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It depends on the bolt, and what it goes into. I got a number of torque wrenches, both 3/8" and 1/2", with 3/8" ones in in/lbs and in ft/lbs.

If the nut/bolt is specified to an in/lb value, I would use a torque wrench that is calibrated using in/lbs, as the value would generally be around or below the minimum torque value of a torque wrench calibrated using ft/lbs.

They aren't perfect, as I've had a really cheap 3/8" torque wrench fail to click (at least that I could detect), on several crankcase bolts on the last engine I rebuilt, and I'm pretty sure they are stripped now (I'll take it apart and redo the threads if it starts leaking), but aside from that specific problem, I'm certain the torque by those torque wrenches are more accurately applied compared to what would be done by me using old-school ones with a pin&scale.

And I also find the winding and unwinding of the handle gets annoying at times, particularly for the higher torque values, but I look at it as the price you have to pay to do a good job.

I have bought a cheap "digital" one, but that was a mistake, as the only digital part it had was a readout of what the setting was (vs reading how far the handle is screwed in on analog ones), but it still screws in/out the same way, so the only benefit is it's perhaps easier to read what it's set at, with the downside that it needs batteries to use it.

The much more expensive digital ones seem a little easier to use (with a display for what it's set at, with buttons to change the setting, and that audibly starts beeping when approaching the torque value, with a different beep/tone when you reach it, so you don't overshoot the torque value, but I don't do enough or the kind of work that would make something like that be worthwhile for me to purchase...
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I understand that Dave but the problem I had was the inch-pounds, I can do the math or someone confirmed it with me and the marks to set the wrench on are no more than a mili-meter away from each other and I had it adjusted where it was supposed to go and started to tighten it and I kept turning and turning and nothing happened and Im thinking "20 lbs.? Im about to snap this bolt in half and I sure dont want to do the easy-out stuff, something isnt right here cause it feels more like 200 lbs."
Am I wrong or is 20 lbs of torque not really very much at all? I guess I can go get a different T-wrench but like $50 to use once in my life probably, just spent $120 on a 1/2 drill to start it and I havent worked since march 23 rd.
The wrench was just so ..I hate to say but complicated. I have a pic on here somewhere I'll try to show you what I mean.
Take care
Here we go...it was just to much for me, this stuff is just to mineute for my eyes or whatever to deal with and I just did a jug change on this thing and was putting the head back on and I wasnt about to snap bolts because if that would have happened I dont wanna know what I would have done, but certainly they have something a little easier than this.
I have a air compressor and a pack of unopened small air tools and am beginning to wonder if I can rig something up to where it stops at 20 lbs. PSI, prolly wouldnt drive any tool at that low pressure.
Just thinking at 5 AM almost.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I understand that Dave but the problem I had was the inch-pounds, I can do the math or someone confirmed it with me and the marks to set the wrench on are no more than a mili-meter away from each other and I had it adjusted where it was supposed to go and started to tighten it and I kept turning and turning and nothing happened and Im thinking "20 lbs.? Im about to snap this bolt in half and I sure dont want to do the easy-out stuff, something isnt right here cause it feels more like 200 lbs."
Am I wrong or is 20 lbs of torque not really very much at all? I guess I can go get a different T-wrench but like $50 to use once in my life probably, just spent $120 on a 1/2 drill to start it and I havent worked since march 23 rd.
The wrench was just so ..I hate to say but complicated. I have a pic on here somewhere I'll try to show you what I mean.
Take care
I already did this but it dissapeared....I think. Man am I having problems
 

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It seems to take a short time period for the site to process the pics, so reloading the page soon after posting pics will sometimes come up with a generic "the picture is still uploading" image instead.

You can't count on air tools producing a specific amount of torque (at least, none of the ones you can afford). You can get "torque sticks", short extensions you put on a impact wrench, that somehow limits the torque applied to a nut/bolt to a specific value, and I've bought a set of them and used them for awhile, but I found they weren't particularly reliable (used them on the lugs nuts on my truck, and they repeatedly came loose, but going back to a torque wrench that didn't happen).
 

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Discussion Starter #26
It seems to take a short time period for the site to process the pics, so reloading the page soon after posting pics will sometimes come up with a generic "the picture is still uploading" image instead.

You can't count on air tools producing a specific amount of torque (at least, none of the ones you can afford). You can get "torque sticks", short extensions you put on a impact wrench, that somehow limits the torque applied to a nut/bolt to a specific value, and I've bought a set of them and used them for awhile, but I found they weren't particularly reliable (used them on the lugs nuts on my truck, and they repeatedly came loose, but going back to a torque wrench that didn't happen).
Yea Im sure the torque wrench has to be the best way but if you dont have the sense or arent able to figure it out I dont know what the heck to do.
Heres what I think I'd better do..Im the kind of guy that esp at this stage of it ( after over 3 yrs. now but only when I can work on it) I will not experiment with something as opposed to doing something I dont have faith I can do for lack of experience as Im no mechanic.
I bought this thing for my son because he has his own place and I used to use them as a kid a lot and I just cant screw something up that I either cant fix or will take another year to do with health probs holding much back as well. He has to get it this summer ASAP or I'll sell it and save what I can get outta it and put some w/it and buy a running one wich this prolly was but I had to get it nice and new looking by stripping and painting everything and buying anything that looked rough new for it.
I paid $300 for it and have spent $ 1,500 on it.
So there is a place that works on them near here and it would be better in my case at least to take it there and show and tell them to fix what little odds and ends that are left to do to it.
Im not concerned if its the "way to go" per say because I dont work on stuff generally other than keeping up maintainence on all my stuff but cant risk messin something up and taking a sledge hammer to it in a fit of rage that altho 60 yrs. old Im still quite capeable of doing that lol.
During this Gravely experiment I have threw a wrench or three over the fence and had to go find them lol.
Luckilly no cars were going by lol.
Later. but I do think this route would be the smartest one to take knowing my limitations. And when this one gets sent on its way to where its supposed to be I'll buy one to mess with myself where I wont be under so much pressure.
I couldnt have done anything without the help I have gotten from the great folks on this forum but its a little different to say "Oh thats easy just take a 9/16 and ....." when you have done it 200 times in the last 20 yrs. but think back to the first time someone has tried it ya know.
If I could manage to post those G*&D#[email protected]& videos it would help but Ive tried to do that for an hour a night for the last 4 nights so Im givin up on that.
I'll keep those who are interested posted.
Later.....again lol.
 

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Gerrard, with all due respect, I think you let yourself get all wrapped around the axle when a small unexpected thing pops up. Rather than letting it stop you, take a step back and think about what you're doing. Find a way to explore it and learn how to work with it, rather than throwing up your hands and declaring that it's too hard. I've been doing this kind of work for years, and I have to do that all the time.

This machinery stuff may have been designed by smart engineers, but they designed it to be worked on by average people. Very few machines are designed so that you have to have an advanced degree to work on them. The customers are the people who just want to get out there and mow their grass or plow their garden, so that's who you design for. That should give you confidence that it can be figured out.

For instance on how to use your torque wrench: A way to think about it: Your wrench is probably about 18 inches long. So to exert 20 ft/lbs at the business end, you'll be pulling on the handle end with about 13 lbs of force. Think about how it feels to lift something that weighs 13 lbs. It'll feel about the same when you're pulling on the torque wrench. If you think you're pulling on it with way more force than that, you probably have the wrench set up wrong. Time to stop what you're doing and check.

Instead of testing it on a bolt you care about, take a scrap bolt and clamp it tight in a vice. Or better yet, take the socket off the end, and just clamp the square end of the torque wrench in the vice. That way you can calibrate the wrench, convince yourself that it clicks when you get to torque, and see how it feels. Then once you have the wrench set up, and have the confidence to know how much pressure to expect on it, you can tackle your head bolts.

Head bolts should be re-torqued after running for a couple hours. But the usual reason for smoke coming off a cylinder/head is burning off oil that was left on there by your hands. If it's running reasonably well, you head bolts are probably not far off.
 

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BTW from your pix above, I think you've got your wrench set at 121 in/lbs. They're not quite in focus, so hard to tell for sure. What you should be seeing is the top of the wrench handle even with the 240 in/lb mark, and the "0" on the handle on the centerline.
 

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I have a air compressor and a pack of unopened small air tools and am beginning to wonder if I can rig something up to where it stops at 20 lbs. PSI, prolly wouldnt drive any tool at that low pressure.
Don't do that.

PSI is in no way analogous to ft/lbs of torque. The only way they're related is that there's a "20" in the name.

The way to make use of your 20PSI would be to arrange a pneumatic cylinder with a 1 square inch piston to drive a wrench with a 1 foot long arm, connected to your socket. Way easier to just use the torque wrench :)
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Don't do that.

PSI is in no way analogous to ft/lbs of torque. The only way they're related is that there's a "20" in the name.

The way to make use of your 20PSI would be to arrange a pneumatic cylinder with a 1 square inch piston to drive a wrench with a 1 foot long arm, connected to your socket. Way easier to just use the torque wrench :)
Oh your'e right jrd Im just so paranoid about messin something up bad like snappin a head bolt or cracking the head/warping it at this stage its drivin me nuts and I guess Im a bit of a bug anyway lol.
I was just out there messin with the T-wrench but gotta go to store now but I found a pic last night. Its that old starter that came on that one monster I bought, Looks like a homemade plate but maybe they all look like that.
These were on that page to, thats my sons hit team in Iraq, thats him on the right on the end.
The painting was a gift from the Mayor ( or whatever they are called over there) of the town of Samarra and presented it to them for saving the town where they stayed for a few months. Thats him on bottom right. Thot it would be interesting.
 

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I always remind myself that 20 ft-lbs is 20 lbs of force applied one foot away from the bolt. I just had to re-torque my valve cover. That was 53 in-lbs, and it took a little more than I thought to get the wrench to click. Remember to re-torque those head bolts now that you warmed it up and let it cool. They probably will take another quarter turn or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Hey Greg can you believe its like 34 deg. in our area today? And supposed to be 85 again this weekend, man its nuts around here to try to do anything outside, was gonna but heck with it.
I pulled out my deck and drive mechanism yesterday with the intent of putting it together and on tractor so when it does get going it will be able to roll instead of being balanced on the stand-pipe.
I have a new rear guard to bolt on and a new blade I got at Richards but I swann last time I checked that blade is just a bit to long and hits the sides of deck but if that is the case I can take care of it w/my vise and grinder evenly and carefully.
I would like to have a front deck fender but think they are to long and almost rub the ground so I have a cpl rear ones and wanna find someone to cut one of them down about half the height of the rear one.
That would be nice I think. Wadda ya think, or anyone else. Ive got a few of those things.
 

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I would like to have a front deck fender but think they are to long and almost rub the ground so I have a cpl rear ones and wanna find someone to cut one of them down about half the height of the rear one.
That would be nice I think. Wadda ya think, or anyone else. Ive got a few of those things.
The standard front guard is only half the height of the rear one. You don't have to worry about it hitting the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I knew they were shorter but not quite half, I dont think I ever used one that had a front one on it but finding someone to cut it down might be a prob but who knows. I dont know if Richards has any front ones or not but going up there is a pretty nice trip and to ship one Im thinking the freight might be a whopper just because of the shape of the thing.
Before I got one from there when I used to come within 12 to 15 miles of there a day ( rear one ) when I was a driver for work I figured I would just knock the dents out of the one that came on mine but that was a mistake because that is some thick stuff and a cpl times the hammer almost bounced up and hit me in the face lol. But I said heck with this.
It might not be to big a deal if you had a cutting torch and a way to secure it good then just use the top bolts to mount it.
 

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Hey Greg can you believe its like 34 deg. in our area today? And supposed to be 85 again this weekend, man its nuts around here to try to do anything outside, was gonna but heck with it.
I pulled out my deck and drive mechanism yesterday with the intent of putting it together and on tractor so when it does get going it will be able to roll instead of being balanced on the stand-pipe.
I have a new rear guard to bolt on and a new blade I got at Richards but I swann last time I checked that blade is just a bit to long and hits the sides of deck but if that is the case I can take care of it w/my vise and grinder evenly and carefully.
I would like to have a front deck fender but think they are to long and almost rub the ground so I have a cpl rear ones and wanna find someone to cut one of them down about half the height of the rear one.
That would be nice I think. Wadda ya think, or anyone else. Ive got a few of those things.
Yes, the first time in 25 years of gardening that I had to cover my plants. The 30" deck I inherited with my first machine does not have a front guard. I've never wished I had one, but there are times when things go flying out the front.
 

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Agree.

I've never wished I had a front guard.

I have wished I had one of the 30" brush hogs with the chain guard.

Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Well they are removable and thats good, I mean 2 bolts or maybe 4 depending on how I do it. I worked on Gravely for a cpl hrs today then had to cut bamboo for the rest of the day, plenty to do when the decent weather comes the one or two days a week it does come.
I have 3 decks and one has a decent rear guard on it so I marked it half the height ( 2" ) and will either cut it w/a grinder or saw it w/a sawzall or take it somewhere to get it cut but I might enclose all 4 bolts to make it better attached. My first Grandchild was born litterally 7 or 8 hrs. ago and if a guard keeps a rock from blinding him when he's a little shaver it'll be worth it but like I said its removeable.
My son is stuck in hospital w/his ole lady & baby for a cpl days cause he's not permitted to leave, or leave and come back put it that way.
Anyhow I tightened all head bolts and they all seemed like they needed it to and tightened every thing I could reach including the jug to casting bolts. The front ones wasnt bad but the back ones was a bit interesting (see pix) had to go into fan shroud w/open end wrench and it took forever but I finally got em after screaming cuss words and cutting my head on gas feed on handle bars and all that jazz lol.
When Im outside working everyone knows it.
Tomorrow I think I'll hook my h-bar kill button back up and see if it works when starting it and checking for smoke. Wanna do as much to it as possible B4 starting it because I dont wanna wear out my welcome on that bottom pulley nut and the drill.
Well heres the usual pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I still am working on the beast as there is much to do still. Im fixin to put deck back together and built " kinda anyway" a wood box to set it on/in, Im gonna do blade and new rear guard first and front guard could happen later but my box wasnt deep enough for top thing in center of it where large filler plug is still hit ground so I put more height on it and its drying overnight.
After blade goes on I'll flip it and do the top drive mechanish.
Hard to do by yourself when injured but I make use of tools I have like just a small dolly on this one.
Pic 2 shows some padding I put on it as to not scratch the deck any more than it is.
Just some Hillbilly thumb-buster stuff, use what you got ya know lol.
 

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