Torque can be adjusted to a proper amount and then repeated with great accuracy.
Snug is a feel good term that that only works as long as you feel good about it.
x 2 on thatWith as short as the threads are in the block, use a Heli-Coil or similar thread insert and be done with it. Buy the 1/4 - 20 kit at your local hardware - you'll need it again sometime in the future.
We ALWAYS use a torque wrench on sidecover bolts! It's guys that don't that cause the need for heli-coils, Mike!
Thanks and God bless,
Carlson Racing Engines