The oil pan on the Duramax is multiple pieces. The one with the drain plug is the lower and only has vertical bolts. The upper pan (the one that goes to the front) requires removing the transmission and possibly the flywheel as the oil pan as it has horizontal bolts into it from the back of the engine. I got lucky when I had to change the rod in mine and found a socket that fit between the flywheel teeth to pull the bolts.I know that's been mentioned on the forum before. I don't exactly know what the outcome was if someone did it. I figure if you gotta go under the truck to drill a hole in the pan, tap threads in it, and hope a new drain plug doesn't leak, (which I've never had good luck fixing leaking drain plug issues on oil pans on previous vehicles) you might as well do the easy removal of the crossmember, one other bolt that's in the way of the removal of an oil pan bolt, and replace the factory pan with an aftermarket flat bottom pan. Of course the cost would be WAY more than an install of a drain plug, but for me it'd be worth not having to screw around with drain plug oil leaks.