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Old 05-27-2010, 04:53 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,236
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I can't count the times I have attempted to fix a problem only to make the matters worse.
So true! It was I who had made matters worse by using a clockwise-tap instead of a counterclockwise bolt extractor to remove the broken piece. I'm lucky I didn't turn it a few threads further or the bolt plug would be in my drain pan by now.

The rain squalls abated a bit today such that I finished the job successfully!

Only in hindsight, I (finally) understand what actually happened:
- Used a 1/2" torque wrench for filter cap because 36mm socket was 1/2"
- An 18 ft-lb setting seemed to put the plastic filter cap on awfully tight
- But, silly me, I trusted the equipment (and not my senses)
- Used the same 1/2" torque wrench for the 21 ft-lb 17mm oil drain plug
- Something was wrong - and the bolt head sheared off
- I was confused as to where the threaded plug went (hard to see)
- I poked, I prodded, I stuck stuff in there, I tapped, I banged
- I wasn't sure where the bolt shaft went; I couldn't see it in the hole
- I sloshed fingers in murky oil like a kid looking for a lost marble in the mud
- In one attempt to extract, I used a clockwise tap to twist & prod
- Little did I know, but that actually screwed the bolt in deeper
- It took so little pressure that I didn't realize that was occurring
- Luckily I stopped before the plug fell into the inside of the drain pan!
- Left the bimmer outside for the night, still on ramps, devoid of oil
- Bummed a ride next day to the BMW dealership in an untimely rain
- Bought a new $10 M12x1.5x18 "screw plug" (PN:11131273093)
- Bought a Spiral Flute Extractor Set (sizes EX-1 to EX-5)
- Inserted #EX-4 (1/4") into the drain hole & counterclockwise twisted
- Out popped the missing hollow oil pan drain bolt shaft!
- The two pieces matched up together perfectly (nothing left in the pan!)

I very much appreciate all your care. If ever there was a thread that I yearned to yelp an anguished "Help!" in the title, this was it (because it disabled my blue B!).

Now I can go on to creating one of those omnipresent wholly "fictional" DIYs (where everything appears to work perfectly in every step documented!).

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Last edited by bluebee; 05-27-2010 at 09:28 PM.
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