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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 10-14-2009, 07:17 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Angry Broke the plug....

Well, I changed the oil tonight and something bad happened. When I was tighten the bolt in, it just broke on me. I've done a LOT of oil changes over the years and this had NEVER never happened to me!
The sad part is that the broken piece still in the thread, so I need to manage to get an extactor tomorrow and get that thing out!
What could have happened? it was just bad luck or Am I getting stronger?

Anyone here with experience extracting bolts?
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2009, 08:09 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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That's tough!

I had never heard of it happening before, so did some searching.

You are not alone.

Apparently BMW drain plugs are made hollow and designed to break before there is any chance of damaging the threads in the pan.

Sounds like any brand of extractor will do the job.
Not sure how the ones that don't require any drilling work - maybe depends on how the head broke off, and if your fresh oil is already leaking out.

Some good comments and tips here - I personally subscribe to the last one (Mityvac or equivalent).

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51059

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2009, 08:19 PM
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Thanks, I found that thread after I posted. I will go pick one of those easy-off up in the morning. Let's see how it goes! Yes, the oil is slowly dripping, still asking to myself why did I put the new oil in...I guess it will be all in the catch can in the morning...good I saved a quart to do the "last top-off"...
Also, I need to start using my torque wrench, I thought "I had it" after I don't know how many times....
I'm driving to Nashville at 3 pm tomorrow so I need to have this solved early.....

Last edited by X3-terrestrial; 10-14-2009 at 08:22 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2009, 11:49 PM
ducx3 ducx3 is offline
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Try using a reverse thread drill bit first. Some times that takes it off. Otherwise, drilling in actually tightens it.
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2009, 03:58 AM
06BMWX3 06BMWX3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducx3 View Post
Try using a reverse thread drill bit first. Some times that takes it off. Otherwise, drilling in actually tightens it.

X2, that usually works pretty good if you buy a quality bit.
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2009, 09:20 AM
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Thanks for the tips guys. Fixed it this morning, got a Black-n-Decker "Grab-it" kit and it was a breeze. Didn't have to use a drill or a hammer, just an adjustable wrench to grab the extractor bit. A couple of turns and started coming out, then I finished by hand.
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2009, 09:42 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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The oil plug only requires 12 ft-lb torque. Its literally finger tight. Use a 1/4 or 3/8 wrench next time. It really does not need much torque as you found out.
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2009, 10:36 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is online now
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Keep that "Grab it" handy for your next oil change! I am convinced it is a design feature to keep everyone from changing their own oil. Break one once and it takes a stout heart to go on doing it themselves, especially on a car covered by the full maintentance warranty.

Last edited by UncleJ; 10-15-2009 at 10:38 AM.
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2009, 11:43 AM
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I'm at 66k miles so out of warranty and maintenance, I 've done the oil changes in our e46 since it ran out of free maintenance as well, Im sure I didn't put more force than the others times, but who knows.
Anyhow, I have the kit and two replacement screws just in case...
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2009, 12:16 PM
SpartanGA SpartanGA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
Thanks, I found that thread after I posted. I will go pick one of those easy-off up in the morning. Let's see how it goes! Yes, the oil is slowly dripping, still asking to myself why did I put the new oil in...I guess it will be all in the catch can in the morning...good I saved a quart to do the "last top-off"...
Also, I need to start using my torque wrench, I thought "I had it" after I don't know how many times....
I'm driving to Nashville at 3 pm tomorrow so I need to have this solved early.....
Wait, you still added the oil after you broke off the thread?
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  #11  
Old 10-15-2009, 12:48 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithsonga View Post
Wait, you still added the oil after you broke off the thread?
The thread is not broke, the bolt is an easy-snapp off hollow design. Once you snap it, you must extract it. Obviously oil doesn't stay in the system when you extract the bolt
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  #12  
Old 10-15-2009, 01:03 PM
SpartanGA SpartanGA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluskye View Post
The thread is not broke, the bolt is an easy-snapp off hollow design. Once you snap it, you must extract it. Obviously oil doesn't stay in the system when you extract the bolt
I know...I was kidding with him. You put the bolt back in prior to adding oil...so he must have snapped it off prior to adding the oil but added the oil anyway.
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  #13  
Old 10-15-2009, 02:52 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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I'm guessing it went like this:

- after old oil finished draining, reinstall drain plug just barely tight with new crush washer

- fill up with new oil

- start up and check for leaks

- no leaks, but just for good measure, give that drain plug another turn

- Oh no! (or words to that effect)
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  #14  
Old 10-16-2009, 08:43 AM
ggd4971 ggd4971 is offline
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I had the same issue .. was bit late spoting this thread.. Glad it all worked out..
I got the spiral screw extractor from Sears.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...rew+extractors

I think i used the second one .. tapped in and used adjustable wrench .. done in 1 minutes..

EJ
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  #15  
Old 10-07-2010, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggd4971 View Post
I got the spiral screw extractor from Sears.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...rew+extractors
I think i used the second one
I used the EX-4 size screw extractor from Lowes to remove my broken drain bolt.

Here, for the record, are similar hints:
Here is the search result for broken oil pan drain bolts:
- How not to change your oil in your E39 (stripped drain plug)
- Broke the plug....
- Oil Plug Stripped! Now What ??
- URGENT: engine oil drain plug broke
- Broken oil plug & Broken oil plug!
- I Literally Want to Cry....
- Broken Oil Plug 0n E39 1998
- Magnetic oil drain bolt broke in half

Here is the search result for stripped oil pan threads:
- Drain plug / oil pan stripped on 2.8 Z3
- oil plug bad
- '92 325i-- oil drail plug stripped HEEEELP!
- Oil Pan Stripped
- Oil pan stripped (weld plate over hole)

Here is a good cn90 DIY on changing your oil the gravity feed way:
- DIY: E39 Changing engine oil made simple

And, read this BEFORE you select a vacuum extractor:
- DIY - BMW E39 Oil & Filter Change (vacuum extraction method)
- Why I don't recommend the Motive Vacuum Oil Extractor ...

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  #16  
Old 10-11-2010, 12:43 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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The torque that bolt takes is 12lb-ft. If you tried using a torque wrench on it, you will realize its not very tight.

Just use a tiny 3/8in ratchet to lightly tighten it next time.
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  #17  
Old 10-11-2010, 02:48 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluskye View Post
The torque that bolt takes is 12lb-ft. If you tried using a torque wrench on it, you will realize its not very tight.

Just use a tiny 3/8in ratchet to lightly tighten it next time.
I thought it was 18 lb-ft?
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  #18  
Old 10-11-2010, 07:31 PM
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X3emist X3emist is offline
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It is 18 ft lbs- not 12

However in either case that is a lot less then most folks would tighten it even if approaching it lightly. Take it easy and use a new crushable washer each time..
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