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Author Topic: Hand tightening the oil filter  (Read 3138 times)
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sphn
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« on: 01/05/07 1446 Hours »
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I’ve always hand tightened my oil filters (always being for the 2 years I’ve had bikes). I notice though in the workshop manual it specifically says “Never hand tighten the oil filter”. Why is that? Is it only because one can’t tighten it the 2 full turns (I can only get about 1.6 turns after the seal makes contact – but I’ve never had a problem). Or is there another reason?
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Anonymous
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« REPLY #1 on: 01/05/07 1450 Hours »
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I wouldn't worry about it. We all know there is a "feel" on how tight to get the oil filter. Maybe it's because some people can't "hand tighten" it down enough due to their lack of strength.
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sphn
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« REPLY #2 on: 01/05/07 1504 Hours »
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OK thanks - I was worried there was some profound reason that may result in severe damage to my bike. (Hope the filter doesn't fall off on the way home now - then I'll know the reason for sure!)

Stephen
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greywolf
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« REPLY #3 on: 01/05/07 1612 Hours »
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Hand tightening normally applies to filters with a flat ring seal. The Suzuki filter has a round O-ring which needs to be deformed to seal properly. That takes more effort and can make hand tightening a bad idea.
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Pat
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RubberDown
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« REPLY #4 on: 01/05/07 2030 Hours »
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I always use my hand...........errrrrrrrrrrr.........on my oil filter that is.  Never leaked a drop and I've done quite a few oil changes on the V-Strom and my wife's SV650.  

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Anonymous
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« REPLY #5 on: 01/06/07 0346 Hours »
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I was a little nervous, it seemed that something was going to snap when I tightened as specified.  But why take chances?  If the owners manual says don't hand tighten the filter is for some reason.  Last thing I want is to loose my oil pressure while riding because an oil filter leak, and then loose traction on my rear wheel because the oil spill.  

It won't take more than 5 extra seconds for some peace of mind.
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AverageGuy
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« REPLY #6 on: 01/06/07 1305 Hours »
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SPHN,

I, too, was concerned about the tightening thing.  However, I still installed the filters (OEM Suzuki) by hand both times I've changed it and have had no leaks.  I did give them a pretty good "oomph".  (BTW : 2005 DL-1000)  Just to be sure, I took a Q-Tip and painted a line on the filter that is easily visible through the splash guard just above the oil level window.  This way, I can easily check to see if it's still in place or starting to loosen.  So far, both filters have stayed in place, and were still tight enough at oil-change time that I needed to get a cap wrench to remove them.   I did find an end cap at NAPA for $5.00 or so.  

AverageGuy

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RubberDown
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« REPLY #7 on: 01/06/07 1408 Hours »
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This topic has come up several times on all the V-Strom forums so I'll give my reasoning behind using my hand.  The first time I used my hand was when I was just a kid.....errrrrrrrrr I mean the first time I did an oil change on the Strom I did not have the Suzuki OEM wrench.  I tightened the oil filter by hand until it stopped.  That means, even when using all my force, I am unable to turn the filter any further.  It just stops.  Any further attempt to tighten the filter by hand will just result in bloody knuckles or a dented filter.....or both.   Grin

I know the manual says to use the Suzuki wrench and to go 2 full turns after the filter seats. OTOH.....I do my maintenance with a brain and my real world experience says it's just not needed.  Each time I remove the filter I have to use a big set of filter pliers that I have...works great and one of the best tools I have ever bought.  The filters never leak a drop and are very tight when I go to remove them. I wouldn't be against using the Suzuki wrench but it's just not needed to tighten the filter securely.  

BTW.....if you use my method and have leaks, or lose a filter, or wreck on an oil slick, then I am not responsible.  Wink
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johnofchar
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« REPLY #8 on: 01/06/07 1555 Hours »
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Buy a wrench (~$5), tighten as specified if using o-ring type filter & don't worry about it. End of story!
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BBurton
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« REPLY #9 on: 01/06/07 1653 Hours »
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Quote:

johnofchar wrote on 06.01.2007 10:55[/i]
Buy a wrench (~$5), tighten as specified if using o-ring type filter & don't worry about it. End of story!




+1....I have the Suzuki filter cap wrench, works great!

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renojohn
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« REPLY #10 on: 01/08/07 1344 Hours »
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Quote:

BBurton wrote on 06.01.2007 08:53[/i]
+1....I have the Suzuki filter cap wrench, works great!


only if you're using on the OEM filter,  not on NAPA or my fovorite:  HI-FLO filters.

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RubberDown
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« REPLY #11 on: 01/08/07 1935 Hours »
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Quote:

renojohn wrote on 08.01.2007 06:44[/i]
only if you're using on the OEM filter,  not on NAPA or my fovorite:  HI-FLO filters.




don't fight it John......you know you really wanna use your hand.   Grin

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SVS
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« REPLY #12 on: 01/08/07 2054 Hours »
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If you leak where is it gunna go?

On your rear tire....

If you are not familiar with rear tires and oil, Go home and get a quart and pour it all over your rear tire.  Go for a couple hot laps and let us know the handling characteristics you experienced.

OR-  

Hand tighten your oil filter and wait for it leak all over your rear tire ---At a Moment not of your choosing--- and be sure and post back why hand tightening is the preferred method in securing an item that has the potential to leak oil (and don't forget Catastrophic Failure-like blowing out the O-ring) and make your riding a little more exciting.
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renojohn
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« REPLY #13 on: 01/08/07 2129 Hours »
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Quote:

RubberDown wrote on 08.01.2007 11:35[/i]

Quote:

renojohn wrote on 08.01.2007 06:44[/i]
only if you're using on the OEM filter,  not on NAPA or my fovorite:  HI-FLO filters.




don't fight it John......you know you really wanna use your hand.   Grin


 Grin I don't fight it ...I hand tighten ...very snug, not the oily hand variety.   IMO it depends on the seal of the filter.  with my choice of Hi-Flo filters I've had no problem with the filter coming loose, leaking, falling off ... ....

When I hand tighten them it takes some muscle and a wrench to get them off.  

all this talk about leaking/failing filters yet we hear of few issues regarding leaking/failing filters on the v-strom

.........how about drain plugs ...how many are replacing the drain plug and/or washer each time.  Much more prone to failure IMO than a snug oil filter.  Consequences of failure are likely to be worse.

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RubberDown
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« REPLY #14 on: 01/09/07 0315 Hours »
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Quote:

SVS wrote on 08.01.2007 13:54[/i]
If you leak where is it gunna go?

On your rear tire....

If you are not familiar with rear tires and oil, Go home and get a quart and pour it all over your rear tire.  Go for a couple hot laps and let us know the handling characteristics you experienced.

OR-  

Hand tighten your oil filter and wait for it leak all over your rear tire ---At a Moment not of your choosing--- and be sure and post back why hand tightening is the preferred method in securing an item that has the potential to leak oil (and don't forget Catastrophic Failure-like blowing out the O-ring) and make your riding a little more exciting.




As I said.....this topic has come up several times.  :Smiley What some people fail to realize is the oil filter when hand tightened does not leak.  I know it's a hard concept for some people to grasp but I guess I don't know how to make it more clear.  I'm not knocking anyone that uses the Suzuki oil filter wrench, but it's still not necessary.

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Anonymous
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« REPLY #15 on: 01/27/07 1251 Hours »
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I've always hand tightened my filters on everything I've owned with a spin-on filter without trouble, for more than 20 years.  Sometimes I still need a filter wrench to get the filters back off, so if anything they tend to tighten in use.  The shops here in Korea get on it with a big car-type filter wrench until veins pop out on the "mechanic's" forehead, and they always have to spear it with a screwdriver to get it off.   They did manage to kink the o-ring on my previous bike and nearly cause a wreck when the rear tire got covered with oil.  I think either method works if you know what you're doing and got a basic feel for how tight is right.   I keep a sharp eye on the filter seal the first day or two after a change, and check the drain bolt before I leave the shop.  They left that just finger-tight once before.  You learn quick to double-check their work over here.
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Elvis
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« REPLY #16 on: 01/27/07 1903 Hours »
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Sorry, but if you do something for 20 years it is still don’t make right and any way times are changing and we do now a lot of things differently.
On the manual and on the original filter it is clearly stated to do a full 2 turns
Why do you want to "test" if they are right or not, there is no harm to do 2 full turns
And the filter goes out like it came on with no problem.
in Germany all the mechanic i observed work by the book that means that most
Of the V Strom in Germany get the 2 turns and until now i didn’t hear any problem with the thread get damage.


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RubberDown
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« REPLY #17 on: 01/28/07 0112 Hours »
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Quote:

Elvis wrote on 27.01.2007 12:03[/i]
On the manual and on the original filter it is clearly stated to do a full 2 turns
Why do you want to "test" if they are right or not, there is no harm to do 2 full turns




I'm writing the "2 full turns" off to lawyer input.  I can never remember any motorcycle I've ever owned giving a suggestion for how many turns to tighten the oil filter...Ducati, BMW, Honda, Yamaha, and now the V-Strom is somehow different?  I say do whatever makes you and the lawyers happy but I'll stick to using my hand.   Huh?

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RubberDown
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« REPLY #18 on: 06/12/09 0039 Hours »
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I just wanted to update this thread and say I'm still using my hand and it still works great!  Hello
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ib
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« REPLY #19 on: 06/15/09 0758 Hours »
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I did the hand method and the oil was leaking at the filter:



Problem fixed using the Suzuki method.
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johnofchar
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« REPLY #20 on: 06/15/09 1146 Hours »
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I just wanted to update this thread and say I'm still using my hand and it still works great!  Hello
Your not saying what kind of filter your using. If flat seal like Suzuki OEM, I'd go 2 turns. If o-ring aftermarket, hand tightening is OK.
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ColdCanuk
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« REPLY #21 on: 06/15/09 2328 Hours »
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I like the idea of marking a line with a little paint. Borrow some of my girlfriend's nail polish, really, it's not mine, really.

Hand tighten. I bet the guys that say 'use a wrench' don't take them off, especially the ones in tight places.
« Last Edit: 06/16/09 0057 Hours by ColdCanuk » Logged
CVBRUCE
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« REPLY #22 on: 06/15/09 2353 Hours »
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Having spent a year specifically in the design of oil filters and their gaskets, I can tell you the following.  The reason behind the "two turns" is to achieve the necessary compression of the gasket.  If you'll notice, the thread that you're assembling the filter to, on the engine, is fairly fine.  It's not a simple bayonet-type lock, for example.  The intent is to achieve a certain, pre-calculated compression of the gasket.  It's pretty easy to  imagine, right?  Whether you do it by hand or by wrench doesn't change what you accomplish.  Use the tool you're comfortable with.  All is clear?

CVBruce
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« REPLY #23 on: 06/20/09 0239 Hours »
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</span></p><div style="margin:20px; margin-top:5px; margin-bottom:-30px"><span class="smallfont">Quote:</span><table class="tablebgcolor" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="1" border="0" width="95%"><tr class="quotecolor"><td class="content"><span class="normalfont">
BBurton wrote on 06.01.2007 08:53[/i]
+1....I have the Suzuki filter cap wrench, works great!</span></td></tr></table></div><p class="content"><span class="normalfont">
only if you're using on the OEM filter,  not on NAPA or my fovorite:  HI-FLO filters.

++1 for the Suzuki filter cap.  I just got one for $4.50 form my dealer who is closing up shop.  It even allows you to torque the filter in place if you choose to do so.  I have trouble determining when it's just made contact so that I can count the 2 turns.  I learned a trick to use a piece of paper.  With the filter mount cleaned with a paper towel and a new filter before you put oil on the seal, I spin on the filter and slide a piece of paper in between.  When I can't pull it out, I put a piece of tape on the filter at TDC.  Then spin it off, slather some oil on the seal and run it back on.  Probably overkill, but I am an engineer.  I do construction on the side and have pretty strong hands and found that I wasn't doing quite 2 turns by hand tightening.  Never had a leak so it probably doesn't matter.
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