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-   -   Thread repair for stripped drain plug (oilpan) (http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=40955)

projekt EPiK 12-03-2014 08:36 AM

Thread repair for stripped drain plug (oilpan)
I have searched and searched..nothing that i found here.

My oil drain plug is stripped, and has been for months. It is so bad that i just have been topping off the oil as opposed to draining it and properly changing.

Well, that will be different this weekend. I located and bought a Heli-Coil kit to drill out and tap and install new threads in the oil pan. At a cost of $60 I bought a 12x1.50mm kit, comes complete with the drill bit, tap and 10 of the thread inserts. I obviously only need one insert, so once the job is finished if anyone else is having this problem, I'll sell the kit complete for a little less than I paid and and pay it forward.. we can get a whole lot of cars fixed..lol

I'll take lots of pics when I'm doing the job this weekend. This is WITHOUT removing the oil pan if at all possible, so I'll check clearances for the drill, tap..etc.
I'm also redoing the bushing and gasket under the oil filter housing, and possibly the gasket in between the front upper and lower timing cover.

This is on my 1995 318ti Active.

MINIz guy 12-03-2014 04:13 PM

What is the outer diameter of the drill but used for the Heli-Coil?

I've got the same issue. The previous owner already put in an oversized plug, a 1/2" plug. It doesn't hold oil well and I don't want to tighten it too much to strip it more. I was planning on getting a 12x1.75 kit, but if yours is big enough so I can tap new threads, I'd rather use your kit.

projekt EPiK 12-03-2014 08:26 PM

The drill is a 12.30mm. The tap is 12x1.5

I looked and looked to find this kit

projekt EPiK 12-04-2014 07:53 AM



bazar01 12-04-2014 10:43 AM

I don't use helicoil.
I use timesert. It stays in place better than helicoil.


BlackBMWs 12-04-2014 07:37 PM


Originally Posted by bazar01 (Post 368589)
I don't use helicoil.
I use timesert. It stays in place better than helicoil.


Like! I need to do this for my wife's 318ti. It already has a 1/2" drain plug in it so, I'll need to see if it already has a Helicoil in it.

Since you replaced yours, no leaks? :cool:

bazar01 12-04-2014 08:59 PM

No my oil pan drain plug is not stripped. I do my own oil changes for fear of those quickie oil change shops using impact wrenches to install and tighten drain plugs.

I have used timesert on aluminum heads and engine blocks with great results.

BlackBMWs 12-04-2014 09:09 PM

Yes,I do my own too. In my case, it came already this way and needs a retrofit.

Thanks for the info! :cool:

projekt EPiK 12-04-2014 10:47 PM

I do all my own work as well. I have used heli coil with much success on the head manifold studs on my 2jzgte.

The oem drain plug is 12x1.5. I ordered a new magnetic plug, so once that comes I will do this job and report back.

MINIz guy 12-05-2014 02:12 AM

I'm going to pass on needing the tool. With my 1/2" OS drain plug, I don't think 12.3mm will be enough to bore out the threads. I was originally looking at a 12x1.75 as the drill bit is 12.5mm.

projekt EPiK 12-07-2014 07:24 AM

Job is finished. Took about an hour of careful work and lots of cleaning out the thread shavings. Installed the magnetic drain plug from BimmerBum and it turned right in, all the way with my fingers. Torqued it and no more leaks.

Unfortunately the oil filter housing bushing and gasket didn't show in time, so that is a job for another day.

Anyone interested, I will post pics as soon as my photobucket stops screwing with me on this computer.

The kit to do this job is now on sale.. buy it outright for $50.00 and sell it on when you are done, OR.. pay me $50, I send you the kit, you install one thread insert/fix one drain plug, ship it back to me in the same condition I sent it to you minus one insert, and I'll refund you $35.00..then pass onto the next DIY'er.

Not making money on this deal, just covering the cost of the kit, and shipping is $5.25 in a small flat rate USPS box.

FWIW.. I used this on a stock oil pan, no oversize drain plug used, just stripped stock threads. Now it uses a stock size drain plug again.

MINIz guy 12-08-2014 11:05 PM

So how is the clearance under the car? Can you get an electric drill in there easily and parallel with the drain hole?

projekt EPiK 12-09-2014 03:18 AM

this is for reference, the drain plug is still screwed in, before I started the repair.

I put the car on 4 jack stands, level and had plenty of room to roll around under, especially with the wheels off to be rotated.

I'm 5'10" 165lbs for example..plenty of room.

Had to use a socket for the tap though, 3/8 double square 8pt. the tap handle wouldnt swing around. .

projekt EPiK 12-09-2014 03:22 AM


bazar01 12-09-2014 01:49 PM

Good job.
The grease will catch most of the metal bits from the tap.

I am just wondering what stops the helicoil insert from spinning and winding down inside the oil pan?

MINIz guy 12-09-2014 04:56 PM

Another tip to get metal bits out is to just dump cheap oil down the engine with the drain plug out. It will just wash out the bits since a magnet won't pick up the aluminum.

projekt EPiK 12-09-2014 08:33 PM

I agree, And I actually wondered the same thing, but it tightened down at the proper depth and I snapped off the tang with no problems. Time will tell.

manitou_commando 12-02-2021 10:15 PM

Just helicoiled my drain plug hole today. The bolt felt a little mushy when I installed it a few days ago. I knew that was a stripped thread.

Super easy. Used an 8MM ignition wrench to turn the tap as I didn't have a handle for the tap.

So far, so good and not leaking any longer. Thanks, Guys.

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