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      04-12-2014, 03:16 PM   #1
vanondemand
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Question Changing Spark plugs with out torque wrench

I don't have a torque wrench handy, would I be able to get away with prudently hand torquing it?
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      04-12-2014, 03:37 PM   #2
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Sure you can. The rule of thumb is tighten as much as you can with two fingers.

or see if your local auto parts store has a tool rental program.
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      04-12-2014, 04:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanondemand
I don't have a torque wrench handy, would I be able to get away with prudently hand torquing it?
Get a torque wrench... 7 ft lbs is more than you think. Blowing out a spark plug isn't fun
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      04-12-2014, 04:16 PM   #4
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Just get a torque wrench, they are not hard to over tighten and break off and then you are going to pay like 1500 bucks to get head removed to fix the issue - not worth taking the chance over a $30 wrench.
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      04-12-2014, 04:21 PM   #5
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hand tighten plus a quarter turn.
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      04-12-2014, 06:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowingone
hand tighten plus a quarter turn.
+1

HAHAHA
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      04-12-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
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You will feel the crush washer.. Crush. Just be mindful. A torque wrench would be the proper way though, you can rent one from auto zone.
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      04-13-2014, 01:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfelunden View Post
+1

HAHAHA
+ 20 (years and seven or eight different cars) lol.
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      04-13-2014, 04:29 AM   #9
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Most important thing is to bear in mind that the first time you torque down a new plug will not feel the same as the subsequent times for the same plug due to the crush washers. First time, go by the method shown on the box (usually tighten until it bottoms out, then +1/2 turn more. After that, tighten until moderately snug while using only the smallest length wrench in your toolbox, to discourage over torquing.
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      04-13-2014, 08:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashmostro View Post
Most important thing is to bear in mind that the first time you torque down a new plug will not feel the same as the subsequent times for the same plug due to the crush washers. First time, go by the method shown on the box (usually tighten until it bottoms out, then +1/2 turn more. After that, tighten until moderately snug while using only the smallest length wrench in your toolbox, to discourage over torquing.
Exactly....well stated.

The crush washer will not be the same second time around.
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      04-13-2014, 09:43 AM   #11
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Torque wrench for me.

Furthermore, its one of the easiest cars to get a torque wrench on the plugs.
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      04-13-2014, 04:35 PM   #12
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I recently changed mine out without a torque wrench and all went good.

However, there was a thread on here recently about someone who did it as well without a torque wrench and the outcome was not good at all. After reading that thread, If I ever have to do it again, I will use one no matter what the cost is.
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      04-14-2014, 05:36 PM   #13
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Didn't use a torque wrench here. Just don't over tighten. If you don't know what "over tighten" means then use a torque wrench!
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      04-14-2014, 05:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buylongterm View Post
I recently changed mine out without a torque wrench and all went good.

However, there was a thread on here recently about someone who did it as well without a torque wrench and the outcome was not good at all. After reading that thread, If I ever have to do it again, I will use one no matter what the cost is.
At least quote the thread right. The OP from the thread broke his plug while using a torque wrench. Proper tools don't protect you from defective parts or improper operation.
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      04-14-2014, 05:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanondemand View Post
I don't have a torque wrench handy, would I be able to get away with prudently hand torquing it?
I highly recommend a torque wrench. I installed my spark plugs the first time doing the hand tight 1/2 turn and when i went to the dealer for my injectors 3 weeks later they told me 3 spark plugs were backing up causing them to increase in distance effecting everything from gas mileage, power to reliability.

The Bently manual say's to use 18 + or - 2 ft lb

I bought this after my screw up to make sure it doesn't happen again. I recently helped someone change their plugs and couldn't believe how far they had to be turned before reaching 19ft pounds.

Its better to be safe than sorry, Im not sure what kind of damage can happen if your spark plugs start backing out, but that should doesn't sound good especially since our engines are not cheap to replace or rebuild.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingeniator View Post
At least quote the thread right. The OP from the thread broke his plug while using a torque wrench. Proper tools don't protect you from defective parts or improper operation.
This is true, all torque wrench's are made different and most cheap ones are not accurate. You want one with a .25% or less accuracy that way you don't over tighten. Its also a good idea to get them re-certified every year for accuracy. Torque wrench's are no different than anything else. No matter what torque wrench you buy without properly maintaining it every year it could mean breaking something. I wouldn't trust cheap torque wrenches for anything but my tires... but thats just me. If you can spend 30k on a car, then the extra $100 for a nice tool is nothing.

It could also be user error. If you don't know how to use one and don't understand when the tool is telling you to stop you could over tighten plugs and break them as well.
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Last edited by buster84; 04-14-2014 at 05:56 PM.
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      04-14-2014, 06:54 PM   #16
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I ended up finding a torque wrench thanks
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