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Well, I've gone and stripped the drain plug on my '13. I'm not too sure where I went wrong, but i think the 22 ft. Lbs as recommended by MOM was a bit too much.

Either that, or the kindly dealer stripped it out when they put it together.

I'm going to try an oversezed M12 and hope it re-threads the plug....really don't want to mess with re-tapping (dealer or done myself).

Is the Kawasaki metal that soft?
 

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Well, I've gone and stripped the drain plug on my '13. I'm not too sure where I went wrong, but i think the 22 ft. Lbs as recommended by MOM was a bit too much.

Either that, or the kindly dealer stripped it out when they put it together.

I'm going to try an oversezed M12 and hope it re-threads the plug....really don't want to mess with re-tapping (dealer or done myself).

Is the Kawasaki metal that soft?
It strips easy, yeah. Don't ask how I know. :t1204:
 

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oh man, that sucks.

yes, aluminum is very soft and easily stripped. you' re gonna have to do a closer inspection and see if you've cracked the case, in which case you may need some welding or jb weld at minimum.

for others and for the future, use an aluminum crush washer and torque to 17# lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
oh man, that sucks.

yes, aluminum is very soft and easily stripped. you' re gonna have to do a closer inspection and see if you've cracked the case, in which case you may need some welding or jb weld at minimum.

for others and for the future, use an aluminum crush washer and torque to 17# lbs.
Case is fine, and I used crush washers too. Didn't realize the manuals' torque specs were off by that much!
 

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I'm not sure about the details, but I believe the engine oil drain bolt torque is different for the newer models. The Owner's Manual for my 2009 calls for 21 ft/lbs. I recall somebody saying the Gen1 bolt torque is under 20 pounds, maybe something like 17?

Even 21 pounds always seemed excessive to me.

Then again, as you noted, this could be the case:



People gripe about the doohickey all the time, but I've seen so many posts about stripped/externally-damaged drain plugs that my biggest beef with the KLR's engine is that the drain plug isn't on the side of the case where it should be and is too easily damaged by either an external strike or maybe a bit too much torque.

It seems to be a more prevalent Achilles' Heel than the doohickey if you ask me.

Hope you're able to get the problem rectified.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Crazy thing is, i bought the damn torque wrench specifically to make sure i didnt jack anything up on the bike. I would've been fine had I tightened it to the right 'feel' instead. :banghead:
 

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This was discussed in a recent torque wrench thread where it was noted cheap or expensive, you really don't know if a torque wrench is accurate unless you get it calibrated.

I suppose my above meme could apply to either the worker in Thailand who initially installed your oil drain plug or the workers wherever that made and shipped your torque wrench.

Not being a smartass, but something to think about: Was it the kind of torque wrench with the gradations up the barrel where you turn the handle until you reach them and did you have to convert? With the wrench I use for my drain plug, I have to convert inch/lbs to ft/lbs or maybe it's the other way around. I always do my math at least 3 times before I set the wrench to specs. At least to me, some of those torque wrenches can be hard enough to figure out how to set without having to convert inches to pounds. Some of them are weird where you would think one turn of the handle would equal a sensible increase pounds/inches but instead of 10 for every twist of the handle, it's like 12 or 14 or something that doesn't make any sense.

Just sayin', if I had a ft.lb torque wrench that started out with 20 ft/lbs on the low end and went up to 150, I'd rather convert/use an inch-pound torque wrench where that 20 ft/lbs would be more in the mid-range of the wrench's adjustment. I have no idea if this is the case with the wrench you used; just throwin' my philosophy out there for what it's worth.....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It is one of those $40 specials with the twist-stop in ft/lb increments, i believe the range is 10-120. I haven't confirmed calibration, but i did a quick check on a bolt with a higher torque value to get a feel of what 20 ft/lbs was like.
 

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Crazy thing is, i bought the damn torque wrench specifically to make sure i didnt jack anything up on the bike. I would've been fine had I tightened it to the right 'feel' instead. :banghead:
Brother, you're singing my song.
 

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I'm going to try an oversezed M12 and hope it re-threads the plug....really don't want to mess with re-tapping (dealer or done myself).
You'll be fine! :)

Analyzing the drain plug torque, after-the-fact . . . the drain plug does NOT contain extreme mechanical stress loads; its only purpose is to SEAL. Thus, great torque isn't necessary, nor as we have seen, even desirable.

Thus, a calibrated hand-snugging with an ignorant, rather than a torque, wrench, oughta git 'er done. Worst case (too loose), drip a little oil. NEVER heard of a negligently-tightened oil drain plug loosening to the point of causing immediate oil starvation, although in the back of our minds, carefully hidden, must lurk that fear . . . thus, ironically, trying to PREVENT the disaster, we CAUSE one (strip oil drain plug threads from over-zealous application of torque).

Been there, done that. Oversize oil drain plug to the rescue.

Kinda hard to find an oversize in the corresponding pitch (1.5), but an oversize M12 plug even with the WRONG pitch (e.g., 1.25) might work.
 

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Sucks that this would happen even when using a torque wrench :(.
As I said in the earlier thread, I don't use one on non critical fasteners (I would use one on head bolts, crank caps etc.) I usually just "snug" the fasteners in with no real torque applied. Thankfully you have no damage to the case other than stripped threads so the oversized drain plug should do the trick. Wishing you the best on a well sealed repair! :character00201:

Edit: Lol, I know there are no "crank caps" on a KLR, just using that as a general example :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oversized M12 x 1,75 worked brilliantly! I was even able to torque it to the MOM-recommended specs. Thanks for all of the great advice!
 

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As far as I know there have never been reports of the drain plug vibrating loose and all the oil spilling out with the engine turning into molten aluminum and cast iron shortly thereafter.

As far as I know there had been no change to the case casting process, design, or materials between Gen1 and Gen2.

Yet there has been a 25% increase in the recommended drain plug torque between Gen1 and Gen2.

My Clymer for 1987-2003 recommends a torque of 17 lb/ft while my factory manual for 2008 recommends 21 lb/ft. Does anyone have a factory manual for the Gen1?

I wonder how many of the 'stripped drain plug' reports are on Gen2 vs Gen1.

Tom
 

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A quick and unscientific survey of this forum shows, for stripped drains, Gen1 - 3, Gen2 -9.

Gen2 is the winner by a mile.

Tom
 

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Once I became aware of the lower Gen1 drain plug torque, I wondered why I should tighten my Gen2 plug to 21 ft/lbs. The first few oil changes I did, I used the recommended 21 pounds but then stopped going that high.

There's no point in my whining about what I consider a poor design as I did in a previous post. It's not going to change, so I adapted by installing the aftermarket skid plate for more protection and using safety wire on the drain plug after not torquing it to 21 pounds.

I really don't think the plug would ever work loose with the way I torque it, but the safety wire removes all doubt.

Your perusal of posts that yielded the above information is appreciated and, in my opinion, very relevant, Tom. It's definitely something all Gen2 owners who change their own oil should pay attention to.

I guess it's kind of hard to determine how many failures were experienced at a straight 21 ft/lbs as opposed to folks who might have unintentionally applied substantially more torque than that.
 

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I like the lockwire idea and will likely do that. My practice with oil drains has been to hand tighten them and then go another 1/8 turn or so. I've never had one fall out. British stuff dribbled a bit, but that's how you know they have oil in them.

A few minutes ago I went out and checked my drain plug to see at what torque it would break loose. It popped off at about 150 lb/in or about 12 lb/ft, so an eighth of a turn beyond stopped seems to work.

Tom
 

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So that makes at least 2 confirmed thread strips when using a torque wrench at the suggested setting: Lockjaw (Gen1 right?) and spsteevoe Gen2.

Did you buy your KLR new, spsteevoe? I saw you mentioned the dealer.

It's kind of hard to lay blame on the increased torque requirement, but makes one wonder why they raised it. With either a new bike or a used one, there's just no way to tell who's done what putting that bolt in before you did.

It's also kind of unusual since (although mileage may vary from bike to bike depending on how much it's been ridden or had the oil changed over the years) you would think that odds are the drain plugs on those older Gen1 bikes have probably been removed/reinstalled more times than the newer bikes and thus the case threads have experienced more stress/fatigue making strippage even more likely.

Had the 21 pounds been adhered to from assembly on, perhaps it would never strip, but if somebody has gone past that just once and taken the threads to the breaking point, then the one application of 21 pounds could be what it takes to finish the strip.

I don't see how you can go wrong with just snugging it down to the point where it doesn't leak as long as you can insure the bolt won't work loose.

In lieu of safety wire, I would think a healthy dollop of high-temp silicone RTV on one or 2 sides of the bolt head (once the plug is torqued) would also ensure it wouldn't work loose and it would be easy enough to scrape off to remove the bolt for the next oil change.

I would add that another reason I'm so anal about those threads is because I change my oil more frequently than most people so the threads go through more torque cycles. It's not uncommon for me to do 3 or 4 oil changes a season: every 1,000 miles.

Overkill and unnecessary, perhaps, but it's what I like to do. Counting the increased changes during break-in, at 13,000 miles or so I've probably already done 15 oil/filter changes on mine.

You would think the "What Did Somebody Do Before Me?" factor would be fairly consistent between the 2 models. If anything else, it would seem to me to be increased with a KLR that's been around longer so it's kind of interesting there's a much higher failure/strip rate on the newer bikes with the increased torque recommendation.
 

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Mine's a gen2, and I absolutely think they screwed up (big surprise) on something as dumb as this. Go team Kawi.

I've said it before. I stripped mine first oil change. I'd never used a torque wrench much. Always went by feel. New bike, wanted to do it right. It felt to tight right before it went, but either the torque wrench was off, the suggested torque is incorrect, or some Kawi monkey gave me a head start when he put it in.

Bottom line, for me, it's not load bearing. Since I stripped it, I have had a big bolt that my rat roddin' brother in law helped me fit. Tapped it out, sawed most of a big ass bolt off and good to go. 20K some odd miles later - I wrap the bolt in teflon plumber's tape, I use good copper squash washers (the ones that aren't flat, looks like a wedding ring), and I snug it and go. Never a drop. Never an issue.

Torque wrenches are important things. For me, not so much when changing the oil. And I'm anal about it too.
 

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Sorry, LJ. Guess I could have done a little backtracking to make sure what you rode. I've seen enough of your pics I should have known. Glad to hear you found a viable solution.
 

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Oversized M12 x 1,75 worked brilliantly! I was even able to torque it to the MOM-recommended specs. Thanks for all of the great advice!
Congratulations; "If it seals, it heals!"

Thing's NOT under heavy stress loads. The "oversize" designation is more important than the thread pitch, at this stage of the game. The tapered threads of the oversize plug actually cut new threads in what's left. Nice going!
 
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