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The Glory of Heli-Coil

For those of you with Afermarket Oil Pans

So, I’m sure some of you S-Chassis owners out there are rockin’ the SR20DET aka “Senior Bente.”  One popular upgrade is to change the factory oil pan to a large capacity aftermarket version with baffles. This increases the maximum oil fillage from 4quarts to 5quarts in most cases and also serves to prevent oil starvation at the sump during hard cornering.

What’s the downside? Most of these aftermarket oil pans are made of aluminum, whereas the stock pan is steel. This leads to higher chances of stripping the drain plug’s threads, and I know many of you out there have already ran into this problem. (I see a lot of oil pans on  zilvia.net being sold “with stripped drain-plug threads.” Why not repair them?

It’s actually quite easy. All you need is a Heli-Coil (or something equivalent) kit in size M12x1.25 (the size of the drain plug thread). What’s a Heli-Coil? Simply put, it’s a thinly-wound steel coil that replaces your broken weak aluminum threads with a much stronger steel surface.  I’m not going to explain EXACTLY how it works, (because that takes too long) but feel free to do your own research online.

Long story short, instead of replacing your oil pan because of a broken drain thread, just repair it. It may save you a chunk of change in the long run. Heli-Coils are available for purchase online, while the equivalent “Thread-Sert” can be found at your local Kragen and Autozone stores. However, good luck finding the right repair kit for your oil pan at one of those stores. For some reason, they sell everything up to M10, then they skip to M14 (for spark plug thread repair). Remember, you need an M12x1.25 kit for repairing the oil pan. Good luck!!

In the oil flowing sorrow

Hot raging midnight repair

Rising up again.


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