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Heli-coil'd Drain Plug

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by long0, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. long0

    long0 Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Yesterday I went out to change the oil in my truck (01 2500HD 8.1L). When I pulled the drain plug, a half bend out of shape - half good Heli-coil came out with the plug. How did this get there? Obviously I can't us this on again.

    I took the plow and chains off my other truck so I could get to town today to talk with the dealer. I asked the parts guy if he had a part number for a Heli-coil in his computer, and he said no. He said he only saw what was labeled an "insert" that came with the complete oil pan replacement kit. From there, I went and talked with the service manager to find out if they had run across this before. He said that he had not, but he would check with his techs. None of them had every come across a heli-coil in the oil pan.

    Perry (the service manager) said that the pan is an aluminum pan, but that it should have been threaded for the drain plug. I agreed with him, and then asked how it got there. Just like all dealers do, he put the blame on me. I did'nt put it there, and I am the only one that has every changed the oil.

    So now, my truck is up on jack stands, with no oil in it. I went to Napa to get another heli-coil, and the don't have one in stock, so I am out of luck until Wendsday. ERRRRRR!!!

    Has anyone else ever heard of GM sending out vehicles with a heli-coil in the pan instead of threads?

  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I've seen some aluminum pans with an "insert" that was cast into the pan sort of.Could it be a portion of the insert that came out ?

    Either way,do you have a automotive machine shop or engine rebuilder nearby ? They may have the heli-coils in stock and may even come out and replace it for you.

    If your stuck and need the truck,you may also be able to use one of those expanding rubber plugs,only until you can get it repaired.
  3. snowflake

    snowflake Member
    Messages: 86

    that must be a common thing they do because was talkin to your mechanic at work this summmer and he found the same thing with his service truck. heli=coil in the pan wasnt a happy camper ended up puttin a new pan on it not sure if the old one got warenntyed or got shoved up somebody ,s you know what

    gotta just love them chebvy:nono: :nono:

    get a real truck

  4. long0

    long0 Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    After talking with everybody today, I came back and looked at it again. If I understand how a heli-coil works, you drill out the hole, tape it, and then screw in the coil, then your bolt.

    First off, the exhaust pipe is in the way, so the only way somebody could drill it out, they would have to remove the exhaust, or unbolt a good portion of it to get enough room to get a drill there.

    Second, the drain hole is not threaded. It is smooth.

    I have a feeling that the dealer is not going to warranty this work, which means I will get stuck with the towing charges (about $250), plus what ever it's gonna cost to get this fixed.

    Snowflake, what type of truck were you talking about? I might have a leg to stand on with the dealer this has happened to somebody besides me.

    Wyldman, can you explain the cast in place insert a little more?

  5. snowflake

    snowflake Member
    Messages: 86

    it was a 2001 3500hd with the big block in it 454 or that new 496 or whatever they call it
  6. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    A cast insert is basically a round threaded piece that is cast into the oil pan assy when it is made.The aluminum is kinda weak to hold threads so they use the insert method instead.Maybe you can try to gently rethread the insert and use an oversize plug ?

    I'd see if I could pop into a dealer and check out a new pan,or truck and see what it is supposed to look like.maybe that would help.

    I'll ask around and see if I can dig up anymore info for you.

    SCFALL Member
    Messages: 47

    heli coil

    I work at flint final assy. GM plant. We build 290 HD crew cabs a day and you are correct it is a heli coil in the oil pan it should have been secured in place with red loc tite. The alum. pan will not hold up to the plug being taken out too many times without it. Your dealer should take care of it if not ask him for the # of his service rep. and give him a call. Scott
  8. long0

    long0 Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Scott, You just made my night
    Many cheers to you!!:drinkup: :drinkup: :drinkup:

    I cringe to imagine what the dealer would charge to R&R an oil pan??

  9. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Nice to get the info you need here isn't it?:drinkup:
  10. Dan S.

    Dan S. Member
    Messages: 31

    If you have to replace that helicoil watch out for the threads that the helicoil screws into, if they are not perfect the helicoils thread pitch will deform and the drain plug will not go in all the way. When I was a motorcycle mech. (Everthing is aluminum) I used an insert called a "keensert" it is a steel sleeve instead of a coil and had pins that locked it in place, dont know if they still make them, I bought them at an import auto parts store.
    Good Luck, hopefully GM will do the right thing and fix it for you.
  11. long0

    long0 Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Truck is at the dealer now, I will let everybody know how it all turns out!!!