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Old 09-03-2006, 04:34 AM   #1
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Default return line horror

Well I just spent an agonizing 7 hours on my stupid oil return line fitting. I could not find a 23/32nds drill, so I had to buy a $40 titanium uni-bit as it was the ONLY drill bit I have come across that would drill to the size needed for the tap. I had to remove the power steering line to get the drill strait. Once I had the the hole big enough for the tap to start, I had a HUGE taper from the uni-bit. I thought I hit the oil pickup like 50 times, but a quick check with a flashlight inside the hole showed no signs of damage. Talk about stress!! After 3 hours of screwing with the tap I had a total of 2 threads in the pan...yay. So I start to put in my 1/2x-10AN fitting only to realise its a compression fitting. I turned it in a grand total of 3 turns. I used both tubes of JB weld and made sure it was plenty surrounded. So after 7 stress filled hours, its in. I'm not very pleased with it, I wish it was not a compression fitting. I did look at braineaks (sp?) I think it was, and it gave me some hope. I also welded up my BOV flange to my cross over, and the vacuum line. I have both feed and drain AN lines made, and now both block fittings in place. Tommorow is looking like the vortec and injectors install, then monday is final plumbing and emanage install. This is like 50 times harder than I thought. Well, theres my vent.
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:05 PM   #2
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I got my '94 done in about an hour with an extention on the bit to extend it into the wheelwell where the drill would fit. The dill size wasn't that specific if I remember right. 5/8" I think? I used a blowgun on the pvc line to keep chips out. They all came flying out straight into my face! -goggles please-

-LAZ
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:41 PM   #3
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ditto. it helps to have an extra set of hands. a friend held the PS lines apart wile i drilled. the drill bit was about 12" long and i added a "tape stop" about 1/2" from the business end of the drill bit. i turned the regulator on my air compressor to about 5-10psi. as soon as the drill break through, you know it from the chaffe blowing out. at that point, slow the speed of the drill. when you are through, STOP.

take the tap and put it on a socket ratchet wrench with extensions. no need to go in too far here either, it's NPT. load the splines of the tap with grease to help pick up the aluminum chaffe while tapping.

drain the oil, frush with mineral spirits or diesel.

install oil drain plug

install NPT nipple or NPT to -AN adapter into the pan.

replace oil.

run for 100 miles.

change oil filter.
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Old 09-03-2006, 03:26 PM   #4
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Yet another thread for my archives.
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Old 09-03-2006, 04:29 PM   #5
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This is all great info, just wanted to add a small step which may help.

As per recommendation, I used a shop vac to pressurize the pan. Most of the shavings were picked up by the heavily greased bit, and those that didn't flew out.

Now, before I flushed the system with the old oil and spirits, I put a little grease on my finger and "felt around as best I could." It picked up a few shavings.
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Old 09-03-2006, 04:56 PM   #6
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I would have used the shop vac method but the only one I have is so dusty inside I was afraid of getting all the dirt and crap in my engine. Next year I'm buying an air compressor I swear!
What I did to flush it out was I drained the oil until it started to slow down, then put the drain plug back in. Then I started to drill my hole and when I got threw the oil started coming out, along with those first shavings. I then drained most of the oil out of the engine, but I left a small amount on under the hole.
After finishing the hole I jacked up the rear of the car, then set it on some short jack stands so the oil would pool in front, let it sit until it stopped coming out of the new hole. Then I quickly jacked up the front of the car much higher than the front to make the oil pull all the shavings down. Drained the oil, set it on the ground and used new oil with the same procedure.
I think it cleaned it out very well, as when I put my finger in I couldnt feel any shavings. I used a long q-tip to feel around the bottom of the pan from both the hole and the drain plug, and no shavings were found. So now that the fitting is in and jbwelded I'm going to flush with mineral spirits, buy a new filter and run it for 100 miles like you said and then change it. Has anyone had engine failure/problems from the shavings? Or is everyone super carefull to clean it out?
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Old 09-03-2006, 05:29 PM   #7
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The shavings wont be able to be picked up, this pick-up has a screen that should stop them.

JB Weld should hold your fitting just fine. If not, weld a bung over the hole. I have one if you'd ever need one.
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Old 09-03-2006, 08:15 PM   #8
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Thanks for the offer. I'm hoping SO hard that I dont need to take you up on it
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miataspeed1point6 View Post
I would have used the shop vac method but the only one I have is so dusty inside I was afraid of getting all the dirt and crap in my engine. Next year I'm buying an air compressor I swear!
I cleaned out my shop vac first Gross!

It sounds like you did a thorough job. Nice work.

I didn't know about the screen, thanks for that info..
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:21 PM   #10
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I still dont understand why the no one takes off the oil pan to do the drilling. Is it because you dont want to replace the gasket? I just would think that it would be a no brainer to drill into something with it detached from the car to prevent a mishap. I dont have enough of my parts together yet to do any tapping so I havent yet looked at the oilpan.
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:01 PM   #11
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you just cant get at it without jacking up the engine. And considering it fairly easy to tap it on, there really isnt the point.
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:10 PM   #12
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I see, I've only had my miata for a short time and havent done any work on it yet. I've owned hondas in the past and taking off the oil pans on them were an easy affair.
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:14 PM   #13
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Default Never took chemistry!

I see the recommendation of mineral spirits or diesel for flushing. Do you simply pour a gallon if it into the the top of the valve cover or what? Does it carry the extra metal shavings out the oil drain? I know it won't mix with the oil, but are there any drawbacks of having a bit of it in the oil system?
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:09 AM   #14
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What I did was jack up the drivers side of the car and open the drain plug. Then I took a special funnel I made which has a rubber hose (oil safe) on it and poured the mineral spirits threw the hole I had drilled. I caught it in a glass jar so I could reuse it a bunch of times, found 3 extra shavings. I then flushed some cheapy clean oil threw the same funnel to wash out the mineral spirits. Then I let it sit there for a few hours tilted in the air while I did some other things off the car. I felt around the drain plug with some more q-tips. I found nothing, so I think I got all of the ones out that is possible.
Another nifty trick I came up with was bending solder and using it as a fishing line. When you get oil on it the shavings like to stick to it, and its so bendable you can use it to fish around the small peaks in the oil pan for any loose shavings.
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
I see the recommendation of mineral spirits or diesel for flushing. Do you simply pour a gallon if it into the the top of the valve cover or what? Does it carry the extra metal shavings out the oil drain? I know it won't mix with the oil, but are there any drawbacks of having a bit of it in the oil system?

After you tap the pan and before you JB Weld it, connect your drain hose, route it up into the bay and pour into that.
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Old 09-04-2006, 03:21 AM   #16
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How does thread-lock (loc-tite) work as a thread seal? That's what I used and so far so good. I wonder if the oil and heat would have any long term effects on it. As far as my flush... I did the same thing others have done. That is to pour solvent down the new return line. I had a clean coffee can under the drain plug that time just to see and sure enough there were some chips in there that the grease and air compressor failed to expel. Large damaging chips will stop at the pickup screen, smaller ones will become trapped in the oil filter. They still have to run thru the oil pump to get to the filter so that's the main risk and imo aluminum is no threat to the steel rotors of the oil pump ...but not worth the risk.
Some site had some great pictures of where to drill and also where NOT to drill. ??Hakuna?? He had to repair the line he hit inside the engine with his first hole. Using estimated location bassed on his pictures I had no trouble getting the angle right and I couldn't even feel the line he hit. If someone remembers that line maybe you could post it.

-LAZ
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:54 AM   #17
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sam, i left my oil in the pan when i drilled, then drained it. i used the diesel to flush out any extras. i only used about a quart of diesel to flush it.
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