Stripped Transmission Drain Plug

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by djtimyd, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. djtimyd

    djtimyd Full Access Member

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    The AZ socket was $10, the HF was $30. Yes, both came as sets of 3. And just how do I go about getting that Snap-On tool when I need it? Run down to the Snap-On store? I cant even buy them online without jumping thru "I'm a professional mechanic" hoops.

    The problem is not the tool - its the plug. The drain plug specifically. The refill plug is a deep well and I had no issue with that. The shallow socket of the drain plug is the issue.

    Now we can debate the justification of inexpensive tools vs expensive tools all day. For somebody who is the very definition of a "shade tree mechanic" (that's me by the way) who doesn't have a shop or even and indoor garage to do this work... its really hard to justify spending money on one-off tools. I have a tool bag. That's it. I don't even have somewhere to store the tools other than my Jeep. Many people have used AZ or HF tools to do this job. I happen to be one of the few that the plug is, for all intents-and-purposes, ceased in the opening. I don't have the resources (money, work space, storage, etc) to invest in a garage full of tools that I might need. When I need a tool, I go and get it. Short of being a mechanic, this is the best I can do. And this is normally more than enough.
     
  2. JasonJ

    JasonJ Full Access Member

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    Agreed- I buy cheaper tools at times, but when it comes to bits and sockets, swivels and adapters, paying more for the quality is worth it. I'm fortunate that my dad left me all of his Snap-On, S&K, MAC and vintage Craftsman tools.
     
  3. djtimyd

    djtimyd Full Access Member

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    So - why did I attempt to change the Transmission Oil myself in the first place?

    To save money

    In a perfect world, I would have the resources to buy all the ultra-high quality tools that I could ever need or want. But I'm not living in that world. I tried to do what is supposed to be a relatively easy thing, and ran into issues. I used tools that should have worked, and would have worked in probably 85% of the cases. Because I was unfortunate enough to have issues, I am now in a position of asking for suggestions going forward.

    Is it possible to at least try to limit the amount of Should-Coulda-Woulda and, if possible, provide any suggestions for the problem at hand?
     
  4. jeeplib05

    jeeplib05 Full Access Member

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    Well the pic you posted is so damn big I only saw the bolt to the side of the recessed one, which was the reason for me posting the link to that.
    However, my suggestion if Tom's idea doesn't work for you, is grab some JB Weld SteelStik and pack some of it inside- while it's still soft, press in a socket or anything that's able to be cranked on
    Once it completely hardens (this stuff works on fuel tanks and other extreme app. and can be drilled, welded, etc so no worries on it not working) you'll be able to get it out
    If that doesn't work (highly doubt it) then I'd say you're at the level of Charlie Sheen F****d
     
  5. djtimyd

    djtimyd Full Access Member

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    I apologize for the large picture - its what my phone takes. When I view the post, it shows a reduced size first, then you have to click on the top to view the large original.
     
  6. turblediesel

    turblediesel memberable

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    I believe the plug has tapered threads so any movement should loosen it considerably.

    Tomm's hammer and chisel should get it.

    Any fastener stores in your area? They might have a male headed hex plug that would treat you better in the future. Be sure the threads are correct; almost any tapered pipe plug will get started and scramble up your threads. Might also want to look into "Dimple" magnetic drain plugs for a replacement.

    Take your time and be patient, it'll come out.
     
  7. djtimyd

    djtimyd Full Access Member

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    Good site! I just sent them an email since they didn't have anything specific to the transmission. This is a part I'd spend money on because it will make my job easier next time I need to change the transmission oil (fixing the root cause of the problem as well)... and I don't have to store it anywhere like a tool :icon_wink:
     
  8. djtimyd

    djtimyd Full Access Member

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    I didn't realize the SteelStick would set up like that. What does the SteelStick need to cure/dry? Its going to be cool the next few days is why I ask. Does heat help accelerate curing or just airflow in general, etc... ?
     
  9. jeeplib05

    jeeplib05 Full Access Member

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    The description states:
    Hand-mixable, steel-reinforced, non-rusting epoxy putty that quickly repairs or rebuilds anything made of metal
    Great for patching and repairing automotive and machine parts, plumbing, stripped threads and household repairs
    Sets in 3-5 minutes and cures to a dark grey color in 1 hour
    When fully cured, SteelStik has a tensile strength of 900 psi and will withstand temperatures of up to 300 degrees F
    J-B Weld is proudly made in the USA

    I don’t think any special temp makes it go faster, but it comes in a putty form that you knead together
     
  10. dchadjohnson

    dchadjohnson Full Access Member

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    I'm curious to hear more about this spectrum between 1 and Charlie Sheen LOL :happy175:
     
  11. JasonJ

    JasonJ Full Access Member

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    I used to use the CRAP out of that stuff. Rip off a chunk from the stick, knead together to mix the two compounds and smush it on like silly putty. It works great in most applications.

    If Tom's hammer/chisel method fails, which I doubt, but if it does, this is a good alternative. It'll fill in all the rounded out portions and reshape the hex. Just don't use TOO MUCH, and I'd only use it on the sides, otherwise you make the hex shallower.

    Edit to say that temp is eh- if it's freezing cold, yeah it'll take a while to cure, if it's 110 degrees outside, it'll set up faster- anywhere in between is pretty much the same. 1 hour is accurate- although I have found letting it sit longer does help sometimes.
     
  12. jeeplib05

    jeeplib05 Full Access Member

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    My house has a drop off at the end of the driveway, and my woman likes to drive like a speed demon so it would constantly scrape the bumper and eventually pulled it almost all of the way off. I bought the JB Weld Plastic putty and put it where the bumper meets the fender on each side and it’s been solid since.

    But I agree if it’s freezing it’ll obviously take a little longer to cure but not too much longer- I’d still give it a shot, the stuff is amazing
     
  13. djtimyd

    djtimyd Full Access Member

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    Update:

    Well, I finally had 2 days in a row that had good weather and that I was off of work. So I applied the JB Weld to the allen wrench and to the socket, smushed them together, made sure there was no JB Weld under the head so it would go in as far as possible... and then I waited 24 hours.

    The first turn of the wrench broke the JB Weld into pieces and dust. It didn't bond to anything, including the allen wrench and the steel socket. I kinda figured this would happen - I know a lot of people have said they had good luck with using JB Weld for similar situations... but, as I experienced, chemical epoxy just isn't a substitute for real metal.

    My current problem is that whacking it with a chisel has done literally nothing. It wont turn at all... I have now cut three separate gouges into the plug and it hasn't turned even a millimeter.

    So - unless anyone has another solution (short of welding a nut on to it because I don't have a welder or space and facilities for one), it looks like I have to take it in to a shop for this.

    What should have been a 20 minute job has now taken weeks, hasn't been resolved, and will cost even more. ](*,)

    ALSO - for those who latched onto my comment that maybe the cost prohibitive Snap-On allen wrenches would have been better to start - I have since compared them to the HF ones I have - and guess what, they both have a very slight rounding or taper to the top. Its not much, but when the drain plug is only about 4 mm deep to begin with, .5 mm makes a difference. Unfortunately, both have that. I just assumed (and stated that I assumed in my post) that they would be better for the money - but they both have that same slight taper at the top - at least the set I looked at.

    And again - this isn't a tool issue (as stated in a previous post as well), its a design flaw of the plug. The 14mm plug is nearly 10mm deep, but the 17mm is less than half of that. I cant understand the design choice here, other than to do exactly what I did, which would necessitate an even costlier repair.
     
  14. turblediesel

    turblediesel memberable

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    I worked on a chevy tracker that had plumbers putty applied to every fill and drain plug on the thing... 8 of them. A couple came off with a breaker bar on an allen wrench. Vise grips grabbed the edge on a couple of them and the hammer helped. The rest I drilled and used an ez-out on. Replaced them all with square head plugs from the plumbing aisle. Transmission/transfer-case were out which helped. The drilled hole only needs to be through the flat base of the plug and should be sized to allow the ez-out to engage the hex sides of the plug as well as the drilled hole.

    The hex on those plugs is cast with slightly tapered working surfaces on the hex to release them from the mold so they beg to round out and spit the hex key out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  15. djtimyd

    djtimyd Full Access Member

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    Success

    But not my success...

    I Took it to my Jeep Mechanic (the one I trust with doing brake work since I dont trust myself in that area), and he was able to extract it...

    [​IMG]

    Funny story: their extractor didn't work... just spun and spun and never dug in. They had to use an electric heating element and three different metal punches to get it out. he told me they had to keep pounding 1/8th turns all the way to the last thread... and there were 9 threads that were threaded into the socket.

    Needless to say... no chance in Hell I was gonna get this out myself. And the extractor set he used: the $270 snap on set (that's what he said at least and I believe him).

    Best laid plans huh... oh well... it's done now, just had to wait for the exhaust to cool down... and the plug is butter smooth now. Stupid Mercedes. And I wont make the mistake of the PO and believe in the myth of lifetime fluids. This'll get done every 50-60k now.

    After driving it, it seems to shift into 2nd, 4th, and 6th easier but no change in the 1st, 3rd, 5th. I haven't needed reverse yet so I don't know there. Time will tell. The oil that came out of it definitely smelt burnt so there is a very very good chance it was original. It wasn't black though so that's good!

    Thanks for all the suggestions to everyone who made them. I guess my lesson learned is that sometimes you're just gonna have to do it the hard way.

    Speaking of the hard way... I notices a small coolant leak today... it never ends...
     
  16. justjeeps

    justjeeps Full Access Member

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    Yep old school... Depending on how tight it is he could put the jeep up high on stands so there some room to move around safely. The freeze spray "forget what the exact name is" but it works really well, even better if you apply the torch "right after a 60 second freeze". The rapid expanding of the metal due to such a temp change will break it free.

    Mind you the picture does not look to bad and the punch and hammer drill would probably work well, just watch the thumb..