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  1. #1

    Default Butterfly Drain plug

    Ok so I bought a used 1999 burb. I went to get the oil changed the other day and was told that they could not do it because it has a butterfly drain plug. My problem is two fold, I can't change it myself because of where I live, they won't let me in my drive way and two, although its not leaking, I am affraid of not being able to find someone who will change it. I went to four different places in SO Florida that wouldn't touch it. So here is my question. How easy is it to change back to a regular plug? Is changing the oil pan easy? The parts are not that bad price wise, I found a new oil pan for under $100, which leads me to believe that the labor will be significant as it looks like the engine would need to be pulled to do it. Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Jr. Mechanic SilveradoBrett's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Fort Lupton, CO
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    I dont think you need to pull the engine to remove the entire oil pan. I think it just mounts right to the bottom and is an easy change out. I may be wrong based on the year but I don't think it is that bad. The problem is that in order to change the oil pan you need to drain the oil. If nobody will drain the oil then you really can't take the oil pan off without spilling a gallon and a half of oil all over the place. Have you tried small mom and pa mechanic shops. Usually they will do anything to get the business. Thats what I would try! Sorry I can't be that much help, I really don't understand what a butterfly drain plug is, I have never seen one before!
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  3. #3


    you shouldnt have to remove the motor to change the oil pan but silveradobrett is right you would spill a ton of oil if you dont drain it first
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  4. #4
    Master Mechanic
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    Brandon, FLA
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    You must live in Deed Restricted Community, Eh? Can't change you own oil in the driveway? What is that? Thats why I sold my house in those hoods, to many you can's and can'ts. As far as this butterfly
    drain, did the previous owner replace the plug with a petcock drain from the radiator family for the ease
    of oil change? Not sure why no one will touch it, except that they do not want to be the one to loosen it and not be able to seat it after it drains. Is this the answer they gave you about the butterfly drain?
    Now, do you know what this drain looks like with your own eyes? If so, the threads should be still the same as the plug that was the original equipment used to drain the pan. To which you can purchase from the dealer a new one, or from you local APS(auto parts store). They also sell ones that are for threads that have been damaged, only draw back is they wear out after several uses and eventually you will need to replace the pan, or larger plug.
    As far as swapping the pans, there are tools that you can use to lift the motor remove the two motor mount bolts and lift the engine as needed to have clearence to remove the pan. You also do this method by putting a block
    of wood under the harmonic balancer and lift slightly to perform the same function as the tool to lift the engine with. You must be EXTRA careful when you do this, as you can cause damage, misalign the mounts that will cause you to time to realign, get you hand/pan caught if you get in the way of the lift and knock it out and so on. Now lastly, do you have a cool fiend or neighbor who can change the oild in their driveway? If so, ask him to be kind and borrow his driveway and remove that plug and start with the original plug before changing the pan, use a brass washer with the plug, it helps it to seal....

  5. #5


    Not knowing what your "butterfly" drain plug looks like, I'd bet it is the "pet ****" valve like mentioned above. A lot people have installed them around here to keep from having to remove the drain plug each time they change the oil. It also gives better control of the "flow". If that is the case, if you can get someone to drain it, just replace it with a regular drain plug. Good luck!

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  6. #6


    The plug looks like a smaller radiator cap, with a rubber washer on it. The guy who looked at it said they didn't touch them because if you back it out to much the nut on the inside of the oil pan will come loose. He said that they use them mostly when the threads get stripped. I guess I'll keep checking, I guess I am more worried about the plug lasting then it being there. I don't want to have to keep changing them every time I change the oil if I don't have to. Thanks for the help.

  7. #7


    have you tried going to a auto shop not just a place where they only change oil?? sounds like the other places just don't know what there doing and an auto shop would be able to help you out alot more
    2004 chevy silverado "northwest edition" lifted on 35's

    1990 cherokee lifted on 32's

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