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Old 05-03-2006, 06:42 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 69
Question Changing Spark Plugs

I have the spark plugs.

But I haven't attempted it yet because I don't have a torque wrench (and don't plan to buy one) and I wanted to get someone's input first.

So, if I screw in the plugs by hand, should I turn it about 1/4 turn or 1/2 turn with the socket wrench. How much would it take to get it to the approximate right torque?

Please advise.

'90 300E
Lowered with Eibach Springs
Mouldings and bumpers painted body color
Clear front corners
94/95 W124 Taillights
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Old 05-03-2006, 06:56 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 38,695
if you have a 12" wrench pull about half as hard as you can.

if shorter 3/4 as hard as you can.

i have never used a torque wrench yet and i have never stripped one out or had one come loose in 40 plus years.

tom w
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 05-03-2006, 08:29 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: DFW / Collin County Texas
Posts: 1,882
I too have never used a torque wrench, but I can say that if you can't rely on experience to know just how "snug" to make them without stripping them, you really should go out and buy at least a very basic torque wrench. If you try to skimp and end up stripping your head, you'll be very very upset!
08 W251 R350
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Old 05-04-2006, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnson City, TN
Posts: 985
I agree with the last post. If you have to ask, then go buy the torque wrench. No one can tell you in words how tight is tight enough. It's an experience thing. You really really don't want to screw this up.

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Old 05-04-2006, 09:49 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,281
Taper seat plugs achieve the proper 12 lb-ft torque very quickly after hand tight - not like gasketed plugs that require another half turn or more to achieve torque.

Bottom line - get a torque wrench! Google on Harbor Freight. Get a 3/8 drive for small jobs and a 1/2" drive to bigger jobs like wheel bolts. They are not expensive.

You also need a special tool to pull the plug wires if you don't want to wreck them. I gave a Snap-On number some time ago. Search the archives.

If you're too cheap to buy proper tools, consign the job to a pro.

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Old 05-04-2006, 11:50 AM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Posts: 1,947
Bosch Web site lists how far to turn the plug to achieve proper tightness.
Kent Christensen
'07 GL320CDI, '10 CL550. '01 Porsche Boxster
Two BMW motorcycles
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:37 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Suburban Washington DC
Posts: 893
On some of these engines that are packed in so tight its hard enough to tighten a plug with an ordinary 3/8 inch drive socket wrench. It's near impossible to do it with a 18 inch long torque wrench, and if you have a u-joint or wobble extension between the plug socket and the torque wrench the readings won't be accurate anyway.

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