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Old 07-06-2018, 20:21   #1
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Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

Any recommendations on how to get it out of there? I've tried spraying it with a liquid wrench type of product and it has no intention of unscrewing from the lower drive unit.

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Old 07-06-2018, 20:34   #2
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

Carefully, you certainly dont want to crack the hou$$$ing!

That aside, the usual: heat, cool quickly, impact wrench...repeat.

If it just wont turn lose, and you just want to change oil, then you can slurp it up thru fill opening with a vaccum pump. You need a long small hose and wont get all the oil, but most. You could also remove the plate that holds the prop shaft in place and all the oil will come out.

Replace that zinc too.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:00   #3
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

I think you need an impact screwdriver, the kind you hit with a hammer
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:32   #4
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

What A64 pilot said!

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Old 08-06-2018, 08:25   #5
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

If the suggestions youíve received donít work (hopefully they will), in a worse case scenario you could drill it out and retap it. Not too bad of a job and then you can properly seal the new plug so it can be removed when desired. Virtually all of the saildrive housings are cast aluminum but I donít know what the drain plugs are made of. If itís something other than aluminum, there might not be many choices.

Good luck, fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:40   #6
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

Have you tried the largest bit you can fit in the slot, in a brace?
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:46   #7
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

You can suck all the oil from the top, except for the last centimeter. The trick is to definitely suck down to the bottom. Usually this does not work in 10 seconds and you need a little patience. Without knowing the right depth you will never be completely down with the suction line.

I can measure how deep this is within 2 weeks. Send me a PM if interested.

Do not enforce the drain plug!
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:21   #8
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

Yay.. Something else I can help with. I have had that exact same problem.. Here was my solution.

1. The biggest flat blade screw driver that would fit in the slot and HAS A SQUARE SHANK.

2. Fit the screw driver in the slot and then rap on the bottom of the screw driver with a hammer 3-4 times (yes rapping upwards).

3. Put a crescent wrench on the square shaft of the screw driver and carefully apply pressure. BE VERY CAREFULL to keep the driver square to the head.

4. If the screw doesn't let go. Then go back to step 2 and 3. Eventually it will let go, I promise.

DO NOT USE AN IMPACT DRIVER. Unless you have the correct large sized IMPACT bit. Otherwise you will destroy the screw. I gaurantee it.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:30   #9
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

Here is a picture of the screw driver I use. I bought it at Home Depot for about $8..


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Old 08-06-2018, 09:35   #10
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Yay.. Something else I can help with. I have had that exact same problem.. Here was my solution.

1. The biggest flat blade screw driver that would fit in the slot and HAS A SQUARE SHANK.

2. Fit the screw driver in the slot and then rap on the bottom of the screw driver with a hammer 3-4 times (yes rapping upwards).

3. Put a crescent wrench on the square shaft of the screw driver and carefully apply pressure. BE VERY CAREFULL to keep the driver square to the head.

4. If the screw doesn't let go. Then go back to step 2 and 3. Eventually it will let go, I promise.

DO NOT USE AN IMPACT DRIVER. Unless you have the correct large sized IMPACT bit. Otherwise you will destroy the screw. I gaurantee it.
Important stuff.
There is a rubber O ring on the screw, so screwing it in slightly first might release the threads, replace the O ring.

If you donít want to apply force to the screw, remove the lower shaft bearing carrier, itís just behind the zinc.

You will need a new O ring, and may as well replace the prop shaft seals while you have it out.

You may also be able to apply some PB Blaster on the screw threads from inside the lower unit case.

There is no way you will drain all the oil out from the top of the casing, you will have to use the dipstick hole and find a way to get the tube to the bottom of the unit, itís not going to happen.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:47   #11
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

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Originally Posted by olaf hart View Post

There is no way you will drain all the oil out from the top of the casing, you will have to use the dipstick hole and find a way to get the tube to the bottom of the unit, itís not going to happen.
I disagree with that. I change oil in our saildrives about every 4 months and use a standard "West Marine Oil Extractor". I'm able to get the thin tube all the way to the bottom quite easily. It actually bottoms out at the bottom of the drive. I also double check I have gotten all the oil by measuring the removed oil. I have yet to come up with less oil than I put in.

HOWEVER.. If the boat is out of the water, I would undo that screw, and YES, replace the o-ring on it. You will also need to have the dipstrick removed or the oil will not drain out (suction).
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:50   #12
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I disagree with that. I change oil in our saildrives about every 4 months and use a standard "West Marine Oil Extractor". I'm able to get the thin tube all the way to the bottom quite easily. It actually bottoms out at the bottom of the drive. I also double check I have gotten all the oil by measuring the removed oil. I have yet to come up with less oil than I put in.

HOWEVER.. If the boat is out of the water, I would undo that screw, and YES, replace the o-ring on it. You will also need to have the dipstrick removed or the oil will not drain out (suction).
Will second that. Ive used an oil extractor to remove the oil from my sail drives and others. I originally suggested this as an alternative because Ive actually done it...many times.

It does take a little probing, but you can indeed get the pickup hose way down in the sail drive. Looking at an exploded diagram of the drive first helps. They really should be built with a pick up tube for this purpose, but are not.
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Old 08-06-2018, 14:13   #13
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Will second that. Ive used an oil extractor to remove the oil from my sail drives and others. I originally suggested this as an alternative because Ive actually done it...many times.

It does take a little probing, but you can indeed get the pickup hose way down in the sail drive. Looking at an exploded diagram of the drive first helps. They really should be built with a pick up tube for this purpose, but are not.
Yup.. I have changed oil in the MS25S (my drives) and the 120. I have extracted the proper amount of oil every time.

Its actually funny as we have a cruising friend that reads CF and was convinced saildrives are garbage because you can't change the oil without a haulout (as well as other strange oddities). I laughed as he sat there stunned watching me change the oil in my drive at anchor. He was actually going to bet me it couldn't be done as he had read that here MANY times. LOL..

Like everything.. people pass things they heard without actually confirming its true.

Anyway.. I look forward to hearing back from the OP.. Hoping he got the screw out.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:47   #14
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

The oil drain plug is NOT metal.
It is a Nylon/ Delrin type material, which binds: it's designed to be difficult to remove. Sail drives vibrate - if it came loose under way, the drive could seize - potentially a very expensive repair. And if you have one engine, it could seize entering an inlet. You get the message . . .
* The seal is NOT a soft O ring.
It is a flat fiber washer, which can be reused, if necessary. A good hardware store will have the exact replacement fiber washer. Do not use any material except fiber.
* Do NOT use heat.
* Do NOT use an impact driver.
* Do NOT use a convential screwdriver because they all have tapered surfaces and will damage the plug.

* You have to make a tool where all 5 surfaces are at 90į to each other and the 2 flat surfaces are parallel. There must be just enough wiggle room to fit in the slot - 0.003" is ideal. Too tight or too loose risks damaging the nylon plug. The finished width needs to match the length of the slot.

* With the right tool, used correctly, the plug is easy to remove.
* Your friendly neighbour or Volvo mechanic is unlikely to have the right tool, so you just have to make one. It's time and patience well spent.

Here's what I used:
* A fixed grinder (a vice and angle grinder also works). A dial caliper, a 10" crescent wrench and a toothbrush all make life much easier. A touch of NON-COPPER Anti-Seize thread lubricant makes future removals a breeze.

* Buy a cold chisel that is a little wider than the length of the slot in the plug. Cold chisels have a hex shank. Buy 2. They're cheap enough.
* Grind to the above parameters. Pactice makes perfect: it's very easy to over grind, that's why you buy
2 cold chisels. Or 3 ...
* When removing the plug, make sure your tool is held square to the saildrive, and the 10" cresent wrench square to the tool. Your tool is hardened and tempered steel, and can easy to damage the plug. Drilling a seriously damaged plug out is no fun. Nor is sucking the oil out from above.
Just make the tool. With grinder, chisel and dial caliper in hand, it's a 30 minute job. But it's a boat - so maybe allow 3 hours? Ha ha. . .
* When replacing the plug, make sure the threads are perfectly clean - an old tooth brush works great.
* Lubricate the threads with a NON-COPPER Anti-Seize thread lubricant.
* Snug the plug down. Do not over tighten.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:57   #15
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Re: Volvo 120 Saildrive Drain Plug Stuck

the plug on the s130 looks the same and is definitely steel, i usually need an impact driver - but maybe the 120 is different
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