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Old 10-23-2009, 07:05 PM   #1
NatB
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Default Spark Plug Torque Specs are 11 foot pounds

I was perusing thru Volume 2 of my GM Service Manuals (# 6-1031) and confirmed the proper torque for installing new spark plugs 11 Lb. Ft.

Guys that ain't much - for me it's finger tight.

Just thoughts I'd pass this along - hopefully to alert overzealous backyard mechanics. The heads are aluminum.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:25 PM   #2
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I'm a long time Saab mechanic and have been dealing with aluminum heads for over 30 years.

Yes, the correct torque doesn't feel like enough. Until you develop a feel you should use a torque wrench - and I believe in a small dap of well placed anti-sieze compound....
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:45 AM   #3
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^ +1, well said.

Thanks for the info, OP!
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:06 PM   #4
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This place is a wealth of info......everybody is supposed to know that, right? Probably not! Good post, thanks.......
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatB View Post
I was perusing thru Volume 2 of my GM Service Manuals (# 6-1031) and confirmed the proper torque for installing new spark plugs 11 Lb. Ft.

Guys that ain't much - for me it's finger tight.
I'll give you a million dollars if you can torque a spark plug to 11 ft-lbs with your fingers. A human might be lucky to reach 1 ft-lb by hand.

Quote:
Just thoughts I'd pass this along - hopefully to alert overzealous backyard mechanics. The heads are aluminum.
I always use a torque wrench and some anti-seize when working with spark plugs.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeeOSix View Post
I'll give you a million dollars if you can torque a spark plug to 11 ft-lbs with your fingers. A human might be lucky to reach 1 ft-lb by hand.



I always use a torque wrench and some anti-seize when working with spark plugs.

You must be kidding - I can easily turn 11 ft lb. with my fingers/hand.

Are you really serious ? This is very low torque - and have been told by guys with Ford GT 40's and Ferraris to only tighten spark plugs finger tight ( albeit with a strong twist). I have followed this advice for many years and on several cars.

I prefer to use torque wrenches and agree with you on that - But most torque wrenches aren't accurate to this low level. Can you recommend a good torque wrench for this ?

Last edited by NatB; 10-25-2009 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:41 PM   #7
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http://www.matcotools.com/Catalog/to...ype=T&cat=2108

I like the fixed head stuff for things not in a car, but if I remember right, their 5-75ft/lb (TRB75F) should be enough for almost anything engine related. Only problem is that they arent real cheap... :-(
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatB View Post
You must be kidding - I can easily turn 11 ft lb. with my fingers/hand.
So you think you can actually torque a spark plug to 11 ft-lbs by grabbing the spark plug hex with your fingers and twisting it with your hand? ..... No way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NatB View Post
Are you really serious ? This is very low torque - and have been told by guys with Ford GT 40's and Ferraris to only tighten spark plugs finger tight ( albeit with a strong twist). I have followed this advice for many years and on several cars.
Only tighten plugs "finger tight" ... bad idea IMO, I'd NEVER do that. So why not just torque your oil drain plug finger tight? ... it's just a plug, like a spark plug is. GM calls out 18 ft-lbs for that. I've seen spark plugs come loose from under torquing - not a good thing.

Yeah, I'm serious. 11 ft-lbs is impossible to do by hand (without tools, and just your fingers) ... but is "relatively low" torque to do with tools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NatB View Post
I prefer to use torque wrenches and agree with you on that - But most torque wrenches aren't accurate to this low level. Can you recommend a good torque wrench for this ?
Buy a torque wrench that has a lower range. Don't use the same torque wrench you use to torque the wheel lug nuts to 100 ft-lbs to also do your spark plugs.

Last edited by ZeeOSix; 10-26-2009 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:24 AM   #9
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GOod info.

regardless of the car, on an aluminum head I tq plugs to 18# and always use anti-seeze. NEver had a problem If you want to get fancy you can always index them...
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:53 PM   #10
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Sorry- I guess my reference to "finger tight" may have been taken a bit too literally. While I do have an extremely strong grip, I was really trying to stress not to go nuts in using a long handled racket. I actually use a racket and grab the end that's over the socket - so as not to amplify the leverage. That is what I mean't by finger tight - Eleven foot pounds is snug and not tight.

As for my question on torque wrenches- I say it is not easy to find an accurate torque wrench that measures down to 11 foot pound ( at least in most DIY home garages). Yes you can buy one - but again, the accuracy is not great unless you spend a lot of money. I have done this enough time to have a good feel for 11 foot pounds - it is very little.

Anyhow- hope my original post helped .

Last edited by NatB; 10-26-2009 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatB View Post
Sorry- I guess my reference to "finger tight" may have been taken a bit too literally. While I do have an extremely strong grip, I was really trying to stress not to go nuts in using a long handled racket. I actually use a racket and grab the end that's over the socket - so as not to amplify the leverage. That is what I mean't by finger tight - Eleven foot pounds is snug and not tight.
Yes, I agree - 11 ft-lbs isn't very tight in a relative context, but way more than even Chuck Norris could do with his actual fingers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NatB View Post
As for my question on torque wrenches- I say it is not easy to find an accurate torque wrench that measures down to 11 foot pound ( at least in most DIY home garages). Yes you can buy one - but again, the accuracy is not great unless you spend a lot of money. I have done this enough time to have a good feel for 11 foot pounds - it is very little.

Anyhow- hope my original post helped .
Look into getting a 1/4" drive torque wrench that has a low in-lb range for fasteners you want to torque in the less than 10 ft-lb or so range. Some 3/8" drive torque wrenches go down to 5 ft-lbs and are relatively accurate. Better than nothing IMO.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:03 AM   #12
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Just use inch-pounds, guys. Geez, 11 ft. lbs. is 132 inch lbs. Get a 3/8" inch-pound torque wrench and do the math.
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:37 AM   #13
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Harbor freight should have what you need !!
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:07 AM   #14
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For that pesky Plug #7 - Do you know whether a 1/4" Spark Plug Socket is made and where to buy ? That tight spot might be easier with a short swivel 1/4" racket and socket.

I looked at several places this past wek-end and could ony fined 38" and 1/2" drive sockets.

I could always squeeze a 1/4" to 3/8" adapter on the racket.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatB View Post
For that pesky Plug #7 - Do you know whether a 1/4" Spark Plug Socket is made and where to buy ? That tight spot might be easier with a short swivel 1/4" racket and socket.

I looked at several places this past wek-end and could ony fined 38" and 1/2" drive sockets.

I could always squeeze a 1/4" to 3/8" adapter on the racket.
For a tight squeeze, I like to use a plug socket that has a hex end on it. Just use a ratcheting box on it and you're golden.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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