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-   -   Spark Plug Removal (https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1268683)

74123 01-07-2020 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VpointVick (Post 18696917)
Where does one even begin to look up the maximum loosening torque?

Champion seems to be the only place that it's mentioned and even they don't list a spec. It has to be greater than the tightening torque, but how much is too much? With a question like that is there any point in asking if the tool is calibrated or not?

That was a joke. Right?

74123 01-07-2020 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sapote (Post 18696923)
Ok, maybe this is the real reason why not removing plugs with hot engine: aluminum head expanded more than steel plug threads, length wise. This would cause more friction on the threads and so the removal torque needed to be higher than room temperature.

No. The expansion is volumetric not linear. It occurs in all 3 dimensions. The pressure between head and plugs reduces. The friction reduces accordingly. Makes them easier to remove. It's the same pricinciple that you employ when fitting a wheel bearing into its housing. You heat up the housing in the oven and put the bearing in the freezer. Then bring them both together. What you NEVER do is INSTALL plugs when the engine is hot because when the engine cools down everything shrinks and then you can end up with thread damage and/or tear the threads out when you try to remove them cold.

LeverThis 01-07-2020 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brewtus79 (Post 18696899)
[emoji115]. Do you think the aluminum gets that hot? The coolant is maintained at 94C. I know it is not exactly apples to apples, but I would not think the Al gets twice as warm, if that is what you're suggesting.

Edit: I suppose one could use a heat gun on an exposed piece of the head to get an idea.

Regardless, after my experience last evening I will not attempt extraction w a hot engine. Ill shoot for cold or just warm as recommended by others in this thread.

Even w all the digressions that have taken place here, this thread has been very useful so far and I appreciate it!

No, no I wasn't saying to heat it up that hot, quite the opposite. (Nor that Al gets warmer.) If aluminum BEGINS to weaken at 200C, then there is nothing to worry about because you wont be working on it if its that hot (the headgasket would be toast) ... but I was merely asking the question if that is a valid way to look at the issue.

All along, what I meant was a warm engine that wont burn your hand when you touch it. That won't be hot enough to worry about weakend threads, if that 350F/200C figure is anywhere close to being correct. Try it cold first, using penetrating fluid. If still no luck, then run engine a little bit to just start getting it warm. Then try again. Still no luck, run engine a little longer.

yup, the digressions can get a bit heated (and entertaining) ... :argue: ... but at least usually some good info also comes out from them. Anyways, good luck.

Brewtus79 01-07-2020 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeverThis (Post 18696977)
No, no I wasn't saying to heat it up that hot, quite the opposite. (Nor that Al gets warmer.) If aluminum BEGINS to weaken at 200C, then there is nothing to worry about because you wont be working on it if its that hot (the headgasket would be toast) ... but I was merely asking the question if that is a valid way to look at the issue.

All along, what I meant was a warm engine that wont burn your hand when you touch it. That won't be hot enough to worry about weakend threads, if that 350F/200C figure is anywhere close to being correct. Try it cold first, using penetrating fluid. If still no luck, then run engine a little bit to just start getting it warm. Then try again. Still no luck, run engine a little longer.

Understood. What you laid out here is my plan for tomorrow.

Brewtus79 01-07-2020 03:38 PM

One other thing I will say about heating up aluminum. I had great success extracting exhaust manifold bolts on my GMC 6.0L by heating the aluminum head. That was a couple years ago and I have not noticed any ill effects from using the torch on the head. The trick there is the same as here with respect to not using too much torque. I used nothing bigger than a 3/8 ratchet applying moderate effort and if i could not break it free with that I put more heat to the head until the bolt succumbed.

Sapote 01-07-2020 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayPooley (Post 18696947)
No. The expansion is volumetric not linear. It occurs in all 3 dimensions. The pressure between head and plugs reduces. The friction reduces accordingly. Makes them easier to remove. It's the same pricinciple that you employ when fitting a wheel bearing into its housing. You heat up the housing in the oven and put the bearing in the freezer. Then bring them both together. What you NEVER do is INSTALL plugs when the engine is hot because when the engine cools down everything shrinks and then you can end up with thread damage and/or tear the threads out when you try to remove them cold.

I know that thermal expansion is volumetric, and the head threaded hole is bigger than plug OD with hot engine. But I wanted to talk about plug thread length and the hole thread length. With a torqued down plug at room temperature, then when the engine is hot the head grew taller and its thread pitch is longer than the plug pitch. The interference must create more thread friction.

VpointVick 01-07-2020 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayPooley (Post 18696931)
That was a joke. Right?

I don't know, was it?

You seem to be the only one amongst this whole rather knowledgeable bunch, some factory trained techs, who has ever heard of this technique. Google returns nothing except the Champion site when I searched for torque values for loosening plugs, and that doesn't give any values.

74123 01-08-2020 02:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VpointVick (Post 18697051)
I don't know, was it?

You seem to be the only one amongst this whole rather knowledgeable bunch, some factory trained techs, who has ever heard of this technique. Google returns nothing except the Champion site when I searched for torque values for loosening plugs, and that doesn't give any values.

I was referring to Where does one even begin to look up the maximum loosening torque?. Of course there's no untightening torque spec. It's a pretty comical notion. Hence the comment. You start at the TIGHTENING torque spec. If the plug is less tight than that then it will start to move. If not you increase the torque slightly and try again and you repeat that until it moves or you get to about 120% of the tightening spec. If you get to that point you know you have a probem and special precautions are necessary. It's a technique that is used on diesel glow plugs in particular because they are about half the diameter of spark plugs and prone to snapping. There are lots of techniques for dealing with obstructions that are born of experience that you wont find on the internet. The fact that they are not on the internet doesn't negate their usefulness. I reference the Champion site because it's a company with considerable expertise in the matter and they think it is necessary. Mandatory in fact according to their website.

VpointVick 01-08-2020 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayPooley (Post 18697283)
I was referring to Where does one even begin to look up the maximum loosening torque?. Of course there's no untightening torque spec. It's a pretty comical notion. Hence the comment. You start at the TIGHTENING torque spec. If the plug is less tight than that then it will start to move. If not you increase the torque slightly and try again and you repeat that until it moves or you get to about 120% of the tightening spec. If you get to that point you know you have a probem and special precautions are necessary. It's a technique that is used on diesel glow plugs in particular because they are about half the diameter of spark plugs and prone to snapping. There are lots of techniques for dealing with obstructions that are born of experience that you wont find on the internet. The fact that they are not on the internet doesn't negate their usefulness. I reference the Champion site because it's a company with considerable expertise in the matter and they think it is necessary. Mandatory in fact according to their website.

I thought it was a pretty comical notion too, hence why I thought you might be joking.

"Start at the tightening spec." It will always take more force to break a fastener, or plug in this case, loose than was used to tighten it, so all you're doing is serve to get an immediate "click" and have to up your setting. "Increase your torque slightly..." is saying about the same thing as what Knight and MrMcar have been saying except that they support just using regular ratchets and experience as to how much force you're applying.

Frankly, I don't see any value in using a torque wrench when there's no known safe value that you can set it to, and I agree with MrMcar that trying to do so could lead to a false sense of security that could lead to problems. Until anyone can post a chart of torque settings for loosening different sized spark plugs, something that even Champion doesn't seem to be willing to do, I'm going to discount it as an oddball idea at best, and continue wondering why you so strongly defend it, even though you're all alone on this.

If this works for you then you keep right on at it, but please stop trying to tell everyone else that they're idiots for not going along with you. This technique is an outlier, and generally outliers that don't get made commonplace are so for a reason.

74123 01-08-2020 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VpointVick (Post 18697363)
It will always take more force to break a fastener,

Google "does it take more torque to loosen a bolt than to tighten it". See if you can find an article that confirms that claim. There are plenty that confirm the OPPOSITE. Let me know how you get on.



Quote:

Frankly, I don't see any value in using a torque wrench when there's no known safe value that you can set it to, and I agree with MrMcar that trying to do so could lead to a false sense of security that could lead to problems. Until anyone can post a chart of torque settings for loosening different sized spark plugs, something that even Champion doesn't seem to be willing to do, I'm going to discount it as an oddball idea at best, and continue wondering why you so strongly defend it, even though you're all alone on this.
It's simple really. Until you can show me a calibration certficate for your arms, or even a relaible method of calibrating them, I'm going to claim better accuracy and a more predicatable outcome can be achieved with a torque wrench. How's that?

Quote:

If this works for you then you keep right on at it, but please stop trying to tell everyone else that they're idiots for not going along with you. This technique is an outlier, and generally outliers that don't get made commonplace are so for a reason.
I didn't call anyone an idiot. Only you made that call. I've never broken a spark plug or a glow plug or stripped a hole. So it works for me. I would suggest there's a lot of smart mechanics out there who have a plethora of great hnts and tips born from experience that nobody knows about. One of the reasons for this site is to pass them on. You can take them or leave them. Who cares?

VpointVick 01-08-2020 08:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayPooley (Post 18697379)
Google "does it take more torque to loosen a bolt than to tighten it". See if you can find an article that confirms that claim. There are plenty that confirm the OPPOSITE. Let me know how you get on.

Only if immediately undoing the fastener Ray.
https://www.boltscience.com/pages/untightening.htm
Quote:

As the time passes from when the nut was tightened, the torque needed to untighten it tends to increase. After half a day or so, the release torque can be typically up 10% greater than the tightening torque.
For example.





Quote:

It's simple really. Until you can show me a calibration certficate for your arms, or even a relaible method of calibrating them, I'm going to claim better accuracy and a more predicatable outcome can be achieved with a torque wrench. How's that?
Sure. That all makes sense as long as there's a known, engineered value to set your calibrated tool to to begin with. In this case it's "gradually increase the torque setting", which can just as easily be done by an experienced hand.



Quote:

I didn't call anyone an idiot. Only you made that call. I've never broken a spark plug or a glow plug or stripped a hole. So it works for me. I would suggest there's a lot of smart mechanics out there who have a plethora of great hnts and tips born from experience that nobody knows about. One of the reasons for this site is to pass them on. You can take them or leave them. Who cares?
You seem to care a lot. You've invested a lot of time in staunchly defending this idea and while it's true that you've stopped short of actually calling anybody names there's certainly been plenty of implication in your posts.

Just let it go.

MrMCar 01-08-2020 08:22 AM

W/O taking ideas out of context. Can you use a torque wrench in the opposite use of it's intention, surely. But why would one?
Use the torque wrench for removing a stubborn fastener (spark plug in this case) and one keeps increasing the limit of the setting and finally the stubborn part releases. What happens to the beam and/or innards of the measuring mechanism when that sudden jolt gets applied to the inside of the tool when the stubborn part finally lets go?

I'd bet 99% of DIYers will take the torque wrench and put it back into their toolkit for use at a later time. Maybe in an hour's time when installing the spark plugs?

Torque wrenches are designed to be brought up to the predetermined limit slowly and to have the applied force released once achieved. Not to be tested by using in the wrong fashion and then suddenly breaks free.

My point was to have longevity of a useful tool to be able to continue to function with a slight modicum of comfort that it's somewhat correct.
I don't think that anyone would apply egregious amounts of force with a 1/2" bar to remove plugs? That's bollocks.

I think that was your intention albeit misconstrued.

74123 01-08-2020 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VpointVick (Post 18697391)
Only if immediately undoing the fastener Ray.
https://www.boltscience.com/pages/untightening.htm

I don't buy that frankly. Nobody invented lock washers and loctite because nuts and bolts get tighter over time. They are used to prevent fasteners backing off through vibration and other environmental factors like heat cycles which is particularly relevant where spark plugs are concerned. I have stress tested many a fastener and bolted joint in my time in the construction industry. Never found that to be the case.

Quote:

.Just let it go.
I did. hence the Who cares?.

LeverThis 01-08-2020 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayPooley (Post 18697409)
I don't buy that frankly. Nobody invented lock washers and loctite because nuts and bolts get tighter over time. They are used to prevent fasteners backing off through vibration and other environmental factors like heat cycles which is particularly relevant where spark plugs are concerned. I have stress tested many a fastener and bolted joint in my time in the construction industry. Never found that to be the case.



I did. hence the Who cares?.

You dont believe that rusted thread and bolt surfaces will need more torque to break free than they were tightened with?

74123 01-08-2020 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeverThis (Post 18697591)
You dont believe that rusted thread and bolt surfaces will need more torque to break free than they were tightened with?

Have you ever seen a rusty spark plug on a E46?

Cheap Trick 01-08-2020 03:10 PM

How about a little more controversy with a new idea for loosening spark plugs - there are now many different small cordless impact drivers for screws and other lower torque applications. Why not use one of these to some what "gently" apply a hammer/tapping action on the plug to break down what ever is bonding the threads together? We know how well a higher power impact wrench can break loose corroded fasteners. However the big guys would most likely be quite damaging for spark plugs and aluminum threads, but a less forceful impact action might just do the job with less chance of damage than just pulling on a wrench, calibrated break-a-way elbow or not. Of course penetrating oil - back and forth motion etc. still are good practices, but you first have to get some movement started. Food for thought.

Sapote 01-08-2020 04:25 PM

No power tool here. Just by hand and incremental back/forth a little at a time until it's out. You don't want a broken plug in there.

Brewtus79 01-08-2020 04:59 PM

Still fighting the good fight. Working 1-3 right now w decent results. None are out yet, but I'm making progress. I've opted to use a 1/4" drive ratchet. I get to the point where my arm clicks [emoji6] and go back the other way. Repeat.

I appreciate the input fellas and will report back as progress is made.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Brewtus79 01-08-2020 08:24 PM

1 plug out. At first I thought the last thread and a half was boogered up. After closer inspection and some wire brush, scraping at the threads it appears the anti seize baked into the threads making them look flat.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

LeverThis 01-08-2020 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayPooley (Post 18697601)
Have you ever seen a rusty spark plug on a E46?

Luckily no, but spark plugs do tend to be harder to remove than the original torque used to fasten them. I have however seen 02 sensors and exhaust studs/nuts rust welded in place and way beyond original torque spec to remove.

Sure some fasteners shake loose (oil pump nut e.g.) but some others bind up due to rust or dirt.


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