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Lyn

LN Engineering Oil Drain Plug

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I've already been in contact with LN Engineering regarding this subject, but thought I'd pass it along to the membership.

On my third oil change since installing a LN Engineering magnetic drain plug, we were unable to get a torque reading and the sump leaked in the area of the plug. We drained the (new) oil catching about 50% of it and noted that the seating rim of the plug had begun to separate from the body of the plug and kept any torque from being applied. In time, if we had kept trying to tighten the plug, the rim would have separated completely.

 

LN's response was to offer a no charge new plug (they are good guys) and to remind me that "the torque spec on our plug is 19 LB/ft while factory is 37LB/ft". With that knowledge, I suspect it is very likely the folks that have been changing my oil, over-torqued the plug causing the rim separation.

 

My pictures are a little dark, but the light area where the separation began is pretty easy to see. Hopefully relating my experience will be of benefit to the membership.

Lyn

post-17900-0-37880900-1421684787_thumb.j

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I've already been in contact with LN Engineering regarding this subject, but thought I'd pass it along to the membership.

On my third oil change since installing a LN Engineering magnetic drain plug, we were unable to get a torque reading and the sump leaked in the area of the plug. We drained the (new) oil catching about 50% of it and noted that the seating rim of the plug had begun to separate from the body of the plug and kept any torque from being applied. In time, if we had kept trying to tighten the plug, the rim would have separated completely.

 

LN's response was to offer a no charge new plug (they are good guys) and to remind me that "the torque spec on our plug is 19 LB/ft while factory is 37LB/ft". With that knowledge, I suspect it is very likely the folks that have been changing my oil, over-torqued the plug causing the rim separation.

 

My pictures are a little dark, but the light area where the separation began is pretty easy to see. Hopefully relating my experience will be of benefit to the membership.

Lyn

 

This is a fairly common mistake.  LN used a larger Allan hex and hardened their magnetic plug to make it more durable with frequent oil changes.  While they lowered the recommended torque specs, a lot of people either did not read that, or chose to ignore it, which can lead to the plug failing like yours, or even damage to the sump cover. 

 

The same type of thing also happens with their spin on oil filter adaptor; people try to torque the spin on like they did with the OEM canister, and then wonder why the filter adaptor unscrews from the car when they go to change the filter.  Once installed, the adaptor should not come loose if you lubricate the spin on filter's sealing gasket with a little oil when putting it on, and then only tighten it 1/4 to 1/2 turn past hand tight.

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I use this plug too. I always instruct the dealership to only torque to 19 ft.lbs. They claim 19 barely seats the crush washer. Any comments? Thanks.

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I use this plug too. I always instruct the dealership to only torque to 19 ft.lbs. They claim 19 barely seats the crush washer. Any comments? Thanks.

 

We have a lot of customer's running one, they seal just fine at 19 ft. lb.

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Good thing they replaced it. LN has some beautifully made products but I am afraid they made a mistake on this one. Hardened aluminum like glass is very sensitive to stress risers. If you scratch glass with a diamond cutter then give it a tap, the glass will break perfectly along the crack. The drain plug has cracked perfectly at the transition between the head and the shaft of the plug. It should have been machined with a broader, radiused transition. Having said this hardened aluminum is not all that strong and over torqued it would probably just break elsewhere. 19 ft. lb. is actually quite high. The exhaust manifold bolts are torqued to 17 ft. lb. Torque specs are generally based on the size of the threaded part and the material it is made of. This is a big part but aluminum is very weak stuff as compared to steel. The crush washer is a very soft alloy. I would bet that 10 ft.lb. would seat it. I saw one mechanic put a copper crush washer in there once! I think that is all he had available.

Why would you not want to do that aside from the copper being a bit harder? 

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The reason LN hardened the magnetic drain plug was to reduce the problems seen with the OEM plugs which round off the Allan key way because they are way too soft.  If you do not over torque the LN plug, you will never have any problems.

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Wondering how effective the magnetic drain plug is? I have a 2011 with less than 7000 miles on it and do an oil and filter change every 12 months. I break down the filter after every change to examine it and have never seen anything unusual. Is the magnetic plug just for insurance or do you see magnetic particles on drain plug when you perform an oil change? 

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Wondering how effective the magnetic drain plug is? I have a 2011 with less than 7000 miles on it and do an oil and filter change every 12 months. I break down the filter after every change to examine it and have never seen anything unusual. Is the magnetic plug just for insurance or do you see magnetic particles on drain plug when you perform an oil change? 

 

The plug is a type of insurance policy to alert you that something is wrong during oil changes.  If you wanted to trap all ferrous debris, even that small enough to pass through the oil filter, you would need to go to a spin on adaptor and a FilterMag which mounts to the filter and turns the entire metal surface of the filter into a powerful magnet:

 

cut-open-filters.jpg      41u1tsklmgl.jpg

 

When you use one of these, every drop of oil passes over a rare earth magnet on its way through the filter and any ferrous debris is trapped.

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This is a bit wacky. The magnets do nothing until you are already in BIG trouble. The only time this is worth while is after a rebuild of the engine or transmission if you think it was not cleaned out well afterwards. Otherwise the occasional oil analysis will pick up microscopic iron and alloy particles and tell you you are in trouble long before you see anything on these magnets and in the oil filter.  It is mostly a psychological thing. The only good reason to get the LN plug aside for rebuilt trannys and engines is that it looks good. I'm sure JFP has seen the female allen rounded off as there are animals out there who can and will do just about anything. But, again if you stick to torque specs this will never happen. 

 

If you use a copper washer you will cause galvanic corrosion of the aluminum sump cover. 

Edited by Mijostyn

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This is a bit wacky. The magnets do nothing until you are already in BIG trouble. The only time this is worth while is after a rebuild of the engine or transmission if you think it was not cleaned out well afterwards. Otherwise the occasional oil analysis will pick up microscopic iron and alloy particles and tell you you are in trouble long before you see anything on these magnets and in the oil filter.  It is mostly a psychological thing. The only good reason to get the LN plug aside for rebuilt trannys and engines is the it looks good. I'm sure JFP has seen the female allen rounded off as there are animals out there who can and will do just about anything. But, again if you stick to torque specs this will never happen. 

 

If you use a copper washer you will cause galvanic corrosion of the aluminum sump cover. 

 

That is not really completely true.  Every engine we ever converted to a spin on and then added a FilterMag to had quite a bit of very fine ferrous material pulled out by the big magnet in the first oil change, after which the level of ferrous debris dropped off considerably to a constant level "normal wear" in later changes.  As several of these engines had just had their sump covers pulled as part of a pre IMS swap regimen, and we did not observe any noticeable amount of this grit in the sump, the consensus was that with the addition of the magnet, we were trapping fine grit that was getting through the filter and circulating in the engine.  We also noted that we saw a similar "surge" in ferrous materials collected on engines that did not have an IMS update, again followed by a drop off to a much lower level on subsequent oil changes.

 

While very fine ferrous materials are not as dangerous to an engine as larger "grit" particles are, even the fine materials are abrasive in nature, and not good in the long term.

 

As for the OEM oil plugs, Porsche apparently made them softer than the sump cover to reduce potential damage to the harder to replace covers.  Unfortunately in the process, this made the OEM drain plug soft enough to require periodic replacement due to deformation of the Allan key way with repeated removals.  Most shops I am aware of keep a supply of OEM plugs on hand as the often need replacement from just normal wear, much less someone reinstalling the drain plug with an impact wrench.  LN tried to make a more durable plug by first increasing the Allan key size (greater surface area to distribute the load), and then hardening the plug to reduce the distortion potential further.  But because the plug was now hard enough to damage the sump cover if over tightened, they lowered the torque spec.   We have many, many customers running these plugs; and have never has any problems with leaks, damaged sump covers, or split plugs, as long as Godzilla had not been on the other end of the wrench.

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These are all older engines which are coming to you with obvious issues. Had the owners been following their oil analyses they would have seen this coming long before they had metal particles in the filter and sump. If I had one of the engines with known IMS issues I would be watching it like a hawk. Actually, I have the 06 C4S which is not supposed to have issues but I watch it like a hawk anyway. On the Turbo I am doing it just to establish proper oil change intervals Then I will stop for a while. The FAA mandates oil analyses on every flying piston aircraft engine at every oil change. They do not mandate magnetic drain plugs. I could understand using them on manual transmissions as they are always subject to some abuse, oil changes are infrequent and they do not have filters. I love the LN spin  on filter adapter because it allows me to increase filter capacity and choose oil filters. None of the after market guys think there are enough of us to bother making our filters. Having said all this, JFP has way more experience tearing down Porsche engines than I have. I have owned 8 of them and have always changed the oil and inspected the filter. I have never seen so much as a little glint of metal in any of them. Any metal that the filter would not catch would be invisible. I never used a filter magnet and right now can't because I have the plastic housings to contend with but if I get the LN spin on adapter I will give it a try. I wonder if the stuff JFP is seeing next to the magnet is an oil additive?? I can not think of any that are magnetic. There is always a small amount of Iron in the oil that is normal engine wear and it is harmless. I wonder if that is what JFP is collecting?

 

I have not rounded my oil plug off yet but I have only done 3 oil changes on it. If I do I will certainly get the LN. It is prettier and If I know Porsche probably cheaper or not that much more expensive. 

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These are all older engines which are coming to you with obvious issues. Had the owners been following their oil analyses they would have seen this coming long before they had metal particles in the filter and sump. If I had one of the engines with known IMS issues I would be watching it like a hawk. Actually, I have the 06 C4S which is not supposed to have issues but I watch it like a hawk anyway. On the Turbo I am doing it just to establish proper oil change intervals Then I will stop for a while. The FAA mandates oil analyses on every flying piston aircraft engine at every oil change. They do not mandate magnetic drain plugs. I could understand using them on manual transmissions as they are always subject to some abuse, oil changes are infrequent and they do not have filters. I love the LN spin  on filter adapter because it allows me to increase filter capacity and choose oil filters. None of the after market guys think there are enough of us to bother making our filters. Having said all this, JFP has way more experience tearing down Porsche engines than I have. I have owned 8 of them and have always changed the oil and inspected the filter. I have never seen so much as a little glint of metal in any of them. Any metal that the filter would not catch would be invisible. I never used a filter magnet and right now can't because I have the plastic housings to contend with but if I get the LN spin on adapter I will give it a try. I wonder if the stuff JFP is seeing next to the magnet is an oil additive?? I can not think of any that are magnetic. There is always a small amount of Iron in the oil that is normal engine wear and it is harmless. I wonder if that is what JFP is collecting?

 

I have not rounded my oil plug off yet but I have only done 3 oil changes on it. If I do I will certainly get the LN. It is prettier and If I know Porsche probably cheaper or not that much more expensive. 

 

We offer a full UOA form a local lab to all our customers with their normal service; many of them take advantage of this service, which has given us a rather substantial data base of oil related information.  Because we also see other makes was well, many of whom are also running filter and/or drain plug magnets, I can tell you that we see the same very fine ferrous particles in all of the engines, regardless of make or oil brand.  With the exception of specific engines that had demonstrated significant internal issues, the Fe levels in the UOA's of engines with fine ferrous particles trapped by the magnets never strayed particularly far from average values.  This could be happening for one of two reasons: (1) The magnets are doing their jobs and removing most, if not all, of the finer particles that could slip through the filters; (2) UOA analytical technique's may only report higher than normal Fe concentrations if there happens to be a particle in the specimen analyzed.

 

As I noted earlier, the first oil change with a filter magnet in place typically is much worse in terms of the amount of fine ferrous materials than subsequent changes.  I believe this may indicate that there is always some fine materials circulating in the oil, but that it remains unobserved unless you concentrate it which the filter magnet does an excellent job of as it sees every drop of oil in the engine at some point in time.  We have on occasion actually sent fairly large samples (5 or more quarts) of used oil from engines without any aftermarket magnets to the lab we use and had them filter it warm through a 1 micron lab filter.  After a solvent wash and air drying, this small amount fine dust was easily picked up with a magnet.

 

As for seeing metal in the filter, you need to remember that the OEM cartridge style filter has a nominal pore diameter in excess of 30 microns; anything smaller than that will pass through it, so you would not visually observe anything by inspecting the filter media.  The spin on filters we use are "full filtration" (read 100% filtration with no by-pass) and have a finer pore diameter of around 20 microns, and we also do not see any trapped ferrous materials on them on engines running normally, but if using a filter magnet, there is always some very fine ferrous materials on the housing walls, which was trapped by the magnet.  We have also had this fine material taken from multiple cars analyzed by our lab, and the results came back that it was basically metallic iron with other trace level materials.  I seriously doubt that fine metallic iron is a normal component in any motor oils.

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Thanx for the reply JFP. I really would like to see this. I could fix a magnet to the plastic housing but the field will not be as strong as attached to a metal filter. I have been tossing the LN adapter around in my head so I guess this is a good time to get it. JFP, what filters do you recommend?

 

30 microns is a rather large hole. That is the grit size of 320 grade sand paper. 20 microns is 400 grit, still pretty large. A collection would most definitely feel abrasive. Since the particles in the oil are similar harness to the surfaces in the engine, any particle smaller than the tolerances of the bearings would probably not cause 

damage which is one of the reasons why oil works. JFP do you know what the tolerances usually run? 

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Thanx for the reply JFP. I really would like to see this. I could fix a magnet to the plastic housing but the field will not be as strong as attached to a metal filter. I have been tossing the LN adapter around in my head so I guess this is a good time to get it. JFP, what filters do you recommend?

 

30 microns is a rather large hole. That is the grit size of 320 grade sand paper. 20 microns is 400 grit, still pretty large. A collection would most definitely feel abrasive. Since the particles in the oil are similar harness to the surfaces in the engine, any particle smaller than the tolerances of the bearings would probably not cause 

damage which is one of the reasons why oil works. JFP do you know what the tolerances usually run? 

 

The bearings are typically running a couple thousandth's on an engine with low miles on it. 

 

We have used the Wix/NAPA Gold and XP (full synthetic media) filters (1042 and 1042XP) for some time with very good results.  And as weird as this sounds, they are actually cheaper than the OEM style cartridge.

 

LN is making an adaptor now for the 9A1 style engines as well.

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That would be 0.002 inches.  30 microns is 0.00112 inches, about half the size. That would explain the pore size. As long as it is smaller than the gap the oil should take care of it. For fun when I get the chance I am going to calculate by weight the amount of Iron in 10 gallons of oil with normal values on oil analysis. I bet it is more than we think and that is what is winding up on the magnets. Obviously the magnets would keep your oil cleaner which can't be a bad thing. I ordered the LN adapter. I Should be able to get the filter and magnet online. If this works out well I will put one on the Turbo in the Spring when it gets out of bed. It has a much bigger filter on it with not much clearance overhead. The intake plenum runs right over it. By the way, here is the vacuum gage I made with your help. Works perfect. And...some fun in the snow.

 

post-89070-0-75007900-1422217689_thumb.j                                     post-89070-0-43507100-1422217745_thumb.j

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That would be 0.002 inches.  30 microns is 0.00112 inches, about half the size. That would explain the pore size. As long as it is smaller than the gap the oil should take care of it. For fun when I get the chance I am going to calculate by weight the amount of Iron in 10 gallons of oil with normal values on oil analysis. I bet it is more than we think and that is what is winding up on the magnets. Obviously the magnets would keep your oil cleaner which can't be a bad thing. I ordered the LN adapter. I Should be able to get the filter and magnet online. If this works out well I will put one on the Turbo in the Spring when it gets out of bed. It has a much bigger filter on it with not much clearance overhead. The intake plenum runs right over it. By the way, here is the vacuum gage I made with your help. Works perfect. And...some fun in the snow.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0112.jpg                                     attachicon.gifIMG_0253.JPG

 

You are better man than I am, mine is in the corner of my personal shop, under its dust cover with the lead to the Ctek maintainer poking out, quietly enjoying the 65F shop temps vs. the 20F and 6 inches of snow outside.  Expecting another foot over night tonight.  My neighbor once asked me how the Porsche handled in the wet or snow, my answer was "How would I know, it has never even seen a cloudy day?"

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Smiley loves the snow. He loves getting his *** end out in lurid drifts. Anyway, not better, just lucky I guess. I really hate driving anything else.

 

post-89070-0-11663600-1422236844_thumb.j   Here is Smiley picking up 40 board feet of Honduran Mahogany for my wife's kitchen island. Try that in a Ferrari!

 

Smiley got his name because he is yellow and with the aerokit nose he has a smile and looks all the world like a smiley face. The thing is, women Love this car. I can not get out of a supermarket parking lot without getting hit on! They ignore the red Turbo. The guys like that one.

I wish I had this car when I was 19.

 

post-89070-0-83779400-1422237641_thumb.j

 

Here it is. The average iron content of used motor oil is 23 ppm, that would be mg/Kg.  Motor oil weights 7.3 lb/gallon. 9 quarts would then equal 16.4 lb or 7.44 kg. The total amount of iron in the oil at any given time would be 23 X 7.44 = 171.12 mg. A dime weights 2.23 mg. That is certainly enough metal to be visible on the magnets and remember that is only at a given point of time. Wear particle are being continuously introduced. Another interesting experiment would be to send a virgin oil sample in misinforming the lab that it had say 5000 miles on it and see what they get for wear metals. Some labs also do a particle count and the particles are characterized by size in microns. I believe this is an add on option at Polaris but I will check. 

Edited by Mijostyn

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Smiley loves the snow. He loves getting his *** end out in lurid drifts. Anyway, not better, just lucky I guess. I really hate driving anything else.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0259.jpg   Here is Smiley picking up 40 board feet of Honduran Mahogany for my wife's kitchen island. Try that in a Ferrari!

 

Smiley got his name because he is yellow and with the aerokit nose he has a smile and looks all the world like a smiley face. The thing is, women Love this car. I can not get out of a supermarket parking lot without getting hit on! They ignore the red Turbo. The guys like that one.

I wish I had this car when I was 19.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0136.jpg

 

Here it is. The average iron content of used motor oil is 23 ppm, that would be mg/Kg.  Motor oil weights 7.3 lb/gallon. 9 quarts would then equal 16.4 lb or 7.44 kg. The total amount of iron in the oil at any given time would be 23 X 7.44 = 171.12 mg. A dime weights 2.23 mg. That is certainly enough metal to be visible on the magnets and remember that is only at a given point of time. Wear particle are being continuously introduced. Another interesting experiment would be to send a virgin oil sample in misinforming the lab that it had say 5000 miles on it and see what they get for wear metals. Some labs also do a particle count and the particles are characterized by size in microns. I believe this is an add on option at Polaris but I will check. 

 

We have often submitted virgin samples of oil when testing new products, Fe levels were typically below the sensitivity limits of the analytical system and not reported.

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The reason LN hardened the magnetic drain plug was to reduce the problems seen with the OEM plugs which round off the Allan key way because they are way too soft.  If you do not over torque the LN plug, you will never have any problems.

Hey JFP. I changed my oil yesterday. My drain plug uses a T50 Torx. Is this unusual? Careful inspection does reveal that the teeth are indeed squished a little to one side, the side engaged when removing the plug!

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The reason LN hardened the magnetic drain plug was to reduce the problems seen with the OEM plugs which round off the Allan key way because they are way too soft.  If you do not over torque the LN plug, you will never have any problems.

Hey JFP. I changed my oil yesterday. My drain plug uses a T50 Torx. Is this unusual? Careful inspection does reveal that the teeth are indeed squished a little to one side, the side engaged when removing the plug!

 

 

Factory or aftermarket plug?  You need to remember that certain Allan key sizes approximate some Torx bit sizes, but not perfectly.  Continued use of the wrong type of bit will wear and elongate the device, particularly the very soft OEM plugs.

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The reason LN hardened the magnetic drain plug was to reduce the problems seen with the OEM plugs which round off the Allan key way because they are way too soft.  If you do not over torque the LN plug, you will never have any problems.

Hey JFP. I changed my oil yesterday. My drain plug uses a T50 Torx. Is this unusual? Careful inspection does reveal that the teeth are indeed squished a little to one side, the side engaged when removing the plug!

 

Factory or aftermarket plug?  You need to remember that certain Allan key sizes approximate some Torx bit sizes, but not perfectly.  Continued use of the wrong type of bit will wear and elongate the device, particularly the very soft OEM plugs.

Most definitely T50 Torx. I bought the car used so, I can not be sure if one of the original owners changed it. It looks factory.

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Factory drain plugs are made of light metal and use a standard 8mm Allan key.

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You learn something every day. Whose drain plug have I got?!  He could have put one in with a magnet in it  :lightbulb:

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