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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 08-03-2010, 08:29 AM
ZEEBOY ZEEBOY is offline
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Drain plug / oil pan stripped on 2.8 Z3

I have owned my 1998 2.8 Z3 for two years. When I did my first oil change, I noticed the drain plug had just a small amount of oil around it (the PO had two copper washers on the drain plug) but it did not leak. The plug at that time would not "torque down" so I knew the plug was stripped, but since no oil was leaking to the ground I let it stay that way. Now, three oil changes later the oil is now leaking a small amount. So it is time to address this issue. Do any of you have any thoughts as to how "fix" a stripped drain plug, or better stated perhaps a stripped hole in the aluminum oil pan?
thanks
mike
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2010, 12:00 PM
P2ayc P2ayc is offline
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Bring your oil plug to an autoparts store & they will match it up with a self tapping plug
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2010, 12:09 PM
car62 car62 is offline
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The most appropriate repair would be to remove the oil pan, find a drain plug with a larger diameter, and use a thread tap to retap the hole to fit the new drain plug. The engine doesn't care what kind of drain plug you are using. This is assuming that it's not a huge problem to remove the oil pan.
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2010, 12:42 PM
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bten bten is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p2ayc View Post
bring your oil plug to an autoparts store & they will match it up with a self tapping plug

+1
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2010, 01:19 PM
Skyhawk Skyhawk is offline
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After you had fixed your drain plug problem, then get yourself a topside oil changer..never have to mess with the drain plug or crawl under the car again.
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2010, 01:31 PM
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pal pal is offline
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Get a thread tap and see if you can 'clean' the threads on the oil pan. Then buy a new drain plug and screw it in- di no use the old one as the threads on that are damaged.


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  #7  
Old 08-04-2010, 03:43 AM
car62 car62 is offline
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I'm just a little worried about metal shavings running through the oil pump. I understand they won't get past the filter but the oil has to go through the pump first. If you fix the threads with the oil pan on the car it would be good to pour a few quarts of oil through the engine with the plug out to try to flush out any metal particles.
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2010, 05:02 AM
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EOD Guy EOD Guy is offline
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1 - go get an new plug.... see if it works (might be the plug that's stripped. 2- Get the next size tap and new oil plug of the same size, put some heavy grease up inside the hole to catch the shavings, tap out the hole, use you pinky finger to remove as much of the grease, put in new plug.......done
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  #9  
Old 08-04-2010, 09:15 AM
Skyhawk Skyhawk is offline
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If you worry about metal shavings..then just stick a magnetic pickup inside and get all the metal shaving out before reinstall..G/L..
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2010, 09:29 AM
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bten bten is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhawk View Post
If you worry about metal shavings..then just stick a magnetic pickup inside and get all the metal shaving out before reinstall..G/L..
If the pan is aluminum, that won't work....
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2010, 07:31 PM
ZEEBOY ZEEBOY is offline
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Thanks for all your input. I took my car to our local independent bmw repair shop yesterday. They told me they have made this fix many times over the years. In my case they removed one of the tranny support bars,cleaned up the threads with the oil pan in situ and installed a heli-coil. Problem is now solved. Skyhawk (or others), please tell me more about the top side oil recovery you use.
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2010, 10:15 PM
Skyhawk Skyhawk is offline
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Zeeboy..The topside oil suck the oil out from the oil dip stick tub. Very clean and easy..you also change the oil filter from the top so never have to go under the car again. I have change the oil this way for a long time..and I never go back the other way, no mess and worry about the car is too hot..just have to wait a little bit then do the oil change without touching anything.....It is also done that way with the Mercedes shops...

Do a search on the Amazon.com for MityVac and see more detail..once you see it then you will know what we are talking about. I got the 7 ltr model..for use with my Mercedes..as well..
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Last edited by Skyhawk; 08-04-2010 at 10:38 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-07-2010, 09:36 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhawk View Post
The topside oil suck the oil out from the oil dip stick tub. Very clean and easy..
I gotta admit, oil extraction never has the problem of a broken or stripped drain bolt!

Here, for the record, are (somewhat novel) solutions to the broken or stripped drain bolt on the BMWs.

Someone broke their oil drain plug today and he couldn't find any references on the topic, so I search for him (and found these which I'll post here as a cross reference).

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 (use level sensor as a drain plug)
- 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 ...

Note the bevy of potential solutions:
- Use a 6mm wide screwdriver to spin the broken half out
- Use an EX-4 screw extractor (aka easy out) to spin the broken half out <-- recommended
- Reverse drill the steel broken half out of the aluminum oil pan
- Retap the stripped threads in the aluminum oil pan (but generally the bolt breaks before the threads strip)
- Wrap teflon tape on the threads of a new bolt and screw it in abutting the broken bolt half
- Heli-coil the stripped threads in the aluminum oil pan
- Drop the E39 V8 il pan to access the bolt if it fell through (dropping the E39 I6 oil pan is a nightmare)
- Weld over the hole and use the MightyVac oil extractor from the dipstick forever more
- Weld over the hole and use the oil level sensor as the drain plug instead
- Access the broken bolt inside the oil pan through the leveling sensor opening
- Buy an aftermarket oil drain bolt (e.g., EAS Tuning magnetic, or ?)

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