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Larger oil drain plug?
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YosemiteBound
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:19 pm    Post subject: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

Hey folks,

My buddy and I finally got around to changing my oil today. He has an 85.5 and I an early 85. We popped my drain plug out and noticed that it had some stuff threaded around it to make it fatter. When comparing it to my buddy's drain plug - it was the same plug... except mine was threaded to be fatter.

What gives? I wonder why my drain plug would need to be fatter. And if a fatter drain plug was needed for my new oil pan (recently rebuilt engine) where is that bolt? Why the standard size threaded to be larger?

It also had a copper crush washer on it. I was all set with the GW crush washer, but of course, it wouldn't fit. And I couldn't get the copper one off so I just left it on (as I didn't have a new one that would fit anyhow).

I'll keep an eye on it for any drips, but slightly confused in the meantime. Anyone have/seen this?

Pics for comparison!

Thanks!


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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

It's not uncommon for the threads to strip in the aluminum case. The typical repair is a thread insert. It looks like the thread insert pulled out with the drain plug instead of staying in the case.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

After the oil is well drained jack one side of the vehicle up so any remaining oil moves to one side of the case and the dripping stops. Now clean the hole and the insert well with brake cleaner, blow dry, and then install the insert using high strength Loctite on the threads. Hopefully this will make the insert lock to the case. Don't get Loctite between the plug and the insert. Let the Loctite set before filling the crankcase.
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YosemiteBound
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:42 am    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

Oh, interesting. The threaded insert shouldíve stayed on the crankcase. Because the plug hole is stripped? So weird. It was just rebuilt and the crankcase looks brand new. But I guess the PO (mechanic) just cleaned the hell out of it. What a pain. At that point I wonder why he wouldnít have just replaced it when he had it out.

I guess I gotta ask: do I need to do this now? Iíve got new oil in there and no leakage (knock on wood). Zero idea how Iím going to get the thread off the plug, itís really on there.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:54 am    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

YosemiteBound wrote:
Oh, interesting. The threaded insert shouldíve stayed on the crankcase. Because the plug hole is stripped? So weird. It was just rebuilt and the crankcase looks brand new. But I guess the PO (mechanic) just cleaned the hell out of it. What a pain. At that point I wonder why he wouldnít have just replaced it when he had it out.

I guess I gotta ask: do I need to do this now? Iíve got new oil in there and no leakage (knock on wood). Zero idea how Iím going to get the thread off the plug, itís really on there.


Stripped drain plugs are just a problem you have to deal with on an old engine, nothing new or unusual here at all.

If you can successfully Loctite the insert into the case, the plug should screw out of the insert. If the plug is sealing you don't need to deal with this now.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

I would unscrew the plug from the timesert and locate the timesert back into the block, rather than leave it for next time, there may be a reason next time why it didn't happen, the more times it gets removed, the more chance that it will turn into a much larger issue.
Although now being the following day, I expect it's back together already.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

Yeah itís back on there. Just curious how does it get stripped out so much? Just careless folks doing the oil change? Even then... The oil pan looks to be in fantastic shape...
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

Monkeys with wrenches, they are supposed to be 22ftlbs.
I've had one or two that I needed to heave on a 2` breaker bar to break them loose Sad
I get asked sometimes by customers, so I have this jiffy lube coupon, I usually tell them to throw it away, or if the HAVE to use it, make sure to tell them, that if they strip the thread, they owe you an engine block, then you will see them go look for a torque wrench
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:11 am    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

I think that in addition to the primary cause of over-torque, you also have the added factor of hardened steel bolt being threaded into much softer, usually warm-hot aluminum threads, which is what makes the whole set-up so vulnerable to over-torque.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:24 am    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

Thanks everyone ✌️
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 11:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

Guys, Iím bringing this back. Still screwing out the plug and insert together and putting it back every oil change (with that original copper washer still on there). Itís held for two years and countless oil changes. Only now Iím seeing some drops on the driveway (never had a leak before). Looks to be coming from the drain plug.

I wanna get this right. So I need to unscrew the plug - dump the oil. Let it fully drain. When it feels dry - put loctite on the outside of the insert (with plug still in it) and screw it back in there. Let it cure. Then hope when I unscrew the drain plug that the plug comes out and the insert stays in?

I remember long ago I asked a Vw shop to do this for me when they were replacing my clutch and they couldnít get it done. But now I canít remember why...

Stupid insert. What a pain.

Also what kind of loctite do you recommend? Def not blue.
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 11:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

High strength Loctite should do. You want to clean the hole well with brake cleaner or get the cleaner-catalyst Loctite sells. Loctite is pretty useless if the surfaces are at all oily, they must be clean. As I mentioned earlier, after you drain the oil tilt the vehicle to one side to move any remaining oil in the sump moves away from the drain hole.

Probably lots of ideas on doing this, don't know that any will do a super job.
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

Okay drained the oil - let it sit for hours - dripping. Jacked up both sides separately for a while to drain the sump. Dried out the socket with a shop towel. Sprayed brake cleaner on the drain plug and insert and also the drain plug socket.

Applied red loctite to outside of thread insert and screwed it in to the drain plug socket. Wiped off excess loctite (some dripping).

I am letting it cure 24 hours (per instructions) before attempting to unscrew the drain plug (hopefully with insert inside).

Applied blue tape over ignition to remind myself NOT to start the van in the meantime.

Crossing fingers.
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

After all the dripping is done, you may want to spray the threads in the hole with Brake Cleaner to remove the oil residue you thought you cleaned off the threads!
After that, let it drip the cleaner/oil residue mix and do it again.
You do not want to spray so much that it gets into the oil pan area to dilute the oil so it runs freely out the hole cause after all you're trying to get it to stop dripping.
Any glues/sealants/Loctite need bare naked metal to adhere to. Brake Cleaner/Electronic Cleaners leave zero residue and evaporate away.

People say to use acetone, but acetone leaves it's own residue and not a bare metal.
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

Steve M. wrote:
After all the dripping is done, you may want to spray the threads in the hole with Brake Cleaner to remove the oil residue you thought you cleaned off the threads!
After that, let it drip the cleaner/oil residue mix and do it again.
You do not want to spray so much that it gets into the oil pan area to dilute the oil so it runs freely out the hole cause after all you're trying to get it to stop dripping.
Any glues/sealants/Loctite need bare naked metal to adhere to. Brake Cleaner/Electronic Cleaners leave zero residue and evaporate away.

People say to use acetone, but acetone leaves it's own residue and not a bare metal.


Thanks. Pretty sure I did exactly that. Weíll see in about 22 hours... canít help but feel like the drain plug is gonna be impossible to get out. And my 1/4 ratchet ainít gonna be up to it. Blah.
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

YosemiteBound wrote:

Thanks. Pretty sure I did exactly that. Weíll see in about 22 hours... canít help but feel like the drain plug is gonna be impossible to get out. And my 1/4 ratchet ainít gonna be up to it. Blah.


Should we place bets now! Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 9:24 am    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

Okay yeah so the insert came out with the drain plug... as always. Man red loctite kinda sucks. The threads inside the crankcase and on the insert were bone dry and had been cleaned with brake cleaner. I covered the insert threads with red loctite and screwed it in...

And it just came out so easily. With some crusted loctite around the threads.

Anything stronger that anyone can think of? Do you think the PO maybe glued the insert thread to the drain plug?

Am I screwed?

How do I get another insert this exact size? Then I can try fresh and get a new drain plug... though it seems impossible to know the exact size of this insert.

Ugh.
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

Red Loctite did not hold it? 100% of the time I've needed a good heat source to break the bond of Red Loctiite. 500į is what's needed typically.

You say you cleaned it and I believe you, but I'm thinking there had to be something on these threads that did not allow the Loctite to adhere to them.
Or, the Loctitie is anaerobic, that is it works when there is no air in the joint-i.e. a bolt screwed into threads. Was it screwed in tight?

Can you unscrew the plug from the threaded insert coil?

One of the things you could do is use an "activator" for these reasons:
"There are environmental and materials issues that require special attention to ensure that threadlockers work as theyíre designed.
First, cold temperatures can slow the threadlocker cure time. Second, Ďinactiveí metals like stainless steel, zinc, magnesium, or aluminum donít promote anaerobic curing as well as Ďactive metalsí like iron. The fix for both of these issues is to apply an activator on the fastener such as Permatex Surface Prep Activator for Anaerobics. This will help ensure that the threadlocker cures and holds properly. Some mechanics prefer to apply a Surface Prep activator for every threadlocker application because activators will cut the cure time in half.


I just unashamdely copied this from another websight:
"Certain materials, such as oils, can impede or even completely prevent threadlocking adhesives from curing by anaerobic reaction, requiring assemblies to be well cleaned before the adhesive is applied. Also, passive substrates such as zinc dichromate/phosphate plated steel, magnesium, cadmium, stainless steel, aluminum and thermoset plastics could once only be bonded by treating the materials with solvent-based primers before applying anaerobic adhesives.

New surface insensitive threadlocking formulations have been developed to be forgiving of oily and contaminated surfaces, curing in spite of residues that would inhibit cure of traditional threadlocking adhesives.In addition, these threadlockers also are designed to cure more easily on inactive surfaces, reducing applications where primers are needed."
https://www.reliableplant.com/Read/27159/Guide-to-threadlocking-adhesives

I haven't seen any of these "new" formulas advertised anywhere yet. Even though that statement above is written by a Loctite marketing person, Loctite does not show this "new" in one of there brochures.

One thing I would caution against is using too much RED Loctite in case it migrates to the oil plug threads and then you can't remove the plug. Only a little bit is needed as it gets spread around as you screw the threads in.
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 10:04 am    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

YosemiteBound wrote:
Do you think the PO maybe glued the insert thread to the drain plug?


That could be a possibility. I think I asked if you could unscrew it from the threaded coil.

If you cannot. As you said it's not that big a problem as you can buy another plug and another Heliocoil or Timesert. Then just screw in the new one to replace the one you cannot get apart,(unless you wanted to take a torch to it first to try.)

The only problem I would see in that is knowing what was used; heliocoil or timesert?
Take the plug to an auto parts store and compare the threads to see what matches it.
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: Larger oil drain plug? Reply with quote

In this repair, I would have put the red loctite on the case threads as well as the insert threads. I would not have attempted to remove it, since the main goal was to stop the leak. You could fill with oil and have the van running. Then you could go about getting the timesirt kit and a replacement plug. We are assuming it has an insert and not a larger OD plug. There is a member that rents his timesert kit. Donít recall his name though.
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