so the DT guys used a torque stick to tighten my

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lugs. Brought the sub for a tire rotation at DT. They are like my DT in that one can see the bays. my car went to the closet bay by the window so i had a good view of them working. i noticed the tech popping on lugs with a torque stick. don't recall seeing that before at this DT. They went around with a torque wrench afterwards. So when they use the torque wrench, do they pay attention to if the lug rotates, or is it if it clicks its good? if its the latter, i asssume they have no way of telling what the real torque is. I am very tempted to just redo it them all.
 
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They've been doing that for many years. The torque stick crudely limits the torque to a level that's snug, but well below the recommended torque. The lugs always turn before the click when they use the torque wrench. Seriously, that's more than enough precision. These aren't cylinder head bolts, after all.
 
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That's cool. Mine doesn't use either. They use an impact wrench and tighten it down to something like 140ft/lbs so you ruin your lug studs trying to remove your lug nuts.
 
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Quote:
The torque stick crudely limits the torque to a level that's snug, but well below the recommended torque.
Actually, no. I bought a green 45 lbs-ft torque stick for the first level of tightening my lugs. I can hammer that too tight and exceed the 80 lbs-ft spec for the lugs if I'm not careful with my impact wrench. I want to see the lug nuts rotate before the torque wrench clicks.
 
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The tire shops around me tighten the lugs to 5 to 10 ft. lbs. more than you could ever hope to loosen with the factory lug wrench, leaving you helpless if you ever have a flat and need to put the spare on.
 
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Originally Posted By: Smcatub
The tire shops around me tighten the lugs to 5 to 10 ft. lbs. more than you could ever hope to loosen with the factory lug wrench, leaving you helpless if you ever have a flat and need to put the spare on.
Always carry a (freshly charged) Milwaukee M18 Fuel 1/2" High Torque impact wrench with the proper socket.
 
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DT's I frequent use a torque stick but always finish with the torque wrench. If I saw them not finishing with the wrench I would ask them to use it. But, never happened.
 
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Our Sam's Club does it exactly the same way. They use a torque stick to get them snug, then finish with a real torque wrench. Sure, if you lay on a torque stick for 10 seconds, it probably would over-tighten them. But they start the nuts by hand, zip them on with the stick until they're snug, and finish with the torque wrench.
 
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this is why I rotate my tires myself, or not. rather have uneven wear than be stranded on the side of the road unable to take off a wheel
 
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The torque stick when used properly will help get the lug nuts tightened to the proper torque. But if someone just keeps blasting away at an impact wrench attached to torque stick, then it will not be very beneficial.
 

gathermewool

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When my then-girl friend had a damaged tire replaced by some local tire place, they torqued it to the point that, when I went to remove the wheels a couple of months later to trouble-shoot a sticking caliper, I couldn't loosen ANY OF THE LUGS, STANDING ON THE OEM LUG WRENCH!!! Luckily, the caliper hadn't seized (yet,) so I was able to drive her car to the same place. I called prior to driving the car over and asked how they installed the lug nuts; whether they hand-tighten, use an impact gun, or a torque wrench. The guy on the phone said they use a "torque stick" for everything. Oddly enough, nearly all of their bays were full when we arrived, and I quickly noted two cars having their wheels reinstalled. The tech installing the lug nuts on each was using an impact gun! With several people at the counter and a few others sitting in the waiting area I found the guy I asked for the guy I'd spoken with on the phone and lit into him. Had my wife been stuck on the side of the road with a flat, not even a good samaritan would be able to help her, unless he had an impact gun, a large breaker bar or weight significantly more than I do (~190#.) How much torque do you think a 190# man can apply, bouncing with all my weight on an OEM lug wrench? I'd guess that I conservatively put twice the spec'd torque, easily.
 
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The local DT I've been to, use a yellow torque stick. Depending on the brand, that's either a 65 or 80 ft lb stick. Usually when they put the torque wrench on it, it just clicks or moves very little - which is what id expect. The important part about lug nuts is that they are tightened evenly, and the torque stick will accomplish this. Usually the over tightening is not a major issue, but ymmv. I use torque sticks for a variety of things, especially suspension work. It allows you to tighten a fastener to a ballpark amount that is typically good enough, but I would not call it a precision instrument. I view the stick's rated number as "equal to or greater."
 
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Originally Posted By: WhyMe
I am very tempted to just redo it them all.
If you're thinking about doing it, you'd better just do it. I always loosen, and re-tighten them in the parking lot: 1. To make sure they are tight. 2. To make sure they're not too tight Never used a torque wrench.
 
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You can do it without a torque stick if you "know your gun". The variety of effort and care involved varies from person to person though.
 
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Using a torque stick is the proper way to do it so that the lug nuts are not overtightened (which could lead to snapping a wheel stud). I don't see what the problem is here.
 
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Originally Posted By: Ken2
Quote:
The torque stick crudely limits the torque to a level that's snug, but well below the recommended torque.
Actually, no. I bought a green 45 lbs-ft torque stick for the first level of tightening my lugs. I can hammer that too tight and exceed the 80 lbs-ft spec for the lugs if I'm not careful with my impact wrench. I want to see the lug nuts rotate before the torque wrench clicks.
Well of course you can use ANY tool incorrectly. The torque stick works if you don't hold the trigger more than a second or so after the wrench changes audible tone and starts impacting instead of just spinning. I have yet to see a DT tech keep hammering very long. If anything, they don't hold the trigger long enough for the stick to actually do very much- which is fine because the torque wrench does the final work. In my own garage, I can get within a few ft-lb of the correct wheel lug torque with no torque stick just because I've been using the same impact driver at the same air pressure for nearly 20 years and have a really good feel for when to let go of the trigger. But when you're dealing with everything from 1-ton duallies down to Fiat 500s in the course of a day, the procedure that DT uses is a very good one IMO.
 
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Same policy where I work. Here's the story from someone who does it Company policy requires everyone to use a torque stick. It's not really used to torque the lugs, as much as it's used to snug the lugs against the rim to be torqued with a torque stick. The reasoning behind this is that you wont stretch/shear/strip studs because the torque output of the impact gun is limited to a safe range. It's because too many people get trigger happy with their tools and start breaking stuff. And yes it is a problem. Guy who I used to work with never used a torque stick and he was a bit heavy on the trigger. Well about once every 2-3 weeks, a car comes in with a messed up lug/stud. Look back through the history.. He did it. Then we go around and torque each lug with a torque wrench. Only need to move the wrench about 1-2" to get it to click. Something that's not really visible when watching, but you feel it. It's the company's best idea of creating a process that will leave operator error out of the equation. You instruct your employees to put the torque stick on, gun the lugs down, then torque it. Not "squeeze the trigger a little bit but not too much you don't want to break something"
 
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WhyMe

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So i went out with 3 torque wrenches i have, 1 dial and 2 clickers. the spec for sub is 75#. i sent the clickers are 75 and tried the first wheel, the drivers front. all of them clicked at 75. i bumped it to 85 and it clicked. 90 and it clicked. went to 95 and they stated rotating. doing the rest of the car, i found that most of them were in the 90 range. a few of them were looser. i loosened them all and torqued them to spec 75#. this is with a stock alloy wheel. DT has always given me good service and products, but i have never trusted anyone to torque my lugs. i learned this in the 80"s with my Honda and warped rotors. this was of course before i got a torque wrench.
 
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Originally Posted By: gathermewool
How much torque do you think a 190# man can apply, bouncing with all my weight on an OEM lug wrench? I'd guess that I conservatively put twice the spec'd torque, easily.
Depending on the length of the OEM lug wrench, you were probably applying less torque than you realize. Torque is measured in force x distance. In the case of a torque wrench, "force" is your mass acted upon by gravity (aided with muscle if you brace yourself against something) and "distance" is how far away from the fulcrum (socket) you are. Many OEM lug wrenches are relatively short. Say your wrench is 14" long (1.2'). Say you can also get half of your weight onto the end of the wrench (95 lb). If so, you'd have been applying 114 lb*ft on the socket. If you apply the same amount of weight on a 2' bar, then you've got 195 lb*ft on the socket. You probably couldn't truly get all of your weight on the end of the wrench, even if it felt like it. Half of your weight is probably a reasonable guess, but who knows. Either way, it sounds like they truly were put on by a gorilla. If it's common that you're NOT the last person to install the lug nuts (so you're sure that they're not over-tightened), then I recommend keeping a long breaker bar or a ratchet and cheater bar in the spare tire well, loaded with the correct socket of course.
 
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