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Old 12-19-2008, 01:33 AM
dabenz dabenz is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: eastern ND
Posts: 657
Ummm.... ....I didn't have problems, other than a bit of cussing and wiggling. When I removed daBenz's tank water heater (heater inlet came from that right rear plug spot) there was either an o-ring or a square gasket - this was about five years ago so you'll have to excuse my mad-cow. Same gasket when I pulled the normal plug from the parts car. I just checked my paper "catalog B" (the parts blowup) and there's a gasket in the diagrams for both diesel OM615 and gas M615 blocks. Can anybody confirm that there's NOT a gasket spec'd for the "newer" blocks?

The job wasn't too bad considering the plugs had been there a few decades - 1/2in by 18in swivel-head breaker from the top after removing the air duct, with a 3ft cheater all the way down the breaker handle. Used an extension to a long socket with the long part of a cut-apart L-shaped allen wrench taped to the socket. No heat needed (this time). Made an aluminum foil trough to keep the starter dry and used anti-seize when installing.

I've had the most luck when the very first wiggle is in the wrong direction - sometimes a finger-crosser when you know you're dealing with a tapered thread and you don't know if the other guy tightened it down too much. With a straight thread you're only dealing with corrosion, and it's time for the gas-rig if the first wrong-way wiggle doesn't work. I have "burned out" gaskets to make room for the oil on really stuck fittings.

Brass conducts heat twice as fast as for cast iron (or steel, in the case of something like a house water heater), so heat the brass. You want to quickly expand the plug and crack the corrosion before the hole has a chance to expand too much. This is the opposite thinking as compared to a stuck steel nut on a steel bolt or stud, where you heat the nut.

Never never ever ever hammer cast iron. You can weld a crack after drilling out the ends of the crack, but it's not fun and you'll never know how long it will last. Oil is a lot cheaper than replacing a small engine block. Cussing and wiggling are free.
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daBenz - 1970 220D
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