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      10-01-2020, 09:48 AM   #1
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Mechanical vs Electronic Torque Wrench Question

So I have a "first world problem" that I would like thoughts on from more experienced track rats...

My trusty HF torque wrench of 15+ years of "light" DIY use finally died on me (I think it was the Pittsburg model - but it was not an expensive one). I decided to replace it with an electronic torque wrench as I have wanted an excuse to get one for a while. I purchased the HF one buy Quinn and it works as expected. The annoying part is that it takes longer to torque wheels as you have to carefully approach the torque setting vice just pulling until you hear/feel a click (the electronic torque wrench does not have a click, just beeps when as you approach then reach the set torque.

The cheap SOB in me says just suck it up and deal with it since there is clearly nothing wrong with my new electronic torque wrench. However, the lazy SOB in me misses the relatively quick torquing of wheels with a click style torque wrench, especially since I am tracking my car more now (with a set of track wheels/tires).

So what are your thoughts on mechanical vs electronic torque wrenches for HPDE track prep/use?
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      10-01-2020, 10:16 AM   #2
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Digital can be more accurate, but if you're using it on wheels, I would just get another clicker torque wrench for track use. It's only 20 bucks or less at HF and accurate enough. Whether you get to 100 ft lbs vs 105 ft lbs won't really matter for lug bolts. I'm a fan of clicker torque wrenches as it's quicker and you don't have to pay as much attention as you've said.
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      10-01-2020, 11:46 AM   #3
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I personally prefer the positive tactile feedback from a mechanical torque wrench over the artificial haptic feedback from an electronic one.
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      10-01-2020, 01:57 PM   #4
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I use mechanical wrenches from my 3/4" axle-nut wrench down to my 1/4" engine assembly wrench. The only one I'm considering going electric on is the 1/4", some of the tiny fasteners make me real nervous, wondering if the wrench is failing and stretching a bolt, or 7.8Nm really is that much resistance.
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      10-01-2020, 02:27 PM   #5
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The only time I don't trust "click" type torque wrenches is on low torque fasteners. I've seen first hand quality (and expensive) click type wrenches actually kick back/unscrew the fastener when it clicks so the final torque is actually less than when the click started.
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      10-01-2020, 05:28 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I do like my electronic torque wrench, but now I may more strongly consider picking up another mechanical one. Besides, it is not like you can have too many tools in your garage...
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      10-02-2020, 08:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gomeler View Post
I use mechanical wrenches from my 3/4" axle-nut wrench down to my 1/4" engine assembly wrench. The only one I'm considering going electric on is the 1/4", some of the tiny fasteners make me real nervous, wondering if the wrench is failing and stretching a bolt, or 7.8Nm really is that much resistance.
Is 7.8 N-m (69 lbf-in) the running the torque you get as you’re initially installing the fastener? What size fastener? That sounds like a very high running torque.

Torque wrench - another vote for a mechanical torque wrench
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      10-02-2020, 11:08 AM   #8
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I just got used to the lack of "click" release -- the advantage of having angle measurement for torque to yield bolts that are so common on modern cars (including ours) -- is basically a must.
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      10-02-2020, 10:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3SQRD View Post
Is 7.8 N-m (69 lbf-in) the running the torque you get as you’re initially installing the fastener? What size fastener? That sounds like a very high running torque.

Torque wrench - another vote for a mechanical torque wrench
7.8N-m wasn't specific, but the oil pump bolts on the ej257 for example are ~6N-m, and the cam caps were I think ~12 and ~18N-m. Both were cases where I was sitting there with the wrench wondering if I was spinning heads off fasteners. I don't have a calibrated elbow
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      10-20-2020, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew81 View Post
Hi. I saw your topic and decided to help. Choosing the right torque wrench is a difficult task. For a while, I also wondered this question. I also looked through the thematic forums until I came across this article https://torquewrenchguide.com/review...rque-wrenches/. After reading it, I realized a lot for myself. You should also read this article.
I ended up buying a modestly priced and well reviewed mechanical torque wrench for the track (and frequent wheel changes in my garage). It was the 10-150 ft/lb one by Tekton, which worked out well for my most recent track event. But I also know I will still get good use out of my new electronic torque wrench as well.
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      10-29-2020, 03:12 PM   #11
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Where precision to the tenth is not necessary (i.e. most torque specs on a car, especially on components that get loosened and tightened often have a significant factor of safety on them) a mechanical torque wrench is more than adequate.
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