Car owners usually prefer mechanics for the tightening job, but mechanics are charging high fees nowadays. So to save their money, people do minor repairing on their own. But what if you don’t have a torque wrench and you don’t know how to torque a bolt without a torque wrench.
Fortunately, there are alternative tools like a breaker bar and a fish tape which you can use instead of a torque wrench to tighten the bolts. So, with this tool, you do not need to spend hundred dollars to get the torque wrench. You can provide the required torque value and do the job perfectly with these tools. But, it would help if you were very careful and patient while doing this job.
The article below discusses how to torque a bolt without a torque wrench. So, do not stop over here and keep on reading!
How To Torque A Bolt Without A Torque Wrench?
Many people ignore torque values and go with whatever feels right. It is because they don’t know about torque values and dont know how to torque a bolt without a torque wrench. They will use it only two or three times a year because they do not have torque wrenches or may not want to spend a hundred dollars to buy a torque wrench.
Manufacturers design the bolts to be torqued to a specific value to protect the vehicle from damage. If you over-tighten, you can strip the thread out, or it could leak if you under-tighten the bolts. Therefore, it is important to know how to torque a bolt without a torque wrench.
It is not hard to determine the amount of torque your bolt needs and tighten them correctly without a proper torque wrench. There are a few tools that you can use to tighten the bolt if you do not have a torque wrench—the tools you need to tighten the bolts with the correct torque value.
- Breaker bar
- Fish tape
The breaker bar should be a foot long if you will deal in foot-pounds. Using a fish scale might sound funny. But it is a very convenient tool. It is used to measure the amount of force; you can also use a luggage scale. Other than these tools, it would be best if you also had a measuring tape to measure the distance of the bolt.
There are a few simple steps for tightening the bolts; let’s discuss them if you do not have torque wrenches. We strongly recommend you to carefully read and understand the below-mentioned steps because they let you know how to torque a bolt without a torque wrench.
- Step-1: Hook up the breaker bar on the bolt head perfectly.
- Step-2: Attach the fish scale or any force measuring tool you are using at the free end of the breaker bar.
- Step-3: Tighten the bolt by turning the bar clockwise. Try to turn gently with enough pressure.
- Step-4: Check the force on the fish scale; if the recommended torque value is achieved, you can remove the breaker bar from the bolt.
These are a few steps to tighten the bolts. It is the best alternative/answer to how to torque a bolt without a torque wrench. The bolt may be a bit tighter, it is fine, but the too-loose bolt is not good.
how to torque a bolt without a torque wrench: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I Need A Torque Wrench?
Yes, to apply the correct torque value to the bolt, a torque wrench is needed if you want to save time and effort. It is important to torque the bolts correctly, and the torque wrench is the best tool for tightening the nuts.
The torque wrench uses bolt stretch to measure torque and automatically tightens the nuts accordingly. You do not have to check the meter; the torque wrench produces the double-clicking sound once the tightening is done. A torque wrench is not a necessary tool, but you need it for the smooth completion of the task.
2. Can You Tighten Without A Torque Wrench?
You can tighten without a torque wrench, but it would not be easy. You will find difficulty measuring torque correctly; it will be difficult to apply the right amount of force. Torquing without torque wrenches is possible, but it takes a lot of tempo and effort. The only thing you need to learn is how to torque a bolt without a torque wrench.
A torque wrench is usually expensive. People wonder if tightening without a torque wrench is possible; then why do we need to buy a torque wrench. They do not want to buy torque wrenches because they need them in rare situations. So they can follow the alternative way to tightening without torque wrenches mentioned above.
3. How Tight Is Finger Tight Torque?
If tools are not available, people often use their fingers to tighten the bolts or nuts. The finger tight torque is about 15 to 20 in-lb or 1.7 to 2.3 Nm. Finger tight torque is not tight enough for bolts; they may get loose in some time, so you should avoid finger tightening.
4. What Happens If You Don’t Torque A Bolt?
Torquing a bolt is the most important thing. If you do not torque a bolt, it will cause great damage and accidents. Car owners usually do not take this topic seriously. Under-torqued bolt will deform and will be unable to provide the required amount of force. It is important to torque bolts properly whenever you hit the road. If you do not torque a bolt, it will cause serious accidents.
5. How much Torque Can you Apply by Hand?
Hand screwdrivers can provide about 120 lbf.in torque by hand. Hence, large screws can be screwed easily by the good old manual screwdriver. However, for smaller screws that are harder to screw, it is best to use an electrical screwdriver if you wish to do it by hand.
At the end of the article, we mention that tightening without a torque wrench complicates your task. Therefore, it is better to use a torque wrench. But if you prefer to use an alternative method to tighten the bolts, then it is better to learn how to torque a bolt without a torque wrench using the abovementioned steps.
The breaker bar is a very common tool and easily available. It would be best if you were very careful while performing tightening because the slightest mistake will ruin the functioning of your vehicle.
Hopefully, from the above discussions, you get the best understanding of how to torque a bolt without a torque wrench. It would be the best thing if you don’t have a torque wrench and you need to torque a bolt in an emergency situation.