Torque wrenches must be used when you have bolts and screws that must be tightened at very specific points. With a torque wrench you can measure the amount of torque that you apply to a fastener and this can be customized based on the application at hand. There are different types of these wrenches but they all measure torque as bolt tension proxy as torque is one of the most practical means of measuring bolt stretch.
The Beam Type Torque
This particular type of torque wrench was created in the latter part of the 1920’s to the early part of the 1930’s. The beam torque was developed for the Chrysler Corporation by Walter Percy Chrysler. The patent for the wrench was done in 1938 by Paul Allen Sturtevant who was the first to sell the individual torque wrenches.
There was a newer variation of the beam torque wrench featuring a dial gauge indicator which can provide a visual or electrical indication or even both when the torque level previously met is reached.
How to Use the Beam Type Torque Wrench
This type of torque wrench is one of the most useful tools when it comes to automotive repairs and maintenance activities. While only practice will get you using this tool properly there are some basics that can help you out when you use it for the first time.
The first thing you want to do is prepare your beam type torque wrench. You want to ensure that you choose a socket that is the right size to conform to the bolt that you will be tightening or loosening. Once you find the right socket you want to go ahead and attach it.
Check the manual for the item that you will be adjusting to see what the recommended torque is for the bolt that you want to adjust. You want to get the right measurements so you can adjust the right amount of torque so you don’t damage the bolt and the item by extension.
Remember that not enough torque applied to a bolt can cause problems as well so get all the measurements out before you physically start doing anything.
The second thing you want to do when you have sufficiently prepped your torque wrench is to attach the socket to the bolt in the most careful manner. If you will be tightening the bolt you will want to turn the handle of the wrench in a clockwise manner.
If you want to loosen or remove the bolt completely then you will need to turn the handle of the wrench in a counterclockwise fashion – remember “lefty loosey, righty tighty.”
When you reach the desired amount of torque for the application at hand you simple release the mechanism with the handle of the wrench so that the force will be stopped. This will feel like the torque wrench detaches from the bolt.
How a Beam Type Torque Wrench Works
A beam type torque wrench will have an analog meter which shows the amount of force that you are applying to the bolt. These torque wrenches tend to be the most affordable torque wrench options but they do then to be heavier than other types of wrenches.
Some professionals will say that this type of wrench is unreliable if not properly calibrated. So if you opt for this type of wrench you want to ensure that you get it properly calibrated so you will have the best results.
One thing that you must take into account when using the beam type of torque wrench (or anything with an analog dial for that matter) is parallax. Parallax refers to differences in the position of the needle based on the angle that you look at it from.
You want to ensure that you are looking at the dial dead on at eye level. This can be difficult based on what you are working on as your position may not always allow for you to be at eye level with the dial.
In such a situation this type of torque wrench may not be the ideal fit for the task. In a case where you know you will not be able to view the needle dead on at eye level you may want to choose a different type of torque wrench.