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10/30/2020 2:42:12 PM
Posted: 12/16/2003 5:09:42 PM EST
All,
When you change barrels or install accesories that require removing the barrel nuts do you use torque wrenches to check torque or just "guestimate"?

If you use torque wrenches, which model and where to get one?  I mean where to get one that fits the AR barrel nut wrenches?

Thanks!
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 5:14:15 PM EST
I have heard it both ways, you need a torque wrench or you don't. Regardless of what the torque is, the gas tube has to line up. I did not use one on mine and I have had zero problems.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 5:30:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 5:33:00 PM EST by P806]
Here's the skinny on the torque wrench method:  I torque to 35 lbs take the torque wrench off of my AR wrench (DPMS model) and put on my 2 1/2 ft Craftsman pull handle and torque to the next opening so the gas tube will line up, usually from 80 to 90 lbs.  I have a small piece of gas tube, probably 6" that I check the clearance with, simple.  A big friggen vise and a decent receiver block is important here.  A lot of your top dollar AR smif's don't even use a torque wrench, they know by experience how to torque.  Don't let barreling an AR get your BP up, it's easy..really.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 5:31:20 PM EST
Torque wrench???  We don't need no steenkin' torque wrench!
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 5:43:04 PM EST
Many of the barrel nut wrenches have a 1/2 inch square hole for a half inch drive torque wrench.  All the GI wrenches have this also.

The "click type" torque wrenches are easy to use, but are inaccurate, and go out of calibration by jyst rattling around in a tool box.

The "beam type" torque wrench will remain calibrated unless damaged/bent. These are more accurate than the other type.

If you are not used to pulling fasteners to torque, you might benifit by using a torque wrench.   The advice of "snug the nut down tight and pull to align the next notch" seems to work well.

I have two or three torque wrenches and have probably used them on my personal stuff less than a dozen times in more than 20 years.


Link Posted: 12/16/2003 6:07:28 PM EST
Any more advice on torque wrenches?  I need to buy one here soon for auto maintenance, so advice on brands, types, etc would be very helpful.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 6:16:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By the_reject:
Any more advice on torque wrenches?  I need to buy one here soon for auto maintenance, so advice on brands, types, etc would be very helpful.




Thanks much all!

I second that.  Any preferred brands?  I'll avoid the "click" types, though.

Link Posted: 12/17/2003 2:20:47 AM EST
Rossi, when I recently installed my Daniel's Defense FF tube I had to take the barrel off and re-install it.  I did use a friend's torque wrench, but after doing it that way I'm not sure a torque wrench is required.  By using the torque wrench set at 35 lbs, the nut got tight.  Then I removed the torque wrench and just used the barrel wrench to tighten until the next hole lined up.  I think I would have achieved the same results by just getting the nut hand-tight and then tightening to the next hole.  I guess I'm still kind of on the fence about using a torque wrench.  So many guys say you don't need one.  

My next barrel install I think I'll try without the torque wrench and see how it goes.  If you don't have a torque wrench and don't really have a need for one other than a couple times over the next couple of years, you might want to consider borrowing one.  Those things can be REAL expensive.

Oh yea, don't forget to use anti-seize on the threads.  You might one day want to remove that barrel again.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 4:07:04 AM EST
frankly for purchasing a torque wrench, I would spend the money on a Snap-On or MAC.  I have had too much trouble with regular Craftsman hand tools, and frankly I wouldn't trust an offshoot brand like Husky or Kobalt.  If you have torqe ranges in mind, I can check with both of my dealers after the first and get you prices on different models of torque wrenches.  If you buy a click type torque wrench and just throw it in your tool box, frankly that's your own fault.  Torque wrenches should come in their own box, and kept in that box at all times when not in use.  Also a torque wrench should be kept in it's own place either in a little used drawer or shelf.  Some of the pros of click type torque wrenches are the ease of use, and most have a ratcheting action.  Generally you also have a larger torque range on click type.  If you drop it though you can knock it out of calibration.  Calibrations should be done once a year, and should cost less than 70 dollars.  Breaking Bar and Dial type torque wrenches are more accurate, but no ratcheting action, and limited torque ranges.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 5:58:47 AM EST
I think I would be best served by two wrenches - I need torque values as low as 15Nm and as high as 130Nm.  That's roughly 10 to 100lb-ft.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 2:57:11 PM EST

I think it's important to use a torque wrench the first few times you install a barrel to get the feel for the proper torque. After that, depending on how many you do, or how often, you can probably dispense with it. I haven't used a torque wrench on a barrel install in a long time, but I did start out using one until I knew what I was doing. Honestly though, the alignment of the gas tube is more of a governing factor than torque.It's also important to have a good barrel wrench, not that three prong thing. See the Brownell's catalog for good tools.

I don't use anti-seize either, just a proper grease, but if I had anti-seize on hand that wasn't the hardest stuff in the world to clean up, I would use it.

Link Posted: 12/17/2003 3:22:19 PM EST
Guys, thanks much!

Well... this is the first time I'll "mess up" with my AR-10.  Armalite specifies 50ft.lb and then aligning the gas tube hole.  I guess I'll get one.

What anti-seize do you guys recommend?  Loctite does some good stuff.  Any other brand?

Delta, not sure if I can wait until next year.  The float tube is arriving and my hands already itching...  :-))   But I'll look for Snap-on or MAC.

Cheers!

Link Posted: 12/18/2003 2:20:49 AM EST
Loctite makes anti-seize?

Go to an automotive store and ask for some high-temp anti-seize.

imcoltsguy, I think you hit it on the head with the first line of your post.



I think it's important to use a torque wrench the first few times you install a barrel to get the feel for the proper torque.



Someone else on another thread said something like "it's hard to explain to someone what tight enough feels like."  Or something like that.

(Why am I thinking about that American Pie movie right now?  )
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 1:57:34 PM EST
I never thought I'd be writing this....

I agree with DeltaAir 100%.  
(Wow that hurt) Buy the right tools, take proper care of them, and they last a long time.


IMO The purpose of the torque n loosen 3 times procedure is to work the parts together, -notQuite- like thread cutting.  The upper receiver is only aluminum, and most barrel nuts are steel.   Better surface contact means less chance of loosening due to high heat (Yes mag dumpers this means You).  While the gas tube will prevent a major loosening, don't ya want that Safe Queen to be Battle Ready?
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 4:41:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By zzxx99:
I never thought I'd be writing this....

I agree with DeltaAir 100%.  
(Wow that hurt) Buy the right tools, take proper care of them, and they last a long time.



IMO The purpose of the torque n loosen 3 times procedure is to work the parts together, -notQuite- like thread cutting.  The upper receiver is only aluminum, and most barrel nuts are steel.   Better surface contact means less chance of loosening due to high heat (Yes mag dumpers this means You).  While the gas tube will prevent a major loosening, don't ya want that Safe Queen to be Battle Ready?




Your gonna start wearing your trousers loose in the back now, aren't you?
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 5:39:29 PM EST
Nah, but I expect he'll show up at the next shoot with a self-accurized Dragunov...
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 6:06:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/18/2003 6:09:44 PM EST by MickeyMouse]
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 11:29:15 AM EST
Did not see Snap-On anywhere, but a search on the web only showed their click types.

Found "Precision Tools" and "Stanley" at the local car parts stores (Pep Boys, etc.).  All click type.

Average price between $40 and $70.  Anybody has any of those?

Cheers!
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 11:59:25 AM EST
Rossi,
Snap-On, Mac, Matco, etc. can only be purchased from their dealers, aka mobile tool trucks. There is NOTHING wrong with buying Craftsman from Sears. They come with a lifetime warranty and they make excellent tools. Go to Sears, get what you want, get the job done, and drink a beer or shoot out a mouse's eye with your pellet gun(whatever you do to relax, I have seen the pictures!).

I know tons of professional mechanics that use Craftsman every day.
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 12:49:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By chainshaw:
There is NOTHING wrong with buying Craftsman from Sears. They come with a lifetime warranty and they make excellent tools.


90 days on torque wrenches.
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 6:50:48 AM EST
Howdy!
Thanks much!
As I could not find the MAC or Snap-On I'll get the craftsman.  If it does not work well I simply return it.  However, it should not be a big issue because I'll seldom use it.  Unless I decide to exchange barrels all the time... :-))
Cheers!
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 7:31:53 AM EST
Hey Rossi, can I borrow your torque wrenches next September 14th?  
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 8:40:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By BookHound:
Hey Rossi, can I borrow your torque wrenches next September 14th?  



No problems.  I just feel that we will have a "production line" on that day...  
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 9:24:12 AM EST
Yep.  I've already taken off the 14th and 15th for vacation.  I'm buying the parts I'll need now and am stashing them at a friend's house.  I will indeed be a busy boy the day the ban dies.  
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 1:17:35 PM EST

I think I'll build the lowers first. Then, with a couple of preban uppers wisely purchased beforehand, push two pins and---TA DAAAH--- instant preban. Just don't push those pins earlier than the legal date, doncha know....

Link Posted: 12/22/2003 3:53:40 PM EST
Armalite has a program where we can register and select what we want.  Then they ship all the parts ready for people just put together whenever they want.  What makes it nice is that everything is ready to assemble.  No need for gunsmithing, etc.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 3:10:03 AM EST
It seems I have a problem.   The nut does not come out.  It is really stuck on the threads.  If I appliy too much force the wrench inserts flatten the nut's "teeths".
I already applied "Liquid wrench" and WD-40 but that thing still does not move.   Even the ring that holds the standard handguards is dented.

I'm thinking about using my Dremmel to cut that nut.  However, before that, if anybody has any ideas I'll be more than glad to check.

Thanks!

Link Posted: 12/23/2003 3:28:48 AM EST
You need to use a bit of the ol' redneck ingenuity, comprised of brute force and ignorance.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 3:49:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By the_reject:
You need to use a bit of the ol' redneck ingenuity, comprised of brute force and ignorance.



Yeap... tried that also... I used the hammer on the wrench.  But that sucker did not move a bit.
Also tried the hot air gun to heat the nut without effect.

Maybe C4?

Link Posted: 12/23/2003 4:42:35 AM EST
This is on your AR-10, right?  Dumb question, but you are turning the nut in the correct direction, right?

By liquid wrench, do you mean Kroil?  Also, how long did the liquid wrench sit?

I will caution you about cutting the nut off.  You really don't want to hit the receiver threads with the Dremel.  Be very careful if you go this route.

How are you bracing the upper receiver?  I assume you are using an upper receiver vice block and a vice.  This correct?
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 5:30:57 AM EST
Q. This is on your AR-10, right? Dumb question, but you are turning the nut in the correct direction, right?

A. Counterclockwise.


Q. By liquid wrench, do you mean Kroil? Also, how long did the liquid wrench sit?

A. Brand is Gunk (got at Home Depot).  First 15 minutes as recommended in the instructions.  Then, after applying more, a couple hours.


Q. I will caution you about cutting the nut off. You really don't want to hit the receiver threads with the Dremel. Be very careful if you go this route.

A. Yeap.  That's why It's s my last resource.


Q. How are you bracing the upper receiver? I assume you are using an upper receiver vice block and a vice. This correct?

A. It's braced between two wooden blocks in my vice.  

See, the receiver is not moving.  The wrench is litterally flatening the nut teeth when I apply the "southern extra force".  If I continue on this path it will strip all the teeth on the barrel nut...

Link Posted: 12/23/2003 5:49:33 AM EST
I would call Armalite.  Please let us know what they say.  Sounds like you're for sure doing everything correctly.

Oh, here's another thought.  You might try calling Tommy at Georgia Precision to see if he has any ideas.  He does a lot of custom AR-10 work.  Same with Lew Tippie.  Both Lew and Tommy have sections in the industry (I think) part of this board.

I'd for sure call Armalite first though.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 2:05:39 PM EST

If this is new Armalite stuff, I'd for sure send it back to them. Sounds like it was seriously overtorqued, or was assembled dry.

Securing an upper receiver in a vice between two blocks of wood bothers me....

Link Posted: 12/23/2003 2:44:03 PM EST
I've got some Kroil, if you want to try some.  I agree with imcoltsguy regarding the wood.  Maybe it's okay, but I think I'd buy an upper receiver vice block.  I assume my Bushmaster AR15 vice block won't fit an AR-10.  Anyone know this for sure?

imcoltsguy's comment about your upper being assembled dry or overtorqued is exactly what I was thinking.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 2:47:49 PM EST
Rossi,

What kind of wrench are you using?
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 2:54:33 PM EST
I think he told me it was a Craftsman he got at a yard-sale.  

Nice to finally have you in a Georgia thread, Tweak.  
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 7:01:47 PM EST
I meant what kind of armorers wrench. The USGI plug style wrenches are notorious for stripping teeth. The unitized ratchet toothed ones most companies offer is a better choice for stuck barrel nuts as is a good set of receiver blocks. A 4' cheater doesn't hurt either. Differential heating can be used to good effect in these cases too. I would hope he is not using that 'garage sale wrench' to loosen the nut if it is a torque wrench. That's a nono.

Make sure the lube you're using is rated for Al, a lot of the moly lubes I find in the auto parts stores contain graphite. Graphite is contraindicated with Al.

BookHound,

The ex wife, and the trailer park that is her family, is from Whitesville (go to FT Benning, look toward the Union lines) does that count?
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:25:45 AM EST
No, Tweak, I know Rossi was looking for a proper AR-10 wrench for this project.  I was just joking about Craftsman.  (We were talking about Craftsman torque wrenches earlier in the thread.)  

Ex-wife trailer park or not, you're always welcome here.  Next time you're in town I'll get the first round of beers.  

On a serious note, what do you mean by "Differential heating?"  If you recall my stuck front sight base a few weeks ago, we applied heat from a blow torch to try to loosen things up.  Are you suggesting Rossi try the same with the barrel nut?
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 4:31:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By Rossi:

Originally Posted By the_reject:
You need to use a bit of the ol' redneck ingenuity, comprised of brute force and ignorance.



Yeap... tried that also... I used the hammer on the wrench.  But that sucker did not move a bit.
Also tried the hot air gun to heat the nut without effect.

Maybe C4?




You gotta talk to it son.

ARH
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 5:35:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By Tweak:
Rossi,

What kind of wrench are you using?




I'm using a wrench I got from Armalite.  It's not the "heavy duty" model because they run out of it.  I'm using the normal one.  

Sincerely, I think it's a crap.  It does not even has a handle.  I had to get a break bar to fit its 1/2in square hole.  This wrench is not sturdy enough and "skips" out of the teeth because of flexing.   This weekend there is a gun show at the Fairgrounds.  Somebody said the AR-15 wrench also fits the AR-10s.  I'll check it there.

Regarding the blocks.  My upper is a flat top and I'm holding it between the rail and the lower body, not between sides, which might cause some damage.

Anyways... I cut the aluminum ring that holds the standard handguard and removed the spring.  That ring was almost destroyed becasue of the wrench denting it.  Now I have a full view of the nut.  

It seems to be made of two parts, not an integral part.   I applied heat using my heat gun again and that crap did not move.  When I apply heat I can see some greasy stuff coming out of it from the other side of the nut, though.

Just to give ou guys an idea.  I weight around 230lbs.  I have already applied almost my full weight on that stuff and it does not move at all.

Another thing I can try is attaching them to my mini lathe and slowly machining the nut.  It would be safer than using the Dremmel (maybe).

Anybody can measure the thickness of the barrel nut?  That will give an idea of how much material to remove.

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 7:25:12 AM EST
In the Armalite catalog they list different part numbers for their AR-15 and AR-10 wrenches.  I don't think the AR-15 wrench will fit.  If you just want to see, you can borrow my Bushmaster heavy-duty wrench.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 7:27:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By BookHound:
In the Armalite catalog they list different part numbers for their AR-15 and AR-10 wrenches.  I don't think the AR-15 wrench will fit.  If you just want to see, you can borrow my Bushmaster heavy-duty wrench.



That would be great!  Thanks!  I'm e-mailing you.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 7:31:31 AM EST
Sounds like somebody needs a cheater bar...
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:13:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 8:15:46 AM EST by Rossi]

Originally Posted By the_reject:
Sounds like somebody needs a cheater bar...



How long should it be?  I mean, the break bar I'm using is around 2ft long.  If we multiply something close to my weight to this length we have something around 400lbft.  And that thing does not move a bit.  The wrench simply starts "jumping teeth" and riping them off.

I did not attach that stuff to my lathe yet because I do not want to scratch the barrel.  I do not have the proper holders.


Edited to add one thought.  

I imagine that if the AR-15 wrench has tighter nuts I can grind the barrel nut to fit it.  It needs to be replaced if I go back to the original handguards anyway...

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:29:21 AM EST
Rossi, I replied to your mail.  Just call me.  
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:44:39 PM EST
OK... it's done.  Finally removed that freaking nut.  Only made one small scratch on the threads  with the Dremel cutter.  Too small to be a problem.  Barrel is untouched.

The threads are perfect.  No signs of damage  from the previous assembly at all.  Don't know why that thing was locked like that.

Now I'm cleaning everything with WD-40 and a toothbrush and when installing the new nut I'll make sure there's plenty anti-seize.  

To make sure I'm not using some crap there.  The one I got is made by VersaChem, type 13, "sensor safe".  It's rated for up to 2000F and to be used on engine blocks, turbo chargers, cylinder heads and other places with lots of aluminum.

Any comments on that or recommendations of another brand.

Cheers!
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:59:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By BookHound:
I was just joking about Craftsman.



I know, I've been keeping up.


 Next time you're in town I'll get the first round of beers.


Cool  


On a serious note, what do you mean by "Differential heating?"


Different metals heat at different rates, this effect can be use to advantage if done properly. You can use either heat or cold. I prefer cold, if it works, bc it doesn't effect the finish of the parts. It doesn't work well if so much temperature is added as to bring the temp of both parts up equally. I don't know how hot those heat guns get but I use a torch on barrel nuts.


Are you suggesting Rossi try the same with the barrel nut?


Looks like he did without success.

This thread is a good "teaching point" in why the GI "plug style" wrenches are only good for average situations. When things get "sticky" the rachet toothed wrenches win every time.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 7:11:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By BookHound:
Rossi, I replied to your mail.  Just call me.  

Clear out your IMs, Mr. Popular.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 4:47:52 AM EST

This thread is a good "teaching point" in why the GI "plug style" wrenches are only good for average situations. When things get "sticky" the rachet toothed wrenches win every time.


I agree.  I was a bit concerned about its design when I opened the package...  

I only used it because it was the only thing left in Armalite's stock.  However, the heavy duty's teeth will not work on the new nut because it has holes instead of teeth.

If in the future I get an upper with the standard handguards I'll make sure I'm also getting a super heavy duty wrench.


Thanks everyone for your help!

Link Posted: 12/25/2003 5:14:42 AM EST
Most of the "heavy duty" wrenches have plugs on the back side that are much longer than those used on the GI wrenches. I finally snapped one off a few years ago and fixed it by drilling out the broken pin and LocTiting (green) in a piece of drill rod.
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