TIG welding OilPan on 2012 Mercedes safe?

Maksim Diagnostician Rancho Cordova, California Posted   Latest  
Question
Collision
Fabrication
2013 Mercedes-Benz C250 1.8L (271.860) 7-spd (722.9)—WDDGF4HB8DR271681

Drain Plug hole has crack leaking oil. Calls for 15 hours to RR oilpan. Need quick fix to let customer go. i have TIG but im not Pro on it and is SCARRED TO DEATH to do this job on vehicle—to let smoke out of Computers....( my boss has no other option trying to force me TIG weld it. )

Disconnecting battery of course but disconnecting every single module might be not practical... any suggestion?

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Joseph Technician
Calgary, Alberta
Joseph Default
 

I had a very similar situation on a European oil pan that was extremely expensive and labour intensive to replace, so I ended up JB welding it. I let the oil pan drain overnight, then brake cleaned the area very thoroughly and the JB weld set for it's full six hours. I fully informed the customer of what I was doing, as they simply didn't have the money for the proper repair.

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Kabel Technician
Wailuku, Hawaii
Kabel Default
   

If the customer is going to be returning to get the job done then a safer alternative might be to clean out all of the oil using a solvent such as brake clean and then use JB quick weld to seal it all up and then put the drain plug back in, you won’t get the drain plug back out most likely but it should seal up any leak. Not a long-term fix but maybe get the customer out for the weekend etc. lol…

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Roger Owner/Technician
Chester, Vermont
Roger Default
 

NO - Go with your gut. That is not the right way to fix it. My opinion.

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Agree
Benjamin Diagnostician
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Benjamin Default
   

If you can weld it, anything electronic within 12” of the weld site should be removed. Of course disconnect the battery. Ground as close as you can to the repair area. You should be ok. DO NOT USE BRAKE CLEANER TO CLEAN THE AREA BEFORE YOU WELD. THE FUMES CAN KILL YOU!

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Agree
Benjamin Diagnostician
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Benjamin Default
 

Ultimately, if you are not confident in welding it then don’t. We’re not with the car and everyones welding ability is at different levels.

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Marlin Technician
Estacada, Oregon
Marlin Default
 

Not his brake cleaner. Chlorinated is illegal there.

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Jamey Owner/Technician
Ventura, California
Jamey Default
 

Just say no!!!!!!! Do not attempt to patch it. Your in California. If you attempt the repair and it fails, engine runs out of oil, your liable. Fix it right or have him tow it home.

+5 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Agree
Bentley Manager
San Diego, California
Bentley Default
 

Will Dorman 65240 drain plug work? If a permanent repair is made does it have a dipstick tube to use suction pump for future oil changes?

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Maksim Diagnostician
Rancho Cordova, California
Maksim Default
 

It has 2 long cracks about 1 inch long—along the threads inside the pan...

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Bentley Manager
San Diego, California
Bentley Default
 

Can you post a picture?

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Jamin Owner/Technician
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Jamin Default
   

I have to say, I've never seen or heard of anyone who had fried electronics from welding on a vehicle. I haven't tried welding an oil pan, but have definitely done LOTS of welding on blocks, heads, frames and exhaust. Has anyone here had an issue before? I don't mean to recommend welding on the pan. It just raised the question of welding and electronics.

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Roger Owner/Technician
Chester, Vermont
Roger Default
   

I have done a lot as well with never a problem. That is welding and electronics. Not an oil pan!

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Sisco Owner/Technician
Mendon, Vermont
Sisco Default
 

The problem you're going to have is contamination of the weld puddle from the oil/oil residue still in the pan, may end up making it worse. If there is a pan replacement down the road, you can try Permatex fuel tank patch (used to use on rusted out steel pans)-sets up fast. If it's in the threaded area and you think you are going to weld up and retap, i'd say not gonna happen.

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Agree
Kirk Technician
Glenwood, Iowa
Kirk Default
 

I would say no. Most pans have some sort of coating inside so they are not bare steel. By welding it you will burn this coating possibly off and have debris in the oil causing further damage to the internals of the engine.

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Ty Technician
East Hartford, Connecticut
Ty Default
 

Several years ago, a local chain store tech was killed welding an oil pan when the oil/fuel vapors in the crankcase ignited. Frying modules is the least of the risk.

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Agree
Jamin Owner/Technician
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Jamin Default
 

Agree

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Mark Mechanic
Georgetown Township, Michigan
Mark Default
 

The owner of a different shop I worked at years ago (early 2000's) was proud of his oil pan welding repairs using a nut to weld over the stripped threads. Customers liked the cost savings. But then one day, KABOOM! No injuries but scared the heck out of everyone, including customers. That was back when many oil pans were still made of steel. That ended that procedure forever after that! Not only…

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Mike Technician
Salina, Kansas
Mike Default
 

I worked at a shop that use to do that too , what we did was put some argon gas in oil fill spot for 10 mins or so . Cracked open the tank letting a little bit out at time to fill,the block,with innurt gas then weld on nut .

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Zachary Mobile Technician
Austin, Texas
Zachary Default
 

As others have said go with your gut here. Don't let your boss bully you in to making a bad decision that's only going to come back on you. You have to do what you feel is right and to hell with what anyone else says. As Sisco mentioned the biggest issue will be contamination. As I'm sure you already know, the metal has to be spotless for TIG welding to work out. Even aluminum mig wouldn't be a…

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JJ Technician
Quincy, Massachusetts
JJ Default
 

I'd hand him the torch and tell him to get at it. The safety of modules is not the only thing at stake here. There's also the point that not getting that pan perfectly clean will leave you with a crap end result that may even be worse than what it started as. Any oil on the inside of the pan is going to become more viscous(less viscous?) as the pan heats up, it'll find it's way into that crack…

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Sean Technician
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Sean Default
 

As others have mentioned, the only safe alternative here is to jb weld the pan as a temporary patch. I would however recommend devcon over jb weld, as I find it to be a far superior product. Devcon liquid steel is what many transmission shops use to repair cracked and broken transmission cases. It is quite expensive though.

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Chad Mobile Technician
Eustis, Florida
Chad Default
 

JB weld it!! If your “ok” at aluminum plate/tube then your not good at all with cast. As I’m sure you know aluminum tends to crack when overheated while welding or sharply ending the arch. Brake clean turns to mustard gas. You can bet 100% there is fuel in the oil of a Mercedes. Dont do it

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Joseph Technician
Christiansburg, Virginia
Joseph Default
 

What about a time-sert? Or even spark plug thread kit and then install Different type of drain plug

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Eric Owner/Technician
Edgerton, Wisconsin
Eric Default
 

The only proper way to weld an oil pan is to remove it from the engine, clean it inside and out, bevel the cracks and weld it up. Then clean and inspect your welds. Then install the pan. Why are you letting a customer tell you how to fix a car? Give them the one correct option which is, replace the oil pan and drain plug and drain plug gasket. Or have them take it somewhere else. I guess that's…

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Agree
Raymond Mobile Technician
Masonville, New York
Raymond Default
 

As I read on someone else's post NEVER WELD AN OIL PAN ON THE CAR. RISK OF EXPLOSION IS VERY REAL, THERE IS ALWAYS THE RISK OF GAS IN THE PAN OR ENGINE. DO NOT EVEN ATTEMPT. HAD A LOCAL MECHANIC TRY THIS KILLED HIMSELF

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Nick Diagnostician
Affton, Missouri
Nick Default
 

Does your machine have the option of scratch start? I wouldn't use high frequency start with it in the car. You could always remove the engine ground if possible to help isolate it and put you ground clamp directly to the engine and as close as possible to the weld to be made

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Maksim Diagnostician
Rancho Cordova, California
Maksim Default
 

I talked my boss into a glue option—-now we trying best we can. thinking put a Drain Valve instead of a bolt and glue it well for good....right now hunting for Devcon Liquid Steel

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Bentley Manager
San Diego, California
Bentley Default
 

Put in a bolt, glue it and evacuate the oil in the future oil changes.

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Sean Technician
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Sean Default
 

I forgot to mention that devcon has a wide variety of products for many applications. I believe the particular product that our shop keeps around is called devcon fasmetal 19770. It is an aluminum based epoxy targeted more towards hvac repairs. We have used it hundreds of times to repair everything from transfer cases to cylinder heads with great success though. Our biggest reason for using that…

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Stephen Technician
Gallatin, Tennessee
Stephen Default
 

I have a method for getting glue into cracks when I’m wood working. I fab up a connection to the crack with vacuum nozzle. Then apply glue to the other side of the crack while running the shop vac. If you can get good penetration, you may be able to chase the threads and reinstall the drain plug.

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Maksim Diagnostician
Rancho Cordova, California
Maksim Default
 

I like your Vaccum brilliant idea—will use it! —ordered Valve Amazon and Glue will give a try Monday.

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Ralph Owner
Rocky River, Ohio
Ralph Default
 

We had the exact same car hired my friend to weld oil pan drain plug. That was 4 years ago no leaks

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Jason Owner/Technician
San Luis Obispo, California
Jason Default
 

Fix it right or walk away. You didn't buy it, brake it or build it.

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Maksim Diagnostician
Rancho Cordova, California
Maksim Default
   

The thing is that our lube guys broke it and now boss trying best to helpout and save $2000 and 15 hours labor on it. Im second to top guys in a shop—so boss trusts me do the glue fix. I think be able to fix it...with vaccum sucking glue thru crack...we bought Big tank Sucker to Suck and fill thry dipstick on Mercedes from now on. So will see how that goes

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Jamey Owner/Technician
Ventura, California
Jamey Default
 

I know your stuck in the middle, but.... basically your shop did a service on this vehicle, the lube guy broke it, and now the fix is to glue it together and hope the customer makes it out the door! What do you think the customer will think when the next shop informs him of the quality repair they found when doing his next service?

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Roger Owner/Technician
Chester, Vermont
Roger Default
 

It really sucks. Not a pretty situation but likely will end up fixing it the right way at some point anyhow..... I agree. Fix it right the first time. It's better for the business and the customer in the end.

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Maksim Diagnostician
Rancho Cordova, California
Maksim Default
 

Update: Came out perfect- very confident wont leak at this place anymore—-glue dried hard as a glass. And yes we were honest with customer explained what we did and if will leak in future will do the pan for free. This is a repeat nice customer of us—always does Oil Service here—so will keep eye on it. and thank you all for your inputs and tips for repair.

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Chris Diagnostician
Bryans Road, Maryland
Chris Default
 

How did they crack it? I am surprised the threads help up that well to cause damage like that.

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Raymond Mobile Technician
Masonville, New York
Raymond Default
 

I'm going with Rodger on this one. You broke it, fix it right the first time, glad I don't work for this guy. Nobody should be forced to do a BAD repair. JMO

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Maksim Diagnostician
Rancho Cordova, California
Maksim Resolution
   

Update: Came out perfect- very confident wont leak at this place anymore—-glue dried hard as a glass. And yes we were honest with customer explained what we did and if will leak in future will do the pan for free. This is a repeat nice customer of us—always does Oil Service here—so will keep eye on it. and thank you all for your inputs and tips for repair.

+2 Resolution Ð Bounty Awarded
Roger Owner/Technician
Chester, Vermont
Roger Default
 

I'm glad you have it resolved. And honesty with the customer always helps. Thanks for sharing.

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