Torquing spark plugs?

Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:23 pm

This has probably been gone over a thousand times but I couldn't find anything in the archives covering it. Do I need to beg, borrow, steal or possibly buy a torque wrench to do my spark plugs?

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:38 pm

I do my plugs so they are "two finger" tight with a regular ratchet wrench. All you need to do is get the sealing rings to compress slightly.

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:53 pm

Hengy wrote:I do my plugs so they are "two finger" tight with a regular ratchet wrench. All you need to do is get the sealing rings to compress slightly.


Thanks, Hengy. I tightened them too much then. Quite a learning curve to this stuff and I'm thankful for your guys help.

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:47 am

Whether or not you want to torque anything down to a specification that is laid-out in a manual is up to you (30-35 lbs. for the spark plugs, GSS-1008 page 15). At some point though, you are going to come across something where the torque specification for a bolt is important, having a GOOD torque wrench in the tool cabinet/box is never a bad idea. The engineers did not come up with torque specifications to keep busy and fill up pages in a manual, they are there for a reason.

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:51 am

Criswell wrote: having a GOOD torque wrench in the tool cabinet/box is never a bad idea.


I'm dedicating some space in my garage just to tractor related items. Any recommendations on a manufacturer and size of a good wrench?

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:15 am

NAPA runs their tools on sale about every other month, and I recently bought 2, both are clickers, one that goes up to to 150 ft.lbs., and one that only goes to 75 ft. lbs. The newer clickers are a lot better than my old one, both in accuracy and in how well they can be heard. I also have a couple of the old pointers that I use to verify the fancy clickers now and then.

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:27 am

Sears has several sizes of clicker torque wrenches. Just checking prices. Recommend purchasing quality and with a life time guarantee.

You will need two sizes of torque wrenches. 1/2" drive going to 150 foot pounds and a smaller one either in inch pounds or smaller range of foot pounds. Smaller torque wrench needs to be able to torque rod bearings to 16 foot pounds.

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:32 am

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:NAPA runs their tools on sale about every other month, and I recently bought 2, both are clickers, one that goes up to to 150 ft.lbs., and one that only goes to 75 ft. lbs. The newer clickers are a lot better than my old one, both in accuracy and in how well they can be heard. I also have a couple of the old pointers that I use to verify the fancy clickers now and then.


So you trust the old pointers better than the clickers? There's machinery at work I torque on a daily basis and they wrenches are the 'clicker' variety. Keeping them in calibration always crosses my mind.

I've still got the hood off and find more things that need attention faster than I can cure them. The alternator belt is hanging by a thread I see so I might just as well do the fan belt while I'm at it. I've decided to replace the alternator as well.

I was fortunate in that my neighbor two houses removed is a Farmall tractor fan. I think he told me he has an M parked at his other property. Once he saw me tinkering in the driveway he came over an introduced himself and brought me an owners manual for the Cub he had kicking around.

The wife still doesn't understand my sudden preoccupation with tractors but I'm finding it quite enjoyable. Maybe she will too. I want another one already. Can you have too many?

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:38 am

Eugene wrote:Sears has several sizes of clicker torque wrenches. Just checking prices. Recommend purchasing quality and with a life time guarantee.

You will need two sizes of torque wrenches. 1/2" drive going to 150 foot pounds and a smaller one either in inch pounds or smaller range of foot pounds. Smaller torque wrench needs to be able to torque rod bearings to 16 foot pounds.


Thanks, Eugene. I'm a heating technician by training and have used the Craftsman GearWrenches for quite some time now. They make very good quality hand tools. Thanks for the info.

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:05 am

Keep in mind there are some things you can do with a swing arm torque wrench that you cant do with a clicker, such as measuring preload, and also, unless the swing arm type has been physically damaged, there is little chance of it getting out of calibration. I, like John, prefer to have both.

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:29 am

I would say the swing-arm style torque wrench would be the torque wrench of last resort. Bewteen the dial or the clicker style, personal choice would rule the day, I personally like the dial idicator style torque wrenches. The clicker style is better for repetitive work, doing the same torque over and over, no need to check the dial.

As said above you can't check preload with a clicker-style torque wrench and two different drive sizes are a must (3/8 and 1/2), also make sure that it can read in inch pounds as well and that it comes with some type of a storage case. If it does not come with a storage case make/buy one.

As for the brand and price, you will get what you pay for. Yes, a torque wrench will be one of the least used tools that you own but it when you need it it is good to have it and have be accurate. A Harbor Fright or Craftsman torque wrench will work and cost less, just take some time and do your due dillegence and find a good torque wrench. In the end, it won't just be for use on the tractor but other places as well. I have used Snap-On torque wrenches for more than 40 years and have never had any problems. When I was working they were checked and calibrated every year, now it's about every 5 years.

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:29 pm

I forgot about Snap-On. I looked over the Sears stuff and there were a lot of marginal reviews on their torque wrenches. I've never considered myself a mechanic but with the resources available here, I may venture further down that road than I ever thought I would.

Thanks for the help, all of you.

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:32 pm

Posco:

This subject is a lot like what kind of oil should I use or what is better in the tranny :big give up: Lots of opinions .. lots of preferences.

I am a cabinetmaker by trade, definitely not a mechanic. However since I began mucking about with Cubs my Automotive Tool Cabinets are filling up rather quickly. As a relative newcomer to mechanics (I've wrenched on my 442's, Craftsman mower and a few other things), I am rather surprised at how fast one can accumulate tools, especially if your are a self confessed tool junkie.

Buy the best that you can afford. That to me makes the most sense. Affordability will take into account your wallet, how often you will probably use the tool in the future and the actual cost of various brands. If you are a mechanic by trade and your tools are your bread and butter .. then buy Snap-On, Blue Seal, MAC etc., If you are not a professional mechanic then you need to check out some of the other brands. Some very good quality tools are made by world renowned manufacturers but may not be a common household name in the US or Canada. Research on the net is easy and is bound to pay off. I have a number of Gedore wrenches that are top notch quality but not the price of a Snap-On. Now to qualify this .. I have Snap-On, MAC, Gray, Craftsman and a bunch of other top end tools .. and a lot that almost broke the bank ... but it is what I wanted.

Of course this is JMHO :)

Posco wrote:Can you have too many?


The simple answer to that question probably is a resounding NO! :big smile:

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:13 pm

I'm new here and to start off on the right foot I should probably clear my conscience and part with a nasty little secret...my first thoughts of a tractor were of a Kubota. I didn't know what a Farmall Cub was. I was in the market for a small tractor to haul some trees out of the woods, I had no idea it could lead to some sort of obsession.

I got that off my chest, so if you guys are still willing to help me I'll keep plugging away on giving this thing another sixty years of life.

Re: Torquing spark plugs?

Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:20 pm

You need to get the plugs tight!! 2 fingers may not be tight enough. Depends on the fingers I guess :D