Doing my 30K service at 210K miles when I get to changing the
transmission fluid I can't get the drain plug out. I don't have a 3/8
breaker bar which I'm planning on getting btw but I did try putting a
pipe on the end of a ratchet. Nothing! It didn't even budge. Any
Also, when I went to change the plugs I found oil around 3 of them. I
soaked it up before changing them. Heading to the dealer to get gaskets
tomorrow. I'm surprised it didn't create any major issues. Most have
been because there wasn't any oil inside the plug wires.
Try it with the engine and transmission at operating temperature, if you
didn't. Usually, I have found things come apart more easily when hot,
and in this case the Honda service manual actually says to take these
plugs out with everything warmed up. Don't forget new gaskets for the
drain and fill plugs.
I did warm up the engine but I didn't drive it a lot. Around the block,
maybe a mile. So I'll try getting it good and hot. I'll pick up a new
washer for the drain plug but don't think I need one to fill it. You
refill it via the dip stick. Sorry, I forgot to mention that it's an
Get a dealer to do this particular fluid change. That way they use their
air tools to buzz the bolt loose. After that it should be easy to remove it
yourself during future changes, which will hopefully be done more often
than once a lifetime.
I'm considering doing it. I already have the fluid so the cost would be
$30. I can't drive in like I can for an oil change which doesn't really
make any sense. I may call again to see if I get a different answer. I
still may try one more time when it's good and hot.
A well built air wrench and small compressor/tank is a sound investment
if you plan to do regular maintenance on the car. There are several
commonly replaced components, including drive axles and timing belts,
that require busting loose a Godzilla sized nut or bolt. People will
try to sell you a huge air tank, but IMO, you don't need one. All you
need is a few seconds of air. If one blast doesn't do the trick,
waiting a few minute for the system to recharge is not a big deal.
A few years back I was faced with loosening the axle nuts on my newly
purchased 92 Accord. After shearing off two breaker bars, I finally
broke down and bought an IR gun/ratchet kit for a little over a hundred
bucks. (The cheapo compressor was another 70 or so.) In 2 seconds, the
mid-range 321g gun did more than 2 hours of my swearing and jumping up
and down. Over the years, I've slowly warmed to the air ratchet. For
certain jobs, the time saved more than makes up for the hassle of
dragging round the hose, etc.
I agree about air tools in general, but unless I'm working a real
marathon project I rarely use the air ratchet. The impact wrench is
nice for removing wheels and breaking suspension nuts and bolts (and
essential for our motorhome, but I digress).
However, though I don't know why, the Honda service manual specifically
says not to use an impact wrench on the axle nuts. I have a moderately
long 1/2" breaker bar and while it's not easy I have never been unable
to loosen the nuts on my '91 Accord. The extra-long one makes it *much*
easier, though, and I completely concur with the "get a bigger tool" idea.
I have been told that one way to do this if you cannot do it by hand is
to move the car on the ground (not jacked up) under engine power while
the end of the breaker bar rests on the ground to break the nut. Don't
move the car too far (several inches is enough). Needless to say, don't
forget to un-dent the center part first so it will rotate freely or you
will break things. I have not done this myself, so I can't recommend
it. Caveat emptor (you'll be a buyer if you break something ;-). I've
also heard this being used by people who could not loosen lug bolts or nuts.
And no matter what the manual says, I would never use an impact wrench
on a bolt that screws into a crankshaft I owned--but of course, your
crank, your rules.
They mean not to use an imact wrench for TIGHTENING the axle nut. Toyota
warns about the same thing. The issue tere is the possibility of
overtightening the nut and snapping the nose off the CV joint.
However, you are free to use the most powerful impact wrench you like to
/loosen/ axle nuts.
I have DeWalt electric, which is the only practical thing I can use. The
DeWalt is capable of 325 ft/lbs, and in several years of use, has ALWAYS
loosened EVERY bolt I have tried it on. This includes suspension bolts,
crank pullet bolts, axle nuts, you name it.
You can use an impact wrench on a crank bolt with no worries at all. No
professional garage (even the factory or the dealer) would waste their time
trying to remove a crank bolt by hand.
occasionally, if you do work on other people's cars, you'll find one
that is nigh-on impossible. one civic i had, the axle bolt was so
firmly locked in position, i bent a 3/4" breaker bar trying to loosen
it. a 325 lb.ft impact wrench wouldn't touch it. i eventually cut the
nut in two places with a dremel an chiseled the two halves off.
moral of the story: never use an impact wrench to tighten axle nuts.
jim beam ( email@example.com) writes:
Did you ever consider this as a possible solution to the tedium of a
Dremel on an axle nut?
Here in the eastern rust belt, large trucks don't carry spare tires.
When they get a flat, they call in a 'mobile truck tire repair' service.
You wouldn't believe how the large lug-nuts on trucks rust seize on.
The mobile tire guys are fully equipped with huge 3/4" or 1" drive
impact wrenches to zip the large nuts off. A person who has super
stubborn axle nuts (or an impossible Honda crank pulley bolt) might
want to think about calling up the local truck tire guy to come over in
his fully equipped truck to zip the axle nuts off. If time isn't critical,
a deal might be made with them, such as, "are any of your guys passing
by this way to fix some tires on a big rig?" I don't know if they have
metric sockets, but usually a large non-metric size (over 7/8") socket,
carefully selected for fit (small slop), on large metric fasteners will work.
afaik, 32mm is not a typical truck size, otherwise this would be a great
suggestion. you could also buy your own impact socket and have them use
in the past, i've popped over to the local honda dealer, and while
over-paying for some engine oil or some such, they've air-tooled such
things off. in this instance though, i already had the vehicle in some
state of disassembly, and really didn't want to put it all back
together. dremel was indeed tedious, but it worked.
Well I've been looking for excuse to buy an impact wrench. Maybe this
is it. I have a compressor but it's tankless and I don't know if it's
powerful enough to drive one which means I would need a better
compressor. I was thinking that I need to get a 3/8 breaker bar but I
already have a half inch one. All I really need is a half inch to 3/8
reducer. Still, I don't think a breaker bar will work.
Tankless compressors won't have anywhere near enough grunt to drive an
impact wrench. In fact, you'll probably be able to hold the socket still
with your hand while attempting to run the impact wrench.
If you don't have a compressor with a tank the size of a rain barrel, just
use an electric impact wrench.
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