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RSRBOB, Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 1078
Experience:  Former Factory Service Rep, Dlr Line Tech, Service Manager, General Manager, Store Owner
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I have a Triumph Rocket III Roadster and I was doing some

Customer Question

I have a Triumph Rocket III Roadster and I was doing some maintnance, I took of the sump to look for a washer that a previous mechanic had lost while replacing a clutch.The manual clearly places the torque for the sump bolts at 12 Nm
While replacing the bolts 3 of them cracked. 2 at the 12 Nm torque and a 3rd at 10 Nm as Ilowered when the first one cracked.My quesitons are the following:
- Was this the right torque as per the manual or has that changed?
- Will I be ok with 3 out of 16 boths missing (none of the missing bolts are adjacent to each other
- If the remaining bolts are over-torqued can I leave it like this? What damage could occur from this.The manual I am using can be found at:
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  RSRBOB replied 10 months ago.

Hi and thank you for your question.

I confirmed what you stated that for the bolts you are tightening, the manual does state 12Nm. If the fastener itself is at least 6mm in diameter and it good shape, it should take that no problem. However, depending on the grade of the bolt, it could be slightly high as well. 12Nm converts to about 9 Ft. Lbs. of torque and that is pushing the upper limit of a 6mm fastener. In an effort to help you sort this out, with no disrespect intended, I would suggest double checking your settings on your torque wrench to ensure they are indeed at the correct setting. If they are indeed correct, there is a possibility your torque wrench is out of calibration and causing you to over-torque the bolts and break them off. Another thought I can pass along is remember that click type torque wrenches are only accurate in the upper 80% of its range. That means if you had a 0 to 100 Ft lb torque wrench you should never use it to torque anything below 20 ft. lbs. If you would like to explore this further I would need to know what type of torque wrench (beam, click, digital) you are using and more detail about the bolt size. Bolt size means thread diameter, not hex size or socket/wrench you are using to turn it. The reason I question that is to enter the possibility that there is a misprint in the service manual providing incorrect information to you and creating this problem. Lastly, if you are using a click type torque wrench I would advise you to use extreme caution when torquing the bolts that you do not pull the tool past its break away point. Especially at lighter torque settings the breakaway can be very subtle.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It is a propoint torque wrench from pricess auto.
I will be buying a new one today and doublechecking the settings against each other.I think the torque wrench being out of allignment is the answer but let me verify.Is there a chance I did damage to the case or the bike? Should I back off the other bolts or jsut leave well enough alone?
(i,.e. if it doesn't leak am I good).
Expert:  RSRBOB replied 10 months ago.

If it was a defective torque wrench, I would suggest backing them all off and re-torquing all the bolts in a cris-cross pattern. I do not think you have damaged the cases. Typically the bolt will give up first, especially when it is a small diameter bolt.

I would worry about a long term seepage from the oil pan if you don't get all the bolts installed.

To take this a step farther, and heading towards maximum reliability, I would urge you to inspect each bolt that did not break to make sure it isn't stretched. A stretched bolt will have an hour glass shape in the threads and you will notice the gap between some of the threads is larger than others. If you see any bolts stretched, replace them. They will fail prematurely and will never take stock torque again.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the torque wrench is fine. i bought a new one to check and they both torque the same at 12Nmcould tge manual be wrong? should i back off the bolts or am i fine unless it leaks
Expert:  RSRBOB replied 10 months ago.

Something is wrong. I can only think of 3 possibilities.You say you have eliminated one, the torque wrench. That leaves 2 options, either its a mis-print in the manual or the bolts had previously been over torqued and damaged.

You never mentioned what the range your torque wrench is and never said what thread diameter the bolts you are installing are.

I would inspect the bolts or just get all new ones because they could have (probably) got damaged from the first go around.

I would not leave 3 bolts out. I believe that the oil pan will start seeping over time. I trust Triumph designed the oil pan and fastening system to adequately seal.

I have never heard of pro point torque wrenches, but I suspect if they are being sold at an auto parts store they are designed to be used by weekend warriors. Auto parts stores don't typically sell professional grade tools because do it yourselfer's just won't pay the price. I also wonder how you tested it because calibration equipment is very expensive, much more expensive than the torque wrench itself.

Without some more specific information, there isn't much else I can do for you.

Expert:  RSRBOB replied 10 months ago.

I have been thinking about this and it is bothering me that we can't seem to get to the bottom of it. I had another thought, are you by chance lubricating the bolts or is there residual oil getting on the threads? If the bolts are supposed to be installed for a dry torque and they get lubed, the reduction in friction will cause them to be over-torqued. Possible?