Author Topic: engine oil drain plug torque specs for 1988 pickup?  (Read 367 times)

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KauriJ

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engine oil drain plug torque specs for 1988 pickup?
« on: Aug 05, 2020, 08:18:29 PM »

Iíve read online that the engine oil drain plug torque specification for my momís 1988 Toyota pickup is 9 ft-lbs (is it not in the factory service manual, or am I just missing it?). I know the specs for my 3rd gen RAV4 is 30 ft-lbs and for her FJ Cruiser is also 30 ft-lbs.

This may be a rather ignorant question, but I was hoping someone here could clarify why there is such a big difference in these torque specs? Is it something to do with the material the drain pan is made out of being different with the newer vehicles? Iím not doubting the numbers, just hoping to understand the ďwhyĒ behind them.

(I do realize folks more experienced than I am with doing oil changes might just tighten this by feel, to where itís tight enough not to leak but not too tight to strip the threadsÖ But I have a tendency to over- or under-tighten things, and would prefer to stick with using a torque wrench at least until I have a bit more experience.)

Thank you!

RUGER

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snug and a tug is what i do. been doing it fer years.

edit: id use the right size box end wrench to tighten, if i remember right its 14mm. dont use a 1/2" ratchet with more leverage to tighten. ive had to use them to get the bolt broke loose though.
maybe someone knows the torque spec.

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« Last Edit: Aug 05, 2020, 08:49:43 PM by RUGER »
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Snowtoy

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You should be able to determine the torque spec for it in the back of the fsm, though 9lbs is likely the right.   Though like Ruger, all I usualy use is a wrench or a short handled 3/8's drive ratchet with my hand must below the socket. 

If you are going to use a torque wrench, you should use an inch pound one and not foot pounds, the traditional bad or clicker types are not that accurate at that low of a number.
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Gnarly4X

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FSM says 15 foot lbs.

Most bolts and nuts have a clamping function. 

Drain plugs ONLY seal.

If a drain plug is leaking after torqued to spec, it probably needs a new gasket or needs to be replaced.

Until you get a "feel" for an adequate torque number, using a good torque wrench is a good idea.

In the past when I have very rarely allowed someone to do my oil change (dealership during warranty period), always the drain plug is way over torqued!

I will NEVER let Jiffy Lube or any other fast lube place touch one of my vehicles!

Regarding torque wrenches... you should use a foot pound, not an inch pound.  Accuracy of a good torque wrench is between +/-3% or 4%, which means for a 15 lbs spec, the torque will be between 15.6 foot pound and 14.4 foot pounds, which is more than adequate for your oil pan drain plug.

Gnarls.

« Last Edit: Aug 06, 2020, 06:52:41 AM by Gnarly4X »
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KauriJ [OP]

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Thank you to everyone for all the advice, I very much appreciate it!

Gnarly, where in the factory service manual did you find the 15 ft-lbs spec? Thank you for looking up the exact number! My mom and I searched through our copy last night and didn't find it, so I'm very curious where that data is hiding. I didn't see it in the maintenance or lubrication system chapters, nor section A service specs (though admittedly I could have missed it if it's in this section).

Agreed, I would never let a fast oil change shop touch any of our Toyotas---I always let my RAV4 and 4Runner drain for a few hours, and I can only think of one local shop that'd let them drain as long as I do.

I'm still curious why the torque specs are that much different for the truck than our newer Toyotas; it definitely seems reasonable that they'd be different, I just haven't thought of a satisfactory explanation of why yet.

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Possible here..

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Gnarly4X

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Thank you to everyone for all the advice, I very much appreciate it!

Gnarly, where in the factory service manual did you find the 15 ft-lbs spec? Thank you for looking up the exact number! My mom and I searched through our copy last night and didn't find it, so I'm very curious where that data is hiding. I didn't see it in the maintenance or lubrication system chapters, nor section A service specs (though admittedly I could have missed it if it's in this section).

Agreed, I would never let a fast oil change shop touch any of our Toyotas---I always let my RAV4 and 4Runner drain for a few hours, and I can only think of one local shop that'd let them drain as long as I do.

I'm still curious why the torque specs are that much different for the truck than our newer Toyotas; it definitely seems reasonable that they'd be different, I just haven't thought of a satisfactory explanation of why yet.


Hey KauriJ...

So you asked me where I found that torque number.  Well, I found it VERY early this morning.  I found it again this evening.  The oversight on my part is that I was scanning for "drain plug" and the ONLY two words I found was under the section in the back of the manual on Automatic Transmission.  At the moment I spotted it I did not realize I was in the Automatic Transmission section.

So the 15 foot lbs is for the drain plug for the automatic transmission fluid pan Ė not the crankcase oil pan.  BUT.. I believe 15 lbs is about what I torque my oil pan drain plug to. I will check next time with my torque wrench. 

NowÖ because I also could NOT find the torque spec in the FSM, which is really strange!! - and I was sure in the past I had found it, and obviously it was the automatic transmission drain plug spec, so I Googled for about 15 minutes before I could find any reference to the spec.  I finally found it.  Itís a nice huge list! 

https://2gf7je2dfcv61yrkoz3u61q1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2018-Oil-Drain-Plug-Application-Guide.pdf

It says 26 to 32 foot lbs.  I donít believe I torque my drain plug that tight, but I will check next time to see.  That seems very high to me.  But there have been torque specs in the manual that I do NOT torque to.  That's just my experience with alloy parts and steel bolts and nuts.

Again, clamping bolts and nuts usually will have a higher torque spec, but a drain plug that is only acting as a seal and contacting a very small number of threads in the oil pan (easily stripped), I don't see why it has to be torqued to 26 to 32 foot lbs.... but I'm not a Toyota automotive engineer!

Sorry for the confusion and misinformation!  :smack:

Gnarls.  :outtahere:



« Last Edit: Aug 06, 2020, 07:03:57 PM by Gnarly4X »
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~26,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

emsvitil

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Use the German torque spec............

guten tight
Ed
SoCal
86 SR5 XtraCab
22RE  W56B
31x10.50R15

KauriJ [OP]

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Hey KauriJ...

So you asked me where I found that torque number.  Well, I found it VERY early this morning.  I found it again this evening.  The oversight on my part is that I was scanning for "drain plug" and the ONLY two words I found was under the section in the back of the manual on Automatic Transmission.  At the moment I spotted it I did not realize I was in the Automatic Transmission section.

So the 15 foot lbs is for the drain plug for the automatic transmission fluid pan Ė not the crankcase oil pan.  BUT.. I believe 15 lbs is about what I torque my oil pan drain plug to. I will check next time with my torque wrench. 

NowÖ because I also could NOT find the torque spec in the FSM, which is really strange!! - and I was sure in the past I had found it, and obviously it was the automatic transmission drain plug spec, so I Googled for about 15 minutes before I could find any reference to the spec.  I finally found it.  Itís a nice huge list! 

https://2gf7je2dfcv61yrkoz3u61q1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2018-Oil-Drain-Plug-Application-Guide.pdf

It says 26 to 32 foot lbs.  I donít believe I torque my drain plug that tight, but I will check next time to see.  That seems very high to me.  But there have been torque specs in the manual that I do NOT torque to.  That just my experience with alloy parts and steel bolts and nuts.

Sorry for the confusion and misinformation!  :smack:

Gnarls.  :outtahere:

Wow that is an awesome list, thank you for finding it! (I am going to print multiple copies of the Toyota section and put them in various safe places, though at this point I hope I will be able to finally keep track of which torque spec corresponds to which one of our Toyotas!)

(And no worries about the misinformation about the 15 ft-lbs---and I definitely appreciate all your help with this question!)

Snowtoy

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26-32 ftlbs does seem high, even the 18ftlbs for the '93-'95yrs model years seems a bit high.

I think I will stick to my well calibrated hand tight torque value for drain plugs.
'90 black X-cab mod'd 3.0, 33's/4.88's, rear ARB, custom bumpers, sliders, safari rack, etc.
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KauriJ [OP]

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Use the German torque spec............

guten tight

Good one, that definitely made me laugh!

I think I'm starting to be able to feel how tight to get the drain plug on my RAV4, since I've changed the oil on it so many times (for the last two oil changes I tightened it with a 3/8" ratchet to almost where I thought it was right, then it only needed maybe a quarter turn with the torque wrench). I don't have much experience yet with my mom's Toyotas since my dad used to do most of the work on them (he had Parkinson's, and was stubborn about doing everything he still could, so frequently he'd try for over an hour to get the filter off before he'd call me to help).

And given that I flooded my mom's kitchen twice earlier this year when installing a reverse-osmosis system, once because I under-tightened a connection and the other time because I over-tightened a different connection, I am going to be extra careful with the cars!

Gnarly4X

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26-32 ftlbs does seem high, even the 18ftlbs for the '93-'95yrs model years seems a bit high.

I think I will stick to my well calibrated hand tight torque value for drain plugs.

As a young kid I watched my dad twist off or strip a bolt or nut once in a while, thatís when I learned some very colorful profane language.  He was trained as a diesel mechanic in his early days as an automechanic, so looking back I assume that the torque specs on a diesel engine may be higher than our alloy/iron engines.

After owning 14 Toyotas since 1986, Iíve used a torque wrench on many many nuts and bolts. Almost always my hand/arm torque wrench will very often NOT be what the book says.  The spec on the oil pan bolts is too light for me.  The spec on the clutch pressure plate is too light.  The 25 ft lbs on spark plugs is too high, and the list goes on, and the 26 to 32 lbs is too tight for my oil pan drain plugs.  Like Snowtoy, I tend to use my hand/arm torque wrench and it has worked very well most of the time.

Of course, with an engine rebuild I will use my clicker torque wrench.  For my 22s, the head bolt spec of 58 foot lbs. is too light for me.

Gnarls.
« Last Edit: Aug 07, 2020, 01:33:13 AM by Gnarly4X »
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~26,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

Snowtoy

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For important parts like heads, oil pan, bearings, lug nuts, etc., I always use a torque wrench, but ever since snapping off timing cover bolt trying to get it to spec, when it comes to unimportant components, I just use hand gauge, the most a little loose or uneven tightness across the bolts will result in is a leak.
'90 black X-cab mod'd 3.0, 33's/4.88's, rear ARB, custom bumpers, sliders, safari rack, etc.
'91 Blue X-cab 22re, 35's/5.29's,Truetrac front, ARB rear, dual cases, and custom Safari flatbed, bumper, interior.
The money pit '87 Supra resto/mod

Gnarly4X

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For important parts like heads, oil pan, bearings, lug nuts, etc., I always use a torque wrench, but ever since snapping off timing cover bolt trying to get it to spec, when it comes to unimportant components, I just use hand gauge, the most a little loose or uneven tightness across the bolts will result in is a leak.

Like oil and filters, and many other topics, torque specs and tightening is always an interesting discussion and everyone has their own experiences.  Like Snowtoy mentioned, when you strip threads or snap off a bolt, your perspective on "torque" suddenly changes!

Since I typically tighten down to less than the spec'd torque number, I've learned as a matter of good practice, to go back and re-check nuts and bolts until I'm satisfied that they are tight.

For example when installing a new exhaust header gasket, on the exhaust manifold or header I DO NOT use the factory self-clamping nuts (LCE calls them "Mechanical locking". They cause the studs to spin and strip inside the head.  I torque down a hex nut and split lock washer way less than the 33 foot lbs spec.  I let engine idle for 10 minutes, then retorque lightly.  I drive my truck for about 30 minutes, then retorque lightly.  I drive to work and back, then retorque lightly.  After about 2 or 3 days the nuts are tight and stay tight.

Also, using lubricants or anti-seize compound can result in incorrect torque.  Some folks use anti-seize on spark plugs, however most spark plug manufacturers say don't use it.  I usually clean the bolts with brake cleaner or a solvent and a wire brush before installing them.

Gnarls.
« Last Edit: Aug 08, 2020, 07:13:53 AM by Gnarly4X »
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~26,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

 
 
 
 
 

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