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Author: Subject: Breaker Bar
Russell

posted on 1/11/21 at 09:26 AM Reply With Quote
Breaker Bar

Can anyone recommend a good quality breaker bar, say 600mm long please? The no-name one I've had for years gave up on Saturday when I was forced to put all my weight on it to free off stuck wheel nuts. I suspect I paid just a few quid for that one at a car show.

Not sure of budget (but not Snap-On prices!). I want something good quality that will take physical abuse.

Thanks!

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nick205

posted on 1/11/21 at 09:50 AM Reply With Quote
I have a similar unbranded 1/2" breaker bar that's done me 20 odd years and plenty of abuse. Probably cost me less than £20 and has been stood on and had bits of pipe added for extra leverage. It's still straight enough and still works.

If it breaks I'll not spend much more than that on another and TBH not be looking for any particular brand.

The Halfords Professional stuff isn't overly expensive and comes with a Lifetime gaurantee where they'll replace it if it breaks in normal service. They've replaced a couple of spanners for me (19mm) that I was using other spanners on to gain extra leverage. TBH they didn't seem to pay much attention - just dished out a new one (I doubt they pay much cost price for them).

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James

posted on 1/11/21 at 10:23 AM Reply With Quote
As Nick says, the benefit of Halfords Advanced stuff is that you can get a replacement on a Sunday PM till 4!

However, I don't thing the warranty on breakers applies to the swivel head (they're considered disposable). But you can get re-build kits for them.

If you buy it, photocopy and laminate the receipt. I've heard (on here) of some stores being difficult about the returns with no receipt as there's fake stuff going around.


Cheers,
James





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Russell

posted on 1/11/21 at 11:14 AM Reply With Quote
Many thanks all.

The 24" from Halfords at £28 looks good, particularly if I can sign up for a trade card and get 20% off.

The swivel head on my previous one is still intact, it's the forked end of the bar itself which gave way when 12 stone of frustrated man jumped up and down on it :-(

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snapper

posted on 1/11/21 at 12:00 PM Reply With Quote
From experience there are two types of breaker knuckle one with the fork on the swivel and the other with the fork on the fixed bar, itís the later you want as the former tends to bend the thinner bar end.





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craig1410

posted on 1/11/21 at 12:44 PM Reply With Quote
Another vote for the Halfords Advanced/Professional range. I've got the 24" breaker bar and it has seen some action and came out unscathed. I have also had other tools replaced by Halfords under the lifetime warranty with no questions asked - not even needing a receipt.
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SJ

posted on 1/11/21 at 04:22 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Russell
Many thanks all.

The 24" from Halfords at £28 looks good, particularly if I can sign up for a trade card and get 20% off.

The swivel head on my previous one is still intact, it's the forked end of the bar itself which gave way when 12 stone of frustrated man jumped up and down on it :-(


I found getting a trade card pretty easy. Just showed C&G quals.

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motorcycle_mayhem

posted on 1/11/21 at 04:41 PM Reply With Quote
I have one of these, along with a 3/4" socket set. A 3/4" to 1/2" converter then comes out if I need to reduce the socket size.
I have a leafy Land Rover, a Transhit (some 21 years old now) and a race car with centre locks. The breaker gets some very serious (ab)use sometimes, as does the pneumatic hammer, before resorting to the universal spanner (angle grinder).



https://www.uktoolcentre.co.uk/products/draper-breaker-bar-34-sq-dr-600mm.html?sku=961571&gclid=CjwKCAjwoP6LBhBlEiwAvCcthBGo5tgL_pzO5MDJvn5zSpqDM0 Lhy9P6T4JGLCkefYu550LtNZ1w4BoCjBYQAvD_BwE

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indykid

posted on 1/11/21 at 06:02 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Russell
Many thanks all.

The 24" from Halfords at £28 looks good, particularly if I can sign up for a trade card and get 20% off.

The swivel head on my previous one is still intact, it's the forked end of the bar itself which gave way when 12 stone of frustrated man jumped up and down on it :-(

It sounds like you had a suspect quality breaker bar if you broke the bar itself rather than the knuckle....or the wheel stud.

~350Nm to free off a wheel nut sounds like a bit of a job though. Is it pass car or light commercial?

I have a sykes pickavant 1/2" breaker bar that came from an autojumble for general service but like motorcycle_mayhem, also have a 3/4" breaker bar and a bit of scaffolding tube for jobs like yours.





me? ambivalent? well, yes and no

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britishtrident

posted on 1/11/21 at 09:44 PM Reply With Quote
Bergen or US-Pro both sizes up in 1/2" up to 1000mm/39" bar --- same tool different brand names I never had any issue with mine no matter how tight the nuts. You can also get extra long (600mm) ratchets both normal and flex head.
Only Use mine less a these days I usually my DeWalt DCF899 or my torque multiplier.





[I] ď What use our work, Bennet, if we cannot care for those we love? .Ē
― From BBC TV/Amazon's Ripper Street.
[/I]

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craig1410

posted on 1/11/21 at 10:43 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by britishtrident
Bergen or US-Pro both sizes up in 1/2" up to 1000mm/39" bar --- same tool different brand names I never had any issue with mine no matter how tight the nuts. You can also get extra long (600mm) ratchets both normal and flex head.
Only Use mine less a these days I usually my DeWalt DCF899 or my torque multiplier.


Iíve got the DCF899 too and itís been great! Comes in handy around this time of year when I have two BMWs to swap over to winter wheels/tyres. Itís also great for loosening suspension bolts much more safely than yanking on a long lever when the car is on jacks.

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Russell

posted on 2/11/21 at 09:39 AM Reply With Quote
Thanks for the replies everyone - very useful feedback.

The bolts were on the front of a Mk5 VW Golf. I normally do all the maintenance on it but with travel restrictions in place a year ago my son was forced to pay a garage somewhere in west London to get it through an MOT. They must have used some crazy tool to tighten the wheel nuts. It took the breaker bar and an offcut of scaffold pole and my weight to free them off. I don't think the breaker bar was defective, in fairness I was seriously overloading it. In contrast, the rear wheel nuts were all fine.

I am a one man band limited company involved in mechanical and electrical engineering so I expect the Halfords trade card application to be straightforward. There's a Euro Car Parts depot a mile from my house so I rarely bother going the extra 5 miles to Halfords but I might do that if the prices are better. I'm going to give the Halfords bar a go, it's about what I was expecting to pay.

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nick205

posted on 2/11/21 at 11:40 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Russell
Thanks for the replies everyone - very useful feedback.

The bolts were on the front of a Mk5 VW Golf. I normally do all the maintenance on it but with travel restrictions in place a year ago my son was forced to pay a garage somewhere in west London to get it through an MOT. They must have used some crazy tool to tighten the wheel nuts. It took the breaker bar and an offcut of scaffold pole and my weight to free them off. I don't think the breaker bar was defective, in fairness I was seriously overloading it. In contrast, the rear wheel nuts were all fine.

I am a one man band limited company involved in mechanical and electrical engineering so I expect the Halfords trade card application to be straightforward. There's a Euro Car Parts depot a mile from my house so I rarely bother going the extra 5 miles to Halfords but I might do that if the prices are better. I'm going to give the Halfords bar a go, it's about what I was expecting to pay.



Noting your comment on the tighness of the wheel nuts, after I've had my tyres replaced and the tyre fitters tighten the wheel nuts with torque wrenches the nuts seem noticeably tighter and take some "persuading" to loosen.

In fairness to the tyre fitters they're probably following the rules and tightening to manufacturers ratings.

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indykid

posted on 2/11/21 at 01:27 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nick205
Noting your comment on the tighness of the wheel nuts, after I've had my tyres replaced and the tyre fitters tighten the wheel nuts with torque wrenches the nuts seem noticeably tighter and take some "persuading" to loosen.

In fairness to the tyre fitters they're probably following the rules and tightening to manufacturers ratings.

Did you watch them set the wrench before they used a torque wrench on them?

An air impact wrench set on FT is the more usual culprit. I'm sure there are some diligent tyre fitters out there, but most aren't in the profession because of their keen attention to detail.





me? ambivalent? well, yes and no

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Schrodinger

posted on 2/11/21 at 02:42 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by indykid
quote:
Originally posted by nick205
Noting your comment on the tighness of the wheel nuts, after I've had my tyres replaced and the tyre fitters tighten the wheel nuts with torque wrenches the nuts seem noticeably tighter and take some "persuading" to loosen.

In fairness to the tyre fitters they're probably following the rules and tightening to manufacturers ratings.

Did you watch them set the wrench before they used a torque wrench on them?

An air impact wrench set on FT is the more usual culprit. I'm sure there are some diligent tyre fitters out there, but most aren't in the profession because of their keen attention to detail.


I had a set of tyres fitted a couple of years ago and when I went to remove the tyres I found they had broken the "key" socket for the locking nuts, the guy who did this was using an air wrench.





Keith

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Russell

posted on 2/11/21 at 04:31 PM Reply With Quote
What I can tell you is that they were off the effing scale ridiculously tight and I was seriously worried about shearing a stud taking them off. Not impressed.

And I was even less impressed when I did get the nearside wheel off and found the last ham-fisted person who was there had butchered the end of the brake pad wear indicator harness and crudely joined the wires together. It does niggle me, but after 16 years of ownership we're going to be saying goodbye to the Golf in 2022 so it's not worth bothering to sort this out.

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Sanzomat

posted on 2/11/21 at 07:29 PM Reply With Quote
So far the bar from the first socket set I ever bought back in 1980 (Kamasa) is still going strong. Its only 320mm but has been extended with bits of scaffold tube and I've broken sockets with it and the bar is still going strong. Hardest was the hub nuts on MGF hubs - the 32mm nuts needed a 2.5m tube over the handle to crack them off!
Since I bought a cordless 1/2" drive impact wrench I've given the old bar a lot less abuse as the 18v rattle gun seems amazingly capable at undoing some really stubborn fixings. To be honest I wasn't expecting it to work this well. It managed to undo the crank pulley nut on a K series - last time I did one of those it was a 6ft bar.

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Dingz

posted on 2/11/21 at 08:42 PM Reply With Quote
A long time ago after watching a tyre fitter doing up the wheel nuts with a rattle gun I passed him the wheel nut spanner that came with the car and asked him to undo the nuts. After complaining they had to do them up to that torque, whatever it was? he slackened them off a bit.





Phoned the local ramblers club today, but the bloke who answered just
went on and on.

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britishtrident

posted on 2/11/21 at 10:30 PM Reply With Quote
In the back of my everyday driver I carry a breaker bar to be 100% sure I can get the nuts off and a 4 way cross "spider" wheel brace for putting nuts back on.
On a lot of cars with M14 wheels bolts such Honda and some BMW the wheel nuts need to be pretty tight.





[I] ď What use our work, Bennet, if we cannot care for those we love? .Ē
― From BBC TV/Amazon's Ripper Street.
[/I]

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Mr Whippy

posted on 3/11/21 at 08:39 PM Reply With Quote
I once had a phone call from my sister who was coming back from work complaining of a knocking noise coming from her Golf. I told her to take it round and I'd have a look at it, only to find every single wheel nut loose and the wheels literally rocking all over the place. Turned out the local garage had serviced her brakes but for some reason had forgot to actually tighten up the wheels after. As you'd expect she was very unhappy and then blamed me for recommending the garage too! She'd done 40 miles on the dual carriageway like this

So kinda like the opposite of your problem...

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nick205

posted on 4/11/21 at 09:46 AM Reply With Quote
Interesting - various levels of feedback on tyre fitter eperience (about what you'd expect I suppose).

In the case I reported above, yes I did ee the fitter adjust the manual torque wrench prior to tightening the nuts on my car (all 4 wheels on a FWD car). I'm sure some places will use manual torque wrenches and others rattle guns. Rattle guns must save a few minutes per vehicle so up the profit rate for the company. Kitting the place out with air compressors and air tools must have a higher cost though.

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Sanzomat

posted on 4/11/21 at 11:32 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nick205
Interesting - various levels of feedback on tyre fitter eperience (about what you'd expect I suppose).

In the case I reported above, yes I did ee the fitter adjust the manual torque wrench prior to tightening the nuts on my car (all 4 wheels on a FWD car). I'm sure some places will use manual torque wrenches and others rattle guns. Rattle guns must save a few minutes per vehicle so up the profit rate for the company. Kitting the place out with air compressors and air tools must have a higher cost though.


Cordless electric rattle guns seem to have replaced air ones in many of the tyre fitting places - no hose to drag around. I've certainly found a lot of uses for my 18v one since I got it. No torque setting but it spins up without rattling until it meets resistance and you get a feel for how much torque has gone in by how many "ugga duggas" you've used. If you stop just a couple of rattles into the hammer tightening phase it seems you are only around 20Nm and you can then finish it up with the torque wrench for accuracy, a 2 second blast of rattles seems to give about 50Nm or just let it continue rattling up to FT. I guess someone who uses it all day would get the hang of how many ugga duggas relates to what torque for any given gun but I suppose there are quite a few variables in play.

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Russell

posted on 8/11/21 at 04:45 PM Reply With Quote
I bought the Halfords 1/2" x 600mm one. It looks and feels like a nice substantial piece of kit - way nicer than the one I broke.

I know a few on here have already got one, but I found applying for the trade card was a breeze. They didn't even look closely at the paperwork or my business bank card. I don't shop at Halfords as a rule but with 20% off some stuff I'm a lot more tempted...

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pigeondave

posted on 9/11/21 at 01:04 PM Reply With Quote
I believe that the caterham club also get the halfords discount as part of club membership.

Glad to hear you have a solid feeling tool in your hand.

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posted on 11/11/21 at 12:54 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by indykid
quote:
Originally posted by nick205
Noting your comment on the tighness of the wheel nuts, after I've had my tyres replaced and the tyre fitters tighten the wheel nuts with torque wrenches the nuts seem noticeably tighter and take some "persuading" to loosen.

In fairness to the tyre fitters they're probably following the rules and tightening to manufacturers ratings.

Did you watch them set the wrench before they used a torque wrench on them?

An air impact wrench set on FT is the more usual culprit. I'm sure there are some diligent tyre fitters out there, but most aren't in the profession because of their keen attention to detail.



That why I buy the tyre I want online not what they have there.
Get them delivered to my work free of charge a few days later later. Then jack my car up to take the wheel off myself and take just the alloy/tyres to the tyre to fitters to fit the new tyres and balance them then back home to fit myself.
I just dont trust fast turn around tyre fitters they just damage cars.


Good to see you got the breaker bar you were after

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