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2002 ML 500
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The drain plug for the transmission pan is stuck, I broke a bit trying to get it loose. I removed the pan and tried a little heat and Vice Grips on it and it wont budge. Not wanting to buy a new pan if the threads are messed up, I am not going to drill it out. Is there something I can put on the outside of the drain plug to make sure it doesn't leak in the future? Or will I be better off just leaving as is as it wasn't leaking and didn't budge?
 

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1999 E320, 2000 E320, 2003 E320 Wagon, 2005 C230K SS, 2010 Accord LX w Eibach & Koni FSD's
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2,727 Posts
Leave it as it is. JB Weld or epoxy it if you want extra peace of mind.

I use a top sider and have never removed any of my transmission plugs
 

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1999 ML430
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1,633 Posts
There is also a lot of crud that settles in the transmission pan with fine metallic particles that really should be removed. A new pan and gasket can't be more than a couple of hundred dollars and it would give you piece of mind. A magnet in the bottom of the pan is also a good idea. A new transmission filter changed regularly is every bit as important as a new oil filter.

I would be very surprised if an impact wrench would not remove the drain plug, particularly if you had the pan out and sitting on a flat surface. If it still refused to budge, simply replace it !!
 

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1989 W124 260E
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1,512 Posts
If the sump is off the a / box ,, then work on it ,just get a little heat on it -not to much ,, and get stuck in its not brain science to pull a drain plug that refuses to come out .If drain thread is damaged just get another plug and thread the sump to suit it. You will know the jobs been done right then.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
2002 ML320, 2003 A160, 2002 ML500, 2018 GLS350d
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4,374 Posts
I would be very surprised if an impact wrench would not remove the drain plug
I’d be surprised if it could. My drain plug was stuck fast too. The torque on the hex bit will break it off before it turns the plug. Or round out the hex-shaped hole in it.

I drained my ATF through the fill tube. Then dropped the pan and caught the excess fluid in a tray.

If the sump is off the a / box ,, then work on it ,just get a little heat on it
If you have the sump off, why do you need to work on the drain plug? To satisfy your OCD tendencies?
 

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1999 ML430
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1,633 Posts
Thats a good point DrX....and I suppose you are right. I would imagine many of us that frequent this forum have OCD tendencies regarding our beloved W163's ........:)
 

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1999 E320, 2000 E320, 2003 E320 Wagon, 2005 C230K SS, 2010 Accord LX w Eibach & Koni FSD's
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I was in the same situation as DrX. From my wrenching experience, I knew the plug was not going to come out. The bit was going to break or the socket was going to strip. I doubt an impact wrench could of removed the plug before the hex socket stripped.

I just use a pneumatic extractor to remove most of the fluid and then dropped the pan.
 

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1999 E320, 2000 E320, 2003 E320 Wagon, 2005 C230K SS, 2010 Accord LX w Eibach & Koni FSD's
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Terrible advice. So that means you have never changed your trans. filter?

Or is your top sider able to suck out the filter through the dipstick tube?
You're suppose to replace the filter o_O I thought these transmissions were sealed for life!

J/K
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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1,086 Posts
The drain plug for the transmission pan is stuck, I broke a bit trying to get it loose. I removed the pan and tried a little heat and Vice Grips on it and it wont budge. Not wanting to buy a new pan if the threads are messed up, I am not going to drill it out. Is there something I can put on the outside of the drain plug to make sure it doesn't leak in the future? Or will I be better off just leaving as is as it wasn't leaking and didn't budge?
Don't you know it is sealed for "life".

Most transmissions do not have drain plugs and if it was not leaking from the plug before chances are it will not now.

I you like having the plug get a pan from a pick a part yard only 6 screws holding it on probably cost less then 30 (just be sure the plug on the one you pull comes out before pulling it). That transmission and pan were used on so many vehicles it does not even need to be an ML. Click on fitment. Do not buy the URO pan just using it to show what vehicles used the 140-270-08-12 pan.



 

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w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
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2,361 Posts
Leave it as it is. JB Weld or epoxy it if you want extra peace of mind.

I use a top sider and have never removed any of my transmission plugs
Perhaps what is meant is, topside drain and you still drop the pan (at whatever interval.... without removing the plug?) to clean out that sludge, replace filter, etc...?
Even a topside tranny drain is going to leave behind old oil.
 

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2002 ML 500
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I am going to silver solder the drain plug shut inside and out.
With it going to be in AK indefinitely and getting driven possibly 2000 mi a year, the pan seal will start leaking long before the fluid will be needed to be changed.
 
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