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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....
Yes, this. I like this way of thinking outside of the box.

Ted found the whole kit, too. (y)(y)(y)

I've used these before. Tool stores sell these, most often they are used for removing locking wheel lug bolts, namely the ones that use a key to prevent wheels from being stolen. I've used one of these tools once where I purchased a used car, and the key to the lock lugs was the wrong key pattern.

They are typically made of a very hard tool steel, and thin enough to both grasp the lock lug and fit between the lug and recess it resides in within its wheel:

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This could work!

OF
 
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I bought a 2012 from a dealer that was fully dealer serviced. Had 106k on it when it bought it. Every record at every interval.

my first trans fluid change. I had to use a breaker bar and aerokroil to get it loose. I just made sure the breaker bar was fully seated and kept pressure against the head so it wouldn’t slip out.
 

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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. View attachment 159646 View attachment 159647 View attachment 159646 View attachment 159647
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?
Surprised that husky ratchet did that? Generally you need a good quality ratchet that won't create that now what you need to do use a map gas torch or acetylene torch to heat up that Bolt and the area that It Bolts to the crack it loose. Using vice grips or better a type of pipe wrench channel lock to self tightening gripping kind it will come right loose once you heat it up you need to heat it real good she'll pop right off loose that is
 

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The best advice given was to leave it alone and use an fluid extractor either from the full tube or the fill on the top of the transmission. They are $89 and work well. Given the mess you’ve got, you are playing with fire trying to remove it.
 

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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
I would get one of those small propane torches and heat the end of that bolt up. You don’t need to heat it up so it’s red hot, but just enough to see if a little heat will help break it loose.
 

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The best advice given was to leave it alone and use an fluid extractor either from the full tube or the fill on the top of the transmission. They are $89 and work well. Given the mess you’ve got, you are playing with fire trying to remove it.
Ed they sell $6.00 fluid extractors @ Tractor Supply, Harbor Freight, etc. I Would not try more brute force you might damage the tranny pan. Are you sure you were not tightening that bolt instead of loosening it ? Also the bolt also looks misaligned.
 

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I keep looking at the pics, trying to figure out what I'm looking at.....in the overall context.

It looks like the ratchet was either not fully inserted, or slipped out halfway, because the part of the plug that's deformed is only about half the depth.

Perhaps more importantly, it looks like the wrong crush washer was used. Too big (diameter), and with the narrow opening, the bolt deformed it downward into a cone shape. The installer was determined enough to apply enough torque to reshape the washer and crush part of it to provide the seal, but also to create a jammed in interference fit of the washer.

I do not believe that the correct crush washer extends beyond the shoulder of the drain plug, certainly not more than a mm.
 
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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
Harry - the advice in this thread is spot-on. Before you do anything, you should contact the last service person to fix the problem. Who knows how knackered up the internals are, and the last person to service this should cover that cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Ty and appreciate all the advises and ideas!
I got the bolt removed, ATF drained, replaced with NEW bolt and washer, tighten back to 36lb-m.
I bought a new Kobalt 3/8" ratchet with long handle, a bar clamp, and new drain plug and washer for the job. I can't believe Honda dealership charged me $4.6x for the $0.10 washer!!!
I sprayed the spot with WD40, banged a few times with a 6oz hammer; repeated 3x in 1hr. Made sure I inserted the 3/8 drive sqr all the way in with the help of hammer. Clamped the ratchet head tightly to the bolt. Just one very strenuous pull got it loosened. Clamping was probably the key.
Root cause of issue: Drain bolt was probably a cheap replacement and no washer was used; metal appeared softer than stainless steel; and it was tighten too tight; the Husky ratchet (with corners of the drive square rounding) was probably not the best tool for the job.
Took a bunch of pictures to show.
Sry I didn't follow along and didn't participate in the discussion. VERY busy, with a full time job, a 1/2 time job, and several side jobs, kids, wife, flute, gardening... just no time!!!
Thannk you!!
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So, you are saying the old bolt just had really wide shoulder, not a separate gasket. Interesting.

Congrats on staying with it!
 

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I would get one of those small propane torches and heat the end of that bolt up. You don’t need to heat it up so it’s red hot, but just enough to see if a little heat will help break it loose.
Removing this plug after heating with a torch will almost certainly take the threads out of the case with it...just like removing a stubborn spark plug from a hot engine.
 

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Did you have any trouble getting the fill plug off?
 

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Good to hear!

The most important thing is that you got it out with no damage to car or person. Plus you have a few more tools in your toolbox. :)
 

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Man, sigh of relief. :whistle: phew

Root cause of issue: Drain bolt was probably a cheap replacement
That appears to be an OEM drain bolt, to me at least. That magnet on your plug (that you courageously removed :cool:(y)(y)) appears to be consistent in appearance with OEM Honda and Acura ATF drain plugs I've removed from 4 and 5 speed Odyssey, Accord, and Acura TL automatic transmissions.

No washer was used;
I do believe pkrface called it.

That side pic of the two drain plugs looks familiar to me. I've seen this before. Once. Years ago, on my used 1998 Accord, I think they just kept torquing it every time it started to leak, and kept driving. The previous original owner appeared to had never changed the ATF in over 150,000 miles, and that crush washer was curled up a bit ... but it looked nothing like yours. Yours appears to be curled completely over the rim of the drain plug.

Also like you, I thought I was going to break my 3/8" drive ratchet in my attempts to loosen it, so l also switched tools. I chose to use a Klein Tools 3/8" drive breaker bar. High dollar tool, but very exact fit, and strong enough to do the job. I was almost to the point of driving over to a mechanic and have them do it for me, but I got lucky and it came loose.

metal appeared softer than stainless steel
Pic is from an Gen 6 Accord. OEM drain plug. They can eventually rust; the OEM drain plugs don't appear to be made out of stainless steel. Also, un-coated stainless fasteners and aluminum threads are not compatible. An electroplated regular steel fastener is what most OEM's use.

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The shiny coating is an electroplated CPC (corrosion protective coating) similar to what you might see on various other fasteners on Hondas and Acuras (it almost has a silvery-goldish sheen to it). It helps a steel plug like that to be properly tightened and removed many times over the life of the vehicle without degrading the aluminum threads in an aluminum casting like your transmission case.

Having been almost in the same boat once before, I definitely agree that your first ratchet was not a good fit...especially due to the damage to the plug (and you have strong arms). I would also agree with the other posters on this thread that the previous guy grotesquely over-torqued it.

I'm amazed with your rig that you used to keep it from backing out on your second attempt.

Man, this whole thread was so nerve-wracking, I'm going to go ahead an make myself a White Russian this morning. :p:p:p

Again, heartiest congratulations. I know a little of your anguish, but only a little!

OF
 
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