Frame and Engine Oil Drain Plug COPPER Washers

Ok, so my DRZ is about due for an oil change and I am out of the OEM crush washers, and was never a fan of them anyway. So I did a search here and from what i have read many of you all have changed to copper washers because they are somewhat reusable, and more readily available. From what I have read I need 10mm and 12mm sizes. So I stopped at the auto parts store and they had a bunch of loose copper washers that had fallen out of the packages over the years and they let me pick thru them. I assume 10mm and 12mm is the Inner Diameter or ID everyone is referring to. I found a few sets of (varying thicknesses) and noted the measurements of the Inner Diameter on the packet.

 

I then took a drive down to the local Harbor Freight as I have had great luck finding O Ring assortments and various gadgets there in the past. I found a 80 piece copper washer assortment (part number pictured) in Standard SAE sizing. I took my digital calipers and measured 2 of the sizes and found 10mm ID and 12MM ID washers in that kit. I paid $4 for this kit with a coupon.

 

From the measurements I noted do these look correct to swap out the OEM crush washers to the copper flat style?

 

I was also wondering if anybody has found the OEM style crush washers in bulk packages?? A link would be appreciated if so.

 

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Edited by Bobbed06

The only thing I would say about Harbor Freight is you want soft (annealed) copper washers for sealing applications.  Not sure if the combo pack meets that spec. Of course you can always anneal your self if you want.  Not to put a crimp in your washer selection, I'm sure they will be fine.  But I personally prefer soft aluminum seal washers used by many Honda products.  A little more forgiving if you tend to over-tighten.

The only thing I would say about Harbor Freight is you want soft (annealed) copper washers for sealing applications.  Not sure if the combo pack meets that spec. Of course you can always anneal your self if you want.  Not to put a crimp in your washer selection, I'm sure they will be fine.  But I personally prefer soft aluminum seal washers used by many Honda products.  A little more forgiving if you tend to over-tighten.

 

The small packages are automotive drain plug sealing washers, they seem fairly soft. The Harbor Freight washers seem thicker, but I never compared them to the automotive washers to see if they are harder. I will torque to spec , no more than 13ft lb on both plugs.

 

Do you know of a place to get the OEM style Suzuki washers in bulk? I can just order OEM from the TT store if neither of these options are correct.

Edited by Bobbed06

Clips and fasteners.com (amazon) and dorman products sells all types of drain plug gaskets

I've annealed copper washers myself, super easy and highly effective. In fact, I've re-used some after annealing them again because I'm that cheap.

I've annealed copper washers myself, super easy and highly effective. In fact, I've re-used some after annealing them again because I'm that cheap.

Do you use copper washers on both the drain plugs of your DRZ?

Do you use copper washers on both the drain plugs of your DRZ?

Yep, the last time I changed the oil I reused the first set I got for the first time. Annealed them, and I could bend them with one finger and thumb they were so soft. I torqued them up so lightly it's not funny and they didn't leak. They were torqued so lightly I was afraid of them backing out lol, so I torqued them to spec after. I've reused a copper washer on my BMW E30 for years now, same procedure. It's about the only place oil doesn't leak from on it. It also has a soft, strip-prone aluminum oil pan.

Yep, the last time I changed the oil I reused the first set I got for the first time. Annealed them, and I could bend them with one finger and thumb they were so soft. I torqued them up so lightly it's not funny and they didn't leak. They were torqued so lightly I was afraid of them backing out lol, so I torqued them to spec after. I've reused a copper washer on my BMW E30 for years now, same procedure. It's about the only place oil doesn't leak from on it. It also has a soft, strip-prone aluminum oil pan.

OK, Thats what I will do then ...... as I google how to properly anneal copper washers LOL

I just heat them with a propane torch until they become *just* visibly glowing red, then you can either let them cool (the proper way) or quench them in cold water (the wrong way). When you quench, it technically hardens them, but it is still so soft you can folder the washer in half. 

 

After repeated annealings, the shape of the washer will be so distorted you'll have to replace it, but this will work many times over before that happens.

I just heat them with a propane torch until they become *just* visibly glowing red, then you can either let them cool (the proper way) or quench them in cold water (the wrong way). When you quench, it technically hardens them, but it is still so soft you can folder the washer in half. 

 

After repeated annealings, the shape of the washer will be so distorted you'll have to replace it, but this will work many times over before that happens.

I bought an entire assortment of copper washers, so I will only anneal them once. I will be glad to get rid of the special crush style gaskets Suzuki uses. I wonder why Suzuki decided to use crish washers, and every other bike I have owned used copper or aluminum washers?

The softness of the annealed copper goes away. If you whack it with a hammer, it will harder right away.. otherwise, it hardens with pressure and vibration even. You'll find that the washer will no longer be soft then next time you pull it apart.

 

The crimp-crush washers are very likely much cheaper, and EITHER are supposed to be replaced. Annealing is cheating, ftw. :) It's really not cost effective to waste 5 minutes and propane on a $1 washer, if you think about it. For me, it's simply the fact I forget about them and end up needing one right then.

Interestingly, I discovered this process when making copper gaskets for exhaust on my car. I could either pay $50 for a copper gasket custom cut for a turbo flange, or by a thin copper sheet at the hobby store, anneal it, cut out the shape I need (I could make 20 of them for $10) and re-anneal for maximum softness. Copper gaskets are great for exhausts since they won't burn up and get destroyed. You'd think the heat would continually anneal then right? But no, science is like black magic. Nobody really understands it lol.

The softness of the annealed copper goes away. If you whack it with a hammer, it will harder right away.. otherwise, it hardens with pressure and vibration even. You'll find that the washer will no longer be soft then next time you pull it apart.

 

The crimp-crush washers are very likely much cheaper, and EITHER are supposed to be replaced. Annealing is cheating, ftw. :) It's really not cost effective to waste 5 minutes and propane on a $1 washer, if you think about it. For me, it's simply the fact I forget about them and end up needing one right then.

I got the assortment of copper washers for $4 which included 8 and 10 of the sizes I needed, plus other sizes handy to have in the shop. I think the Suzuki crush style washers cost almost $2 each, which wouldnt be bad if I could walk in and buy them. Figure in shipping and its more of a hassle and adds an expense issue.

I hear ya.. even $4 is crazy when you think about the material involved eh? Still, sounds like you got the right idea. :)

I try and stick with OEM on most everything anymore, but sometimes it just gets rediculous. The first time I saw these washers Suzuki uses and all of the back and forth debates about them I knew I wanted to do something different to ease the oil change process.

I hear ya.. even $4 is crazy when you think about the material involved eh? Still, sounds like you got the right idea. :)

 

$4 for an assortment box of copper washers is crazy... have you seen the price of copper, not to mention cost of manufacture, etc..  I use copper or aluminum flat sealing washers and replace them each time.  For their cost, potential to not seal and possibly crack an oil pan from over-tightening… it’s about the cheapest insurance there is.  Granted, in a pinch I have re-used sealing washers with no-ill affect… other than one time it wouldn’t seal and I was forced to drain 7 qts of oil from my car.  More hassle than its worth had I just used a new washer.

 

That’s how my dad taught me, and that’s how he did it in business (independent mechanic).  I guess we were spoiled, because every new cartridge filter came with an o-ring and sealing washer.....

Edited by bmwpowere36m3

I just heat them with a propane torch until they become *just* visibly glowing red, then you can either let them cool (the proper way) or quench them in cold water (the wrong way). When you quench, it technically hardens them, but it is still so soft you can folder the washer in half. 

 

After repeated annealings, the shape of the washer will be so distorted you'll have to replace it, but this will work many times over before that happens.

 

Quenching them doesn't harden them at all. You are confusing copper with Steel

Quenching steel allows the formation of a martensitic grain structure. Copper cannot do this as it contains no carbon or iron.

 

Annealing copper can be done either way with the same results, its the heating to cherry red which is the crucial bit

Edited by GuyGraham

Well that explains why quenching never seemed to harden them, then. I mean, I'm just going by sh*t I read on the internet lol! Thanks for the info.

 

In fact the first time I read this (and did it) I read that you HAD to cool it quickly to anneal it, and that cooling slowly would harden it which isn't try apparently either.

 

Anyway, my copper gaskets don't leak. :)

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