We normally go by "common sense" but I know that isn't very helpful. 7 foot pounds is way too much. Those are pretty small bolts going into aluminum and it doesn't take much to strip the threads. Typically you will be fine if you use a 1/4" drive ratchet and one fist to turn it, unless you're uncommonly strong.
Very few applications still use a cork or fiber gasket. Instead it has been the norm to use gasket sealer. It's real important to be sure there's no transmission oil residue on the two surfaces or that sealer will usually not bond and seal. If you're using one of those products the torque specs become even less critical. Basically, tight is good.
The only spec I happen to know by heart is for the valve covers on older Chrysler engines with cast iron heads and cork gaskets. That was 7 inch pounds which would also be fine for your pan bolts. That's hand tight with that 1/4" ratchet.
Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 AT 8:42 PM