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retorquing plugs, wow


Let Them Eat Cake
Elite Explorer
May 13, 2000
Reaction score
City, State
Cape Girardeau, MO
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 Sport 4x4
Today I retorqued the spark plugs on my Explorer. I installed the new plugs the other week, and I torqued them to 11.5 foot-lbs as per Haynes recommendation. Their rec is 7 to 14 ft/lbs so I went with the midpoint.

Since then, I noticed a definite ticking sound at idle. I thought maybe it was the lifters or something like that, but I had never heard it from that engine before. I thought maybe I gapped them too much, but I suspected something else, so I got in there again.

It turns out that 11.5 foot/lbs was not enough torque, because #4 and a few other plugs were coming loose! I said a few choice words and then retorqued them, this time to 14 foot/lbs. Maybe I used too much anti-seize, and they came loose from the vibration and pounding?

After retorquing the motor runs quiet again. I can't get over it...

I am wondering if 14 ft/lbs is enough. It seems like a small matter, but I want to get things right...

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Where in your Haynes manual did you find the spark plug torque spec? I searched all through mine, but was unable to locate it. I just went by feel, and have had no ticking.

I didnt know there was a spec. I just make sure dem buggers are tight!


This time I torqued them more. Sure has some a** now that it didn't have before when I step on it. When I get a flowmaster it will be nicer yet..

In my Haynes it lists the torque specs at the beginning of the 1st chapter. I believe it's 84 to 168 inch-pounds which better be 7 to 14 ft/lbs. eheh. In mine it's section 1-2.

I think there have been 2 different Haynes manuals printed (one older printing, and one later printing) since some people seem to have a different layout from what's been said here. My Haynes covers 91 to 99 Explorers and the latest copyright is 1999.

That explains it, I have the older version of the Haynes book. It covers 91-95, and makes no mention of torque for spark plugs.