Reviewed By Adam Watkins
The Northern Sydney Institute – Part of TAFE NSW
The automotive world is constantly evolving and manufacturers strive to find ways to increase power and reduce fuel consumption by producing more lightweight drive-line assemblies through the use of various alloys and plastics. As a result, in the workshop, this has also made them more fragile to work with. If you ignore those small torque values, all too often a bolt is broken, or a thread stripped simply because excessive force was applied.
Most torque wrenches in the workshop are 1/2” drive and generally start at about 35Nm.
Therefore, when it comes to rocker cover bolts and transmission sumps, technicians tend to use the “that should do it” method of tightening bolts. This can lead to all sorts of issues from an oil leak to a stripped thread or even the dreaded broken bolt.
Here at the Northern Sydney Institute we tool tested the 3/8” Digital Torque-Angle Wrench by Warren & Brown, a name recognised for its quality and precision.
The tool is battery powered and measures both rotational and angular torque. When turned on it must be placed on a flat surface such as a workbench to zero itself. You can’t just hold it as it will indicate an error on the LCD screen. You will need to do this every time the wrench goes into standby mode.
We found this slim lined 3/8” digital torque-angle wrench easy and comfortable to use. The ratcheting head makes it easy to use in those tight spaces around the engine or transmission whilst the LCD screen is easy to read.
The torque wrench starts at 6.8Nm and goes up to 135Nm. With that range it covers most bolts on the engine and driveline assemblies. The LCD screen on the wrench handle continually scrolls between torque and angular torque settings which is a bit distracting.
After setting either the torque or angular setting you’re ready to go. When you start reaching the desired setting, the wrench handle lights up from green to red and a buzzer sounds when the setting is exceeded.
With the increased use of plastics, Form in Place gaskets, alloys, the next time you are replacing a rocker cover gasket, or water pump right through to servicing engines and drive-line assemblies, this tool is a necessity in the modern automotive workshop.