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Discussion Starter #1
So this happened...

I did my first oil change on my new-to-me in Mexico 2014 Vstrom 1K. I noticed the plug was a little stiff coming out, sort of like someone put blue locktite on it. But when I got the plug out, it was obvious that this isn't the stock plug.

Ugly, isn't it?

My theory is that this is some sort of generic self-tapping drain plug replacement for when a gorilla over-torques the plug and damages the threads in the oil sump.

I had a stock drain plug which I tried in the apparently partially now reamed out hole just for curiousity -- it was almost all the way in before the threads caught and I could only get about half a turn before it bottomed out -- without the crush washer. Nope -- that's not going to work. I put the ugly one that came out back in and tightened it just enough to barely seat against the new crush washer.

I've never come across one of these before -have any of you?.

Am I right and that's what this thing is?

Anyone have any experience with these things? Is this a reasonable fix and can I expect it to hold up over time or will I eventually need a better solution which I assume would be something like a timesert or helicoil? (It may be a challenge finding someone who has experience doing that down here.)

Sorry for the fuzzy picture -- my iPhone apparently couldn't stand looking at it either so it wouldn't focus sharply!


Thanks for any insight,

Vinnie
 

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That's apparently an oversized self tapping oil drain plug. A better fix would be something like a Time Sert oil drain plug repair. Do some searching to find the correct kit. I'm not sure if the kit will allow you to use the original plug.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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It looks like a self-tapping drain bolt, as you suspected.

On the head there should be a number printed, either a 1, 2, or 3. That tells you how much oversized it is. They increase in size by number. Once you hit 3, you have to do the time-sert thing, or something similar.

I'd never seen this before I resurrected my buddy's CB750 last summer. It had one installed and needed repairing again.
 

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Yes, it IS a self-tapping drain plug. Ive seen..and dealt with many of them.
As suggested above, the Time-sert repair is the best permanent repair. The tool set makes sure the threads for the insert are installed at an exact 90-drgeree angle to the thread bore surface. The Time-sert will not come out when removing the plug like some have done. Ive 2 Time sert sets, one for 14mm drain plugs and another for 10mm spark plug threads. About $90 each.
Your oil drain plug dilemma is a a poster child for advocating the use of a torque wrench.

As for a possible problem with a self-tapping drain plug: Ive seen more than a few tht with repeated removal, will strip out the threads again until you need the next oversize self-tapping plug. Unfortunately the Vstrom V-Twin drain plug threads are in the crankcase itself instead of a replaceable oil pan. A 1-time permanent repair is your best bet.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone, for the help. NotACop, yes, it's doing its job now so I'll leave it alone. Unless it starts to drip, I'll deal with it the next time I need to drain the oil. I agree with Maz, I'm only going to get so many times taking this thing out and putting it back before I have a problem. These recut threads feel >very< fragile.

Larolco, I'll use a mirror to see if I can find a number on it. Do you have any idea what size corresponds to what number? When it comes time to use the time-sert, the question will be what size will I need. So, how oversize the drain plug is will be an important question.

I don't think time-serts are easily available in Mexico (although Amazon.com.mx has some) I won't be able to experiment much and it would be helpful to carry down the size I need from the US. Worst comes to worst, I can settle for a helicoil repair which are readily available.

Vinnie
 

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Larolco, I'll use a mirror to see if I can find a number on it. Do you have any idea what size corresponds to what number? When it comes time to use the time-sert, the question will be what size will I need. So, how oversize the drain plug is will be an important question.

Vinnie
You should see the bolt size indicated (could be 1/2" or M14x1.5 or something like that, depending on what the person who installed it used). You will likely see S.O. which means single oversize. If it is D.O. that is double oversize. I think triple is just stamped 3. If an S.O. strips out, you can try a D.O. but, personally, I'd do the time-sert repair because I don't think the self-tapping job will last too many oil changes.
 

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..........................Your oil drain plug dilemma is a a poster child for advocating the use of a torque wrench.....................
Blasphemy :wink2:next you will be recommending a torque wrench for spark plugs too:fineprint:

What ever that thing is it looks like the leading end, where the slots are cut, has been compressed into a hole smaller than it was designed for......."designed" being an overly optimistic term.
 

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These things are readily available at your local automotive parts shop. My local go-to, AlderAuto, was able to help me out. I'd imagine Napa, or similar places, would have them.

Not sure where you'd go in Mexico but I'm sure people strip out drain plugs there too.
 

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..........................Your oil drain plug dilemma is a a poster child for advocating the use of a torque wrench.....................
Blasphemy :wink2:next you will be recommending a torque wrench for spark plugs too:fineprint:

What ever that thing is it looks like the leading end, where the slots are cut, has been compressed into a hole smaller than it was designed for......."designed" being an overly optimistic term.
LOL ST, there is a reason I have the set for 10mm spark plugs. The 1st was a friend's CBr 954 Honda whose #3 spark plug blew out on acceleration, taking the threads in the cylinder head with it.
Funny thing...if I have to buy a special tool or a 1-time use tool to do a job, the bike owner pays for it, and it becomes MY tool. They always buy a torque wrench after that.
The self-tapping drain plug is tapered to allow it to start in the existing stripped bore, the slots are there to provide a place for the cuttings to go without galling the threads in the bore while being cut buy the thicker section of the plug.
Another small but potentially self-defeating move--the use of nylon drain plug gaskets. White plastic cheapies, these li'l beauties dont hold torque well, and Ive seen many of them split out.
The usual conversation I get from the other end of the phone is.."I just changed my oil, all went well, but it was leaving spots on my garage floor, so I tightened the drain plug some more. It still leaked, so i tightened it again, but now the drain plug just spins. What do I dooooo?"
 

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Yes, I have seen these self tapping plugs. What I was referring to is the one in the picture appears to have one of the quadrants smashed in:confused:, like it was too big for the hole.

I am a torque wrench fanatic. I use them often, treat them well and never loan one out unless I come with it. Spark plugs and drain plugs are always torqued. Crush washers are always replaced too, unless they are the copper type. I am that guy:nerd:.
 

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ST, we're twin sons of different mothers, I suppose.
I replace the drain plug gasket each and every time. The cost is minimal, and all it takes is that one time for things to go south.
From work I must have about 300 of them so I think I'm set for a while...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I don't know what the history of that thing is... I think the bike was serviced at the PO's dealer in Mexico City but I don't know for sure. Just like the US, some of the dealer techs here are terrific and some not-so-much.

I have a very trusted mechanic here in San Miguel (but now part-time - he was slowly getting poor trying to run his shop full time so he took a regular job) and a couple of friends who are retired machinists or mechanics and who have good shops, so I think I'll wind up having one of them help me with a helicoil or timesert repair. Meanwhile, I've put about 1000 km on it since the oil change and the present butchered drain plug seems to be holding okay with no sign of any drips.

On the other hand, the bog started to bog down on acceleration yesterday but I'll make that the topic of another post.

Thanks, everyone, for the interesting comments.


Vinnie
 
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