Spark Plug Torque Settings
It is extremely important that the correct torque is used when installing spark plugs. If an accurately scaled, recently calibrated torque wrench is unavailable then you must take care not to overtighten spark plugs - particularly if refitting after cleaning. We strongly recommend using the manual tightening method described below rather than relying on an unsuitable or uncalibrated torque wrench. Almost all cases of over torquing damage to spark plugs we have come across have been due to use of an unsuitable or inaccurate torque wrench.
Most spark plugs (flat seat with gasket type) have a 'crush washer' or gasket which becomes compressed during the initial installation, this allows around half a turn of the plug to be made once contact between cylinder head and gasket has been made. Subsequent reuse of the plug will allow only one twelfth of a turn to be made after contact due to the gasket already having been compressed. Failure to observe this guideline may result in a damaged plug or cylinder head - to the extent of fracture or thread stripping. At best, an overtightened plug will not perform correctly - the plug's internal components will be 'stretched' and may not be able to dissipate heat correctly thus effectively increasing the heat range of the plug, making it run hotter and possibly overheat. Plug and engine damage may result..
If using a tapered (conical, without gasket) seat plug type, after contact of the 'shoulder' or mating surface of the plug is made, only one sixteenth of a turn should be applied. This applies to both new and re-used taper seat type plugs (common in Ford engines). In certain circumstances tapered seat plugs can be prone to seizing, this applies especially to certain models of Ford Fiesta and Ka. The best way to guard against problems of this type is to remove plugs midway between recommended service intervals and ensure that any corrosion is cleaned up before replacing.
|Flat Seat Type (With Gasket)||Conical Seat Type|
|Cast iron head||34-45Nm||25-35Nm||15-25Nm||10-15Nm||20-30Nm||15-25Nm|
|25.3-32.5lbs ft||18.0-25.3lbs ft||10.8-18.0lbs ft||7.2-10.8lbs ft||14.5-21.6lbs ft||10.8-18.0lbs ft|
|25.3-28.9lbs ft||18.0-21.6lbs ft||10.8-14.5lbs ft||7.2-8.7lbs ft||5.8-7.2lbs ft||14.5-21.6lbs ft||7.2-14.5lbs ft|