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  1. #1
    Member johnc1921's Avatar
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    Default Oil Drain Plug Overtightened

    I'm doing my first oil change on my 2013 Spyder RT. Stupid torque wrench clicks so fast I'm never sure if it's set right or just messing with me. That said I'm pretty sure I cranked it too tight. I've ordered another set of drain plug washers. Should I pull the plugs out and re-tighten them? Or wait until the next oil change?

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    Very Active Member PMK's Avatar
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    If it were me, and you truly believe your torque wrench applied inaccurate torque, I would remove those drain plugs and replace the drain plugs. Would also purchase a known high quality torque wrench.

    The drain plugs will tend to become more locked in place with use. With so many reports of failed drain plugs, including oem, why risk a huge expense at the next oil change.

    Not going to debate torque wrench quality or calibration, merely if I question the actual function of it indicating the torque point, I use a vice and check the operation. I have thrown away a few torque wrenches over the years. Simply not worth the risk.

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    Very Active Member AeroPilot's Avatar
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    The torque on oil drain plugs is so low- in the Inch pound range that using the book values calls for very careful application of a 1/4" drive torque wrench that can operate efficiently in a mid-range of its operating span. Also, I question the published torque values as are they a dry value versus a "lubed" value as all drains will be wet and low friction which is reduced by about 25%.

    I try to use a 6" ratchet or less and only snug the plug tight--- having a 12 inch lever arm of the torque wrench seems a bit risky to me.. JMHOIMG_0645[1].jpg
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    Very Active Member Highwayman2013's Avatar
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    Torque is tricky on drain plugs because they usually have some oil on the threads. Most torque specs are for dry threads. As long as you have no leaks wait until your next oil change.
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    Very Active Member PMK's Avatar
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    The infamous wet torquing to a dry torque spec with a questionable torque wrench is never good...

    Plus the engine cases are aluminum, always an adventure.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member jcthorne's Avatar
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    Using a bonded rubber and steel sealing washer instead of the old fashioned crush washer pretty much negates the whole torque issue. Just put the plug in and about a 1/4 turn snug. Its seals and does not easily streach fragile aluminum threads. We have shifted to using these bonded rubber and steel sealing washers in all oil changes as we now get zero leaks first try every time.

    Blue Flame Spyder F3-S

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    Very Active Member PMK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
    Using a bonded rubber and steel sealing washer instead of the old fashioned crush washer pretty much negates the whole torque issue. Just put the plug in and about a 1/4 turn snug. Its seals and does not easily streach fragile aluminum threads. We have shifted to using these bonded rubber and steel sealing washers in all oil changes as we now get zero leaks first try every time.
    Agree. Not stealing your thunder, I snag a few at a time, been installing them for a long while now.

    Had some ideas to offer them to owners here, simply did not. Likely Baja Ron will soon stock them if he doesn’t already.

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    Member johnc1921's Avatar
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    Great advice! No leaks from the drain plugs so far. I had a minor seep on the oil filter. A slight tightening of the screws seems to have stopped it.

    The torque wrench is from Harbor Freight, so not high end. The long handle messes me up with the low torque values. I'll run some tests on it.

    The bonded rubber sounds like a better option. Anyone have a good source and specs?

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    I also went to the bonded/steel style washers per jcthrone recommendation...Just tighten them snugly without torquing...Changing all the toys in the toy box over as the oil changes come due...Bought a large assortment...

  10. #10
    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryd View Post
    I also went to the bonded/steel style washers per jcthrone recommendation...Just tighten them snugly without torquing...Changing all the toys in the toy box over as the oil changes come due...Bought a large assortment...
    Someone else here just posted that He got a few on Amazon and posted a LINK ….. look for a similar post to find it ….. Mike

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    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnc1921 View Post
    I'm doing my first oil change on my 2013 Spyder RT. Stupid torque wrench clicks so fast I'm never sure if it's set right or just messing with me. That said I'm pretty sure I cranked it too tight. I've ordered another set of drain plug washers. Should I pull the plugs out and re-tighten them? Or wait until the next oil change?
    As others have said …. I wouldn't try to Torque them ….. just tighten with a Ratchet till they are snug … if it drips just tighten a bit more …. I learned a long time ago to ALWAYS set the Ratchet … BEFORE you use it …. that way there is no confusion about what it will do ….. I'm fairly certain neither plug is damaged , the reason they are difficult to remove is the threads get a Varnish coating from heat / cool cycling …. To break that loose, put the socket on and give a sharp Tap ( with a hammer ) to it, this will break the seal...… this has worked for me dozens of times … good luck .… Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
    Using a bonded rubber and steel sealing washer instead of the old fashioned crush washer pretty much negates the whole torque issue. Just put the plug in and about a 1/4 turn snug. Its seals and does not easily streach fragile aluminum threads. We have shifted to using these bonded rubber and steel sealing washers in all oil changes as we now get zero leaks first try every time.
    Would you happen to know the size of the bonded washer, seems several are available.

    Also, why is the oil drain plug built like it is with the multiple offset o'rings?

  13. #13
    SpyderLovers Sponsor BajaRon's Avatar
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    If it were me. And I was in doubt. I would simply loosen the drain plug a bit and re-tighten. You won't lose any oil this way and you will get it done before the heat cycles make your drain plugs even tighter.

    I never use a torque wrench on a drain plug. Just too many things can go wrong. Most people, including dealership techs, get these too tight. They just need to be hand snugged with 3/8" drive wrench.

    I wouldn't worry about the washer being damaged. They are pretty tough. I did 4 oil changes using the same washers (and 1 with no washer at all!) with no leaks or even a film around the plug.
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    Very Active Member jcthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdMat View Post
    Would you happen to know the size of the bonded washer, seems several are available.

    Also, why is the oil drain plug built like it is with the multiple offset o'rings?
    12 and 16 would be correct for a 1330 engine. 12 and 14 for a 998. On the 1330 engine, the engine side oil drain plug has multiple o rings as it drains the sump and the crankcase at the same time.

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    SpyderLovers Sponsor cptjam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highwayman2013 View Post
    Torque is tricky on drain plugs because they usually have some oil on the threads. Most torque specs are for dry threads. As long as you have no leaks wait until your next oil change.
    Concur. The sealing washers are great; buy some, and next oil change, install them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
    12 and 16 would be correct for a 1330 engine. 12 and 14 for a 998. On the 1330 engine, the engine side oil drain plug has multiple o rings as it drains the sump and the crankcase at the same time.
    Thank you sir. Thought that might be the reason but was not sure.

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    Leave em until your next oil change then swap them out.

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  19. #19
    Very Active Member PMK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geep View Post
    One type of many possibilities.

    For whatever reason, Rotax uses a tapered seat area on the drain plug. Not saying that is good nor bad.

    Merely, anyone looking to use sealing washers needs to verify dimensionally they will seal correctly. This means the sealing material does not enter the threaded bore, nor extends beyond the fasteners edge. Essentially, the sealing surface should fully accept the complete contact surface of the sealing gasket.

    Ideally, you should get the correct material and temp range. Aluminum is ideal to minimize corrosion, but not mandatory.

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    Sounds like the 60 year old trick of a piece of shoe leather or belt will do the trick just fine. No leaks & easy to get loose.
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