Bolt Torque

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  #1  
Old 07-28-14, 10:45 AM
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Bolt Torque

I was planning on replacing the lower control arms on my Acura MDX this past weekend, but couldn't get one of the balljoints separated so I ended up taking it to the dealer (because I also needed the transmission software updated and they have the tool to do so). Without going into detail, the mechanic was negligent in more than one instance. He didn't torque the lug nuts on one of the front wheels (lug nuts were only hand tight) and he over-torqued the lower control arm mounting bolts (three per side), to almost twice (maybe more) the manufacturer-specified torque level. The manufacturer says to torque two of the bolts to 69 ft-lbs and the third to 119 ft lbs. I set my torque wrench to 120 ft-lbs and the bolts did not budge, meaning they were torqued higher than 120! I didn't check the third bolt, but I'm sure it is over-torqued as well. On top of that, the manufacturer says to replace these bolts (I supplied the new ones), but the mechanic re-used the old ones. Question is, is this a safety concern? I'll be taking the vehicle back tomorrow to have the bolts replaced and torqued properly, but I'm wondering if something else could have been compromised (e.g. the threads on the chassis that accept the bolts).
 
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Old 07-28-14, 10:58 AM
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More worried about hand tightened lug nuts. Yes have then replace bolts you have supplied. I see no reason he did not use them in first place. Overtightened should not be a problem unless he almost broke them.
 
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Old 07-28-14, 11:22 AM
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I'd first try to find another dealership. Then I'd have them install new bolts at the proper torque specifications.

On top of that, the manufacturer says to replace these bolts (I supplied the new ones), but the mechanic re-used the old ones. Question is, is this a safety concern?
It very well could be a safety concern. Some "mechanics" might argue this point, but I'd follow the manufacturer's recommendation of replacing the bolts. Better safe than sorry right?
 
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Old 07-28-14, 12:11 PM
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I see no reason he did not use them in first place.
I don't either. I'm anticipating an "it doesn't matter" response from the mechanic. And I wouldn't be surprised if I get a "those are just recommendations" regarding the manufacturer-specified torque values, and an "I've been tightening bolts with an impact wrench for years and never had a problem".
 
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Old 07-28-14, 12:13 PM
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Acura is a pretty finicky company when it comes to how things are supposed to be done. I would contact them about this and see what they have to say - I doubt they will be happy to know a tech in one of their dealerships is working this way.
 
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Old 07-28-14, 12:18 PM
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Acura is a pretty finicky company when it comes to how things are supposed to be done. I would contact them about this and see what they have to say - I doubt they will be happy to know a tech in one of their dealerships is working this way.
I already contacted the service rep. that helped me initially via email and told him I'd be bringing the vehicle back tomorrow morning to have it fixed and re-aligned. I also said I expect a full refund for the mechanic's negligence, which endangered my family and I. His only response was that I'd need to talk to the service manager to inquire about a refund or credit.
 
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Old 07-28-14, 01:29 PM
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I think you're due a full or partial refund (or credit). The shops and dealership I worked for back in the '80s and '90s would have offered one or the other imo. But that was then and this is now... So, don't be too surprised if they re-do the work and call it a day.

Anyway, sorry to hear about the less than satisfactory service you received (from a dealership no less). That "mechanic" sure doesn't seem to take much pride in his workmanship (at least not on the job). Unfortunately, this seems to be more and more common in the service industry these days.
 
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Old 07-28-14, 02:13 PM
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That "mechanic" sure doesn't seem to take much pride in his workmanship (at least not on the job). Unfortunately, this seems to be more and more common in the service industry these days.
The very reason I work on my own cars whenever I can. Wish I could've gotten that balljoint separated, then I wouldn't be going through all of this.
 
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Old 07-28-14, 04:24 PM
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The very reason I work on my own cars whenever I can.
Ya, same here.

Not long ago I had to deal with a single lug nut that was installed (by a well known tire retailer) at more than double the recommended torque of 120 ft/lbs (I checked it with a beam style torque wrench). Had to use a 3/4 inch drive socket and breaker bar along with a heavy 3 foot long cheater bar (floor jack handle) to loosen it (by actually "jumping" on the handle).

Then there was the time back in 2012 that my wife took her brand new $25K+ vehicle into the dealer for it's first ever "free" oil change. Well, this crooked dealer simply changed the oil filter and then threw in a quart of oil to top it off (it came back at about 3/4s of a quart overfull). I had put a very small "mark" on the original filter just to see if they changed it (they did). However, the oil was as dark as it was before she took it in (the factory warranty required 0w -20 syn. oil is very lightly colored). This, and the fact that the oil drain plug still had its factory fresh and unmarred coat of black paint, proved that they did not change the oil (this oil runs at ~ $8 a qt).

Then there was the time my wife took her Plym mini van to a dealer only to have them steal the factory OEM high-end Infinity 6x9 inch rear speakers...
 
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Old 07-29-14, 07:19 AM
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Took it back this morning and had them replace the bolts and torque them properly. I was allowed to stand there and watch them as they did it. They re-checked the alignment and everything is within spec, although not perfect. There is a bit of cross camber on the front and the steering wheel is not perfectly straight. May take it somewhere else and have it fixed because something seems off.
 
  #11  
Old 07-29-14, 09:53 AM
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Now that you've verified the bolts were re-torqued to spec, try again to remove one with your torque wrench. You'll find that break-away torque is always much higher than TTT (torque to tighten) due to stiction. Use a dial or beam-type wrench--a clicker isn't any good for measuring torque.

The mechanic may be a boob and skipped the lug nuts, and not worth defending--but he actually may have correctly torqued the control arm bolts.
 
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Old 07-29-14, 10:50 AM
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The mechanic may be a boob and skipped the lug nuts, and not worth defending--but he actually may have correctly torqued the control arm bolts.
I should have been more clear. I did not attempt to remove the bolts using my torque wrench, I wanted to see if I could tighten them more by setting the torque wrench to a higher number (I started at 80 ft-lb and stopped at 120 ft-lb). My wrench clicked when set to 120 ft-lb and the bolts did not budge, meaning they were torqued higher than 120 ft-lb, nearly twice the manufacturer spec.
 
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