How tight is your gen drain plug?

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Tom

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Easy jobs today, or so I thought. I waited for the weather to clear up, then proceeded to change oil, oil filter, fuel filter and air filter on the Onan generator. The drain plug is located through a hole in a welded support bar (part of the generator slide), so the only thing that will reach is a socket or deep socket. That dumb little plug has a 3/8" head. Last time the oil was changed, the dealer changed it and either he torqued the plug too tight or he didn't change it.

Now to plan B; I asked the boss to pick up a 12V oil change pump at West Marine - the kind that has a hose that you stuff down the dipstick tube (like we used to use to change oil on boats without a drain plug). I just know I kept one of those pumps for years, but must have thrown it out when we moved, or gave it away when we bought a boat that has a built-in oil change system. Chris just called from WMP and gave me the bad news - they now cost $120. Ouch! Last time I bought one I seem to remember they were around $40.

Tomorrow is another day and maybe I can get something accomplished.
 

Ron

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Was the Genset warm when you attempted to remove the plug?  If not try running the genset until it reaches normal operating temperature then try again.  If that doesn't work try a small impact wrench set so it will not damage the plug.  The hammering of the impact wrench may just loosen the plug.
 

Tom

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Thanks Ron. Yes, it was warm. I think it's too late for an impact wrench (I should have thought of that sooner).

I'll have to use the 12V pump that Chris bought.
 

Ron

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Tom said:
Thanks Ron. Yes, it was warm. I think it's too late for an impact wrench (I should have thought of that sooner).

I'll have to use the 12V pump that Chris bought.

Thats too bad. Guess the pump is the next option.

 

Bob Zambenini

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Tom, this was a problem with a long run of Onans back in 1999-2000 time period. The factory torqued them beyond reason.

So when I went to do my first oil change, I, like you, tried everything. Gave up and took in to Cummins Onan place in Irvine CA. I was about the umpteenth one they had seen. Their procedure was to cold weld  to the bottom of the plug and use a huge bar to break it loose!!! Then the next problem was shortage of drain plugs as this was happening all over the country. Luckily the day I was there they had one remaining plug and I got it!

I had not heard any cases since but guess you have now.

Bob
 

Tom

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Hi Bob,

Thanks for that info. Ours is 2003, so I don't know if it's included in the vintage you mentioned, but I'll call an Onan dealer to find out.

That plug is so small and it's recessed to where it's tough to get at.
 

blueblood

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Tom said:
Easy jobs today, or so I thought. I waited for the weather to clear up, then proceeded to change oil, oil filter, fuel filter and air filter on the Onan generator. The drain plug is located through a hole in a welded support bar (part of the generator slide), so the only thing that will reach is a socket or deep socket. That dumb little plug has a 3/8" head. Last time the oil was changed, the dealer changed it and either he torqued the plug too tight or he didn't change it.

Now to plan B; I asked the boss to pick up a 12V oil change pump at West Marine - the kind that has a hose that you stuff down the dipstick tube (like we used to use to change oil on boats without a drain plug). I just know I kept one of those pumps for years, but must have thrown it out when we moved, or gave it away when we bought a boat that has a built-in oil change system. Chris just called from WMP and gave me the bad news - they now cost $120. Ouch! Last time I bought one I seem to remember they were around $40.

Tomorrow is another day and maybe I can get something accomplished.

Tom - I had this problem on my 99 and I bought one of those sockets that contain multiple pins (just can't remember the name) that conform to the plug when you push socket on. Then using my considerable heft on the longest handle socket wrench  I had it moved it very nicely.
 

Tom

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Leo,

Because the plug is recessed in a hole in the frame, there's no way to get one of those sockets in there. A 3/8" socket barely makes it.
 

Kenneth

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Tom,

Craftsman has a socket set that is pretty good at getting out stubborn nuts,and they are still pretty small.

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&pid=00952168000
 

Tom

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Thanks for the reminder Kenneth. I have a set of Bolt-Outs although I rarely use them. They do work very well. However, the plug is very small and made of brass, so I'm concerned that a Bolt-Out would merely chew it up completely. I also suspect that, since the wall of a Bolt-Out is thicker than the equivalent socket, it probably wouldn't fit in the recess. But you have me curious and I might try it (gently) this morning before resorting to a pump and hose down the dipstick tube.
 

Kenneth

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The nice thing about them is the bulk of the torque is on the flat side of the bolt instead of the edge,which in turn gives it a lot more surface to apply pressure without rounding off the bolt. When all else fails ,dip stick pump ! ;D

In the past, I have resorted to grinding down the socket to get it to fit the recess,ruins the socket but it worked. ;)

I think it was Thomas Edison who said "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."  ::)
 

Tom

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happytrader59 said:
The nice thing about them is the bulk of the torque is on the flat side of the bolt instead of the edge,which in turn gives it a lot more surface to apply pressure without rounding off the bolt.

You're right Kenneth. I'm just waiting for the fog to lift (so it warms up a little) before crawling under the coach this morning. Meanwhile, a neighbor saw this discussion and loaned me a pump, so I have two options. The boss will return the expensive pump she bought yesterday at WMP.
 

Kenneth

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Tom,

I found this pump on the web, its a manually operated one  :-[ But for the amount of oil in the gen-set I think it would be a viable option in case the plug becomes a permanent fixture  ;D

http://www.greatoutdoors.com/attwood/pumpshosesandfittings/oilchangepump.html
 

Tom

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The Bolt-Out did it! Didn't take much torque once the Bolt-Out got hold of the plug and out it came. I'll ask the Cummins/Onan dealer to ship me a replacement plug, but I've put the old one back in for now (after I changed oil and filter).
 

Tom

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It sure does Kenneth. I'd forgotten I had them until I saw your earlier message. Don't use them often but, when I do, they're a real saver.
 

Tom

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That's for sure Ron. I'm glad that Kenneth reminded me about the Bolt-Outs.
 

Terry A. Brewer

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Tom

I just use a  6" 3/8" socket extension, it fits into the square opening on the end of the plug...or you can buy the special tool from Onan at $30-50.<G>

 

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