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Thread: Transmission drain plug torque

  1. #1

    Default Transmission drain plug torque

    I have tried to remove the tranny drain plug on my 96 Civic w/ a 3/8in
    ratchet driver which inserts directly into the plug. However, it must be torqued
    well beyond the 36ft-lb recced torque. I applied some PBBlaster but to
    no avail. I even had a neighbor mechanic throw his weight behind it to
    no avail. I basically see two DIY options (actually three) remaining:

    1) use a 1/2in to 3/8in step-down adaptor on a 1/2in ratchet driver
    2) use a 3/8in breaker bar

    I am afraid that I will shear off the male component of the step-down
    adaptor, leaving the tranny drain plug no longer accessible via conventional
    means. That leaves the 3/8in breaker bar. My 3/8in ratchet driver has
    an effective lever arm of approx 6.75in. I was looking at Craftsman's
    10in 3/8in bbar but that effective lever arm is only about 9.25in, a 37%
    increase in length. Harbor Freight offers a 17in bbar but this is too long.
    Michigan Industrial Tools offers a 12in bar (effective lever arm about 11.25in),
    which is an increase of 67%. Any input on the merits of breaker bar
    length would be greatly appreciated.

    I would prefer not to use a cheater bar on the end of the ratchet.

    Thanks.

    MVC

  2. #2

  3. #3

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    i've used my cheater bar almost all the time and it gets the job done.
    fuck you and the moon!

  4. #4

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    If you cant tap it loose by hand, then it is seized up and you need to use any means necessary to get that thing out without breaking it. More torque from a longer bar will help you get it loose without damaging anything. Tap it, dont just throw all your weight into it. Your ego wont mean shit if you strip something.
    "those are gay as fuck." - FknTkn

    "Thanks for your input FknTkn." - Kingkodo

    "no prob man." - FknTkn

  5. #5

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    get some of that loctite ice stuff its in a can like p.b and i personally think it works better getting bolts and nuts to turn i would flip the car over and douse the drain plug and let it sit for 6 weeks and then flip the car back over and try loosening it and if no luck spend the 100 bucks and buy a new trans pan

  6. #6

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    Go rent a 1/2" breaker bar and a Impact style 1/2 to 3/8 adapter. Put a 3ft piece of 1" black pipe on the end of the bar and break that sucker loose.

    Next time only put it on tight enough so it doesn't leak. It dosn't require much torque to keep it from leaking.

    BTW everyone who is a DIY'er should have a 1" cheater bar.
    Spa Yellow Pearl 92 Si D16z6
    9.85 and 145 mph 1.54 60 ft.

  7. #7

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    CRC Freeze-Off in the can. Spray it on the drain bolt for a good solid 10 seconds, then tap the bolt lightly with something (hammer, the end of your breaker bar, whatever), then wait 5 to 10 minutes. It will come off.

    It's probably not so much a matter of it being on so hard as it is a matter that it's hard to get leverage on that bolt because of how you have to position your body to get at it.

    Take a length of 2x4 and hit the hanging end of your 3/8 inch breaker bar with it. Tap it out that way.

    If that doesn't work for you, hang the breaker bar vertically as possible and tie a rope to it with a number of half hitches. . Wrap the rope around your hips and walk/lean backwards away from the bumper to apply your whole body weight to the lever arm. That's actually how I did the fill bolt on my car last month, after using the CRC Freeze Off. (but it's an Accord, not sure if the bolt on your civic is in a good place for this method)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithby View Post
    Go rent a 1/2" breaker bar and a Impact style 1/2 to 3/8 adapter. Put a 3ft piece of 1" black pipe on the end of the bar and break that sucker loose.

    Next time only put it on tight enough so it doesn't leak. It dosn't require much torque to keep it from leaking.

    BTW everyone who is a DIY'er should have a 1" cheater bar.
    And it's not only the tightness so much that keeps it from leaking, it's putting a new aluminum crush washer on it that keeps it from leaking.

    I definitely agree about the 1" cheater bar. Sometimes it's hard to get one in there for that bolt though. It would be good to have a shorter cheater bar for spaces like that and for narrower handles like on a 3/8 breaker bar. I would guess a 2 foot length of 1 inch internal diameter steel gas line would work. You might want to measure the space available to you. I have a 4 foot one for major stuff like the axle nuts and crankshaft pulley bolt, but it's pretty useless for bolts like this one because it won't fit under the car!

    OP, if the Fill bolt is stuck on too (I hope you already got it broken free and that's why you're working on the drain bolt), use the closed end of a combo wrench on it and hook the closed end of another combo wrench of similar size onto the upper jaw (the one in the same direction you're trying to spin the bolt) of the open end of the first wrench. One of the only ways to get leverage on that fill bolt because of lack of clearance.
    Last edited by batever; 04-06-2010 at 08:29 AM.

  9. #9

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    el oh el at trying to correct smithby

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enigma View Post
    el oh el at trying to correct smithby
    yeah I paused a bit before hitting submit. Well all I did was basically agree with him and add my own thoughts. Hopefully they aren't too wrong.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithby View Post
    Go rent a 1/2" breaker bar and a Impact style 1/2 to 3/8 adapter. Put a 3ft piece of 1" black pipe on the end of the bar and break that sucker loose.

    Next time only put it on tight enough so it doesn't leak. It dosn't require much torque to keep it from leaking.

    BTW everyone who is a DIY'er should have a 1" cheater bar.
    Hi, Byron

    What is an "impact style" stepdown adaptor? I have a standard stepdown.
    You see no issue w/ potential shearing off of the male portion of the adaptor?
    Thus leaving the tranny drain plug inaccessible except to a drill?

    My mechanic is the one who put it on this tight. This is my first attempt at
    tranny spill/fill.

    What is the advantage of a 1ft cheater bar vs a similar length bbar?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by batever View Post
    And it's not only the tightness so much that keeps it from leaking, it's putting a new aluminum crush washer on it that keeps it from leaking.

    P, if the Fill bolt is stuck on too (I hope you already got it broken free and that's why you're working on the drain bolt), use the closed end of a combo wrench on it and hook the closed end of another combo wrench of similar size onto the upper jaw (the one in the same direction you're trying to spin the bolt) of the open end of the first wrench. One of the only ways to get leverage on that fill bolt because of lack of clearance.
    Hi,

    I am familiar w/ the crush washer function and would not overtighten.
    The fill "plug" is the dipstick.

    I have seen the technique w/ the combi wrench described. So, you plug the
    3/8in ratchet into the plug presumably angled away from the direction in
    which you are trying to turn the bolt and pull?

    Otherwise, a closed wrench will not fit on this plug. There is actually a
    small raised semi-circle that runs for about 100degrees(??) that effectively
    blocks access to the top of the bolt (and maybe the sides). The plug is
    squarish. Vice grips might. In order to introduce the PBBlaster, I had
    to use a flow-directing tube btw/ the raised semi-circle and the bolt head.

  13. #13

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    http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

    Craftsman has them also, they are made to be used with a impact gun and will handle more torque. The good thing about Sears is they are every where and life time reoplacement when you break a hand tool.

    The cheap 1" black pipe from Home Depot that's 3Ft long will slip over most breaker bars and and some wrenches. Trust me, you'll find uses for it.

    I have broken craftsman 1/2" bbars with a 4ft pipe on the end just bring it back and get a new one.
    Last edited by smithby; 04-06-2010 at 11:25 AM.
    Spa Yellow Pearl 92 Si D16z6
    9.85 and 145 mph 1.54 60 ft.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithby View Post
    http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

    Craftsman has them also, they are made to be used with a impact gun and will handle more torque. The good thing about Sears is they are every where and life time reoplacement when you break a hand tool.

    The cheap 1" black pipe from Home Depot that's 3Ft long will slip over most breaker bars and and some wrenches. Trust me, you'll find uses for it.

    I have broken craftsman 1/2" bbars with a 4ft pipe on the end just bring it back and get a new one.
    Hi Byron,

    I am more concerned w/ damaging the vehicle component, then me, then the tool!
    Recently got a Craftsman 4259, which is the standard socket set adaptor. So you
    are saying that this "impact style" adaptor would NOT be the weakest link in the
    system? What a good idea! That leaves the tool...OR the component ...
    as the weakest link.

    I will check into this improved approach.

    Thanks!

  15. #15

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    Neither an impact nor a chrome stepdown adaptor is going to break on you.

    Impact sockets/attachments are not necessarily stronger but they are less brittle to withstand the impact of the impact tools.

    If you're using hand tools there's no need to get an impact adaptor, your chrome one will be just as good.

    Of course, I guess if you're manually hammering on it there's the offchance it could break but I seriously doubt it. It's not like it's a thinwall socket, it's a 3/8 inch rectangle of chrome vanadium steel.

  16. #16

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    I have seen the technique w/ the combi wrench described. So, you plug the
    3/8in ratchet into the plug presumably angled away from the direction in
    which you are trying to turn the bolt and pull?
    yeah but sounds like you don't have that fill bolt on your auto tranny so this method wouldn't apply. I'm used to my Accord manual tranny that has a bolt both for the fill and the drain holes and no dipstick.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithby View Post
    http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

    Craftsman has them also, they are made to be used with a impact gun and will handle more torque. The good thing about Sears is they are every where and life time reoplacement when you break a hand tool.

    I have broken craftsman 1/2" bbars with a 4ft pipe on the end just bring it back and get a new one.
    Check out SK41242. Its called a male pipe plug socket. It attaches to a 1/2in
    ratchet driver and plugs directly into the 3/8in tranny drain plug. All else equal,
    it should be stronger than the comparable 1/2in to 3/8in stepdown adaptor as
    it lacks the inserted "bb".

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