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Frozen oil drain plug

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  • Frozen oil drain plug

    I have a very stubborn drain plug on my 1964 v-8 wagonaire. When I got it the bolt was rounded off, so I guess someone else has had trouble also. I tried vice grips and cheater bar, pounding on an impact socket and even went so far as drilling out the center of the bolt head and using an easy out....broke it. My buddy who is a mopar nut thinks I should heat wrench it and keep a fire extinguisher near by. Mopar guys ain't that smart are they. There is oil in the pan! I don't want to drill and tap because I wasn't planning on pulling the engine and I do not want the metal filings in the pan. What do you guys suggest?

    John Powers

  • #2
    Buy a new plug, then drill the hole larger and use a bigger easy out.


    • #3
      If there's enough of a head left to get a grip on, get a BIG-A** pair of Channel-lock pliers and try that. I have two pair around here and I may only use them once a year.[] But boy, they are life-savers sometimes! ALSO - since your Stude is a full-flo filter engine, I wouldn't worry so much about having a shaving in the pan. ALL the oil goes thru that oilo filter before it goes to the engine. So it's unlikely that it would ever cause a problem.

      Miscreant at large.

      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
      1960 Larkvertible V8
      1958 Provincial wagon
      1953 Commander coupe
      1957 President 2-dr
      1955 President State
      1951 Champion Biz cpe
      1963 Daytona project FS
      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


      • #4
        I've had a similar problem before, Soak it good with PB Blaster a couple of times and give it time to set in. Then get a nut extractor set, (kind of like a socket with internal spiral cutting flutes) Craftsman makes a set that you can use with an impact wrench. It goes over the outside of the bolt head. Let it hammer away, it's the greatest tool since the screw extractor that you have already tried. I haven't had it fail yet.


        • #5
          i used a c-clamp to tighten the vice-grips down and the put a cheater bar on the vice grip. The easy out broke inside the hole I drilled. I don't think i can drill through the easy-out. How hard is it to pull the pan off, clean it and heat wrench it off. I really do't want to. I guess i could drill and tap a new hole, but isn't there an additional peice of steel spot welded on the inside to give the bolt more threads to grab?


          • #6
            I've had good luck with using a pipe wrench in cases like these. Available room can be a problem but if you can get a small pipe wrench in conjuction with a cheater your might get lucky.
            Don't give up and welcome to working on old cars. Anytime I can get a fastener off without either breaking, twisting off, or without heating or soaking for days I consider it a success.

            Russ Shop Foreman "Rusty Nut Garage"
            57 SH (project)
            60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

            Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
            53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
            57 SH (project)
            60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)


            • #7
              Here's a (non-Studebaker) horror story for the heck of it...

              I once had a car with a frozen pan plug. The pan was (thin) sheet metal, and the (thicker) metal piece the plug threaded into was tack-welded to the inside of the pan. When I tried to break the plug loose, the piece tacked to the inside of the pan broke loose instead. The plug, with the piece inside the pan still frozen to it, could then be turned with the wrench but (of course) not removed. (And, of course, it now leaked badly.) I replaced the pan.

              MarkC, 64 Y8
              Working in Spokane, WA


              • #8
                How tough is it to just change the darn oil pan on this thing. That huge kingpin and the exhaust pipe looks like it may make it troublesome.


                • #9
                  It is a PITB to change, the pipe wrench sounds the best if you don't have a stud remover and a air impact.


                  • #10
                    well, dont know if you have a Dremel or not. But what I've done on several bolts that wont budge is i get my Dremel and a small cut off wheel and I cut a line into the bolt for a screw driver. get some wd-40 or something to soak the nut a bit, and give it a shot with the screw driver.
                    the thing about doing it this way i could make the slot deeper, wider whatever the bolt head size really. it has seemed to work good for me in the past.

                    I have used fire on alot of bolts, hell i even smoke around an open carb. But i dont think i would used a torch directly on an oily spot like that.


                    • #11
                      Or cut the head off a slightly smaller nut, weld it onto the plug and try wrenching it again. PB blaster is better than WD40 for soaking frozen threads.

                      A friend of mine works only on Rolls Royces and such. Everytime he does an oil change he replaces the drain plug washer with a new one, finger tightens and then snugs it with a wrench. They don't leak and come off easily every time. He says when you reuse the same washer everytime you change oil, you tighten further and further, distorting the washer, compromising the seal and, eventually, freezing the threads. There are no threads in the sheetmetal of the pan, only in the steel block that is held inside the pan with four spot welds. Break those welds only if you want the inside of the pan really really clean.

                      Add a 50 cent drain plug seal to your next oil change. Available at your local FLAPS.
                      "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                      Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                      sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"


                      • #12
                        One of my other cars has a silly British washer size, no longer available. I now use plummers thread tape - 7 wraps around base of threads, re-fit and no leaks. It works every time.


                        • #13
                          Take a good steel nut with a thread size somewhat smaller than the head of your pan plug. Using an arc welder, or wirefeed, weld the nut to your plug placing the weld in the threaded hole of the nut. (Even if you have to hire a welder you will be happier than removing the pan which is a PITA.) Relax because the interior of the plug will not get hot enough to burn the oil if you spray a little water on the plug when the weld is finished. I've used this method numerous times on various rounded plugs.

                          If you can find a nut that will slip over the rounded plug hex that makes the welding easier yet. Good luck.


                          • #14
                            I have had luck with the giant size channel locks that Bob recomended
                            also have used the welded on nut already recomended.
                            I have a pair of the 24" channel locks you can use or if it still has oil in it and is drivable bring it out and I will get it off one way or the other. Remember I am in north Marana.

                            Jerry (studeblu)
                            64 E13 Transtar
                            53 Coupe
                            53 2R6 pickup
                            Jerry (studeblu)
                            37 Coupe Express project
                            59 Pick up driver
                            40 President sedan driver