Oil drain plug *HELP* - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-02-2006, 09:56 PM
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Oil drain plug *HELP*

I've searched this problem on this forum, but no threads have helped so far.

Problem: Oil change couple months ago, threaded on my drain plug (by hand)...then continued to tighten on. I didn't used the torque wrench, yet, because it wasn't even fully on yet.....so the bolt tightens slightly, definitly not enough, and then goes loose agian!!

Crap..soo i try to back it out slowely and it just spins (i only go 1 or 2 rotations). By this time i'm freakin out, but i decide to finish the job and see how bad the oil leak is...if at all. Barely any drip, so i decide to call it a day and watch the situation closely (oil pressure, oil level etc.)

Fast forward to this month....wanna do an oil change for the winter, and really wanna get this situation figured out. So CASE 1: Oil plug threads shot CASE 2: Oil pan threads shot Case 3:....i dunno ?

If its the oil pan threads, is it possible to tap new threads and use a strong magnet to remove shavings, or is that a retarded idea?

FINALLY, my last confussing question is if its threads that are damaged, how has that bolt stayed in the pan for the past 2 months already??...whats holding it in?? I HOPE someone can throw me some tips...or even some luck.

Thankz!

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#2 (permalink) Old 11-02-2006, 10:11 PM
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Examine the threads on the oil drain plug. Do they look stripped or out of shape? You should be able to tell, if not post pics. The oil pan however, I wouldnt recommend trying to drill and tap it, unless it was out of the car. The shavings can be a nightmare. Is it a possibility that someone stripped out the original one and replaced it with one the wrong size? As far as a magnet, you can get oil drain plugs with magnets built into them. Worst case, try wrapping teflon tape around the plug a few times and that may seal it until you can figure out what to do.

Im sorry if I wasnt much help. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

Good Luck!

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#3 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 03:51 AM
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1-the oil pan is aluminium yes you can retap it,

2- because you probably cross threaded the plug threads on top of the bad threads of the pan or vise versa.

just pull the old plug out, and get it retapped. you can even heli-coil the thread if you shave too much out which will in turn make the thread stronger.

when tightening your drain plug its always hand tight ( as in as tight as you can make it using your own hands not tight to when its become snug) with a 1/4 turn for me. its more than sufficient.

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#4 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furious
when tightening your drain plug its always hand tight ( as in as tight as you can make it using your own hands not tight to when its become snug) with a 1/4 turn for me. its more than sufficient.

Umm....you are in favour of using ratchet wrenches, right? Because I have very little confidence that a finger-tightened bolt would stay in.



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#5 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 11:08 AM
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on my e30 the pan threads are stripped....I just used an oversized plug and screwed that baby in.....fits snug, no leaks....

if your worried about the shavings, someone recommened to me to drain the old oil and leave the plug off and run the old oil back through letting it drain, flushing all the old shavings out with it...

BTW, love the screen name...I drive a convertable as well......there's nothin that beats a little topless fun!

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#6 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 11:58 AM
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All good idea...this would be a lot easier if i had my own garage to work in. I do all my work at a DIY garage...pretty cool place actually....but you kinda need to be ready for any situation when you get there.

Can you define exactly what a helix thread is tho?...and if i do end up retaping the drain hole, how do i find a drain plug that exactly fits the specs of the newly tapped hole?

Maybe i'm thinkin too much into this, i gotta get it up in the air and find out wats really happening down there first.

Thanks for the help tho guys, i'll keep ya posted

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#7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 04:41 PM
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While it's certainly possible to retap the hole or use a helicoil, this is definitely not an area where someone with no experience should venture. When retapping the hole in the thin walled oil pan it is difficult to get the tap aligned properly.
You may save a few bucks by trying to do it yourself, but the risks are great. The plug could fall out or leak badly after it's vibrated some in which case your engine is toast if you don't stop it immediately which is nearly impossible because you won't be aware of what has happened.
Take it to BMW or a good shop and have it done properly. You are already VERY lucky that you didn't have a catastrophic failure running with the plug the way it was.
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3UOND
Umm....you are in favour of using ratchet wrenches, right? Because I have very little confidence that a finger-tightened bolt would stay in.
I think he meant hand-tight [with a ratchet wrench] and an extra 1/4 turn. That is teh way I have done it for years.

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#9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 01:23 PM
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I wouldn't put old oil through the engine to flush out any metal fratments - the oil would be contaminated with filings!

You could also try a breakers yard for a replacement sump and bung, if you're changing the oil it would be the most convenient time and could save you a lot of bother with re-tapping, using a helicoil and getting a new bung.



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#10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 02:00 PM
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If threads are stripped, they can be repaired. To remove old plug, you may need to pull & turn at the same time to catch the threads.

Repair tool is #1215C:
++ TIME-SERT Drain Pan repair Kits ++ Stripped drain pan, drain plug, drain pan stripped, stripped drain pan, stripped drain plug,

Repair kits are available at a good parts store, NAPA for one. Size is M12-1.5

Removing the chips shouldn't be a big deal. Flush the pan by inserting the nozzle straw of a can of carb cleaner into the pan & blast away. Then pour a quart of cheap oil through & let the chips flush out.

I agree with the previous poster. If you're not familiar with drilling/tapping and installing Heli Coils, take it to a pro. Cheap compared to ruining it & having to replace pan if you bugger it up, or wreckiing the engine because it leaked out.

Last edited by CJH; 11-08-2006 at 02:06 PM.
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#11 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yammahamma
......there's nothin that beats a little topless fun!
Ummm..yeah there is, bottomless fun. Silly guy, what were you thinking?


Just to add my 2 cents, sounds like a stripped pan, the plug likely won't be. Sounds like it should be pretty straightforward though...don't interpret that as easy though! lol Best of luck to you, hope it all gets sorted!
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#12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhatCat
Ummm..yeah there is, bottomless fun. Silly guy, what were you thinking?
right, what was I thinking...

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#13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 08:37 PM
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Nice job CJH....Your first post on this forum and that was a huge help to me. I'll be calling Napa tomorrow, but something tells me its not gunna be a cheap kit.

Something tells me that buying a tap set myself, and the risk factors involved in trying this, I'm better off handing it over to someone who's done this before. There's a good chance I'd get charged out the arse pretty good for a job like that tho. Then again, if they fuck it up and crack the pan or something, they have to replace to whole pan and install it for free. Am i right?

ps......................................this whole thing just sux

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#14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 09:05 PM
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pps.......nice Sig yammahamma

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#15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 02:17 PM
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thanks dude....

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