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I have slowly started working on my own vehicles and have decided I need a good torque wrench.

Looking online I find many options. But I am unsure what torque range I will need my wrench to cover.

I see ranges like: 10-80 ft. lbs. ; 10-150 ft. lbs. ; and 50-250 ft. lbs.

Having little experience I am unsure what my best option would be. Any expertise and advice would be appreciated.

If it matters I would be working on a 2001 Dodge Dakota.

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In my experience you need at least two:

  1. 1/2" torque wrench which covers you from about 40 lb-ft. to around 150. Things like lug nuts, suspension bolts, cylinder heads, etc.
  2. A 3/8" torque wrench which will get you down to about 10 lb-ft. to around 50. Most other fasteners in and around the engine.

I also have a 1/4" drive torque wrench but I don't use it all that often on cars. More useful when working on motorcycles.

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    I was able to get a shop manual with torque values for my truck. They range from a few measured in in.-lbs. to 185 ft.-lbs. So I think the multiple wrench approach will be the way to go. – Mr. Spock Nov 16 '20 at 14:25
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Do you have a workshop manual for the Dakota? That should have a table of all the required torque values for the car.

In my experience, most torque values on a car are somewhere in the middle, so a midrange one would be best. The really low values are barely more than finger tight, and the very high ones are only things like head gasket stretch bolts, which are usually specified by angle (I.e. x torque plus 90 degrees), and driven hubs, for which you can always borrow a higher range wrench needs be.

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  • I do not, sounds like that would be a good thing to have though, so you would say the 10-150 ft. lbs. is the mid-range you're talking about? – Mr. Spock Nov 9 '20 at 21:04

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