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Yesterday AmesGTO and I installed my blue Taylor wires and the NGK TR55 plugs. Thought I would post our experience in case someone else down the road runs into the same problems we do.

First off, I was too cheap to buy a torque wrench, but now I'm wondering even if I did get one, it would have been extremely hard to use in the cramped space of the plugs.

Anyway, so we took out the stock plugs, put in the NGK's and lubed up the Taylor wires with the supplied compound and took her for a 2 mile drive. Everything was fine, could tell a big difference in throttle response and the engined revved a little smoother. So about 10 minutes later, we took my GTO to get lunch and on the way back, I noticed when I hammered it, the engine stuttered and the GTO gave us a nice back massage. Right away we knew it had to be the plugs misfiring. So we hooked up HP Tuners to it and it confirmed the misfire, but it didn't tell us which cylinder it was (haven't mastered the software yet). So we reinspected the wires and reattached them thinking I made a bad connection somewhere. Another test drive and the problem persisted. So we changed the wires with the stock wires, another test drive and the problem was STILL there. So by this time, we knew it HAD to be the plugs (after 2 hours of trial and error).

So we pulled all the plugs and when I took out number 4 plug, the ceramic cracked as I pulled it out of the socket. FINALLY, found the problem. Why did they crack you ask? Because me, being the bone head I am, OVER TIGHTENED them. I ended up cracking 3 of the 8 if that tells you anything. I really didn't think I tightened them THAT much, but that's what I get for not buying a torque wrench. So if anyone else has this problem (another guy on here had a misfire too, never posted a solution) here's some info. Don't do what I did. Buy a torque wrench and pray to hell you can get it in there or use your judgement and just give her a little oomph. That's all it takes.

Feel free to tell me how incompetent I am, but in my defense, it was my first time installing plugs.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
One more thing. My check engine light was still on after we put in the new GOOD plugs. We did check all the wires out of the box and they were all good to go.

We reset the engine BCM and cycled the ignition 4 times, waiting 2-3 minutes each time and the light is STILL there. Anyone know if it takes a long time for the computer to re-learn with the new plugs or how does that work?
 

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Cant you just erase the code with a code scanner?

Did you wait for the engine to cool down before you torqued the plugs again? Dont want to strip the threads.
 

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Chief Poncho
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I never use a torque wrench on spark plugs. Maybe after 30 yrs of wrenching it's just a matter of getting the feel for it. :D I just tightened them until they seat, then one more turn to tighten. Never had any issues with plugs breaking.

I plan on changing the wires and plugs on my 04 GTO next week. I will let you know how it goes.
 

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Overtightening the plugs shouldn't make them crack, but not having the socket on straight might. If the socket is straight, the only thing touching the ceramic is the rubber thing that holds the plugs in the socket.
 

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Been here for a long time...
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Never had a problem like that

But I see why you broke them...your avatar says it all :D
 

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Rob said:
Never had a problem like that

But I see why you broke them...your avatar says it all :D
LOL

I didn't have any problems either. I think it might have been the angle of the wrench more than the torque.
 

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nikivee said:
I never use a torque wrench on spark plugs. Maybe after 30 yrs of wrenching it's just a matter of getting the feel for it. :D I just tightened them until they seat, then one more turn to tighten. Never had any issues with plugs breaking.

I plan on changing the wires and plugs on my 04 GTO next week. I will let you know how it goes.
I would be interested in your results, Nick. Also what gap you settle on. I gapped the NGK's at 50, and they seem to work nicely. I'm not really sure why GrandMa specified such a conservative gap. 10.5:1 shouldn't blow out any sparks with a modern multicoil setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I set them at 50 also. Had AmesGTO double check each one after I gapped them. We did have like 3-4 connectors and rotating angle connections on the craftsman wrench we had, so the angle of torque/tightening was really out of wack. The only way you could get a straight wrench in that tight of space would be to pull the damn engine or have a wrench so small, you could barely tighten them.

Was hard to get a feel for them (seated correctly) with all the connectors. I assume everyone else uses a combination of angled/rotating connectors?
 

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May I quote you on that?
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Yeah, Edge, we all live and learn. The way I was taught was to run them in by hand and only use the ratchet for final tightening. You'll never cross-thread that way.
 

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GTOholic
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I used a small "inch-pound" torque wrench. Just multiply the recommended foot-pounds by 12 and use the smaller wrench. I did what mistermike suggested; seated each plug by hand and then used the wrench to torque them.

BTW, I also gapped them at 0.050 and have been very pleased with the plugs and wires. Sorry to hear about your cracked ceramic. Do you plan on buying new NGK TR55's and trying again?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we stopped by O'Reillys and I bought another 8 TR55's and installed those.

That's exactly what I did Mistermike. I hand threaded them all the way and then tightened them with the wrench at the end.
 

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Member #804
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you think the GTO is bad, do a set of plugs on a malibu V6 Camry or a ghetto V6 4runner (89-96).

Were you using a spark plug socket?? silly question but you will crack spark plugs if you don't have the rubber boot in the socket. You don't crack spark plugs from overtightening.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yup, we were using the plug socket (all craftsman tools) with the rubber boot. Now I can't guarantee that the socket stayed on the plug 100% of the time, as the space was cramped and hard as hell to work in. The angles of all the sockets could have very well contributed to an unnatural force on the plug itself, causing it to warp/bend and crack the ceramic.

I'm not a physics major though.
 

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Kernal Sanders
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sorry i am alittle drunk right now but anyway... i am only 19 and did not use a torque wrench for the install of my ngk's and msd wires. my car runs like a champ...just get the plugs tight and turn ur wrench 1/4 of a turn or less you should be fine.....i have installed alot of plugs in my short life tho.... when i built the 383 we fould like 3 or 4 sets of plugs because the POS carter carb was flooding the car....anyway....point is you dont need a torque wrench
 

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I have to say Edge is pretty ripped. The second go round I did the final tighten and I think it went ok, but I'm a wuss computer guy.

We did clear the trouble code with the laptop when we thought it might be the plug wires. It was the plugs so the trouble code came back. Edge had to get going so I just told him that if the trouble code was still on next weekend at the Ames meet I'd clear it then.
 

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nikivee said:
I never use a torque wrench on spark plugs. Maybe after 30 yrs of wrenching it's just a matter of getting the feel for it. :D I just tightened them until they seat, then one more turn to tighten. Never had any issues with plugs breaking.

I plan on changing the wires and plugs on my 04 GTO next week. I will let you know how it goes.
Have to agree with you on this one. When I first started in the machining trade I was having a problem with something, the [email protected]# I was working for at the time told me something that really stuck. "You can either be a machinist or a gorilla" and left it at that. Lesson learned. Side note: I'm his boss now.
 

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Taylor wires & NGK plugs . . .engine light

edge929 said:
One more thing. My check engine light was still on after we put in the new GOOD plugs. We did check all the wires out of the box and they were all good to go.

We reset the engine BCM and cycled the ignition 4 times, waiting 2-3 minutes each time and the light is STILL there. Anyone know if it takes a long time for the computer to re-learn with the new plugs or how does that work?
Installed the 10.9 Taylor wires (blue) and NGK plugs set at .050. Awesome difference in response. Engine light was on for about 25 miles over two days.
Love this car.
 

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How difficult is it to just change the wires? Is it as simple as just unplug the old ones and plug the new ones in?
 
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