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Another Fumoto Drain Valve Thread


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6 replies to this topic

#1 subsince77

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 10:20 PM

I like the looks of this thing, but like so many others, am nervous about anything that might make a catastrophic oil dump possible. I have searched and read, and am on the verge of ordering one. Here are my questions for those of you that use them. I have an 09 outback, does anyone know if the nipple style will actually hang below the car enough to be vulnerable?

I keep reading that people wouldn't use it "off road." Well, how much off road? We live in western Colorado. We drive in deep snow, and on two track roads from time to time. I definitely don't spend all my time on pavement. But, for any serious 4wd road, I take the Tacoma. A stock OBW is not a 4wd vehicle in my opinion, but we use it to get to some trailheads.

Should this thing only be used in city/ highway applications? What do you think? Maybe I just need to install one and see what it looks like.

#2 rverdoold

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:20 AM

I was thinking about the drain valve yesterday. I have to change the oil next week. I drive about 90% on the road. But I am afraid for those 10% also because if it goes off it is in the middle of nowhere. On the other hand my plastic underbody shield is still in between the ground and the plug.
I have not decided yet!

#3 WoodsWagon

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 05:51 AM

I have seen plenty of subaru oil pans with dents or bashed in on the bottom, with no leaks. Sure, it takes a 17mm wrench and 30 extra seconds when doing an oil change, but that's worth it for the rugged simplicity of a drainbolt.

Having a valve cantilevered out where rocks and ice can snap it off seems like asking for trouble on any car that sees more than pavement.

#4 unibrook

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:45 AM

If your 2-track roads mean you sometimes drag your spashguard in the dirt,mud,gravel etc.....then I would not employ the Fumoto.

I have a 2001 Forester with 111,000 miles on her. I have been using the Fumoto for the last 4 yrs and I love it. But the worst she sees is deep snow and ice chunx in the city.

#5 subsince77

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 08:26 AM

Thanks for the input. It's true that unscrewing an oil plug is a simple process. That's my main argument against the valve. Why? Simpler, sure, a little cleaner, sure, but I haven't really had any problems with any of that for the last 40 years, so... I'm not even sure why I want the thing.

As to a "shield" that I keep reading references to, unless you install something, there is nothing on the bottom of this car that one rock wouldn't tear off.

So it comes down to use of the car for me. We are putting 20,000 miles per year on it, so I do a lot of oil changes, several laying in the snow. Anything that makes it faster is good.

I have not, in the 10 years I had my 97 OB, or in the one year I have had this one, scraped the bottom on anything. Maybe the nose right under the bumper once or twice on the 97, but never the tranny or pan. I pretty much know where the bottom of the car is, and how to thread a rock through to the side of important parts - but it could happen.

Most of the time, we know where we are going in advance, and if there is any doubt, we take the lifted truck. The 77 Subaru was much more suited to off-road than an Outback. Anyway, right there is the crux. It could happen, and the result would be nasty. Even if you knew you had damaged the valve, and shut the car off before all the oil came out, there you are "in the middle of nowhere."

I don't think I will know if I would be comfortable with it, until I see one on the car and how it sits in relation to the rest of the undercarriage. I am ordering one, and next oil change I'll stick it on there and look at it for a while. Then go with my gut.

I would still love to hear from someone that has one, and drives some light off-road.

#6 The Dude

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 06:16 PM

I don't drive off road, but I've used a Fumoto on my Foresters for the last 12 years. Here's the thing about the "simple" drain plug, it has a torque value. That means that according to Subaru the drain plug should be tightened with a torque wrench. Well, I think most people tighten the drain plug by hand without a torque wrench. So, too loose and if the plug falls out you can lose the engine. Too tight, and you can strip the threads in the oil pan.

Every year plenty of people lose engines due to drain plugs failing out. Heck, I 've known a few personally. Often some "technican" at a quickie oil change place didn't tighten the oil drain plug securely. And I've known a few people who have stripped their drain pans.

The real beauty of the Fumoto drain valve is that you only have to tighten it one time for the entire lifetime of your car. The added convenience and speed are just gravy. Plus, you don't have to mess around with "crush" washers. It's not a big deal either way, but I think it's worth a few dollars to make your life a little easier.

#7 subsince77

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:59 PM

Well, I poked my head under the car today with this whole thing in mind. I was surprised at just how low that pan is, and imagining that valve sticking out and down at an angle. Looks like you would lose at least an inch of clearance. There is no way I'm putting that thing on there! Too bad I already ordered one. If I never left the pavement I probably would do it.




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