Old-school mechanics still now like to use a hand-tighten method to fix the nuts and bolts of the vehicle. But the problem is they might end up damaging the screws and breaking the threads.
But why would you spend your valuable cash on something when there’s a perfect solution for that?
Yes, we’re talking about Torque Stick. You might be familiar with it, or if you don’t, it’s totally fine. Even those who know the name (some people) might get confused about how does a torque stick work?
These torque sticks actually come with different ranges and sizes in a set. They’re handy and help you to tighten the studs more precisely and accurately.
In this article, we’ll discuss every nitty-gritty on a torque stick. Read on.
What is a Torque Stick?
If you already know, excellent. But if not, a torque stick is usually used as an extension on an air impact wrench to avoid the fasteners getting overtightened.
They work by flexing just like the torsion bar whenever the torque limit is achieved.
Who Needs a Torque Stick?
Basically, if you’re a home mechanic or like to tweak with vehicle wheels, a torque stick is for you. It’ll help you complete the job within less time.
For that, you should know the professional ways of using it. That way, the satisfying outcome will come!
What’s the Proper Torque for Wheel Nuts?
Well, torquing the lug nuts of your car wheel to the perfect specification is essential to avoid any type of risk.
Improperly set nuts may lose out while you’re driving, and the tires can drop off while your car is on the move. That’s very dangerous indeed.
For the function of the car and your own safety, you’ve to use the proper torque. The measurements are given below,
- If your lug nuts or studs size is between 12×1.25mm – 1.5mm, or if it’s around 7/16 inch, you’ve to torque those nuts to 70-80ft-lbs.
- For 14×1.25mm – 1.5mm, you should torque the nuts to 85/90ft-lbs.
- If the size of the studs are ½ inch, go for torquing them to 75-85ft-lbs
- Again, for 9/16 inch nuts, the torquing has to be around 135-145ft-lbs
Note that the impact gun you’re using should be set to a specified torque range. The pressure and the air supply there also should remain constant.
That’s how the danger of your car wheel falling off won’t happen.
How Does a Torque Stick Work?
Now that you know the measurements and why the torque stick is needed, it’s time for you to consider how does it work and how you should tight your car nuts with them!
Select the Torque Stick
Choose a proper torque stick for your vehicle wheel. For this, you need to know your vehicle’s wheel torque. This can be easily found in the car manual. Check that carefully.
You need a stick that’s 20% lower than your wheel torque. This range will help you to avoid over-torquing your wheel nuts, and the components won’t get damaged.
Apply Torque with a Quick Tap
Once the selection of the stick is completed, it’s time for you to attach it properly to an air-compact wrench with a convenient socket.
For tightening, try to use a quick tap in the situation as hammering the wrench in the nuts will over-torque them even if you’re using the torque stick. Be very concentrative while you’re doing this part!
Use a Star Pattern
We assume many of you know about the star pattern while adjusting the nuts. The process is, start tightening any wheel nut in any position and then directly go to the opposite of that nut and tighten that one with the torque stick.
After that, fix the opposite nut of the 2nd nut you’ve tightened. Keep doing this in a star pattern.
This procedure will help you to torque all the studs evenly, and it’ll also eliminate any type of vibration!
Finish Torquing with Torque Wrench
For the last thing, take a torque wrench and set it to the correct vehicle wheel torque. You can take help from the manual of your car for reference.
Then hand torque all the screws again using the same star pattern. The wrench will click whenever the nut is suitably fixed.
Don’t continue tightening the wheel nuts after the click sound, as the overwork will ruin your car wheel.
What is the Importance of Torque Stick?
There’re several things a torque stick can do easily. Like –
- The torque-limiting sticks are very accurate while fixing the wheel
- No risk of over-tightening of the screws if the gun is impacted correctly
- The specifications will be done accurately with the high-level precision
- Installation process becomes less time-consuming. They even have color-coded sticks, so you don’t have to waste time thinking which stick is for what.
- Once installed with a torque stick, there’s no chance the nuts and bolts of the wheel will crack or loose.
How to Find the Best Torque Sticks
We’d like to suggest to you some features you should remember while purchasing a torque stick set. Let’s see what we’ve got:
The most important thing to look after is the setting of the torque. If you always work with wheels, then go for a set that covers 140, 120, 100, 65, and 80ft pounds.
Well, most of the torque stick sets require only one type of fastener.
We’d recommend you to find a set that has universal sizes so that they can fit in any impact gun you might purchase in the future.
We’ll suggest you buy a set that has a color-coded system for different work. In this way, you’ll never be in any confusion, and the work will be done quickly as you’ll be getting the exact color stick for the exact task.
This is very important to know if the torque generates accurate ratings. Try to consult with any good mechanic thus, and you find out if the brand you’re going for actually does accurate work.
The carrying case is must needed. These sticks may lose after your work if you don’t keep them organized. The solution is to have a case to store them for a long time.
1/ Can You Use Torque Sticks With Electric Impact?
Of course, you can. Even with the electric impact, the sticks will work more smoothly and fastly. However, make sure to charge the stick properly as the extreme voltage can damage the components, and it’ll be risky for you too.
2/ Does Torque Stick Wear Out?
Actually, torques sticks do wear out. They can be damaged for enormous dropping, backward usage, and careless handling purposes.
3/ How Tight Should My Car Wheel Nuts Be?
Generally, the tightening depends on your vehicle rim size, number of bolts, design, and model.
Try to check the car manual for the optimum torque value of mounted rims or your car. You’ll get the idea of tightening by that. Though, the standard range is between 120 and 110 Nm.
4/ Can Torque Be Used On An Impact Wrench?
You can set the torque on the impact wrench by using proper attachments. For example, ‘the torque stick.’
It’s the most inexpensive and common way that accurately adjusts the end torque. With the stick, you can also try the torque limiter to get a more precise outcome.
5/ Do Torque Sticks Need To Be Calibrated?
The ISO (International Organization of Standardization) stated that torque sticks need to be re-calibrated every 12months or every 5000 uses. Though it’s a minimal suggestion, you can calibrate it depending on your work process and accuracy requirements.
The Bottom Line
With the above description, we hope you finally got some idea about how does a torque stick work. It’s straightforward to use this gadget with the information we’ve provided you.
However, try to maintain safety whenever you’re using the sticks, as one wrong move can cause serious injury to yourself and can harm the entire vehicle.
Good luck with the task!