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Jason Beert, Rapid City, SD, 1986 Dodge B150 van 318

I just bought this van. I thought it’d be a good idea tochange the oil. Come to find out (too late) that it doesn’t have a typicaldrain plug. This drain plug unscrews by hand, and it seems to be permanentlyaffixed to the oil pan. It opens up the drain, but you can’t remove theplug. Here’s my dilemma… I can’t get the plug to screw back in. Anysuggestions??

Jason-

It HAD a normal drain plug. What’s happened is that some dork overtorquedthe plug, breaking off the spotwelds that hold the ‘nut’ to the inside ofthe pan. Now it’s just spinning free. This sucks.

The only ‘by the book’ fixes are:

(1) a new oil pan

(2) drop the pan, hold the nut, tighten the plug, then re-weld the nut tothe pan.

No, oversize drain plugs won’t help you. But, assuming you destroy theexisting plug (sawzall, chain saw, jackhammer, etc.) and push the remnantsthat are too large to drop out of the hole back into the pan, you might beable to get one of those “bulbous rubber” expansion drain plugs to work. Butmany people would worry about the debris bouncing around in the pan for thenext 1000,000 miles. Thay might have a point.

You could also neatly cut a much larger hole in the pan, weld a nut to apiece of scrap steel, then weld the new piece over your larger opening.

But on a B-van, the pan is easy to drop, so I see no reason to Mickey-mousethis.

Rick

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