $ 138.95
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:07 PM   #15
wilbilt
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyaec350 View Post
I believe as torque sticks wear, the steel loses its springiness and ends up applying a lower torque than is indicated. Therefore I always tighten the nuts down with the stick and then check them with a beam type wrench. It's not going to tell you if its 102 ft lbs vs 100 ft lbs, but it will let you know if the stick limited you to say 80 ft lbs.
I think you are correct about the sticks losing their "calibration" over time. Or maybe they never had "it" to start with.

That's why I just spin fasteners down with an impact and torque by hand. I think it's the best balance between speed and accuracy.
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

Wouldn't the warranty cover them from losing the factory specs of +/- 3 percent and replace them?
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:41 PM   #17
Lyaec350
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilbilt View Post
I think you are correct about the sticks losing their "calibration" over time. Or maybe they never had "it" to start with.

That's why I just spin fasteners down with an impact and torque by hand. I think it's the best balance between speed and accuracy.
Seems reasonable. What I was really trying to say is that you don't need to worry about the stick wearing out over time and applying MORE torque than it is rated for, what will happen is after a lot of use it will undertorque, so you're safe snugging them up with the torque wrench at the end.

I think our methods are pretty much the same, I just like to be able to pull the trigger on the impact (2135Ti, capable of WAY more than 100 ft lbs torque) and be confident I won't go over rather than taking it easy which is what you'd have to do if you were spinning them on w/ no torque stick.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:04 PM   #18
73 Mustang Bill
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

I ask my tire store counter-guy to hand-tighten my lugs to 100 ft-lbs, like the manual says. They always say "Oh, we don't need to do that, because we use torque sticks". The last time the rear wheels were off the car, I watched the tire monkey tighten them with his air impact gun, presumably with a torques stick on, then go back and hit them again. I think he gave up when they kept going. When I got home, I checked them, as always. Every one of the rear lugs was stretched, and wouldn't torque up like they were supposed to. Decided to keep cranking on one, and sure enough, it broke.

It's not like I'm going to take it back to them to fix. Hell, they can't even get the air pressure correct (which is kind of important when you are doing a road force balance. 40 psi isn't correct). I replaced all the lugs at the cost of $17, plus a couple hours chasing parts, and a couple hours labor. Sent a nasty letter to the corporate headquarters. Got a call from the service manager at that shop. He said that he was hired to straighten out that store, as they've had a lot of problems. Claimed he had already fired two guys, and everyone else has been in training classes. Claimed he worked on a NASCAR team building engines, so he knows how to use a torque wrench, and knows the problems. I asked him how accurate the torque sticks were. He said 25 ft-lbs. Great, so I get between 75 and 125 ft-lbs? I don't think so. He said he didn't think that air impact guns should be used on anything but steel wheels. WHAT?!!! Steel wheels don't need to be torqued to 150 ft-lbs either.

He said he was requesting corporate to send me a check. Offered a free oil change so as to not lose me as a customer. I don't think I'd trust them to top off the blinker fluid.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 48548 View Post
Wouldn't the warranty cover them from losing the factory specs of +/- 3 percent and replace them?
Most clicker type torque wrenches are only calibrated to +/- 4% so I'd be fairly surprised of they were more accurate.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: How do these torque sticks work?

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Originally Posted by wilbilt View Post
They might be close, but are they correct 99% of the time?

To answer that question, you would have to check them with a torque wrench.

Why not use a torque wrench in the first place?
48 3/8" bolts that I have to torque between 3-10 times a day, depending on the day, to 55lb-ft. It's not a critical torque, anything between 50lb-ft and 60lb-ft is fine. After the second or third go with a torque wrench when it's 35C in the lab, it starts to get old. I'll spot-check three or four bolts with the torque wrench each time I put them in, just to make sure everything is close enough.

I wouldn't use them to put wheels on (although I never saw the need to use an impact to install lug nuts, anyway), but for repetitive jobs with an assload of fasteners where exact torque isn't critical, they make the job a hell of a lot easier.
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