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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I attempted to change ATF on NY's Day, and was unable to loosen the drain bolt.
I used a Husky ratchet wrench with 3/8" head and a 15" pipe extension. But the bolt felt like lead and became deformed. Any advise on a good tool (and/or method) to use to loosen the drain bolt? I'm going to buy a new bolt and new tool for the job.
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Gas Cylinder Steel Silver Aluminium
Nut Machine Steel Engine Automotive engine part
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Pictures got posted 2x for some reason!!!
I suspect that my tool was not a good fit, and the bolt shouldn't be soooo soft. I plan to do hammer bang/DW-40/bang/DW40 before trying with a better tool. Thank you!
 

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Any idea who tightened it last time? I suspect it was way, way, way, overtightened. There is a crush washer that should be used as well and since I don't own a torque wrench I do it by feel like I do the oil drain plug. Just snug, but not cranked down. I suppose another possibility is an aftermarket plug? How much history do you have on the van?
 
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I would get a nut welded on the bolt while there is still material there. If further wrenching removes what's left of the head, the difficulty of removing the bolt just grew exponentially.
 

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I have never tried this, but there are tools to remove rounded bolts that grab onto the bolt head more as you turn... if you find a matching size there may be some success with that. It would let you work on the outside of the fastener if the inside has become unusable. I like to attack things like this with a good pair of vice grips, but clearly no room for that. I also have an impact hammer. the kind that you hit with a hammer and has a 1/2 drive at the end.

I recently removed my plug and it was difficult to crack loose.

Good news is you can still take it somewhere if you just want someone to crack it loose for a fee. Mechanics have all kinds of tricks.
 

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Maybe try a good set of vice grips, possibly get it to break. Your going to need a new plug anyway.
If all else fails carefully cut a slot to put a big screw driver that you can leverage on with a wrench.

yeah if there’s any play in the plug when you initially tried to get it out, leaves room for exactly what happened to you.

Good luck with it!
 

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I have never tried this, but there are tools to remove rounded bolts that grab onto the bolt head more as you turn... if you find a matching size there may be some success with that. It would let you work on the outside of the fastener if the inside has become unusable. I like to attack things like this with a good pair of vice grips, but clearly no room for that. I also have an impact hammer. the kind that you hit with a hammer and has a 1/2 drive at the end.

I recently removed my plug and it was difficult to crack loose.

Good news is you can still take it somewhere if you just want someone to crack it loose for a fee. Mechanics have all kinds of tricks.
Mine was so tight that I bent my socket wrench trying to get it loose. I have no idea if the transmission fluid was ever changed before. Gave up and took it to my mechanic. He cracked it open no problem.
 
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Get a new plug and washer from a Honda dealer before pulling this one off. Could be that the wrench went crooked while using the cheater bar.
 

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I had the same problem bolt would not give .Then I just used a regular rachet and gave it a good kick and it came loose. Could you possibly been tightening that bolt ? My 06 Ody loosens toward the rear of the vehicle. Do not damage your tranny pan, by further misaligned twisting of that bolt. As the previous poster stated get a 7 buck siphon hose and siphon from dipstick tube. Then you bought some time to plan your next move.
 

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Any idea who tightened it last time? I suspect it was way, way, way, overtightened. There is a crush washer that should be used as well and since I don't own a torque wrench I do it by feel like I do the oil drain plug. Just snug, but not cranked down. I suppose another possibility is an aftermarket plug? How much history do you have on the van?
pkrface, I think you nailed down the problem here.

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Note the "washer" that is folded over at the base of the plug. THAT is (was) the crush washer! It should be flat. Whoever last tightened that plug did so with enough force to smash the portion of the crush washer underneath the plug and turn the extruded part into a "dish," and the un-crushed portion originally outside the diameter of the plug face was pushed out and over to further form the "dish" at the edges.

Like pkrface said, that plug "was way, way, way, overtightened." (Had to quote it, as I can't describe it any better).

It's M18 x 1.5 threads, so it's a pretty wide diameter. If grasping with a set of vise-grip pliers does not work, you may have to drill the damned thing out.

I'm in line with davedrivesody and the other people who are advising you to strongly weld a solid piece of square bar stock inserted into that 3/8" square hole before trying anything else, and using that to remove it.

OF
 

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It looks like you might be able to put a small (6") pipe wrench on the OD of the plug. Works better than vise grip because the grip tightens as you apply force. A length of pipe slipped over the handle for leverage. Turn counterclockwise to remove.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Appreciate all the advise!
My ATF looks pretty clean from the dipstick, so I probably had it changed by a fairly new mechanic in 2019.
I'll try one more time removing the plug normally using a better wrench.
I'll get a new Honda plug ready. Then try to loosen the nut with a few rounds of hammer bang+WD40 spray first. If this fails, I'll take it to Honda dealership. I just need a dry day when I have time during day-light hours which is hard to come by for a while.
Thank you! -Harry
 

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Don’t use WD-40. If you use any spray, use a penetrant such as PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench. However, I doubt that a spray is going to be your key to victory in this case.

BTW, make sure you can loosen the fill plug on the top of the transmission case. That is usually the more difficult plug to break free.
( You can fill through the dipstick tube, but that is not the preferred method. )
 

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It looks like that thing may be crossthreaded in there, not quite sure that's the crush washer sticking out like that, if it is, some Caveman sure put the ole Armstrong to it..... Lots of great thoughts on getting it out, but if you don't have the tools or expertise, you may just take in to a shop.
Looking at the pics it looks as if you didn't have the 3/8" fully seated, and that surely would cause what happened.
Would take thscott's advice and see if you can crack the fill plug on top to ensure when it's all said and done you'll be able to easily refill. The dipstick fill technique works, but really slow.

Remember "lefty loosy, righty tighty"
 

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I wouldn't loosen that drain bolt if I were you. That's at the point of no return and is a "one time loosening" which you will find damages after the bolt comes off. If you look closely, you can see the aluminum trans case on the outer edge of that drain bolt deformed at the bottom. If you want to change the fluid, try using a vacuum pump through the dip stick instead, that is the only safe method. There are plenty of fluid extractor setups available via Amazon.

On the other hand, if you want to try to loosen it, on a good nice fitting wrench on the drain bolt and kick it with your foot. Human legs have the biggest muscle in human bodies, way larger muscle than arms. You'll need to lift the van high enough to attempt that. That's how I loosened it the first time from the factory.
 

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If you can't get a grip with some kind of wrench, one of these will grab it, and extend out beyond the collar to put a box wrench on the extractor, or just use with an impact wrench turning counterclockwise. Extractor set
 

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t-rd GOOD CALL on the deformed case!!. I don't think you can be sure that the sealing surface under that washer is flat any longer.

If you can't get a grip with some kind of wrench, one of these will grab it, and extend out beyond the collar to put a box wrench on the extractor, or just use with an impact wrench turning counterclockwise. Extractor set
That is exactly what I had in mind when I replied earlier with the very vague "there are tools to remove rounded bolts that grab onto the bolt head more as you turn... if you find a matching size there may be some success with that. It would let you work on the outside of the fastener if the inside has become unusable "

I have a buddy with a previous generation odyssey and he didn't replace the aluminum washer during a fluid swap. He even spent the money for Honda fluid at the dealer.

For the cost of less than $2, he probably would not have had a drip when he refilled. Its human nature at that point to tighten a little more... and more .... damn drip... more. He put enough force into it that he cracked his transmission case and now had a different and larger leak. Guess what the transmission shop he took it to said... they are in the business of rebuilding transmissions. Word to the wise.. replace that washer each change and avoid issues... also use a good torque wrench or at least don't overtighten. You shouldn't have to put a foot on the exhaust and use a breaker bar to break these things loose.
 
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