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Old 05-27-2014, 02:48 PM   #1
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: May 2010
Location: ottawa
Posts: 20
Oil-pan drain plug helicoil insert help


I went to change the oil the other day on my '85 M635CSi and discovered that (presumably) a previous owner/mechanic had repaired stripped threads on the oil pan drain-plug hole with a helicoil insert. Well this insert backed out when I removed the drain plug. My car is now sitting with no oil in it and a wrecked helicoil insert dangling halfway out of the drain plug.

I'd like first to see if a new insert can be put in without removing the oil pan as removing the oil pan involves lifting the engine a few inches from what I have read. Towing the car to a mechanic to remove the pan sounds $$ and I may as well buy a new oil pan at that point.

Is there anyone in Ottawa that has experience with these helicoil inserts and the tools to install them? Advice and/or actual help would be appreciated!


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Old 05-28-2014, 10:30 AM   #2
6th Gear Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 1,876
Helicoils are easy to put in ... you should have plenty of room to do it. Ottawa Fastener Supply in bells corners carries them (permacoil brand, but same thing). You'll need an M12x1.5 insert. The tool to insert it is a rod with a little notch cut into it ... you can buy the kit (expensive), or just use an M12x1.5 bolt ... file a noth in the end to line up with the tab on the insert ... you'll see what I mean when you look at the insert. You just thread it in until it's a bit below the face of the pan (put a touch of red locktite on it), then once it's in, break off the tab with needle nose pliers (watch it doesn't fall in!). Leave it for a bit to let the locktite cure, then put in your drain bolt. Proper torque on that bolt is 23 nm (~17 ft-lbs). Use a 1/4" drive torque wrench.

The ghetto way to fix it would be to just get one of those oversize cutting bolts. It will rethred the pan as it goes in, but that limits you to only a couple of changes before it fails again.
2007 BMW 328Xi Touring, 6 speed
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