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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,

My e46 is a 2001 with 110k and I'm in the process of changing my ZF 5HP19 ATF. I was able to get the fill plug off so I proceeded to drain my transmission fluid which was very dirty. I then start unscrewing the 20 bolts that border the transmission pan and I came across one bolt that was stripped, the other 19 were perfect minus the massive amounts of gunk piled up.

I had a buddy swing me over to get an easy out because I've heard great things about them, but no luck for me! I have a stubborn bolt that refuses to come off.

Is it the end of the world if I re-fill with fresh fluid, but don't completely drain the old fluid (because I haven't been able to drop the pan), and re-use the old filter and gasket? I bought the kit from ECS tuning which comes with a new filter and gasket so I'd love to make use of it.. wish it came with all the replacement bolts, opposed to just the drain & fill plug.

Any ideas on how I can get this pesky bolt off? Thanks in advance!!

Rob
 

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Easy-out is good for kitchen cabinets - get yourself a proper Irwin set. At worst you can drill out the bolt and leave it out - there will be enough to hold the pan with no leaks.
 

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Since you say you haven't dropped the pan, I assume the bolt head just stripped off but is still actually on the bolt and the wrench just won't grip it anymore?

Easyouts are aimed more at removing bolts that have their heads snapped off.

If the bolt head is just stripped, I'd try a pair of good vise grips, e.g. not the cheapo china specials, and some PB blaster.

Personally, I'd drop the pan, even if that meant filling it back up with fresh fluid and driving the car to a shop to have them remove the bolt and finish the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Yes, the bolt head is simply stripped. But now with a hole going down the middle thanks to the easy out. I attempted the vise grips but the bolts on the ZF transmission is in between a groove where you don't have sufficient space to turn the vise grip after it's latched onto the rim of the bolt.

I'm going to try to cut two slits on the rim of the bolt and see if I can maneuver it out with a flat head screwdriver.. I'd love to use an Irwin set but everywhere is closed now and I really wanted to get this project done tonight. -.-
 

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Grind the head off and then use vise grips on the nub when the pan and filter are off.


.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I wasn't able to get the stripped bolt off so I filled with new fluid, will find a set of Irwin bolt removers and then reflush in a couple hundred miles and replace filter & gasket at the same time. My baby drives noticeably better with better acceleration, no delay when switching from Park to reverse or drive. It's hard to describe but it has a stronger feel driving it... but now I have a new problem!

I was rushing this DIY last night and it was dark outside. I feel like a dummy because I'm pretty sure I missed the subframe jack point in the back and jacked my car up from the little standalone bar near the differential. I was driving this morning and I hear a clunk coming from the rear of the car as I shift gears.

Any idea what this could be? Is it due to the incomplete ATF or my improper jacking position?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, I believe that is the rear sway bar.. what is the worst that could happen by me using that as a jack point?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Probably nothing. The sway bar in between the bushings is pretty stout. Not that you should make a habit out of it.
I'm glad to hear the sway bar is pretty strong but after doing the ATF, i hear a loud knocking sound coming from the rear of the car whenever i go over bumps or unrocky roads. What could that be?
 

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I'm glad to hear the sway bar is pretty strong but after doing the ATF, i hear a loud knocking sound coming from the rear of the car whenever i go over bumps or unrocky roads. What could that be?
Then you should jack up the rear (properly this time) and check the bushings and endlinks and all their respective brackets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Is there a good DIY for checking the bushings and endlinks/knowing exactly what I'm looking for? I've tried searching around the forum but not much luck.
 

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I ran into the same problem with the bolts stripping. In case this happens again, use a chisel to turn the bolt out by hitting the bolt head with the chisel tip turned perpendicular to the plane of the bolt mounting point. You will make a small notch in the bolt head (grip for the chisel) while simultaneously turning the bolt loose enough to spin out by hand. Hope that makes sense to you, and that you find it helpful.
 
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