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I used the 18 ft. lb. torque spec yesterday on my plugs, per what was written in this forum's DIY on how to change the plugs. It felt like a correct amount of force to me.
I was also replacing my valve cover gasket. Putting the valve cover bolts back in, called for torque specs of 8 ft. lb. and 6.66 ft. lb. I tried to dial these on my torque wrench, but these were below the gauge marked on the wrench. I never got any kind of clicking sound using my torque wrench. I suspect that my wrench was not capable of torquing to such a small spec. EDIT: after reading more, my suspicion was proved correct. My tool wasn't capable of it and I was using the wrong tool for the job.
Fortunately, I'm not a dummy. I've been around the block with fixing cars for 12 years now, and know not to get in there overtightening stuff. I tightened everything up gradually, going round and round and round, jumping every 2 bolts so as to spread out the tightening. When I got to the point that I couldn't easily turn anything anymore, I stopped. Both the bolts and the block are soft aluminum, no sense stripping them!
Now for all I know, my results may be tighter than spec. Maybe when clamping a gasket, that's not actually good and I'll find something out the hard way. But I know they're not tighter than what they can handle. Hmm, unless the gasket expands. Guess I'd better read a little more. EDIT: after reading more, I decided to untighten all my bolts and then retighten them less aggressively, using a smaller non-torque wrench and going by hand feel. Just in case I shouldn't be squishing this gasket too hard. They're on "firm" now, but I'm not pushing them to the limit of what they will take, like before.
I think tightening spark plugs to spec is probably important, because I've seen 2 cars now that had loose spark plugs in them. I think when they are not done to spec, they vibrate over time and come loose. This could lead to firing problems.
working on new-to-me 2007 Toyota Matrix
Last edited by bvanevery; 05-26-2019 at 04:06 PM.