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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is oil dripping around drain plug of my 2001 Intrepid. I purchased a new plug from dealer that has combined gasket on the head, however, it wouldn't fit because too small. Bold on mine 15mm, one from dealer 13mm.

The gasket on plug on my car is separate from the head.

Having difficult time finding part#...anyone know?
 

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Are you talking about wrench (head hex) size? The thread size on our oil drain plugs is M14-1.5. Doesn't matter what size wrench it takes.

Because the oil pan is made of aluminum, it is not unusual for the threads in the oil pan drain hole to strip out, causing it to leak because it can no longer be tightened. If you try to tighten you drain plug, does it tighten to a reasonable torque?

Can you post some good close-up pictures of the plug you got at the dealer, including the gasket or sealing surface?
 

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You posted an earlier thread saying you were shopping for a new oil pan: Oil Pan 2001 Intrepid

Is the leak with a new pan. Or were you considering buying a new pan for this problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
You posted an earlier thread saying you were shopping for a new oil pan: Oil Pan 2001 Intrepid

Is the leak with a new pan. Or were you considering buying a new pan for this problem?
I was referring to head size, not thread size.

I drained the oil and checked around the drain hole after plug removed and did not see any cracks around it so decided not to replace the pan. I took the gasket to advance auto and found one same size, but it was metal (mine plastic) and came with a plug..Dorman M16-1.50, pn D90-084CD. I installed the new gasket/plug, refilled oil, and no more drips. Since problem solved, let me know if you still want me to post pics of one from dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Turns out I didn't wait long enough to check plug and new gasket after installed...there's still a small drip. Suggestions on what to do about this?
 

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Are you using just a metal washer, no rubber? The pan threads aren't stripped so it isn't compressing well against the washer?

You must have used the plug from the dealer, unless someone drilled and tapped the pan to M16-1.5.

The only reason I mentioned photos was that I was wondering if it had a washer that was captive on the plug (with or without rubber) or if it was without a washer but had a ring of rubber molded into a groove machined into the underside of the head, which is actually a pretty good way to go (controlled crush of rubber for perfect seal).

A few years ago, I ordered a bag of these washers from McMaster-Carr for all of my M14-1.5 drain plug cars. The rubber is bonded to the metal, the rubber closest to the ID is a thin web but slightly smaller diameter than the OD of plug threads so it stays on the plug when out of the pan, and best of all, the rubber is domed slightly thicker than the washer metal on both sides so it gets compressed for a perfect seal and controlled crush with minimum torque for minimum stress on the pan threads.

NOTE: The information below is for the 1/2" washer. Its ID is too small and tight of a fit for the M14 plug. The 5/8" washer is the correct one to use for the M14 and M14 OS PLUG. See posts 13 and 22 for the correct information.



41477
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Attached is pic of the one from dealer.

I believe the original plug on my car stripped and new hole tapped for the 15mm currently installed and either must not have been tapped properly or the gasket bad. Yes, I used metal washer because it was only size that matched up to the plastic one that was on the plug. Still looking for 15mm crush washer to replace the metal one. Hate to have to replace pan because of this.
 

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Sounds like you may be saying the pan threads may have stripped and someone put in an M14-1.5 OS plug, "OS" meaning "over-size" thread, which is a non-standard, self-tapping thread just slightly larger than M14 (not even as large as M15 - maybe more like M14.5) to grab a slight bit of new metal. They are notorious tor leaking, especially with metal washer because they may not cut new threads straight (so your plug may be slightly tilted) plus much of your tightening torque is going into overcoming forcing metal out of the way (partially cutting new threads) without much clamping force to seal around the hard metal washer, which is not going to seal well with low residual clamping force, especially if the net axis of the hole threads is not perfectly perpendicular to the pan sealing surface.

TWO THINGS TO OVERCOME THAT (do both):
(1) remove the washer of the OS plug before filling pan with oil, then install plug (without washer) and tighten (run it in) to the point that the head fully seats against the pan sealing surface. That makes sure you cut the slightly larger threads completely so that after you remove the plug and re-install the washer, your final tightening torque is 100% going to adequately clamp the washer for sealing against a slow leak/drip like you are having.
(2) Having only a metal washer is working against sealing well unless you're willing to crank down on the tightening torque for high clamping force - which is exactly what you don't want to do because you have a very weak thread engagement with the OS thread. High tightening torque plus weak aluminum is why the factory thread eventually stripped in the first place, and now you're dealing with a much weaker partially-cut thread, which is why you need some kind of compliant material (rubber) built into the washer - which is why I brought up the McMaster sealing washers.

TO REITERATE:
The OS thread plug is almost guaranteed to leak unless you apply a fairly high torque, BUT fairly high torque to make it not drip is going to strip it out in short order (it's nowhere near as strong as the factory thread, and the factory thread stripped out). So either use a washer with rubber on it so you get sealing with relatively low tightening torque so the weak OS thread will last, or replace the pan.

There are a couple of other possible solutions (helicoil the thread, or drill and tap to M16-1.5, or use a "Quick-Drain" lever valve), all of which have their downsides, making either using the OS thread with the rubberized sealing washer OR replacing the pan the more practical options - IMO.
 

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Thanks for posting a photo of the plug you got from the dealer. The rubber (plastic) around the sealing surface of the head is good. Unfortunately your pan threads had already been stripped and OS'd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Attached is a pic of the oil plug gasket from the car. I measured it but may not be exact because of wear:

OD: 18/16" / 28.575mm
ID: .625", / 15.875mm
width ring: .1875" / 4.7625mm

Also attached is pic of M16 plug I purchased with the plastic ring from car around it and there's still a small gap between gasket and plug.

I'll try your suggestions and I'll look at McMaster website for crush washer size same as above and also I'll buy this thread sealant (unless you know of better one):


Thanks.
 

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NOTE - correction to the below info: The 1/2" ID McMaster-Carr sealing washer is too small and too tight of a fit to the M14 plug. The 5/8" washer is the correct one to use (also works for M14 OS (oversize) thread plug). See posts 13 and 22 for the correct information.

For original M14 plug or the OS aftermarket, the washer I posted will probably fit best, but they also make it in 5/8" (0.625") ID. They're cheap enough that you could get a bag of each - that's what I did when I was experimenting with them years ago. I believe the 1/2" ID ones are what seemed to fit best. YMMV. (My two late-model Mitsubishis also have M14 plugs - first time I changed oil in both of them, I put one of the McMaster-Carr sealing washers on the plug. Their pans are steel, so the threads will never strip out. I just like the way these washers seal perfectly every time and last a long while.)

The idea is to have the triangular thin web within the ID be just tight enough to keep the washer on the plug when you remove the plug from the pan but allow you to easily remove it if you want to. You might find that the 5/8" ID washer will also do that.

It's nice that they come in bags of 5. That would last you many years. The rubber does gradually take a set (flattens out). However, I've never had one leak even a drop even after 3 or more years because they never take a set to be flush with the washer surfaces - they will always have enough squishy goodness to spring back enough to seal.

When using them, tighten the plug just enough to guarantee that it won't loosen itself between oil changes, i.e., with the rubber fully compressed and metal of washer slightly snug against plug head and pan land area (the rubber adds plenty of friction against loosening). The lack of stress on the threads by minimum torque should keep the threads from strippng out forever - unless you take it to a quicky oil change place and someone thinks the tighter the better and/or uses an impact wrench on it (yes - that has happened) - but that's always a risk no matter what preventive measures you take.

Another tip: Never remove a drain plug with the engine at full operating temperature. Aluminum is weak and sticky at temperature and the threads can rip right out of the hole when hot. That is common knowledge among pro mechanics - and applies to spark plugs in aluminum cylinder heads too. Removing drain or spark plugs when engine slightly warm is OK. When hot/at full operating temperature - not OK. That's usually the cause of spark plug hole threads stripping out.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Are you using just a metal washer, no rubber? The pan threads aren't stripped so it isn't compressing well against the washer?

You must have used the plug from the dealer, unless someone drilled and tapped the pan to M16-1.5.

The only reason I mentioned photos was that I was wondering if it had a washer that was captive on the plug (with or without rubber) or if it was without a washer but had a ring of rubber molded into a groove machined into the underside of the head, which is actually a pretty good way to go (controlled crush of rubber for perfect seal).

A few years ago, I ordered a bag of these washers from McMaster-Carr for all of my M14-1.5 drain plug cars. The rubber is bonded to the metal, the rubber closest to the ID is a thin web but slightly smaller diameter than the OD of plug threads so it stays on the plug when out of the pan, and best of all, the rubber is domed slightly thicker than the washer metal on both sides so it gets compressed for a perfect seal and controlled crush with minimum torque for minimum stress on the pan threads.


View attachment 41477
Washers received from McMaster-Carr in less than one day after ordering using UPS Ground! Will install this weekend and post update. Thanks!
 

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I've always thought McMaster-Carr must get special treatment from UPS because how fast their stuff arrives. They have warehouses in NJ, GA, CA, OH, and IL, so that's a factor too.

It looks like you might gave gotten washers with rubber on one side only (McMaster-Carr That could work, but you'd still have washer metal to pan metal having to make the seal on one side of the washer. That would take care of any tilt in the plug, but might still seep if there are any other sealing surface irregularities or grit on pan or washer. The washer like I suggested has rubber thru the cross-section around the ID for continuous pan-to-plug head rubber sealing.

Here's the 5/8" washer like I was talking about: McMaster-Carr
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've always thought McMaster-Carr must get special treatment from UPS because how fast their stuff arrives. They have warehouses in NJ, GA, CA, OH, and IL, so that's a factor too.

It looks like you might gave gotten washers with rubber on one side only (McMaster-Carr That could work, but you'd still have washer metal to pan metal having to make the seal on one side of the washer. That would take care of any tilt in the plug, but might still seep if there are any other sealing surface irregularities or grit on pan or washer. The washer like I suggested has rubber thru the cross-section around the ID for continuous pan-to-plug head rubber sealing.

Here's the 5/8" washer like I was talking about: McMaster-Carr
I called McMaster-Carr and ordered the washer from your link...no shipping charge and don't have to return other part ordered. Highly recommend them.
 

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I called McMaster-Carr and ordered the washer from your link...no shipping charge and don't have to return other part ordered. Highly recommend them.
Heh! Yes - they are the best. They are to hardware what Digikey is to electronics.
 

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So - on your first order, did they actually ship the wrong part, or did they ship what you ordered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So - on your first order, did they actually ship the wrong part, or did they ship what you ordered.
They shipped part I ordered...I just asked if could do anything on shipping other part and they didn't charge me for it.
 

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You're welcome.
 

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Ordered some of the 1/2" washers from McMaster today. Shipping + Tax was over $10 for a package of $15 washers ! Sheesh! But if they work then it's worth it.

I've got one of those oversized thread drain plugs in courtesy of one of those "Crappy Lube" shops that managed to strip out the threads! I suspect it wasn't cut straight into the pan causing a small persistent leak at the drain plug. I've got a replacement Oil pan but have been dreading/delaying getting it installed because well it's PITA to install !

Ships Monday with expected delivery of Wednesday at least.
 
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