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what do I need to change tires faster? impact gun? impact wrench? are they the same? how powerful is it supposed to be? can I use it for both removing and putting back the lug nuts? I heard using it to tighten the lug nuts is not a good idea, (overtightening is a problem ) but at dealer, they always use something like that, or am I wrong?
 

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you're pretty much spot on.

most mechanics will ram the lug nuts down with an impact gun simply to save time. the problem is the lug nuts get overtightened (about 100ft-lbs is plenty) and then the studs will stretch over time. eventually the threads become galled and the entire wheel hub needs to be replaced. another thing that can happen is cross threading which destroys the threads on the lug nut and the stud. again, replacement of hub usually.

impact guns come in both air driven and electric driven flavours. both work fine for this job. you don't 'need' one to remove lug nuts, but it sure makes the job easier.

i'd suggest reading two of my guides to answer some of these questions:

http://www.hyundai-forums.com/174-do-yourself/190434-zero-101-auto-repair-safety.html

http://www.hyundai-forums.com/174-do-yourself/203778-zero-102-tools-trade.html

here's how i do this job at home:

jack car up safely (see safety guide) and remove lug nuts with my electric impact gun. i own both air and electric, but for a quick job the electric is just more convenient that starting up my compressor. wheels pull off at this point.

putting them back on i will put some anti-seize lubricant on the studs first (if needed, i don't do this every time), wheel goes on, and then i will start the lug nuts onto the studs by hand. once i have a turn or two, i will use the impact gun only to take up the distance. i will let the hammer in the gun clack only once so that almost no torque is put on the lug nuts. do this on both sides, then let the car off the jacks onto the ground.

then the torque wrench comes out. set to 100 ft-lbs, torque each lug nut this way in a cross pattern. this is very important to get even clamping force from the wheel and the nuts.

its easier than it sounds once you do it.
 

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then the torque wrench comes out. set to 100 ft-lbs, torque each lug nut this way in a cross pattern. this is very important to get even clamping force from the wheel and the nuts.
Whoa! You haven't broken any studs yet? HMA only recommend between 65~80 ft-lbs for the Accents.

I've already had to replace one hub and several rear studs due to a tire shop cranking 'em down. and the hub was after I had re-torqued to 80 ft-lbs with a beam torque wrench! Lugs snapped right off the next time I took them off. Ever since I err on the side of caution and only do 65~70 ft-lbs and not a problem since.

@ottawa: You can also get torque limiting extension bars/sockets for an impact wrench but they're kind of expensive and maybe not as accurate. I have no experience with them tho.
 

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I would not use an impact to put the lugs on. I have stripped out my threads doing this and changing out the studs on the front is a major PITA. It's OK to take them off with an air gun but I just use a 1/2 socket wrench to put them back on.
 

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Pre-threading the nuts to the lug bolts, BY HAND, is my preferred method. I use a 4-way and just spin 'em down snugly using the cross-hatch pattern described above. I do this a couple of times just to satisfy me (it's a quirk, I know). Once on the ground, I torque them evenly to 75-80 Lbf. ft. Never had a lug break off, "yet." :eek:

Proper torque, applied evenly across all the lug nuts, helps prevent your rotors from warping, believe it or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks guys for the replies. would you recommend a good but affordable torque wrench? I know the good ones are expensive:(
 

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thanks guys for the replies. would you recommend a good but affordable torque wrench? I know the good ones are expensive:(

from your username, I'll assume you are in Ottawa? haha.

There is a Princess Auto store in Ottawa. They carry inexpensive, chinese made tools. You can get various torque wrenches for under $40...
3/8 drive-
3/8 in. dr Click Type Torque Wrench | Princess Auto

1/2" drive-
1/2 in. dr Click Type Torque Wrench | Princess Auto

These are cool for an air wrench... never worry about too much torque again. Torque limiting extension bars. I've used them and they work.
5 pc 1/2 in. dr Torque Limiting Extension Bars | Princess Auto

Unless you are a professional mechanic making a living with your tools, the chinese made stuff in this case would do fine.
 

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bubba: 100 ft-lbs is not far enough above the spec of 80 to make a difference. you want to use 80, go right ahead. nothing wrong with that. the problem is when you go far beyond that which most air guns do.

that extra amount is not going to break any studs. most mechanics that actually do their job will use 100 on a car as a standard torque. this is my experience and has served me well for many years now. i'm not trying to knock yours at all, if anything you're doing it 'more correct' for lack of better wording.

raspberry: as i have stated, there is nothing wrong with using the impact gun when tightening down if ONLY used to take up the slack. the lug nuts should be started by hand, and then use the gun to get them down with no torque. one clack out of an electric and you'll have almost no force on those things. it's simply a time saving trick is all.
 

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bubba: 100 ft-lbs is not far enough above the spec of 80 to make a difference. you want to use 80, go right ahead. nothing wrong with that. the problem is when you go far beyond that which most air guns do.

that extra amount is not going to break any studs. most mechanics that actually do their job will use 100 on a car as a standard torque. this is my experience and has served me well for many years now. i'm not trying to knock yours at all, if anything you're doing it 'more correct' for lack of better wording.
Probably fine if you know for certain no one has ever exceeded that limit. Frankly I don't know what the heck the tire shop did to stretch/fatigue the studs enough to where they broke off when I went to rotate the tires. Could have been someone before them that cranked 'em too hard at one point. Which is why its tough to prove and most tire shops won't admit fault.

My point being that if the manufacturer states 80 as a MAX. it still might be too much. I would not advise anyone to go +25% to 100. If I had a torque wrench that far off it'd be grossly incorrect. Theoretically HMAservice stated 65 as a minimum. I have gone that low once already and not noticed any problem with them coming loose. Typically on the HMA site specs I go with the average (in this case it'd be 72.5).

@ottawa: If ALL you plan on using the torque wrench for is wheels the cheap ones should be fine. If you start, or plan, on doing more complex stuff it might be worth your while to invest in something a bit better. But you needn't go super-professional expensive. I've heard good things about the BrownLine model, but last I checked it only comes in one type/range.
Brown Line Metal Works BLD0212 Digital Torque Wrench : Amazon.com : Automotive
There's sometimes a coupon code for their official website they post on various forums. A while back I bought a Husky wrench from Home Depot before they started lowering their quality. IIRC it was ~$70 U.S. At some point I picked up a Flat beam Sturtevant wrench off Ebay, had a friend check its calibration, and it was spot on. Beam wrenches rarely go out of whack, but they can't really be used in enclosed spaces much. Little harder to use too, but I just wanted something cheap for Drive Axle nuts.
 

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zerogravity: I have no idea why would you ever use 100 ft-lbs if the specs are quite a bit less. Actually a tire shop once upset me with this. I took the car in, and asked them if they use a torque wrench to tighten the bolt to specification. They said yes. I did see them using the torque wrench, and at the end, just to verify, I asked them what was the specification for my car. The guy said it was 100 ft-lbs. He said they got the info from Alldata. But I think they just used 100 on every car.

Next time I printed the page from the shop manual and told them to use that. But I don't like that shop that much anyway - I'm wondering why I still use them.
 

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bubba and ottawa: Read the the reviews for that digital torque wrench before you buy it. I wouldn't get that one. I'm very happy with the click types I have (one for high, one for low setting). I check them occasionally with a vise and they keep calibration very well.
 

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i'm not bashing anyone for using 80 ft-lbs by any means. its more that my memory is crap and i can remember 100 before 80 any day. no i don't know why. and it works, its not enough to really make much difference. most of the problems occur when some ass fires the lugs on with an air impact to 250 ft-lbs or more.

so yes if the spec is 80, use that and don't be dumb like me. i can't argue with that.
 

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bubba and ottawa: Read the the reviews for that digital torque wrench before you buy it. I wouldn't get that one. I'm very happy with the click types I have (one for high, one for low setting). I check them occasionally with a vise and they keep calibration very well.
Well in case I didn't make it clear, I've never had personal experience with the one I listed, just heard decent feedback about it. IMO it seemed like the kind that would hold calibration for a long time, whereas the clicker-ones aren't always so reliable long-term. I do like mine, but would like to, and should, have it checked. When I got the beam-style one my friend happened to work in a place with a calibration machine so he was able to have it looked at.

How do you usually go about checking it with a vice? I tried Googling a while back on the subject but couldn't figure out an easy foolproof method that I had the supplies for.

I've always really like the idea behind the Warren-Brown deflection beam wrenches, but they're out of my price range.
 

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12 years in the automotive business and never had a problem with using a 100 ft-lb torque stick, including my own cars. I liked to go a little bigger on large trucks but 100 has always worked for me on cars.

Torque sticks are not as accurate as torque wrench but are plenty accurate for a lug nut. Lug nuts and studs stretch and break when someone takes an impact capable of 600 ft lbs and runs em down till they stop.

One dealer I worked at, no one torqued wheels and I saw plenty of broken studs, even tho they thought they turned down the gun, no doubt a torque stick would have fixed that.
 

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How do you usually go about checking it with a vice? I tried Googling a while back on the subject but couldn't figure out an easy foolproof method that I had the supplies for.
Sorry for the late response... so here is the way:

I put an old socket in the vice, and then put the torque wrench into the socket, so that its handle is horizontal. But first, set the torque wrench to a setting at which I want to check the performance. Then I take an object with a known weight. I have a roughly 30-lbs piece of steel fence material that I use for this. I measure its weight by weighing myself with that piece. (Yes, unfortunately I have to weigh myself without the fence, so I can subtract my weight.)

Then I tie a piece of string or wire onto the object, and I hang it on the handle of the torque wrench. I start it near the socket, and I move out slowly, until the wrench clicks. I measure the distance of the "clicking point" from the center of rotation, that is, the center of the socket. Multiply the distance (in ft) by the weight (in lbs). The product should be equal to the ft.lbs setting on the torque wrench.

You should change the setting on the torque wrench and check it on each, because sometimes a torque wrench can be inaccurate at certain settings only. My smaller torque wrench is somewhat inaccurate on very low settings, but I can live with that (and at least I know).

Clearly, with my 30 lbs object and 1 ft handle, I can't go over 30 ft.lbs with this. I need a heavier object for higher settings.
 
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