Wheel nut torque - owner's manual confusing.. - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Wheel nut torque - owner's manual confusing..

I have a 2001 Outback H6. The owner's manual states this -

"The torque for tightening the wheel nuts is 58 to 72 ft-lbs (78-98 N-m, 8 to 10 kg-m). This torque is equivalent to applying about 88 to 110 ft-lbs (40-50 kg) at the top of the wheel nut wrench"

Does this mean I set my torque wrench to 58-72 ft-lbs or 88-110 ft-lbs when I torque my wheel nuts?

If it matters, I have alloy wheels.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 05:48 PM
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Hi rcy. The torque is what they specify, i.e. "The torque for tightening the wheel nuts is 58 to 72 ft-lbs"

Their second statement "This torque is equivalent to applying about 88 to 110 ft-lbs at the top of the wheel nut wrench" is confusing; it should just say lbs, not ft-lbs. (It is implied the force is at a right angle to the handle otherwise trigonometry becomes involved... )

By that figure (58/88 or 72/110) the wheel nut wrench must be about .65 ft/8 inches long. So that's probably what they figure the average person would rank on the wheel nut wrench with.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 06:05 PM
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I think in general , for alloys, between 70 and 80 foot pounds for the lugnuts.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks for the quick responses. I set my torque wrench to 72 lb-ft, although it seemed a bit low compared to other vehicles I've owned, which spec'd closer to 90 lb-ft.

The tire shop I was at today used a manual hand operated torque wrench - not even a torque stick on the impact wrench (how many tires shops actually do this as opposed to using an impact wrench to torque the nut to near failure) set to 100 lb-ft, and said that was about average for most cars.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 07:51 PM
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stick with the recommended torque of 72. This isn't a matter of "more is better".
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 01:25 AM
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Yeah, a garage with a torque wrench that just puts everything to 100 because they think "that's what most cars need" is actually worse than a shop using torque sticks who took the time to check the sticks against a torque wrench and adjust their impacts until the stick tightening = wrench tightening.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 10:30 AM
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72 ft-lb(f) may seem low, but that's even higher than my '00obw which specs 65 ft-lb(f). Haven't had any problems with loosened nuts or anything yet. Typically I think aluminum/alloy wheels have lower torque specs than steel wheels.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 10:31 AM
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Being near the end of my fourth reading of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance this question of quality work is top of mind. To make a grossly oversimplified paraphrase, caring is the internal aspect of quality, and quality is the outward expression of caring. I would regard with deep suspicion any mechanic who comments that "100 ft-lbs. is what most cars need," as that statement expresses an attitude to his work. In fact, I would end the conversation there and find someone else, or do it myself.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 12:11 PM
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And alloy wheels need to be retorqued after 50-100 miles (when first put on).

I remember watching the mechanics at our local tire shop put my wheels back on after cleaning them, and they did use an actual hand torque wrench, and then made me sign a thing in addition to the recipt that stated that I needed to come back in 50 miles to get re-tightened.

That, and they mounted a spare tire/wheel package I bought seperately for free. They have won me over, should I ever need tire service.

Oh, yeah, and I've moved to TEXAS!!! (yes, it is a bit warm...)

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by BobN
Being near the end of my fourth reading of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance this question of quality work is top of mind. To make a grossly oversimplified paraphrase, caring is the internal aspect of quality, and quality is the outward expression of caring. I would regard with deep suspicion any mechanic who comments that "100 ft-lbs. is what most cars need," as that statement expresses an attitude to his work. In fact, I would end the conversation there and find someone else, or do it myself.
Agreed...that's why I was torquing them myself as per the owner's manual. I always torque my nuts after any shop or dealer does any work that requires wheel removal.

Speaking of torquing nuts, is it better to tighten the nuts with the wheel/tire off the ground, or with the weight of the vehicle on the tire? Or is there any difference at all?
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