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  #1  
Old 01-24-2004, 11:48 AM
ZIGGURAT89 ZIGGURAT89 is offline
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URGENT: engine oil drain plug broke

was changing my oil today. Loosened the drain bolt, the head snapped off, but the screw is still inside. The screw is hollow so all the oil leak out. What do I do? How are they going to get the hollow screw out of the drain pan?
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2004, 12:01 PM
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Use an easy out (can be found at Sears) to get it out. Then you need a new drain plug.

Then go out and buy a topsider and never loosen the drain bolt again.
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2004, 12:55 PM
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01silber 01silber is offline
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Why do they use a hollow drain bolt?????
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2004, 01:52 PM
ZIGGURAT89 ZIGGURAT89 is offline
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Thanks guys. I went to the local hardware shop and got the extractor tool and screw. That easily removed the remaining part. I still don't know how that bolt broke. A few local garages knew the car was a BMW when I explained what had happened, but none could help me out until Monday.
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2004, 05:36 PM
03BMW330 03BMW330 is offline
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Quote:
As to why it's designed to be hollow, I dunno.
I think you answered your own question.
It hollow to break off if over-tightened.
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2004, 06:55 PM
ZIGGURAT89 ZIGGURAT89 is offline
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The Hack,

I've been changing the oil myself for years. I must have overtightened the drain plug the last time I changed it. The entire screw came out today when I removed it to drain. When i reinstalled it, the screw just kept turning and turning. That's when I realized it had broken in half. A lesson learned. If the screw was made to break if too much torque is used, then why do I hear people stripping their oil pan due to overtightening?
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2004, 12:32 AM
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I haven't heard of a BMW car stripping the oil pan threads. Other cars do not use the hollow breakable bolt.

I just picked up a couple of spares when I was at the parts department, just in case. Pretty cheap. I haven't needed one, but it have it.

BTW also buy yourself a good torque wrench and USE IT. That will preent this happening again, and also will help prevent doing damage to the oil filter housing.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2004, 05:59 AM
ZIGGURAT89 ZIGGURAT89 is offline
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Lesson learned, I got a torque wrench.
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2004, 01:54 PM
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JonM JonM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01silber
Why do they use a hollow drain bolt?????
They want the bolt to fail before the threads in the pan.

Space station is the same way on every on-orbit actuated fastener.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2004, 06:55 PM
rwebbe rwebbe is offline
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Always something to learn on Bimmerfest. So guys my oil change is due this week. I will pick up a spare drain plug when I pick up my oil and filter. What is the torque setting please and thanks for such an interesting important revealing of hollow plug.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2004, 07:37 PM
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Seems to me, if it's hollow, it's easier to extract when exactly this happens. Tradeoff between this, and losing all the oil, I suppose.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2004, 09:54 PM
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F1Crazy F1Crazy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwebbe
Always something to learn on Bimmerfest. So guys my oil change is due this week. I will pick up a spare drain plug when I pick up my oil and filter. What is the torque setting please and thanks for such an interesting important revealing of hollow plug.
I believe you need to torque it to 18.5 lb ft (25 Nm).
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2005, 10:02 PM
newm5 newm5 is offline
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Unhappy

the same thing happened to my 2000 328i this evening. I broke the drain plug in half when i was trying to put it back in place. to make things worse, looks like the broken part fell into the oil pan because i was able to poke through the inside the oil pan with a wire string.

is there a way to open the oil pan from the bottom to take out the broken portion of the drain plug?

thank you..
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  #14  
Old 08-02-2005, 04:21 AM
bimmere46 bimmere46 is offline
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You will be able to poke through....the threaded part is hollow. Pick yourself up an easy-pit and this will remove the threaded portion from the hole.
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2005, 06:14 AM
newm5 newm5 is offline
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no i think it went inside. see this picture..
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2005, 01:00 PM
e46supra e46supra is offline
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Happened to my E36 318is, just extracted the bolt and everything was fine.

newm5, you're gonna have to drop the pan and check it out. Better drop by the dealer and buy a new bolt and oil sump gasket.

BMW oil pans do lose thread. My M5 and several M5s (see m5board.com) have had this happen due to over tightening by the oil changer (a BMW Tech in my case) apparently the alloy used in M5 lower sump is very, very soft. A helicoil type device is actually stronger and preferred by many M5 users. I just replaced the lower sump myself.

Easy way to avoid this: Buy a top sider.
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  #17  
Old 08-02-2005, 11:02 PM
newm5 newm5 is offline
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you were all correct, the remaining bolt was stuck half way but not inside the pan. i pulled it out with Easy Out. This thing is a real life saver!

I bought 2 replacement bolts just in case.

thanks much for all your helps! I love this forum.
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  #18  
Old 07-18-2007, 10:20 AM
jaydeals jaydeals is offline
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Easy way to remove broken oil drain plug.

Tools:

1. 1/4" Screw off (or easy off, or screw extractor), any brand will do, no drill bit is needed. I got the Black and Decker from Home Depot , it has fine threads and is labeled as Size # 4.
2. Adjustable wrench
3. hammer

Steps:

1. Put the screw extractor into the center of the hole.
2. Use the hammer to give it a very light tap, no hard blow is needed. The purpose is so the threads on the screw extractor can come into contact and engage the broken off bolt.
3. Use the wrench to turn the broken bolt counterclockwise. Once the bolt starts turning, you can take the wrench away and turn the bolt out by hand. Actually, the bolt is quite loose and does not take much force and effort to unscrew and get it out.

No drilling or dremel tool should be used, otherwise the metal framents will have to be cleaned out.

I went to Weatherford BMW in Berkeley to get the new drain plug ($5.17) and crush washer ($1.20), which are not really "inexpensive". But they do provide good coffee and bagel while you wait.

I think I will order some extras ffor future use from Rock Auto, which is only about $1.20 for the plug and $ 0.12 each for the washer, plus shipping.
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  #19  
Old 07-19-2007, 10:36 AM
dihedral dihedral is offline
dihedral
Location: marion, arkansas
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZIGGURAT89 View Post
was changing my oil today. Loosened the drain bolt, the head snapped off, but the screw is still inside. The screw is hollow so all the oil leak out. What do I do? How are they going to get the hollow screw out of the drain pan?
Chewing gum solves many problems.
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  #20  
Old 07-19-2007, 10:38 AM
dihedral dihedral is offline
dihedral
Location: marion, arkansas
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZIGGURAT89 View Post
The Hack,

I've been changing the oil myself for years. I must have overtightened the drain plug the last time I changed it. The entire screw came out today when I removed it to drain. When i reinstalled it, the screw just kept turning and turning. That's when I realized it had broken in half. A lesson learned. If the screw was made to break if too much torque is used, then why do I hear people stripping their oil pan due to overtightening?
You need to develop non-listening skills. Easy way to accomplish this is to get married.
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  #21  
Old 07-19-2007, 10:40 AM
dihedral dihedral is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
They want the bolt to fail before the threads in the pan.

Space station is the same way on every on-orbit actuated fastener.
AHAW!!

That is where BMW learned about pricing--from the US gov.

Let's hope BMW doesn't start making toilets.

Last edited by dihedral; 07-19-2007 at 10:43 AM.
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  #22  
Old 07-21-2007, 06:46 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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The other good solution is to use a MityVac and not mess with the oil pan bolt at all.
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  #23  
Old 10-07-2010, 09:27 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone View Post
The other good solution is to use a MityVac and not mess with the oil pan bolt at all.
I second the notion for the MightyVac!

Here, for the record, are related oil-drain plug mishap threads, and the ultimate solutions utilized.

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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  #24  
Old 10-08-2010, 08:01 AM
6 Brit 6 Brit is offline
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they also make drain plugs with a little valve on them that you open and close instead of removing the plug. If your car is lowered though I do not recommend them as you can bottom out and open the valve draining your oil without knowing it...

my mini's oil pan eventually stripped and I had to get an oversized drain plug and re-thread it in there...torque wrenches help but after so long aluminum oil pans will typically strip
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  #25  
Old 10-08-2010, 10:00 AM
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LMC LMC is offline
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I'm calling 6 Brit out on her sig photo. That has got to be the ugliest Mini I have ever seen! Why don't you get that body damage fixed?
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