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Ndawg12

Drain plug sheered off in block, d'oh!

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Ndawg12

Did you just want to tell us this or do you have a question about how to fix it :biggrin:

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stroker-ace

Did you just want to tell us this or do you have a question about how to fix it :biggrin:

I typed the story then the site went down and lost the text I guess. On my phone now. I will update when I get home.

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stroker-ace

Take 2...

This is a precautionary tale as much as a search for advice.

I went to the dealer to pick up some odds and ends and snagged some new engine block drain plugs cuz the original ones that came with the boat were a bit gnarled. They gave me the quick-release plugs that have a valve that you can open by hand. Sweet, I thought.

I put one round of teflon tape on each plug and was careful not to go more than one round as I knew it would be a snug fit, but teflon with gas or fluids is a force of habit for me. The first plug went in snug, but no problems. The second plug sheered off with the head 1/16" from being flush with the block...and I wasnt even leaning on the wrench at all. I am telling you it was grandma tight. So, at that point, I had a gaping hole in my block with a brass sleeve inside it.

I went to the store and bought an extractor set. Guess what...the extractor sheered off inside the brass plug. I will admit I was leaning on it a bit hard out of frustration. So now, we have a gaping hole in the block, a brass sleeve in the hole and an extractor bit sheered off in the brass. The funny thing is that it is sealed water tight. I took it out on the lake the next day without so much as a drip. I could run all summer like this with the Sanford and Son theme song jammin' on the hi-fi. However, eventually it will all have to come out...sooner rather than later.

So, I figure I can drill the extractor out and start shaving away at what is left of the brass with a small saw blade while hoping not to ruin the threads on the block and trying to keep debris from falling in the block. A friend of mine that is an engine builder for half his life also suggested that I take a hand torch to it and melt the brass out. He said it wouldn't take much heat and the block would be able to handle it. I believe this, but it is still a sketchy operation. At lease I own a Response and the area is pretty easily accessable.

So...

A: be careful with those damned quick-release drain plugs.

2nd- anyone else had this problem before?

3. any other suggestion as to how to get all of this crap out of the side of my block?

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shawndoggy

once you get the extractor out is the hole big enough that you could get a tiny saw blade in there? Like even a very fine jigsaw blade? If so, could you hold the blade with a pair of vice grips and very carefully make two cuts to cut out a pie-piece shaped piece of the sleeve? Then a little bit of heat and a screwdriver in your new "notch" should be able to turn the sleeve out far enough that you could grab it with your vice grips?

Dunno if that would work, but it did work for me to pull a stripped and siezed campy bottom bracket cup from a steel bike frame. The hole is obviously much bigger in my case, plus I was sawing through aluminum rather than brass. But it did totally work.

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stroker-ace

once you get the extractor out is the hole big enough that you could get a tiny saw blade in there? Like even a very fine jigsaw blade? If so, could you hold the blade with a pair of vice grips and very carefully make two cuts to cut out a pie-piece shaped piece of the sleeve? Then a little bit of heat and a screwdriver in your new "notch" should be able to turn the sleeve out far enough that you could grab it with your vice grips?

Dunno if that would work, but it did work for me to pull a stripped and siezed campy bottom bracket cup from a steel bike frame. The hole is obviously much bigger in my case, plus I was sawing through aluminum rather than brass. But it did totally work.

Yes, that is one of my plans. I had a frind snap a spark plug off in his boat one time and he used a small jigsaw blade and a magnet to catch the shavings. So I bought a small blade when I bought the extractor kit as a plan B. I was going to make 2 cuts 180* across from eachother and finagle the two pieces out. I do like your alternate strategy though. Thanks for the post.

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shawndoggy

Let us know if it works. I'd also prolly chase the threads with a tap once you do get the sleeve out.

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stroker-ace

Let us know if it works. I'd also prolly chase the threads with a tap once you do get the sleeve out.

Will do. Good idea.

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electricjohn

I doubt you will be able to drill into that extractor. They are pretty hard metal.

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stroker-ace

I doubt you will be able to drill into that extractor. They are pretty hard metal.

I understand your point, but if it is weak enough to snap, I bet I can find a drill bit to bore through it. The kit was only $5, I doubt it is made of titanium.

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electricjohn

Hardness=brittleness...anyway, good luck with it.

Edited by electricjohn

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99response

Loose the quick drains, it's a quick way to a cracked block.

-Chris

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stroker-ace

Hardness=brittleness...anyway, good luck with it.

good point. still, i am trying to stay optomistic.

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Woodski

Don't want to be the pessimist, but. . . The ez out will be hard, my guess is that the drill bit will try to walk off the side and end up drilling off center in the brass and part of the block forcing a larger hole to be drilled. Summer is close, the hole is closed, I would stronly consider running it through the summer and fix it when the boat is out of commission for a few months because Murphy will dictate the project will take longer than expected. But probably like you, I like things right, so the urge to fix it will be strong. Have you thought of shearing everything off flush with the block, drill a slightly larger hole then tapping fresh cast block material? Not ideal, but maybe a last resort. Can you make a deep groove in the fitting (die grinder) to get a large screwdriver in and then put a cresent wrench to use for the needed torque? As mentioned, solid plug as a replacement.

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dalt1

Carbide tipped drill to attempt drilling out E Z out. If you can keep it in center of E Z out, you have a chance, not much of a chance though. E Z out is made of tough High Speed steel same as drill bit, carbide is tougher than High Speed steel.

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tvano

Don't want to be the pessimist, but. . . The ez out will be hard, my guess is that the drill bit will try to walk off the side and end up drilling off center in the brass and part of the block forcing a larger hole to be drilled. Summer is close, the hole is closed, I would stronly consider running it through the summer and fix it when the boat is out of commission for a few months because Murphy will dictate the project will take longer than expected. But probably like you, I like things right, so the urge to fix it will be strong. Have you thought of shearing everything off flush with the block, drill a slightly larger hole then tapping fresh cast block material? Not ideal, but maybe a last resort. Can you make a deep groove in the fitting (die grinder) to get a large screwdriver in and then put a cresent wrench to use for the needed torque? As mentioned, solid plug as a replacement.

i'm not sure how much that oxidation will affect the area after sitting for the summer, but it may be worth considering.

that is quite a mix: iron block, brass fitting and high speed steel easy-out.

throw in some lake water and you have quite a nice little battery.

i suspect the brass is the most noble metal; that means the oxidation will be concentrated on the block (least noble imho) and the easy-out secondarily.

i was shocked at the amount corrosion on the block when i removed one of my brass drain plugs after two seasons and yes, i did use teflon tape.

good luck w it and keep us in the loop.

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martinarcher

Carbide tipped drill to attempt drilling out E Z out. If you can keep it in center of E Z out, you have a chance, not much of a chance though. E Z out is made of tough High Speed steel same as drill bit, carbide is tougher than High Speed steel.

Right on. Just got done with a similar project (if you want to call it that).

I snapped a strut mounting bolt off in the BMW while changing front suspension (bolt is 14mm).

Drilled a hole in from both ends and put an EZ out in the end where the stud snapped off, and tapped the other end 1/4 20 and used a Grade 8 1/4-20 bolt as a reverse easy out. I figured if I applied heat to the stud and used torque from both ends it would reduce the chances of snapping the EZ out off. So with a wrench on my 1-4-20 bolt and a ratchet on the EZ out I started to apply light pressure. SNAP......the 1/4-20 bolt broke off. I think the heat from the MAPP gas torch weakened it and caused it to snap under light pressure. Lesson learned.

Now I need to go to a smaller bit and drill the 1/4-20 stud out....well as I started drilling into the 1/4-20 bolt with a 1/8 bit things seemed to be going well. As I got almost through the bolt (about 3/4" into the original stud), my 1/8" bit snapped off in the 1/4-20 bolt. Wow - this really really blows. Mad.gif I'm now debating if I should pull the entire hub assembly off and take it to a machine shop after spending 2 hours making 0 progress watching my steel drill bits spin on the broken bit in the 1/4-20 bolt. Blowup.gif

I ended up borrowing a carbide bit from a machine shop and used it to drill from the other side (EZ out side) until I met the tip of the broken bit. I then used a punch to push the broken bit through the bolt 1/16" at a time as I drilled my way all the way through the old stud. What a pain.

The good news is, you don't have to worry about shavings since your working with the water passages. The amount of sediment that comes out of mine when I drain it is unreal (gets picked up form the sea water pump).

Get yourself a carbide bit and try that. If it doesn't work, I do like the heat on the brass idea your buddy had. Might work well and get the entire mess out without harming the block at all.

Good luck! salute.gif

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YJim

Just a thought... Could you weld a nut to the easy out from the inside of the nut, and back it out with a wrench?

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Lance B. Johnson

Welding a nut would be a good thing to try actually. I have removed many a broken bolt that way (read high school auto teacher). Unfortunately the EZ out may not weld very well and the brass not at all.

I say give it your best shot and if you booger up the threads getting it out, no biggie......just drill and tap to a larger size like Woodski says.

Another thing I have been successful with is taking a center punch/ hammer and walking the broken bolt out by tapping it.

Depending on the design of the ez out you will need to determine the direction that you need to go. Some are fluted in a manner that causes them to bite in a counterclockwise direction and release in a clockwise direction. Others are not really fluted at all but just tapered. So depends what your ez out is....

Edited by Ruffdog

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