Honda oil pan: stripped plug or pan threads

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Old 05-03-15, 02:11 PM
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Honda oil pan: stripped plug or pan threads

I was doing an oil change on my 98 honda accord and I got the drain plug bolt out just fine and when I went to put it back in, I did it finger tight and about another 90 degrees and all of a sudden there was no more resistance it was like when I first started threading it in.

I've been trying to use outward force to get the bolt out by wedging a flat head under the plug and vise grips.. nothings working. I can't get it out or tighten it. It's just spinning.

My friend said there's a brass nut tac welded on the inside of the oil pan the plug gets threaded into because the oil pan is very thin, he thinks it's possible I cracked that loose. If that's it, I'm in for a weekend of fun getting the oil pan off.

For now I used some automotive putty jb steelstik, I have to get to work in the morning. The bolts basically all the way in so that's just for any leakage.

But what my question is - how do I tell if the bolt is stripped or if it's the oil pan that's stripped. i hope I can get the plug out so I can just tap a bigger hole and get a little bigger plug.
 

Last edited by sandbergss; 05-03-15 at 02:13 PM. Reason: better wording
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Old 05-03-15, 02:32 PM
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Simply remove the pan. It's not that hard. You likely broke the pan nut inside loose. That car is not drivable.
 
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Old 05-03-15, 03:13 PM
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Not leaking right now, it's fine to drive til my next oil change. I'm going to take the oil pan off next weekend, It doesn't look like a simple job to me though.
 
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Old 05-03-15, 08:52 PM
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Hondas are quite simple in this respect. Don't forget, you can lower crossmember if it's getting in pan's way, but this would have been un-Honda-like.
Not leaking sitting in place? Even with engine running? Wait till you get her on the road, with vibration.
 
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Old 05-04-15, 03:52 AM
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Agreed. The pump pressure and heat will blow that JB weld fix out. Don't drive it.
 
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Old 05-04-15, 04:55 AM
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Alright, I won't drive it. It looked like I would have to drop the exhaust and possibly the transmission (I can't remember what it's called because it's a 5 speed). I'm going to see if I can find a youtube video
 
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Old 05-04-15, 05:14 AM
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Do they make a HeliCoil for an application like that ?

It sounds like it was a sheet metal pan reinforced with the brass(?) around the plug ?

And even if a HeliCoil might work, that detached brass(?) is still floating around inside the pan until removed.
 
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Old 05-04-15, 06:20 AM
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Vermont - It's possible I could fix the threads, but if your right the brass nut is spinning with the nut, because I can't even get the bolt out. I'd like to find out if my car is sheet metal with a brass nut for reinforment.

I was thinking about just cutting the head off with a side grinder but I'm just going to have to take the oil pan off next weekend and see what's going on in there
 

Last edited by sandbergss; 05-04-15 at 06:22 AM. Reason: better wording
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Old 05-04-15, 07:35 AM
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Remember what i said - you can lower cross member to slide oil pan off and out, if it's in your way. Manual transmissions are much smaller than automatic ones and don't really obstruct. You'll need to jack engine up off likely crankshaft pulley, it's quite amazing how far up it'll move. Then possibly loosen all c-member bolts to lower it down. I still don't think you'll need to do all that though.
Also, when you buy a pan gasket, do not buy cork ones, buy black rubberized one. And be super gentle on dam pan bolts.
Go to library and copy proper page from Chilton. Or, better off, invest into $15 for repair manual. Or, you can simply go here:
| Repair Guides | Engine Mechanical | Oil Pan | AutoZone.com
and it does say to remove exhaust pipe. Go figure. Be very generous with PB Blaster then and have perfectly well fitting sockets, don't bust the studs on exhaust.
 
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Old 05-04-15, 08:04 AM
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Thanks ukrbyk, yes I found a youtube video and it doesn't look like I'll need to do all of that. Doesn't look as big of a project as I expected. He has a coupe but I don't think it'll be much of a difference.

Here's the video I found

Part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2MlPG5AHOk&app=desktop

part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU5Ki28hfQs&app=desktop
 
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Old 05-04-15, 08:50 AM
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Thinking about this, I'm still a little confused:

Just to clarify . . . . it's not leaking now ?

So you've already added the oil to make that observation ?

Then when did you notice that the plug appeared to be stripped ?
 
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Old 05-04-15, 09:15 AM
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I'm sorry if the wording was confusing, I tried editing it to make more sense but might have made it worse.

So Vermont, I took the drain bolt out. Drained the oil, replaced the filter, and when I was putting the plug back in, I did it finger tight and used my ratchet another 90 degrees. I got about quarter turn and all of a sudden no more resistance and it wouldn't snug up. It's just spinning. So I tried backing it out and now it won't even come back out, just spinning.

So being the plug was almost snug I just put some automotive putty around the lip of the plug in case of any leakage. And i waited an hour and added a quart waited 15 mins, checked for leaking, and added another checked again, no leaking. Just so it'd be drivable for the week. But now everyone is telling me don't drive it, I left it in the driveway, I drove it up to the store last night about 15 mile round trip and got home and no leaking.

I'm planning on taking the oil pan off to see what's going on inside, possibly replace it this weekend.
But what I want to know if it's the plug that's stripped, or if the brass nut (if there even is one) inside tac weld cracked loose. If there's a way to know without taking the oil pan off.
 
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Old 05-04-15, 09:42 AM
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I just wanted to make a suggestion. Before you pull the pan down have a course of action mapped out. From what I've been reading..... this drain plug issue has been going on since the mid 80's and apparently Honda is doing nothing to stop the problem.

It seems to be caused by using an aluminum crush washer for sealing that requires excessive tightening force to seal the plug. There is a threaded portion in the pan.... not a nut welded in the back.

In my perusing around I found several recommendations to an online Honda parts place. It's in the link below. You may want to get the pan ahead of time unless you know a welder or a machine shop where they could fix the pan bung.

Honda Automotive Parts online

Name:  OilPan-012.jpg
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Old 05-04-15, 11:10 AM
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Wow thanks pj, that makes alot of sense. So if the nut is spinning both ways and not moving in or out, do you think it's the bolt / pan that got stripped? I can use a helicoil or retap if that's the case. But then why the hell why won't the plug come out?

I was under the impression there was a welded nut in the back. I also did some research and seen its been a terrible problem for other people.

I'd like to find out what's happened before I go pulling the oil pan off.
 

Last edited by sandbergss; 05-04-15 at 11:26 AM. Reason: better wording
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Old 05-04-15, 11:36 AM
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There is no nut. That black piece in the picture is the oil pan. That piece has been cut out with a hole saw and a new one was going to be welded in.

There is very little meat there to retap and if the pan is aluminum..... never going to happen.
 
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Old 05-04-15, 11:56 AM
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Well if there's no nut I should be able to get the damn drain bolt out of there then with some force.

This Is from the video I posted link to earlier. Its the inside of the replacement oil pan he got, and it looks like there's a welded nut on the inside of the pan.




http://s22.postimg.org/uk73uivzl/Screenshot_2015_05_04_10_14_08.png
 

Last edited by sandbergss; 05-04-15 at 12:02 PM. Reason: added pic
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Old 05-04-15, 12:12 PM
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You can buy original pans or upgraded pans from aftermarket companies that tack weld a nut in place.

I found no mention of a tack welded nut breaking free.
 
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Old 05-04-15, 12:16 PM
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Okay, I guess I'll use a pry bar and my impact to try and get that plug out
 
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