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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 07-19-2008, 05:54 PM   #1
marlon177
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do i need torque wrench to install spark plugs

just order some ngk spark plugs from pep boys, but i don't have a torque wrench, do i really need one to install spark plugs? if i don't use the torque wrench to install the spark plug, anything will happen to my car? does torque wrench cost alot? thanks

Last edited by marlon177; 07-19-2008 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:02 PM   #2
NicB.
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if you can torque them by hand to the correct level good for you. for those of us who don't trust the feel in our arms, we trust the click of the torque wrench.
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:20 PM   #3
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USE A TORQUE WRENCH. Aluminum is not very forgiving.
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:22 PM   #4
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I bought a 20 dollar torque wrench @ Pep Boys, I would recommend spending more money and getting one at Sears about 75 bucks. The one I got is cheap and the numbers don't really line up well on the handle. But feeling the click makes me feel fuzzy inside.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:49 PM   #5
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I bought mine from Sears for ~$75.00 and it is good.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:56 PM   #6
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definitely get a torque wrench. $35-$50 at autozone will work. overtightened a plug and in the process, stripped out the threads on my volkswagen and had to pay to have it repaired(helicoil). i'm sure it would be more expensive on a bmw. if you are going diy, spend more and get a good one.
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:17 PM   #7
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Definitely use a torque wrench
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:22 PM   #8
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yep
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:01 PM   #9
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Make sure the engine is cold so the metal is not soft. Screw them on until they touch the crush washer, you will feel it spin easily until it stops when it hits the washer. Then turn it very carefully and you can feel it crush the washer and stiffen up exponentially, which is about half a turn after it stops.

If you don't trust the feel then I'd say get a torque wrench.
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:59 AM   #10
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http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...itemnumber=807

Walmart has one also for like $25.00.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:23 AM   #11
sprintman
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Torque wrench. Important to get the right amount of crush on the washer for correct heat transfer. Buy a decent torque wrench and you will have it for life. Cheapies are uselwss
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:57 AM   #12
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This is probably the job you MOST need the torque wrench for, next to your lug bolts.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:48 AM   #13
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You will need a torque wrench and anti-seize. 18 ft./lbs for each one.
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:15 PM   #14
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^ Aren't you supposed to kick the ft/lbs. down when using anything that will lubricate the threads? I thought I read it somewhere.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:27 PM   #15
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Ya, without anti-seize, 22 ft./lbs is recommended.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:33 PM   #16
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yea i got the anti seize, i will go check autozone or pepboy for a wrench....
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:36 PM   #17
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Make certain you have copper containing anti-seize.
It conducts electricity and allows the plug to ground against the block, as it should
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:54 PM   #18
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I'm not sure about you guys, but I don't trust the "click" style torque wrenches. The minimum accurate level on most I've used only goes down to 30 or 40 lbs/ft of torque, and I've seen ones that were actually 20 lbs off from what the torque really was. That's asking for stripped threads, or broken bolts in the case of my Pontiac's oil pan.

I personally prefer the "needle gauge" style torque wrenches. It's accurate from 1-100 unlike the click style, and it automatically zero's out, unlike the radial gauge versions, and it's WAY cheaper than the digital versions.

It's the same price as the "click" versions.

I've got two from Craftsman: One that's about a year old, and another that's about 30 years old. Both work great!
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:02 PM   #19
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inch lbs or foot lbs torque wrench and dont ngk's have crush washers you can feel them give when its on tight enough
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:01 AM   #20
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how on earth can you install spark plugs wrong and eff it up? i mean come-on turn till firm give it a bit extra and nothing will be hurt or broken. Spark plugs aint rocket science.

u think ur mechanic uses a tq wrench for a spark plug?

some things on these bimmers need em but seriously?
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