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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-26-2009
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Stuck Oil Plug - Ugh

Okay, I'll try to be brief, take full resonsibility for my screwing up (pun and all), and hope someone can offer a solution.

Several months after changing the oil on my Yamaha 9.9 (model year 2000) this spring I noticed a little oil leaking from the drain plug. When I put a box wrench on the plug to snug it tight I must have turned it too hard. The lower half -- the part with the brass head and some of the plastic surround -- came off. The upper half, which is completeley plastic and has a weep hole in the middle, remained in the oil pan. Somehow, I was ready with a container in the event I happened to turn the plug the wrong way; as such I was able to capture all of the oil as it drained out the weep hole.

While ordering a new drain plug I asked a local marine tech how to best remove the upper half. I tried his suggestion today -- using a bolt extractor. A little one that fit the weep hole only made the weep hole bigger. A larger extractor actually achieved some gripping effect but wouldn't budge the remaining part of the oil plug. I'm fairly strong but, as I may have crossed the threads (hence the initial leak) I was afraid of damaging the oil pan itself. I decided I ought to back the extractor out and seek your advice. If you think I should get really aggressive next time, enjoy a little laugh as that larger extractor now needs a replacement -- the first one is sitting under 9' of water.
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Old 09-26-2009
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If it was me - and I am glad it is not - I would go with a larger and larger bolt extractor. At some point I would expect that it would work.
We're talking EZ outs, right? They look like this:


Eventually, of course, you are going to have to get the piece out. Do whatever it takes, and then you are going to have to re-thread the hole. That will be done one of two ways:
First you may get the job done by using a thread chaser of the correct size. You'll want to do this if the piece comes out and you decide the problem was that you cross-threaded the plug the last time you put it in.

If the threads are ruined and in too bad shape to be re-tapped with a thread chaser, I would go with a HeliCoil and install new threads. Helicoils look like this:

They come with complete instructions and will give you a permanent fix. Basically you will be drilling out the hole, retapping it to accept the Helicoil, and installing your plug into the new Helicoil.

Also: Keep your eye peeled for a plug that is only SLIGHTLY larger than you old one. That way you can just. re-thread to accept the new plug.
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Old 09-26-2009
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Yes, the E-Z Out in your picture looks much like the extractor I was using. I am hoping to avoid drilling and tapping as the access to the drain plug hole is at a tight angle and makes it difficult to swing the arms on a tap and die set. If I am able to remove the plastic threads which remain without doing damage to the surrounding metal no tapping or helicoils will be necessary.
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Old 10-03-2009
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EZ Out is the Wrong Tool

[QUOTE=Selkirk;526535]If it was me - and I am glad it is not - I would go with a larger and larger bolt extractor. At some point I would expect that it would work.
We're talking EZ outs, right? They look like this:


This is a follow up note just in case others find themselves in a similar situation with this oh-so-popular outboard. I tried an EZ Out once more, this time with the motor oriented in a way to really see the tool at work. I quickly came to the realization the tool applied so much outward force on the plastic plug that turning it loose would be impossible.

Instead, I keyed a notch into the plastic using the tip of a boning knife. With the knife's blade firmly inserted into the notch, I was able to unscrew the plastic plug's remaining part. The whole process took less than 2 minutes and left the oil pan's threading intact.
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Old 10-03-2009
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A good tip when ever you find yourself needing to drill and tap a situation like this, use grease to lubricate and catch the shavings on the drill bit, and tap. The grease will prevent the shavings from falling into the gearbox. Go slow, and use a new bit if you can.
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Old 10-03-2009
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DO NOT USE AN EASYOUT IN THIS SITUATION!

Find an old screwdriver with a square shaft 3/4 the width of the plastic plug. Heat it up and push it in to the broken off plug. It should make a slot. Apply a spanner to the shaft and press hard on the end of the screwdriver while unscrewing the plug. This will work with the majority of plastics used in engineering situations.
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