A torque wrench is more than useful when it’s about maintaining the paramotor. Before taking off a flight, it’s essential to check if the bolts are tight and the propeller is in place. The torque wrench doesn’t let nuts and bolts shear in the paramotor. It makes sure that everything is right in its position as the manufacturer recommends.
When it was my time, I made a mistake- instead of checking it manually, I just guessed if the bolt is tight. Obviously, then I lost the reduction and the propeller right in the middle of the flight. Also, many pilots have lost their vital parts from propellor bolts while in the air.
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This blog is dedicated to a torque wrench and how you can effectively use it for your paramotor. Also, remember you should never guess and always check it by yourself. You will also find out my recommendation on torque wrenches, including several other options.
My recommendation is to go for a bike hand digital torque wrench, which you can easily find online.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY TORQUE WRENCH?
Most of the pilots tend to guess the measurements and torque when it’s about their bolts. Instead, there is a much important tool that can be used for the purpose.
You can check the extent of tightening or loosening in the bolts by using a torque wrench. One can easily pull a bolt or nut by its help. You can’t decide the amount of force you need if you use an Allen key or regular wrench. You can even end up damaging the bolts or tools, or an even worse situation; a shearing bolt! It’s a lot more challenging to remove or fix that.
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You can spot a list of torque settings in the maintenance manual, just like the table below. You can see the amount of force you must apply by looking at the numbers below unit Newton metre (Nm). You will need to put the exact pressure in corresponding bolts and tighten it according to the correct torque setting.
- Screws of 8mm- 25-27 Nm
- Exhaust studs- 25 Nm
- Screws of 5mm- 6-6.5 Nm
- Carburettor flange screws- 10 Nm
- Screws of 6mm- 9-10 Nm
- Screws of 8mm- 25-27 Nm
- Spark-plug- 25 Nm
- Cylinder studs- 20 Nm
- Carburettor plastic connector screws- 0.5-0.6 Nm
- Propeller screws wooden (6mms)- 6-7 Nm
- Cylinder nuts (head) 16-17 Nm
- Crankcase screws- 10 Nm
- Exhaust nuts- 32 Nm
- Engine support screws: 15 Nm
- Flywheel nuts 42-45 Nm
- Screws (4mm)- 2.5-3 Nm
- Screws (5mm)- 6-6.5 Nm
- Carbon propeller screws of 6mms- 10-12 Nm
- Exhaust studs- 25 Nm
- Pinion nuts- 42-45 Nm
Not all bolts requires the same amount of force. While some require greater force, some can be fixed in the minimum amount. Smaller bolts or nuts require lesser torque compared to the giant ones.
HOW TO CHOOSE A TORQUE WRENCH FOR PARAMOTOR MAINTAINANCE AND ASSEMBLY?
The most important thing you need while choosing the torque wrench is to go for the one that covers the required range. It’s challenging to find a torque wrench that can serve for both low and high torque. That’s why you must have two torque wrenches.
For instance, you only require 6 to 7 Nm force for propeller bolts. You need a torque wrench to cover the lower range. However, if you get a torque wrench that works for this value, you won’t measure anything above 20 Nm. There is no way you can stretch it and make it compatible with higher values like 45 Nm.
SPECIFICATIONS OF A PARAMOTOR TORQUE:
Must cover the lower values: a typical value suitable for most brands is 2-25 Nm.
Digital readout: If you need a lot more accurate and easy to use a torque wrench, you should not neglect this point. It should be easy for you to switch among torque units and to store torque settings. That’s the reason why digital readout is so essential.
Backlit display: If you are already a fan of digital readout, make sure you get a torque wrench that already has a backlit display. It will be easier for you if you and assembling the paramotor in low light or during the night time.
Torque units: all the paramotor manufacturers have different units for their torque settings in the manuals.
That’s why always go for a torque wrench with multiple options, as you won’t need to carry more. You can have the same torque wrench in every paramotor. Most of the options are available in digital torque wrenches; you need the one with Kg-cm, lb-in, lb-ft, Nm.
BEST TORQUE WRENCHES FOR A TYPICAL PARAMOTOR
Lower range torque wrench
While heading out in the field, you require a torque wrench that covers the lower range explicitly. This is important as you need a preflight bolt check and also to check the propeller bolts. Often beginners go with bicycle torque wrenches. Still, it is not so calibrated and accurate if you compare it with a good quality wrench.
Even though many torque wrenches are available online, I prefer digital ones as they offer precise and clear readout. The digital ones are obviously more expensive, and if you go any cheap, you will definitely lose the accuracy or quality. It would help if you didn’t compromise on the quality as it depends on your life.
It would help if you had a torque wrench that can stretch optimally according to your needs. Consider ¼ inch bike hand digital torque wrench that can stretch up to 25 Nm and lower until 1.25 Nm. Such wrenches will suit almost all the bolts present on the paramotor. One can easily transport it to the field as it is compact, and the digital readout accuracy is up to +/- 3%.
Still, if you want something different from a digital torque wrench, you can have a click-type wrench. You should check out the user reviews before getting that kind of wrench.
After getting the desired torque, The click-type torque wrench tends to slip away. Although it is cheaper, it can quickly lose accuracy. So make sure you read customer reviews before purchasing this one too.
OTHER OPTIONS YOU CAN GO FOR
Digital torque adapter: this is another cheaper option that can fit a regular ratchet’s ends. Most of the paramotor assembly requires a torque wrench like this. However, it tends to lengthen the range and make it troublesome to fit in the smaller spaces.
Pointer and beam wrench: make sure you don’t go for beam and pointer wrenches for the paramotor assembly. It’s just the last thing you need for the torque settings of your lower range.
These are most useful for automatic purposes.
Torque wrench (higher range)
As I said above, you require another torque wrench covering the bolts falling outside the range when it’s about smaller wrenches. Exhaust nuts, engine securing bolts, and bolts larger than 8 mm always need greater force.
It would help if you had more strength, and a ½” drive can obtain that. But do not forget accuracy is always the priority. You can use the second wrench much lesser if you are getting this type of wrench.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR PARAMOTOR TORQUE WRENCH?
It’s essential to keep your torque wrench function accurately and adequately over more extended periods. Here is how you can make sure your torque wrench will last longer-
- Do not keep the torque wrench outside the case for a longer time.
- Always remember to release the tension on a click-type torque wrench after you are done using it. If you forget to do this, the device can end up losing its accuracy.
- Make sure you don’t use it as a hammer or even drop it. Even a slight knock on the wrench can put it out of the calibration and lead to bolts’ unfit tightening.
- A torque wrench is not meant for loosening up the bolts but only for tightening.
- Always go for an Allen key, socket wrench, spanner to remove the bolt.
Calibrate your torque wrench occasionally or even at times you feel it’s giving you inaccurate performance. For paramotoring, the most crucial thing is correctly torqued bolt, and that’s why you should keep the lunch functioning well.
Now that you have a better understanding of which kind of torque wrench you should use, it’s about time you try one! Maintain the paramotor accordingly and use it every time before you take off. It must be added to your pre-flight checklists.