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I'm in Sierra Leone where mechanics have an impressive flair for improvising with limited resources, but a lack of formal training and a cavalier attitude to long term safety.

I've had a transmission fluid leak from my gasket for a while, and have reason to believe the garage I was trying to fix it with were deliberately applying temporary fixes to give me a reason to keep coming back (a common trick here).

I've got another mechanic to look at it, who isolated the cause to a screw with worn-down threads and a worn gap, that can't make a seal and can't be replaced without cutting then welding the metal. His proposed solution was to seal it with an epoxy glue, reasoning that I'd need to cut it out if it needed removing anyway, and this way at least it's sealed.

He was insistent that this is safe and that they've done this many times before, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's safe... So I insisted on testing the (dried) glue with transmission fluid anyway. There didn't seem to be any reaction (the glue is "Teson Quick Steel", two-part, no clues as to ingredients on the packaging).

I'm sure this isn't the best solution, but is it safe, or might there be something like a slow reaction that's not immediately visible?

  • 1
    I can tell you that JB Weld is resistant to hydrocarbons. Gas and oil. The merits of the fix are.....not merits. I would try to find someone who's competency is a bit higher that can enact the heli-coil solution suggested by @moab . here's a link regarding the JB Weld. mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/26635/… – DucatiKiller May 2 '16 at 22:44
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If it is the oil pan bolt holes that are stripped out, using a Heli-Coil thread insert is the professional permanent solution.

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Heli-Coil is the inventor of this repair method, but there are other brands now available that do the same thing, they are sold in most Auto parts stores here in the US.

Using Epoxy to do this type of repair is similar to using bailing wire to hold the exhaust pipe up off the ground, a temporary fix.

They sell Kits for every thread size, the Kit includes the inserts, insert tool, and the correct tap to tap out the hole for the insert to screw into.

You will need to know what the thread size is to order the correct kit.

  • Am I missing something? Can't he just tap it out to a larger size? It's an oil pan, it should have tons of room for a larger thread. – Katastic Voyage Oct 15 at 11:35
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I really think it depends on how they are using the glue. If they are using it to fill in a void, then it might work. You WOULD NOT however, want to use it to seal the leak directly. For instance, you don't want to glue or bond the two metal parts together in lieu of a gasket or gasket material.

They (or you) need to figure out where the gasket is leaking at and fix the issue, not just cover the symptom. The problem may be because a part is warped and leaves a gap where liquid can seep through. It may also be due to having it too tight (which can also damage the piece permanently). A good way to fix this is by using gasket maker such as Permatex (self vulcanizing sealant). If that isn't available, you may want to see if you can replace the part altogether. You can also use a substitute for the gasket. There is gasket material with which you can make your own gaskets. I've even used stiff card stock to make gaskets with in the past. Yes, you have to cut them out, but it works like a charm in some situations.

Hopefully this helps with your endeavor.

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