Torque wrenches for working on car

Joined
Aug 27, 2014
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74
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usa
Hi guys I am going to be doing the lower and upper intake manifold gaskets and valve cover gaskets on my 2004 buick with 3800 series ii engine. I do not own any torque wrenches but now would be the time to buy some. I won't use the torque wrenches often. I don't want to cheap out, but don't want to spend too much on something I hardly use. Will need multiple wrenches. Have to torque the following: LIM bolts - 11 lb ft various items - 37 lb ft UIM bolts - 89 lb in (7.5 lb ft) Also might want something for 4L65E tranny pan bolts - 7 to 10 ft lb(not as important) Not sure what torque ranges I'll need in my wrenches or how many wrenches I'll need. Do like made in usa but not sure what prices are like. Thanks
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
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Marshfield , MA
Uhhmn, I'm just a shadetree hacker, but none of the stuff mentioned requires a set torque. That is not to say that there aren't torque specs. Just that they aren't critical in the application. Inch pounds is a 1/4" drive nut driver. UP to 25 pound/feet is a ratchet with a 5" handle. 35 pounds, use a 6 or 8" handle. If there are tightening orders, follow them. Tighten in stages,working toward a loose end.Never toward the middle. Never begin tightening until all the bolts are started Nuts, bolts and screws are cleaned and lubed before re-using.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
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Somewhere
Look around for the $9.99 torque wrench coupons from Harbor Freight. They make regular appearances online and in magazines. Pick up the 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 inch and you will be all set. They are remarkabley accurate for the price!
 
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Joined
Oct 4, 2007
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1,606
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Oahu, Hawaii
Just get a 3/8" in/lb torque wrench. I got one for doing top-end engine work and after breaking an aluminum valve cover from over torquing. You would be surprised how little torque needs to tighten certain stuff. Anything less than 20 ft/lbs can be torqued with a in/lb torque wrench.
 
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Joined
Jun 5, 2003
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23,466
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Apple Valley, California
Originally Posted By: andyd
Uhhmn, I'm just a shadetree hacker, but none of the stuff mentioned requires a set torque. That is not to say that there aren't torque specs. Just that they aren't critical in the application. Inch pounds is a 1/4" drive nut driver. UP to 25 pound/feet is a ratchet with a 5" handle. 35 pounds, use a 6 or 8" handle. If there are tightening orders, follow them. Tighten in stages,working toward a loose end.Never toward the middle. Never begin tightening until all the bolts are started Nuts, bolts and screws are cleaned and lubed before re-using.
i agree. heads,rods etc need to be properly torqued but goodntite is sufficient for intakes,exhaust etc.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
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36,927
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ME
You should get by for now with just the HF 1/4" one. On the upper intake I would use it because you want the gaskets smooshed evenly-- the design has enough problems as it is. The 37 ft lb stuff you can do "good n tight".
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
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8,859
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Texas
I've only ever bothered owning a 1/2" drive torque wrench. If I have to use a smaller socket for some reason, I use an adaptor- remember an adaptor does NOT change the torque reading at all.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2011
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419
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None
I'd recommend a 3/8 Torque Wrench since those will be more accurate for the job you are going to do. The 1/2 ones are usually for applications that require higher torque force.
 
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Joined
Feb 22, 2011
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1,437
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Indiana
Originally Posted By: andyd
Uhhmn, I'm just a shadetree hacker, but none of the stuff mentioned requires a set torque. That is not to say that there aren't torque specs. Just that they aren't critical in the application.
It is absolutely critical on the plastic intake.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2007
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17,501
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Clovis, CA
I bought two of these off ebay from the same seller. The quality is absolutely stunning! You can offer $10 less and he'll take it. 40-240 inch pounds is perfect for the Buick 3800 intake manifold, trans pan gasket, and rocker arm covers. Set it at 189 for the LIM and 89 for the UIM.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
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258
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Western NY
I second the Harbor Freight recommendation. They look pretty accurate from the testing I've seen and they have lifetime warranties. And you can afford to get a 1/4" and a 1/2" for less than the cost of a single Craftsman, Husky or Kobalt
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
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16
Location
mn
If you don't plan on using them too often, you can do the "loan-a-tool" at the local auto store. I borrowed a O2 sensor socket from autozone for a refundable deposit, no hassle. I did get the O2 sensor from them as well. I have my dad's old 3/8 torque wrench, but I did pick up the 1/2" one at Harbor Freight. Seems to be working good so far. I might pick up their 1/4" torque wrench as well.
 
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