Tag Archives: Torque

The Vortex Torque Wrench Optics Mounting Kit is Wicked!!

I’m to the point with rifles that when I want to maintain accuracy, I know I need an accurate torquing driver.  For years I have used the Wheeler Firearms Accurizing Torque (FAT) Wrench and it was good enough.  For about $40 I got the base unit that included a few bits and a case.  The FAT wrench had a range from 10-65 in/lbs and good enough accuracy (+/- 2 in/lbs up to 40 pounds and +/- 5% over 40 in/lbs).  My only beef with it was that the mechanical scale that shows you the torque settings was in 5 pound increments.  To get close to 18 in/lbs, for example, required going close to the middle between 15 and 20 in/lbs and calling it even.

I used the FAT wrench pretty much exclusively from October 2014 to May 2018.  It was good enough at the time – way better than going for ballpark feel “farmer tight” settings but in the back of my head though, I wanted better.

By the way, in case you are wondering why a person would get one of these torque wrenches or drivers, it’s because many torque wrenches aren’t calibrated in inch/pounds (they are often foot pounds in the US) and they may not go down as low as 10 inch/pounds (in/lbs).

My interests span many types of firearms from AKs to precision rifles.  With the latter, I own a number of sub-MOA rifles and they demand precision tools if you want repeatability and reliability.  These rifles also have very good Vortex scopes and rings as well.  If you want consistency and the rings to not shoot loose, the value of a torque wrench becomes apparent fast.

I’m a Vortex fan – there’s no two ways about.  Their optics are superb and they have an absolute “we will stand behind it no matter what with no nonsense” warranty.  Once in a while I will see guys troll the brand on Facebook but I honestly question whether they have ever actually even owned one.

Folks, I’ve owned probably 7-8 superb Vortex scopes and a ton of red dots.  I really don’t know how many red dots of various types – probably approaching a dozen.  The glass is good, the scopes are durable and do you know how many times I have used the warranty? — None.  In talking with guys that have, Vortex took care of them.

So, let me get to the point.  Vortex came out with a torque driver called the “Vortex Optics Torque Wrench Mounting Kit” that goes from 10-50 in pounds in calibrated 1 in/lbs increments that you set like a micrometer.

When it arrived, the first thing I noticed was the heft.  This is a solidly built metal tool that screams quality.  It comes with a few bits.  You pull the copper colored locking ring down and turn the handle to get the torque you want.  I did find that you have to push the bits in very firmly.  There is a detent ball that holds the driver bits in and it is surprisingly stout.

A nice touch is that the end of the handle has a 1/4″ socket if you want to use a ratchet wrench for higher torque applications.  For example, Vortex precision rings can go up to 50 in/lbs.  I can do that by hand most of the time but a ratchet makes it much easier.

On the topic of bits, it is a standard 1/4″ drive so you can get a large collection of bits and pair it up with this unit.  For example, I had a Home Depot Husky brand driver with a ton of bits that I picked up on sale at some point and just had sitting on the shelf.  I put it with the Vortex and its few included driver bits.  Additionally, when I am working on a firearm, I typically have my Weaver deluxe toolkit open as well.  It contains a great selection of bits that you tend to find on firearms.

There is one thing I changed though – the Vortex unit comes in a round plastic case that is nice and strong but I don’t have the patience to try and put it all back together for storage.  So, I hopped down to Ace hardware and bought a case to hold the Vortex torque driver, the Husky driver and all the bits plus I have room for more storage.  I also used some of my spare pluckable foam left over from cases to pad the bottom of the case.

In case you are wondering, here are photos of my FAT and Vortex torque drivers side by side:

In this next photo, you can see what I mean about precisely setting the torque on the wrenches.  My Vortex Precision Scope Rings specify a torque of 18 in/lbs.  With the Vortex wrench, you can precisely set it for 18 pounds.  With the FAT, it’s somewhere around 17-19 pounds plus we already know the wrench’s accuracy is limited to +/- 2 in/lbs as well.

On the topic of accuracy, the Vortex driver comes with a certificate of calibration to testing standard DIN-ISO-6789 by a gentleman named Tom on Feb 27, 2018.  You can see my specific wrench nails the accuracy – no more guesswork and no more ballpark torque setting.

In summary, I am very happy with my Vortex wrench and would recommend it to anyone doing precision firearms work, notably optics.  You can pick one up at a very reasonable price from Amazon and you ought to do it.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 


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Vortex Optics Torque Wrench Mounting Kit (Misc.)

Riflescope mounting accessory set 10-50 lb adjustable torque – 1 in/lb increments Versatile set – Variety of bits included Convenient, twist lock storage packaging

Features:

  • This tool is easy to operate, simple to set, and offers fast, accurate tension wherever and whenever you need it.
  • The easy to read inch-pound increments ensure you tighten in 1in/lb increments to the specified torque, and not a bit more, ranging from 10 in/lbs to 50 in/lbs.
  • Bits included in kit: 3/16″ Hex bit – fits Vortex Bobro mounts, 2.5mm Hex bit – Fits Razor Red Dot, 3mm HEx bit – Fits Hunter rings, CM-202 and CM-203, T15 Torx bit – Fits Viper rings and Tactical rings
  • Bits included in kit: T25 Torx bit – Fits PMR rings, 1/2″ Socket – Fits Tactical rings, 10mm Wide Screwdriver bit – Fits Hunter and Viper clamp bolt, 1/4″ Socket adaptor

List Price: $69.00 USD
New From: $69.00 USD In Stock

How to read engine codes with your smart phone – welcome to the new age

Guys, I remember tuning a car by ear with a timing light, vacuum gauge, feeling things out literally with my hands and so forth.  Boy has the world changed.  As the vehicles got smarter and smarter, someone decided to add On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) in the early 1980s first with the idiot “check engine” light and then it got more and more involved.  Modern cars and trucks in the US have an OBD II jack where you can plug in, read and clear fault codes, access real-time information and so forth.

Back in 2013 I saved my pennies and finally bought my own Autel Autolink Scanner for $102.  Wow – I thought was so cool.  I used it whenever fault codes popped up to figure out what it was but I had to lug the thing around and it wasn’t something you could readily update, etc.

A friend of mine came over about a year back to check on one of our cars.  He pulled a little black rectangle out of his jacket, plugged it into the car and then started looking at his phone.  I asked him what he was doing and he showed me that he was accessing the codes.  I was floored.

In June 2016, I decided to go the phone route to have a current scanner and a better interface.  After digging, I bought a BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII adapter for Android phones (about $22)  and I got the Torque software for my Samsung Note Android phone off the Google Play store for free.  What a difference.  The BAFX adapter was easy to carry around, I could customize the gauges I was looking at, and so forth.  For me this combo rocks.  It does all I need.  I really like it being cordless – you can walk around and so forth and still see the data.

By the way, installation is simple.  You follow the instructions to pair the scanner to your phone just like you would any other Bluetooth Device.  I downloaded Torque from the Google Play store on my phone in a matter of minutes and it is pretty much good to go.  You can create profiles for different vehicles in the software, change gauges you want to watch, their style, how they are grouped and so forth.

The following are screenshots from my phone plus you can see the little adapter that is a bit smaller than a cigarette box.

   

For example, my 2002 Camry’s check engine light is on and I could use the BAFX adapter and Torque to find out what the code was and then search using Google to decide what to do:

   

I really like the combination and recommend them.  In general, I am amazed by all the functionality that is showing up where the smart phone provides the brain and display thus dropping costs dramatically.  My recent GiraffeCam endoscope is another example.

By the way, I am so happy with this combination of BAFX scanner and Torque software that I sold my Autel scanner on eBay.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.



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BAFX Products Bluetooth Diagnostic OBDII Reader/Scanner for Android Devices (Automotive)

BEWARE OF IMITATORS! The BAFX Products® Scan Tool works on ALL vehicles located in the USA that are model year 1996 or newer! We GUARANTEE IT! Many tools CLAIM to work on all vehicles but have problems with the J1850 & CAN protocols. Ours doesn’t. Ours works on ALL protocols AND we actually mean it! People try the cheaper ones but then buy ours, because ours works. The BAFX Products® adapter will: Last longer, have more stable connections, give faster data rates & work smoother on ALL vehicles compared to our competitors. We also provide TOP NOTCH support. Have a question? Problem? Let us know, we WILL answer or fix the problem. NOT COMPATIBLE WITH iOS DEVICES! To use the OBD reader you will need to install a 3rd party app from the Android Store or online. Apps range in price from $0 – $5 with specialty apps costing up to $60. PC programs range from $0 – $50. Contact BAFX Products® for a list of apps When used with proper software, you can: •Read OBDII Check Engine Light Codes •Reset the CEL •Pull MANY other sensor readings •Graph sensor readings •PREPARE FOR EMISSIONS TESTING •And SO much more! •2 (Yes, TWO!) Year Warranty!* Problems beyond 2 years? Still, contact us! Examples of sensor readings: O2 Readings, EOT, EGT, Throttle, Boost, Speed, Fuel Trim, DPF Temp, Balance Rates & MUCH more! *NOTE! Not all vehicles support reading of ALL sensors. Readings supported depend on what’s installed on the OBDII system by the manufacturer. Generally, newer vehicles will give more readings. IF NOT LOCATED IN THE USA: CONTACT US before ordering to ensure it will work in your country! We ONLY guarantee it will work on vehicles located in certain countries! *Warranty ONLY valid if purchased from BAFX Products or authorized dealer

Features:

  • OUR GUARANTEE – We promise our OBDII reader to work on ALL vehicles purchased in the USA model year 1996 or newer! Unlike so many other cheaper OBD II readers that say they will work on vehicles using J1850 or CAN protocols, but don’t, ours WILL work on these & we PROMISE that! Whether your vehicle is gas, diesel or hybrid, new or old, our OBD reader will work with it. Many people buy cheap first but always end up buying ours, because ours works!
  • WARRANTY – 2 YEAR WARRANTY (YES, 2!) – Covers manufacturing defects from date of purchase. A simple & hassle-free warranty process with USA based support will leave your mind at ease so you can focus on your cars maintenance and health!
  • MONITOR & ANALYZER – The BAFX Products OBD Scanner is a must have tool for your car. With it you can read & clear your Check Engine Light (CEL) & check your vehicle monitors such as O2 Sensors, Fuel Trim, Air Fuel Ratio, DPF Temp, Coolant Temp, Oil Temp, Fuel Pressure & so much more! Professional level diagnostics at a truly reasonable price.
  • APPS & CAR BRANDS – You will need to use a 3rd party app with our scan tool. There are many apps available ranging in price from $0-$40 such as: Torque, Dash Command, Carista, Scan Master, Piston & more! Contact BAFX for a complete list. Regardless of your brand of vehicle our OBD reader will work! Chevy, Ford, BMW, Lexus, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Honda, Mercedes, GM, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep & more, all covered!
  • IMPORTANT – You must have an Android or Windows based device to use our Bluetooth OBD2 reader. Our OBD reader CANNOT be used with iOS devices such as iPhones and the like. For iPhones & iPads, please look at our WiFi version! Also, this device will NOT read AirBag, ABS, TPMS or Oil Change lights. Our diagnostics tool will only read codes for the Check Engine Light.

List Price: $21.99 USD
New From: $21.99 USD In Stock