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Old 04-22-2018, 08:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sealant on drain plugs

What's the deal with people putting pipe sealant on drain plugs? Helped my neighbor change oil in a used Fat Boy he just bought and it had freaking pipe sealant on the drain plugs. I just don't get it. That's what that thing called an o-ring is for.
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I agree, butt.... I did 2-3 wraps of Teflon tape on the primary drain plug yesterday, after swapping out the diaphragm spring. "O" ring looked ok but I would have liked to replace it but I didn't have any new ones, so used the tape as a just in case thing. Guess I should do some "O" ring shopping.
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Pipe dope is insurance. It keeps the plug from loosening up and leaking or falling out.

Teflon tape is for tapered fittings, and prolly not advisable for the oem drain plugs.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodyne View Post
Pipe dope is insurance. It keeps the plug from loosing up and leaking or falling out.

Teflon tape is for tapered fittings, and prolly not advisable for the oem drain plugs.
Now ya tell me
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Nitram_b4 is reading this now saying WTF is this? Nitram_b4 is reading this now saying WTF is this?
nothing wrong with using it but I never do, nothing ever leaks
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Now ya tell me
Teflon is slippery. And it works well on tapered fittings (think water pipe) because it allows for the pipe to be screwed in with less effort.

People saw it on GM carb fuel line fittings back in the day and assumed it was for sealing. But it was just for getting a good torque on the flare nut without adding lube during assembly. The way a double flare works, there is no fuel to seal at the threads.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodyne View Post
Teflon is slippery. And it works well on tapered fittings (think water pipe) because it allows for the pipe to be screwed in with less effort.

People saw it on GM carb fuel line fittings back in the day and assumed it was for sealing. But it was just for getting a good torque on the flare nut without adding lube during assembly. The way a double flare works, there is no fuel to seal at the threads.
Well, maybe not all is/was lost as the tape did create a little drag when I put the plug back in, which I liked. Like I said, I'll do some O-ring shopping so I'll have new one's on hand when needed.... cheap insurance.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I could see maybe using the stuff when out somewhere and trying to get home with no other option, but as a rule if everything is as it should be the o-ring is sufficient. If sealant is necessary to prevent a leak something needs to be fixed. Besides, no sealant I've ever seen so far works right unless the surfaces are clean and I'd bet that even if the plug is being cleaned the hole is just being wiped, which ain't the same as clean. You'll get more mileage by changing the o-ring each time.
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The 04,07 and 10 I purchased new all had pipe dope in addition to the o-rings on the drain plugs form the factory.
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Old 04-22-2018, 03:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The 04,07 and 10 I purchased new all had pipe dope in addition to the o-rings on the drain plugs form the factory.
It must be hit or miss. Neither of mine (05 and 16) had anything on the drains except the o-ring. I have seen it in various other places, but not on oil drains.
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Uncle Salty is reading this now saying WTF is this? Uncle Salty is reading this now saying WTF is this?
Of the '04, '09 and '15 purchased new, none had sealant on the drain plugs. The few times I have had service done by the local dealer, sealant was used (in excess) every time and each time the O-ring was ruined. The service manual doesn't mention using it. A good O-ring and proper torque is more than adequate. I don't understand the need for it.
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