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Discussion Starter #1
As you probably guessed from the title, Yep, I ballsed up my oilchange. I have done about 8 oil changes on Alfa t-sparks and this is the first to go wrong. What irritated me the most though is that the thread (which was perfect) stripped immediately with no resistance. I simply turned it the wrong way and it span as freely as if i where undoing it.

I have a (very) temporary repair inplace using some PTFE tape but i will get it booked in asap. Can anyone advise how much i should budget for a helicoil to be fitted? And will i need to take any care in future when removing the sump-plug with a helicoil fitted?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Some people will tell you all sorts of horror stories aboout using helicoils in this situation. Personally i have no issues with them infact the sump on my car has been done. Cost me £30 i think it was.
 

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Had to get mine done earlier this year. Was about 50 pounds. It'll have to be a proper engineering place as most car repairers won't have a large enough tapping device. M18 thread I think.
 

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You might be able to pick up a second hand sump for less than £50 - check out ebay or one of the breakers on this forum
 
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Another alternative is to just fit a self tapping plug.....

I done this on both my TS's with no problem, I think it was a 24mm plug though it was some time ago now.

I know it sounds a bit bodgy and some will throw their hands up in horror at the idea, but these plugs were available for a fiver each when the local helicoil bloke wanted £30 and couldn't fit me in for a week or so......my 155 was up on the ramps at the time in bits!
Needless to say, when the OE plug in my GTV went I simply wound another self cutter in, done two more oil changes on it after that with ease before I sold the car (which is still running now btw).

No more risky than a Helicoil really, sat at the bottom of the sump I would not overly worry about contamination.
 

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Never had any issues with a helecoil and will be stronger than the original thread as its steel. Second hand sump at a push but you have got to fit it, and may end up needing to repair it at some point anyway.
Helecoil is the best and cheapest option ...No brainer really!!
Most automotive garages will be able to fit it as they usually come supplied as a kit with the correct tap.
 

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As an engineer it should be pointed out that in order to fit a helicoil you need to first drill out a bigger hole which you then need to tap out the the M18 helicoil size which will be quite large. This will produce a fair bit of swarf from both the drilling and tapping so in order to do it properly you should remove the sump which then means you may as well fit a new sump.

However I have used helicoils in the past and not removed the equipment as above and this was on my race car running with an a steel BDA, and it never broke down from swarf contamination, but we did rebuild the engine pretty often.
 

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I'm pretty sure I've seen something for sale on the web that works in this situation but for the life of me I can't remember where ... it might have been on the AlfaWorkshop site ... but don't quote me on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the responses. I am currently considering all options at the moment so we shall see.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update:

my PTFE'd sump plug is still holding and i have of course been checking it every day, it is not even loosening so all is well.

I have been reading a few other threads on the subject and several mention using a "tapered sump plug". I believe that in my situation, this would suffice. Can anyone advise where i can get one of these?

Cheers again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bump for evening rush :S
 

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Discussion Starter #14
**bump, Anyone?
 

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"tapered sump plug". I believe that in my situation, this would suffice. Can anyone advise where i can get one of these?
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Alfashop in Norwich sell them I thin. Google the name they have a website.

I have one fitted and the first time it was fine, but after doing a recent change it too has started leaking like my original plug did. So I'm going to PTFE it in a few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks very much for your help :)

I still have some meat left on the threads so i do believe a tapered plug would be suitable for me.
 
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