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96 LS 400 oil drain plug torque.

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Old 04-08-17, 06:07 PM
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Elless400
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Default 96 LS 400 oil drain plug torque.

Hi there. I just bought a borderline mint 96 LS400. As I always do, I'm changing the oil before driving it. ​​​​I've Googled the drain plug torque and come up with conflicting answers. Some say it's 30ft lbs, some say it's 14ft lbs. HUGE difference, of course. Does someone know the answer from the service manual? I don't have one yet. I never go by feel, I'm an "exactly by the book" kind of person. Thank you very much!

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Old 04-08-17, 06:39 PM
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Banshee365
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Lexus say's 29 ft/lb. Lexus also say's there is a gasket for the bolt. The torque value is engineered with the gasket in mind so that's the safest bet. 29 is a safe number regardless I think.

I'm like you. I will use torque specs any time they are available.

But, I'll add to that. I have stripped more threads and damaged more components following torque specs than not. Most recently a bolt pulled the threads on a Kohler v-twin oil pump that I was working on with a 65 in/lb torque spec. Also, recently, I was doing a GM 3600 V6 intake manifold and the new plastic intake started to crush before reaching the factory torque spec. But I still recommend using torque specs whenever possible.

I will also add that many new to wrenching cause themselves way more problems trying to use torque wrenches than if they just cinched her down. Many times new guys/girls will have a low torque spec, use a cheap clicker which that spec lies at the bottom of it's range, not feel the click, and keep torquing away until the threads strip or the fastener breaks. It's so very common. I had a buddy that was doing a timing belt on his minivan. He was pretty new to turning wrenches, especially torque wrenches. He told me it went well but he had to replace a water pump bolt that broke. He said the spec was 9 ft/lb and the wrench never clicked. I immediately knew what he did. I asked what torque wrench he was using and he told me a harbor freight 3/8 clicker that ranges from 5-75 or something. 9 is right at the bottom of the range and the click is very very vague. The head actually 'gives' more than the mechanism clicks. He went right past the 9 ft/lb and kept going until the bolt broke. 9 ft/lb on a 3/8 torque wrench can be achieved with one finger on the end of the wrench. I bet the bolt broke around 40-50 ft/lb.

Something to keep in mind if you're at all new to torque wrenches as I have no clue of your experience level.
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Old 04-08-17, 08:27 PM
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Elless400
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Is that from the LS service manual? I really need to get one.

I've done a fair bit of successful wrenching with high quality tools on an ES300 and a Jaguar X Type. I do most of my own work on my vehicles, and won't do anything without clear directions and the right tools. I treat my Snap-ons right and always start a bolt set to click at half the target torque before applying the final torque to ensure I don't have a stuck clicker (haven't had one stick yet).

I definitely appreciate the input!
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Old 04-08-17, 08:43 PM
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Yes, the info a from factory manuals.

And, just to be sure, I absolutely wasn't insinuating that you would have these problems. I was more making casual conversation since it was on the same subject.

www.techinfo.toyota.com for the factory manuals. Pay the small fee for the coupe day subscription and download and organize all the documents that you can.
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Old 04-08-17, 09:26 PM
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I took it no such way. I can tell you're a decent person already. I appreciate the help.

I was simply laying out a little foundational information so anyone reading, including yourself, would have a better understanding of where I'm at in terms of mechanical aptitude.

Again, I do appreciate any help given. It's confusing because a lot of sources say 14lbs for 90-2000 LS400, then report 29lbs for LS430. Even Amsoil's website reports this. So, yeah, mixed messages! Fun stuff.
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Old 04-08-17, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Elless400 View Post
I took it no such way. I can tell you're a decent person already. I appreciate the help.

I was simply laying out a little foundational information so anyone reading, including yourself, would have a better understanding of where I'm at in terms of mechanical aptitude.

Again, I do appreciate any help given. It's confusing because a lot of sources say 14lbs for 90-2000 LS400, then report 29lbs for LS430. Even Amsoil's website reports this. So, yeah, mixed messages! Fun stuff.
Great! Glad to hear man. Yea, the 3rd party sources for torque specs can certainly be all over the place. But you sometimes have to consider them. For instance, on a small block Ford overhaul I did a year or so ago the Ford spec on the head bolt torque said one thing. But I use Fel-Pro gaskets. For grins I checked the Fel-Pro site and, sure enough, they have a different spec for the use of their gaskets.

But the factory books are a really awesome set for the LS400. I'm sure more Lexus and Toyota vehicles are the same. The manuals are incredibly thorough. They have great guidance on dismantling and reassembling nearly every component in the car. I had never seen the inside of an auto trans until last year. I had one fail and just followed the factory books on the overhaul and it was a piece of cake. Even down to every little piece of the valve body and exactly what length and any other dimension for any spring in the valve body and exactly where it goes and what it does. The wiring diagrams make a lot of sense too. If you are unsure there is a part of the manuals that tells you exactly how to read them (power to ground is from top to bottom on the diagrams etc...)

Of course I have found mistakes in the manuals over the years and things that I think they could have done better but over all they are really excellent. If you want a sample of something I can take a screen shot so you get an idea if you'd like.

I'm glad to hear you have nice taste in tools. Not many of us on the board spring for Snap-On stuff very often I don't think.
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Old 04-08-17, 10:19 PM
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Thanks for the offer to upload screen shots, but that's ok, I'll pay the fee and just grab everything I need. Sounds like a good way to get started.

Yeah, I'm a firm believer in quality tools. I used to wing it with an incomplete, sub-par tool set and working on my car was always a chore. Then I started collecting good tools. Tools tools tools, now most jobs are pretty simple, given I can get accurate repair-torque information ;-)

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