: Tightening time saver and accuracy improved with simple trick

Loose screw
04-04-05, 03:08 AM
It was the first time I had tightened bolts using a rotation dial. It was taking a very long time and occationally the dial stop (the bar you put up agaist a stationary part of the engine) would slip or move and with that short little bar any movement resulted in a large inaccuracy in the reading . The Dial I bought is like most I have seen - a big face dial with a adjustable and removable short bar. The instruction tell you to position it to bump up against a stationary part of the engine then set the dial to zero and then rotate the required degrees. The one I had was a little to stiff which cause the bar to move, slip and mess up the reading several times on the rod caps I was working on each bolt you had to set it all up again and it wasn't always easy to find a goo spot to postion the stop bar.

After a few of those I stopped and decided there must be a much better way. It didn't take long until I came up with a very simple and extremely fast trick that was easy to setup and gave very accurate rotation readings.

Find a stiff rod or stick, it can be any diameter but a 1/4 inch works fine. It to be at least 3 feet long so you can reach all the bolts. Find a nut, pipe or socket that has hole about the same size of the rod to act as a sleeve that the rod will slide through easily. Next wire a broom handle or pipe to the engine stand with the handle up and tape the nut to it at ruffly working level. (you could do the same thing in a car just attach it to the car some place) Tape the short little rod that came with your dial gage to the longer rod or stick and slide it into the hole of the nut. Now the dial has a fixed point to work off of as a stop or reference point. With this setup you can move very quickly from bolt to bolt with everything staying attched, the rod sliding back and forth as needed but still staying stopped to a fixed point relative to the engine. As you move from bolt to bolt you simple reset the dial to zero and then tighten, and then move to the next and reset to zero - it is that fast and simple. This works really works great when you have do lots of bolts and do them in stages like the head bolts - it a real time saver and extremely accurate and reliable compared to the method discribe in the instruction sheet. You can even move from one head to the other with out changing a thing except rotate the engine so that head it up.

Sorry no pictures avialable

Give it a try - you will basically be making a extention to the dial's short postioning rod and using the same point for it to stop against for all the bolts, with a sleeve on the rod it can extend or retrack as needed to reach all of the bolts. That is it! I bet someone in the group has been doing something like this already and for a long time.