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Discussion Starter #1
Changing the oil today was pretty much a disaster. Since I have owned the car, I have done all my own maintenance, including changing the oil. I always followed the torque spec on the oil drain bolt due to the materials used in the pan. However, it seems this is not enough to prevent the threads from being stripped out. While tightening the bolt, not even close to the torque of 29 Ft/LBs, it just began to spin free. Every thread in the oil pan is stripped.

Wondering what happend, I pulled the bolt and inspected it and the threads. I was quite surprised to find that the stainless steel bolt threads directly into the aluminium/magnesium oil pan, and not into some kind of steel liner. I'm sure I don't need to tell anyone how fundamentally stupid this design is...

Now, the real problem is what to do:

1. Replace the pan

2. Retap the hole and use a larger bolt

Option #1 is what I like best, but I remember reading on the honda_hybrid list about a woman who went through this and found out that the pan was more then a little expensive.

Option #2 is completely acceptable, but I am unsure as to how much extra material there is to allow any machining...

I should mention that there is an option #3. The most logical course of action would have a machinest install a proper steel sleeve in the pan to prevent this from happening again...

The major problem here is time. It just happens to be a holiday Monday here in Canada, which means that the earliest I can talk to a dealer is tomorrow morning. It's looking more and more like I will have to bring the car to the dealer to have it repaired as I simply cannot take the time off of my job to mess around with this (the remove/reinstall procedure looks like it will take a day at least). Also, they will probably provide me with a loaner car, which solves my transportation issue...

Has anyone repaired an oil pan before? How did the problem with the woman on honda_hybrid turn out? I tried to search, but the Yahoo! groups search is less then useful. Anyone had this done at a dealer? Guesses on the cost of a pan?
 

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oil pan pricing

$226, just for the part...

I wonder if you could get the hole sealed cheaper. I would not want to guess how to do this safely, but it might be an option. I use an oil extractor for oil changes.
 

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What your post didn't detail is whether or not you are using a NEW crush washer each and every time. It will make the difference.

There are a variety of "temporary" rubber plugs that are 99% safe and effective. Just keep a watchful eye on the oil pressure warning light. If you go this route you must resist the temtation of twisting the plug once its released in the hole. It takes no more than 1/2 turn for the sharp edges of the threads to cut the plug. Failure will be eminent.

Since the pan is magnesium welding is a very limited option. And a quality steel insert job is likely going to be some what costly and time intensive in that finding a skilled machinist to do the job will not be an easy task.

HTH! :)
 

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That's exactly what I was afraid might happen some day.
So I installed the FRAM Sure Drain Valve.

http://www.fram.com/

$20 at Canadian Tire.
 

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Wow, sorry to hear that Aaron, Mine had a pinhole leak in the casting and the dealer replaced it no charge. I believe that it would have been 800 dollars. The "oil pan" is a rather complex casting. I could send you a 200k JPG blown apart view of the engine. What about using a helicoil insert? Any decent machine shop could do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What your post didn't detail is whether or not you are using a NEW crush washer each and every time. It will make the difference.
About 50% of the time (when the Honda parts guy remembered to throw one in the bag) I replaced the washer. I can't see how reusing a washer would effect the threads in any way. 29 FT-LBS is 29 FT-LBS on both a thin washer and a thick washer.

There are a variety of "temporary" rubber plugs that are 99% safe and effective. Just keep a watchful eye on the oil pressure warning light. If you go this route you must resist the temtation of twisting the plug once its released in the hole. It takes no more than 1/2 turn for the sharp edges of the threads to cut the plug. Failure will be eminent.
I've seen engine damage due to oil starvation, so any temporary solution, even if it is just used during the drive to the dealer, is unacceptable to me. I'm currently helping a friend rebuild his 13B rotary that seized after 1000KM due to the previous builder forgetting to properly set oil clearance. Spun every bearing in the engine, needed new stationary gears, eccentric shaft, front cover, oil pump/chain/gears, etc. Not a pretty sight. We had to disassemble it with pry bars and a torch.

Since the pan is magnesium welding is a very limited option.
Welding for me is not an option. While I'm sure there is a welder capable somewhere in London, the cost is likely astronomical. I've had very bad experiences with welders before in that they like to charge a lot for even the simplest jobs.

And a quality steel insert job is likely going to be some what costly and time intensive in that finding a skilled machinist to do the job will not be an easy task.
Nah...Bore the hole larger, then turn a piece slightly larger on a lathe. Drill, then tap the oil bolt hole. Heat up the oil pan in a tub of oil a few hundred degrees, put the sleeve in the freezer. Then quickly press in the sleeve. Less then $100 worth of work for my machinest (who I trust completely). Worst case is that an already damaged pan is broken more. :)

That's exactly what I was afraid might happen some day.
So I installed the FRAM Sure Drain Valve.
I intend to do this as soon as I have my new pan.

Another solution is to bore a hole through the existing oil drain bolt, tap the hole, then install a smaller in it. That way, you can remove/reinstall the smaller bolt without worrying about damaging the soft pan.

Yet another solution would have been for Honda to design it properly from the factory.

The "oil pan" is a rather complex casting. I could send you a 200k JPG blown apart view of the engine. What about using a helicoil insert? Any decent machine shop could do that.
Yes, there is quite a lot integrated into the pan. Filter, A/C compressor, etc. Also two large bolts that go through the IMA motor and into the transmission. It was a hard decision to send the car to the dealer to have it repaired. I have never had anyone but me work on any of my cars, but I simply don't have the time to do this one by myself. Removal looks to be a good three hour process, then the cleaning of the pan and engine, then the reinstall. Probably 8 hours all told. Since I need the car this weekend (to head down to the shop and finish a rebuild on a 13B turbo rotary) I just can't have it sit in my driveway while I spend a few hours a day on it.

So basically, the car is currently at the dealer. They said they can get the part by tomorrow, so that at least minimizes downtime. But I can imagine that I'll certainly pay for the convenience.

I intend to take this issue up with Honda, since their design absolutely sucks. I would expect that this will be a common problem for Insight drivers very soon as the threads begin to wear. It is beyond me why a steel sleeve was not used in the factory, especially in a bolt that is so often removed, and considering how happy many mechanics are to use an impact gun on everything. As soon as the repair is completed, I will be calling Honda North America and voicing my concerns. This is the only problem I have ever had with the car, but it is a HUGE and EXPENSIVE consequence to such a stupid design.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I just received a call from London Honda saying that my car was all done. The service manager said that they were able to rethread the pan. He didn't know the details, but I assume they installed a Helicoil or similar insert. I will get all the info when I pick up the car tonight and post it here.

Assuming they did it all right (and were able to get the shavings out of the pan) I am officially impressed with the service of London Honda. It took exactly 6 hours for them to solve the problem, without much drama at all. Obviously, simply rethreading a hole is a different issue then replacing the pan, but it's still quite nice to have it done in the same day.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just want to let everyone know that I have my car back. The pan was repaired with a Helicoil for a total cost of about $140.

This may be a lesson to all those of us who enjoy performing our own maintenance. Do everything else, but leave the oil changes to the dealer. It's probably cheaper, and if they screw up the oil pan, they eat the (rather high) cost of a replacement. I sort of got off lucky and avoided a replacement pan, but this might not be true for everyone.
 
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Hi Aaron Cake:

___I am glad that all ended well with the Helicoil fix. The $140.00 is quite a bit less then the cost of a new pan itself.

___How did you end up getting your Insight to them? Did you use the short term plug method?

___In regards to your dealership oil changes, I don’t know if you have seen any of my previous posts about it but I take the Insight into the local Honda dealer (only ½ mile down the road!) with my own 3 Qt’s of Mobil1 0W-20 and oil filter and they change it for me for just $9.24. That makes it well worth it even for a DIY! I hope London Honda is as generous to you.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1yyn57fi][email protected][/email:1yyn57fi]
 

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Hi Aaron Cake

Wow, thanks for the story. I don’t blame you for being upset with the Honda design. I learned a lesson on your dime. Very significant considering oil changes are one of the basic DIY procedures! It makes (another) good argument for not taking our cars down to the corner “Kwiky Loob”. I wonder how many “certified techs” would have crossed their fingers and let you drive out with your nicely smoothed oil drain hole? “Gee it felt snug to me!”
 

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Like I said above, use one of these and you will never need to mess with the plug again:

Pela 6000

If you don't unscrew it, you can't strip it :wink:
 
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Hi Holicow:

___I thought you were supposed to strip it first and then screw it :D

___Sorry all for that mis-guided and politically incorrect statement … And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:z29pyrgg][email protected][/email:z29pyrgg]
 

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Hi xcel-

:lol: You might love your car a little too much. :lol:

(Sorry, I too can be a sucker for political incorrectness.)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I had the car towed to the dealer. My tow truck driver, Doug, knows me pretty well due to my RX-7s. He had to call another driver to make sure there was nothing strange about the Insight, but after that it was just like towing any other car.

As I mentioned, I am quite concerned about the lubrication system due to prior experience. No "short term" solutions are acceptable to me. Others might find the risk something they are willing to take a chance on.

I also have a sneaking suspician that the bolt has been overtorqued in the past. The first oil change I performed required the use of a breaker bar to loosen the drain, so I can only assume that someone at the dealer severly overtorqued it.

I will be stopping by Canadian Tire today to pick up the Sure Drain valve.
 

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I hope Guillermo can confirm that it is the SD2.

Because yesterday I went to my local Canadian Tire store to buy the SureDrain and the sales guy indicated the SD2 like you wrote.

I have it but it is not installed yet. And by the time it is going to be I will not be able to return it for a refound. Next oil change is in a couple of months.
 

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A local auto parts house has them on sale for US$13.95. My next oil change will not be until the late Fall but I would purchase it now and store it until I am ready. I have been using a torque wrench set to 29 ft/lb but if even that is going to be a problem I am going to go with the drain instead.
 

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SD2 sounds familiar.
I do know it's exactly the same as the civics.
The application guide at the store lists the Insight.
 
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