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Changing Winston's Gearbox/Transaxle Oil
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex Proulx wrote:
The next smallest size available in town was a SAE 5/8 hex allen key so I got one. Had to hammer that one out of the socket too and used it with a 14mm wrench like on the picture below.
Some good news, the 5/8 key fit quite nicely and I managed to open first the fill plug then the drain plug.


Sounds like your drain and fill plugs are no longer stock as is. Go forward with care on this as the threads in the case may already have been damage by the use of a non standard plug.

There is almost always some fuzz on the magnetic plug, this is perfectly normal.
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Alex Proulx
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

randywebb wrote:
metal flakes on the magnetic shaft of the drain plug are common and no big deal - wipe them off

big bits would be an issue...

sounds like you either had the wrong oil in there, or it was in there way too long

how long was it in there?

I would replace that plug


No metal bits, just super fine flakes. I cant say how long its been in there but I never changed the tranny oil in the 4 years and 20k miles I owned the van, I have no idea of the history prior to my owneship. I will absolutely replace those plugs.
Alex
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randywebb
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

metal flakes on the magnetic shaft of the drain plug are common and no big deal - wipe them off

big bits would be an issue...

sounds like you either had the wrong oil in there, or it was in there way too long

how long was it in there?

I would replace that plug
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Alex Proulx
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Made some progress today.
First the bad news; my newly acquired 17mm hex allen key once installed on the ratchet was too long to access both fill and drain plugs, so I hammered the allen bit out of the socket like sugested earlier and used it with a 17mm simple wrench.
More bad news, the 17mm allen key does not fit in either of the plugs even after I cleaned them out thouroughly with a toothbrush until shinny.
Back to the store to look for a 16mm but they dont have it. The next smallest size available in town was a SAE 5/8 hex allen key so I got one. Had to hammer that one out of the socket too and used it with a 14mm wrench like on the picture below.
Some good news, the 5/8 key fit quite nicely and I managed to open first the fill plug then the drain plug.
More bad news, there was some metal flakes on the magnetic shaft of the drain plug and some yellow flakes in the the old oil. The oil did not look too bad but given the amount of gunk on the inside of the drain plug I guess that transaxle has not been serviced in a while, anyways I never did it and I own the van since 2009.
Some more bad news, the first couple of threads on both plugs have been hammered flat (see picture) and I am not sure why. They never leaked but I am thinking that cant be a good idea?!? I will order new ones shortly.
So because I am planning to swap the old plugs for new ones soon, I decided to put cheap motomaster gear oil 80/90 GL4GL5 in it and save my precious Penzoil synthetic 75/90 GL4 (16$/l) for later.
Took a while for the oil to go in, I used a long hose attached to a funnel and gravity fed the whole lot, from the side of the van, flush to the fill plug.
OMG shifting improved SO MUCH! Everything feels so much softer and easy! Quieter too!
Thanks Samba for the help and tips!
Alex

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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connorsvw2
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found an extra FI fitting from my old VW GTI CIS-E fuel filter which happens to be 17 mm hex and fits right into the VW plug. You can then turn it in tight clearance with 17 mm open end wrench. Cost=$0.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are patient you can get one of these pretty cheap on eBay. I think I paid around $12 including shipping.

http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?search=tru...p;tool=all
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
dobryan wrote:
...By hex socket I think he means a hex shaft that is housed in a socket so you can put it on a ratchet or better yet a breaker bar...


Perhaps a photo to illustrate one such tool...

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


That bad boy will loosen them every time.


I have one of these and its perfect for the transaxle plugs.
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Alex Proulx
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhaavers wrote:
I had no luck when I tried the 10mm bolt trick. My plug was quite plugged.

I took my (cheap: Harbor Freight) 17mm hex bit socket & pounded it out of the socket fitting.
That by itself was short enough to clear the drain plug, and worked easily with a 17mm wrench on the bit.

Try it - you'll like it. Cheap, too...

http://www.harborfreight.com/9-piece-38-and-12-drive-metric-hex-bit-socket-set-67880-html.html


You got me onto something dhaavers, we don't have Harbour Freight in Canada but I found out online that the Canadian equivalent is called Princess Auto. There is one in town and I have been driving in front of it for 2 years thinking it was a second hand car dealer, lol at me, its the biggest freakin tool store in town! I found precisely what I was looking for, a set of large metric hex key that fits on a 1/2" ratchet. Cool. But no gl4 magic tranny fluid. VW dealer is out of stock, going to check out Walmart tomorrow.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
...By hex socket I think he means a hex shaft that is housed in a socket so you can put it on a ratchet or better yet a breaker bar...


Perhaps a photo to illustrate one such tool...

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


That bad boy will loosen them every time.
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex Proulx wrote:


Does anyone know a cheaper source for GL4 oil in Canada other VW?


Walmart here sells it, maybe yours does too?
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex Proulx wrote:

Does anyone know a cheaper source for GL4 oil in Canada other VW?
Alex


Check your FLAPS for Royal Purple. It is a combined GL4/5 rated oil, which some say is verbotten...but the label specifically refers to it being brass/bronze friendly, which was the issue with GL5 IIRC...

....and hey, my bus shifted noticeably nicer with fresh oil.

Be sure to remove the filler plug first!!
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had no luck when I tried the 10mm bolt trick. My plug was quite plugged.

I took my (cheap: Harbor Freight) 17mm hex bit socket & pounded it out of the socket fitting.
That by itself was short enough to clear the drain plug, and worked easily with a 17mm wrench on the bit.

Try it - you'll like it. Cheap, too...

http://www.harborfreight.com/9-piece-38-and-12-drive-metric-hex-bit-socket-set-67880-html.html
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Alex Proulx
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
Alex Proulx wrote:
chimivee wrote:
Alex Proulx wrote:
Does anyone know where to buy such a large hex key?

Are you looking specifically for a hex key / allen wrench? You may have better luck finding a hex socket in that size. I've had no problem finding them at my local auto parts store. You'll need the socket anyway to stick on your breaker bar... And a tissue to wipe your tears when still can't get the sucker out. Wink


The transaxle plugs are sunked in so really need an hex key like an allen wrench. Sockets of that size are indeed easy to find but of little use for changing the transaxle oil, unless I am missing something...


By hex socket I think he means a hex shaft that is housed in a socket so you can put it on a ratchet or better yet a breaker bar. It is not a socket in the sense that it fits over a nut or bolt head. If you find a 17mm hex key ('L' shaped) you likely won't be able to get the drain and fill plug off since they usually are in there very tight and you'll not have enough leverage... Good luck. Very Happy


Ahh I see, sorry Chimivee, I could not find anything 17mm that looked like a key or allen wrench or what not that would fit in the transaxle plugs anyway. The trick below by srxrs will do just fine.
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex Proulx wrote:
chimivee wrote:
Alex Proulx wrote:
Does anyone know where to buy such a large hex key?

Are you looking specifically for a hex key / allen wrench? You may have better luck finding a hex socket in that size. I've had no problem finding them at my local auto parts store. You'll need the socket anyway to stick on your breaker bar... And a tissue to wipe your tears when still can't get the sucker out. Wink


The transaxle plugs are sunked in so really need an hex key like an allen wrench. Sockets of that size are indeed easy to find but of little use for changing the transaxle oil, unless I am missing something...

Sorry - it's probably just my misunderstanding/msiuse of the terminology. I was trying to distinguish between using this:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


versus this:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Just trying to clarify whether you were looking for a hex key for a socket wrench, which are off-the-shelf items at my FLAPS. (perhaps not where you are though) Sorry for the confusion.
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Alex Proulx
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
You can make a tool out of a 10 mm bolt and two nuts. They should be 17mm hex. Word of caution, do not drain the trans until you can remove the fill plug. They can be seized pretty tight and it would suck if dumped the oil and could not refill it. I use Swepco 210 and before that was using RedLine MT90 I believe. Not sure what is available in your neck of the woods, but the VW stuff is not that bad a deal since you don't change it all the time like engine oil.


That is brilliant, great idea rsxsr Surprised I will do just that. I might bite the bullet and go with the VW oil, it will make the van happy for sure.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex Proulx wrote:
chimivee wrote:
Alex Proulx wrote:
Does anyone know where to buy such a large hex key?

Are you looking specifically for a hex key / allen wrench? You may have better luck finding a hex socket in that size. I've had no problem finding them at my local auto parts store. You'll need the socket anyway to stick on your breaker bar... And a tissue to wipe your tears when still can't get the sucker out. Wink


The transaxle plugs are sunked in so really need an hex key like an allen wrench. Sockets of that size are indeed easy to find but of little use for changing the transaxle oil, unless I am missing something...


By hex socket I think he means a hex shaft that is housed in a socket so you can put it on a ratchet or better yet a breaker bar. It is not a socket in the sense that it fits over a nut or bolt head. If you find a 17mm hex key ('L' shaped) you likely won't be able to get the drain and fill plug off since they usually are in there very tight and you'll not have enough leverage... Good luck. Very Happy
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Alex Proulx
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chimivee wrote:
Alex Proulx wrote:
Does anyone know where to buy such a large hex key?

Are you looking specifically for a hex key / allen wrench? You may have better luck finding a hex socket in that size. I've had no problem finding them at my local auto parts store. You'll need the socket anyway to stick on your breaker bar... And a tissue to wipe your tears when still can't get the sucker out. Wink


The transaxle plugs are sunked in so really need an hex key like an allen wrench. Sockets of that size are indeed easy to find but of little use for changing the transaxle oil, unless I am missing something...
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can make a tool out of a 10 mm bolt and two nuts. They should be 17mm hex. Word of caution, do not drain the trans until you can remove the fill plug. They can be seized pretty tight and it would suck if dumped the oil and could not refill it. I use Swepco 210 and before that was using RedLine MT90 I believe. Not sure what is available in your neck of the woods, but the VW stuff is not that bad a deal since you don't change it all the time like engine oil.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex Proulx wrote:
Does anyone know where to buy such a large hex key?

Are you looking specifically for a hex key / allen wrench? You may have better luck finding a hex socket in that size. I've had no problem finding them at my local auto parts store. You'll need the socket anyway to stick on your breaker bar... And a tissue to wipe your tears when still can't get the sucker out. Wink
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Alex Proulx
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello all,

I bookmarked this very informative thread a while ago for when it would be time to change my transaxle oil. Now is the time.

So today I started to look for SAE 80W/90 GL4 type oil and could not find it at NAPA, Canadian Tire or Carquest. Carquest has GL3,4,5 but I read here it is not recommended. Funny enough, the Volkswagen dealership near home has the right stuff but it is 20$ per liter.

Does anyone know a cheaper source for GL4 oil in Canada other VW?

Also I looked for a 17mm hex key for the transaxle plugs and it is bloody hard to find. The biggest one at NAPA is 16mm and all the other places I checked dont have anything bigger then 8 or 10mm.

Does anyone know where to buy such a large hex key?

Thanks in advance.

Alex
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Last edited by Alex Proulx on Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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