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Old 08-13-2016, 02:37 AM   #1
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Default Oil Pan - What's a Torque Wrench?

Well, I did a bad. And you can call me dumb, but sometimes we all make mistakes. I have my engine out for routine maintenance and some pre-turbo things, and got to the oil pan seal. From all the searching I did, I thought I had the whole thing down. I cleaned everything like surgery was about to happen. Placed the two half moon seals with a smear of Ultra Black RTV on either side and laid down a bead all the way around, set the windage tray, more RTV, tightened down the oil pickup tube.. the whole 9. When I started torquing the actual oil pan bolts down I figured 60% of the total torque would be a great place to start. Post #3 in the following thread.. Sealing oil pan said that the torque for these bolts was 10 ft lbs. When I went for the 10 ft lbs, the bolts started getting easier to turn and 3 of them snapped.

I just checked my Haynes manual and sure enough, it's not 10 ft lbs, but 70-95 inch lbs. Yes, I was using an inch lbs torque wrench and I converted the 10 ft to inch lbs. I torqued some bolts more then they were supposed to be torqued, loosened them, then once I got the correct torque spec from my manual I torqued what bolts were left to 70 inch lbs. Even at 70 inch lbs I felt like some of the bolts were getting ready to let go.

I'm totally okay with pulling the pan again and redoing this, but the half moon gaskets are set perfectly and if someone who knows more can tell me I don't have to, I don't want to. Can I get the 3 replacement bolts, torque them to spec and have confidence that it'll seal? Can I replace all of the hardware and not touch the gasket and still be okay? I also found useful information posted here.. Help me seal my oil pan! but I'm not sure if that applies since I've already torqued and squeezed out (possibly too much?) RTV. Typically I'd ask this at miata.net but I feel this crowd has more experience with these particular gaskets.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-13-2016, 02:44 AM   #2
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If it were me, I'd just replace the broken ones.


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Old 08-13-2016, 10:15 AM   #3
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Replace any of the bolts you torqued over 90in/lbs. if you do them one by one, you shouldn't have to replace or reseal the gaskets, especially if the three aren't all in a row.
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Old 08-13-2016, 01:05 PM   #4
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Thanks, fellas. I replaced the 3 bolts that snapped of and its no surprise that those were the ones that saw north of 90 inch lbs. I must have jinxed it, the rear half moon ends snuck out by about 1 mm overnight. This car doesn't want to be driven.

For anyone else in the future that comes across this and wants to save a minute, the bolts are m6 x 1.0 20mm.

PS thanks curly, your thread I linked in the original post helped me out with drain fitting placement.

Edit, here's the carnage. It displaced equally on the right side although it's not pictured. My phone didn't capture that side very good.

Last edited by festersays; 08-13-2016 at 02:38 PM.
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