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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
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-m14x15-dp-kit-p-1586.html?zenid=e8caeo2kha4vl7gj4dpvgucs53&cPath=217_219_259

TS1415C - M14X1.5 DP KIT
M14X1.5 TIME-SERT DRAIN PLUG Repair Kit # 1415C Kit contains:Drill, 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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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
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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superb write-up

I hope to never need it - but thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys.

I kind of made a mess of that safety wire, so I just replaced the photo with a better example. For a good read on proper technique on safety wire, go here and read this:


Safety Wire Techniques

N.
 

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Very nice "how to" post. Thank you. Hopefully I will never have to do this, but if I do, this will be very helpful.
 

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Haha, yeah N'roman, I'm all about tasty craft beer. The consumption side, that is. :thumbup:
I was hoping with your screen name and being from Boston you might have a spare keg of Sam Adams' Noble Pils just laying around.

Oh well, I guess I can still welcome you here anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I was hoping with your screen name and being from Boston you might have a spare keg of Sam Adams' Noble Pils just laying around.

Oh well, I guess I can still welcome you here anyways.
Just noticed that my profile was out of date - recently moved to CA!

N.
 

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Nice job, good write up, great pics.

The gob of grease on the cutting tool to catch many of the chips is smart. If a similar job was done in steel, the cutting tool can be magnetized to hold the chips. (Wrap several turns of a stout wire around the tool and momentarily DC power through the wire--touch each end to a battery post. For smaller tools can be magnetized by stroking lengthwise with a strong magnet. Try reversing the polarity of the current or stroking the other direction to remove the magnetism at the end of the job.) If the tap is removed part way through the cut then reinserted, I like to put it back in by hand with good feel for correctly threading. Then put on the tap handle and keep everything straight.

Swarf. That's a new one on me. I've always called them chips, as does my Boeing retired master machinist friend. Anyway, get them all cleaned out. Some might want to pour oil through the engine to flush out more of the chips..errr, swarf.... Pouring warm 5W-30 oil through (thin oil washes out more), then fill with oil (old oil and filter will do), run a very short time, stop, drain, put on new filter & oil, ride, enjoy.
 

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