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Diver Down
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Some caution about tightening the oil drain plug. I’ve been changing oil in my cars for almost 30 years, so I know what I’m doing. The dealer put the plug on very tight the first time. I figured they must have used a torque wrench. So just for the heck of it, I’ve never used one before, I bought one. A Craftsman, which generally makes good quality American made tools. And just to be extra careful, I set the wrench to about 18 ft-lbs. Much lower than the owner’s manual spec, which is 31 ft-lbs. Stupid me, I didn’t read the directions. I figured when the torque setting is reached, the wrench would just free turn, without turning the nut. Just like my power drill. :bitchslap Not! Turns out at the lowest settings, the only indication of hitting the torque setting is a “gentle release”, without any audible click. It will keep turning as long as you keep going, it doesn’t actually prevent you from over tightening. You have to stop when you feel it give. I didn’t feel it, and fairly gently kept turning the wrench. I didn’t have much fear of over-tightening it, the dealer had put it on so damn tight in the first place. Well it’s a long wrench, so you get a lot of torque with little effort. I stripped the damn threads! Lesson learned: I’ll never use a torque wrench on the oil plug again. Snug tight, like I’ve always done, is good enough.

One other thing. I learned that the washer on it is a crush washer. If you put a new washer on, you should feel it gradually getting tight. First time I changed the oil, the dealer had tightened it such that the washer was completely crushed. I couldn’t feel it getting snug, it just kind of stopped hard. I’ve had cars which used plastic washers, which give you a good feel that it’s gradually tightening, and it makes it tougher to strip it. Washers are cheap enough, I’ll probably change the washer with every oil change.

I hope this helps prevent others from the same headache I got from a simple oil change. Don’t use a torque wrench unless you are comfortable using them, or practice first on something harmless.
 

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Respect My Authority!
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I love Craftsman tools, but unfortunately I purchased a cheap torque wrench from Harbor Freight. It clicks audibly and tactilely when the desired torque is reached. Perhaps yours is defective. Otherwise, it would seem that there was some operator error. You may have performed oil changes numerous times but according to you this is your first experience with a torque wrench. You should feel and hear a "click" when the desired torque is achieved.:)
 

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Diver Down
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Discussion Starter #3
Young said:
I love Craftsman tools, but unfortunately I purchased a cheap torque wrench from Harbor Freight. It clicks audibly and tactilely when the desired torque is reached. Perhaps yours is defective. Otherwise, it would seem that there was some operator error. You may have performed oil changes numerous times but according to you this is your first experience with a torque wrench. You should feel and hear a "click" when the desired torque is achieved.:)
Yes, this was my first experience with a torque wrench. The directions on the Craftsman I have, actually says that at the lowest settings, "the release is gentle and there is usually no audible click signal". Lesson is practice first, or don't use it, at least with this type of torque wrench.
 

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Thats common for torque wrenches, the 'click'. Older types were just bars that bent a certain way per torque and you read it on a scale, kinda primitive but effective. Also, I haven't read the manual on this particular subject, but I am quite certain the factory put that bolt in dry. Torque values are, unless specified otherwise, are dry. I was an aircraft mechanic for years, and I know what I'm talking about. Giving a dry torque value for your drain plug is almost criminal. There is no way you're going to get that dry, thats the catch-22. Putting dry torque on a thread that has oil on it over-torques and strips it, as you have seen. Best thing to do is like you mentioned, tight enough to seal, not tight enough to strip. Sorry for your troubles!
 

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BlueZ6 said:
Washers are cheap enough, I’ll probably change the washer with every oil change.

+1. People should change their crush washer every time they change their oil. But make sure you get an actual crush washer. Crush washers are usually made out of copper and are designed to be "crushed" and sealed.

Anyways, what did you end up doing with the stripped threads? You're not gonna have to replace the oil pan are you? Now that would be expensive.
 

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heres an idea..ready? just snug the fucker up. it wont backout and you wont have to replace an oil pan. never used a new crush washer myself (15k-fz6, 30k on the r6)
 

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I never had a crush washer on mine when i bought it and in four oil changes i've never put one on, never had a problem! And i used a torque wrench every time!
 

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ped said:
heres an idea..ready? just snug the fucker up. it wont backout and you wont have to replace an oil pan. never used a new crush washer myself (15k-fz6, 30k on the r6)
+1 ... never replaced a crush washer and used a harbor freight, no-name el cheapo click type torque wrench. I just set it a bit lower than the spec, never had a problem.

:edit and I didn't even sleep at holiday inn.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
groovyg said:
Anyways, what did you end up doing with the stripped threads? You're not gonna have to replace the oil pan are you? Now that would be expensive.
I would have just tapped the threads, but couldn't, because I saw a small crack in the pan. If you look carefully at the pan, there is a seam where it was cast, that runs to the horizontal center of the drain hole. That seam had a small hairline crack at the drain hole. The pan runs around $100 (no, there were none on ebay). Since I have the Yamaha YES warranty, I decided to have the dealer change the pan, and fortunately Yamaha agreed to pay for the pan, which I think is the right thing. It was my fault, but the threads should have just stripped, not crack the pan. Changing the pan is not that hard, looks like the toughest part is dealing with the removal of the pipes.
 

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Bar Torque wrenches are still the best way to go for anything under 40 or 50#s IMO. They are alot more accurate if you have a good one and make sure it doesn't get bumped around.
 

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vaanen said:
I never had a crush washer on mine when i bought it and in four oil changes i've never put one on, never had a problem! And i used a torque wrench every time!
You've probably got one, but it's smashed so flat by now that it looks like part of the drain bolt. I had to use a knife blade to separate mine from the bolt the first time I changed it, and could barely even see it.

Also, I wouldn't recommend using a click-type wrench down near the end of its range. I'd guess 18 ft-lbs is almost at the lowest setting, and it's not very accurate down there. Get an in-lbs one for the smaller torques.
 

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ster1 said:
Torque values are, unless specified otherwise, are dry. ... Giving a dry torque value for your drain plug is almost criminal.
What's the math here, then -- if the service manual lists a dry torque @ 31ft/lbs, what equation is used to convert that to a wet torque (sic) value?

BTW: I own this wrench, it makes a nice klik-klak for me:
http://colehardware.com/cgi-bin/hlimages/display_all.cgi?sku=2023919
 

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rivviepop said:
What's the math here, then -- if the service manual lists a dry torque @ 31ft/lbs, what equation is used to convert that to a wet torque (sic) value?

BTW: I own this wrench, it makes a nice klik-klak for me:
http://colehardware.com/cgi-bin/hlimages/display_all.cgi?sku=2023919
There is no conversion as far as I know. If the manual states dry ya gotta make it dry (if you care, that is). For the most part, on a motorcycle you can get away with German Torque - gutentight. There are, obviously exceptions like cylinder heads, etc. But for 90% of what 90% of us do ourselves, tight enough works. IMHO.
 

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Sounds like my first toque wrench experience about twenty years ago. I only stripped the head off an exhaust bolt on my Suzuki GP100. It was easy to use a screw extractor and put a new bolt in so it was a cheap lesson. Still have the same torque wrench and I still remember how to use it!
 

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Oil plugs should never be torqued. Thats why there's a crush washer. Just tighten it by hand against a new crush washer then give it a quarter turn with the wrench. Run the motor and check for leaks. If seepage occur, just give it another 1/4 turn and you're good.
 
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