DL1K: How to repair a stripped oil plug - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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  #1  
Old 11-28-2012, 12:25 PM
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Default DL1K: How to repair a stripped oil plug

By way of introduction I'll post some photos and advice of last night's repair of my stripped oil plug. This is not a bad job at all, although it still gave me the willies to hand drill my engine case. I'd say less than an hour once all the goods are in hand, faster if you've done it before.

By all means, feel free to suggest clarifications or improvements to my technique, I'll edit my posts to make this useful for anyone else following along. OK, here goes:

This is the patient: A much loved and mildly neglected DL1K3. I bought this bike in 2006 or so and it lived near Portland Oregon for most of its life while I lived north of Boston for most of mine. It got regular maintenance, oil, brakes, tires, filters, but not much in the way of TLC. I love it though, as ugly as it has become, it has treated me to many fine adventures. So now it's finally reunited with me and my tools and it's having it's 'day at the spa'.



...but it has a stripped oil plug, and not by me! Somewhere along the lines somebody ham-handed the plug till the threads were weak, and then drilled and safety wired the plug. I went along fine with this for a couple of years being very careful not to overtighten it but eventually it gave up, and started leaking in earnest, despite the soft thick sealing washer. Time for repairs.
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Last edited by Noblehops; 11-28-2012 at 03:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2012, 12:26 PM
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OK, this is what you'll need for starters in addition to a few general shop tools and stuff:

A Timesert thread repair kit: I used this one from BelMetric that uses a 9.4 mm insert:

https://www.belmetric.com/ts1415c-m1...th=217_219_259

TS1415C - M14X1.5 DP KIT
M14X1.5 TIME-SERT DRAIN PLUG Repair Kit # 1415C Kit containsrill, Counterbore,Tap, Driver, Tap guide, 5 inserts 9.4mm length

A large (#6) tap wrench, probably larger then the one you have in your tap kit (ask me how I know). I got this one from Sears. Note that the shank of this drill is 7/16 and SQUARE, more on that in a moment.



A new drain plug, because your old one won't work in this kit - the thread pitch is different. Happily the thread pitch in the TimeSert kit is more common than the one Suzuki used, and so you can find many choices at any old auto parts store. The size you need is M14 - 1.5. I found one with a nice fat plastic sealing washer incorporated in it, intended for some Ford with a 13mm head. Worked great.



Your favorite dead dinosaurs (Oil, that is). 3 Quarts or so. And an oil filter.

...continued
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I have a motorcycle problem.

Last edited by Noblehops; 11-28-2012 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:26 PM
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OK, time to quit stalling and dig in. Warm up the bike enough to get the oil thin, get it onto your workspace and drain the oil. Remove and drain (but retain!) the filter. Give it all a good while to drain down or you will just enjoy it draining down your forearm when you get into it. Replace the old filter, only so it doesn't drip from there while you're working.

Chuck up the drill in the TimeSert kit into your tap wrench. Now, I confess this is the part that had me scratching my head. The shank of the furnished drill is square, unlike the hex you'd expect to find on a bit for your power drill. You're going to have to drill this with that tap wrench by hand, while trying to keep it square to the case. While working upside down. The good news is that the drill is just 15mm in diameter, and the drain hole is about 14mm with its threads. The drill has a taper at it's tip which helps orient it. The nice long tap handle helps to visually keep things parallel as you get it started, but that's what you are supposed to do.

ALL THAT SAID...This is nothing more than a really nice sharp 37/64 high speed drill bit. Not a dime a dozen, but if you wanted to use a power drill and could lay hands on one of those, you could go that route, although there isn't much space to get a power drill under there either. Anyway, get on with it (I said to myself). Dip the bit into the oil you just drained or use TapMagic or some other cutting fluid, center and square the drill to the hole as best you can, and commence to drillin'.





Lots of aluminum chips and swarf. Clean that all up, including in the bore hole. Reach up with your pinkie and get whatever you can from inside the crankcase. Some guys use thick grease on the drill bit and remove and clean it frequently. I didn't want to remove the drill more than I had to.
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I have a motorcycle problem.

Last edited by Noblehops; 11-28-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:27 PM
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OK, now you have finished the job of destroying the threads, now it's time to cut a chamfer into the rim of the borehole with the furnished tool. Chuck it up into your tap handle, insert the tip of the tool into the borehole and commence to cuttin'.



If you look closely at this tool you'll see there are cutting teeth above the chrome shoulder. When you have cut into it far enough that the chrome shoulder is flush with the engine case, you're done. Again, use oil or cutting fluid and remove and clean the tool frequently to remove the swarf.



Not quite there...



More...



And done:



Now it's time to retap that hole to receive the insert...
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R1200GS, DL1K3, CBX, DRZ
I have a motorcycle problem.

Last edited by Noblehops; 11-28-2012 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:28 PM
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OK, chuck up the tap, get everything cleaned up, lube the tap or use cutting fluid, and tap it.



I'm not very experienced in this and so suggestions for better technique are most welcome here. The tap will want to follow the borehole for the most part if you let it, but it's tapered at the tip and so it's important to start square. The kit includes a cylinder that is intended to be used as a guide to keep the tap square to the work, but without a helper to hold it there I couldn't see how to employ it. Once you get started and feel it cutting threads, you have to keep going at least for a few turns - it you remove the tap you risk mauling the threads you just cut when you re-insert it. Cut for a third or a half a turn, then back out a quarter turn to break the chips and clear the cutting teeth, cut, clear, cut clear. I removed the tap when I was in about 25mm, cleaned off the chips and swarf and then very carefully reinserted it (generously re-oiled) and finished cutting.



Swarf!



And done:



On to the insert...
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I have a motorcycle problem.

Last edited by Noblehops; 11-28-2012 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:30 PM
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OK, at this point you should clean it up better than I did. The flash I used for the photo ratted me out - I didn't see how much debris I actually left behind under the bike in the garage. You want this squeaky clean because you're about to drive a steel insert into these fresh aluminum threads and this is a one-way trip and you don't want it to bind or hang up as you insert it. Clean the threads, the case, your hands, the tap handle. Start clean.



Now - this is the insert that's going in. Notice that it has a shoulder on the left side. That's what is going to sit in the chamfer that we cut, and that prevents the insert from just screwing in and potentially through the borehole. If you look really sharp you can see that on the other end of the insert the very tip is a bit smaller than the body. That's going to expand when the insertion tool pushes through it, and that locks it into place. Ingenious, elegant system.



Now, oil the insertion tool as the instructions indicate, insert it into the... insert, and commence to insertin'. I'm almost done here.



Now, this is important: Once the insert is bottomed on the chamfer, you have to continue screwing the insertion tool in for a few turns. You will feel some resistance as you are pushing against those smaller threads at the tip of the insert. The tool will force those last few smaller threads out to lock them into the borehole. Once the resistance is past, remove the insertion tool and you're done.



Insert your new drain plug, REPLACE THE OIL AND FILTER IN YOUR MOTORCYCLE and pop a beer:

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Nils Menten - Santa Cruz, CA, USA

R1200GS, DL1K3, CBX, DRZ
I have a motorcycle problem.

Last edited by Noblehops; 11-28-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:48 PM
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Default Ninja-style extra credit

Seeing as I already had a companion hole to safety wire this, I said what the heck, I'll drill the new plug for safety wire, couldn't hurt.

You want a nice sharp 1/16 drill bit for this. I used a Craftsman Titanium coated one. Buy two. You're welcome.



Chuck it onto a soft vice, oil the tip of the bit and have at it:



Withdraw the bit frequently to clear it of swarf, re-oil it, continue.



Kinda need safety wire pliers to do this right, but it can be done without:



Annnd, done.



Have another beer, you deserve it!

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Nils Menten - Santa Cruz, CA, USA

R1200GS, DL1K3, CBX, DRZ
I have a motorcycle problem.

Last edited by Noblehops; 11-28-2012 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:12 PM
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Default superb write-up

I hope to never need it - but thanks in advance
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:06 PM
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Well done! I've done this for a blown spark plug on a Caravan. Similar process. Great pictures. Never thought to add a safety wire to the plug. Adding that to my list of upgrades. Thanks.


Sent from my iPhone using Motorcycle.com Free App
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:02 PM
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Great photos of the step by step process. Thanks for putting it on the forum. You deserve another beer and I will have one as well.
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