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Old 07-17-2011, 01:06 PM
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How I fixed my stripped oil pan drain hole

First, a thank-you to everyone who responded in my thread of a few weeks ago on how to do this. I think I've made the best choice based on all inputs.

The original thread is here:

Repairing a stripped oilpan drain plug hole

After more than 35 years changing my own oil, I finally stripped an oil pan drain plug hole. So embarrassing. And worse yet, on my expensive Aviad oil pan for the Cobra. Now this pan wound up costing me almost $800 including shipping, so I wasnít about to buy another one.

As a temporary fix, I used one of those over-size drain-plugs which makes itís own threads. You can see it below along with a selection of various washers. Iíve shown the washers as I no longer use any of those type. Further along in the thread will be a picture of the type I currently use.



The problem with these over-size drain plugs is they are tapered. I suspect they will strip after a number of uses, so if you ever need to use one, starting with a thick washer, and switch to thinner and thinner washers with each oil change, as it might help with longevity.

For other reasons, I removed my oil pan and thought this is the opportunity to repair it properly. I had considered welding, but there are problems with welding. The heat would damage the protective plating on the pan leading to rust. Itís difficult to weld with my MIG due to the size of the gun (oxy-acetylene should work though). Itís difficult to re-drill the hole precisely perpendicular to the boss face. The final threads wonít be all that strong as itís only build up with steel wire, not tempered like a proper nut.

A heli-coil was my next thought, but I was worried in might move in or out with the bolt during oil changes. Loc-tite might work, but probably seep up between the threads and cause a problem installing the bolt. And I canít imagine trying to chase a heli-coil with a tap.

So I chose to try a Time-Sert repair kit. Itís a bit pricey, but you get all the specialty tools plus 5 inserts. Itís touted as an aluminium oil pan repair kit, but it worked just fine with my steel pan.



Below are some pics of the specialty tools. You can see the drill bit (OK, you might have one of those), the counter-bore tool, the proper tap and the part I call a swaging tool, although Iím probably not correct calling it that. This latter tool expands the end of the insert. Although a regular bolt might work, this tool is actually hex-shaped and most likely works better than a bolt.



Below is the knurled sleeve to help keep the tap straight. I used a 3/8 12 point socket to turn the tap.




Below is a pic of the insert. You can see the lip (bottom of pic) which holds it from screwing in too far. Note the lack of threads on the inside near the top. This is the part that expands out.



Next step was to clamp the oil-pan down.



I drilled out the hole with the drill bit provided. Although itís 33/64ths, it fit in my hand drill. Iíve got a fairly good eye, plus it tended to follow the original hole quite well. It did catch a couple of times at the beginning, but I managed it fine. They show rotating the drill bit and counter-bore by hand (using a tap wrench), but even for aluminium, that might be very, very slow. With steel, I had to use an electric drill.

Next I counter bored, down to the depth where the tool stops. I think thatís really a little too far. If I do another one, Iíll stop just bit short. You can see the counter-bore in the next pic.



In this next pic, you can see how the insert is below the boss face due to the counter-bore being a little deeper than it had to be. But you certainly donít want it standing proud.



The next pic shows the original bolt and the type of rubber/metal washer I now prefer. Note the faced sealing area on the underside of the bolt head. This is why it doesnít matter if the insert, or a heli-coil, can leak around the threads. The pan oil is kept in by the washer sealing between the bolt face and the boss face.

I think this bolt was the cause of my original problem. The threads seem cut vs. rolled, and the diameter seems a little smaller than it should be.



And hereís the bolt and washer installed. I think I will get a better quality bolt though.



And now to see if it holds up. Time will tellÖ

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Old 07-17-2011, 07:32 PM
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hello,

Thanks for posting!

The writing and pictures are very informative.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:33 PM
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Thought this was an anodized aluminum pan. Or am I a thinking of another thread?
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:58 AM
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I had never seen that type of insert be fore this, thanks for taking the time to show everyone.
nice post, I like pics
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:27 AM
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Nice fix!! That bolt - you are probably correct as far as fit. That HH on the head is the same product manufacturer that I bought at my local Home Depot and distributed locally by Crown Bolt. Not a domestically made product

I found a Fastenal about 2 miles further down the road from our big box stores with much, not all of their stuff being US made

Dave W
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:24 PM
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Very informative! The pictures definitely tell a thousand words. Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argess
And hereís the bolt and washer installed. I think I will get a better quality bolt though.



And now to see if it holds up. Time will tellÖ
In case anyone is interested, that type of washer is called a "Stat-O-Seal". Parker also makes the "Thred Sealģ", which works on the threaded portion of a fastener.

(Technically, only Parker makes Stat-O-Sealsģ, but, like Kleenex, the name has come to be used generically.)
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cool rockin daddy
Thought this was an anodized aluminum pan. Or am I a thinking of another thread?
That's what I thought also. I am sure I read that welding was out as an option to repair it as it had some form of coating that was desired to be preserved. Hmmmmmmm............
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:41 PM
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It is a steel pan. According to the manufacturer, it is cad plated. I made a mistake in my other thread saying it was anodized as it looks like anodized aluminum.

I'm used to seeing cad plating as goldish in colour, not a silver/gray.

I guess protective coatings are not my strong point. Sorry about the confusion.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:48 PM
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No problem , I was just confused about it when I saw it, I didnt recognize it as having a coating either , I am no expert on the subject either
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:32 PM
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Now that's an excellent fix; one I haven't seen before.

While reading all the posts on this, no one even mentioned a
Fumoto drain valve. I've used these on all my vehicles for
decades, with no failures or stripped drain plugs. These make
oil changes a breeze.

Do you all not like them for some reason, or would one not
work in this application?
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
Nice fix!! That bolt - you are probably correct as far as fit. That HH on the head is the same product manufacturer that I bought at my local Home Depot and distributed locally by Crown Bolt. Not a domestically made product

I found a Fastenal about 2 miles further down the road from our big box stores with much, not all of their stuff being US made

Dave W
fastenal is where i get most of my bolts, the store near where i work used to sponsor my son when he raced quads, and still gives me a good deal
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runnin'OnEmpty
Now that's an excellent fix; one I haven't seen before.

While reading all the posts on this, no one even mentioned a
Fumoto drain valve. I've used these on all my vehicles for
decades, with no failures or stripped drain plugs. These make
oil changes a breeze.

Do you all not like them for some reason, or would one not
work in this application?
Funny how you mention that. I have in fact, installed a Fumoto drain valve in my boat engine (Mercruiser V8). I think it does a better and easier job than using one of those pumps hooked up to the dipstick tube. I have permanently connected a drain hose to the valve. To drain the oil, I have the boat out of the water, remove the hull drain, and poke the hose through it and have a catch basin on the ground under the boat (whihc is on a trailor). It's a lot easier to operate that valve 1/4 turn than to remove and install a drain bolt with a marine engine deep in the hold.

I think I've only considered the Fumoto valves for situations where access to the drain plug is tricky.

However, it is a good idea, and would work in my application, although I would need to put the car on an incline (pointing down) even more than I already do as the Fumoto won't let as much oil out due to rasing the exit hole a bit higher up.

I think they probably work better with a pan with an drain on the bottom. Of course, then you run the risk of having the valve knocked around by debris on the road. I'd say it depends on the particualr vehicle whether a Fumoto valve is a good idea or not.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argess
..... I have in fact, installed a Fumoto drain valve in my boat engine (Mercruiser V8). I think it does a better and easier job than using one of those pumps hooked up to the dipstick tube. I have permanently connected a drain hose to the valve. To drain the oil, I have the boat out of the water, remove the hull drain, and poke the hose through it and have a catch basin on the ground under the boat (whihc is on a trailor). It's a lot easier to operate that valve 1/4 turn than to remove and install a drain bolt with a marine engine deep in the hold......
That's a neat trick.
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