: Torque Stick: How Do They Work?



Feffman
06-13-07, 10:34 PM
Hi All:

Bought a cordless impact wrench yesterday (Dewalt - 300 pounds foot) to spin off and install lug nuts when installing track tires.

Can someone explain to me how those colored torque sticks you see at tire places work? These are the color coded attachments they put on an impact wrench so it properly torques a lug nut. The various colors indicate the torque. I'm sure there's science behind them, but I can't figure it out.

Found a place (www.torquestick.com) that sells them in various lug sizes and torque ratings. I figured a 19MM with a 100 Lb Ft rating would save me the trouble of having to set the lugs with a torque wrench.

Any experience or thoughts with said torque sticks!

Feff
www.MVPTrackTime.com

The Tony Show
06-13-07, 10:53 PM
They have a certain elasticity and flex that allows them to flex in sync with the blows of the Impact wrench once a certain amount of torque is reached. The flexing at its torque limit prevents the stick from exerting any more force on the nut and overtightening it.

StealthV
06-13-07, 11:05 PM
Still a big fan of my Techwrench; it's almost too nice to get dirty.

http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=all&item_ID=76643&group_ID=19918&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog

RunningOnEMT
06-14-07, 06:37 AM
Still a big fan of my Techwrench; it's almost too nice to get dirty.

http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=all&item_ID=76643&group_ID=19918&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog



i got the tech angle wrench ... INVALUABLE for engine assembly and basically anything new that requires angles of torque....

is there a way to make these wrenches do a breakaway torque measurement?

Feffman
06-14-07, 06:42 AM
They have a certain elasticity and flex that allows them to flex in sync with the blows of the Impact wrench once a certain amount of torque is reached. The flexing at its torque limit prevents the stick from exerting any more force on the nut and overtightening it.

Tony:

So are these torque-sticks accurate enough to apply lug nuts without worrying about a check or finish with the trusty torque wrench?

Feff

RunningOnEMT
06-14-07, 06:55 AM
Tony:

So are these torque-sticks accurate enough to apply lug nuts without worrying about a check or finish with the trusty torque wrench?

Feff

i've used mine in a hurry before... but if i'm racing i ALWAYS recheck with the torque wrench ALWAYS!!!!... and after one pass/practice lap i retighten once everything has seated itself!

ewill3rd
06-14-07, 07:08 AM
For street applications torque sticks are reliable proven devices.
I have been using them for years without problems.
One thing most people don't realize, including a lot of techs, is that they are designed for a limited amount of torque input.
Meaning, if you use too large of an impact gun with too high of a setting then they will still overtorque the wheels and potentially cause damage.
There is a way to "calibrate" the setting on your gun to work with the stick, although it has been a while since I messed with it so I might not really remember how. I have a gun I set on 3 and it works perfectly.
Also the gun has to be able to put out enough torque to begin with (minimum).

JMBCTSV
06-14-07, 07:11 AM
I have the same impact as you for the track. About 4-5 pops at tight is about 100 ft*lbs at full battery.

Think about this. Is it worth risking your life on the track or spend 1 minute clicking them with a torque wrench?

The Tony Show
06-14-07, 07:57 AM
I have the same impact as you for the track. About 4-5 pops at tight is about 100 ft*lbs at full battery.

Think about this. Is it worth risking your life on the track or spend 1 minute clicking them with a torque wrench?

Here's what can happen if you forget to torque your wheels down properly at the track:

Ouchie (http://break.com/index/when-drifting-goes-bad.html)

The Tony Show
06-14-07, 10:00 AM
Tony:

So are these torque-sticks accurate enough to apply lug nuts without worrying about a check or finish with the trusty torque wrench?

Feff

Unless you have an incredibly accurately calibrated Impact, I'd still finish off with the trusty torque wrench. The torque sticks are good for getting it 95% close.

trukk
06-14-07, 10:21 AM
Here's what can happen if you forget to torque your wheels down properly at the track:

Ouchie (http://break.com/index/when-drifting-goes-bad.html)

I was expecting 18 clowns to pile out of that car. TOO FUNNY.

-Chris

The Tony Show
06-14-07, 10:58 AM
I was expecting 18 clowns to pile out of that car. TOO FUNNY.

-Chris

The guy driving the RX-7 is a friend of a friend at a local Autocross event near me (not trying to drift like the video title says). That got posted on our Autocross forum, and from there it launched to Internet stardom. How pissed would you be if you bellied out your car like that? Yikes! :doh:

V-Max
06-14-07, 01:57 PM
Harbor freight has a set of tubes on sale for $60. Figure you have six chances to get it right and there is no chance of the wheel falling off. :)


Norm

2004ctsv
06-14-07, 02:54 PM
Check the recent craftsman sale - 3/4 inch drive torque wrench for around $60 - $70

ewill3rd
06-15-07, 08:53 PM
As a note, I prefer the torque sticks that have a drive on the end and not a socket.
That way you can use them for different size lugs with the same torque rating.
It also allows for use of torque sticks on special wheels with low clearance lugs and locking adapters that may not be the same size as the lug nuts themselves.