Oil Drain Bolt Threads - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 20 Old 04-24-2017, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Oil Drain Bolt Threads

I recently purchased a 2014 KLR 650. I was tightening the oil drain bolt, aftermarket Tusk magnetic bolt, to 21 ft-lbs when the bolt fractured in multiple places at the head. The threads don't appear to be stripped, and there aren't any cracks in the crankcase. I looked up into the the drain bolt hole and noticed that the threads have a downward v-shaped tapered opening to them near the top when looking up and to the bike's right side. Is this how the threads are manufactured? Is it for oil flow when draining, or could I have broken a piece of the upper threads? Any knowledge would help to calm some fears.
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-24-2017, 03:04 PM
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I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to; pics would help but you need to have a min number of posts to post a pic (to stop spammers).

2 things,

From my list of "Top KLR Owner Mistakes", right at number one:

1) Oil drain plug overtightening: it is relatively common for people to overtighten the oil drain plug.....usually to stop a leak after the gasket/washer has inadvertently fallen into the used oil or left stuck to the bottom of the engine! best case is stripped threads, worst is a cracked case. Make sure the washer is in place and use a torque wrench Note; my manual says 17 ft lbs, Eaglemike recommends 15 ft lbs with his low profile drain plug which is what I use. Some Gen2 manuals specify 21 ft lbs but there has been no change in the plug or case which would affect the drain plug torque and people have stripped their drain plugs at this setting: beware!


and secondly, the Tusk pce is known to break; go with Eaglemikes low profile plug. Eagle Mfg & Eng


Dave
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-24-2017, 05:43 PM
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do you mean the shape of the case where it's threaded? does this help?

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post #4 of 20 Old 04-24-2017, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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I think that's exactly what I was seeing from the underside. Thought I had broken a chunk off the threads like a complete noob. I've ordered an OEM bolt, and will use a lesser torque setting in the future just in case. Thank You.
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-24-2017, 06:00 PM
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I don't use a torque wrench I just tighten it up until just before it strips LOL

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post #6 of 20 Old 04-28-2017, 02:32 PM
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I was always taught that the proper way was to tighten it til it strips and then back it off half a turn. surprise:. It's shocking how often I still follow that advice ;-).

Note to the literal minded; DO NOT DO IT THIS WAY!
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Conrad Long
'08 KLR 650
'96 R1100RT
'94 R1100RS
'75 XS650B
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-28-2017, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Rider View Post
I don't use a torque wrench I just tighten it up until just before it strips LOL

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Originally Posted by Liftrat View Post
I was always taught that the proper way was to tighten it til it strips and then back it off half a turn. surprise:. It's shocking how often I still follow that advice ;-).

Note to the literal minded; DO NOT DO IT THIS WAY!
I really kind of wish that people wouldn't joke about this issue, but hey that's just me.

What I really wish, would be for all the manufactures of motorcycles and other engines to do, would be to use a smaller drain plug in the first place. With enough material around the original drain hole size to re-tap at least 3 times larger.

The stripped 12mm X 1.5p KLR650 drain can be most readily tapped to 14mm X 1.5p.
The problem is, with a bigger head on the bigger drain plug the next owner will attempt to Tighten IT Even Tighter!

If the drains were to start at 8 x 1.25 next up could be 10 x 1.5, next up could be 12 x 1.5 (which is current standard), then 14 x 1.5!

pdwestman
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-28-2017, 09:36 PM
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I was not joking. I guess what I'm really trying to say is over the course of 35 or more years of wrenching you kind of get a feel for things. I can always tell when a bolt is about to strip because it is no longer getting increasingly harder to turn. I have never used a torque wrench in my entire life. I have had dozens of machines and never stripped a drain plug. I have also never lost a drain plug. Partly from luck and then later on from sheer experience. As far as other bolts snapping them off is my specialty LOL actually a friend of mine has a new Ducati motorcycle he followed the manufacturer's instructions using a torque wrench on the oil drain plug and stripped it before reaching the recommended torque. It is things like this that make me glad I have a feel for it. My general rule for drain plugs is make it snug and then go a quarter turn

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Last edited by Ghost Rider; 04-28-2017 at 09:48 PM.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-29-2017, 03:39 AM
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Not the first time I've posted this, but . . . sometimes, an OVERSIZE OIL DRAIN PLUG offers a permanent fix to stripped sump threads.

The tapered, self-tapping slightly-larger diameter oversize plugs essentially re-tap the oil drain hole upon first insertion.

If the oversize plug doesn't seal, then . . . look to drilling-and-tapping/insert/welding and re-threading/etc. Worst case, trick "temporary" plug, like an expandable motorboat transom plug, flapper, etc. A proper oversize plug costs maybe $ 3 or so; M12-1.5 oversize plugs available from the Internet; MAY be on-the-shelf at your friendly local auto parts store. M12-1.25 more common, and may even work. I'd favor chancing M12-1.5, in hopes of rehabilitating the original threads.

DISCLAIMER: No offense intended toward those who run, screaming, from the room at the thought of an oversize plug (vs. other remedies). I've had "miracle cures" with them, and . . . factories are working nights manufacturing them; some successful application and use must come from oversize oil drain plugs.

----------------------

Ain't never tried it, but . . . drilling-and-tapping for a 1/2" replacement plug might work; a 1/2" diameter might be just slightly larger than the stock 12 mm hole . . .

Last edited by Damocles; 04-29-2017 at 03:42 AM.
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post #10 of 20 Old 05-01-2017, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
I really kind of wish that people wouldn't joke about this issue, but hey that's just me.
pdwestman, I didn't mean to irritate anyone here, but yes, I was joking. Being a professional mechanic (albeit not motorcycle) for well nigh 40 years, I have to laugh at some of the turns (insert pun here) that the job takes. It's that or go insane. A sense of tragic humor and appreciation for the perversity of machinery sure comes in handy once in a while ;-). It's no laughing matter if it happens, but I'd rather laugh and carry on than rage and start to throw things, or start sobbing gently. It wasn't my intent to make light of what can be a serious matter. Sorry.

Conrad Long
'08 KLR 650
'96 R1100RT
'94 R1100RS
'75 XS650B
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