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Weird drain plug - what to do?
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:20 pm    Post subject: Weird drain plug - what to do? Reply with quote

I went to change the oil on my new (old) '86 Westy today and saw that the PO had put a weird drain plug in. The size of the head makes it impossible to get a socket over the bolt.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Too shallow to get a box or open wrench in.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


How else can I drain the oil? God only knows how old the stuff in that crankcase is. Also, how the hell am I going to get that plug out?

I hope the pics come out.

THANKS!!!!!
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Last edited by deprivation on Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jmfoust
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try a 12 point socket. Get a really cheap, and I mean cheap socket. Sometimes the crappy tools are thinner walled and will work. I've had to do this with some stuff in the past. Call P.O. to see what he was using, maybe he'll include the tool.
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McVanagon
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

God, do I dare suggest....

- Needle nose vice grips?
- Drill and EZ out?


My next suggestion might be helicoil, but we'll wait until your next post......

~Mike
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject: Well, geuss what? Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The needle-nose vice-grips idea intrigued me mostly becuase it involved something I already have. I modified your idea by filing ridges into the business end of a cheap crescent wrench - just enough to get me a little bite into the bolt.

And what do you know? Ancient, stinky oil everywhere!

Next up, some 20/50 synthetic. Mmmmm...synthetic....

THANKS!!!!!!!!
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ChesterKV
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good job and synthetic 20w-50 oil is the SHIZZLEPHAT
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmfoust wrote:
Try a 12 point socket. Get a really cheap, and I mean cheap socket. Sometimes the crappy tools are thinner walled and will work. I've had to do this with some stuff in the past. Call P.O. to see what he was using, maybe he'll include the tool.


I was also intrigued by the idea of solving this with crappy tools. So, I ran over to my local Harbor Freight and bought thier worst socket set, 40 pieces for - get this - $2.99!! I didn't know you could get forty ANYTHING for $2.99.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The walls of the socket are super-thin. All I had to do was lightly file the hex of the drain plug bolt and, hey, it works! Again, thanks for all the great suggestions.
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McVanagon
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that bolt you pulled out a self-tapper?
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use an extra copper washer on the way back in "for next time".

Andrew
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

McVanagon wrote:
Is that bolt you pulled out a self-tapper?


God, I hope not.

The plug does have those suspicious flutes and a taper but the threads at the taper don't seem to have any cutting ability - besides the metal is too soft to tap anything. I filed the head down without too much effort.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoever installed it made it into a self-tapper, by filing grooves into the first few threads. That's an old trick to make a thread chaser, but you usually use a fresh bolt for the final install.

For thin walled sockets, either get the cheapest tools, which will break, or the most expensive. Snap-on sockets have extra thin walls to fit into those tight places, but somehow they almost never break. There is something to those high prices and lifetime guarantee: exceptional metallurgy.
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ratfarmer_vw
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was looking for a Vanagon to buy I looked at one that the owner had made as he called it........"improvements."

The one thing that stands out as actually being a "good improvement" was his oil drain plug.

He took a nut just a little smaller than the oil plug and then welded it right to the plug.
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Yellow Rabbit
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an oversized thread cutting plug. The last guy probably stripped the threads in the motor. They work fine to solve the problem. Mine's been like that for two years without any issues. The new hole made by this style plug is still smaller than the hole required for a Timesert, so if there is a problem you can still fix it the right way. That was my plan, but like I said I've had no problems with the oversized plug.
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bucko
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That plug looks like the replacement "slightly oversized" ones sold by NAPA.

I almost went that route when I had a small drip from my oil drain plug. I did not want to overtighten it and strip it's seat, so I thought an oversized was needed, thinking a previous owner had stripped the seat out. However, it ended up being that the previous owner(s) forgot (perhaps they were too cheap) to install a copper washer.

Why not replace that oversized head oil drain plug with a correct "stock" one? I see everyone is talking about modifying a tool to remove it, but now that it's out, get the right one to re-install.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<That plug looks like the replacement "slightly oversized" ones sold by NAPA.>>

<<Why not replace that oversized head oil drain plug with a correct "stock" one?>>

No Can do Kevin.

Once the drain hole has gone oversized, It'd be tough to back to the stock diameter plug.
It is an oversized plug ---The OS stamped on the top of it is the indicator.

Personally I'd rather go with a first sized over plug than use a heli coil, or any thread replacement .

It's more positive, and won't work loose--

It"s a better deal in the drain plug hole.

What happend here is somebody chose a oversized plug with too big of a head--that's all.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChesterKV wrote:
Good job and synthetic 20w-50 oil is the SHIZZLEPHAT

You're in the EC? (where I grew up...)
I'm out in the outter Sunset near the beach and I have been using 10-30 for over a year now. Air temps seldom over 70... usually in the low 60s.
No valve clatter.. engine runs strong at 157k.

How long can a wasserboxer go... Laughing

The engine has only run hot in long climbs, like Sierra passes.
I may go back to 20-50 after a few more oil changes.. seems the thinner stuff is coming out cleaner with every change.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<I have been using 10-30 for over a year now. Air temps seldom over 70... usually in the low 60s.>>

Well there ya go---

Every owner's manual, tech book, VW publication I've ever seen suggests using 15/50, 20/50 at temps above 50 degree's.

You must be preparing for a trip up north to share the ride with the ice road trucker's, where that 10/30 will be a better oil selection for your engine.

10/30 is way too light an oil.
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tclark
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew A. Libby wrote:
Use an extra copper washer on the way back in "for next time".

Andrew

yah know I see this recommended all the time when you change but i could never get them to seal then I saw a post on the vanagon list by long timer dennis haynes to always use nylon washers never dripped again


Last edited by tclark on Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me too. I've gone back to plastic and nylon ones, and they seal, with less torque needed on the plug. With copper ones, there's always a drip.
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Perales
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ones I have been using seem to be aluminum. They seriously get crushed at the recommended torque but don't seem to leak. I like the idea of nylon with less torque. Where do you get them?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perales wrote:
TI like the idea of nylon with less torque. Where do you get them?

FLAPs in my loc its NAPA or Lordco
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