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Old 02-05-2010, 02:10 PM   #1
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Torque Multiplier

Anybody tried one of these to remove your Alpine wheels? NEW TORQUE MULTIPLIER LUG WRENCH SEMI TRUCK BUS TRACTOR : eBay Motors (item 150410921210 end time Feb-05-10 16:51:23 PST)
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:38 PM   #2
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Torque Multipliers work just fine. Make sure that you have a stand to support the wrench head when you are applying the torque to the handle of the tool.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:41 PM   #3
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Looks sweet, tho I'm guessing you'd have to calibrate for lug nut installation, a minor issue.

Looks like a knock off of the X-12 that had 12x multiplication; the eBay item claims 60x. When I have some play time, I'm going to weld up a similar head for my Snap-On torque multiplier which is only a net of 3.33x but does the job using a 24" torque wrench and doing a little math (about 140ft-lbs on the wrench = 470 on the nut.

@ 60x, I'd expect some significant slop on the install side (i.e. not exactly 60 given internal gear friction which is about 17% loss on mine, YMMV), hence need to do some checks w/a torque wrench on the input to see you are getting the 450-500 ft lbs and not over or under tightening.

The real problem owning one of these is the temptation to do tire removal. Not a big deal once you take a slow dry run approach to figure out the variables. Wheel well height above tire is important, and a method to maneuver the heavy tire in/out of the wheel well space is needed. This is one case where brute force and awkwardness would prevail, but I'm not up to that and don't think most motorhomers are either. I do mine by a slow wig-wag rolling motion back & forth to inch the tire out or in, and keep the lug nut pattern only slightly elevated vs the inflated tire's wheel, so I can hook one hole on a stud then rotate the tire onto the other lugs. It requires that the axle is up slightly from its natural position. I use leveling jacks for height, then 12T bottle jack for secondary support, then 12T bottle jack to lift the axle (I carry two 12T bottle jacks as standard equip these days). I only do one corner at a time.
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:02 PM   #4
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Emike, I was planning on using my low profile motorcycle jack 1000LB capacity to move the wheels in and out. I have a 12 ton bottle jack and was planning on getting a set of 12 ton Jack stands. I have no intent on removing more than 1 wheel at a time. My pad here in Brownsville is level and smooth with plenty of room. I tried my 3/4 breaker bar and could nut budge the lug nuts. Maybe 30 years ago but not now. What size are the lug nuts. My closet 3/4 inch socket 1- 5/16 seems loose. Are they metric? I can grab my calipers and check them. I am off to HF to see if they have anything of use. Good excuse to fire up the Harley.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:56 PM   #5
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First, if you are going to remove a tire/wheel by yourself, realize that the tire/wheel combo weighs almost 200 lbs (about 120 for the tire and about 75 for the wheel). That is more than most folks can wrestle around safely. I helped a road-side truck service guy remove and replace my right, front tire on my 2001 Alpine Coach after a blow-out. Even between the two of us, it was difficult on the un-even shoulder of the road in the dark. As an experienced truck tire guy, he used a couple of large pry bars and brute force to get the tire/wheel off and back on, with some small help from me.

To deal with this weight issue, a "Truck Wheel Dolly" is a device that I would highly recommend if you decide to DIY:

Esco Truck Wheel Dolly, Air Gauges & Chucks - GEMPLER'S

Second, I have the X-12 torque multiplier that EMike mentioned. I highly recommend it, since I know it works well. However, the actual torque multiplication is stated in the literature to be 10X, rather than 12X, due to internal frictional loss. 10X still gives you more than enough torque. The Alpine Coach wheel torque is supposed to be 450 to 500 ft-lbs, but the truck shops that use pneumatic torque wrenches could easily apply a few hundred ft-lbs more than that.

Now, for the "NEW TORQUE MULTIPLIER LUG WRENCH SEMI TRUCK BUS TRACTOR" mentioned at the beginning of this post, I would be concerned about not knowing the internal frictional loss, within a reasonable estimate. To remove a lug nut, this frictional loss would not matter, since there is so much torque multiplication. However, to tighten a lug nut, you really need to have a fairly good estimate of this internal frictional loss.

If the loss is 17%, then a setting of 10 on your torque wrench would give (600 - 600 x 0.17 = 600 - 102 = 498 ft-lbs), which would be close enough.

What if the loss is really 7%, then the actual torque would be (600 - 600 x 0.07 = 600 - 42 = 558 ft-lbs, a bit too high)

Or, what if the loss is really 27%, then the actual torque would be (600 - 600 x 0.27 = 438, a bit too low). Of course, torque wrenches themselves have some amount of error that would figure into all this.

However, truck shops don't seem to care too much about getting this torque figure very close to spec, so maybe I'm simply too picky about it all. Probably, comes from being a math-physics guy.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:23 PM   #6
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And here I thought a torque multiplier was my foot....when I pressed harder on the throttle.

After reading all the threads, and being in the tire business, I'm still calling a road service or going to my local commercial tire dealer Delray Tire in Fresno.

Watching the video, how does he turn the wrench counter clockwise(off) with the leg of the wrench on the right side of the nut? Now that is some physics I don't understand.

I know my limitations!!
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:35 PM   #7
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The nominal inch size is 1-5/16, but the actual nuts used these days may be a 33mm which is a hair smaller.

For anybody in a roadside emergency situation, I'd recommend professional service. Uneven terrain and questionable foundation for jacks makes for unsafe conditions for the untrained. I only deal w/wheels for service reasons on pavement. Hope not to have to add anything else to my resumé.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
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Dale a 1000 lb MC jack should easily lift the tire into place. The one I have is only 4 inches tall and has wheels and casters. I am able to lift my 800 LB Harley and rotate it 360 degrees with in my car hauler and I am really fussy about my FatBoy. The MC jack should cradle the tire similar to a wheel dolly. It has the advantage of raising and lowering the tire and wheel.

I would need to do some test to check the drag of the torque multiplier. Using a Torque wrench to see what torque the lug nuts broke loose at would give some indications. Not knowing the initial torque would present some issues. By the time all 40 lug nuts were removed an average break away torque could be determined.

Not sure what I am going to do yet. I am looking at a few other options for Torque multipliers.

I worked in Heavy aircraft structure for 12 years prior to going into management. I have torqued many fasteners using torque multipliers. Some with torque values up to 2500 ft Lbs.

I appreciate the caution and advice. I am in the planning process right now. I am in no big hurry. I decided to look at removing the wheels because I am not confident that if I take my coach in for service that they will remove the rear wheels to properly bleed the rear calipers. I have seen too many partial service jobs over the years. In one such incident I believe I paid for an oil change and only got the filter replaced. This was at a highly recommended shop. I suspect I have also been charged to change the engine mounted fuel filter and it was not replaced. If I go in for service again I will mark all the filters prior to service. I have decided to do most of my own maintenance as long as I am physically able. Besides that what else do I have to do down here in Brownsville all winter.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:40 PM   #9
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You can get one of the more standard units used but w/a brand name and the torque specs known, then fab the foot yourself. This makes it a purpose built device, but that's the purpose I bought it for.

BTW, I couldn't get a 5/8" Huck bolt to loosen using the torque multiplier and >200 ft-lbs going in (>670#' to the Huck). Them suckers is tight. Do not try this at home.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:42 PM   #10
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Emike, My 1-5/16 is a 12 point so it may explain the slop. I have located a source for a 1 inch drive 1-5/16 impact socket for around $20. By the way HF did not have much at least the one down here. They did have a 300 ft LB torque wrench for under a $100. Accuracy? I tend to buy rip off tools that are going to be seldom used. I did spring for a pair of Deutsch crimper's for the DT style Deutsch connectors.

I watched them install those Huck bolts at WRV. I have given up on the idea. I have plenty of beef but not much strength these days.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:55 PM   #11
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So, should I be concerned when I have new tires installed that the dealer might not ge the torque correct when re-installing my wheels?
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:57 PM   #12
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My beef has good marbling these days.

I wouldn't worry about accuracy for such a thing @ HF as much as I would the gears exploding in the middle of something I'd rather start & complete in one shot. They have had a 1000ft-lb unit from time to time, but I waited patiently till a good used brand name unit came up on eBay. I use a 1.25" piece of rebar left over from a somewhat heavy duty job for the reaction piece and let it push against the pavement. A small piece of scrap plywood keeps the end from digging a mark into concrete or asphalt, and the rebar slides up into the tubular handle of the TM. The form factor of the X-12 (and the eBay 60x) is way smarter and handier, but the simple rebar reaction end works.

For the deep well of the rear tires, you need a longer extension for my setup, and it helps to use some kind of foot under the multiplier to keep it from rotating up/down and slipping on the socket. This was mentioned above. I forget what I used last time; I'm thinking it was a coupla somethings that served due to their convenient height, but this isn't needed if you fab the X-12 style reaction foot since you are near direct drive to the socket on fronts or rears alike.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:04 PM   #13
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Jeff- the primary worry is that they'll use the 1" impact gun and holler across the shop as they reinstall the nuts, "I'm givin' 'er all she's got Captain!!" In that case you could need roadside service and find out you can't get the lug nuts off without calling in an air strike.

Most shops claim they install lug nuts w/a torque wrench only, for liability purposes you know. Every Les Schwab I've been in, our local Michelin dealer, and likely other places actually do, but I'm sure many wheels go out of many shops where they never got around to checking torque and just used the gun. IIWMMotorhome, I'd watch the shop kid use the torque wrench to turn the nuts home (just about everybody uses the gun to get lug nuts snug; not everybody stops there till the other boob is done w/the torque wrench).
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:02 PM   #14
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Emike, I am leaning toward the X12 do you Know if it will clear our rear hub cover.

How is the inner dual held on I have never had mine apart. Do we have a square drive stud and nut holding on the inner dual?
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