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View Full Version : Oil Plug - Use a torque wrench


etcthorne
03-09-2008, 10:51 AM
Unless you've been changing your own oil for a while and have a feel for it. I always use a torque wrench, especially on a Suzuki.

OK, not my horror story - the neighbor.

Guy has a 750 Katana. I hear a knock on my door yesterday afternoon and he's standing there telling me he stripped his plug threads after changing his oil. I first tell him he should realize that since he's 6' 4' and weighs about 240 that he's a gorilla in the first place.... (he didn't kick my butt).

I go to look at the damage, and notice the CASE IS CRACKED!!!! I'll try to get some pictures if he's home today. It's cracked about two inches in kind a circular pattern and it looks as though a piece might actually want to fall out. There's definitely oil seeping through the cracks. He did strip the plug as well, but unsure of the sequence of events. This guy was doing the third oil change, but the first without any assistance from me or anyone else.

This one's going to be expensive, boys. Lessons learned: use a torque wrench unless you're **** sure you know the point of no return.

Amazingly (unless I missed it, and I probably did), our owner's manual doesn't give a torque spec for the plug - just for the filter. If anyone knows what it is for the Bandit, please post.

MetrickMetal
03-09-2008, 11:05 AM
Good advice, as I have also known of a few cases where people stripped out their drains plug threads from over tightening them. I also recommend using an accurate inch pound, 3/8" drive torque wrench on the drain plugs as opposed to a 1/2" drive torque wrench, as the amount of torque applied to the drain plug will be a lot more accurate for the same torque setting on the 3/8" drive in lb wrench as oppossed to the same torque setting on 1/2" drive, ft lb torque wrench.

The only things I use my 1/2" torque wrench on is things like axle nuts, and for most everything else, I use my Proto 210 in lb. range, 3/8" drive click type torque wrench. :rider:

kurt
03-09-2008, 11:20 AM
The case is cracked or the oil pan? The pan on the Bandit/Katana motors is easily replacable for not too much cash. Seems like I recall a figure of about $150 or so for the pan and gasket.

Brass
03-09-2008, 11:31 AM
Page OB-11 of the service manual list the torque spec for the drain plug.

Tightening torque
Oil drain plug (a): 23 Nm (2.3 kgf-m, 16.5 lb-ft)

suzukijo
03-09-2008, 11:31 AM
first part of the manual under lubrication, shows the torq amount, next to the picture of the drain plug at 16.5 ft/lbs. which is about snug. ob-11 page 42.

funny we all agree to torq it, but no one knows how much?

suzukijo
03-09-2008, 11:33 AM
BRASS, ARG. foiled by brass again, willimagiggers......

Brass
03-09-2008, 11:35 AM
Sorry Joe

I'll let you get the next one.

suzukijo
03-09-2008, 11:39 AM
keep em coming BRASS.

MetrickMetal
03-09-2008, 12:03 PM
Page OB-11 of the service manual list the torque spec for the drain plug.

Tightening torque
Oil drain plug (a): 23 Nm (2.3 kgf-m, 16.5 lb-ft)


Or 198 in lbs, which is what I use.

Suzuki must like to use 16 1/2 ft lbs a lot, as its the same torque called out for the bango bolts on the calipers and master cylinders. :rider:

suzukijo
03-09-2008, 12:09 PM
most 8mm thread is 16.5

etcthorne
03-09-2008, 05:17 PM
txmedic - oil pan. I sit corrected. You guys are so technical (as it should be to keep guys like me in line)! :lol2: It's cracked metal - I saw it and started feeling sick for the poor guy.

Roy
03-09-2008, 08:17 PM
Safety wire it and you won't have to worry about over torqueing it. Sometimes torque wrenchs can do more harm that good since most are not calibrated correctly. I have never stripped a drain plug.;-)

cannondale
03-09-2008, 08:27 PM
The case is cracked or the oil pan? The pan on the Bandit/Katana motors is easily replacable for not too much cash. Seems like I recall a figure of about $150 or so for the pan and gasket.


Thats about right. Very common for people to crack the oil pan on Kats.

PhilS
03-09-2008, 09:47 PM
Safety wire it and you won't have to worry about over torqueing it. Sometimes torque wrenchs can do more harm that good since most are not calibrated correctly. I have never stripped a drain plug.;-)


Roy:

Now you're talkin' my language - like airplane stuff.

Did you safety wire your drain plug? If so, ya' got a picture?

Phil

Roy
03-10-2008, 06:50 AM
Roy:

Now you're talkin' my language - like airplane stuff.

Did you safety wire your drain plug? If so, ya' got a picture?

Phil


No not yet but I have only changed the oil 3 times so far. My 1000 is wired. Bandit doesn't look too complicated.

John Bennett
03-10-2008, 07:59 AM
I stripped the drain plug threads on my KLR because I was in a hurry and totally thinking about something else while I was changing the oil. I "loosened" the plug by turning it to the RIGHT. When I felt resistance, I laid into it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v227/jbennett1966/misc/HODGES03.jpg

I used plumber's white teflon to help seal it for a while.

Lesson: Don't don't maintenance the morning OF your ride when time is running short.

RedPill
03-10-2008, 09:19 AM
Lesson: Don't don't maintenance the morning OF your ride when time is running short.


You're not the only one to be caught by that one, John. In a hurry is when you get hurt and break things.


Other lesson: Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.

txbanditrydr
03-10-2008, 09:38 AM
Other lesson: Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.

Unless the bolt is underneath looking up and you're over it..... like an oil drain plug. :doh:

kinkead26
03-11-2008, 09:23 PM
I changed my oil for the first time myself (first two times were done at the suzuki shop). I was impressed that I did not get one single drop of oil on the headers (tin foil works well).
Thanks to this thread I did not turn too hard the wrong way. I also had some movement to the right and would have continue trying to turn right without this thread. Thanks guys. I am mechanically challenged and this site has been a big help.

The Ferret
03-12-2008, 07:43 AM
If you check your ratchet before you put it on a bolt you will never turn it the wrong way, it will only go one way (either loosen or tighten), the other way it will just click with no pressure. I alway hold onto the socket and check my ratchet before using.



If you are using a breaker bar however............... :eek2:

db
03-12-2008, 03:03 PM
If you check your ratchet before you put it on a bolt you will never turn it the wrong way, it will only go one way (either loosen or tighten), the other way it will just click with no pressure. I alway hold onto the socket and check my ratchet before using......

Yep, I learned that little trick a few decades back.....don't ask how I learned that valuable lesson... :rofl: :trust: But I do use a torque wrench too (ratchet type)
:rider:

John Bennett
03-12-2008, 09:30 PM
I changed my oil for the first time myself (first two times were done at the suzuki shop).

Yes!

John Bennett
03-12-2008, 09:31 PM
Heysuz Kristo, mira how fat is my belly in that picture.

I'm not that fat now.

jcrawford
07-23-2010, 05:36 AM
I am not so sure that it is 16.5 lb-ft. I say this because I just stripped my oil pan yesterday and I had my torque wrench set to 15 lb-ft. Someone said maybe it is 16.5 lb-inch?

Time to break out the tools and remove my entire exhause just so I can drop the oil pan.... YAY!

achesley
07-23-2010, 07:27 AM
The book calls for 16.5 ft lbs of torque on the oil drain bolt. Click type torque wrenches will often stick. One habit I was taught is always store them at zero settings. And, exercise them in a vise. When I was doing heavy equipment work, we always had to send them off about every 3 months for calibration. Company policy. But, we were pulling 650 lbs on the head bolts. ;-) .

SwampFox
07-23-2010, 08:18 AM
If you check your ratchet before you put it on a bolt you will never turn it the wrong way, it will only go one way (either loosen or tighten), the other way it will just click with no pressure. I alway hold onto the socket and check my ratchet before using.

Yep, I do this too. I'm sure I look a little silly spinning the ratchet in the air prior to going up-side-down.

MCRyder
07-23-2010, 11:22 AM
I thought it was strange how the OM gives the torque value for the oil filter (14.5 lb-ft) but not the oil drain bolt. All it states is "tighten it securely". I got the value from Max-Suzuki.

What about using a new crush washer with the oil change on a Bandit? It doesn't state doing this in the OM. I've always replaced mine. The old washer is always crushed flat compared to the new one. I stretched the threads on my Concours oil drain hole due to forgetting to install a crush washer.

MetrickMetal
07-23-2010, 12:49 PM
I thought it was strange how the OM gives the torque value for the oil filter (14.5 lb-ft) but not the oil drain bolt. All it states is "tighten it securely". I got the value from Max-Suzuki.

What about using a new crush washer with the oil change on a Bandit? It doesn't state doing this in the OM. I've always replaced mine. The old washer is always crushed flat compared to the new one. I stretched the threads on my Concours oil drain hole due to forgetting to install a crush washer.

The factory service manual does give the torque value of 16 1/2 ft lbs for the oil drain bolt. I have used the aluminum crush washers over several times with no leakage. I found them to be the same size as the ones on my Honda Civic EX, so I now buy them at the Honda car dealer for $.25 each.

MCRyder
07-23-2010, 02:46 PM
I have used the aluminum crush washers over several times with no leakage. I found them to be the same size as the ones on my Honda Civic EX, so I now buy them at the Honda car dealer for $.25 each.

Nice tip, my wife has a Civic LX, thanks.

txbanditrydr
07-23-2010, 03:05 PM
Meh... put me in the catagory of a crushwasher re-user - still running the OEM washer and always use a torque wrench.

achesley
07-23-2010, 03:09 PM
Meh... put me in the catagory of a crushwasher re-user - still running the OEM washer and always use a torque wrench.
Put me in nearly the same mode but don't use a torque wrench even though I have 3 of them sitting in the shop ( 1/4" , 3/8" and 1/2" ) . Just snug the bolt. Probably not even 15 Ft lbs. More like maybe 10.

Siah
07-23-2010, 03:20 PM
Not that hard to do w/out a torque wrench... PO did it to my bike right before he sold it to me, so I got $200 off the price and got a mechanic to put a bigger bolt in it for $15. My torque wrench doesn't fit the new bolt so I just snug it up (wait for it to resist, then a little past)

terrebandit
07-23-2010, 11:15 PM
I've never used a torque wrench on an oil drain bolt. Been changing oil on 7 different bikes over 30 years time. All you need to do is snug it up and its not going anywhere. I do use torque wrenches on the critical engine stuff.

MetrickMetal
07-24-2010, 08:31 AM
I've never used a torque wrench on an oil drain bolt. Been changing oil on 7 different bikes over 30 years time. All you need to do is snug it up and its not going anywhere. I do use torque wrenches on the critical engine stuff.

I personally think that the oil drain bolt is right up there in the "critical engine stuff" category, but than again having to pull out that pesky old torque wrench and then turn the handle a couple of times to set the torque, and also having to deal with then snapping a socket onto it can be a real time consuming **** event, and for some can require weeks or even months of planning. :eek2:

Of course not using a torque wrench on the oil drain bolt does give you all that much more time to use it on all of the other "critical engine stuff: :doh: :lol2:

Fittysom'n
07-24-2010, 09:48 AM
Kinda baffles me how I often read of over-torquing AND stripping drain bolts. Given as how much I ride every year, and therefore how often I change my oil.... I've learned to exercise a little patience and lotsa care in returning my drain bolt in place. It's a bolt that doesn't hold any parts-is-parts together, usually has VERY clean threads, is always soft aluminum, and prone to expansion from heat. So if it's requiring ANY effort to twist on, STOP what yer doing and back off! I tighten it finger tight, then give it a little snugging and call it good. One thing I haven't been good at though, is replacing the (very soft) washer.... I usually just reuse it.... and I don't believe I remember EVER having one on the Bandit 1250(?).

About a torque wrench..... When I was a little stud working on my Volvo, I was ALWAYS stripping,bcross-threading bolts, and breaking parts! It only took me several years, a few helicoils, lotsa cussing and frustration before I finally broke down and bought a Craftsman torque wrench. I keep it stored at zero, in it's original factory cradle, alone and in it's own drawer in my tool box..... and I STILL wonder how well calibrated it is ten years later(?).

blchandl2
07-24-2010, 10:28 AM
A couple of observations on my Bandit compared to other bikes I have owned.

1. The drain plug that came from the factory had pitting on the shoulder that allowed oil to weep. I had the same issue in my 600 Bandit as well.

2. The oil pan casting has 'flow seams' (?) that are very close to the drain hole that could cause a weakness in the casting. I am not a die cast engineer but it looks like the material flow in the die came together in this area. This could make the drain plug area sensitive to over torquing.

MetrickMetal
07-24-2010, 10:48 AM
I wonder if the brand and weight of the oil people are using has anything to do with them stripping out their drain plugs. I heard that using Amsoil can possibly lead to premature drain plug failure. :rofl:

LowRyter
07-24-2010, 10:50 AM
I use a standard, not metric, socket. It's the only one in kit that fits. No torque wrench, never changed the washer, don't over tighten. It if ain't leakin', it's tight enough.

Now on my Bandit, I have only been doing it for 69k miles. I guess I am still experimenting.

terrebandit
07-24-2010, 11:56 AM
I wonder if the brand and weight of the oil people are using has anything to do with them stripping out their drain plugs. I heard that using Amsoil can possibly lead to premature drain plug failure. :rofl:

FWIW, I did use a torque wrench when I replaced my cams and rockers. LOL

Sockwell
07-24-2010, 02:05 PM
Just remember, off to the left, on to the right :clap::trust:

GregH
07-25-2010, 01:42 PM
I am not so sure that it is 16.5 lb-ft. I say this because I just stripped my oil pan yesterday and I had my torque wrench set to 15 lb-ft. Someone said maybe it is 16.5 lb-inch?

Time to break out the tools and remove my entire exhause just so I can drop the oil pan.... YAY!

Before you go that route check out Time-Sert. I replaced my threads with a steel insert and now have a steel drain bolt going into steel thread. Tight and no chance of stripping out aluminum threads.
Click HERE (http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43142&highlight=time-sert) for a thread where we discussed this issue and its successful resolution.

PhilS
07-25-2010, 01:57 PM
So Greg - did you have to remove the oil pan to do the Time-Sert insert?

MetrickMetal
07-25-2010, 03:34 PM
Before you go that route check out Time-Sert. I replaced my threads with a steel insert and now have a steel drain bolt going into steel thread. Tight and no chance of stripping out aluminum threads.
Click HERE (http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43142&highlight=time-sert) for a thread where we discussed this issue and its successful resolution.

Greg,

Installing any kind of steel thread repair insert into a part made out of aluminum does not mean that the threads cannot still be stripped out, as the ability of the insert to resist being pulled out of the parent material which in this case your describing is aluminum is only slightly increased in most cases over the size of the original thread compared to the slightly larger surface area of the slightly larger thread insert on which the torque is being applied when the drain bolt is tightened.

So in the end your still relying on the strength of the parent material into which the steel insert was in stalled as to it's ability to resist being stripped out if the drain plug is over torqued, and if enough torque is applied to the drain bolt you can end not stripping the threads but pulling the thread insert out of the aluminum. :rider:

GregH
07-25-2010, 09:22 PM
So Greg - did you have to remove the oil pan to do the Time-Sert insert?

Negative. I bored and installed the insert while the pan was on. I flushed the pan with several quarts of oil before putting everything back together. It worked like a charm and hasn't dripped a drop. :mrgreen:

GregH
07-25-2010, 09:42 PM
Greg,

Installing any kind of steel thread repair insert into a part made out of aluminum does not mean that the threads cannot still be stripped out...

I'm not going to apply that kind of torque. I simply didn't want to tear down the exhaust and cooling systems and spend $150 on a new pan. The Time-Sert is a great system.

MetrickMetal
07-25-2010, 09:52 PM
I'm not going to apply that kind of torque. I simply didn't want to tear down the exhaust and cooling systems and spend $150 on a new pan. The Time-Sert is a great system.

Don't get me wrong Greg, I'm not saying that there is any thing wrong with installing a steel thread repair insert. ;-)

GregH
07-25-2010, 10:07 PM
El Bandito, I got you. You're correct that even the insert won't protect from being really stupid. I'm just glad I was only a little stupid when I stripped that oil pan bolt or else it could have been much worse! :mrgreen:

blchandl2
07-26-2010, 08:00 PM
To quote Ron White: "You can't fix stupid".

Smoky14
07-28-2010, 02:23 PM
Yesterday my neighbor brought me his pan to install a heli-coil. Today he is back.. he stripped the bolts while putting the pan back on.

Some folks you just can't help!

GregH
07-28-2010, 02:41 PM
He probably strips light bulbs when he tries to screw them in, too! :mrgreen:

MetrickMetal
07-28-2010, 05:40 PM
Just to let everyone know, I changed my oil today and I used a torque wrench to properly torque the oil drain bolt to 198 in lbs, so there. :nana: