About Cheating Bars
1. A cheating bar is something that you shouldnít use, but that most mechanics end up using occasionally.
2. Itís essentially a metal pipe that you can fit over your wrench or over the ratchet handle of a socket wrench. Itís considerably longer than the tool with which you use it, thus providing much greater leverage. How much longer depends on how much you want to risk REALLY messing things up.
3. A major risk of using a cheating bar is that itís likely to break off the head of the bolt youíre trying to back out.
4. Only use it as a last resort, after youíve tried other methods such as applying a solvent like PB Blaster, tapping and exercising lots of patience.
5. Usually heat is far better than using a cheating bar, but there are many jobs, as in the engine room or around fuel, or where there are other safety issues, or where itíll harm plastic or rubber, where heat isnít an option.
6. If you use a cheating bar, itís critical that the wrench be seated securely on the bolt head and snugged down all the way and that the wrench be lined up squarely over the bolt so that the torque is applied directly over the bolt, as though to an imaginary extension of the bolt. If the torque is applied at an angle to the bolt shaft, thereís a far greater chance of snapping off the bolt head. Itís not good to use a cheating bar with an open end wrench.
7. Youíll have much more power, so proceed cautiously, increasing torque only a bit at a time and holding the wrench in place over the bolt. Holding the bar/handle down in the direction you want to turn to back out the bolt and tapping it lightly with a hammer, before applying much torque, may be a good idea, depending upon the circumstances.
8. An experienced mechanic can usually tell if the bolt is beginning to loosen or if its shaft is twisting to break off. Usually, in my experience, if itís the former, itíll suddenly free up. If the bolt seems to be turning ďsoftlyĒ itís likely to be breaking.
9. Be extremely careful that the extra long tool handle doesnít impact any source of electricity or cause other safety issues or damage.
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Boating and water sports involve risk. Any comments herein should be followed at your own risk. You assume all responsibility for risk or injury to yourself or others. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive and also hold authors harmless from any and all claims which may arise from or be related to that use.
Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale