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Old 01-10-2020, 01:42 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by doukas007 View Post
In my previous m52 engine the plugs, new or old , needed an enormous amount of torque to be removed or installed and that without any apparent thead damage.
It's sure a sign of head damaged threads. A normal head should be able to thread the plugs by hand until bottomed out.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:49 PM   #82
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All were started a few threads by hand afterwhich I couldn't them anymore. So after ensuring they weren't cross threaded I used a 3/8 ratchet w nothing more than what I could expend w my wrist.

#4 cylinder was the exception. It came out the easiest and went in the hardest. It never felt cross threaded, but required more force than I was interested in exacting. I backed it out to check the threads many a time. In the end, I was able to set it @ 20ftlb.

I'm feeling a bit relieved at this point, but reserving any celebratory activity until its proven.

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The head threads were not crossed or stripped, but due the carboned up too-long plugs, the old plugs had caused the plateau to the head's otherwise sharp pointed threads.

To avoid cross threading, always turn the installing plug CCW by hand slowly until a click (jump on thread ends ) then turn it CW.
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:02 PM   #83
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Are you kidding me guys? This is a freaking car forum where you're supposed to HELP others out and not bicker about stupid things. Posts deleted.
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:26 PM   #84
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Thank you for the moderation SolidJake.

Just took a 20 min joyride up the mountain (approx. 900' elevation change) and back down. Car ran fine all around. I didnt beat on it, just my normal drive style under which it saw heavy load going up the mt.

Before I left the house the only DTC I had was a pending cylinder #4 misfire P0304. I reset it and it stayed away.

It was a good first test and I'll report back any abnormalities.

Thank you fellas for your constructive input regarding this matter.

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Old 01-10-2020, 02:33 PM   #85
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Nothing like a good old round of "should I put anti-seize on (fill in the blank)" to provide some spirited banter!

Reminds me of going to a family reunion...
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:07 PM   #86
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Nothing like a good old round of "should I put anti-seize on (fill in the blank)" to provide some spirited banter!

Reminds me of going to a family reunion...
That was actually one of the less controversial topics of this thread!
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:35 PM   #87
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It's sure a sign of head damaged threads. A normal head should be able to thread the plugs by hand until bottomed out.
yeah I suppose .but the motor run fine ,didnt consume oil or had any anormalities , maybe a little coolant consumption now that I think about it but I think that was from a leaking sensor .we'll see how are the plugs on my new m54b22 coupe when I will have to remove the plugs for vanos seals
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:51 PM   #88
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I had a similar situation with my 330xi. #6 (original to the car) was a little odd taking out, and so was very careful starting the new one in BY HAND. Made sure it spun in freely - but then it started to stick (for lack of a better word) about 1/2 way into it. Freaked out. I started over. Same thing. The whole time using my fingers. It had a lot of resistance. Ended up using the wrench to tighten to snug and then 1/4 gentle turn. Haven't had any issues with it in the year since - except for one random misfire and clear.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:58 PM   #89
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I had a similar situation with my 330xi. #6 (original to the car) was a little odd taking out, and so was very careful starting the new one in BY HAND. Made sure it spun in freely - but then it started to stick (for lack of a better word) about 1/2 way into it. Freaked out. I started over. Same thing. The whole time using my fingers. It had a lot of resistance. Ended up using the wrench to tighten to snug and then 1/4 gentle turn. Haven't had any issues with it in the year since - except for one random misfire and clear.
Sounds like my #4. It came out very easy and went back in a similar fashion to your #6. After about 30 miles of driving I picked up a #6 misfire. Thankfully it ended up being the coil, the ideal simple fix. I'll reserve my final judgment for a bit yet.

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Old 01-14-2020, 11:36 PM   #90
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When you have a problem with threading a plug in, you might want to consider chasing the threads with the proper tap. Yeh, taps cost a few bucks, but high blood pressure from avoidable stress can be a lot more costly. No I would not obsess over any junk that the tap might drop on the piston top - it's on it's way out with the exhaust stroke.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:29 PM   #91
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No I would not obsess over any junk that the tap might drop on the piston top - it's on it's way out with the exhaust stroke.
Murphy law says the junk can be caught between the valve and its seat, then melted and welded on the seat causing a leaking valve.

I would lube the new plug threads with oil and install/remove a few times to smooth out the knot.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:31 PM   #92
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Not saying that I'd feel fully confident about this in this situation if it were a car that I was working on, but I'd feel better than just running a tap in dry.

Put a thick coating of grease on the flutes of the tap so that any chips get caught in the grease and come back out with the tap.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:01 PM   #93
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Are you kidding me guys? This is a freaking car forum where you're supposed to HELP others out and not bicker about stupid things. Posts deleted.

Yes, we should be on here to help others. But the bickering is a byproduct of that helping. And in this case, a necessity, as so much misinformation has crept into the thread.


I know the OP has resolved this..... but in case there are others reading about what to do in similar situations.


The idea of using a torque wrench to control the force exerted in removing the plugs is the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard. The fact of the matter is, it's gonna take whatever amount of force required to remove the plug. If it breaks (as in the plug breaks in two), well, that sucks. Once the plug is broken loose and gets harder to turn, putting penetrating oil on the exposed threads, allowing it soak for a while, and then threading the plug back in to distribute oil onto the threads (repeat as required until the plug is removed) is the right way to get it out. BTW, WD40 is not the correct oil to use in this situation. PB Blaster or Kroil, to name a few, are the correct products.

Once you get all the plugs out and have determined the new plugs don't go in as easily as you think they should. Use a thread chaser tap covered in grease to clean up the threads in the head. You can get them for 10 bucks off Amazon. The grease will collect the debris cut with the tap. Clean the tap and reapply grease as you go from one cylinder to the next.

New plugs, that have a shiny metal finish (like NGK Iridium plugs), have a metal coating on them that acts like anti seize. You are good to go. Once those plugs come out and you need to put them back in, you need to put anti seize on the threads. A little bit on the threads a few threads in from the tip is all you need. To much is not a good thing. You need to remember that anti seize will provide lubrication and will result in an inaccurate torque reading and you should adjust accordingly.



Back the the OP. It does indeed look like the engine had the incorrect plugs, at least based upon the picture you posted.



Now to add a little bickering.

There are a number of poster saying torque wrench this and torque wrench that and commenting on calibrated wrists. As stated earlier, I use a torque wrench when building engines (and a stretch gauge on rod bolts) but when times/situations do not allow for the use of a wrench we sometimes fall back to that calibrated wrist. I have never used a torque wrench in the pits (either side of the wall). If you take something off, you just make sure to put it back on tight.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:17 PM   #94
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Would have been nice if we could have just let that argument die. I have a feeling that that post is going to set it back off full force.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:58 PM   #95
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Nailed it on all fronts andrewmr. Might add, I never saw or carried a torque wrench on the flight line when we were launching loaded B-52 bombers. You calibrate your elbow while in initial training and then in the shop. When you graduate to the flight line you don't always have time time for torque wrenches just like in the piston race day and so you rely on your muscle memory to get it done - right. That's just how the real world works when under pressure and it does work.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:15 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by andrewmr View Post
Yes, we should be on here to help others. But the bickering is a byproduct of that helping. And in this case, a necessity, as so much misinformation has crept into the thread.


I know the OP has resolved this..... but in case there are others reading about what to do in similar situations.


The idea of using a torque wrench to control the force exerted in removing the plugs is the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard. The fact of the matter is, it's gonna take whatever amount of force required to remove the plug. If it breaks (as in the plug breaks in two), well, that sucks. Once the plug is broken loose and gets harder to turn, putting penetrating oil on the exposed threads, allowing it soak for a while, and then threading the plug back in to distribute oil onto the threads (repeat as required until the plug is removed) is the right way to get it out. BTW, WD40 is not the correct oil to use in this situation. PB Blaster or Kroil, to name a few, are the correct products.

Once you get all the plugs out and have determined the new plugs don't go in as easily as you think they should. Use a thread chaser tap covered in grease to clean up the threads in the head. You can get them for 10 bucks off Amazon. The grease will collect the debris cut with the tap. Clean the tap and reapply grease as you go from one cylinder to the next.

New plugs, that have a shiny metal finish (like NGK Iridium plugs), have a metal coating on them that acts like anti seize. You are good to go. Once those plugs come out and you need to put them back in, you need to put anti seize on the threads. A little bit on the threads a few threads in from the tip is all you need. To much is not a good thing. You need to remember that anti seize will provide lubrication and will result in an inaccurate torque reading and you should adjust accordingly.



Back the the OP. It does indeed look like the engine had the incorrect plugs, at least based upon the picture you posted.



Now to add a little bickering.

There are a number of poster saying torque wrench this and torque wrench that and commenting on calibrated wrists. As stated earlier, I use a torque wrench when building engines (and a stretch gauge on rod bolts) but when times/situations do not allow for the use of a wrench we sometimes fall back to that calibrated wrist. I have never used a torque wrench in the pits (either side of the wall). If you take something off, you just make sure to put it back on tight.
actually , the torque to untighten a thread is always less than the torque that is needed to tighten it , but this is a detail , cause when you need to brake loose something you will apply as much torque as needed , either it will break loose or it will break , there is no way around it , that's the first reason the torque wrench is useless (the only use to using a torque wrench I can think of is to verify that there is actually a problem with the threads if the torque required is much more than the torque to fasten ) the second reason is that very few torque wrenches operate in the opposite direction . but as I said , little significance to these details , cause when you have to untighten something you have to apply as much torque as needed , as you stated
I absolutely agree on everything else .Also a clarification ; I think the problem with antiseize is that it changes the coefficient of friction(wet vs dry) and it messes with the actual force exerted in the threads ,as you also stated . not that it insulates the plug from the cylinder head thus creating misfires as some other threads suggest
(hope no one discredit you from your small post number as it happened with me )
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Last edited by doukas007; 01-17-2020 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:17 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by doukas007 View Post
actually , the torque to untighten a thread is always less than the torque that is needed to tighten it , but this is a detail , cause when you need to brake loose something you will apply as much torque as needed , either it will break loose or it will break , there is no way around it , that's the first reason the torque wrench is useless (the only use to using a torque wrench I can think of is to verify that there is actually a problem with the threads if the torque required is much more than the torque to fasten ) the second reason is that very few torque wrenches operate in the opposite direction . but as I said , little significance to these details , cause when you have to untighten something you have to apply as much torque as needed , as you stated
I absolutely agree on everything else .Also a clarification ; I think the problem with antiseize is that it changes the coefficient of friction(wet vs dry) and it messes with the actual force exerted in the threads ,as you also stated . not that it insulates the plug from the cylinder head thus creating misfires as some other threads suggest
(hope no one discredit you from your small post number as it happened with me )
Immediately after torquing, as I posted above, afterwards it will be higher than initial torque.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:36 PM   #98
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I never saw or carried a torque wrench on the flight line when we were launching loaded B-52 bombers. You calibrate your elbow while in initial training and then in the shop. When you graduate to the flight line you don't always have time time for torque wrenches just like in the piston race day and so you rely on your muscle memory to get it done - right. That's just how the real world works when under pressure and it does work.
Well, no mechanics have to pay for a damaged B-52 if the bolt stripped. Everyone paid for it but not for my engine.

Also maybe military spec called for stronger fasteners than torque spec.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:18 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by andrewmr View Post
Yes, we should be on here to help others. But the bickering is a byproduct of that helping. And in this case, a necessity, as so much misinformation has crept into the thread.


I know the OP has resolved this..... but in case there are others reading about what to do in similar situations.


The idea of using a torque wrench to control the force exerted in removing the plugs is the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard. The fact of the matter is, it's gonna take whatever amount of force required to remove the plug. If it breaks (as in the plug breaks in two), well, that sucks. Once the plug is broken loose and gets harder to turn, putting penetrating oil on the exposed threads, allowing it soak for a while, and then threading the plug back in to distribute oil onto the threads (repeat as required until the plug is removed) is the right way to get it out. BTW, WD40 is not the correct oil to use in this situation. PB Blaster or Kroil, to name a few, are the correct products.

Once you get all the plugs out and have determined the new plugs don't go in as easily as you think they should. Use a thread chaser tap covered in grease to clean up the threads in the head. You can get them for 10 bucks off Amazon. The grease will collect the debris cut with the tap. Clean the tap and reapply grease as you go from one cylinder to the next.

New plugs, that have a shiny metal finish (like NGK Iridium plugs), have a metal coating on them that acts like anti seize. You are good to go. Once those plugs come out and you need to put them back in, you need to put anti seize on the threads. A little bit on the threads a few threads in from the tip is all you need. To much is not a good thing. You need to remember that anti seize will provide lubrication and will result in an inaccurate torque reading and you should adjust accordingly.



Back the the OP. It does indeed look like the engine had the incorrect plugs, at least based upon the picture you posted.



Now to add a little bickering.

There are a number of poster saying torque wrench this and torque wrench that and commenting on calibrated wrists. As stated earlier, I use a torque wrench when building engines (and a stretch gauge on rod bolts) but when times/situations do not allow for the use of a wrench we sometimes fall back to that calibrated wrist. I have never used a torque wrench in the pits (either side of the wall). If you take something off, you just make sure to put it back on tight.
This is a good post that is on point. Not being a professional mechanic, but educated in industrial engineering and a 40-yearish DIY auto shade tree mechanic (well, now with a full shop at home) my opinion is the use of torque specs in a lot of automotive applications is a bit overkill. Engine building is one place where they are necessary, but for drain bolts, suspension components, not that critical. In a lot of cases, with the component installed in the car, you can't get a torque wrench square on a fastener, and if you can, anything but straight purchase on it (i.e. no long extensions or flex-joints) will negate setting the torque to spec (oil pan bolts come to mind). So you just have to use a calibrated wrist.

There is no doubt that over time, a good DIY'er will learn how to properly torque fasteners without breaking them and be close to the engineered torque spec. Noobes that break fasteners have just not been properly trained to understand how bolts and threads work; meaning thread count/pitch and material hardness.

Of the 4 torque wrenches I have, every one has stated in the instructions, not to use them for removing fasteners. In a past life as an equipment planning engineer responsible for the metrology lab equipment for large defense contractor that made aerospace hardware and components, we never calibrated torque wrenches in the opposite direction.

And for any youngin's reading this post, never use a click-type torque wrench on spark plugs. Use only a beam-style torque wrench. The reason is most 3/8ths-drive click-type torque wrenches are not accurate at low torque values. Most modern cars with aluminum heads require between 15 to 25 pound-foot of torque on spark plugs (dry - no anti-seize). Most BMWs call for 18 - 22. If you do use some anti-seize on reinstalling old plugs, then use a small amount of high-temp copper-based anti-seize.

My 2 cents

I'm glad the OP got his issue resolved. I always take plugs out on a cold engine and do not use anti-seize (unless the vehicle manufacturer specifies it). But I understand his concern, since he didn't know if the plugs were correctly installed by the previous owner.

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 01-18-2020 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:03 AM   #100
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Well, no mechanics have to pay for a damaged B-52 if the bolt stripped. Everyone paid for it but not for my engine.

Also maybe military spec called for stronger fasteners than torque spec.
You're correct in one area; Mil Spec bolts are usually of higher strength (not always) than common automotive fasteners. Moreso they are manufactured to a much higher standard and have to endure passing and continued testing to ensure that XX bolt or fastener will perform exactly as outlined within the specification it was constructed under.

About 2 months after I was on the job on the flightline working on my McDonnell Douglas USAF F4-D # 66-349 (Torrejon AB) I had finished up all of the preflight checks during the overnight shift awaiting the first launch at ~6AM.

I had lended a hand to the crew on the next plane over to help them get the many things wrong corrected (there were some 12 folks working on that very broken bird that night) in an effort to get mission completion rates up.

Later that day, we learned that it had crashed with the loss of life to the pilot and the whizzo (WSO=Weapons System Officer, AKA: guy/gal in the back seat) with a total loss of the aircraft as well.

EVERYBODY who touched that aircraft over the past week was restricted from any leave time pending the crash investigation. Should have anyone performed work incorrectly, had nefarious intent such as sabotage or other would need to be questioned thoroughly about what the performed and how.

There were a few days of self-questioning about who did what and if I (we) did things the way they were supposed to?

Already long story short; the pilot was showboating in the canyons north of Madrid around Navacerrada and misjudged an unauthorized maneuver.

Maybe I wouldn't have had to pay for it with money, if I was the cause. However I would have been court martialed, likely would have had jail and would have to live with the knowledge that I was somewhat responsible (completely or partially) for the deaths of two people. Thank God there were no civilians involved! That's a price higher than money. Us "Crew Chief's" take our responsibilities very seriously.

BTW, The most satisfying job of my life. Watching that bird take off in the pre-dawn light with both afterburners screaming as it disappeared into the sky.
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