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Registered
2001 S Turbo
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331 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Looking at getting an adjustable torque wrench for some small jobs on the fozzie. Mainly, replacing suspension bushes as well as other jobs.

What is the best size to get 1/2 inch or 3/8 inch size?
Quite a few on fleabay, but don't know what is the car mechanics favourite size.

cheers
ubdai
 

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Emeritus Forum Staff
2015 Triumph Tiger XCx 1 Down. 5 Up.
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5,242 Posts
1/2"... theoretically stronger and tend to be longer which makes life easier to undo stubborn bolts or to tighten up high torque bolts (e.g. cylinder head bolts).

However, if all your sockets are 3/8" then you may as well go with that rather than needing to buy all new sockets (I'm yet to break a 3/8 wrench even when I've needed to use some gentle persuasion in the form of a big hammer).
 

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Super Moderator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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17,887 Posts
Definitely half inch. There are too many car jobs that would be a real strain on 3/8, either the strength of the sockets or the upper limits of the torque.

Agree - never use a torque wrench to loosen stuck bolts. Get a cheap breaker bar.
 

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2003 XS
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176 Posts
I've never seen a 1/2" torque wrench rated in in/lbs but make sure you get one that is rated in ft/lbs. up to 250 ft/lbs. Keep in mind, you probably won't be able to use this to do spark plugs, which is the one job you probably should always use a torque wrench.
 

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Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,409 Posts
The back nut on the input shaft needs quite a few foot-pounds. I doubt anyone here but me would ever do that job though.

If you are concerned with splitting sockets, then buy impact sockets (they are black). I use 3/8" impact sockets on a 3/8" impact gun all day long for suspension and transmission bolts. 3/8" impact sockets can handle more torque than any job you would consider doing in your garage.

I can't think of any job that requires more than 70 ft-lbs that you'd want to attempt in your wife's garage.
 

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Premium Member
2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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13,235 Posts
The 1/2 won't be much good below 15 ft. lbs probably. Best range for say spark plugs down to 10 ft. lbs would be a 3/8" 0 to 50 ft lbs. That's all I have ever had in the last 40 years.

Ideally you would want 2 ranges of wrenches one 3/8" and one 1/2"
 

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Super Moderator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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17,887 Posts
+++ for impact sockets. Real cheap at Harbor Freight too, though the OP is from the UK. Maybe Halford's gets some of their stuff from the same place in China?
 

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99 UK S-turbo
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8,590 Posts
Farmer friend has a great 3/4" socket set for his tractors!

Never use a torque wrench as a breaker bar, I'm on my second for just that reason!

Simon
 

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2007 Forester 2.5x SE
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893 Posts
A breaker bar (aka flex handle) is highly recommended.

I would buy two torque wrenches, as some others have mentioned. One lower torque (up to 30~50 lb/f) one for doing things like spark plugs, and one higher torque (up to 100~150 lb/f range) wrench. If you only have the higher torque wrench, it may not be accurate enough for the more delicate work, and you risk breaking what you are working on (I know from experience). How much torque does the suspension need? I have only worked on the engine, wheels and brakes mostly.

I doubt you'd need torque wrench that goes up to 250 lbs, especially as your first wrench, as it will be very large and unweildly (and probably 3/4" drive).

Also you won't need impact sockets unless you plan to buy an impact wrench down the road.
 

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2004 XT AT
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1,210 Posts
I can't think of any job that requires more than 70 ft-lbs that you'd want to attempt in your wife's garage.
Hub nuts on some cars need well over 200Nm. But that is the only time I can remember my trusty 1/2inch TW being out of its league for any job I attempted.

-- Steve
 

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1997 T/tb
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511 Posts
+++ for impact sockets. Real cheap at Harbor Freight too, though the OP is from the UK. Maybe Halford's gets some of their stuff from the same place in China?
I have managed to break my 3/4 torque wrench so i welded it up inside..... its now my enormous 5 foot breaker bar!

today i broke my 1-7/8" socket and my 2" socket - i like Harbour Freight for the cheap tools, but sometimes they just arnt man enough for the job! - Try finding replacements in France!

Halfrauds tools were made by Sykes Pikavant (the professional stuff anyway) its pretty tough stuff, even standard sockets are good on the end of an impact gun!
 
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