Torque them in the AIR?

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I was wondering if it is ok to use the parking brake to allow me to have the friction needed to torque the real wheels to spec while still in the air? Then I thought well, maybe not. The torquing might push oddly or in a damaging way on the brake shoes that are already under stress in an outward direction or something. Point is that I currently hand tighten in the air (five finger tighten literally) then torque to 45 lbs with just the slightest of the tire let back down under weight, then final torque to 76 ft/lbs with about 3/4 of the full vehicle weight on the tires. I thinking being pretty through, but was wondering if I use the parking brake that it might afford me the chance to fully torque while in the air just like thy do at the factory.
 
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Way overly complicated with no possible benefit. Use a ratchet, breaker-bar, or tire iron (I'm assuming you don't have air tools) and get the bolts snug by holding the tire/wheel still with one hand while you tighten with the other. Another option is to actually hold the tool on the less-than-finger-tight bolt and spin the tire with your other hand so the inertia snugs up the bolts a little more than you probably could by just holding the tire. Drop the car to the ground and torque to spec using the manufacturer recommended pattern.
 
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Originally Posted By: SumpChump
I currently hand tighten in the air (five finger tighten literally) then torque to 45 lbs with just the slightest of the tire let back down under weight, then final torque to 76 ft/lbs with about 3/4 of the full vehicle weight on the tires.
You're way over-thinking the process. Make sure the lugs are fully seated, let the car down, then torque them.
Originally Posted By: SumpChump
might afford me the chance to fully torque while in the air just like thy do at the factory.
The only reason they do it that way is because it's easier for them and they use a very expensive purpose-built machine that torques all 5 at once. Doesn't do anything "better".
 
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I always torque the rears in the air with the parking break - no issues. Front I hand tight, then torque with partial vehicle weight on them. Takes an extra 30 seconds and seems like a better practice [torque without full vehicle weight on the tires].
 
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I don't think it's a big deal, but I can see it could be possible for somebody to set the car down and if the lugs aren't tight enough the wheel could end up being just a bit skewed.I think a person could tighten them by feel to make sure they are snug enough to support the weight evenly then lower the car and torque them the rest of the way. I was taught to finger tighten them, lower the car until the wheel touches enough to keep the wheel from turning while you snug them up, then torque them completely.
 
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Originally Posted By: linksep
Way overly complicated with no possible benefit. Use a ratchet, breaker-bar, or tire iron (I'm assuming you don't have air tools) and get the bolts snug by holding the tire/wheel still with one hand while you tighten with the other.
This is the method I most often use, with a breaker bar. I can get about 50 ft*lbs on the lugs by holding the outside of the tire with one hand while turning the breaker bar with the other. Then I complete the process with the car on the ground, using a torque wrench for final tightening.
 

SumpChump

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Originally Posted By: HosteenJorje
What force might you apply that will exceed the force the parking brakes are designed to withstand?
I was thinking that the torqueing inward towards the hub might somehow stress the brake shoes that are putting their force outward onto the drum. Kind of a "pushing inward" on something (the shoes) that are already under stress load pushing on a different axis.
 
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The location of the axis of a torque (called a couple among engineering mechanics types) has no effect on the couple's effect on a body. I can draw you pictures if you really want, but take my word for it. Your parking brakes aren't taking any radial force that they wouldn't see in normal use. And to address the original point of the thread, just get your lugs hand tight with the wheel in the air.
 
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Your brake shoes have a little in-and-out "bounce" to them, so even if you did manage to torque wheel plus drum "outbound" of where they should be, further torquing would pull wheel, drum, and brake shoes inland. If you check your shoes they ride on little spring loaded nails and can move in and out. In fact if your drum ever gets a ridge you'll notice all this "give" as you try to hammer the drum off and it bounces back. In short no worries.
 
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I either just hand tighten, or: hand tighten, then spin the tire a bit counter-clockwise, then suddenly try to spin the lug wrench clockwise. The tire has some momentum, so you'd be surprised how tight you can get the lug doing this, with very little effort. Why would I do this? Mostly because I need to spin the tire anyhow in order to put the wrench on, for the lower lugs. And I like to amuse myself. smile I don't think it's helpful in the least bit. Plus, I always loosen all the lugs while on the ground and then rock the tire to make sure the wheel is not frozen to the hub--as a result, the wheel is at its loosest for me *before* I even jack it up.
 

SumpChump

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Originally Posted By: leeharvey418
The location of the axis of a torque (called a couple among engineering mechanics types) has no effect on the couple's effect on a body. I can draw you pictures if you really want, but take my word for it. Your parking brakes aren't taking any radial force that they wouldn't see in normal use. And to address the original point of the thread, just get your lugs hand tight with the wheel in the air.
leeharvey and eljefino....YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST! SCIENCE WINS! I use the parking breaks now with no worry.
 
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If your wheels are not hub centric, tighten as best you can in the air, finish torque wheels with enough load to keep wheel from spinning on the ground. If they are hub centric, tighten in the air with no worries. Re-check tightness after 100 miles.
 

SumpChump

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Originally Posted By: oldhp
If your wheels are not hub centric, tighten as best you can in the air, finish torque wheels with enough load to keep wheel from spinning on the ground. If they are hub centric, tighten in the air with no worries. Re-check tightness after 100 miles.
I think the Camry is hub centric for sure and the corolla as well. Hmmm.
 
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Can you have someone sit in the car and push down the brake pedal? Fully tightening in the air is generally not needed, but I do impact mine on with a torque stick while the car is off the ground.
 

Astro14

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I hit them lightly with the impact while in the air...on its lowest setting, and letting off immediately when contact is made, the wrench delivers 30-50 lbft...more than enough to keep everything straight and seated. Torque to spec when on the ground.
 
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