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Torque Specifications for Oil Pan Bolts

by Tom King

Engines have varying specifications for the amount of torque you need for fastening oil pan bolts. You should always consult the manufacturer's recommendations as to the proper torque to use on oil pan bolts. Some engines torque all oil pan bolts identically. Others may require torquing the rear bolts differently from the front bolts. Whatever the torque specifications, there is a specific sequence for torquing the oil pan bolts.

Preparation

Begin by applying light engine oil to the undersides of the bolt heads and to the threads of the oil pan bolts. Don't use Moly oil or other high performance lubricants on the bolts as this may increase the torque requirements beyond manufacturer's recommendations. Install the oil pan gasket and set the oil pan in place. The inside of the pan should be clean and free of metal shavings or debris. Insert the oil pan bolts and finger tighten them so that the pan fits snugly against the bottom of the engine.

Tightening Pattern

Tighten the four corner bolts of the oil pan first. Use the torque wrench to tighten the bolts to half their recommended torque. Then tighten the bolts in between the corner bolts working toward the center. Check the manufacturer's specifications. Some manufacturers recommend working front to back, but that information will be included in the torque specifications. Continue tightening until all the bolts are half torqued.

Final Torque

Repeat the same pattern as before and tighten all the oil pan bolts to their full torque. Engine oil pan bolts range in torque from seven foot-pounds to 22 ft-lb or more for large engines with heavier pans and bolts. Once you've torqued the bolts and filled the engine with oil, you should run the engine for five minutes to bring it up to normal operating temperature. Turn off the engine and retorque the oil pan bolts to full torque.

About the Author

Tom King published his first paid story in 1976. His book, "Going for the Green: An Insider's Guide to Raising Money With Charity Golf," was published in 2008. He received gold awards for screenwriting at the 1994 Worldfest Charleston and 1995 Worldfest Houston International Film Festivals. King holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Southwestern Adventist College.

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