Oh no stripped drain bolt - 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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Old 07-26-2019, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Central Valley, CA
Posts: 16
Oh no stripped drain bolt

Just picked up a 2008 KLR day before yesterday. As always I went through it, new chain, new air filter, checked bolts at head pipe, changed oil and filter. Got the oil and filter exchanged, did notice that the drain plug was much tighter than I felt it should be when removing it.
Ready to button it back up, set my torque wrench for 16 lbs, started the bolt got it finger tight, put the wrench on and it just never tightened, almost felt like I put a 4Ē bolt in, just spun and spun. I realized right away it was not going to tighten and stopped.
I know there are some fixes, Iím thinking about just going up one size, or rethreading, but was hoping that someone who had this happen can weigh in.
Thank you.
I did put a bit of oil in to see how bad it would leak, but no leaks at all, of course Iíd never ride until it is remedied.
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Old 07-26-2019, 04:02 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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You're lucky it only stripped!

2017 KLR in black
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:12 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niteryder View Post
Just picked up a 2008 KLR day before yesterday. As always I went through it, new chain, new air filter, checked bolts at head pipe, changed oil and filter. Got the oil and filter exchanged, did notice that the drain plug was much tighter than I felt it should be when removing it.
Ready to button it back up, set my torque wrench for 16 lbs, started the bolt got it finger tight, put the wrench on and it just never tightened, almost felt like I put a 4Ē bolt in, just spun and spun. I realized right away it was not going to tighten and stopped.
I know there are some fixes, Iím thinking about just going up one size, or rethreading, but was hoping that someone who had this happen can weigh in.
Thank you.
I did put a bit of oil in to see how bad it would leak, but no leaks at all, of course Iíd never ride until it is remedied.
Sorry to here that! Many 3/8" & 1/2" drive torque wrenches are NOT accurate at those low of numbers.

Does your current drain plug have a 17mm hex head, about 3/8 inch tall & greenish in color? Did it have a 2mm thick aluminum gasket on it?
If so, that should be the oem drain plug. 12mm x 1.5mm thread pitch.

Heli-Coils do Not work well, because of how thin the RH portion of the drain boss is. It leaves too much of the Heli-Coil unsupported.
But here is an interesting tid-bit. The 12mm x 1.5 pitch Heli-coil Tap is Exactly the same as a 14mm x 1.5mm pitch tap

Once you tap the hole & see the amount of new threads, just purchase a 14mm x 1.5mm thread pitch automotive drain plug & gasket from a parts store.
Purchase as small of head size as they have, so you won't have to re-dress the flat step on the RH side of the drain boss. And one will be less inclined to over tighten in the thin/soft aluminum.
Just 'snug' on a 4 - 6 inch wrench is perfect.
The molecules of an aluminum gasket get 'tilted' like animal hair. They get a grip when pulled/petted backwards.

Look at this KLR650 crankcase, https://www.klrforum.com/1987-2007-w...rank-case.html
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pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Central Valley, CA
Posts: 16
Iíve never stripped Oil pan threads in the last 35 years of doing oil changes, Iíve used the same torque wrench for most of those changes. That has always been one of my worst fears I would strip out a drain pan.
Yes, the bolt is a 17mm as you have described, Iím certain it is the OEM plug. There was no crush washer or gasket on the bolt, so Iím guessing perhaps the PO probably torqued it down too tight to keep/stop any leaks from happening.
Iíve actually just ordered an M12 x 1.50 oversized plug that will be here tomorrow and will try that first. Unrelated, I also have a new chain and sprockets, a new front tire coming as well. I planned to do some work on the bike this weekend anyway, itís 110 today and supposed to be hotter tomorrow and Sunday. Iíll just pull the portable AC into the shop and get some things done.
Just one thing for clarification, did I understand you correctly? Do you recommend using an M14 x 1.50 to replace the plug rather than an oversized M12 x 1.50 plug?
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:47 AM
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Edmonton AB
Posts: 53
mine was on the verge of being stripped when i bought the bike.. i finished it off on the third oil change lol

Doesn't helps it was never drilled into the into the crankcase straight so it always leaks crush washer or not ( I just use black gasket maker on it now)

Helicoil is the way to go to fix it, kits come with everything you need to do it minus the drill and a tap wrench (just use a crescent wrench) took me 15 minutes to drill tap, clean up and get the drain plug back in.


if you use the over sized plug, good luck, i hope it takes; because you can't fix it with a helicoil to the stock size afterwards

"Life is a series of small victories; connected by strings of catastrophe"
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Old 07-27-2019, 05:29 PM
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Location: West Central Canada
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I would try tapping it to a 1/2" drain plug which is between 12 and 13 mm (remove less metal). and readily available. torque to 12 ft/lbs

Kawasaki overstates their torque values. I pretty much use 15% - 20% less than spec but i always torque lubricated threads. (which makes a huge difference)
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:35 PM
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Location: Lander, Wyoming
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I have no way of knowing the diameter & thread pitch of any brand of 'over-sized' drain plug.

But it would not surprize me if it were to be 1/2 inch (which is 12.7mm) or the full 14mm x 1.5mm pitch which I recommend.

The issue which I can imagine, is not removing & cleaning the self-tapping type plugs often enough & WEDGING the unsupported, soft aluminum drain plug boss wide open in a giant fractured mess!

Best to be extremely careful.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Central Valley, CA
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So today I spent the majority of the 109 degree day working on my bike. I took care of the other things I wanted to do first then reluctantly started on the stripped oil pan. I had not decided whether I was going to use a tap and re-thread or try the oversized M12 drain bolt. As I stated in an earlier post I had put the bolt in an it spun, but did put oil in and it had not leaked. I took the drain bolt out, as I was unscrewing it I couldnít help but notice how tight it was and required a socket wrench to get it most of the way out. The last third of the way I was able to use my fingers to remove it.
I looked at the bolt and pan, and the bolt looks a little worn, but the threads in the pan really looked ok to me. I also maybe forgot to mention there was no washer on the bolt. So I decided before tapping or using the oversized bolt I would put a new crush washer on the drain bolt and install it. To my amazement, the drain plug tightened snug without spinning as it did with no washer installed. Iím thinking that perhaps, the bolt is too worn at the top near the head and the washer allowed it to properly catch and tighten.
I filled it with fresh oil and fired it up ran it for 10 minutes and am now watching for leaks. Iím thinking a new drain bolt and crush washer may be what I need. Iím also thinking if it was stripped bad enough, it would most likely leak.
Keeping my 🤞
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Central Valley, CA
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Went back out a few hours later, and the plug is dry as a bone, no leaks, dribbles, or weeping. Iím calling this good, for now.
I then pulled the foam air filter to clean and oil it and found a hole burned in the bottom near the back of the air box, bummer. So now I have something else to fix. I wondering if this may be what is causing some deceleration popping? Nothing bad just one or two pops when I let off the throttle. I tightened up the clamp just below the air box, it was loose, but noticed that the PO did wrap the pipe under the air box, and ďfixedĒ the hole with aluminum tape, which was just setting loose on the bottom of the box.
This is going to take a little longer than I had originally anticipated to get everything right, but Iíd rather take the time now and do it right and not have worry about it later.
Iíve got the a Eagle Mike Doohickey kit coming, I guess I will go ahead and check the valves as well. I did the Doo before on my two other KLRís, not too difficult. I did have help with the valves, as I had never done shim and bucket valves before. But the guy who helped me was a very nice guy, I think I found him on this site, about 7 years ago. I donít know his user name, but his name is Darrin, he was in Paso Robles.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:32 AM
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 266
Easiest and cheapest fix ( until you decide to properly fix it) is go buy a 1/2" dia rubber expansion plug. I've seen them seal up sumps for YEARS with no problems.
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