Torque for Oil Plug: Just For Fun Off Topic  -- Current Events Health Happiness Discussion Forum and Review Torque for Oil Plug: Just For Fun Off Topic -- Current Events Health Happiness Discussion Forum

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 06-04-2006, 19:29 Post: 130425
ncrunch32



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 Torque for Oil Plug

Is there a common range of torque settings for oil plugs when you change the oil on tractors, cars etc? I know I can call the dealer for each vehicle/engine but that would take lots of phone calls. I have, until now, used judgement but I think I generally go too tight. I guess my nervousness goes back to my youth when I stripped a pot metal oil pan underneath one of my Dad's cars. I have finally acquired a full set of torque wrenches and would like to save time by not second guessing the tightness on the plug for 15 minutes!






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 06-04-2006, 20:32 Post: 130430
Art White



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 Torque for Oil Plug

The torque would change depending on the plug's threads and diameter.






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 06-04-2006, 21:07 Post: 130431
ncrunch32



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 Torque for Oil Plug

Thanks Art, I guess there is no "rule of thumb" here. I wonder what places that do oil changes (like Valvoline, Jiffy Lube) do as far as torque is concerned. Do they actually torque every oil plug to manufacturer specs based on make/model of car?






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 06-04-2006, 21:49 Post: 130434
earthwrks

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 Torque for Oil Plug

Your question reminds me of when I used to write automotive service manuals. We writers would put in a bogus torque spec in our drafts just to see if the engineers were actually proofreading our stuff since they were required to buy-off on it. We got so tired of them NOT correcting our bogus specs that we started writing in "tighten until it breaks then back off 1/4-turn." That got their attention---but not every time. But they still wrote in their own guesstimated (read: bogus) specs because they felt they had better things to do than give us the right info (and we'd kick right back to 'em until it was right).

To answer your question; I don't torque any of mine to spec. And it depends on what type of gasket or seal, if any, is on it. I have had the dummies at the local oil change tighten the plug so much that it split the hard paper gasket.

(NC: A bit [okay, way off] off topic, but some trivia nonetheless: the term you used "rule of thumb" is an 800-year-old term that was actually a rule or law that a man could not beat his wife with a stick or branch larger than his thumb!)






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 06-05-2006, 06:12 Post: 130439
DennisCTB

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 Torque for Oil Plug

EarthWorks,

Thanks for that insight, I have a torque wrench, but have only used it on cylinder heads and such. I have always felt that for for simple stuff like Oil plugs the torque specs were more there to CYA the mfg. in the event a customer uses a 3/4 inch drive socket on an oil pan and strips it. Not their problem too much torque beyond spec. when you use an oversize wrench.

If you use an appropriate size wrench most people should have no problem.

As to those oil change places, the ones I have seen hire a bunch of kids where it takes at least three or 4 to do the job.

- One to work the computer and try to get add on work,
- another to stick an Air Conditioning hose into your car
- another to hand you your choice of reading material
- another to take the specs from the computer guy to get the filter
- yet another to crawl under the car and drain it.

I was in Florida at the time, and it was my daughters car so I had no choice. I thought it was comical at the time, and I was concerned that they really had no clue as to what they were doing beyond the show, and I still change my own oil, so I know that it is done right.






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 06-05-2006, 07:38 Post: 130445
Art White



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 Torque for Oil Plug

I remember when taking the training for Huey repair they had a working question on tightening a nut to 30 inch pounds. I sure did blow that question! Being used to farm machinery and cars I'm more a one or two click guy on the elbow for foot pounds, where for inch pounds I found they are on the wrist.






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 06-05-2006, 07:38 Post: 130446
ncrunch32



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Dang - I don't get to use that new torque wrench under the car! Well I have been demonstrating to my wife my limited mechanical prowess of late by rebuilding the Kohler engine on the Gravely this winter and just installing a new water pump on the boat this weekend. I talked her into the value of torque wrenches and bought a couple on sale at Sears this weekend.

Dennis - I too have never gone to a oil change place - but can envision having to do it as I get a little older. But you give me additional reason not to go there as long as possible. Earthworks - like Dennis says - thanks for the insight - very interesting. Also - I guess a garden hose would be all right for the wife since it is smaller than a thumb? Smile






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 06-05-2006, 07:45 Post: 130447
ncrunch32



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 Torque for Oil Plug

Art - inch-pounds vs foot-pounds. I almost blew that one this winter when reading the Kohler service manual. One table of numbers was in foot-pounds, the next in inch-pounds. It required careful reading.






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 06-05-2006, 12:05 Post: 130468
kthompson



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 Torque for Oil Plug

Not a big NASCAR fan but wondered on the same type topic watching race. Those guys win and lose a lot of money on simple stuff. No doubt they tighten everything just right. No room for mistakes.

So where are the torque wrenchs in the pits for tire changes? Am sure the impact wrench has a limit to it, but a factory value?






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 06-05-2006, 12:28 Post: 130469
Iowafun

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 Torque for Oil Plug

When I worked on a race team, we torqued the lug nuts when going out for practice, qualifying and to start the race. After that, it was up to the guns. The guns are setup for high speed with a targeted torque based on the inlet air pressure from the regulator on the nitrogen supply tank. The high level teams may actually dial their guns in. We didn't have the money to do that.

We actually chased the nuts with a tap to clean the threads before each race. We learned this after having slow pit stops due to nuts that hung up or went on slow due to the threads being less than perfect from the manufacturer. Once the nuts were cleaned up, they went lickety split. When the gun stops and the trigger is still pressed, you have plenty of torque on the nut to keep the wheels from coming off.

There is probably someone out there that knows what the top level teams do today. This is what we did 6 years ago.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Just For Fun Off Topic Forum

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