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Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 11-10-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
bluejayranger
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Drain plug turned too tight, now loose

Gents,

Yesterday marked my 2nd DIY for the oil change on my 325i, shes an 02 with 138,xxx miles on her, clean. however,I believe I may have turned oil drain plug w/copper ring too tight, as it won't stop turning now,and it drips oil. Mechanic on auto skills center on post thinks I may have stripped threading inside oil pan. I tried to unscrew the drain plug and replace copper crush ring, but it wont pull, only to turn in place. What are my options to resolve this problem? I would like to keep her for the long run? Please share your wisdom, thank you!

-YJ-
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:45 PM   #2
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Gents,

Yesterday marked my 2nd DIY for the oil change on my 325i, shes an 02 with 138,xxx miles on her, clean. however,I believe I may have turned oil drain plug w/copper ring too tight, as it won't stop turning now,and it drips oil. Mechanic on auto skills center on post thinks I may have stripped threading inside oil pan. I tried to unscrew the drain plug and replace copper crush ring, but it wont pull, only to turn in place. What are my options to resolve this problem? I would like to keep her for the long run? Please share your wisdom, thank you!

-YJ-
You are in need of a new oil pan, I have one.... OR drain your oil leave the plug out for several hours. Then throw tons of sealant on your old plug, tighten until it feels right? (on you) refill with oil, check for leaks. IMO you fvcked up an oil change, never work on your car again. You will be dollars ahead to pay someone.

Last edited by xixixi; 11-10-2012 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
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Don't even waste your time with a tap and die kit as it will leak too. You new a new oil pan.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:34 PM   #4
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Would you recommend getting a new one compared to an used one?
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:19 AM   #5
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No not me. I bashed my oil pan driving over a rock I couldn't avoid. They replaced it with a used oil pan and saved me $400. Mine also had a drain bolt that was way over torqued by Breakaway Honda and it always dripped oil, even with the tap and die kit.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:38 AM   #6
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This has been discussed numerous time.

Don't buy or even replace your oil pan. No need to drill or tap it either.

The oe oil drain plug is hollow for this main reason. Drive in an Allen wrench that will fit inside the broken drain plug and twist off the broken plug.

This fix will cost u nothing other than new motor oil and a cost of a new drain plug.

What is cheaper? A new or used oil pan or my method.

U can thank me later. I hope this helps. Good luck

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Old 11-11-2012, 07:57 AM   #7
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This has been discussed numerous time.

Don't buy or even replace your oil pan. No need to drill or tap it either.

The oe oil drain plug is hollow for this main reason. Drive in an Allen wrench that will fit inside the broken drain plug and twist off the broken plug.

This fix will cost u nothing other than new motor oil and a cost of a new drain plug.

What is cheaper? A new or used oil pan or my method.

U can thank me later. I hope this helps. Good luck

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How will this method fix the stripped out pan? Am I missing something here?
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:15 AM   #8
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I guess you could weld the drain hole closed and then do oil changes with an extractor.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:15 AM   #9
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How will this method fix the stripped out pan? Am I missing something here?
Yes cuz u obviously have no experience in this issue.

The reason why is oil pan is dripping is not because the thread on his pain is stripped but because he broke his oil pan nut. This is always 99.9% of the problem. Rarely do the pan thread strip because the force that is require to strip the tread will cause the bolt to break first.

The nut is hollow and when it breaks oil will drip out of it.

All he has to do is remove or completely break his oil drain nut and remove it with an Allen key.

People like u and most mechanics will always assume the worst and end up fixing the problem the hard and expensive way.



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Old 11-11-2012, 10:23 AM   #10
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You could call your local dealer on Indy shop and ask if it can have a time sert installed. This will save you money.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:28 AM   #11
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So flash is thinking the plug is stripped. If it's the thread into oil pan, then you might try a heli-coil or time sert...or you might also find a slightly larger drainplug and tap for that.

You might also find that just wrapping with teflon tape might seal it up...or if you have enough bite, you might just try sealing with rtv, letting it cure, then filling with oil. Obviously, if trying rtv, you need things clean...and you need the right kind of rtv that has oil resistance.

HTH
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:30 AM   #12
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Gents,

I've been checking oil level before I drive, and she's been ok So far, no significant loss. However, still trying to figure out how to use Allen wrench to pull out drain plug? Soonest I will be able to get her on a lift is Tuesday. Is it possible to be able to pull the drain plug with pliers and 17mm ratchet? Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:36 AM   #13
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Yes cuz u obviously have no experience in this issue.

The reason why is oil pan is dripping is not because the thread on his pain is stripped but because he broke his oil pan nut. This is always 99.9% of the problem. Rarely do the pan thread strip because the force that is require to strip the tread will cause the bolt to break first.

The nut is hollow and when it breaks oil will drip out of it.

All he has to do is remove or completely break his oil drain nut and remove it with an Allen key.

People like u and most mechanics will always assume the worst and end up fixing the problem the hard and expensive way.



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I guess we will have to wait and see!
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:42 AM   #14
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Gents,

I've been checking oil level before I drive, and she's been ok So far, no significant loss. However, still trying to figure out how to use Allen wrench to pull out drain plug? Soonest I will be able to get her on a lift is Tuesday. Is it possible to be able to pull the drain plug with pliers and 17mm ratchet? Thanks!
flash was assuming you broke the plug, which, when broken, is hollow and lets you shove something like allen wrench into it to extract.

If you didn't break the plug, then you just use a regular socket to remove it.

Also, not sure how you put the plug in, but it's important to start all nuts and bolts by hand, or with just an extension so you can feel that you have the threads right and don't cross thread them.

If you did cross thread, I bet you have enough 'meat' on them still to maybe chase the threads, use new plug, and get a decent seal, though I'd still run a dab of rtv on top of the crush washer to be sure...maybe a bit on threads too.

You or a shop could drill out the threads a bit and retap for larger plug, as I said...if it comes to that.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:48 AM   #15
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Gotcha, plug is still intact. However, it only spins in place and doesn't have that tight "grip" upon turning.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #16
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Well, you'll be losing your oil to fix it...so try to save it...assuming it was LL-01 oil!

I actually think that you might have enough 'bite' to get teflon tape to work, but you really need to get the plug out and see what's going on.

Could be that you did crack the bolt...you'll know when you get it out. Use vice grips on plug and turn and pull out.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:54 AM   #17
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If you're going to retap be sure to get a pipe thread tap. It'll say nptf on the end (exp. 1/4-20 nptf tap) and to get a matching pipe thread bolt. For a proper bolt you may need one machined (maybe $50) which will be cheaper and easier than replacing oil pan.

what makes a pipe thread special is that the threads taper and are much sharper and more accurate, which creates a seal. I'm 99% sure this is your best solution. I'm a cnc machinist and do a lot of pipe thread work. The reason a regular tap won't work us because it won't make the seal proper because they're less accurate ( + or - .005") and the straight threads don't get the sealing power of how the tapered Hole/threads and tapered bolt will.

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Old 11-11-2012, 12:05 PM   #18
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So flash is thinking the plug is stripped. If it's the thread into oil pan, then you might try a heli-coil or time sert...or you might also find a slightly larger drainplug and tap for that.

You might also find that just wrapping with teflon tape might seal it up...or if you have enough bite, you might just try sealing with rtv, letting it cure, then filling with oil. Obviously, if trying rtv, you need things clean...and you need the right kind of rtv that has oil resistance.

HTH
I am not saying that the drain plug is stripped. I am not even going to put my money on a stripped drain plug hole in the oil pan either

Based on my experience, my money is on the oil drain bolt. It is either fractured or completely broken inside the drain hole.

Again, the plug is hollow and is DESIGN to break or fracture if the torque raiting is much higher than 18 ft/lbs. Usually the oe plug breaks at 24 ft/lbs +/- 5

The forces that is require to either stripped the actual bolt or pan is much higher than the forces that is require to fracture the bolt. Therefore, ur bolt will always break before u stripped the bolt or pan

To the op...just remove the drain plug. If it is not broken and just fracture then removing the bolt will break it off completely.

Drain out the new oil and use a Allen L shape key to remove the broken bolt. Again, the plug/bolt is hollow.


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Last edited by flashmeow; 11-11-2012 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:39 PM   #19
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don't get taken advantage like this bmw owner
http://www.auto-facts.org/broken-oil-drain-plug.html

one shopped quote him $400 to extract the broken bolt. another shop wanted $1700 to replace the drain pan.

plug is hollow and is design to fracture/break when is over torque. the reason why your drain plug is SPINNING FREELY is because it is broken/fracture and NOT because it or the hole is stripped.

Think outside the box and don't assume like everyone else on this thread.

you can thank me later by simply telling everyone that I am right.

I hope this helps



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instructions:

Remove the plug. The hex head piece will come off. This will leave the hollow thread.

Use an L shape Allen key. Hammer in the Allen key into the hollow drain plug. Use the other end of the Allen key to twist and remove the broken plug.

This will take u less than 5 mins.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:18 PM   #20
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