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I have a Honda Civic with a stripped aluminum oil pan. Right now the bolt is holding in place alright with a very slow drip, but with the next oil change I will need to make a repair.

I would like to avoid replacing the whole pan due the costs, and buying tools to re-thread the pan cost about as much as the oil pan itself. This leaves me with two options (that I am considering) which are to either use an oversized piggyback plug, or to try and use JB Weld to attach an adapter (linked) that has a female end identical to the male end.

I have heard that oversized piggyback plugs work rather well when used with JB Weld, but if anything goes wrong with the inner bolt you need a new oil pan. For this reason, I want to try to use an adapter.

I found a short adapter that has a male end the size of my oil pan, and a female end of the same size. If I use JB Weld to attach it, I would have a new hole to use whatever plugs or drain valves that I would like. My only concern is that it isn't oversized and I am not sure if the bond will be strong enough to hold it in place for years to come (preferable for the life of the car).

Question: Would it be safe to try and permanently attach the adapter in a stripped hole with JB Weld, or just play it safe with a oversized piggyback plug?

Decision: I have decided to go with an oversized piggyback drain plug. As I did further research I found plenty of people saying that JB Weld as very poor shear strength, which would be required to hold the adapter in place while screwing and unscrewing the new plug. In addition to that I am not sure on the exact state of the threads so I am not sure how well JB Weld would even grip the already small surface area.

Thank you for all of your answers and advice!

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    Of the two options... self-tapping piggy back plug vs. JB Welding some adapter, I'd do the piggy back plug. Take your time installing it. Back it out frequently to help get rid of any metal fragments formed during the tapping process. – cory Feb 28 '17 at 21:10
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    Can you try a threaded insert, like a helicoil? – Hari Ganti Feb 28 '17 at 23:40
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    My only issue with helicoil is that most kits are +$100 (I have none of the needed tools) and trying to stick to a rather tight budget as I have to buy other tools already. If I could borrow the tools for helicoil from a friend then I would definitely try that. – FreakyDan Mar 1 '17 at 2:04
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    I'd recommend getting a quote from a local garage or machine shop to put a helicoil in. They'll have the tools, and if you take the pan to them, it wouldn't cost that much - $20 tip, maybe. – PeteCon Mar 1 '17 at 2:47
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If you can It would be a more permanent repair if you could remove the sump, drill out the old worn threads and carefully weld a new nut onto the sump, either on the inside or outside.. This would give you a brand new thread to work with, and is a far more robust repair.

  • I would have liked to do that or heilcoil if I had the tools, sadly this is a bit of a budget fix, and for my car (2008) I would need to lower the subframe to get the pan off which I think I could do, but would rather play it safe. Thank you. – FreakyDan Mar 2 '17 at 19:19
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As a viable alternative, wrap the drain plug threads with a few turns of PTFE "plumbers" tape on reassembly.

  • Thank you for the suggestion, I hadn't considered plumbers tape. That would fix the leak, but I don't wan to continue to use the partially stripped threads for fear of completely stripping it. – FreakyDan Mar 2 '17 at 19:03
  • Alternatively, a smear of something like loctite thread-lock may do the trick. You wouldn't be torquing it up especially tightly. – Steve Matthews Mar 3 '17 at 9:24

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