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Old 06-16-2009, 06:23 PM   #1
Drew303
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Default Using a torque wrench on drain plug

How many of you use a torque wrench when you are tightening the drain plug? In the past I have just tightened it by feel, but this is the first time I have changed the oil in my new 09 WRX and I dont want screw anything up...

Edit... nevermind I found an old thread on it
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:34 PM   #2
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33ft-lbs
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:43 PM   #3
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never!
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:04 PM   #4
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Never. However, don't reef on it either...snug is all you need, just like the oil filter.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:01 AM   #5
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Always.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
Always.


how did i know this without even looking
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:39 AM   #7
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I'm confused by a couple of responses here. Why would you "never" want to use a torque wrench on something that has specific torque specifications?
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:42 AM   #8
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I did until I installed a Fumoto valve. Now I don't need to deal with crush washers or torquing drain plugs.
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisersouse View Post
I'm confused by a couple of responses here. Why would you "never" want to use a torque wrench on something that has specific torque specifications?
Lug nuts, other engine parts, suspension parts? Absolutely...every time, all the time.

Oil drain plug? No. Snug has always worked for me and will continue to do so. I'm willing to bet the reason I've had so few problems with my vehicles is that I've never had any routine service done there. I do it all myself, mostly with hand tools. Screw the stealer gorillas reefing on everything with air tools. I'm not getting out a torque wrench to do the same thing a 1/4 turn after it snugs up will do.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisersouse View Post
I'm confused by a couple of responses here. Why would you "never" want to use a torque wrench on something that has specific torque specifications?
i'm in the 'never' category. If you change it enough you can get a fairly good feel of what it should be. And the oil drain plug isn't a critical suspension part. have it at 20 ft/lb instead of 33 ft/lb isn't going to be catastrophic, and it won't back out. worst case, it will drip a little. I'm guessing there is also a fairly large safety margin built in on the top side of the spec, i wouldn't doubt if it would safely handle 66 ft/lb.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkramer View Post
i'm in the 'never' category. If you change it enough you can get a fairly good feel of what it should be. And the oil drain plug isn't a critical suspension part. have it at 20 ft/lb instead of 33 ft/lb isn't going to be catastrophic, and it won't back out. worst case, it will drip a little. I'm guessing there is also a fairly large safety margin built in on the top side of the spec, i wouldn't doubt if it would safely handle 66 ft/lb.
I am in the Never category too. From when I was 17 -21 I worked at a Mom and Pop owned Goodyear, I have changed more oil then anyone would in a lifetime. You defiantly get a feel for it when using hand tools.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:49 PM   #12
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Never used a torque wrench on a drain plug, & never will... It's not that critical, and if you f' it up you shouldn't be doing it. JMO
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:25 PM   #13
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I always have, that is, until I installed the Fumoto.

Does it really matter as it might on a drivetrain or suspension component? Probably not.

Do I have a torque wrench easily available and are there torque specs for that bolt? Yes. Might as well do it right then...
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:25 AM   #14
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I have done a lot of oil changes without lifting the car. The drain plug is the brass one with the oil temperature sensor built in. The box wrench for that is about 1.5 feet long. So I cut one in half, cut a slot in the box end (to get the wire through), and rounded off each of the two new ends.

I mostly use the short open end. Then I just change and replace the the oil and filter. I've never had a problem. 160,000 miles and 3000 mile changes. That's a lot of use of that brass nut, and a lot of rings have been successfully crushed by it. If I had a longer wrench I might have broken something; Archimedes once said something to the effect of "if I had a longer wrench, I could move the Earth".
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:31 AM   #15
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A quick search for "stripped threads" and "how much is a new oil pan" here will give you plenty of reasons to use a torque wrench.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:48 AM   #16
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I have changed the oil on literately tens of thousands of cars in my carrier of being a lube tech and a mechanic. I have never used a torque wrench on a drain plug. The only cars that really have pan striping issues that I have seen are VW's and their aluminum oil pans. I put 2 fingers on the wrench and tighten it like that. Even cars that come in and i need to brace my weight against the car and push as hard as I can to get the drain plugs off haven't stripped yet.

Make sure the washer on the plug is good if you have one. Bottom the plug out than give a light tug and call it good. Don't reef of it and don't puss out and it will be fine.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:00 AM   #17
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I'm in the never camp.

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Old 06-18-2009, 10:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LorenzoS View Post
A quick search for "stripped threads" and "how much is a new oil pan" here will give you plenty of reasons to use a torque wrench.
Exactly. I don't have a calibrated elbow. I will say I was suprised initially how tight 33flbs was. RP
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:23 AM   #19
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Just for S&G I did tighten it to the factory specs once. The next time I changed my oil, I got to relive my experience changing the oil for the first time - as a previous poster said, 33 f lbs is tight.

I've never had any leaks doing it by feel - just a bit more than it takes to crush the washer. I read somewhere that that's the true purpose of the crush washer, to let you see the effect of the clamping force.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wires View Post
Just for S&G I did tighten it to the factory specs once. The next time I changed my oil, I got to relive my experience changing the oil for the first time - as a previous poster said, 33 f lbs is tight.

I've never had any leaks doing it by feel - just a bit more than it takes to crush the washer. I read somewhere that that's the true purpose of the crush washer, to let you see the effect of the clamping force.
Uh, No... The purpose of the crush washer is to squish and mold itself to the surfaces and seal the drain plug and oil pan.
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