Car people. Question. HALP!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Jayce, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Jayce

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    So, I changed my oil, right. I drive an Elantra (Corvette Killer - watch out!) So anyway, I put the drain plug back in. I threaded it in by hand, when it got snug, put the socket on it. I made one rotation, and suddenly it got very loose. I said some choice words, threaded the plug back out, and sure enough a ring of thin coiled metal came out... the threads from the oil pan. Shit... So I went to the parts store and got a single oversized drain plug, which is designed to carve new threads as you slowly torque it down. Of course, my oil pan has a weird shape, so it was hard to determine if it was straight. And, of course, it went in straight, and cockeyed itself. Great. Fuck me. So now my 2 dollar fixed turned into me taking it up the tailpipe.

    I'm considering on picking up a cheap tap and dye set. I found one for like 30 bucks... figured I'd try it and see what kind of luck I get. Only downside is - if this works, I'd have to locate a bigger plug to match the threads, since my existing plug will be too small. In short, I have no idea if this will work... can somebody give me their 2 cents? My thinking is, if threads were there originally, making new ones shouldn't matter. But some people have said oil pan metal tends to be softer and it's not as easy and blah blah fuckin dkljafl;sdjfaklsdfaklsdjf;aklsdfas. Thoughts?
     
  2. HardRocker

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    You can probably find an even more oversized plug. If you do, follow the same back and forth method with it that I described below for tapping.

    With a tap you'll just buy a plug that fits whatever size you tap it to. Choose your tap size, then go buy a plug bolt that fits that exact size. Get a softer metal bolt like bronze or brass if possible and buy a plastic crush washer to go with it.

    It is a good idea to slightly bore it out to get a smooth tapping surface and prevent the tap from following the already crooked threads. Use a drill bit that just barely takes off some excess metal, but you don't have to completely eliminate all the old threads. Oil the tap with light oil, 20w or lighter (3 in 1 household oil is 20w). Slowly start the tap in for 1/2 turn and back it out 1/4 turn (do not let it come all the way back out). Go on in another 1/4 turn and back it out 1/4 turn. Repeat that until you're all the way through. The tap is very hard and sharp, so make sure you stay in the threads and never turn it fast even when removing it after you finish. When you finish tapping, back it all the way out and don't try to test it by re-inserting it.

    Try to use a magnet (like a telescoping screw finder tool)and fish out any metal flakes you can. Of course it may be a non ferrous metal, so the magnet won't work, but twist a rag in and out of the hole to clean it.

    When you put the new plug in it may not feel smooth, but it shouldn't be stiff. Start by turning the bolt backwards until you feel the threads click as the bolt's starting thread is lined up with the female starting groove. Now slowly advance it, going in and out carefully as you did while tapping. Don't force it but it will feel a little rough. You may have to take it out and clean off metal shavings a couple of times before it will go all the way in. If you hit a really tough spot, try carefully running the tap (cleaned and re-oiled) back through for one pass.

    I hereby claim no responsibility if while doing this procedure you fuck it up. :shrug
    Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
     
  3. Jayce

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    Not like I can fuck it up anymore, though. If this fails, I'm STILL back at square one of needing a new oil pan.

    Man, this fuckin rules. I just got done taking it up the ass with spending all of my money for bills, and now my car isn't usable. SWEET!
     
  4. ccjcool

    ccjcool New Member

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    Just blame PENNDOT. :phat
     
  5. johnnyangel694u

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    How tough is it to get the oil pan off? It may be cheaper to buy new gasket and take pan somewhere to get it tapped. plus a heck of a lot easier to see what you are doing.
    I have also seen oil plugs that has a second oil plug in it. If you plug hole is in bad shape epoxy the first plug in.
     
  6. HardRocker

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    Probably have to lift the engine to get it off. Go to the library and see if there is a service manual, or get a Haynes manual at the parts store and see what it says. I wonder how long a rubber champaign or wine cork would last if you screw it in there. :eyes Hey, don't laugh too hard, I've seen more desperate things work. Pressure shouldn't blow it out as long as your PCV valve works.

    If you do have to lift the engine, check for rust. Hyundai is famous for rusted engine cradles.
     
  7. Poky

    Poky Banned

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    Hate to say it, but you over torqued it. Once you had it finger tight and put the socket on it, you shouldn't have needed to go more then a 1/4 of a turn. If you are putting a lot of pressure on it to make it tight, then it was over torqued cause the metal to fatigue and break away. If it didn't feel like it was getting tight to begin with, there was a problem before you even started. Over torquing is the #1 reason oil plugs end up that way..

    Once you get the pan off, check it real good for cracks around the plug hole. If it has crack/s, you will need to have them fixed or just get a new one. Not many choices..
     
  8. Jayce

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    I know what you're saying, but with the washers I use, I can normally turn quite a bit till the pressure tightens up. I may have over torqued it in the past, but today, I'm positive I didn't. I barely put any pressure on it and it just kept spinning...

    Anyway, yeah maybe I can just go that route with the dual plug... I just gotta find one to fit, that matches the threads, etc...

    I also thought about going to the junkyard and picking up an oil pan from an existing Elantra there. I doubt it'd cost much, and there's a local mechanic who my dad used to work with (friend of the family, good guy) maybe he could slap it on for cheap?

    We'll see what happens, I guess...

    Oh, and I checked the oil pan thoroughly for cracks. I see nothing. I left my car sit all day with fresh oil in it, nothing. I also had it turned on sitting idle for 30 minutes to heat it up and see if anything would leak... nothing.

    I'm pretty much good for now until I get to my next oil change. I doubt that plug will take threading in/out much more... so by next oil change, I need to figure something out. Good thing I put 5,000 mile oil in it this time. :)
     
  9. jgood4u

    jgood4u New Member

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    I guess if the plug is male, and the hole in the pan is female, this keeps the discussion on topic with this board. So you screwed the female too hard and now she is too loose, even for a bigger one.

    Anyway, I'm not familiar with the pan in your model, but typically these are stamped sheet metal and the hole is stamped to turn the metal up into the pan so threads can be cut in the thin metal walls. If you strip that out, you really don't have any material left to cut new threads. Best, of course, is to replace the pan as you have figured out. Alternatives might be to weld or braze (after removing the pan from engine and cleaning all grease off it it) a small piece of material thick enough to cut several threads into it, over the existing hole. This patch, could be drilled and threaded to the same spec as the original plug size.

    The plug can be made in at least 2 ways as well. Today's plugs usually have a washer-like ridge into which is cut a groove, into said groove is placed a rubber 'O' ring. The seal is made between the 'O' ring and the flat surface of the pan, which would be the patch if you do that. The seal is not done by the threads. Sometimes in place of the rubber seal, a soft copper compression washer is used with the same sealing effect, but unaffected by temperature.

    If your friend can do the work, good! But you might consider that these neighborhood shops that specialize in quick oil changes (Jiffy Lube, etc) have very likely run into this so often that they have the kit and skills to repair it quickly and easily - worth a phone call or 2.

    If you continue to drive on a weak patch as you describe you are now, you realize that it could come loose at any time and without any warning. You would loose all your oil on that street before the oil pressure light would even indicate you had a problem. At that point you may be only seconds away from ruining your complete engine.

    Take care, and we'd love to hear how you get yourself of of this "screw job".:)
     
  10. Blacklongstrong

    Blacklongstrong New Member

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    was the plug extremely hard to remove? i used to work at jiffy lube and we had cars come in with stripped drain plugs all the time...like jgood4u said. check the pan and underside of the vehicle for leaks weekly. if the leak is minor it will most likely just be on the pan. once it starts getting worse you will see alot of "blowback" on the frame.

    and also like jgood4u said...u can easily risk ruining ur whole motor like this. a guy i used to work with at jiffy lube did the same thing on a brand new cobalt...the oil light did not come on until two weeks later..and jiffy lube was slapped with a $8,000 claim to get the customer a new motor.
     
  11. cbrmale

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    If it is a late model Elantra (XD or later), the oil pan is aluminium alloy and the bolt is steel. The torque wrench setting is about 30nm I think, just a little more than finger tight (wheel nuts are 110nm by comparison).

    If it is alloy you have a couple of options, you can either get an oversized thread cut into it, or get a thread insert (helicoil) placed into the hole, or replace the oil pan. Thread inserts are possible with alloy pans, but to be safe the sump would need to be removed because of the swarf. I had thread inserts put into the spark plug threads of a motorcycle I had decades ago, because the plugs had been overtightened when I bought it. In any case the helicoils worked well.

    Removing the sump may be a problem, let me know the model as I have the Elantra XD workshop manual (from my previous car) and I can check it out for you.