Tightening Transmission Drain Bolt
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Thread: Tightening Transmission Drain Bolt

  1. #1
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    Tightening Transmission Drain Bolt

    When I've changed the tranny fluid on my 02 Odyssey before, I've used a topside extractor. But next time I want to drain it through the drain hole, in part to clean off the debris from the bolt and in part to use the fluid more efficiently (I can only get 1.7 quarts out at a time with the topsider method).

    I'm assuming I'll be able to pry the bolt loose (though not necessarily with ease). My concern is tightening it. I'll need to tighten it by feel (since I won't have it up on a lift and I'm not sure I trust my cheap torque wrench).

    Can anyone describe for me, in terms other than ft-lbs., how tight it needs to be?

    Also, I noticed that the exterior of the bolt is a bit rusted. I wonder if it's a good idea to replace the bolt every once in a great while.

    Thanks!
    2002 Honda Odyssey 180k miles
    1991 Mercedes 300D 2.5 Turbo 113k miles
    1992 Mercedes 300D 2.5 Turbo 256k miles
    1998 Mercedes E300 with Stage 2 chip tune 81k miles
    Prefer my MB's, but have utmost respect for my wife's Odyssey!

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  3. #2
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    Consider buying a better torque wrench. It will pay for itself with the savings in labor charges. Even though this is routine work, you are working with precision parts and so you need a good torque wrench.

    Honda also recommends replacing the drain plug washer. It's a deforming type to ensure a good seal but it's not reusable, although many here do just that with no problems.

    Ignore any external rust on the drain bolt. It won't get inside the transmission.

    - Dave
    2002 Odyssey EX FG
    Honda hood deflector, mud guards, AC condenser screen mod, Zyml wax, Amsoil EaO20 oil filter, Amsoil synthetic 5W20, Krown rustproofing, block heater (gets cc...cold in Canada in winter!)
    Original transmission 117,000 miles/189,000 km, Amsoil ATF 79,000 miles/127,000 km, Honda aux ATF cooler, 16 ATF drain & fills

  4. #3
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    Originally posted by davedrivesody
    Consider buying a better torque wrench. It will pay for itself with the savings in labor charges. Even though this is routine work, you are working with precision parts and so you need a good torque wrench.

    Honda also recommends replacing the drain plug washer. It's a deforming type to ensure a good seal but it's not reusable, although many here do just that with no problems.

    Ignore any external rust on the drain bolt. It won't get inside the transmission.

    - Dave
    All good points. It would still be helpful to have a description of how to tighten by feel. I'm sure it turns fairly easily as the washer is crushing, then meets more resistance. Once resistance is met after the washer is crushed, what portion of a rotation would I still tighten? Seems like those who have regularly done this might be able to provide some guidance.
    2002 Honda Odyssey 180k miles
    1991 Mercedes 300D 2.5 Turbo 113k miles
    1992 Mercedes 300D 2.5 Turbo 256k miles
    1998 Mercedes E300 with Stage 2 chip tune 81k miles
    Prefer my MB's, but have utmost respect for my wife's Odyssey!

  5. #4
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    sherwoodsri,

    Do you change your own oil? If so do you use a torque wrench to re-tighten the bolt? If so use the same wrench and tighten to the torque spec, IF NOT THEN THIGHTEN THE TRANSMISSION DRAIN BOLT AS YOU TIGHTEN YOUR OIL PAN DRAIN BOLT. In the end you don't want the bolt to loosen or for the bolt / washer to leak. If you have been successful with your oil pan bolt then you should be successful with your transmission drain bolt (the oil pan on the Odyssey is Aluminum, the same material as the transmission housing). Lots of luck, Russ.
    2000 LX, tranny cooler, original transmission, self maintained, 140K miles.

  6. #5
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    Originally posted by rberman999
    sherwoodsri,

    Do you change your own oil? If so do you use a torque wrench to re-tighten the bolt? If so use the same wrench and tighten to the torque spec, IF NOT THEN THIGHTEN THE TRANSMISSION DRAIN BOLT AS YOU TIGHTEN YOUR OIL PAN DRAIN BOLT. In the end you don't want the bolt to loosen or for the bolt / washer to leak. If you have been successful with your oil pan bolt then you should be successful with your transmission drain bolt (the oil pan on the Odyssey is Aluminum, the same material as the transmission housing). Lots of luck, Russ.
    I change my oil with a topside extractor...so I've never touched the drain bolt.
    2002 Honda Odyssey 180k miles
    1991 Mercedes 300D 2.5 Turbo 113k miles
    1992 Mercedes 300D 2.5 Turbo 256k miles
    1998 Mercedes E300 with Stage 2 chip tune 81k miles
    Prefer my MB's, but have utmost respect for my wife's Odyssey!

  7. #6
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    That drain bolt is huge. As for the amount to tq I usually go roughly 25-45 degrees past resistance if it continues to leak, give it another 45 degrees.
    2001 Honda Odyssey
    131k Dec 09
    135k Jan 10
    137k Feb 10
    140k March 10 EGR,Valves, IAC
    143k April 10 Fluids PS, ATF, Oil(18k change), BK

  8. #7
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    Originally posted by gregersonke
    That drain bolt is huge. As for the amount to tq I usually go roughly 25-45 degrees past resistance if it continues to leak, give it another 45 degrees.
    That's helpful...that's the kind of quantification I was looking for.
    2002 Honda Odyssey 180k miles
    1991 Mercedes 300D 2.5 Turbo 113k miles
    1992 Mercedes 300D 2.5 Turbo 256k miles
    1998 Mercedes E300 with Stage 2 chip tune 81k miles
    Prefer my MB's, but have utmost respect for my wife's Odyssey!

  9. #8
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    Smile

    I did 90 degrees after hand tightning the drain bolt. This is because the washer should get deformed/crushed to have a 100% seal.

  10. #9
    Registered User 0dyfamily's Avatar
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    Originally posted by davedrivesody
    Consider buying a better torque wrench. It will pay for itself with the savings in labor charges. Even though this is routine work, you are working with precision parts and so you need a good torque wrench....*snip*....

    - Dave
    You'll be glad you bought one for all of your fastening needs that specify a torque value. You'll also be amazed how far off your Mark 1 torque-sensing elbow can be compared to using a real torque wrench.

    OF
    2003 Ody EX-L RES 103.5k OEM fogs & hitch, bbylon5 screen mod, chuck k fog mod#2, cnn 82C t-stat mod
    2002 Ody EX RES 96.0k OEM fogs & hitch, chuck k fog mod#1
    1998 Accord LX174k. DIY: Haynes 676 ATF cooler; T & acc belts & tensioners.
    1982 Ebbtide DynaTrak bass boat, 200hp Merc, DIY re-fit 2006-07: CMC jackplate, Teleflex Canada Steering, Torque-Shift 14-26 vari-pitch SS prop
    SNAPPER mower 5.5hp Honda


  11. #10
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    Originally posted by 0dyfamily
    You'll be glad you bought one for all of your fastening needs that specify a torque value. You'll also be amazed how far off your Mark 1 torque-sensing elbow can be compared to using a real torque wrench.

    OF
    I agree with you Odyfamily.
    Do you recommend the following wrench of is there anything better?

    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...3474_200263474

  12. #11
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    Harbor Freight routinely sells similar one cheaper.

    HOWEVER, torque wrenches are inaccurate at their low end and should not be used for first 20% of the reading. Since this one goes from 5-80, you are good for any torque setting between say 20 through 70 ft-lb.

    - Vikas

  13. #12
    Registered User 0dyfamily's Avatar
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    varads, mine are from Utica and S-K. They're pricey. I've found that Sears makes one that looks, in all respects, like my S-K 1/2-inch drive wrench at a much, much more reasonable price. At first glance, it looks like they contracted with S-K to build it for them. The price is right, and you get that Craftsman warranty. I'd try that as one of your shopping options.

    OF
    2003 Ody EX-L RES 103.5k OEM fogs & hitch, bbylon5 screen mod, chuck k fog mod#2, cnn 82C t-stat mod
    2002 Ody EX RES 96.0k OEM fogs & hitch, chuck k fog mod#1
    1998 Accord LX174k. DIY: Haynes 676 ATF cooler; T & acc belts & tensioners.
    1982 Ebbtide DynaTrak bass boat, 200hp Merc, DIY re-fit 2006-07: CMC jackplate, Teleflex Canada Steering, Torque-Shift 14-26 vari-pitch SS prop
    SNAPPER mower 5.5hp Honda


  14. #13
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    1/2 inch should not be used for low torque settings.

  15. #14
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    ...unless you've got a good one. The local PMEL guy happens to be my kid's soccer coach, and the expensive wrenches (mine included) usually do well over their entire range, and stay in calibration.

    However, Sears also makes a wrench nearly identical to my S-K 3/8 drive as well. For what I paid for the bigger one, you could get both from Sears, and they are great wrenches.

    I'd agree, though, that if I bought a much lesser wrench I'd only use it in the middle 60% of its operating range. It just seems most purely mechanical weight or torque measuring devices are like that.

    UTICA-Bonney seems to be in a class by itself. Mine is still within mfgr limits with no lock ring adjustments required for many, many years.

    OF
    2003 Ody EX-L RES 103.5k OEM fogs & hitch, bbylon5 screen mod, chuck k fog mod#2, cnn 82C t-stat mod
    2002 Ody EX RES 96.0k OEM fogs & hitch, chuck k fog mod#1
    1998 Accord LX174k. DIY: Haynes 676 ATF cooler; T & acc belts & tensioners.
    1982 Ebbtide DynaTrak bass boat, 200hp Merc, DIY re-fit 2006-07: CMC jackplate, Teleflex Canada Steering, Torque-Shift 14-26 vari-pitch SS prop
    SNAPPER mower 5.5hp Honda


  16. #15
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    Originally posted by sontakke
    1/2 inch should not be used for low torque settings.
    I'm afraid I learned that lesson the hard way using a torque wrench for the first time to tighten the oil filter housing on my Benz. Snapped the bolt....had to have it towed.
    2002 Honda Odyssey 180k miles
    1991 Mercedes 300D 2.5 Turbo 113k miles
    1992 Mercedes 300D 2.5 Turbo 256k miles
    1998 Mercedes E300 with Stage 2 chip tune 81k miles
    Prefer my MB's, but have utmost respect for my wife's Odyssey!

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