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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
#6 change to be exact, did torque the drain plug last time to 10 ft-lbs. Putting on my trusty 10 mm six point socket, and even without that much force, rounded the hex. What a piece of crap this is.

While I did order a new OE drain plug from the net, did find an almost exact replacement at my local Advanced Auto store, their part number 090-162, price was $3.69, appears to be cad plated steel, but the major difference has a female torx hole in the center of it.T-47 is the size. Heck, maybe even better than OE.

Only way I could get the old one out was to remove my underhood shield first and got my trusty made in the USA pipe wrench, I put that on that shoulder base of the old plug. This time it came out.

In studying the old plug, the problem with it was that embedded O'Ring, it baked itself very well the the crankcase. Another stupid idea, for a hundred years were using a copper gasket.

090-162 plug had the same embedded O'Ring, but this time I coated it with non-hardening Permatex, hopefully this won't bake on either.

Problems, always problems, especially those that were never problems before. First time in my life, had problems removing an oil drain plug, and I can't blame the guy that tightened it.
 

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My '92 Saturn SC had one of those "O" ring drain plugs. Never had a problem with it in the 130,000 plus miles we had it. I just put a coating of new oil on it (like the filter rings) and it never leaked or seized in all the time we had it. Really prefer the set up on the P5 and the Civic. They both use aluminum crush washers (same size on both cars) to seal the drain plugs on both the engine and transmission. And they're reversible if you happen to forget to have a new one on hand when you change oil. The salesman gave me a baker's dozen of them with I bought the car. The drain plugs are 17 mm hex heads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Many have complained about rounding out that 10 mm hex on the drain plug, and I one one of them that accused the last guy for way over tightening it.

This opinion as sure changed yesterday. Threads are 14mm-1.5, O'ring suface contact area is 24 mm diameter, hex head is 10 mm. I just about any drain plug I can recall, the size of the hex head was much larger than these other two parameters. That little 10 mm head is seeing 2.4 times the torque as the surface area that gives the seal and the durometer of that O'ring is on the very soft side.

Whatever the material of that 10 mm hex is, certainly not case hardened steel, a pair of vise grips leaves deep teeth marks in it, more like the consistency of lead.

Here I have been blaming the wrench used or that last guy that way over tightened this plug. Well I apologized, not you, its the plug that is the problem, like it was designed to be destroyed.

Dealer in town wants over 20 bucks for this plug, kind of pricey for a 75 cent plug.

Has to be a plug with a 14mm-1.5 that is made the good old fashion was, very close to a 9/16" X 18 thread, Pan could be tapped for a 5/8" X18 thread with a 15/16" head bolt size, they you wouldn't have any problems.

Motorhomeis 30 years older than my Cruze, never had problems with that drain plug, actually never had problems before with any drain plug, until with this one.
 

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thanks another thing on my cruze bucket list :( nice write up as always. I feel the same way as you. I think they make stuff like this because some real smart guy who has no real world mechanical skills engineered it....
 

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Mine's been in and out a dozen times now (ten times by me) and it's still very well intact. And I don't even torque it down to "spec". It may be underengineered but it is possible, though certainly not the good ol' grade 5? 9/16" plugs in all my old V-8 Chevys.
 

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Nick, I think you just had a bad day. Stuff happens. Or you might have gotten that one plug that was produced on a Friday right before the Super Bowl weekend. :)
 

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If the AcDelco plug doesn't work out, it appears that Dorman in the aftermarket, available at part stores have a replacement.

If this is true, I feel for the person who has to remove my plug. 4.5 years and it's never been out. I do all the oil changes where possible including the cruze with the oil extractor.
 

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That sucks. Worst fight I've had to deal with is when a bolt snapped for the belt tensioner on my friends MX-5. The bolt was located in a very inconvenient place making access for tools very limited. In order to drill the bolt out, we would have had to drop the engine which required a lot more tools than we had. Only saving grace was the tiny bit of bolt that was still exposed. My room mate and I took turns with a vice grip tightening and squeezing the bolt to deform the metal into a flat shape so we could get some leverage to turn it. We also let it soak in an assortment of chemicals. Took forever to break loose and even when we could turn it, we could only turn it 1/32 of a turn at a time. It was a dirty and bloody 36 hour battle. The battle of the bolt. We were triumphant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ha, five times for me, maybe there is some truth in that biblical number 6 being an evil number.

Yeah not the end of the world, just a minor inconvenience, have close friends that lost everything, even loved ones. Son's father-in-law had an antique HO engine he trusted with me to get it working again, do this for family. Was so happy to see it running again, but left for a couple of days and his home was struck with lightning last year. Not only the end of that precious locomotive, but everything.

Ha, thought about making my own drain plug, lathe is too old, only cuts English threads, not metric.

Another minor inconvenience was dropping the under engine shield, was sure easy four years ago. Ten sheet metal screws are all rusty, could replace those with stainless for a couple of bucks. Both my major concern was with 9 push pin rivets, became very brittle over the last four years, so had to ease them out very carefully.

But what the heck, my dealer only charges $4.68 for each new rivet, and its only money. Would think for $4.68 would get a pack of a hundred.

Again, my only reason for posting this is not to blame the user for stripping out the drain plug, is the drain plug, and for twenty bucks that dealers charge, way way overpriced. These can be turned out for less than a dime a piece on an automatic screwing machine. Ha, that automatic screwing machine also has different meanings to different people.

You don't want to tell your wife you have an automatic screwing machine at work.
 

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Nick, all of this is proof that the membership and leadership of the Great Idea's Club have no idea how to implement quality and are always motivated by quick dollars or self promotion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That sucks. Worst fight I've had to deal with is when a bolt snapped for the belt tensioner on my friends MX-5. The bolt was located in a very inconvenient place making access for tools very limited. In order to drill the bolt out, we would have had to drop the engine which required a lot more tools than we had. Only saving grace was the tiny bit of bolt that was still exposed. My room mate and I took turns with a vice grip tightening and squeezing the bolt to deform the metal into a flat shape so we could get some leverage to turn it. We also let it soak in an assortment of chemicals. Took forever to break loose and even when we could turn it, we could only turn it 1/32 of a turn at a time. It was a dirty and bloody 36 hour battle. The battle of the bolt. We were triumphant.
Ran into this on a 98 Ford ZX2 water pump that I got for my kid that started to leak like crazy. The real problem whoever had that car before us, replaced the pump but broke off two studs. Just jammed a lot of RTV in there that sure didn't hold very long.

Started this job at 8:00 AM on a Saturday, thought I would be done at 10:00 AM, all kinds of hoses to remove and only an inch of clearance to the wheel well. I was done a midnight. CRS bolts in aluminum, guess they never heard about electrolysis.

I could repair my old drain plug but turning whats left of that nut to .375", thread it, and screw on a 3/8" grade 8 nut, then welding it to the base.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
[h=1]This looks the like the best bet for the Cruze oil drain plug replacement, 16 mm head bolt size, same threads, and only $2.99. Can still torque it at 10 Ft-lbs.

Dorman Products 090-161.1 - Dorman Oil Pan Drain Plugs[/h]

Dorman Products 090-161.1 - Dorman Oil Pan Drain Plugs





[h=2]Dorman Products#326-090-161.1[/h] Pilot Point Oil Drain Plug 1994-2007 Mazda
1997-2011 Mercury
1997-2015 Ford
1998-2014 Lincoln
Thread Size: M14-1.5
Shank Length: 0.8401"
Head Size: 16mm
6-Point Head
Includes Gasket/Seal
1/pkg
$2.99
 

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It always comes down to how hard you tighten them. They only need to be tightened till you feel acceptable resistance. Over tightening is the cause of everything bad associated with them.
 

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Don't feel bad Nick. Did an oil change on Black Betty this morning and discovered I didn't put a crush washer between the drain bolt and the oil pan the last time I did the oil. Not a drip or leak in the 5,000 miles it was that way. Don't know how I screwed it up the last time. Yeah, I checked the drain pan when I poured it into a recycle bottle. A count of the washers I have proves I didn't use one the last time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Guess I never owned a vehicle that uses a crush washer, looks like one you would expect to see on a spark plug. Cruze uses an O-ring, first for me also. 24 mm OD, 20 mm ID, with a 2 mm width.

Saw these all over the net, 8 bucks for an O'Ring? They got to be kidding, average price we paid for O'rings was like a penny each.

But then they have to pay someone to put one in a sealed plastic bag and paste a GM label on it. And when you buy one, have to give you a foot long invoice and pay a CPA a bundle to keep track of it and collect sales tax for the stat. Wouldn't cost them any extra to put ten O-rings in that pack.

But if they did use a crush ring, it wouldn't bake to the pan causing you to strip out that butter like 10 mm hex on the end of it.
 

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On my 4th oil change never had issue with it baking on, although the plug material does seem a little soft. Have to admit I lube it up before putting it back in.

But for those that want a designer plug try one of these out in SS : Gold Plug LLC – Magnetic Drain Plugs

Only 10X the Doorman price but then again its a "gold" plug so it must be worth its price in gold :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Did not find that one, not any worse in price for what GM wants for their POS.

[h=3]$18.99[/h]14mm Automotive Magnetic Drain Plug. Pulls metal particles from your engine. AP-08 AP08 UPC 853871002082



Really do not feel the magnet is necessary, had those before, really not much iron to attract, but okay for the older AT's.

Have a feeling that 2.99 Dorman will also last for life, Never ever had a problem with a drain plug before, and been changing my own oil for the last 63 years.
 

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The drain plug on my Cruze lasted 11 oil changes, yes it is very soft metal. I couldn't find one locally the day I stripped the hex off of it. The plug is a zinc alloy, so no welding it. Now it sports a steel nut jb welded over the hex. this thread reminds me I need order a new plug. Now that I have made the last car payment , I could even afford to get one from the dealer. I haven't had any trouble with o-ring, but have always lubricated it with oil before putting he plug back in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Talk about screwing around with Cruze oil pan drain plugs, need to get a life.

View attachment 191458 View attachment 191466

What's in there now is a Made in China drain plug from Advanced Auto, only thing I could find in town. Objection to it, uses a T-47 Torx bit with a flat head. Torx and road salt do not get along very well.

One on the left is the one that came with the car with a rounded off head, threaded that for a 3/8"-18 nut, tried to tack weld that nut to the base, wouldn't take weld. Epoxied it in, drilled and tapped for a 10-24" screw, but don't trust it, headed for the trash can.

One on the right in a panic, ordered another OE off ebay for 13 bucks, but was kind of dumb, just as bad as the OE one, whatever that head is made of drills like butter in my lathe, must be some kind of pot metal, but the pack did say made in Germany. Thought they made good stuff.

Like the one in the center, a Dorman, intended for a 2008 Lincoln Navigator, but was concerned about extend tip on it, 3/16" longer than OE, and for all I know a connecting rod could hit it. So took that tip off in my lathe, same depth as OE, but made a note to check this next oil change. Can tell this one is good metal like they use to make them.

Sure a lot of fooling around for a stupid drain plug, but after some odd 68 years history, was never a problem before. Should take a 16 mm 6 point socket, but a 5/8" fits much better. That O'Ring looks a lot tougher than that skinny one OE is using. Not bad for $2.99.
 
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