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Old 05-24-2002, 04:44 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 13736
Join Date: Dec 2001
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: SF
Default Torque Wrench for Suspension work--what size?

I'm planning on purchasing a pretty decent torque wrench for use primarily in installing suspension parts (springs, struts, strut tops, strutbars, swaybars, endlinks).
From what I understand from the manual I'm going to need a torquer that ranges from approx. 14 to 180 ft-lbs .

What would you suggest: a 3/8" drive or larger 1/2" drive??

I'm on a budget and have been looking at Craftsman Digitorks.

PART #--------DRIVE--------INCREMENT---------MEASURE
44597----------1/2"---------2.0 ft. lbs.-------25 to 250 ft. lbs.

44596----------3/8"---------0.5 ft. lbs.--------5 to 80 ft. lbs.

which one would be better fit to suit my needs?? Of course, at first glance it may seem the 1/2" drive is better--but would it be too large for cramped situations..like installing the front sway bar??
let me know. Thanks
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Old 05-24-2002, 11:10 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 3800
Join Date: Jan 2001
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: NoVa
2002 WRB WRX Sedan
2011 Sky Blue Forester Pr


I have a Craftsman 3/8" 15-150 ft-lb and it serves me quite well. There are only a few spots and nuts you need more than 150 ft-lb for and for those, I'd just as soon have the service station do it in case something snaps or strips. Even the crank pulley nut needs less than 100 ft-lb.

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Old 05-24-2002, 01:18 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 17546
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Rocky Mountain High
2002 WRX Wagon
WR Blue


Yeah, you don't really need the 150 ft-lbs. If you're only buying one, it's really nice to have those lower torque settings. I have two - a half inch monster and a 3/8 bar type that is really nice for those low settings. I don't think I've ever gone above 80 or 90 on the big one - maybe once. My little one tops out at like 45 so I definitely need the other one. Plus, a lot of parts stores (Checker and Auto Zone for sure) have loaner programs that will let you use a torque wrench for free if you buy the little one, then run into fasteners with torque specs above 80.
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Old 06-06-2002, 01:25 PM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 12677
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Florida
2002 Subaru WRX
WR Blue

Default Get Twp

Torque Wrenches are most accurate within 10% of either limit of their range.

So, a wrench that has a range of 5 to 80 actual has a 75ft lb range. 10% of 75=7.5 so the wrench is accurate from about 12.5 to 62.5

I have two, one is a Norbar SL1 it range is 5 - 40 or 8.5 to 36.5

I use it for all the small stuff exhause work, spark plugs etc....

I have a second that is 20 - 150 or 34 - 136

My advice buy two, one for the smaller numbers, avoid torque wrenches with very large ranges. I wouldn't touch one at 25 - 250 it actual accuracy is 47.5 - 227.5. There is lots of stuff below 47.5 that needs torqued.

Finally store your wrenches set to zero or they will losse calibration and you'll have to send it off to be recalabrated!
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Old 06-11-2002, 02:13 AM   #5
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Member#: 12154
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Endless Mtns of PA
04 Sti
99 Outback


I own a craftmen 1/2" digitork wrench. I am very happy with it. However, it is quite large. Most 1/2" are. I would recommend buying 2 if you need to accurately tighten a wide range of items.You'll need the larger for very few things, but it's also nice to have.
One final thing. If you are buying a craftsmen. Join the Craftsmen club. You immediatly get 10% off the purchase of tools,and you get special prices periodically during craftsmen club sales. I used it and saved $10 on the 1/2" torque wrench, and I saved $100 a couple months later on a tool set during a sale

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