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A.k.a Homer
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qbeanie Offline OP
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My drain plug appears to be leaking. The plastic washer does not compress. Any recommended replacements?

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Hardware stores have a variety of fiber washers in the plumbing section. You might find one which fits the plug.
Maybe Teflon tape on the plug?


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I use an annealed copper washer on my bikes. However if your finding that it won’t compress and it’s leaking then check that the threads haven’t failed on the cover. I had this on one of the covers that have a cast finish.


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Dowty washer,

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qbeanie Offline OP
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Thanks guys. In my haste to stop work this summer because of record heat in Phoenix, I forgot to torque the plug. That’s why the gasket did not compress. I feel stupid for asking the question. I will be looking for some copper washers this plastic does not seem like it will last very long. 🥴

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Originally Posted by qbeanie
Thanks guys. In my haste to stop work this summer because of record heat in Phoenix, I forgot to torque the plug. That’s why the gasket did not compress. I feel stupid for asking the question. I will be looking for some copper washers this plastic does not seem like it will last very long. 🥴

dont worry about feeling stupid for asking the question just think of how stupid you would have felt if it had vibrated out on a long run ......good catch !


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Hey, its not like you were the first person to forget to tighten a nut! On this bike (B441 bitsa, sort of like an Enduro ish) my list includes a lovely brand new peanut muffler (now a little dented), the petrol tank (that was a tad exciting), pinch bolt on the steering head (handling commanded my full attention with that one), rear wheel (to be fair only the rt hand side, but it did make the back end a little squirrely), handle bars, seat. This of course does not include the various bits that fell off on every ride due to vibration until I learned that spring washer, nylock nuts AND thread locker are required EVERYWHERE.

Personally I would use some PTFE tape as well. I know it is parallel thread sealed with a washer, so should not need it, but it helps.

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I've used alloy sump plates on a number of bikes and they are great since they allow easy draining of oil from cases and the drain bolt often has a magnet to catch any fine metal particles.

If you're finding a drop of oil on the end of the drain bolt, the cause is often from leaks in other areas which slowly accumulate on the bolt. I would check the following areas for leaks & weeping oil:-
- the alloy sump plate can itself leak especially if the 4 studs/bolts aren't secure or stripped. Make sure the threads into the crankcase are in good condition, helicoil if necessary. The gaskets between the sump strainer can also leak so best to use new gaskets and a tiny smear of sealant as well.
- leaks from the oil manifold, timing side cover and other areas can all end up as a drip on the sump drain plug so check carefully for the source.

Regarding the type of sealing washer to use with the bolt, I would choose copper first followed by fibre washer. You don't need to use much torque to secure the bolt, no more than about 20 lb/ft otherwise you will end up stripping the thread (like I did) in the soft alloy sump plate. Luckily I was able to tap out the thread to the next oversize and fit a larger sump bolt which are readily available.


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As gunner, I have not found these drain plugs to be a common leak site, and I've never had to resort to Teflon tape or sealer. Just snug it down with a proper washer. I've even had plastic washers work, but fiber, copper, or dowdy (best choice IMO) are more durable.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.

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