04/05/2005 17:16 Stupid Oil Drain [Engine And Drive]
The transmission on our Kombi is probably quite old and while appearing to be in good condition could most likely do with an oil change. But we haven't done it yet because the stupid fill and drain plugs are 23mm hex heads! That's right, 23mm, it's damn big.
Tim and I spent most of the day hunting around Fyshwick (Canberra's main industrial precinct) looking for a 23mm Allan key. Most of these come as socket heads to suit 1/2" drives yet we found that they run out at around 19mm. At a 3/4" drive they went up to 30mm, but no one had the correct size for us. The closest we came was a 22mm hex head socket in 3/4" drive, and that would have cost over $30!
Feeling a little daunted we went to our penultimate stop to draw yet another blank. This dude however actually *shock* *horror* suggested something helpful, rather than the usual, "sorry mate, can't help you" ... he suggested that we get a high tensile bolt with a 24mm head and use that as an Allan key. The idea is pure genius and it only took a few minutes to head to the right shop to find the part we wanted.
This was met with Tim saying: "you always find the bit you want at the very last shop you visit!" ... that reminds me of getting a gas bottle refilled and trying to sound witty and clever by telling the attendant that it ran out right in the middle of a BBQ! "It always will" was the curt response.
Check out the photos of our custom made 23mm Allan key head. The two nuts were initially glued into a very tight position using Supa glue and then bronze soldered at the top. I'm not too confident on my soldering, so it may not hold, but I'm confident that the concept is sound. I'll let you all know how we go tonight.