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*Quick story: I replace many parts on my 02 Ford Escape but there's still a vacuum leak. Today I spray carb cleaner on lower intake and found where the leak is coming from. I must not have put the lower intake on right. I didn't have a torque wrench so I just tightened them down over several rounds to about out as tight as they would go. But this time I am going to try using the proper torque spec (hand tight 45.5" lbs 96" lbs).

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So I got a beautiful new $15 torque wrench.

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But 96" lbs is right near 0 on the guage. From what I can tell it would not be very tight at all. It just seems like it won't be on there tight enough because the gentlest touch on the end of the torque wrench will get it there.

Is this normal? If I go to 96" lbs and it feels loose should I go a little tighter (200 or 300 inch pounds)?

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  • It probably feels loose because tightening it "as tight as it would go" over "several rounds" bent it out of shape and now it will never fit properly.
    – alephzero
    Aug 26 '21 at 2:38
  • Probably not that.
    – user875234
    Aug 26 '21 at 6:46
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Yes, 96 in-lbs is a valid torque. Inch-pounds are often used where ft-lbs are too large. An inch-pound is 1/12 of a ft-lb. So 96 in-lbs is the same as 8 ft-lbs.

Usually a 1/4" drive torque wrench is better for such small torque amounts and will usually be marked in in-lbs. vs. ft-lbs.

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    It's actually lb-ft ... ft-lb is a unit of energy. Aug 25 '21 at 23:41
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    They are equivalent measures and are used for both. I learned it as ft-lbs. but ft-lbs. = lb-ft. since both are FORCE x DISTANCE.
    – jwh20
    Aug 25 '21 at 23:43
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    Actually, no they are not. A ft-lb is moving 1 lb weight one foot. A lb-ft measures torque, which is using 1 lb force at a 1 foot radius. These are two WAY different things. Aug 25 '21 at 23:50
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    I only stated the the units are the same: FORCE X DISTANCE, in this case lbs. X ft. or ft. X lbs (or N x m in N-m if you are SI inclined). The thing they measure is obviously different.
    – jwh20
    Aug 25 '21 at 23:53
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    Please take this to chat if you want to continue. For every vehicle service manual reference you can show me using lb-ft. for torque, I can show you one that uses ft-lb. Both are commonly used and we're not talking Physics SE.
    – jwh20
    Aug 26 '21 at 0:20
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My guess is you have already overtightened them and you should really disassemble the manifold and identify why it didn’t seal correctly. Don’t just tighten more. You may need to get a new gasket.

You should also do the tightening while the engine is cold.

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Check specs for your torque wrench. You probably bought one for 0-125 foot lbs or close, making it incorrect for your application. A lower range say 0-10 foot pounds should work. 45 inch pounds=3.75 foot lbs. 96 inch lbs=8 foot lbs. It's recommended to use a torque wrench that's accurate between the second quarter to three quarters of its range.

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