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From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Generator oil drain plug.
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 16:18:07 EDT
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel

Henry Horrocks wrote:

[getting a broken off plastic plug out.]

> I'll hazard a guess as to a course of action - realizing I've not ever done
> this. but here goes. . . . .
> Drill the center of the plug and use an easy out to back out the plug.
> When you drill the hole, the oil will drain out through it.  The plug
> shouldn't be that tight.

I've had very poor luck doing it that way.  the plastic is usually
just reamed out by the eze-out.  Here's a technique that works every

Tools needed are a small piece of rectangular metal (an old flat
screwdriver or flattened nail filed to shape will do) and a propane
torch.  Shape the metal so that the wide side is just a little bit
narrower than the diameter of the plug.  heat the metal in a flame
until it is red hot.  Allow to cool until the red is just about gone
and then push it into the plug.  The plastic will melt, allowing the
metal to penetrate the plug as far as desired.  Support the metal
while it cools.  A squirt bottle of water helps.  When the metal is
completely cooled and at room temperature, the plastic will have
molded around and probably stuck to the metal.  Simply turn the
metal counter-clockwise to remove it and the plug.  Works every
time.  I run into this problem a lot in my work so I keep a set of
old screwdrivers pre-filed to the proper shape of the more common
plastic pipe plug diameters.

This same trick works with those plastic push-rivets that are used
in some RVs and many cars to hold trim on.  These are the plastic
rivets that contain a small plastic expanding rod in the center. 
Normally to remove, the rod is pushed all the way though and is
usually lost inside the vehicle body, making the rivet a disposable
item.  If a paper clip is straightened, heated and touched to the
rivet head, then allowed to cool, the pin can be pulled out and the
rivet reused.  Just turn the pin over to hid  the melted spot.


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