Oil Drain Plug Length? - 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 11 Old 03-25-2019, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Oil Drain Plug Length?

I remember seeing a thread that warned against getting a magnetic oil plug that was to long but I have not been able to find it again to refresh my memory on the stated max length. Can anyone tell me what the recommended length of the oil plug is along with the max length. (length from the inside of the bolt head to tip of the magnet) I've found a couple of great options at my local auto store for a M12 x1.50 plug that have really powerful rare earth magnets. Yes I know Eagle Mike's has a great oil plug but the shipping from them to me is as much as the plug and I don't need anything else right now to add to the order to make it worth the shipping cost.

Thanks
Kev
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-26-2019, 01:52 AM
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Go on! Spring for the Eagle Mike part!

What you'll get: A magnet adhesion that won't likely come off in your crankcase. Besides a proper internal length, you'll get a, "low-profile" recessed external protrusion, also, with the Eagle Mike part.

Why are these features worthwhile?

1. A magnet bouncing about in your crankcase poses obvious risks; the automobile plug you buy at Auto Zone or Pep Boys or NAPA for the smoother, more vibration-free automobile engines--magnet-to-plug glue adhesion of the car version not that critical.

2. The low-profile Eagle Mike part is less likely to strike a rock and crack your case, as the longer-extending automobile plug might.

Your bike; certainly your privilege to modify it as you choose. However, in my view, buying a low-budget plug locally, just to save a few bucks in shipping costs, may be, "false economy," an example of outsmarting yourself.

By the way; just how MUCH is the shipping charge for the Eagle Mike oil drain plug?

Finally, the geometric advantage of a low-profile plug while riding in a rock garden appears an easily grasped concept. A magnetic plug? Nothin' ag'in 'em, but far from essential, in my view. The oil filter's capable of capturing lots of trash; even non-magnetic contaminants.

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post #3 of 11 Old 03-26-2019, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post

By the way; just how MUCH is the shipping charge for the Eagle Mike oil drain plug?
Nice dissertation, but do you have an answer for my question?

The answer to your question is Eagle's drain plug is a very fair $.8.95, Their shipping options via USPS to me here in Vermont are $7.90 for Flat Rate or $9.30 for Priority. Making the total either $16.85 or $18.25.

The attached pictures are of the Mag Plug plug that I've used before in other bikes, most recently the M14 version of this plug in my 2003 ST1300. It has an internal, serviceable magnet that can not break off. The total length of the plug is 29.7 mm, and it is 20.3 mm from gasket to tip.

Kev
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Mag Plug.jpg (147.2 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Mag Plug 2.jpg (132.0 KB, 4 views)

Last edited by VTWoodchuck; 03-26-2019 at 10:15 AM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-26-2019, 10:07 AM
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It is not the length that is an issue, it is the lack of a proper thread relief under the head.

Lacking a thread relief, the plug can cause case cracking if too thin (or no) washer is used.

The plug would have to be far longer than any plug made to be a problem. Google “I Am Joe’s Crankcase”.

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post #5 of 11 Old 03-26-2019, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
It is not the length that is an issue, it is the lack of a proper thread relief under the head.

Lacking a thread relief, the plug can cause case cracking if too thin (or no) washer is used.

The plug would have to be far longer than any plug made to be a problem. Google “I Am Joe’s Crankcase”.
Thanks. I just attached a couple pictures of the specialty auto plug I've used in a couple of my other bikes. It has good thread relief and comes with a good thick crush washer.

I'm looking up “I Am Joe’s Crankcase” right now because any title with a nod to Tyler Durden must be worth reading ;-)

Kev

Last edited by VTWoodchuck; 03-26-2019 at 10:28 AM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-26-2019, 10:25 AM
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What they said; the length of the plug is a non-issue - it's the length (height) of the head which can extend below the skidplate, hit a rock and destroy the case.


Dave
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-26-2019, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
It is not the length that is an issue, it is the lack of a proper thread relief under the head.

Lacking a thread relief, the plug can cause case cracking if too thin (or no) washer is used.

The plug would have to be far longer than any plug made to be a problem. Google “I Am Joe’s Crankcase”.
Thanks for pointing me at “I Am Joe’s Crankcase”. That answers a whole bunch of future question too. Seeing how fragile the case could be at it's thinnest point on the drain hole has me thinking that I should go with a low profile plug or at least mill one down. At my age my trail riding is limited to fire roads in our national forest, some logging roads and of course 80% of all roads here in Vermont dirt and gravel. The hardest thing my skidplate will hit is a rotten log on the way to my favorite fishing hole. Still, that case looks weak enough that the low profile plug is required.

Thanks Again
Kev
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-26-2019, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
What they said; the length of the plug is a non-issue - it's the length (height) of the head which can extend below the skidplate, hit a rock and destroy the case.


Dave
Thanks Dave. Like I told Tom my days of rock bashing are behind me but it would probably be good to go with a low profile plug so it will be correct when I give it to my oldest grandson in a few years. He's the kid on the minibike in my avatar ;-)

Kev
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Last edited by VTWoodchuck; 03-26-2019 at 11:11 AM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-26-2019, 10:44 AM
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VTWoodchuck,
I've never read any posting of caution against Too Long of oil drain plug threaded end. Plenty of clearance inside there.

But I have cautioned many times about aftermarket magnetic drain plugs having incompletely cut threads at the base. Which if the thick crush gasket is not installed will fracture, spread & destroy the unsupported front & left side of the angled drain hole boss.

Have a look at the crankcase here, https://www.klrforum.com/1987-2007-w...rank-case.html

The oem drain plug has formed threads, which go right up to the flanged head. This will allow the factory plug to usually seal a clean, smooth drain boss even without a gasket most times. It will just barely deform the beginning thread in the drain boss, just enough that one will usually have a little resistance to turning the drain plug all the way out & in for a few oil changes.

The key to successful oil changes is NEVER forget the thick crush gasket & Do Not exceed 200 inch pounds of torque on that plug!!

I don't believe there is much of a chance of a magnet from any Steel Bodied magnetic drain plug coming adrift inside an engine.
But I do have in my possession a couple of BikeMaster brand magnetic drains plugs made of aluminum and a magnet glued into them. I have never sold one, I don't trust them, I couldn't justify the return freight or re-stocking fee.


The factory drain plug is 15mm long & has a 10mm tall head.

And Tom types faster than I.

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post #10 of 11 Old 03-26-2019, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
VTWoodchuck,
I've never read any posting of caution against Too Long of oil drain plug threaded end. Plenty of clearance inside there.

But I have cautioned many times about aftermarket magnetic drain plugs having incompletely cut threads at the base. Which if the thick crush gasket is not installed will fracture, spread & destroy the unsupported front & left side of the angled drain hole boss.

Have a look at the crankcase here, https://www.klrforum.com/1987-2007-w...rank-case.html

The oem drain plug has formed threads, which go right up to the flanged head. This will allow the factory plug to usually seal a clean, smooth drain boss even without a gasket most times. It will just barely deform the beginning thread in the drain boss, just enough that one will usually have a little resistance to turning the drain plug all the way out & in for a few oil changes.

The key to successful oil changes is NEVER forget the thick crush gasket & Do Not exceed 200 inch pounds of torque on that plug!!

I don't believe there is much of a chance of a magnet from any Steel Bodied magnetic drain plug coming adrift inside an engine.
But I do have in my possession a couple of BikeMaster brand magnetic drains plugs made of aluminum and a magnet glued into them. I have never sold one, I don't trust them, I couldn't justify the return freight or re-stocking fee.


The factory drain plug is 15mm long & has a 10mm tall head.

And Tom types faster than I.
Thanks! Between Tom and Dave I'm already back to the low profile plug. But you might want to check out the pictures of the "Mag Plug" I attached earlier in the thread while you were typing. It's probably not the best choice for the KLR but I've used it in my last few street bikes and it is nice because the magnet is protected inside the plug and can be removed and re-magnetized. It's a really cool design.

Just for future reference, I'm new to the forum but not new to bikes or mechanics. I've been riding and wrenching for close to 50 years. Before I retired I spent most of my 38 year career working in A&D in a variety of roles building high velocity 20mm & 30MM Gatling cannons and other accessories for everything that rolls, swims or flies in the U.S. arsenal. It's nice to find a forum full of folks like yourselves that have the same appreciation for the finer details of how things are machined and assembled.

Thanks
Kev
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