Oil drain plug problem -- how to fix/

Discussion in 'Motorbike Technical Discussion' started by Guest, May 18, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    It looks like my '82 Honda FT500's oil drain plug cannot be tightened
    much. When I try, it seems to give, possibly because the threads are
    shot?

    When I try to loosen and tighten it back again it doesn't *feel* like
    threads are damaged but I simply can't tighten it completely because
    it simply gives when I try and I don't want to try to overtighten it
    either.

    What seems to be the problem and what should I do? Maybe, if oil
    doesn't leak leave it alone perhaps?

    Thanks for any opinions.
     
    Guest, May 18, 2006
    #1
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  2. Fit a helicoil of the right size. Not necessarily a cheap DIY
    operation, as you have to pay for the tap as well as the insert. If you
    can get the bike to someone with the gear who is willing to do the job
    in-situ, or can get the sump off without removing the engine (at the obvious
    extra cost of a sump gasket) to take it into a shop, it should be somewhat
    cheaper.
    Hmm, no, you don't want it to come loose and dump oil all over
    your rear tyre. Sounds like the threads are stripped enough that the
    bolt can "jump" a thread as you tighten it, but not so much that there
    isn't a bit of metal preventing the bolt from being pulled out directly.
    As the British so quaintly say, "It needs fixed."

    --
    Ivan Reid, Electronic & Computer Engineering, ___ CMS Collaboration,
    Brunel University. [email protected][brunel.ac.uk|cern.ch] Room 40-1-B12, CERN
    GSX600F, RG250WD "You Porsche. Me pass!" DoD #484 JKLO#003, 005
    WP7# 3000 LC Unit #2368 (tinlc) UKMC#00009 BOTAFOT#16 UKRMMA#7 (Hon)
    KotPT -- "for stupidity above and beyond the call of duty".
     
    Dr Ivan D. Reid, May 18, 2006
    #2
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  3. Guest

    Eric Johnson Guest

    They do make oversize plugs that are usually available at most NAPA stores
    in the US or Canadian Tire if you are in Canuckville. They cut new threads
    as you tighten them in.
     
    Eric Johnson, May 18, 2006
    #3
  4. Dounds like stripped threads.

    You probably don't want to loose it while you're out on the road
    so it might be worth fixing before this happens.

    Helicoil and Timesert both make kits to fix this problem. The
    trick is that you have to open the hole up to a larger diameter
    and keep it exactly square with the flat surface that the plug
    rests on.

    Timesert actually makes a kit that's supposed to keep you lined
    up when you drill and fit their insert. Not sure if Helicoil makes
    a similar kit or not. Helicoil requires a smalled hole that Timesert,
    so some people recommend using Helicoil, then using a Timesert
    kit if the problem occurs a second time.

    You can probably find these kits at a fasteners specialty shop
    or a good auto parts store. An experienced dealership might
    also be able to help you out.

    Most important thing is to have your repair planned out careully
    before you start. Figure out how you'll line up your drill and tap
    and how you'll clean out the shavings afterwards.
     
    Rob Kleinschmidt, May 18, 2006
    #4
  5. That sounds like one of the worst Bodgit & Floggit products on the
    planet.

    It might actually work, of course, but it sounds appalling.
     
    The Older Gentleman, May 18, 2006
    #5
  6. Guest

    LJ Guest

    They also make OS plugs for cages that are self tapping and are intended to
    reamain in place once tightened. The oil is drained through a smaller drain
    prug set in the center of the OS drainplug. I don't know if they make them
    for bikes or not, I've never needed one.
     
    LJ, May 19, 2006
    #6
  7. Big difference between a steel oil pan and a softer more expensive
    hunk of cast aluminum. I'd probably go with a Helicoil or Timesert.

    If it had a separate oil pan, I'd also scour eBay and the parts places
    for a replacement. Don't think this one does.
     
    Rob Kleinschmidt, May 19, 2006
    #7
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Well, let me first thank all the posters for their suggestions. A
    wonderful group of people to ask questions -- really.

    Although I have worked with lathes and re-threaded damaged holes in my
    life, I was also convinced that, without the proper tools, this would
    be a job for a pro, so I removed the oil pan from the bike and took it
    to a shop that specializes in motorcycle engines. Fortunately, I
    already know its owner, having met him in a motorcycle repair course
    in a community college recently.

    It is better to be safe than sorry later on; so thanks to all again.
     
    Guest, May 19, 2006
    #8

  9. The best way. I did this once with a Suzuki GS550 sump. I also bought a
    little Honda 125 with a stripped sump plug. That was tricky, as it had
    also cracked the casing, and there was no separate sump pan - just the
    two vertically split crankcase halves.

    I took the whole engine to an alloy welder who built up a little plug of
    weld around the drain hole and crack, and then machined a thread into it
    for the plug. Cost me the equivalent of about 70 bucks.
     
    The Older Gentleman, May 19, 2006
    #9
  10. Guest

    Fred W Guest

    They're designed to be used on auto engine sumps, where if you really
    screw it up you can just replace the oil sump (drain pan). I would
    never advise using one of these on motorcycle crankcases...
     
    Fred W, May 19, 2006
    #10
  11. Guest

    Leon Guest

    I've got the same problem on my SV1000S, I didn't bother to check the
    torque wrench instructions and managed to overtighten the plug when
    changing the oil. I forgot that it isn't a torque limiter and carried
    on tightening after it clicked. 8-( I won't do it again!

    My local dealer will charge me 35 GBP (about $70) to put in a Helicoil,
    plus oil. The SV1000 doesn't have a removable sump. That includes
    collection, they are only a few minutes away. Some SV1000 users have
    used teflon tape on the threads as a temporary repair and find it lasts
    until the next oil change. I might try that, and save the cost of the
    oil. Most of the thread is OK, so it will probably work. Other people
    have used epoxy or rubber rings, and they seem to last very well.

    I rather stupidly refilled it with oil, to see how bad the leak was -
    it does drip when the engine is hot so I will have to do something
    about it. I have heard of people laying the bike on its side on
    something soft so that they don't have to drain the oil, and put in a
    helicoil themselves that way. It's much easier if one is working
    horizontally than upwards.

    Leon
     
    Leon, May 19, 2006
    #11
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest


    The best way. I did this once with a Suzuki GS550 sump. I also bought a
    little Honda 125 with a stripped sump plug. That was tricky, as it had
    also cracked the casing, and there was no separate sump pan - just the
    two vertically split crankcase halves.

    I took the whole engine to an alloy welder who built up a little plug of
    weld around the drain hole and crack, and then machined a thread into it
    for the plug. Cost me the equivalent of about 70 bucks.[/QUOTE]

    I believe we are lucky that there are people who are creative and
    willing to take on tricky jobs. One shop down here that I talked to
    told me right off the bat that they wouldn't touch it.

    Have a nice day.
     
    Guest, May 19, 2006
    #12
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I used teflon tape too, but I saw a few drops of oil on the floor the
    next day morning and realized it was merely a bandage. I don't like
    bandages.
    I didn't want to go that route because I don't have particularly good,
    steady hands to hold the tap horizonal long enough. I'd pay $70 for
    this job given its delicate nature.
     
    Guest, May 19, 2006
    #13
  14. Noticed this blurb on thread repair and common mistakes.
    (I wouldn't hesitate to give work to Ted BTW.)

    http://beemershop.com/mistakes.html#ThreadRepair
    Yup.
     
    Rob Kleinschmidt, May 19, 2006
    #14
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