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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

New to the forum - looks like I can’t post URLs yet, so I just put the Amazon descriptions below. I just bought a 2007 KLR 650 a week ago and been fixing issue as I’ve been finding them.

The latest is a stripped oil drain plug that appears to have been held in place by JB weld (or some other hard plastic-like substance). I’ve been able to remove all I saw from the drain hole and it looks like shiny metal now, albeit stripped threads. The plug catches on a few threads part way in but is loose when fully screwed in. I’ve been googling and searching the forums. Looks like I could either buy:
1 - 5 M12-1.50 Single Oversize Oil Drain Plugs With Gasket = $19
2 - Heli-Coil 554412 M12 X 1.5 Metric Kit = $55
3 - TIME-SERT M12 X 1.50 Metric Drain Plug Repair Kit = $106

I’m thinking I probably shouldn’t waste my time with an oversized plug and just get the time-Sert kit. Question that hasn’t been clear is if I tried the oversized plug, would the M12x1.5 time-Sert kit still be an option, or would I be needing the big Sert kit and a larger plug?

Also, are there low profile bolt options better than: “AE Motosports KLR 650 Kawasaki Low Profile Magnetic Drain Plug”

Thank you
 

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Time-sert it, don't bother with the oversized plug. You're going to have to tap it either way, may as well do the insert. I think Eagle Mike has a low pro drain bolt but he's unavailable for about a month; I'd go with the tusk one instead. People seem to like their stuff.

I don't think an insert will be an option if you tap the hole out to a larger size, but I'm not sure. You may as well do the smaller option and retain the original size bolt


edit: disregard my comment, see damocles' post below
 

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By all means, TRY the oversize oil drain plug FIRST!

If it works, you have a low-cost PERMANENT repair. I have myself experienced "miracle cures" with a tapered, self-tapping oversize oil drain plug.

If it DOESN'T work, then . . . you're no worse now than you were (except for a few dollars); you can then approach other strategies (inserts/drilling-and-tapping larger/welding/etc.).

From your description of the situation; sounds ideal for an oversize oil drain plug repair.

Good luck!

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A small detail, of little significance given the low dollar amount involved: The price quoted for the oversize plug and gasket appears somewhat excessive to me. You might check with your local automotive parts and accessories stores for a lower-cost alternative. The, "1.5" pitch might be hard to locate; I think 1.25 is more common. Regardless, you do well to follow suit with OEM pitch for the replacement plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback!
I had already ordered the time-Sert. The oversized bolt is pricey since I can only find it online in a pack of 5. If I can find a single bolt in the correct pitch, I’ll probably try that first. If it works, I can just return the time-Sert.
 

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Oversized plug, correct size tap, boom. Done. Might wanna flush out the threading chips and fill it up with oil.
 

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Oversized plug, correct size tap, boom. Done. Might wanna flush out the threading chips and fill it up with oil.
As soon as you get the tap started, pour in a qt of oil. That way as soon as you remove it the oil will flush out the chips. If you just pour in some oil after removing it depending on how it makes it's way and how fast, you may not get them all out. Oh and grease the tap up good so most of the chips stay stuck to it and come out with it as you remove it.
 

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the tap is fluted. The oil will just pour out all over your hand
 

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We've had oil pan bolts going on what, A HUNDRED years now and they haven't figured out that the metal around the bolt is too damn soft on ALL cars and bikes EVER.
 

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I'm sure there's a give and take with hardness/brittleness in the metallurgy. I dunno. Make an oil pan out of super hard cast iron and it'll 1. weight a ton and 2. crack with enough stress and heat cycle and bolt torque. I'm just throwing darts at a wall.
 

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sumps need not be made out of heavy steel to be very tough. I have seen some aluminum housings on various military vehicles that actually beat some steels in toughness. I agree that these cases are made out of relatively weak castings, thin to save weight, but see no need to skimp where fasteners and drain plugs thread in. If I were engineering these drains I would have then sleeved with steel. They could have a threaded sleeve staked in the casting for the plug to thread into. That way there would be no worries about stripping threads. That said, 99.9% of the time, stripped threads can be avoided by 1st making certain the threads in both casting and plug are squeaky clean. Dirt clogging threads on the plug will rip out the threads in the case. 2nd use a torque wrench and stop a couple ft lbs short of factory torque. My manual says 21 ft lbs, but mine seems happy at only 15-16.
 

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PaddyD;669631 2nd use a torque wrench and stop a couple ft lbs short of factory torque. My manual says 21 ft lbs said:
Yep, from my "Top New KLR Owner Mistakes to Avoid" List:

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!

Dave
 

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As to crankcase metal hardness and yield strength, "It is what it is!" Regardless of Monday-morning quarterbacking applied to engineering standards, design goals, and material specifications Kawasaki "SHOULD" have applied, the oil drain holes in fact STRIP threads when a, "That oughta hold it, Jethro," version of a notional torque wrench is used (that is, over-tightening).

Let me think . . . aluminum case and steel plug . . . hmmmmmmm. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

As long as GEICO sells insurance, KLR650 sump oil drain holes will be stripped, given current design and materials. Why not . . . have a SACRIFICIAL, low yield-strength PLUG? Of course, a ride-along backup replacement plug would be a prudent idea, in this case. The "emergency replacement" could be something as simple as an expandable boat-transom type rubber plug, leak-proof enough to get to where proper replacement is possible . . . could be an identical copy of the sacrificial plug.

Just musing; just musing. Best oil drain hole thread defense: DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN, as suggested in posts above.

Yet, if an oil drain plug hole IS stripped . . . factories are working three shifts, manufacturing OVERSIZE OIL DRAIN PLUGS. These parts have their own proper place in the universe as we know it, IMHO. An inexpensive fix to the problem, if they work. Some solutions seem clever; such as: "Piggy-back" plugs; oversize basic plug, "mini" actual drain plug (steel-on-steel contact with the latter). Ground clearance might present an important consideration with a, "piggy-back" plug.

Not to put down INSERTS. However, inserts approach the, "nuclear solution," given their expense and effort required for installation, and . . . the undesirable consequence of trapped "old oil" in the sump, as a result of an insert's "lip."

Regardless: Best wishes for oil-tight integrity in your crankcase, whatever the source of this desirable characteristic! :)

EDIT:

DISCLAIMER: I ain't never seen nothin' the likes of this; no idea of the product's effectiveness:

Here's the MOTHER of all oversize oil drain plugs (from the image):

I'm used to the CONSERVATIVE taper of conventional oversize oil drain plugs; this one's taper appears EXTREME; as stated, I've no idea of the product's effectiveness.

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CAVEAT: The OEM oil drain hole threads are M12-1.5; the 1.25 pitch might work and be easier to find, but . . . I'd be more comfortable with 1.5 pitch because; vestiges of the old threads might be of some use with the same pitch. Maybe not; might make no difference.
 

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When I was 10 yrs old, my Dad bought us kids a 1969 Honda 50 minibike that had a stripped drain. It had a rubber expansion plug in it. That plug never leaked a drop and was in it years later when the bike was sold to a neighbor kid who rode the crap out of it another 5 yrs or so. So, don't discount the value of those rubber expansion plugs. They work and work good if you can find one the proper size.
 

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For sure. Rubber expansion plugs were used on freeze plugs all the time as a permanent fix, and that’s under some pressure. I wouldn’t hesitate to use one as a drain plug, especially since the rubber would grab the case threads. It wouldn’t go anywhere. Should be fairly low profile also.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Lol, I ended up going the “nuclear route” with the time-Sert insert and a tusk low profile plug. I’ve filled it up with oil and so far, no leaks ... I still need to fire it up and get up to temperature to verify. The process was pretty straightforward.
 

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Time serts are much better than helicoils at least as far as I'm concerned. I have never used them for a drain plug, but for stripped threads in a sparkplug hole they are king in my book.
 

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Lol, I ended up going the “nuclear route” with the time-Sert insert and a tusk low profile plug. I’ve filled it up with oil and so far, no leaks ... I still need to fire it up and get up to temperature to verify. The process was pretty straightforward.
You spend far too lavishly to ever be a true, authentic, KLRista, TryAgain! :)
 

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The tapered plug which Damocles showed from Amazon will SPLIT an aluminum KLR engine case WIDE-OPEN, probably most other motorcycle engine cases also!

DON'T Use that one!
 

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The tapered plug which Damocles showed from Amazon will SPLIT an aluminum KLR engine case WIDE-OPEN, probably most other motorcycle engine cases also!

DON'T Use that one!
Maybe so; I've no experience nor observation with such an extremely tapered oversize plug designed for such a broad range of diameters.

The advertised range, 12 mm to 16 mm, seems rather wide, to me. Almost, "One size fits all." If one torqued down to the 16 mm diameter, from the OEM 12 mm diameter of the KLR oil drain hole, the result might be unpleasant. If, on the other hand, one stopped at the 12 mm diameter . . . the projection of the plug from the bottom of the case might present a serious ground-clearance issue.

The conservative diameter increase of conventional oversize plugs (as in, "First oversize, Second oversize) shouldn't threaten a candidate crankcase. Visually, the tapered profile and increased diameter of these plugs is hardly noticeable by sight when compared with a stock plug. Not so, with the Amazon plug pictured in the link shown in Post # 13 above.
 
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