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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is not SS related - but i get so much good advice from you folks- i'm just gonna post this here-

Please don't flame me for my stupidity- i've done enough of that for myself the last 48 hrs.

I was rushing through an oil change on my wife's Scrambler- the first one. 600mile.

I did a quick google search for torque specs on drain plug. 32ftlb showed up several places at quick glance- So i set my torque to that and started turning- not paying much attention. After a couple to many to easy turns not feeling any resistance i stopped and looked to see what was going on - I saw that I had bored the drain plug into the case shearing the head of the drain plug and tore the soft aluminum flange on the case - the one needed to create a seal against the drain plug. Yes the torque spec is to high- apparently there is mis printed specs in some service manuals for Scramblers and its an issue- so all that aside- i thinking about how to repair this rather than replace the whole damn case.

Here's some pics of the damage.

I'm looking at time certs as my neighbor used it successfully on his stripped BMW drain plug- my issue is the little flange that has pulled up from case- there are good threads left- but need to remove the split material and counter bore to get a flat seal for the drain plug and washer-

Any advice? Or specific tools that would help remove split section of aluminum and restore a nice flat surface for drain plug . Please refrain from advice on how to change oil -that's not the info I'm looking for.

My wife is being very cool about it BTW. I however have never made such a stupid mistake in all my wrenching over the years-
 

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I did a quick google search for torque specs on drain plug. 32nm showed up several places at quick glance- So i set my torque to that and started turning- not paying much attention.

Yes the torque spec is to high- apparently there is mis printed specs in some service manuals for Scramblers and its an issue- so all that aside- i thinking about how to repair this rather than replace the whole damn case.

Here's some pics of the damage.

I'm looking at time certs as my neighbor used it successfully on his stripped BMW drain plug- my issue is the little flange that has pulled up from case- there are good threads left- but need to remove the split material and counter bore to get a flat seal for the drain plug and washer-

Any advice? Or specific tools that would help?

My wife is being very cool about it BTW. I however have never made such a stupid mistake in all my wrecking over the years-
So, 32NM only equates to 23.6 ft lbs. How does that little amount of torque do that much damage? I'd check that torque wrench if it were me. Maybe ditch that thing and use a 1/4" drive next time.

The damage to the case looks the worst to me. The threads don't look too bad. The raised bit where the o-ring seals up will have to be fixed. It looks like it cracked completely through to me. Permanent fix would be to have it welded, or replace the case. Temp fix...your call. JB Weld and some detailed work with a dremmel grinder might do the trick. It will likely leak again in the future though.

Seriously, you could just use a 1/4" drive and get the required torque without doing that kind of damage....sean
 

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Umm. The thing I can think of is prying the broken ring closed, sand the area and using jbweld to try and fix the crack. If the threads are stripped you can use a tap and dye tool to rethread the hole and use a bigger bolt. Just hand tighten it then add a quarter more turn to your wrench. The bottom case usually doesn't have a lot of pressure inside anyway.

I've used jbweld on a crack on a float bowl of a carb to the point that it was leaking gas. It's held up for 3 years now. Oil is also way thicker than gas. But before you do this. Let others chime in.

Good luck.

Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, 32NM only equates to 23.6 ft lbs. How does that little amount of torque do that much damage? I'd check that torque wrench if it were me. Maybe ditch that thing and use a 1/4" drive next time.

The damage to the case looks the worst to me. The threads don't look too bad. The raised bit where the o-ring seals up will have to be fixed. It looks like it cracked completely through to me. Permanent fix would be to have it welded, or replace the case. Temp fix...your call. JB Weld and some detailed work with a dremmel grinder might do the trick. It will likely leak again in the future though.

Seriously, you could just use a 1/4" drive and get the required torque without doing that kind of damage....sean
Meant to write 32ft lb- (corrected in post) . Apparently this is in the Scrambler workshop manual and is a misprint for older type 22mm bolts- but thats not what i'm concerned about- clearly it was wrong- and i've never used anything other than a t wrench or 1/4 inch socket on a drain plug and went just past snug- don't know why I did this time- not concerned with this either at this point and fully aware that doing it the way I always have would have saved me this headache. But here I am.
 

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First off, BUMMER.

Hard to tell in pics, are threads still intact? If so, can you screw a plug in and use it to hold the sealing surface in place while you secure it with jb weld or whatever?

If none of that works and you have to tap threads, create new sealing surface, you might consider using a softer "gasket" type washer instead of the usual crush type ones. It might seal better. Or maybe you have to use RTV to seal it every time you oil-change it.

You might also consider safety wiring the drain plug, especially if you aren't 100% confident in the repair. Losing a drain plug, oil all over the rear tire, and associated safety risks from that "what if" will make a case replacement seem inconsequential.


Just my $.02
 

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I have to agree with others here, the threads look to be enough to provide torque so I would work more on re-creating a sealing surface. As mentioned weld repair or fresh cases are best but not likely. This leaves you with repairs that are not as good but may be sufficient to do the required job, seal a fairly low pressure vessel. Obviously after the repair you will need to make sure that it can take sufficient torque to not blow out the plug under crankcase pressure (looks in the pictures like it should).

The Jb weld or similar product seems like the best bet to me but I am sure there are plenty of other products as you are not the first to do similar. Do not rush this as you will be living with the repair for a long time, if it is beyond your skills find someone who can do the best job. I know plenty of motors have used Jbweld type products for case repairs so they do seem to hold up for many I would plan on having the bike on its side to make that area completely oil free and rough up the area where applying your patch material. Once you have a repair you will need to get it smooth and flat to give the washer something to seal against. Any porosity or gaps and it will leak/weep.

Sadly this is a bad spot to have this issue and I am surprised by the damage but no use crying over spilled milk and beating yourself up. I am sure there is a fix sadly for you, you will be reminded of this oops as long as you own that bike.

Thinking of it I have had more than a few where the side stand broke the case and those were welded just fine, I would check around your area for a expert welder (airports often have them) . I would bet the case could be welded and the threads touched up and the repair would be 100%. This probably will require removing the engine but the right welder can make miracles happen and if you do most of the grunt work the costs will not be bad.

So likely one easy to do option (jbweld type repair)
or
One specialized weld repair option.

If I was going to keep the bike the JB weld would likely do the job, but between having to live with it or later on sell a bike with a jb welded case I would make sure the weld repair option is out of the question first. If you think you might weld repair it then do NOT jbweld first as they will want the best chance at a clean case to repair.

best of luck!
 

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If it were my bike, I would black ATV silicon on the bolt threads and a lightly torque the bolt - use the threads to seal as opposed to the o-ring. If you try this approach, you will need to lay the bike down after oil draining and using brake cleaner to clean the threads from oil when you put the bolt back in. Lightly coat the threads, you don't need much. Give it time to dry, add oil and check for leaks.

If you are concerned about the bolt being tight enough, safety wire it. It would make oil changes more work, but I would prefer this to JB Weld, which I wouldn't trust in the event it came off and creates an oil leak while you ride.

Good luck,
Scott L.
 

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I can’t understand how the case could crack without stripping the threads, unless there was a casting flaw or crack to begin with. Using JB Weld sounds like a good idea, but the trick would be getting the area totally oil free first. The only possible way to do that is with the bike on its side and spray with brake cleaner. My alternative would be Mopar brand RTV. Go to a Dodge or Ram dealer and ask the parts guy for the one they use for sealing automatic transmissions. Or at a Ford dealer , it used to be called Heavy Drip Check Sealer. It’s what car dealers use when a brand new car leaks and they don’t want to take it apart to fix it correctly. Either of these will work. Both dry relatively hard and are impervious to oil. If it were me I’d not only fill the crack but use it on the threads. You’ll still be able to get the plug out, but it won’t come out on its own. Tighten it right after application and let it dry overnight. Reapply each time you remove the plug. Other people will recommend other products but I can only tell you what I know will work.
 

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Yeah - Total bummer. I agree with other posters that 32fp of torque shouldn't have caused that amount of carnage, but here you are. It's happened to all/most of us.

I might also suggest using some "QuickSteel" Epoxy. There are a few variants, but I've used the Moose branded one before with success. In fact, I'm reasonably certain that there's a Yamaha WR400 running around with that fix after I put the shifter through the engine case from a wipeout in Baja 12 years ago. We did that fix on the side of the trail. I always said that I'd fix it properly if it ever failed. It never did and I sold the bike like that.

It's probably similar to JB Weld - just sharing what has worked for me in the past.

Good luck and do share how it goes...
 

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fix?

what I might do is take that drain bolt to a machinist & have the head surface milled true.then drill & tap the bolt for a smaller dia. drain bolt.try the local auto parts stores. this one pictured is m12 x 1.75 dorman brand at o'reilly's.then JB weld & safety wire the org. in place or have it welded permanently in the case.if the org. thread is m12 then go smaller.plenty of smaller dia. drain plugs to choose from.another method using a timesert; https://www.ducati.ms/forums/56-superbikes/192777-crack-oil-drain-hole-1098-f-k-3.html
https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b/dorman-autograde-3358/filters-16470/oil-drain-plug-12144/c11ed3b28202/dorman-autograde-drain-plug/092005/4177546?q=oil+drain+plug&pos=16
 

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what I might do is take that drain bolt to a machinist & have the head surface milled true.then drill & tap the bolt for a smaller dia. drain bolt.try the local auto parts stores. this one pictured is m12 x 1.75 dorman brand at o'reilly's.then JB weld & safety wire the org. in place or have it welded permanently in the case.if the org. thread is m12 then go smaller.plenty of smaller dia. drain plugs to choose from.https://www.ducati.ms/forums/56-superbikes/192777-crack-oil-drain-hole-1098-f-k-3.html
https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b/dorman-autograde-3358/filters-16470/oil-drain-plug-12144/c11ed3b28202/dorman-autograde-drain-plug/092005/4177546?q=oil+drain+plug&pos=16

Daaaammmnnn! This is some seriously out of the box thinking! I've been following this thread out of curiosity and just wanted to give you a hand. Whether or not this would work under the circumstance, well done sir! :smile2:
 

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Some times you find solutions you did not expect to like.

Many years ago I bought a used truck and as always I started by changing the oil so I knew what was in there. When I went to remove the drain plug there was not a bolt, there was a rubber with a hole in it.... WTF. Okay so I was not a happy camper as someone did something bad to the truck and then half a$$ed it in the repair so now I would need to fix it right. After a bit I somehow figured out how to get it out of the pan and started to look at how it worked. You gripped the sides and pushed a tool up inside the hole and the stretching then thinned the rubber bulb inside and allowed it to come right out.

Huh...... that was not bad. So I re-installed it and removed it a bunch all while thinking this really could not work, but it did. The bulb had no issues with the oil in the pan and it sealed on the inside as well as the outside when it returned to shape, the motor never lost a drop of oil. I ended up keeping it as it made oil changes even easier and I might say less messy as the plug was easier to remove quickly. That plug is still holding oil a good 30 years later IIRC.

This does not mean I would rush out and buy one and put it in, but it does mean some times you can find a problem and create an improvement.
 

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what I might do is take that drain bolt to a machinist & have the head surface milled true.then drill & tap the bolt for a smaller dia. drain bolt.try the local auto parts stores. this one pictured is m12 x 1.75 dorman brand at o'reilly's.then JB weld & safety wire the org. in place or have it welded permanently in the case.if the org. thread is m12 then go smaller.plenty of smaller dia. drain plugs to choose from.another method using a timesert; https://www.ducati.ms/forums/56-superbikes/192777-crack-oil-drain-hole-1098-f-k-3.html
https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b/dorman-autograde-3358/filters-16470/oil-drain-plug-12144/c11ed3b28202/dorman-autograde-drain-plug/092005/4177546?q=oil+drain+plug&pos=16
I've been reading this thread in the background but I had to say this is absolutely fantastic, what a great idea.
This forum is the best :)
 

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How far in was the plug before it stripped out? It appears that you may have cross-threaded the plug when installing and only damaged the first couple of threads. If what you described was true, a steel plug rotating freely in the drain hole would have showed destroyed threads as far in as the plug went. I agree that some sort of metal reinforced epoxy and a tap may get you by if the area is prepped properly. Trying to get that clean enough to weld without removing the engine may be a challenge. Another thing you could possibly do if there is enough material there is sand/grind that area down until the damaged section is removed, and make sure your sealing surface is flat. That's only if the case is thick enough in that area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How far in was the plug before it stripped out? It appears that you may have cross-threaded the plug when installing and only damaged the first couple of threads. If what you described was true, a steel plug rotating freely in the drain hole would have showed destroyed threads as far in as the plug went. I agree that some sort of metal reinforced epoxy and a tap may get you by if the area is prepped properly. Trying to get that clean enough to weld without removing the engine may be a challenge. Another thing you could possibly do if there is enough material there is sand/grind that area down until the damaged section is removed, and make sure your sealing surface is flat. That's only if the case is thick enough in that area.
Was not cross threaded- what it looks like upon closer inspection is as torque was applied past tight the head of the bolt sheared off perfectly and left a tapered bolt that i continued to turn into the case. As the wider diameter of damaged bolt got pulled into the case it split the top thread or 2. where it is raised from the case and at its thinnest. What was weird is I felt almost no resistance- so the drain bolt material is super soft- it was still warm from warming up engine before oil change- wondering if that softened it- I'm no metallurgist however - just ham fisted in this case.

see pics of bolt below- bottom is brand new drain plug- top is the one that did the damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
heres a new plug and the material that sheared off old plug
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
what I might do is take that drain bolt to a machinist & have the head surface milled true.then drill & tap the bolt for a smaller dia. drain bolt.try the local auto parts stores. this one pictured is m12 x 1.75 dorman brand at o'reilly's.then JB weld & safety wire the org. in place or have it welded permanently in the case.if the org. thread is m12 then go smaller.plenty of smaller dia. drain plugs to choose from.another method using a timesert; https://www.ducati.ms/forums/56-superbikes/192777-crack-oil-drain-hole-1098-f-k-3.html
https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b/dorman-autograde-3358/filters-16470/oil-drain-plug-12144/c11ed3b28202/dorman-autograde-drain-plug/092005/4177546?q=oil+drain+plug&pos=16
I really like this approach- its makes a lot of sense- and is similar to the idea i'm having about using a Time Sert kit. My neighbor who is an aircraft mechanic is a fan of them and told me to explore it as an option before going down the road of jbweld or the drastic but 100% restorative measure of removing the engine and replacing the case... ugh the thought of that makes me nauseous.

Here's some more pics of Time Sert kit etc. The challenge with Time Sert will be getting a flat mating surface for the drain plug and washer- as it looks i can get it to mate but with not the same surface area- This drilling of the plug is very good. Thanks for all the tips- so helpful spitballing with you all.

Below picture is the Time Sert insert and new drain plug and washer- you can see the flat surface that will be at the top of the Time Sert- maybe not enough to get oil tight seal?? Or is it...... some type of slick counterbore taking out the absolut minimum material of the split part of case would do the trick. That would remove the split lip that will impede the washer from getting sealed up well...
 

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Was not cross threaded- what it looks like upon closer inspection is as torque was applied past tight the head of the bolt sheared off perfectly and left a tapered bolt that i continued to turn into the case. As the wider diameter of damaged bolt got pulled into the case it split the top thread or 2. where it is raised from the case and at its thinnest. What was weird is I felt almost no resistance- so the drain bolt material is super soft- it was still warm from warming up engine before oil change- wondering if that softened it- I'm no metallurgist however - just ham fisted in this case.

see pics of bolt below- bottom is brand new drain plug- top is the one that did the damage.
That is bizarre. I think maybe a faulty drain plug. I've not ever seen one shear off like that, particularly from such a low torque value. Taking you at your word that you never felt any resistance, my opinion is that it was already cracked when you began this job. I can't say for sure, as I don't know. Was it serviced at dealership prior?

I'm relatively sure that the engine being warm would make no difference. A hot oil change is always better than a cold one is what I was taught as an apprentice. I work on plenty of stuff with aluminum oil pans, with hex type drain plugs too. While none of those things is a Ducati, I've never seen one fail in the manner yours did....sean
 
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