# How to measure .045 inch?

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• posted on June 9, 2007, 3:59 am
I am changing the spark plugs in my car and find myself without my spark plug gauge. The gap is supposed to be .045" or 1.14 mm.
Is there any way I can simulate this gap (thickness) of .05" by using standard items in my garage, like nails, wires, drills bits, etc?
Thanks for any help. Would save me a long trip to the nearest supply house. This may be OT, but people in the group are familiar with tools and materials.
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Walter
www.rationality.net
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 4:10 am

Well a 3/32 drill would be real close. Don't 'spose ya have one handy. A lose fit on a sawzall blade (~0.035) might get ya by but don't think I'd do it.
18 gauge wire is 0.040 something 16 gauge wire is 0.050 something
copper wire will deform...
maybe somebody else will get closer
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 4:26 am

????? 3/32" is .093!

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• posted on June 9, 2007, 5:26 am

Yup. Thinking 3/64 and typed 3/32. Good catch.

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• posted on June 9, 2007, 4:18 am
Walter R. wrote:

In umpteen years I don't think I've had a plug I've checked out of the box be off by enough to fool with.
But if you have a full set of bits, 3/64" is 0.046... I don't recall which numbered bit would be roughly right, but one of the smaller number sizes will be as well...
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 4:34 am
Walter R. wrote:

Sure, hold it next to your dick then divide by 2.
Or, buy a spark-plug gap tool for \$1.
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 7:51 am
wrote:

I had that same problem once. I took out some nails and found one that fit in the gap of one of the old plugs, since they should have been gapped to the proper gap. (of course they tend to burn a little wider). I found one that fit well, and used that. I believe it was a 3 or 4 penny finish nail. (of course my gap may have been different). Normally the gap is close out of the box, but once and awhile one is way off. Until you can get the proper tool, see if you can find a close nail.
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 9:37 am
wrote:

Flatten a nail point until it is the required gap thickness and keep that as your handy gauge.
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 1:07 pm

Probably, but why bother? Buy yourself another spark plug gauge for a dollar or two -- I'm sure the place you bought your spark plugs at will have them.
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 2:06 pm
Doug Miller wrote:

What in "Would save me a long trip to the nearest supply house." didn't you understand, Doug? :(
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 2:20 pm
On Sat, 09 Jun 2007 09:06:33 -0500, dpb wrote:

If he has a 9/200's drill bit he could use that.
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 3:03 pm
Meat Plow wrote:

A #57 drill bit is .043; a #56 is .046. Or your FLAPS likely has a little tool with pieces of wire in the common spark plug gap sizes sitting in a bin next to the checkout for less than \$5.
nate
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 3:43 pm

If the OP is so paranoid about the gap that he won't risk driving to town on slightly incorrectly gapped plugs - then have him use a CD - CD's are .047" thick.
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 4:13 pm
Eigenvector wrote:

I don't see anything "paranoid" about it -- w/ fuel prices they way they are, I don't make needless trips, either, plus there's simply the nuisance factor. And, who knows what OP's "long trip" actually is?
Granted, it's a little overkill to ask usenet about 0.045*64 = 2.88 --> 3/64" is closest fractional drill bit, but seemed a little overly harsh reaction to me. Of course, I probably should have just let it ride, to... :)
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 6:36 pm
.

And he doesn't want to do it twice. If the plugs are out now, he wants to put them in and be done. He doesn't want to do them again next week either, even after he drove past the supply house anyhow.

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• posted on June 9, 2007, 7:17 pm

You weren't exactly Mr. Nice to Doug either.
Driving to the auto store for a spark gap guage is an irritation even to me and I can ride my bike cause it's only 2 miles away where I'm at - but I wouldn't drive or bike to it unless it was a dire problem. Picking one up at the store the next time he needs groceries or a half-rack of beer seems reasonable and it's not like the OP can't just put the old ones back in the holes or put the new ones in the holes and not worry about it. Either the engine won't be impacted or it will run badly - but it will still run. Spark plug gap is NOT that critical if the need is great. They should be properly gapped, but they don't have to be if you don't mind poor performance.
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• posted on June 9, 2007, 7:29 pm
Eigenvector wrote:

Which is why I recanted/said I _should_ have just let it slide...
Sometimes we do things we regret later... :(
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• posted on June 10, 2007, 1:31 am

Pretty much any place that sells spark plugs will sell wire feeler gauges, too -- auto parts store, hardware store, Wal-Mart, whatever.
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• posted on June 10, 2007, 2:06 am
wrote:

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• posted on June 10, 2007, 5:31 am
wrote:

Wouldn't even be close, card stock is like .5 mm or something. Like I suggested back when, use a CD, they're .047" thick.