My Torque Wrench

Author: mirai  //  Category: Life in general

Last month, we had to do a few repair to the Mini Cooper in preparation for the 12 hour endurance race.  In the process, I broke my beloved torque wrench that my cousin gave me, trying to remove the hub nut so that I could replace the front brakes.  Apparently, when we took the car to the shop a week earlier, the mechanic, overtightened the hub nut with an air impact wrench.  You would have to have super human strength or another air impact wrench to remove it.  Unfortunately, I had neither.  All I had was me and my Snap On torque wrench.  And under normal circumstances, that alone would have been enough.  But it wasn’t normal circumstances, and my torque paid the price by letting out a loud snap.  After the loud snap sound, the wrench no longer had the ability to tighten bolts.  All it would do is ratchet as if were set in reverse.

Admittedly, I was pretty angry at the mechanic at the shop for tightening the hub nut so tight.  And because of that, I thought I would have to shell out at least $300 for another torque wrench.  My cousin then told me that that Snap On tools are all under lifetime warranties, and that I should get it repaired.  I immediately looked this up, and he was right.  However, there were limitations to the warranty.  I had no proof of purchase and neither did my cousin, since it had been years ago since he’d got it.   But one good thing did come to light in the midths of researching the warranty.  Snap On sold DIY repair kits  online for only $10.00, so  I immediately ordered one.

Three days later, the repair kit came in the mail.  I was amazed and puzzled at how simple it was.  It consisted of less than 10 parts , and a little instruction sheet.  It basically replaced everything in the head portion of the ratchet, which was nice because it means that I was getting a brand new torque wrench when the overhaul is complete.

I started disassembly of the torque wrench, which was an extremely simple process.  Eventually, I got to the damaged part.  According to the instruction sheet, the part is called a “paw.”  Assumingly, this is because the part resembles a bear’s paw.  Upon initial inspection, I could see that there was a chip on the paw, and I couldn’t quite understand how this could prevent the ratchet from grabbing.  But upon closer inspection, I could see that the chip was significant enough to prevent it from meshing with the main gear (the round black part in the picture in the left).

I carefully removed all of the parts from inside of the ratchet head and cleaned the inside out so that it was free from old dirty grease, as instructed by the instruction sheet.  One by one, I applied fresh new grease to the new parts and replaced the old parts in the entire assembly.  Once all of the parts were in, I tested the ratchet assembly by giving it a couple of turns. The new paw was grabbing the main gear quite well as expected.  I was quite happy that my beloved torque wrench was back to normal working order, and that I didn’t have to shell out $300+ dollars for new one or have to pay someone to fix it.  So all and all, it all worked out for the best.  I now have my torque wrench back, and I only had to pay $10.00 and about 20 minutes of my time.






The ratchet with the entire assembly removed




The entire assembly replaced