Torque Wrench & Socket Question - Nissan Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Torque Wrench & Socket Question

I'm planning on doing a lot of the routine maintenance work (i.e. oil & transmission oil changes, spark plugs, etc.) on my Frontier XE on my own.. I'm collecting a variety of tools and need some advice on any specific brand/type of Torque Wrench that'll come handy. Don't know if the higher end brands that cost in the hundreds would apply to just weekend type maintenance jobs, or if a solid $30-$60 brand will do.
Also, for the ratchet and socket sets, I'm assuming that the 3/8" driver and 6 point sockets (as opposed to the 12 point sockets) are what's mainly needed for automotive work.
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post #2 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 05:44 AM
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I wouldnt bother going and buying the more expensive tools like snap on or mac for what you need. the lower end tools will work just fine for the most part. going to sears and buying a basic tool kit would be sufficient and adding to the tool collection as you go is best. a 3/8's ratchet, break bar, and combo socket set would be a good start, if you can get a socket set that has 6 & 12 point thatld be good, otherwise 6 should do. for torque wrenches, if youre not using it everyday, dont go wasting your money and buying the most expensive one out there. Ild suggest a 3/8's drive, 200-1000 inch pound would do, you can get them in 2 different styles, click type, or the deflection type. Ild say the click type is better. once you set it, when you reach the torque youll know it. it comes in handy if what youre trying to torque is hard to get at. tho for just oil changes and plugs, you dont really need a torque wrench, for the most part, hand tight plus an 1/8th to a 1/4 turn works. just use youre best judgement with plugs and oil filters. if youre going to be getting into more than oil filters or plugs, then consider getting a torque wench. just dont rush into buying a lot of tools right away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by demob05
I'm planning on doing a lot of the routine maintenance work (i.e. oil & transmission oil changes, spark plugs, etc.) on my Frontier XE on my own.. I'm collecting a variety of tools and need some advice on any specific brand/type of Torque Wrench that'll come handy. Don't know if the higher end brands that cost in the hundreds would apply to just weekend type maintenance jobs, or if a solid $30-$60 brand will do.
Also, for the ratchet and socket sets, I'm assuming that the 3/8" driver and 6 point sockets (as opposed to the 12 point sockets) are what's mainly needed for automotive work.
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post #3 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_canuck_eh?
I wouldnt bother going and buying the more expensive tools like snap on or mac for what you need. the lower end tools will work just fine for the most part. going to sears and buying a basic tool kit would be sufficient and adding to the tool collection as you go is best. a 3/8's ratchet, break bar, and combo socket set would be a good start, if you can get a socket set that has 6 & 12 point thatld be good, otherwise 6 should do. for torque wrenches, if youre not using it everyday, dont go wasting your money and buying the most expensive one out there. Ild suggest a 3/8's drive, 200-1000 inch pound would do, you can get them in 2 different styles, click type, or the deflection type. Ild say the click type is better. once you set it, when you reach the torque youll know it. it comes in handy if what youre trying to torque is hard to get at. tho for just oil changes and plugs, you dont really need a torque wrench, for the most part, hand tight plus an 1/8th to a 1/4 turn works. just use youre best judgement with plugs and oil filters. if youre going to be getting into more than oil filters or plugs, then consider getting a torque wench. just dont rush into buying a lot of tools right away.
Excellent advice from the Canuck! One trip to your local sears store or sears.com should net all the tools you need for driveway mechanic jobs. A basic metric 6-pt socket set, a metric combination wrench set, a click-type torque wrench and a screwdriver set will handle most jobs. I use two torque wrenches--a 3/8" drive and a larger 1/2" drive for when I rotate my tires and need to torque the wheels.

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post #4 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demob05
I'm planning on doing a lot of the routine maintenance work (i.e. oil & transmission oil changes, spark plugs, etc.) on my Frontier XE on my own.. I'm collecting a variety of tools and need some advice on any specific brand/type of Torque Wrench that'll come handy. Don't know if the higher end brands that cost in the hundreds would apply to just weekend type maintenance jobs, or if a solid $30-$60 brand will do.
Also, for the ratchet and socket sets, I'm assuming that the 3/8" driver and 6 point sockets (as opposed to the 12 point sockets) are what's mainly needed for automotive work.
I'd go to Sears and get a Craftsman socket set. Sears is very liberal obn their return policy for broken and wornout Craftsman tools plus the tools are relatively well made. I'd get a 1/4" drive and 3/8" drive ratchet set. The 1/4 inch drive is handy for tighter areas and removing small brackets and shrouds. 12 point sockets do have the advantage that they are easier to lne up on a blind nut or bolt; of course they may also round the bolt or nut more. Deep sockets, some extensions, and swivel joints are also handy. Sears offers some good deals if you buy there sets. I'd get a 1/2 drive set and breaker bar if you anticipate any chassis or suspension work.

A 30 to 200 inch pound 3/8 drive "click type" torque wrench should handle most engine jobs (assuming you can get the torque wrench on the part).
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post #5 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanx for all the advice.. also, regarding the Torque Wrench specs, can I just use a 3/8" drive Torque Wrench for the lug nuts on the Wheels, or do I definitely need a 1/2" drive Torque wrench for that?? Since these wrenches can get pricey, I like to stick with just a 3/8" drive one for now, including for wheels work such as tire rotations, putting on new rims, etc.
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post #6 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Many 1/2" torque wrenches include a 1/2 to 3/8 adapter. The 1/2" wrenches are usually quite long and unwieldy, which is why some like to have an additional 3/8 wrench. With the adapter, you can use any of your 1/2 or 3/8 sockets and only be out the price of one torque wrench.

Quote:
Originally Posted by demob05
Thanx for all the advice.. also, regarding the Torque Wrench specs, can I just use a 3/8" drive Torque Wrench for the lug nuts on the Wheels, or do I definitely need a 1/2" drive Torque wrench for that?? Since these wrenches can get pricey, I like to stick with just a 3/8" drive one for now, including for wheels work such as tire rotations, putting on new rims, etc.

2005 SE KC 4x2 a.k.a. "Pedro"
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post #7 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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Youll need to get at least two torque wrenches to cover everything... a 3/8" and 1/2" drive. The 3/8" drive will work for stuff like oil pans, valve covers, etc. (~250 in-lb). The 1/2" will be for bigger stuff like lug nuts (~100 ftlb).

I have a Craftsman 3/8" and a Husky (Home Depot) 1/2" torque wrench. Personally I like the Husky better. It's much easier to adjust (squeeze and turn) vs. the Craftsman that clicks and locks. A decent torque wrench will run you at least $75, but they frequently put them on sale for around $40-50.

Since youre just getting into things, I would get the 1/2" drive torque wrench first. Really a 3/8" drive one is pretty lightweight and only necessary if you are getting into more advanced stuff like cams, cam gears, oil pans, motor work, etc.

Also... it's really important to remember that after you set a torque wrench and torque down your nuts/bolts, you should always unwind it to zero load before storing it. Since there's a spring inside you can throw off the calibration if you leave it dialed in for an extended period of time.

As for sockets, I like Craftsman stuff. Good quality and not too expensive. Snap-on stuff is awesome, but so is the price. I also have a few bits of Duralast (AutoZone) when I needed a last minute socket after hours


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post #8 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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I've used almost every brand and I say craftsman stuff is tops. it's all i use now, i've converted my main toolset over and sold my mac/snapon/husky... Craftsman tools are well priced and with the warranty just bring the tool in, don't worry about receipt or packaging or anything, and they'll give you a new one without batting an eye...

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post #9 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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torque is good, but there are many other things you will need. I have the Craftsman 1/2 in drive set. It's got most everything you need from 10mm up to 27mm. I also like the 3/8 set and the 1/4 set. The little grey cases that they come in are really pretty adequate for permanent storage, and are a great convenience when gathering a tool set to take with me. Don't forget about a good set of extensions for each size, and a stubby 3/8 ratchet too. I've heard nothing mentioned about the good old end wrench. You'll need to get a basic set or combination end wrenches, preferably with 12 pointed boxed ends. Yes a six point will give you better bite on a nut, but with end wrenches you often need the flexibility and smaller minimum turn angle of a 12 point. I've had great experience with the Gear Wrench brand ratcheting end wrenches, these will never replace the traditional ones, but they're VERY nice to have; Buy them after your initial tool purchase. Another good thing to have is a set of pliers, Channel-Lock brand is excellent. It also never hurts to keep a good adjustable crescent wrench in the old tool case. Remember that there is a right way and a wrong way to use both Channel Locks and adjustable wrenches, many folks just don't know the difference, figure this out early and you save yourself a whole lot of rounded bolt heads. and yes, don't forget about a place to put all of your tools. Tool boxes and bags are nice if you don't have a garage or shop to set them up in, but I can never keep these strait. I like to have a tool chest that I keep full, and a tool box that I load up to take with me should the need arise.

Good luck, and remember that good tools are a real investment; they ain't cheap, but they're worth every penny. Cheap tools are generally good for one or two uses, sometimes less, then they're just junk.

Johnny
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post #10 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 02:58 PM
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Yipes - my combination wrenches are Penncraft, J C Penney lifetime warranty (1971) even though those haven't been made for years, but Sears were more $$$. If I was just starting these days, I'd go Sears Craftsman as (1) their warranty is "no questions asked, no receipt needed" (I've replaced my 1/2 breaker bar for free about 6 times in 25 years, but that's with an extension pipe on the end and over 300 ft-lbs of torque for my VWs and (2) prices are quite good if purchased as sets on sale in their advertising fliers. I have two beam-type torque wrenches. Always have some genuine vise-grips as well. You;ll always need more, like the 5mm allen wrench needed to torque a Weber 32/36 adapter: had to cut a 5mm allen wrench with a hacksaw to fit in a 5mm socket to use a torque wrench. Craftsman screwdrivers are also real good. Just don't buy the $90 Craftsman wet tile saw, you'll break the plastic fence in less than 30 minutes, took two back before buying better saw with metal fence at Home Depot for same price.
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post #11 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 07:38 PM
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also dont forget if youre using gear wrenches (damned good tools), theyre not meant for high torque. if you think youre goin to hang off them, or be puttin a lot of force, either grab a wrench, or socket. just start off with the basics, and add to the kit as you need it. have fun
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post #12 of 12 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 08:28 PM
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Built this up over the years as I came across sales:
1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" rachet and socket sets here - bother regular and deep sockets - imperial and metric
3/8" and 1/2" torque wrenches - I use the 1/2" the most
A decent set of boxed wreches (one end open and the other is boxed)
A set of ratchet wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, etc.

Sears is great for returning broken stuff but any decent store with a return policy is fine as well. We have a DIY chain up here that has lifetime warranty on thier tools and are cheaper than Sears. Haven't busted anything (yet).

Oh, and if you are going to start turning some wrenches get a good supply of shop tools and hand cleaner - LOL

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