oil filter and drain plug torque

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Woolsey Dip
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:11 pm
I ride: '08 Vulcan 500

oil filter and drain plug torque

Postby Woolsey Dip » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:26 am

They charge a ridiculous amount to change oil at the dealership, but because the manual says you should not do it yourself unless you can torque the new filter and drain plug to spec, you should have it done professionally. On my cars, I've always hand tightened the filter (plus maybe a tiny bit more with the wrench) and just put the plug back in and tightened it with the wrench the amount that felt reasonable, with never a problem. Is the manual just being overly cautious for the motorcycle or do I really need to get a special torque wrench for the filter or else take it in for a professional oil change?

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Turbojoe
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:35 pm
I ride: 2004 Vulcan 500
Location: Mesa, AZ

Re: oil filter and drain plug torque

Postby Turbojoe » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:50 pm

If you have a torque wrench then yes that's the best way but don't sweat it. Just do the oil change the same way you do on a car. I have a torque wrench but don't use it on the drain plug or the filter. I tighten the plug with a wrench until I know it's seated. I partially fill the filter then lube the seal and put it on by hand. I never tighten it with a filter wrench. I've been a mechanic for 40 years so I have a "feel" for when things are tight. Of course I never trust that "feel" on things that require even torque like a cylinder head etc but a drain plug and filter are things that you'll know when they're tight. If you don't trust yourself then get that torque wrench.

Joe
The nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind.....

2004 Vulcan 500

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Triangles
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I ride: '94 Black Cherry Vulcan 500, '06 Candyfire Red Vulcan 500 LTD
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Re: oil filter and drain plug torque

Postby Triangles » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:58 pm

Woolsey Dip wrote:Is the manual just being overly cautious for the motorcycle or do I really need to get a special torque wrench for the filter or else take it in for a professional oil change?

Absolutely the manual is over cautious and I guarantee 99% or greater dealers wont bother torquing the filter or drain bolt.

Just have to remember with the drain bolt that you have a steel bolt threaded into soft aluminum. I use a socket to snug up the bolt a very specific "tight" but not "super tight". Yes that is a very scientific measurement of torque from my highly calibrated arm. :lol:

The oil filter is no different than on a car. I just snug it up slightly past where the gasket makes contact with the mating surface. If you go too tight it will be a b!&ch to break loose at the next oil change. I've never had one leak or come loose on me and I've never had a problem getting a filter off my bikes.
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Triangles
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Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:35 pm
I ride: '94 Black Cherry Vulcan 500, '06 Candyfire Red Vulcan 500 LTD
Location: Toledo Ohio
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Re: oil filter and drain plug torque

Postby Triangles » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:22 pm

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