oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

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GuySmiley
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oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by GuySmiley » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:37 pm

Hello all, during the previous oil change for my 10yr old 100K mileage Dodge I was told they had to use a pan saver to plug the oil pan drain due to the threads being stripped. Estimate to replace the oil pan is somewhere in the $1000 range due to 5 hours of labor.

My questions:
1) What is the risk of using a pan saver long term?
2) Might an oil change place turn me away in the future unless I get the pan replaced?
3) Does the pricing sound about what you'd expect?

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aspirit
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by aspirit » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:43 pm

GuySmiley wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:37 pm
Hello all, during the previous oil change for my 10yr old 100K mileage Dodge I was told they had to use a pan saver to plug the oil pan drain due to the threads being stripped. Estimate to replace the oil pan is somewhere in the $1000 range due to 5 hours of labor.

My questions:
1) What is the risk of using a pan saver long term?
2) Might an oil change place turn me away in the future unless I get the pan replaced?
3) Does the pricing sound about what you'd expect?
You might explore universal drain plug alternatives. Im not promoting the seller. https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/nee ... yAod9t4AEw
Time & tides wait for no one. A man has to know his limitations.

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bottlecap
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by bottlecap » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:46 pm

They stripped it, they fix it, no? If this was jiffy lube, They might give you static. If it was a dealer, I think you might have a better argument.

I don’t know much about pan-savers, but it might could be rethreaded, albeit to a slightly different size.

I do my own oil changes now and it is frankly sheer incompetence to strip those threads. I’d put up a fight.

JT

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dm200
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by dm200 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:48 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:46 pm
They stripped it, they fix it, no? If this was jiffy lube, They might give you static. If it was a dealer, I think you might have a better argument.

I don’t know much about pan-savers, but it might could be rethreaded, albeit to a slightly different size.

I do my own oil changes now and it is frankly sheer incompetence to strip those threads. I’d put up a fight.

JT
I suspect they would say - perhaps correctly - that the previous folks - maybe distant - caused the problem.

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bottlecap
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by bottlecap » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:52 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:48 pm
bottlecap wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:46 pm
They stripped it, they fix it, no? If this was jiffy lube, They might give you static. If it was a dealer, I think you might have a better argument.

I don’t know much about pan-savers, but it might could be rethreaded, albeit to a slightly different size.

I do my own oil changes now and it is frankly sheer incompetence to strip those threads. I’d put up a fight.

JT
I suspect they would say - perhaps correctly - that the previous folks - maybe distant - caused the problem.
Perhaps. I’d just figured it would have all leaked out by the time for the next change!

GuySmiley
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by GuySmiley » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:58 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Not a dealer and this was a month ago so I'm not really considering a fight -- just a change of help. I like the rethreading idea, probably above my comfort level (I DIY my house but not my car) but I think I'll track down a mechanic to explore that option.

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ClevrChico
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by ClevrChico » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:08 pm

My frugal self with an old car might have the plug welded and use an oil extractor for future oil changes.

killjoy2012
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by killjoy2012 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:41 pm

I'd look for a small, local shop to replace the pan. I'd be amazed if you couldn't find a shop to do it for $300. It's not a hard job at all, DIY.

Or go buy a Fumoto oil pan valve and have a welder weld the valve in permanently.

FireAway
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by FireAway » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:10 pm

Wow, replacing the pan for this seems way overkill. I mean, it's just a threaded hole...
I would look at using something like a helicoil, an insert made for repairing stripped threads. Probably something you can do if you do home DIY, but something a garage should be able to do as well for much less than a new pan.

Beehave
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by Beehave » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:32 pm

GuySmiley wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:58 pm
Thanks for the feedback. Not a dealer and this was a month ago so I'm not really considering a fight -- just a change of help. I like the rethreading idea, probably above my comfort level (I DIY my house but not my car) but I think I'll track down a mechanic to explore that option.
They used to do this for stripped spark plug threads with something called a "heli-coil." Maybe a heli-coil will work with an oil pan. But I'd ask a good mechanic what the preferred repair is: heli-coil plug replacement, pan-saver sealant, or pan replacement. That's because a catastrophic leak in case of a repair failure would be a disaster.

In case the safest repair alternative is a new oil pan and you want to go with that, shop for price. The $1000 repair estimate you report seems very high to me. Maybe it is a reasonable price for the specific car you own, but a quick google search on oil pan replacement cost (I happened to pick a Honda) seems to confirm my thought:

"The average cost for a Honda Accord engine oil pan replacement is between $396 and $565. Labor costs are estimated between $167 and $300 while parts are priced between $229 and $265" (from repairpal.com).

This seems right to me - - maybe 2 or so hours to put the car on the lift, drain the oil and drop the old pan (entails lots of repetitive ratchet work - hopefully with powered ratchet gun), clean up pan contact area to put on a new gasket and then install the new pan (lots more ratchet work). Then do the oil fill and inspect for leaks. I think that's it, and with original replacement parts I'd feel confident the repair will hold.

Best wishes.

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munemaker
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by munemaker » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:37 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:46 pm
They stripped it, they fix it, no?
Been down that road years ago. They universally blame the previous oil changer.

I have been changing my own for years. Then if something is wrong, I know who to blame.

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sunny_socal
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by sunny_socal » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:29 am

I would do this:
[1] Thread the hole again, one size larger (eg. helicoil)
[2] Install a Fumoto oil valve

But I DIY all my oil changes...

bob60014
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by bob60014 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:05 am

The pan saver is ok for a temporary fix, imho. In the past I've gone the rethread and replace with the appropriate oversized bolt. Easy fix, cheap too.

Short video showing how it's done-
https://youtu.be/YooDILhzgtY
Last edited by bob60014 on Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Jimbo9911
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by Jimbo9911 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:08 am

You can buy a new plug, slightly larger that the original.
It will have the ability to re-thread the original hole to fit the new plug once you screw it in.
Metal oil pans are soft metal and the oversize plug will do the job.
Just be sure to use the gasket that comes with it.

https://www.lawsonproducts.com/lawson/S ... g/93210.lp

Jim

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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by neilpilot » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:05 am

ClevrChico wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:08 pm
My frugal self with an old car might have the plug welded and use an oil extractor for future oil changes.
+1 for an extractor. I've used the same Mityvac, on 4 different cars, since 1998.

My DW's 2002 C240 was sold last weeks at 130k miles, and my current ride 2008 Vue is at 150k. Both were purchased new, and neither has ever had the oil plug removed. They get regular oil/filter changes at 7500 miles.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:13 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:29 am
I would do this:
[1] Thread the hole again, one size larger (eg. helicoil)
[2] Install a Fumoto oil valve

But I DIY all my oil changes...
^all of this.

Look up in the dictionary "Jiffy Lube" and synonyms include "stripped oil pan drain plug". A friend had his Saab's oil changed years go. The design had the oil pan as part of the transmission case. Jiffy Lube cracked it. They bought him a new transmission.

Do you know why all Subaru manual transmissions now have T70 drain plugs? Because Jiffy Lube would get the car in and remove the first bolt they found under the car when doing an oil change.....the transmission plug. Then the moron on top would overfill the oil with another 5 quarts of oil, the tranny bolt went back in and within 100 miles, the tranny was toast.


There is no way a competent mechanic would ever strip an oil pan drain plug hold. Never. This is just one of the reasons why I do all of my own mechanical work. Heck....any backyard mechanic would smell the transmission oil (75w 90 gear oil) which really smells and know immediately his mistake.
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Luke Duke
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by Luke Duke » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:18 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:29 am
I would do this:
[1] Thread the hole again, one size larger (eg. helicoil)
[2] Install a Fumoto oil valve

But I DIY all my oil changes...
This. Except that threading the hole one size larger would negate the need for a helicoil.

Luke Duke
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by Luke Duke » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:20 am

killjoy2012 wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:41 pm
I'd look for a small, local shop to replace the pan. I'd be amazed if you couldn't find a shop to do it for $300. It's not a hard job at all, DIY.

Or go buy a Fumoto oil pan valve and have a welder weld the valve in permanently.
How would one weld a brass valve to a steel oil pan and why would it be necessary?

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jharkin
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by jharkin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:58 am

Luke Duke wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:20 am
killjoy2012 wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:41 pm
I'd look for a small, local shop to replace the pan. I'd be amazed if you couldn't find a shop to do it for $300. It's not a hard job at all, DIY.

Or go buy a Fumoto oil pan valve and have a welder weld the valve in permanently.
How would one weld a brass valve to a steel oil pan and why would it be necessary?
You don’t. And many cars have aluminum oil pans today... hence very low torque specs on the oil drain plug and the common used aluminum crush washers to get a good seal.


I agree that the best bet is tapping for a larger plug, or sealing it permanently and using the extractor.

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ClevrChico
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by ClevrChico » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:44 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:05 am
ClevrChico wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:08 pm
My frugal self with an old car might have the plug welded and use an oil extractor for future oil changes.
+1 for an extractor. I've used the same Mityvac, on 4 different cars, since 1998.

My DW's 2002 C240 was sold last weeks at 130k miles, and my current ride 2008 Vue is at 150k. Both were purchased new, and neither has ever had the oil plug removed. They get regular oil/filter changes at 7500 miles.
Thanks, the Mityvac is a great tool for a boglehead oil change!

Carl53
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by Carl53 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:32 pm

ClevrChico wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:44 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:05 am
ClevrChico wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:08 pm
My frugal self with an old car might have the plug welded and use an oil extractor for future oil changes.
+1 for an extractor. I've used the same Mityvac, on 4 different cars, since 1998.

My DW's 2002 C240 was sold last weeks at 130k miles, and my current ride 2008 Vue is at 150k. Both were purchased new, and neither has ever had the oil plug removed. They get regular oil/filter changes at 7500 miles.
Thanks, the Mityvac is a great tool for a boglehead oil change!
Which model of Mityvac do you use? and does it come with a tube to insert and do you insert it via the fill port or the dipstick? If the dipstick, I do not see any current models on their webpage that seem to have a tube small/long enough to fit the bill. This technique also seems like you would leave some heavy material to accumulate in the oil pan over time. I've seen oil changed at a garage that is very heavy due to infrequent oil changes.

j0nnyg1984
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:48 pm

FireAway wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:10 pm
Wow, replacing the pan for this seems way overkill. I mean, it's just a threaded hole...
I would look at using something like a helicoil, an insert made for repairing stripped threads. Probably something you can do if you do home DIY, but something a garage should be able to do as well for much less than a new pan.
Have you ever seen an automotive oil pan before? They are, at MOST, 1/8th inch thick metal. I think the pan on my silverado is just a couple of mm's. There is absolutely no way to put a helicoil in something like that.

neilpilot
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by neilpilot » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:35 pm

Carl53 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:32 pm
ClevrChico wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:44 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:05 am
ClevrChico wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:08 pm
My frugal self with an old car might have the plug welded and use an oil extractor for future oil changes.
+1 for an extractor. I've used the same Mityvac, on 4 different cars, since 1998.

My DW's 2002 C240 was sold last weeks at 130k miles, and my current ride 2008 Vue is at 150k. Both were purchased new, and neither has ever had the oil plug removed. They get regular oil/filter changes at 7500 miles.
Thanks, the Mityvac is a great tool for a boglehead oil change!
Which model of Mityvac do you use? and does it come with a tube to insert and do you insert it via the fill port or the dipstick? If the dipstick, I do not see any current models on their webpage that seem to have a tube small/long enough to fit the bill. This technique also seems like you would leave some heavy material to accumulate in the oil pan over time. I've seen oil changed at a garage that is very heavy due to infrequent oil changes.
Assuming you are asking me, mine is almost 20 years old but the current model is MV7201. Assuming your dip stick tube isn’t smaller that 0.25” ID it comes with a tube that should fit. I find it amusing that you even ask about extraction via the fill port; makes me think your knowledge of cars is limited as this would never work unless your fill port was on the oil pan.

I started using an extractor after I found out that the Mercedes service techs us extraction routinely. So long as you use a modern multi viscosity motor oil and don’t wait years before an oil change you will not experience a sludge buildup in the pan that wouldn’t also be left in the pan by using the drain plug.

When I first use extraction on a different car I confirm that the volume removed is appropriate for that particular engine, and I’ve only experienced one engine where the extractor did not remove all of the oil......my airplane.

MotoTrojan
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by MotoTrojan » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:40 pm

Properly installed helicoil should be cheap and very reliable. Arguably could make it more robust to future issues as the new “threads” will be steel. Threading for a larger drain plug is a similar process so cost should be roughly the same. I would happily consider either of those if done properly. Best case they remove the pan so they can insure all shavings are removed from the system.

tibbitts
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by tibbitts » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:44 pm

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:48 pm
FireAway wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:10 pm
Wow, replacing the pan for this seems way overkill. I mean, it's just a threaded hole...
I would look at using something like a helicoil, an insert made for repairing stripped threads. Probably something you can do if you do home DIY, but something a garage should be able to do as well for much less than a new pan.
Have you ever seen an automotive oil pan before? They are, at MOST, 1/8th inch thick metal. I think the pan on my silverado is just a couple of mm's. There is absolutely no way to put a helicoil in something like that.
When I removed my pan I found there was something like a nut on the back side where the plug threaded in. That's where you would be putting the insert. It was like when adding a new plug, which will have a hollow hex fitting on both sides of the pan that you thread together, sandwiching the pan in between. Then you have the plug that threads into the outside fitting. In that case it's not a horrible idea to hold the outside hollow hex while you break the plug loose, otherwise you could end up turning the two hex fittings together. You aren't likely to unscrew them due to the direction of the threads, but better safe than sorry.

helloeveryone
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by helloeveryone » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:51 pm

GuySmiley wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:37 pm
Hello all, during the previous oil change for my 10yr old 100K mileage Dodge I was told they had to use a pan saver to plug the oil pan drain due to the threads being stripped. Estimate to replace the oil pan is somewhere in the $1000 range due to 5 hours of labor.

My questions:
1) What is the risk of using a pan saver long term?
2) Might an oil change place turn me away in the future unless I get the pan replaced?
3) Does the pricing sound about what you'd expect?
we had a similar issue and ultimately we asked our independent mechanic to “install an oversized plug” which deals w the problem without having to replace the oil pan. We use jiffy lube for convenience and efficiency and our indie mechanic for everything else because an oil change is not nearly as efficient w him. So for about 3-4 oil and filter changes jiffy lube kept telling us of the issue and we finally dealt with it. “we were able to close it but keep in mind at some point we won’t be able to close it anymore or it might leak oil) i cant remember the exact cost (less $30 for sure)

tibbitts
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by tibbitts » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:28 pm

helloeveryone wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:51 pm
GuySmiley wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:37 pm
Hello all, during the previous oil change for my 10yr old 100K mileage Dodge I was told they had to use a pan saver to plug the oil pan drain due to the threads being stripped. Estimate to replace the oil pan is somewhere in the $1000 range due to 5 hours of labor.

My questions:
1) What is the risk of using a pan saver long term?
2) Might an oil change place turn me away in the future unless I get the pan replaced?
3) Does the pricing sound about what you'd expect?
we had a similar issue and ultimately we asked our independent mechanic to “install an oversized plug” which deals w the problem without having to replace the oil pan. We use jiffy lube for convenience and efficiency and our indie mechanic for everything else because an oil change is not nearly as efficient w him. So for about 3-4 oil and filter changes jiffy lube kept telling us of the issue and we finally dealt with it. “we were able to close it but keep in mind at some point we won’t be able to close it anymore or it might leak oil) i cant remember the exact cost (less $30 for sure)
You had a mechanic do something for less than $30? In this century?

j0nnyg1984
Posts: 423
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:53 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:44 pm
j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:48 pm
FireAway wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:10 pm
Wow, replacing the pan for this seems way overkill. I mean, it's just a threaded hole...
I would look at using something like a helicoil, an insert made for repairing stripped threads. Probably something you can do if you do home DIY, but something a garage should be able to do as well for much less than a new pan.
Have you ever seen an automotive oil pan before? They are, at MOST, 1/8th inch thick metal. I think the pan on my silverado is just a couple of mm's. There is absolutely no way to put a helicoil in something like that.
When I removed my pan I found there was something like a nut on the back side where the plug threaded in. That's where you would be putting the insert. It was like when adding a new plug, which will have a hollow hex fitting on both sides of the pan that you thread together, sandwiching the pan in between. Then you have the plug that threads into the outside fitting. In that case it's not a horrible idea to hold the outside hollow hex while you break the plug loose, otherwise you could end up turning the two hex fittings together. You aren't likely to unscrew them due to the direction of the threads, but better safe than sorry.
that's interesting, and it definitely makes sense to have something like that, or preferably,
a much thicker section of material welded into the pan to provide sufficient threaded surface area.

I don't remember anything like that on my silverado pans.

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ClevrChico
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by ClevrChico » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:18 pm

Carl53 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:32 pm
ClevrChico wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:44 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:05 am
ClevrChico wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:08 pm
My frugal self with an old car might have the plug welded and use an oil extractor for future oil changes.
+1 for an extractor. I've used the same Mityvac, on 4 different cars, since 1998.

My DW's 2002 C240 was sold last weeks at 130k miles, and my current ride 2008 Vue is at 150k. Both were purchased new, and neither has ever had the oil plug removed. They get regular oil/filter changes at 7500 miles.
Thanks, the Mityvac is a great tool for a boglehead oil change!
Which model of Mityvac do you use? and does it come with a tube to insert and do you insert it via the fill port or the dipstick? If the dipstick, I do not see any current models on their webpage that seem to have a tube small/long enough to fit the bill. This technique also seems like you would leave some heavy material to accumulate in the oil pan over time. I've seen oil changed at a garage that is very heavy due to infrequent oil changes.
I have a MityVac 7400. I use it through the dipstick, and it easily hit the bottom of the oil pan on our four cylinder cars. I tried it on a modern GM V6, and the dipstick had too much curve, so no luck there.

Changing via a drain plug leaves oil too. A modern engine shouldn't have heavy material unless it's having a problem although I know that's a common concern. I've used the MityVac for years, no problems, and no stripped plugs. :sharebeer

killjoy2012
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by killjoy2012 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:14 pm

Luke Duke wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:20 am
How would one weld a brass valve to a steel oil pan and why would it be necessary?
Technically, it'd be called brazing. But it is possible. It would be useful / necessary to prevent leakage. A leaky oil pan plug can range from being a nuisance to catastrophic.

The problem with helicoils are that they're difficult to do properly on something as thin as an oil pan. If you don't tap it perfectly perpendicular, it leaks. Not to mention all of the metal flakes from the drilling and tapping going inside of your oil pan and the potential for issues that may cause. I'd just replace the pan myself for $100 in parts, or pay a shop $300 to do it. $1000 is borderline ridiculous.

barnaclebob
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by barnaclebob » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:42 pm

I wonder if you can drill and tap it for a larger plug.

Traveller
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by Traveller » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:56 pm

Jimbo9911 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:08 am
You can buy a new plug, slightly larger that the original.
It will have the ability to re-thread the original hole to fit the new plug once you screw it in.
Metal oil pans are soft metal and the oversize plug will do the job.
Just be sure to use the gasket that comes with it.

https://www.lawsonproducts.com/lawson/S ... g/93210.lp

Jim
This is the typical approach. A slightly oversized plug is used and cuts its own threads as it goes in. They come with a good gasket to ensure a leak free seal.

I would not try a heli-coil. Not enough material in most pans, and you run a risk of the coil getting loose inside your oil pan.

helloeveryone
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Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by helloeveryone » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:57 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:28 pm
helloeveryone wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:51 pm
GuySmiley wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:37 pm
Hello all, during the previous oil change for my 10yr old 100K mileage Dodge I was told they had to use a pan saver to plug the oil pan drain due to the threads being stripped. Estimate to replace the oil pan is somewhere in the $1000 range due to 5 hours of labor.

My questions:
1) What is the risk of using a pan saver long term?
2) Might an oil change place turn me away in the future unless I get the pan replaced?
3) Does the pricing sound about what you'd expect?
we had a similar issue and ultimately we asked our independent mechanic to “install an oversized plug” which deals w the problem without having to replace the oil pan. We use jiffy lube for convenience and efficiency and our indie mechanic for everything else because an oil change is not nearly as efficient w him. So for about 3-4 oil and filter changes jiffy lube kept telling us of the issue and we finally dealt with it. “we were able to close it but keep in mind at some point we won’t be able to close it anymore or it might leak oil) i cant remember the exact cost (less $30 for sure)
You had a mechanic do something for less than $30? In this century?
This was my entry. I think breakdown was ~$60'ish for the synthetic oil/filter change and the rest was the oversized plug. (I'm pretty sure $60'ish is more than what I should be paying but we actually usually do the oil changes at Jiffy lube w groupon's/coupons but you can definitely make the argument those led to thread issue with the plug.

1/25/2018 151418 $84.00 oil & filter, oversized oil pan plug

Beehave
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

Post by Beehave » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:00 am

To me, possibility of shavings getting in the pan and post-repair leaks says it'd be a good idea to shop around for a mechanic who will do a pan replacement for a reasonable price.

If the mechanic is going to take off the pan anyway to make sure the helicoil or oversize plug that will be installed in the damaged drain hole is installed true and with no shavings going into the old pan, then why not just put on a new pan while the old one is off?

If the mechanic is not removing the pan, I'd be concerned about shavings getting into the oil and about the reliability of the repair. I'm not a mechanic, but I've done tons of oil changes and I've done them carefully (I always used top-notch oil and installed as much oil as possible into the new filter as possible without spillage before installing to minimize the dry condition on engine start after an oil change) and have never stripped the drain plug.

However, I have had to deal with two pierced oil pans; one in a Chevy Vega wagon which rode real low and bottomed out in a construction zone, and one in a Chevy Corsica (one of my kids whose friend told her to ignore the red engine dashboard light when she bottomed out on a hill). These experinces may be relevant to the OP.

The Vega survived the oil pan piercing. I replaced the pan and the car ran very well for a long time, no problems, and I eventually gave it to a relative.
The Corsica's engine did not survive the oil pan piercing because my daughter drove it for too long, thus frying the engine (Dad very not happy!). We found an incredible shade-tree mechanic in Allentown, PA who combed the eastern PA junkyards and found a higher power Pontiac 6 cylinder replacement with maybe 40k miles on it. He did all the replacement (buy and pick up and install engine) for under $1K.

And here's the thing. Before I would give the repaired Corsica with "new" engine back to my daughter, I wanted to make sure it was okay. I took the car on a 300+ mile road trip in order to make sure the repair was good. I checked the oil carefully during and after the trip. It was full and it was immaculately clean. I called up the mechanic to tell him how much I appreciated the repair and mentioned not only did the car drive great and not eat any oil, but how completely clean was after the long trip. He said "Oh, well I dropped the oil pan and hand-cleaned it all out before returning the car back to you."

Both of those cars the with replaced or carefully cleaned out oil pans ran for long-long times really well. My experience says, I'd be careful about just rethreading without removing the pan. And if the pan is removed for the repair, I'd want it cleaned out and a new gasket installed. By the time all that's done, in my opinion you might as well just have a new pan installed. To my way of thinking, better safe than sorry.

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