Shade Tree Tool for removing Steering Box Drain plug

Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:05 am

The steering box drain plug on my Cub is a 1/4" NPT plug with a 3/8" male square drive. The space to get at it limited for a wrench and most 3/8" wrenches are too short to get sufficient torque to loosen 50 years of grime and Stuck.

A Shade Tree tool to do the job nicely consists of a pair of vise grips, a 3/8" drive socket and a bolt to fit inside the socket.

On my Cub, one of the front axle clamp bolts was severely corroded and was headed for the junk pile. I took a 3/4", 3/8 drive socket and put the 3/8" square drive opening on the drain plug. I grabbed the corroded bolt around the shaft with the vise grips and slid the bolt head in the socket. By using the vise grips as a handle, I turned the bolt. The bolt turned the socket, and the "backwards" socket turned the drain plug.

Reverse the process to tighten the drain plug after all that nasty oil, sludge, and water drain out of the steering box. After you try this trick, you will start looking for other square head plugs to play with.

An adaptation of this idea is to make up a "fixed bolt". Weld a nut onto a bolt. Now you can use 2 sockets face to face with the "fixed bolt". One end goes on the square drive plug, and the other attaches to your ratchet and/or extension. This can be very helpful if the plug is in a remote or awkward position. Couple this with a socket flex joint or two and suddenly, no drain plug can resist you.

Rick (it worked for me) Dulas

Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:27 pm

I have used a 3/8 drive socket set extention and an adjustable wrench.