Oil Drain Plug Bad?

DuderMcMerican

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
148
9
28
Woodbridge, VA
Y'all,

I drained the oil in my '90 5.0 LX last night in preparation to change it, but I noticed a small drop of oil clinging to the rear plug. It appears to be leaking from the plug--nothing major--a very slow drip that isn't really noticeable except for said cling-on drop and a small stain below. My guess is that it's been releasing a drop every one-to-two weeks based on the size of the stain and how long it's been parked there. I have never noticed a drop in oil level when checking the dipstick.

So I removed the plug, and in retrospect, it did come off fairly easily but not so easily as to cause alarm. At that time, I didn't suspect that the hole was stripped because it wasn't exactly "loose" and it has been doing it's job with the exception of the aforementioned very slow drip. However, when I went to tighten the plug back down, it wouldn't tighten down as snugly as expected. The plug got flush with the pan, but it didn't resist much torque beyond that point--just a bit beyond the point where the torque seats it snugly on the pan. I have never stripped an oil pan bolt before, and I know that I didn't apply enough torque to strip it myself (I know what it feels like to strip something out). I'm certain that in its current state, it is not tightened to factory spec. I was certain that some clown before me partially stripped the hole..:dammit:

I went on the google to ask Jeeves, but he don't know anything about this. I did find some posts about how crappy plastic washers like the one on my plug make it "walk out," i.e., reduce the tightness of the plug. I will certainly remove said washer and replace with a copper one, but my questions are:

Will switching to the copper washer help to get the plug to tighten more snugly? In other words, is there a chance that the plug threads aren't too messed up and that all it needs is a non-crappy copper washer to get it torqued down a bit more?

If the copper washer fully compresses, then does that mean that the plug should be able to continue doing it's job? In other words, if I get the copper to fully compress, then should I stop there and not try to wrench it any tighter for fear of jacking things up even more?

Should I have an oversized plug on hand and try that if the copper washer doesn't help? And if the oversized plug is recommended, then which specific plug model/specs are the best for a '90 5.0 LX?


**Note: The leak COULD also originate at the low oil sensor thingy and simply gather on the plug. I did notice that aforementioned thingy was a bit gunked up, but I'm assuming that the plug is an issue either way.


Thanks!
 
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OneWheelPeel

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Dec 23, 2015
249
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North Carolina
With me being a rig it type repair-man I would personally put a bunch of rtv around the plug with no oil in the pan and then once it dries fill it up with oil. I also had a friend that somehow stripped out his and he took to a shop and the either tapped it for a larger plug or they maybe welded a bung to it and tapped it for a plug. It was one of the two... Just some ideas..
 

FourEyed

Active Member
Jan 9, 2011
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I've used all types of gaskets over the years, and always experienced at some leaking. Recently tried 'Fiber' gaskets, and both plugs have been bone dry since last oil change.

I will definitely be using them again.
 
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DuderMcMerican

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
148
9
28
Woodbridge, VA
With me being a rig it type repair-man I would personally put a bunch of rtv around the plug with no oil in the pan and then once it dries fill it up with oil. I also had a friend that somehow stripped out his and he took to a shop and the either tapped it for a larger plug or they maybe welded a bung to it and tapped it for a plug. It was one of the two... Just some ideas..
Thanks!
 

DuderMcMerican

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
148
9
28
Woodbridge, VA
I've used all types of gaskets over the years, and always experienced at some leaking. Recently tried 'Fiber' gaskets, and both plugs have been bone dry since last oil change.

I will definitely be using them again.
Thanks! Do you know the name of those fiber gaskets? Can you post a link?
 

DuderMcMerican

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
148
9
28
Woodbridge, VA
the link takes me to the homepage and after a site search, i cant find a "fiber" gasket and plug. Its not on the oriely website either. Did it get discontinued? :(
You should be able to track down a kit at Advance Auto Parts: http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...02/5019850-P?searchTerm=drain+plug#fragment-4

You can also mix and match if the plug isn't the one you want. I ended up just buying a pack of the fiber gaskets for like $4-$5 because my plugs were fine.
 
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