Hi all, another probably dumb question from a first timer. My oil drain plug is stuck tight and as you might imagine, I'd like to get it out so I can change my oil. It's right on the verge of being rounded off so most wrenches just climb off the plug when I apply any kind of force, the Ford wrench actually seems to work best but still no luck in getting it to budge. This seems like an area that might not like a lot of heat so I've shied away from going at it with a torch so far. About the only other thing I can think of is to draw out the oil in the sump with a syringe and some tubing through some other opening in the engine, then either pour in some kind of penetrating oil or solvent or mild acid from above, or even just leave it for later.
Bottom line is I'm new at this but not afraid to learn new things and get my hands dirty. Thoughts?
Have you tried a vise grip? Sounds like the plug is ruined anyway. As a last resort, drill thru the plug, drain the oil and use an easy out or similar to remove the plug. It'll come out.
Big vice grips.
Try tapping it with a hammer. Might break it free. You're turning it in the right direction I assume?
Given that the plug is already toast and in need of replacement or work, I'd weld a "T"
shaped hunk of scrap to it and give myself something to twist it out with. Once out, I
could then figure out if it could be repaired or simply replaced. This way you don't damage
the pan threads and at worst, only need to buy a new plug, which is easy to get.
Given the proximity to the carb and gasoline, I think I'd set up a strong fan blowing any
errant fumes away from the welding work just as a safety precaution.
I see no compelling reason for it to be different but this plug is of the standard righty-tighty-lefty-loosey type, correct?
Yes. I think the thread is 3/4"-24 tpi, the same as the oil plug on the rear axle housing up into 1926.
Alright, sounds like I need to grab my big vise grips and go at it tonight then.
Take a small torch tip and heat only the center of the plug, the sludge mix on the threads will soften and the plug will loosen up.....be careful if rapping with a hammer, you don't want to cause the sump to leak.
Tap the plug with a hammer as suggested- it will compress the gasket(if there is one), or the surfaces between the plug flange and the pan and take the tension off of the threads. This technique has saved my back side with socket head cap screws many times.
Try a 6 point socket, maybe even a jack underneath to keep it up tight.
I think i would have a new one on hand first,and i like 6 point sockets! Bud.
Suggestion about 6 point socket, check yours first. Many are rounded over to help slide onto the head of the bolt. If so grind the end flat. The T sump plugs are on the thin side and you need as much of the socket gripping the drain plug as you can get.
If it's chewed up use a pipe wrench, they tighten as you use them. They work on round pipe so the flats don't matter.
Tim - PM me your address and I'll send you a plug "extension" you can weld (or braze) onto your chewed up plug or a new one.
Seems like the consensus in all cases is just "Try harder" so I'll go at it again tonight. A bit of a funny story from last night is that I got so focused on getting the plug out, laying underneath the car with a pile of wrenches and hammers that the little voice in the back of my head piped up with, "Well, when you get the plug out do you plan on catching the oil with something or just watching it pour out on the floor?"
D'oh! It's probably for the better that it didn't just pop right out on the first try...
JD, I like the idea of the drain plug extension with a hole in the middle to weld it on. Where can they be found? Thanks, Tom
If you still can't get it, clean it up as best possible and weld a nut to it. Weld inside the nut. The heat will help it come loose when you put a crescent or socket on it. Be careful if you're using the torch wrench. Many homes and garages have burned to the ground after such a quick solution.
Since the plug edges are done for, just use what Royce posted, a pair of Vise Grips, and un-screw that plug.
Heat won't be needed for a plug in the pan which has oil in it. Rarely will a drain plug rust in the crankcase, and then usually these are empty crankcases off a motor. Then just penetrating oil is used. Without Vise Grips, then do as any old timer would, place a chisel against the side of one of the flats, and bump the handle with a hammer, that will drive the plug loose and out!
Vice grips or a pipe wrench might not have enough "meat" to grab. A sharp chisel will do it quick if you know where to hit it.
If you have the equipment take your worst and junk screwdriver and lay it horizontal on the plug and put 2 tacks on each side...hit it with your little finger and it will spin off.
Once you get that thing out, I'd suggest a new drain plug with a thicker head. The deal JD has would make you one if a vendor doesn't carry them anymore. The new ones I bought some years back had a head about 1/4" thick.
You could also use a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel to cut a deep slot about 1/16" wide across the center and, using a big standard screwdriver, unscrew the plug after heating only the plug with a butane torch.
You could also drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the plug and use an easy out. Of course this will entail having a bucket ready to catch the oil that comes out. Jim Patrick
PS. There are several types of easy outs. The fluted type which will loosen and tighten and the spiral type that just loosens. I prefer the spiral type as it seems to grab better.
Tim, the same thing happened on my car and, over a fair amount of time, I tried different types of vice-grips, all to no avail.
The problem was eventually solved by a club member, who welded a rod to the plug.
Of course, if vice-grips work for you, that's great!
Seems like the problem was that it was screwed in to tight to start with. Its tempting to crawl under there and 'really get down on it' when your through with the job and getting ready to put the oil in.
I kept doing mine that way until I finally replaced the metal gasket on it with a new one. The old one had gotten so flattened out until it was almost useless. I also got a new plug since the old one was getting rounded corners. I finally got it out with a pair of vise grips. A good snug fit is all you need.
I've seen some T engine pans and still have a few that have mutilated oil plugs in them that didn't have the gasket under the plug at all.
This goes for any engine oil pan not just model T's.
Tom - I make the "extensions".
Send your address and I'll send you a couple.
I don't think thick head plugs are available now, but it would be worth checking.
Royce and anyone else who suggested vise grips nailed it. I couldn't get over how easy it was to get out when I didn't have the tool constantly trying to climb off.
Don't worry about ruining it! I've seen a lot of NOS drain plugs at Hershey! I agree with the Vise Grip crowd. Do it!
Be sure that you are using the "Lefty Loosey / Righty Tighty" rule properly.