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Old 05-24-2013, 09:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Torque wrenches and lug nut torque

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Originally Posted by adc View Post
Not really. I am a big proponent for torque wrenches and I use it on my spark plugs and oil plug.. But strangely ,I don't use it on my wheels. I go around my wheels multiple multiple times. I have a good feel for torque consistancy. I know I am within 5 ft lbs of even all the way around.

Been doing it like that forever never any issues with rotors or drums. You would have to be out of control to have a problem in that area (IMHO)
Having had to correct rotor issues on two different cars, only one a Subaru, due to lug nut torque after having new tires installed I can tell you it is prudent for MOST to use a torque wrench on them.

Few among those here will have your ability to set 89 lb/ft, or whatever your spec is, to twenty lugnuts.

I go over mine multiple times, too... but with my torque wrench. Besides the relative accuracy the wrench provides, I also like the extra leverage of the wrench's length and the touch it provides. As I said, there is more to using a torque wrench than just the dial/click. Underlying that is still the feel. The wrench just minimizes the human element.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would say go to harbor freight or to their web page and get a torque wrench. It is cheep enough that any occasional mechanic like my self should have it. I got both a 1/4" and a 1/2" wrench for dirt cheep (sidewalk sale) and was replacing my suspension and came in handy.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yup. If you're doing it, do it right. With *practice* one gets a feel for torque but today's designs tend to load fasteners closer to their critical point (cf torque-to-yield) and the difference between gutentite and a massive boo-boo gets ever smaller...
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quick question: The manual states 89 lbs but I just tightened my wheel lug nuts to 90 lbs. will that cause any issues? Or am I just being paranoid?


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Old 05-25-2013, 12:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I meant Ft/lbs.


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Old 05-25-2013, 01:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The mods will probably split this into its own thread, but to alleviate your fears: given most torque wrenches are lucky to be +/-10% on a good day, unless you've gone digital or high-end (Snap-On), you're well within the spec of the torque wrench.

I think the biggest factor with wheel lugs is that they're all the same, even if they're all a little under or all a little over.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I torque them to 92ft/lb.

Last edited by pca7ggr; 05-25-2013 at 06:52 PM. Reason: redundant
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pca7ggr View Post
I torque them to 92ft/lbs - the same as on my Porsches (yes, I have two).
Subaru says 89 so use 89, doubt anyone on a Subaru forum cares about your Porsches or gloating about them.

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Old 05-25-2013, 07:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks folks! I actually did use a digital snap-on torque wrench to check. I almost messed that up too :)


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Old 05-26-2013, 07:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RigBert1931 View Post
Thanks folks! I actually did use a digital snap-on torque wrench to check. I almost messed that up too :)


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You're welcome. Believe me that being with-in a ft-lb on your torque wrench you have nothing to worry about. The down-side of this is that I now have torque-wrench envy.

One last thought from me on the torque wrench thing, as that if my shoulder is bothering me, and I would imagine maybe for arthritis sufferers, its sometimes hard for me to tell how much pull I'm using. The torque wrench is great for that because its consistent.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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You're over-thinking it...

I never use a torque wrench when I tighten the wheel lugs. The whole point of a torque setting is to pretension (stretch) the bolt within its elastic range. The method I use is called the "turn of nut" method, and it's recognized as being a suitable means of tightening fasteners without a torque wrench.

Here's what I do:

1. Position wheel over studs.
2. Install all five lug nuts using fingers.
3. Continue to tighten all lug nuts with fingers in star pattern until snug tight. At this point, the wheel should not wobble around at all.
4. Using wrench & socket, (in a star pattern) turn each lug nut an additional 1/3 to 1/2 turn.
5. If you feel compelled, check your work with a torque wrench.
6. Go for a leisurely drive around the block and re-check tightness.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The torque spec in the 2003 shop manual is 90Nm or 65.7 ft-lb, though I've also seen reference to a small range centered somewhere around 70. How did it get to be so much higher?

For some reason Subaru didn't choose to include this spec in the Owners Manual. Too complex for a mere 'owner'?
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthrogrian19 View Post
You're over-thinking it...

I never use a torque wrench when I tighten the wheel lugs. The whole point of a torque setting is to pretension (stretch) the bolt within its elastic range. The method I use is called the "turn of nut" method, and it's recognized as being a suitable means of tightening fasteners without a torque wrench.

Here's what I do:

1. Position wheel over studs.
2. Install all five lug nuts using fingers.
3. Continue to tighten all lug nuts with fingers in star pattern until snug tight. At this point, the wheel should not wobble around at all.
4. Using wrench & socket, (in a star pattern) turn each lug nut an additional 1/3 to 1/2 turn.
5. If you feel compelled, check your work with a torque wrench.
6. Go for a leisurely drive around the block and re-check tightness.
A flawless system... for the intelligent operator. One could call it almost foolproof. A torque wrench won't help anyone who can't do this.

The loose and missing lug nuts out there, and the missing broken lugs are a sad comment on the exceptions.
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbottomley View Post
The torque spec in the 2003 shop manual is 90Nm or 65.7 ft-lb, though I've also seen reference to a small range centered somewhere around 70. How did it get to be so much higher?

For some reason Subaru didn't choose to include this spec in the Owners Manual. Too complex for a mere 'owner'?
That's because the 80-100 N*m torque spec is conveniently located near the end of 2003 OM "In Case of Emergency" chapter on dealing with a flat tire.

That's where I would have put it!

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Old 06-02-2013, 12:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I see. Not a bad place for it, but a cross-reference in the 'Tires and wheels' section might have been nice. Anyway, the torque range specified there, translated into English, is 58-72 ft-lb. A far cry from the numbers cited above.
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