Join Date: Dec 2004
Bikes: 92 Giant Sedona ATX Custom
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When a square taper has been ridden loose, most of the time there is a wear or deformation inside the arm socket. This deformation appears as additional "edges" in between the four sides that are supposed to be there. When these edges get too pronounced, you will not be able to 'overtighten' it past to remove the creaking since it relies on full contact to seat propperly.
When you do crank work ALWAYS have a torque metering wrench. Typical square cranks are 35-45 ft lbs(I usually do 40 or so). The 35 dollar tool (it doesnt have to be fancy) will save you a fortune in damaged crankarms. No matter how many times you think you have it tight, you can never be sure unless you use a standard to check. Since using one, I have not lost a crank to undertighening, and one has never come loose. At all.