stripped oil pan?

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Old 06-09-09, 09:57 PM
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stripped oil pan?

I've either got a stripped oil pan drain plug, or a stripped oil pan drain hole. I had noticed some slight oil seepage/drips coming from the drain plug. The gasket on the drain plug was one of those fiber/plastic type material, and when I examined it, it looked like there was kind of a little crack in it and not in very good shape. Also, on examination of the plug threads (on the plug itself), one of them was kind of damaged but not real bad looking. I obtained a replacement gasket for the plug a the auto parts store, which looked as if it were made of copper, and which I was told was a much better type than what I had on there previously. So as I was tightening the plug with the new gasket, after it was snugged up I gave it maybe a half-turn more but then it let loose, obviously threads stripped. So I snugged it up just to the point before it would let loose, hoping that might be good. But of course it turned out that it wasn't tight enough and it continues to seep/drip.

The vehicle is a 92 Honda Accord, all with original stock equipment. I don't know whether the drain plug and oil pan are made of aluminum or steel or what. I am assuming the oil pan hole threads have stripped, but don't know for sure. It would be great if it was just the plug. Maybe it's both. Comments/suggestions please.
 
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Old 06-10-09, 04:12 AM
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there are oversize and expandable plugs that can be used. Proper repair is to have pan fixed or replaced. $$$$
 
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Old 06-10-09, 06:22 AM
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Some examples of what pug mentioned:

Over Size and Repair Oil Drain Plugs
 
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Old 06-10-09, 08:41 AM
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Okay, thanks you guys. I'll see about obtaining one of those oversize repair plugs. Hopefully it should work ok. If the proper repair is a replacement pan, does that mean to make the repair using these oversize plugs usually is no good?
 
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Old 06-10-09, 11:01 AM
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The replacement plugs usually work fine if not overtightened. A lot of plugs use aluminum "crush" washers which really should be replaced at each oil change.

Proper repair for a flat tire is to replace the tire. Usually it can be plugged or patched.

What's proper is not always the best or first step to take.
 
  #6  
Old 06-10-09, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by goldstar View Post
The replacement plugs usually work fine if not overtightened. A lot of plugs use aluminum "crush" washers which really should be replaced at each oil change.
Proper repair for a flat tire is to replace the tire. Usually it can be plugged or patched. What's proper is not always the best or first step to take.
Good to hear it might be worthwhile to a least give the oversize replacement plug a try then. Thanks for that info, goldstar.
 
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Old 06-10-09, 07:28 PM
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Okay I purchased a single oversize "self-tapping" type oil pan drain plug from NAPA and have been trying to get it started threaded in. Seem to be having trouble doing getting it started. Can't seem to get the first thread threaded. Any tips? What's the trick anyway?!
 
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Old 06-10-09, 08:12 PM
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No trick......

You are experiencing first hand why we said "Sometimes" they work.

You arent going to be able to catch the "First Thread"...That is why they are called "Self Tapping"...They werent designed to replace your existing plug..they were designed to make "NEW" threads

What I usually do, if you have the plug with the "Slots" cut in the tip, is Tap Moderately with a Hammer, until the tip Crushes, or "Shrinks Down" to the desired size, and basically.....Crank It In....

Ultimately and Eventually.....You will have No choice but to replace the Oil Pan .....
 
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Old 06-10-09, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
if you have the plug with the "Slots" cut in the tip, is Tap Moderately with a Hammer, until the tip Crushes, or "Shrinks Down" to the desired size, and basically.....Crank It In....Ultimately and Eventually.....You will have No choice but to replace the Oil Pan .....
Yeah, I have the plug with the slots cut in the tip. I thought about tapping it with the hammer, but didn't think I should. After struggling for some time trying to get the self tapping plug to start threading, unsuccessfully, but without using a hammer, I put the old plug back in, thinking I could live with a slight leak like before until I decide when to break down and buy a new pan. Or would you recommend I do as you suggest, and tap the oversize plug in with hammer and crank it in? Isn't there a pretty good chance I'd tap it in a little crooked and it would then crank in all crooked and I'd be worse off than before?
 
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Old 06-10-09, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by sgull View Post
Isn't there a pretty good chance I'd tap it in a little crooked and it would then crank in all crooked and I'd be worse off than before?

Better than a "Pretty Good Chance"....Approaching money back GUARANTEE

You may "Wrap" the old plug in Teflon plumbers tape, and use a glob of silicone , smeared across the plug and pan.....The silicone wont stop it from leaking, but it will keep it from twisting out.

Another option , although I dont completely trust them, would be a Rubber "Expando-plug". It comes with an installation tool, and you stretch it over the tool, insert it , and remove the tool. When you remove the tool, it swells up in the hole, and seals.
 
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Old 06-10-09, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
Better than a "Pretty Good Chance"....Approaching money back GUARANTEE
You may "Wrap" the old plug in Teflon plumbers tape, and use a glob of silicone , smeared across the plug and pan.....The silicone wont stop it from leaking, but it will keep it from twisting out. Another option , although I dont completely trust them, would be a Rubber "Expando-plug". It comes with an installation tool, and you stretch it over the tool, insert it , and remove the tool. When you remove the tool, it swells up in the hole, and seals.
Well if its pretty much a guarantee the self-tapping oversize plug would leave me worse off than before, then I'll forget it.
I'll do the teflon tape and silicone on the old plug until I get my hands on the expando plug you mention and maybe try that before I break down and buy a new pan. this sucks

thanks.
 
  #12  
Old 06-11-09, 11:01 AM
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I'm not sure about your car but I've heard the plug is softer steel than the pan. That way, if anything strips it will be the plug.

Did you try a new plug and gasket?
 
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Old 06-11-09, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Baldwin View Post
I'm not sure about your car but I've heard the plug is softer steel than the pan. That way, if anything strips it will be the plug.Did you try a new plug and gasket?
No I haven't tried a new original size plug yet. I have tried a new gasket. I'm not sure about my car either, whether the plug is softer steel than the pan. The plug, as I mentioned, does have a few stripped threads. From all I've been reading and hearing, it's just the opposite of what you're saying, and that is that the threads in the pan drain hole are usually the ones that get damaged. I've been assuming not only are the treads on my plug damaged, but the threads in the drain hole as well. I'll try a new original plug and see what happens, I guess. That would be great if was just the plug.
thanks
 
  #14  
Old 06-11-09, 06:19 PM
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leaks

There isn't a painless answer to your dilema. I am retired after a career of automobile repair and running several shops. You should take the car to a shop that is able to properly assess the problem and resolve it. The pan was damaged by someone installing a plug with incorrect length threads allowing the reduced reach in thread length to be pulled out or a plug with incorrect thread pitch. In either case you don't want oil leaking all over your neighborhood and you really don't want the plug to fall out while in operation. The oil needs to be remover and the pan inspected with a light for evaluation and then an appropriate repair can be performed.
Bill
 
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Old 06-11-09, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Tijoe View Post
The oil needs to be removed and the pan inspected with a light for evaluation and then an appropriate repair can be performed.
Okay. I already removed the oil. I inspected the pan with a light. Pretty much looks okay from the outside, but of course it's still hard to see the threads in the drain hole very good, even with a light. So I'll take the pan off now and inspect the inside with a light. Then go from there I guess.
 
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Old 06-11-09, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by voidale View Post
Yeah, thanks, that helps.
 
  #17  
Old 06-12-09, 06:38 AM
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Threads

The pan plug should thread in at least the same length as the threaded portion's width and most are twice that long. Using a can of carb or brake cleaning spray clean the threads to inspect. If no damage is seen then aquire a bolt with the same thread and install and toque it in the pan. If the bolt holds tension then the pan should be ok. A close visual inspection is needed at the threads in the pan. Sorry for the slow response.
Bill
 
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Old 06-12-09, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tijoe View Post
The pan plug should thread in at least the same length as the threaded portion's width and most are twice that long. Using a can of carb or brake cleaning spray clean the threads to inspect. If no damage is seen then aquire a bolt with the same thread and install and toque it in the pan. If the bolt holds tension then the pan should be ok. A close visual inspection is needed at the threads in the pan.
Okay thanks Bill, I'll follow the instructions you provided here. Before I take the pan off and start the close inspection on the drain hole threads, though, would you suggest I first simply try to thread an original size replacement plug into the hole to see if it seems to thread in properly and holds tension (I haven't tried that yet)? Also, what's a good way to find out for sure what the specific thread count/pitch is for this bolt/hole, so I can try to acquire a bold with the same thread?
 
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Old 06-12-09, 08:57 AM
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Per Autozone.....M14-1.50 thread size (17mm head size) $2.99 should be in stock locally.

You should be able to just examine your old one and compare to the new to see if its the drain plug or the pan.
 
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Old 06-12-09, 11:00 AM
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Is 17MM a common size? VW uses the same size at least for the head of the bolt.
 
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Old 06-12-09, 03:40 PM
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The M14 x 1.50 is the key.......Head size is of No importance...Unless you have a set of Bronzed wrenches that you use for vehicle service,

Tijoe.....I beg to differ, as this is a 1992 vehicle and must have had at a bare minimum 15 or 20 oil changes if not more.....This is basic wear and tear, and happens all the time.

Just food for thought, but Ive seen more wiped out pans than plugs, over the course of my career. I may be wrong, but someone must show me...The soft steel plug theory is a crock, ....Thats my story and Im sticking to it...
 
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Old 06-12-09, 03:52 PM
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No Pro mechanic..but I've stripped a couple of pans myself trying to get it "tight enough". Like I said earlier..a visual inspection of the drain plug will pretty much tell you whats up.
 
  #23  
Old 06-13-09, 06:21 PM
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Hopefully the issue is only a memory at this point. I worked in a service department capacity for 40 years and personally never pulled the threads off an oil pan plug. I have seen many with the problem and repaired many botched attempts at installing something as simple as an oil pan plug. All fasteners have a maximum tolerance for load so I imagine a good resolution for those having difficulty might be the use of a torque wrench. Just an idea of sorts.
Bill
 
  #24  
Old 06-13-09, 06:40 PM
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It's nearly always a matter of overtightening the plug to "make sure" it doesn't come out and lose the oil and ruin the engine. If, at every oil change, a new crushable type washer was used to tighten against, you may have less of a problem with threads. Most of the time, however, you are tightening against a second use solid washer, with no give in it to absorb the torque, and that constantly pulls at the threads.

I worked with a guy a number of years ago who would only put his drain plug in finger tight with no wrench. His idea was, considering the pitch of the thread, and the configuration isn't a conular pipe thread, it wouldn't come out. Apparently it never did for him. I would think it would have seeped a little, but he did that all the years I knew him.

His idea may have been a little overboard, but a drain plug doesn't need to be cranked a lot to do it's job.
 
  #25  
Old 06-13-09, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
this is a 1992 vehicle and must have had at a bare minimum 15 or 20 oil changes if not more.....This is basic wear and tear, and happens all the time. The soft steel plug theory is a crock
I bought this car in 1992 and changed the oil myself every 3000 miles or so. I would usually know better than to torque down the oil plug too tight, but maybe I did once I dunno, I don't really recall doing turning it excessively tight any particular time. Also, I've been assuming that if the plug is stripped, so will be the pan threads. Can't seem to get a consensus here on whether that should necessarily be the case, though.
 
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Old 06-13-09, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by marbobj View Post
If, at every oil change, a new crushable type washer was used to tighten against, you may have less of a problem with threads. Most of the time, however, you are tightening against a second use solid washer, with no give in it to absorb the torque, and that constantly pulls at the threads.
Yeah I must admit that most certainly was the situation that caused my problem. Using a second-use solid washer and failing to put a always new crushable type washer on at every oil change. dangit
 
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Old 06-13-09, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
a visual inspection of the drain plug will pretty much tell you whats up.
The drain plug has two rather flattened looking threads on it about midway up the threads. I'm assuming the threads in the pan itself are damaged too, but haven't yet been able to examine those, so I don't really know fully whats up.
 
  #28  
Old 06-13-09, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Tijoe View Post
I worked in a service department capacity for 40 years I have seen many with the problem and repaired many botched attempts at installing something as simple as an oil pan plug.
In those 40 years what was usually the way you would end up fixing all these other people's botched attempts? The most common fix was what method, please?
 
  #29  
Old 06-13-09, 07:57 PM
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For crying out loud, this isn't brain surgery!!

Try a new plug and if that doesn't work do the pan!!!!

Geeezzzzzz.
 
  #30  
Old 06-13-09, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Baldwin View Post
For crying out loud, this isn't brain surgery!! Try a new plug and if that doesn't work do the pan!!!!.
I never initially thought about simply trying a new plug, assuming automatically (but not really knowing) if the plug is visibly stripped then the pan threads would be stripped too. First suggestions here seemed to indicate to me that I should try an oversize plug, etc. On Monday I'll go buy an original size plug and try it as you suggest. If it still leaks I'll "do" the pan, man!!
 
  #31  
Old 06-13-09, 08:29 PM
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Pan plugs

I worked with Mercedes Benz, some of the earlier engines used cast aluminum oil pans costing as much as 1000 dollars and taking up to 20 hours to replace them so on several occasions I over bored the plug boss and tapped it to accept a larger diameter steel sleeve that I could drill to the correct size to accept a stock replacement plug. After the fit was completed used a thread locking agent made by Rolls Royce to secure the sleeve into the pan. I used the same technique to repair engine blocks that had thread damages normally caused from loose attachment bolts at the belt drive attachment brackets. Rocket science no, economics yes. I was a foreman for quite a few years so things of that nature fell to me.
Bill
 
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Old 06-13-09, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tijoe View Post
I worked with Mercedes Benz, some of the earlier engines used cast aluminum oil pans costing as much as 1000 dollars and taking up to 20 hours to replace them so on several occasions I over bored the plug boss and tapped it to accept a larger diameter steel sleeve that I could drill to the correct size to accept a stock replacement plug. After the fit was completed used a thread locking agent made by Rolls Royce to secure the sleeve into the pan. I used the same technique to repair engine blocks that had thread damages normally caused from loose attachment bolts at the belt drive attachment brackets. Rocket science no, economics yes. I was a foreman for quite a few years so things of that nature fell to me.
Bill
I understand. Thanks for that explanation. My economics are that I can buy a new pan on ebay if I need to for my 92 Accord for 52 bucks!
 
  #33  
Old 06-15-09, 01:13 PM
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fixed

So today I installed a new original size plug, and new washer. It snugged up normally and cinched down nicely without any more indication of stripped threads, and there's no more seepage or leaking going on. So apparently it was just the old plug stripped enough to be causing my issue. This was a learning experience for me. Thanks for all input here.

Oil plug dilemma solved. Next on my agenda: brain surgery and rocket science.
 
  #34  
Old 06-15-09, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by sgull View Post
So today I installed a new original size plug, and new washer. It snugged up normally and cinched down nicely without any more indication of stripped threads, and there's no more seepage or leaking going on. So apparently it was just the old plug stripped enough to be causing my issue. This was a learning experience for me. Thanks for all input here.

Oil plug dilemma solved. Next on my agenda: brain surgery and rocket science.
Thank goodness you bought a new oil plug and gasket..
Hopefully direct replacement because the new ones don't come with magnet in end for metal shaving and just plain wear metals..
Don't really need to torque if you use a standard wrench wipr the surface always loosing for any groves in the pan receiver or in the brass washer then just snug it you will be better off.
 
  #35  
Old 06-15-09, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bigem1 View Post
Hopefully direct replacement because the new ones don't come with magnet.
Not sure what you mean by direct replacement. Bought it from NAPA, it was the size they gave me when I asked for a replacement plug for my particular vehicle. I didn't ask if it was magnetized or not. I don't know if the original one was magnetized either. The new plug is slightly longer, I noticed, than the original plug that was in there.
 
  #36  
Old 06-15-09, 03:07 PM
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Glad to hear that the dilemma was solved.
 
  #37  
Old 06-15-09, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by sgull View Post
Oil plug dilemma solved. Next on my agenda: brain surgery and rocket science.

Hahahaha.....good one. Glad you got it fixed. Sometimes we humans tend to over-think things (I do it all the time) when the simple answer is right in front of you.

Sorry for being a little crabby Sunday, I'd just picked up my mail and noticed an invite from the Court Administrator to join them for the entire month of July for jury duty. No idea how often I'll have to attend.

I don't mind going but I haven't left my dog alone for the 9 years I've had him. I think he'll be stressed.


Baldwin
 
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Old 06-15-09, 06:06 PM
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Wish I would get a jury duty notice....always felt I should. Neighbor who's been here for 2 yrs gets one for 30 days in Federal court..life's not fair.

Yeah way off subject...
 
  #39  
Old 06-15-09, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Baldwin View Post
Sometimes we humans tend to over-think things (I do it all the time) when the simple answer is right in front of you. Sorry for being a little crabby Sunday, I'd just picked up my mail and noticed an invite from the Court Administrator to join them for the entire month of July for jury duty. No idea how often I'll have to attend. I don't mind going but I haven't left my dog alone for the 9 years I've had him. I think he'll be stressed.
Often I waste a lot of time overthinking things until I finally get on the forum here and get simple straightforward sensible advice and suggestions I never even thought of, and often the best advice seems to come from the crabs. I wonder why that is.
When you go to jury duty, good luck, and try not to overthink things during deliberations like I always end up doing when I have to go. Just choose a verdict and be done with it! Thanks again.
 
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Old 06-16-09, 10:14 AM
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In CT jury duty is a one day deal if you are not picked to be on a jury.
 
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