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oil drain bolt 'spins'

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Old 04-28-2013, 12:35 PM   #1
FlamingoGT
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Default oil drain bolt 'spins'

The good news first... I got my new struts and MM C&C plates installed, and as it turns out, I was almost dead on with the alignment.

And the lead in to the bad news... I absolutely needed new tires; they were beyond the wear bar indicators and almost to the point of being bald. Well, after doing the struts and C&C plates, I went in to get my new tires and an alignment. That part went fine. But while there, decided to get my oil changed too, as it was time for that also. They get the car on the rack, and a little bit later the service manager comes to me and asks me to come with him as he has never seen this before. To make a long story short, the drain bolt just spins; doesn't loosen, doesn't tighten. At least oil wasn't leaking either.
Being Sunday, neither he nor I wanted to mess with it and then get into a situation that couldn't be fixed today. He and/or his tech said it could be a couple of things, but most likely would involve dropping the pan which is a time consuming event on these mustangs.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:51 PM   #2
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Either the bolt threads where damaged or cross threaded, or the threads in the pan are shot. Prob going to need to remove the oil pan which is never fun with the pickup tube. Probably happened cause some one had to be king kong and crank the bolt to tight and popped it.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:14 AM   #3
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Good luck if you are doing it yourself I believe the motor has to be lifted to provide clearance for pan to come down. I believe that it is just a nut welded to the inside of the oil pan. There may be a possibility that it can be re welded in place but am not 100%. That is why it will spin but not come loose.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:30 AM   #4
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i thought the oil plug was clutched and you couldn't over tighten it?
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:34 AM   #5
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I don't think so but I could be wrong, that is one thing people love to over tighten tho. I have an oil pan that is off my other engine too that I could look at but its with my other engine in storage.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:40 AM   #6
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You do not have to remove the drain pan. There is an over sized thread cutting bolt you can screw back into the oil pan. There is a link below that explains it in detail. Good luck!

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Old 05-04-2013, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SXGT View Post
i thought the oil plug was clutched and you couldn't over tighten it?
Nope, in fact in 60 years of wrenching engines I have never seen one that was (not OEM anyway)--it does seem to be something that people (especially many quick-lube "mechanics") seem to love to crank the **** out of.

The torque spec is only 10 lb-ft; about 1/16th turn from finger tight...
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:20 PM   #8
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Your gonna have to first remove the original oil plug some how so I assume the pan would have to be removed if it is doing nothing but turning. I don't think your gonna be able to put a oversized self tapping plug in there with the existing one still there as mentioned by another user. U have to drop the pan and weld that nut on the back side that plug threads into then remove it or hold it with a wrench or something and remove it that way. I'm sure someone just over tightened it and when you got an oil change before I'm sure the guy used quite a bit of force when removing this current time it and broke the nut free. I think they are just spot welded from factory. I will take a ride over to my storage later and double check.
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
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It would suck if you have to raise the engine up to drop the pan. Any chance you could drill thrugh the plug (braced with a wrench to keep from spinning) and then insert a bolt extractor to remove the threaded shaft? I used one many years ago to remove a bolt whose head had been wrenched off.
Then if that works you can use the oversized self tapping plug.

Last edited by Vertigo_GT; 05-04-2013 at 02:34 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:08 PM   #10
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I doubt that would work then what? The nut that plug threads into is still loose. How would u ever hold it to get the threads to turn out?
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:39 PM   #11
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Grab the head of the plug with vise grips, and pull outward on it while turning it anti-clockwise; even use a bar or large screwdriver to pry outward on the vise grips while turning. If you get lucky the plug threads may grab and let you unscrew the plug.

If you can get it out you can buy an oversize drain plug that is self-tapping and magnetized to capture any swarf from re-tapping the threads.

Timesert also makes a repair kit, though it's a lot more $$ than an oversize plug...
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:58 PM   #12
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Yea that might work, but the tin on the pan its self is pretty thin, I don't know how good it would tighten up. Maybe also put a decent thick O-ring big enough to fit on plug they sell plugs like that some have them some don't, which may also add a layer of protection. Then if that is possible to do, tighten it just a little more then snug but do not crank on it. That would most likely hold. Just my honest opinion tho I would probably take the extra time and money if needed and either fix it properly or replace if need be, the last thing I would want is to be is going down the road and have it come loose or something and drain my engine dry and wreck a engine. I have a lot of money in my engine just to ruin it. Idk what your motor situation is but I'm sure you can agree.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:03 PM   #13
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You may not be able to get another plug to start in because of it turning internally tho, I believe that nut inside is inside a cage type design as well so if for some reason it comes free it will not go flying around and catch the crank or something else internal.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffyk View Post
Grab the head of the plug with vise grips, and pull outward on it while turning it anti-clockwise; even use a bar or large screwdriver to pry outward on the vise grips while turning. If you get lucky the plug threads may grab and let you unscrew the plug.

If you can get it out you can buy an oversize drain plug that is self-tapping and magnetized to capture any swarf from re-tapping the threads.

Timesert also makes a repair kit, though it's a lot more $$ than an oversize plug...
Sort of tried this by prying on the bolt while trying to turn it... that didn't work, but doing it this way may work. I am aware of the oversized plugs, and was sort of thinking about that except for Fastblack's comment below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastblackstang View Post
You may not be able to get another plug to start in because of it turning internally tho, I believe that nut inside is inside a cage type design as well so if for some reason it comes free it will not go flying around and catch the crank or something else internal.
I'm in a position to believe that the issue is that that nut did break free, so if I do manage to get that bolt out, I am in another world of hurt.

One thing about taking my car to a somewhat honest mechanic on the weekend is that he didn't want to try any harder to get that bolt out without having a replacement pan in case that was the only viable solution. Unfortunately there is none to be found in town, so one has to be ordered.

Until I decide to go that route (or do it myself), he suggested something that I had been thinking about anyway... get a fluid exchanger (or whatever it is called) and pull out all of the old oil I can from the dipstick and change the filter and go from there. While it won't get as much of the fluid changed as doing it the conventional way, it will at least buy me some time until I can get it fixed. It's not leaking now, so don't mess with it until I am ready to fully commit to the worst case.

(it wasn't high on my mod list, but I was thinking of going with tubular K and As... but if I have to drop the K to do the oil pan, what better time than then to just go ahead with this project? Decisions decisions decisions...)
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:44 PM   #15
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As far as doing your oil pan you don't have to drop or remove the sub frame. I believe u can rent or buy a motor lift/support device that sits over top of the motor from basically fender to fender that has a threaded bolt style crank on it and lifts the engine up. Its really not that bad of job it just seems difficult at first. The hardest thing is gonna be to lift up the motor in my opinion it does not have to go sky high all you really need is enough room to get between the oil pick up tube and the sub frame, then the pan should come out only one way. I used a similar device when I wanted to upgrade motor mounts, also another thing you can do once engine is lifted but I would really just replace the pan rather then buy something to suck the oil out of pan and change filter to me that is just a waste of money to me, when you can just apply the money towards a pan and gasket and just do it like on a weekend or something.
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:44 PM
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