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Author Topic: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?  (Read 2578 times)

WillW

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Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« on: September 01, 2010, 03:37:17 PM »
Changed the oil today and the thread has stripped. This is the casing and not the plug itself - main drain, not the plate with the gauze behind. I'd noticed it was a bit iffy last time - tight to unscrew and hard to get it to bite when replacing. I know I didn't cross thread it, and I didn't over tighten. If I'd remembered before I started the job this time I'd have drained the oil by only removing the plate.
I can get it screwed back in, but it wont tighten. A bit of what looks like the stripped thread came out as I cleaned the hole with a rag.
Any ideas? Other than taking it in for repair and hoping to swing it under the warranty?
I thought about screwing it in with J-B Weld and just using the other drain hole in future, but this doesn't entirely appeal.
I was looking forward to riding this evening and tomorrow, dammit.
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UncleErnie

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 04:16:29 PM »
I believe I'd go the Heli-Coil route on that.
Run what ya brung

gashousegorilla

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 04:24:47 PM »
I believe I'd go the Heli-Coil route on that.
Yea I agree UncleErnie, and be carefull, don't run the bike like that. Forget about JB weld for anything permenent, on something like that. Did you try just running a tap through it? of the same size?  Not sure of the size, but take the plug with you to the store, and pick up a tap, It's worth  a shot. Those helicoil kits are pricey.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 04:34:02 PM by gashousegorilla »
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WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 04:37:55 PM »
The hole's too enlarged to simply re-tap. The plug will screw back in, but pushes in a fair way first, and then wont tighten, so I can forget about re-tapping the original hole.
I guess heli-coil is the way to go. I don't have any such equipment here. I'll call the dealer tomorrow and see if they'll do it under the warranty.
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Vince

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 05:08:55 PM »
     A heli-coil will work, but a solid insert such as "Time-Sert" will work better and last longer. Instead of a wire threaded onto newly cut threads, the solid insert is ... solid. properly installed with the proper tool it will lock into place in the newly cut threads needed for this type of repair. Have a shop or machinist do it, or buy the tools ($$$) and practice on a few dozen holes before tackling a repair in a critical area like this.

jjoe256

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 05:11:25 PM »
For what it's worth, I had this problem from the dealership before I ever touched the bike and it was covered under warranty using Vince's method.

WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 05:26:23 PM »
Thanks for the info guys - greatly appreciated. I'll see what the dealer says in the morning and if they wont do it under the warranty then I'll have to do it myself. I used to have a tap and die kit long ago when I was mending old cars, but many years and changes of address have gone by, and who knows where all that stuff ended up......
The modern methods - HeliCoil and TimeSert etc sound a lot easier to use - I'll be doing the research online tonight. Although gawd knows how I'm going to get the bike over onto its side and back up again on my own.....
I've been away for a week and was REALLY looking forward to riding my bike this evening. I almost left the oil change until tomorrow, and I wish I had. I came SO close to just glueing the bloody thing in with JB Weld just to get on the road. I might do it yet - how many drain holes does a bike need after all.....?
I have to say I really don't like the idea of drilling into the casing and risking getting metal shavings in there.....
Does anyone know the relevant thread etc sizes of the drain plug, in case I have to buy the repair kit?
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ScooterBob

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 05:49:34 PM »
For goodness sakes! Just go to the car parts store and get an oversized drain plug for it. They come in a VARIETY of sizes and if you have it in your hand, the clerk should be able to find the right one for you. Thread it in - it makes its own threads - and you are DONE with it.  ;D
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WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 05:53:24 PM »
Is it realy that simple??
I hope so.  If it's true  -  that's what I'll do! 
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singhg5

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 05:59:01 PM »
For goodness sakes! Just go to the car parts store and get an oversized drain plug for it. They come in a VARIETY of sizes and if you have it in your hand, the clerk should be able to find the right one for you. Thread it in - it makes its own threads - and you are DONE with it.  ;D

Is it realy that simple??
I hope so.  If it's true  -  that's what I'll do!  

WillW:

My first choice would be get a bigger drain plug from auto or motorcycle store, as Scooterbob suggested.

If you do need to get Time Sert, have a look at this nice video on how to do it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxnm8J9WXz8&feature=related
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ScooterBob

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 06:02:22 PM »
Is it realy that simple??
I hope so.  If it's true  -  that's what I'll do! 

Yup - It IS that simple .... ! You don't the average knuckle-dragging CAR owner is going to suffer putting in a Time-Sert, Thread-Sert or a Heli-Coil, do you? THAY are lazier than ME - and I sure wouldn't do it - Hahaha!
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WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 06:10:32 PM »
Well - I do have this knack of overlooking the blindingly obvious.....   ::)
Truth is, it hadn't ocurred to me that there might be incremental sizes of drain plugs readily available. In all honesty I'm still dubious. But tomorrow I'll drive round all the repair places I know and see what I can find. The very notion of such a simple fix has lightened my heart   :D
Thanks for the link Singh - I already found a couple of HeliCoil vids on YouTube. Hopefully that route can now be avoided
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 06:13:28 PM by WillW »
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gashousegorilla

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 06:56:33 PM »
  Why ya gotta make us all look stupid bob? :D What I say about over thinking something ::)
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gashousegorilla

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 07:24:24 PM »
Well - I do have this knack of overlooking the blindingly obvious.....   ::)
Truth is, it hadn't ocurred to me that there might be incremental sizes of drain plugs readily available. In all honesty I'm still dubious. But tomorrow I'll drive round all the repair places I know and see what I can find. The very notion of such a simple fix has lightened my heart   :D
Thanks for the link Singh - I already found a couple of HeliCoil vids on YouTube. Hopefully that route can now be avoided
Don't be dudious, he's right. It's a self tapping drain plug. Wrench or socket it in ,you should be good. 
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72westie

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 07:50:18 PM »
I tried one of those self tapping plugs on my 2001 and it wouldn't work for me, maybe it was just me. Why haven't they come up with a better set-up for the case plugs?  ???
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Vince

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2010, 07:51:21 PM »
     Greg, I must disagree with you. Yes there are oversize self tapping plugs. They do work, BUT... The thread pitch is more coarse, therefore the torque application will be different. I have had customers literally rip the case out, or crack the case,  in an effort to compress the drain bolt gasket enough to not leak. In this failure, the case will have to be dis-assembled for welding, or replaced.
     This being said, most people will have no issue. If you, however, are one of the lucky 1 per-centers... The insert I use is stronger than the aluminum case. The only issue I have had  is an occasional one will screw out. It is easy to insert another.

ScooterBob

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2010, 08:04:41 PM »
    Greg, I must disagree with you. Yes there are oversize self tapping plugs. They do work, BUT... The thread pitch is more coarse, therefore the torque application will be different. I have had customers literally rip the case out, or crack the case,  in an effort to compress the drain bolt gasket enough to not leak. In this failure, the case will have to be dis-assembled for welding, or replaced.
     This being said, most people will have no issue. If you, however, are one of the lucky 1 per-centers... The insert I use is stronger than the aluminum case. The only issue I have had  is an occasional one will screw out. It is easy to insert another.

I suggest using a Dorman product or one of the "GOOD" ones - not the "universal" ones from Auto Zone. The Dorman ones are engineered to retain the SAME thread pitch as OEM to take advantage of the remaining treads in the hole for a straight lead-in - and to retain the OEM torque value. There are literally a hundred parts numbers available from them for about ANY application. I agree that the insert IS stronger - BUT - if it needed to be THAT strong, the boys in India would have made it that way! Besides, you chances of getting the insert straight, standing on your head, with a wobbly tap is about one percent - and expensive ..... you KNOW my boys here all be on the budget! Hahaha!  ;D
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WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2010, 08:39:12 PM »
Hmmm....  an internet search yields little to nothing available in UK. I'll have a phone and a drive around tomorrow to see what comes up. I'm pretty sure I'm NOT going to be arsing around with drills and such under my bike, so if I can't find a self tapping replacement, and if the dealer wont fix it under warranty, it's going to be the JB Weld option, and I'll fix a magnet to the plate on the other drain hole. One drain hole is plenty for me.
ScooterBob - if you happen to know which Dorman product is the right one, would you be good enough to let me know? You might just save me from the "Don't JB Weld it!" camp.
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clubman

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2010, 10:38:43 PM »
Sorry to hear that, Will. I would talk to your dealer before doing anything yourself. It may well be covered by the warranty - I certainly think it should be but that's not quite the same thing.  ;)

ScooterBob

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2010, 10:44:51 PM »
Will - Good news and mediocre news ..... The GOOD news is that I'm ON IT! That drain plug is the same thread as a common sparking plug - 14mm X1.25 pitch - and I'm looking hard for a replacement that we can ALL take advantage of. The mediocre news is that since it's a common thread repair size, the oversize plugs for that are quite difficult to come by, HOWEVER ....... Spark plug repair thread insers are LEGION - and screwing one onto your drain plug with the GREEN Loc-tite on the OUTSIDE of it and cramming it in there IS a viable alternative as these are usually cheap and self tapping. The OTHER alternative that I've found so far is a Honda plug that is 14mm X1.40 pitch that's available in the first oversize that would be good if you've blown ALL the threads off the case where the drain plug goes. The pitch is slightly coarser than the OEM RE - but if you don't have any at all ........  ::)

I'm still on it, though - and if I find a viable replacement, I'll make certain that it's posted here - and probably available through N-Field Gear. For GOODNESS SAKES don't glomp that crankcase up with JB Weld! ......
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ScooterBob

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2010, 10:46:57 PM »
Sorry to hear that, Will. I would talk to your dealer before doing anything yourself. It may well be covered by the warranty - I certainly think it should be but that's not quite the same thing.  ;)

Typically that would NOT be a warranty repair - the manufacturer cannot control what happens to that after it leaves the dealership. But the GOOD news is - it doesn't have to be a ridiculously complicated affair ...... 
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WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2010, 11:32:29 PM »
Thanks Bob. Knowing the thread and pitch size gives me something to work with, so I'll have another look online for an insert. It'd be good if I could find something to cram in there without drilling etc - I really don't want to go that route. I DO want to ride my bike however, and soon, so screwing the plug back in with a bit of JB Weld on it doesn't seem entirely out of the question as an alternative. Never quite saw the point of TWO drain holes anyway..... ???
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WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2010, 11:48:33 PM »
Yep there's plenty of spark plug thread repair kits available. And it seems there's no drilling required - just recut the thread with the supplied tool and cram in the coil. I do have some thread left, so ought to be able to keep it lined up true. All I have to do is figure out a way to tip the bike over without any damage...... :o
BUT if you can find an oversize plug ready to screw straight in - better still. I'm still looking this end but not having any luck......

Otherwise, this looks like the thing I need:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HeliCoil-Sav-A-Thread-Spark-Plug-Port-Repair-Kit-M14-/160473805003?pt=UK_Hand_Tools_Equipment
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 11:51:22 PM by WillW »
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REpozer

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2010, 12:41:16 AM »
  If you have some treads left on your drain plug, you might try using Permetec Aviation Form-A-Gasket, Sealant Liqid. Item # 80019.

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jjoe256

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2010, 02:08:09 AM »
Mine was warranty because it happened before I ever took possession of the bike, that means during manufacture , set up, or repair because of an oil leak,  or just overfilling by a dealer, it was comped if not warrantied.

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2010, 03:16:19 AM »
All I have to do is figure out a way to tip the bike over without any damage...... :o

Why?  Do you need the room to work or are you looking to save the oil?  If you need the room find a nice soft bush or even a nice piece of lawn and have a friend help you lay it down slowly.  If you're trying to save the oil, forget it.  2 qts of oil is cheaper than whatever you'd damage leaning it over.

And put some grease in the channels on the tap to help catch and collect the aluminum cuttings ;)

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WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2010, 07:09:19 AM »
Not much room underneath - I was thinking I'd need more space and a better angle of approach. There's no oil in the bike - that's the problem.... Of course, I'd rather not have to lay the bike over. Depends on the amount of effort required to re-cut the thread, assuming that's the way I go with this.
It seems it may be a fairly straight forward job after all, and unlikely to be a warranty issue - it's not the first oil change after all, although the drain plug always had that dodgy feel to it. The bike now can't be ridden the 35 miles to the dealer anyway...
I'll see what today brings....
Many thanks for all the input.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 07:16:50 AM by WillW »
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WillW

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Re: Drain plug - SORTED
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2010, 10:51:09 AM »
Well for goodness sake! What was all that fuss about? You know my trouble - I think too much!   :-[
Drove to the local motor factors, who directed me to the engine rebuild place opposite, who sent me 200 yards down the road to a small industrial unit where the guy had EVERYTHING to do with mending stripped threads.
He lent me the tools, gave me a couple of inserts, and said pay me when you bring em back.
The job was done in half an hour, bike on centre stand, no drilling. Way simpler than I'd expected. Flushed through with half a litre of semi to get out any swarf, although most of it came out on the tap, which I'd greased. I thought the little tag on the insert was going to be tricky to remove, but a slight push and tug with long nose pliers and it was off. Works like it's meant to!
New oil, start engine, watch for drips, and ride into town to return the (cleaned) tools.
"Oh just call it a fiver" the guy said. I gave him a tenner and considered I'd got off lightly. What a gent.
I hope this reassures the next person here who strips the threads when changing the oil. It's a simple fix. Don't panic.   Oh --  and, um,  leave the JB Weld in the drawer........ ;)
Thanks guys for all the input. I'd never even heard of HeliCoil...... ::)

Here's the link. He ships all over the world, and has ALL sizes and threads, even arcane ones!   www.uni-thread.com
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 10:58:09 AM by WillW »
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clubman

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2010, 12:52:47 PM »
Result!  :) People are very kind in your part of the world.

WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2010, 02:19:39 PM »
Yes - it's that good Devon air. Seems to be good for folks. Very laid back down here - I came for a month in 1987 - never left.  :D
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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2010, 06:27:41 PM »
I OBVIOUSLY need to get the heck out of here and move to Devon! WOW! - That kind of stuff happened to me when I was a young lad - but that's been thirty years ago! That's one of the reasons I got a start in this business .... the absolute kindness of the "Old Fellers" who'd help me along, give me advice, loan me a tool or two and buy me the occasional beer!
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WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2010, 07:08:15 PM »
It's a rare enough thing these days isn't it? Trust and generosity - pass it on and let's keep the ball rolling. There's a good deal of it here on this forum I'd say.
Beers waiting Bob. Give us a shout when you get here..... :D
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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2010, 10:42:38 PM »
"Will he was a Devon man and ruled the Devon Streets..."....and threads  ;D
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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2010, 11:18:51 PM »
I had the same problem with the G5, I found a product from Loctite, I think it was called Formathread or something similar. You simply mix two even parts of the paste together, put some hardner on the drain plug, put the paste compound inside the drain hole and screw the drain plug back in, Leave it about an hour then tighten the plug right up. This allows you to drain the oil in the normal manner rather than sealing it up and using the filter plate to drain the oil, glad you got it sorted.

Cheers  :)

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2010, 11:54:53 PM »
Will,

Where are you in Devon?  I grew up in Cornwall near Helston.  Visited Dartmoor and Exmoor many times on familly holidays.

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2010, 12:41:33 AM »
WillW:

What a nice end !  Glad to hear that you are able to use a helicoil to repair stripped threads in the oil drain of your motocycle.  Happy riding.     
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WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2010, 07:20:40 AM »
Yes a happy ending indeed - not nearly such a problem as it first appeared. I had no idea such a quick and simple fix was possible. I never thought I'd be back into mechanic-ing after so long - and being back into motorbiking after even longer would be way more frought without this forum, for which I am truly grateful. My bike education progresses in leaps and bounds  :D
Andy, I'm up a lane off a lane in the South Hams - three miles from Totnes, a great little town where all the old hippies live. I'm often down in Cornwall, north coast, and had a great ride across Dartmoor yesterday afternoon. A Royal Enfield, new oil and polished chrome, Dartmoor in September  -  have I died and gone to heaven?   :D

nice collection of kit in your garage by the way.....   :)
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 09:09:55 AM by WillW »
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UncleErnie

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2010, 05:17:20 PM »
There's a lesson in here about not being a gorilla.  It doesn't take much torque to keep a drain plug from leaking. 
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Re: Drain plug - SORTED
« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2010, 05:23:48 PM »
Oh --  and, um,  leave the JB Weld in the drawer........ ;)

The greatest power of JB Weld is knowing when to use it and when not to ;)

Scott

WillW

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2010, 05:26:28 PM »
I'd put my hand up if I thought I'd been the cause, but like I said, I was suspicious of this plug from the outset. First time I changed the oil I noticed it was strangely tight to UNscrew, and hard to get it to bite to screw back on. Whether it came from the factory like it or whether it was done at the first service, I don't know. I know I made a mental note last oil change to leave it alone and drain only from the gauze plate, but I forgot!
Not guilty. I know about torque. Honest guv.....
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 05:43:16 PM by WillW »
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gashousegorilla

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #40 on: September 03, 2010, 06:16:20 PM »
There's a lesson in here about not being a gorilla.  It doesn't take much torque to keep a drain plug from leaking. 
  I heard that !!!!!!! :D
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ScooterBob

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2010, 07:49:48 PM »
There's a lesson in here about not being a gorilla.  It doesn't take much torque to keep a drain plug from leaking. 

.... and a little safety wire will keep it IN THERE - even if it DOES leak .... !  ;)
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tpelle

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2010, 08:31:25 PM »
Years ago my wife (happened before we were dating) had a Ford Torino with a cross-threaded and stripped oil pan drain.  By way of repair, someone had replaced the drain plug with a purpose-made oversized self-tapping plug that was screwed in to the oil pan hole one time only.  In the center of this plug was a tapped hold for an even smaller plug that was made like a conventional pipe plug.  You removed the pipe plug to drain the oil, and left the repair plug in place.

I thought that was a really trick way to repair the problem.  Only problem is that I can't seem to find anything similar any longer.
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UncleErnie

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Re: Drain plug thread stripped. Any ideas?
« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2010, 01:08:25 AM »
That's a pipe fiotting.  You'll find it in the plumbing isle.    (Don't ask...  ::) )

Another emergency thing to do -instead of JB Weld- is make a compression plug.

You use a pieece of hose or a rubber stopper drilled out.  One end has the head and a washer, the other end has the a washer, a castlated washer, and the nut.  The castleated washer keeps the nut from turning as you turn the bolt head and as it tightens, the washers squeeze the rubber out so it makes a seal.

Hopefully, you get to the heli-coil or time-sert before the plug becomes one with the drain plug making the Vulcan Mind Meld look like a casual encounter.
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