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Aluminum Oil Pan Rethread

Discussion in 'Truck Talk' started by bulldog77, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. bulldog77

    bulldog77 Seasoned Expediter

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    The aluminum oil pan on my Freightliner has stripped threads on the plug. The mechanic wants an arm and a leg to replace the pan. When I asked why cant it be rethreaded he said that because it is aluminum it is better to replace it with a new pan. My question is, is this the truth? I have never heard that aluminum cant be rethreaded. Any advice is welcome.
     
  2. are12

    are12 Expert Expediter

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    Is it the plug itself that is stripped or the head of the plug?

    We had a mechanic strip the head of the plug, we had to drop the pan and tap it out from the inside. It was certainly cheaper than buying a new oil pan - I think the cost was about $800.
    Jim said, if he is not mistaken, he was also told that it could not be rethreaded.

    Hope this helps!
     
    • riverrat2000

      riverrat2000 Seasoned Expediter

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      take it off and take it to a machine shop, there is no reason in the world it cannot be properly fixed aluminum is quite easy to thread.
       
    • Turtle
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      Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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      Whatever you do to get it fixed, right after that at the top of your To-Do List would be to get a Fumoto Drain Valve to replace the plug. It will eliminate any possibility of stripped threads. And it's like $20 or something. Cheap at twice the price.
       
      Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
    • bulldog77

      bulldog77 Seasoned Expediter

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      are12, in answer to your question, the threads in the pan are stripped. I can't see the problem in drilling the threads out in the pan and tapping it to a slightly larger plug size but the mechanic doesn't seem to see it that way. Has anyone ever done this? Thanks in advance for your advice.
       
    • layoutshooter

      layoutshooter Veteran Expediter Retired Expediter

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      Who stripped the pan? My was stripped by a Speedco and they covered the repairs. I have have one of those systems Turtle was speaking of. It removes the chance of the pan being stripped again. Works great too. :D
       
    • RLENT

      RLENT Veteran Expediter

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      Find another mechanic who does ......

      The issue may be finding that "slightly larger size" ......

      FWIW, Summit Racing carries all sorts of weldable pipe bunts and plugs .... fairly simple matter to drill the old one out and have a new one TIG'ed in I would think .....
       
      Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
    • piper1
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      piper1 Veteran Expediter

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      They almost always mess up the threads putting the plug back in the pan. Fine thread steel plug into soft aluminum that does not offer enough resistance when you cross thread it, by the time they figure out "sumthin don't feel right" its too late.

      Fumoto's are one of the best things you can do to an oil pan, provided the guy dropping the oil understands how to open it. I had a lube place (that wouldn't let me under the truck!) that I told them "lift the lever and turn it a quarter turn. The lifted the lever and unscrewed the whole valve a quarter turn. After 20 minutes the guy complained to me how slow it was draining!!

      That was the first and last time anyone but me changed my oil.
       
    • RLENT

      RLENT Veteran Expediter

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      Oh yeah ..... undoubtedly .... sounds like just more hillbilly rural legend to me .... :rolleyes:

      Maybe a good idea for a thread in The Loading Dock (Hillbilly Rural Legends) ..... perhaps you could start it off ?

      BTW, since we last spoke about the thermal properties of aluminum, I successfully removed & replaced the remaining four (steel) glowplugs in the aluminum cylinder head on my Sprinter ..... by placing a piece of plastic over the radiator grill and high-idling the engine to get it really, really good and warm .....

      All four came out, as Mike Myers would say: "Like butta ....." .... with no evidence of any residual aluminum on the threads of the glowplugs (I have them here in the truck if you would like pics)

      In this instance you are likely correct - most likely it is surely not (because the aluminum was hot) ... but because, as piper1 points out some retard cross-threaded the thing, stripping it .... and then decided it was it was the aluminum's fault for being the wrong temperature .... and blamed that, rather recognizing than his own ineptness and incompetence (lemme know if any of this is sounding just a little too familiar :D)

      I'm sure I could .... whether or not you would be able to comprehend it, could be another matter entirely ....

      In fact, if you really, really want, I'm sure I could dig up some reference materials from both Lincoln and Miller ..... might even have some of them here on the laptop, since I get periodic e-mailings from both companies .... if not, there's always the library at the house .....

      Well, I'm glad that I was able to provide you some amusement, and to see that you chimed in here on this thread with some useful info ...... oh, wait .... that's right .... you didn't really provide any useful info ..... did you ?

      No real solution to the guy's actual problem, just a "me too" ... "what he said" ..... nice .... (ya ever have any original thoughts ?)

      (I do have to say, Turtle's idea on the fumoto is a good one .... following his advice allowed me to change my oil nearly effortlessly, numerous times, while out on the road - thanks Ken !)

      Cruzer, I'd say it might have been the fumes in your case :eek:, but you were an underwater welder apparently .... so we really can't use that as an excuse now can we ? :confused:
       
      Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
    • greg334

      greg334 Veteran Expediter

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      really?!? the reason for the problem in the first place is nothing to do with the metal but the idiot who is in the hurry putting the drain plug in. He neither cleans the threads nor does he clean the threaded hole, he just jams it in and twists.

      For the record, Aluminum expands almost twice as much as Steel. So if the pan was warm (it is never hot), the steel plug is not what is holding the seal, it is the gasket. The threads make up some of the seal but that is not their purpose. They are fine threads for another reason, surface area... that is needed to hold the steel plug in place because of the two different expansion rates of the metals used. I doubt if you don't have a gasket on any oil pan outside of a Bugatti Air Craft engine (seeing their surfaces were lapped finished by hand and didn't use gaskets).
       
    • Mdbtyhtr

      Mdbtyhtr Expert Expediter

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      Two things...

      First off, you don't know if the current mechanic is uncovering damage done by a previous mechanic who might have successfully reinstalled the drain plug cross threaded, and the threads came out when it was removed.

      Secondly, they make oversize drain plugs that have relief grooves to tap in new threads in case this happens. You would not have to remove an oil pan to drill out the drain plug to repair or replace it. You can purchase weldable bungs to repair the unit properly, right on the truck. I have always used a product called "Never Seize" when installing dissimilar metals like spark plugs into aluminum heads or glow plugs.

      Scott
       
    • cruzer

      cruzer Not a Member

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      Yes relent,as a matter of fact I'm having an original thought right now. Put an EO sticker on your van and maybe I can share this thought I'm having with you.;)
       
    • Turtle
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      Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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      You really think that's an original thought? Funny. :D
       
    • RLENT

      RLENT Veteran Expediter

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      I can absolutely guarantee ya that that one ain't original .... :D
       
    • cruzer

      cruzer Not a Member

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      So you also read minds. The thought was that you must have been crapped on a stump and hatched by the sun. :rolleyes:
       
    • RLENT

      RLENT Veteran Expediter

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      Well ... sometimes .....

      Sometimes it's just really not all that hard to do ... :rolleyes:

      As an example, the statement:

      "Put an EO sticker on your van and maybe I can share this thought I'm having with you."

      Would seem to indicate that you would like me to identify myself somehow ..... possibly so that you could "share your thoughts" with me thru direct physical means ....

      If that's the case, no need to beat around the bush .... you could have just PM'ed me .... and I would have supplied you with the necessary info to identify me .... provided you were willing to do the same in return.

      If that were really the case, then there would really be no need for me to put an EO sticker on my van .... you could have merely posted that thought on here, as you ultimately did (or claimed to)

      What I meant when I said: "I can absolutely guarantee ya that that one ain't original .... " was that you are certainly not the first that would apparently like to go mano e mano with me ..... I could have just as easily said:

      "Take a number ..." :cool:

      As to the post that you now have deleted, my reply to it was simply in a similar tone as your original post in this thread, that was specifically directed my way.

      I have no problem if want to reply to something I've written in ridiculing and derisive manner - just be prepared to get similar (or worse) right back at ya, when ya do .... :D

      BTW, the really unfortunate thing about that "delete" function for one's posts is that it really can't entirely delete your words ..... when someone has quoted them later in another post.

      They are still here, for all the world to see....
       
    • piper1
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      piper1 Veteran Expediter

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      All I know is, the first thing any engine manufacturer tell you is to drain the oil while it is hot.

      If this is the case (and it is) why would any manufacturer use an aluminum oil pan if the threads were just going to "come out with the plug" because the aluminum pan was hot from the oil?

      Seems to me if that was true, there would be a dumpload of warranty claims and no engine manufacturer in their right mind would use an aluminum oil pan, lots do and none seem to be going broke paying warranty claims for oil pans that unthreaded themselves.

      Now if someone can find me an oil change instruction that says "let the oil cool first before draining" I would love to see it.

      Folks if you have an aluminum oil pan a Fumoto drain valve is a wise investment, works slick for steel and fiberglass pans as well, that way some backyard Chet at the oil change place doesn't have the chance to cross thread your drain plug for the next guy to find (and come up with an excuse!)

      PS, If anyone was "hatched" on a stump, maybe Turtle, I Wikipedia'ed an "rlent" and it came back empty but Turtles do come from eggs.
       
      Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
    • Turtle
      Lurking

      Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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      I routinely change my oil in a truck stop parking lot. Actually, that's the only place I've ever changed it. First time or two I had a dealer do it, but since then it's been out here on the road. Last thing I want out here is stripped drain plug threads. Well, the last thing would probably be a lot lizard, strike that, a buffalo lot lizard, but other than that, stripped threads would be near the top of my list. :D

      A Fumoto drain valve eliminates the stripped threads from being a problem. Doesn't do so much for the lot lizards, though.
       
    • layoutshooter

      layoutshooter Veteran Expediter Retired Expediter

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      I buy "Lot Lizard" repelent, works great!!!! (industrial strength) I used to use razor wire to keep them away but it was a real pain to put out and take down. Kept cutting myself. :rolleyes:
       
    • Turtle
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      Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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      For the most part, lot lizards stay out of the car/van/RV parking lots at truck stops. Only been hot on by one once, where the car lot kind of bumps up against the edge of the truck lot. Can't even remember which one it was. Baytown J, I think. I dunno. I pulled in and within 30 seconds she was right there at my window. Said, whoops, I thought you were someone else. But then asked if I wanted company. She was a skank. Looked like she'd been rode hard and put away wet. For the record, that's the only "lot lizard" that I've ever seen, that I'm aware of. Seriously.

      One time, many years ago, early 80's, I was living in Pirrsburgh. I was on my way hoe from work and was stuck in downtown traffic, right downtown. This girl came up to my window and asked if I wanted a, uhm, a hummer. I was a little taken aback, but then asked her if she was giving them away. She turned and walked away without another word.

      She was cute, tho. Seriously. :D
       
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