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  #1  
Old April 26th, 2012, 19:32
brewed4you brewed4you is offline
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AW4 Drain Plug Washer

Sorry if this has been asked before but searching wasn't very helpful due to the fact that google has decided that gasket is a synonym for washer.

Anyway I just did a couple of drain and fills on my AW4; when I was reading how to do it I didn't see any mention of a washer and I didn't notice it sitting in the bottom of the drain pan until after I had already used the last of my fluid filling the tranny back up.

Drain plug was torqued to spec but is the washer really a big deal? Will it be fine over the weekend until I do another drain and fill and then replace it? Or is it going to leak all over the place?

Also I've read it is best to use a brand new washer, does anyone know what size and type to use? Or does it not matter that much?
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  #2  
Old April 26th, 2012, 20:22
2X_01_Jeeps 2X_01_Jeeps is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

It'll probably be ok for a short time.
I've been reusing the same washer for years and years.
Tried to get new washers at dealer and they would only sell plug plus washer.
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  #3  
Old April 26th, 2012, 21:00
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ParadiseXJ ParadiseXJ is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

Just go to the hardware store...get a fiber washer that fits, you'll be fine. It's certainly not gonna blow past that. There is pressure...but it's negligible. Think out of the box!
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1990 XJ - 4.0L AW4 It's white.
1988 MJ - 4.0L AW4 It's green.
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  #4  
Old April 26th, 2012, 22:59
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5-90 5-90 is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewed4you View Post
Sorry if this has been asked before but searching wasn't very helpful due to the fact that google has decided that gasket is a synonym for washer.

Anyway I just did a couple of drain and fills on my AW4; when I was reading how to do it I didn't see any mention of a washer and I didn't notice it sitting in the bottom of the drain pan until after I had already used the last of my fluid filling the tranny back up.

Drain plug was torqued to spec but is the washer really a big deal? Will it be fine over the weekend until I do another drain and fill and then replace it? Or is it going to leak all over the place?

Also I've read it is best to use a brand new washer, does anyone know what size and type to use? Or does it not matter that much?
I've never looked for one - but any Viton or Buna-N O-ring that fits the screw should work.

What I've done? Wipe the threads clean on the screw, apply some RTV Black, and torque about one-half turn past finger tight.

PTFE paste will also work, I've used that in a pinch (but I prefer the RTV - it also functions as a light threadlocker to keep the screw from vibrating loose.

One of these days, I may see if there's a copper washer that would work for that plug - but I don't see a reason to bother. The RTV has worked quite well.

If you're worried, get a helper with a tube of RTV. Take out the plug and cover the hole with your thumb, hand the plug out, and let them coat it. Put the plug back and torque as described. If you're quick and co-ordinated, you'll only lose a few ounces of fluid. (A few ounces down shouldn't hurt an AW4 - I discovered mine was two quarts low one night after work - I was on a jobsite, and the ground was wet, so I didn't catch the leak until the following morning. Fixed it at work, and dumped in two and a half quarts. I thought it was shifting sluggish overnight...)
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  #5  
Old April 27th, 2012, 08:17
brewed4you brewed4you is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

Great, thanks for the suggestions guys.
I've been keeping an eye on it and it doesn't seem to be dripping at all so I will just leave it til monday and do another fluid change (I only got 5 quarts done yesterday and it's pretty dirty, although I've seen worse).

As for the washer I'll figure out what I like best I guess. 5-90 do you reapply the RTV every time you pull the drain plug, or just clean off any loose chunks and reuse it?
I like RTV, but not in a situation where I'm going to have to take it off regularly cause it's a pain in the ass to get it all.
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  #6  
Old April 27th, 2012, 08:41
O-Gauge Steamer O-Gauge Steamer is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

Copper would be the best but, RTV works just fine as long as the mating surfaces are completely free of any oil.

Brewed, you would need to clean off/out the old RTV and reapply at every change. Standard RTV practice. A tap will chase it out of the threads enough so as to not be a bother.
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  #7  
Old April 27th, 2012, 08:59
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

I've been wrapping mine in plumbers Teflon tape forever (25) years, haven't had any issues yet. I wrap it thin on the end, wrap it thicker towards the head. I figure any tape that finds it's way inside and doesn't get spit back out when the oil is drained, will get caught in the filter. It's worked well so far, never had a drip, the bolt comes out easy. Clean off the bolt with a wire brush, reapply the Teflon tape.

I was always taught to keep RTV away from auto transmissions. I have read warnings about it in other manufacturers service manuals (Chev, Dodger). I always avoided using RTV on auto trannies, may be an old wives tale, may not, I'm not eager to find out the hard way.

The only AW4 I've ever seen fail during normal grocery getter operation had the pan sealed with RTV instead of a gasket, somebody put the RTV in way to thick and bunnches squirted into the innards. My thinking was the tranny had been previously worked on, hence the RTV instead of a gasket and just failed. Or the excess RTV is what caused the failure. Who knows for sure, not me.
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  #8  
Old April 27th, 2012, 13:35
brewed4you brewed4you is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

Well that rules out the RTV then. I don't have a tap and die set and I'm not going to deal with cleaning it all out every time I change the fluid.

I'll just try reusing the washer for now since it's not dripping even without it. If it starts to leak then it's a quick and easy fix anyway.

Thanks for the help everyone.
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  #9  
Old April 27th, 2012, 23:49
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5-90 5-90 is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewed4you View Post
Great, thanks for the suggestions guys.
I've been keeping an eye on it and it doesn't seem to be dripping at all so I will just leave it til monday and do another fluid change (I only got 5 quarts done yesterday and it's pretty dirty, although I've seen worse).

As for the washer I'll figure out what I like best I guess. 5-90 do you reapply the RTV every time you pull the drain plug, or just clean off any loose chunks and reuse it?
I like RTV, but not in a situation where I'm going to have to take it off regularly cause it's a pain in the ass to get it all.
Every time I take the plug out - so, about every 40,000-50,000 miles is about when I did it. No trouble to have the stuff last that long - it's not like you have to maintenance it separately from the plug. As long as the plug is in good shape, the RTV is cheap insurance all around.

@8mud - I've used RTV to seal up the AW4 after an overhaul and it didn't cause any trouble. I've also used it on A727, THM350, THM400, THM700R4, C4, and C6 - no worries.

If you get stupid and have enough excess to squeeze out, that's an installer failure - not mismatched material. I've never had RTV cause trouble with a slushbox, when used judiciously.

A copper washer will want to be replaced or annealed at intervals - to anneal, just heat it to an even dull red (propane or MAPP will do neatly) and drop it in cold water. Leave it sit there for about 10-15 minutes, then remove. Any imperfections may be filed off with a mill file (reanneal it every 200,000 miles or so - the heat-cycles will gradually harden it. Yes, that gradually - you'll probably never have to worry about it.)

And it may take RTV longer to cure when the joint is "wet" instead of "dry" - but, in my experience it will still cure. I've done the "pull the plug - block with thumb - seal plug - reinstall plug" routine before with favourable results.

No reason for PTFE tape to not work - I just don't like the stuff. Personal preference.

A tap will work for cleaning internal threads - but be careful you don't cut new threads. There are only 3-4 threads in the plug bung, as I recall - make a pick to clean the threads out:

- Take a largish paper clip, or bit of stiff steel wire.
- Straighten as needed, leave yourself a handle (the "working end" only needs to be about an inch long)
- Bend a right angle at the end, so the point sticks about 1/8" from the body (think of a large letter "L" - with a very short foot.)
- File the end down to a point (you need this to get into the threads.)

Visually inspect the hole after it's done draining - often, there won't be anything left in there. If there is, about two minutes with the pick you just made will fix that. Make new picks as you need them.
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  #10  
Old April 28th, 2012, 08:16
O-Gauge Steamer O-Gauge Steamer is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

Once again, I find myself agreeing with 5-90 with regards to the Teflon Tape. If you are not careful with the application, it will shear out of the joint and you will have is floating around looking for the worst place to land...

What I use for a rule of thumb with the tape, when I use it on Pipe Threads, is to leave the first thread completely clear of tape and to only use a one and one half turn wrap. The tape is a Thread Lubricant, not a Thread Sealant. The threads make the seal, the tape just lets you take it apart later. If my failing memory still serves me, I believe that the roll states lubricant not sealant, Would have to go look...

And, I never use it on machine threads...
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  #11  
Old April 28th, 2012, 16:24
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8Mud 8Mud is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

Quote:
Originally Posted by o-gauge-steamer View Post
Once again, I find myself agreeing with 5-90 with regards to the Teflon Tape. If you are not careful with the application, it will shear out of the joint and you will have is floating around looking for the worst place to land...

What I use for a rule of thumb with the tape, when I use it on Pipe Threads, is to leave the first thread completely clear of tape and to only use a one and one half turn wrap. The tape is a Thread Lubricant, not a Thread Sealant. The threads make the seal, the tape just lets you take it apart later. If my failing memory still serves me, I believe that the roll states lubricant not sealant, Would have to go look...

And, I never use it on machine threads...
My thoughts on mentioning it was that if he developed a drip and didn't want to loose a whole load of Dexron trying to stop it, an alternative worth a try is to maybe back the bolt out maybe !/8-3/16 inch and wrap teflon tape in the gap. One good thing about teflon is it doesn't really care if the surface is oil soaked or not. Teflon tape goes almost fluid under pressure and fills in the gaps, some ways good stuff, other ways not so good.

I might also be tempted to wrap the gap with hemp in a pinch, I'm old school.

I found some packages of plastic washers on the emergency repair display at my local auto parts store. They seem to work well enough, you just have to be careful of over tightening them. Copper washers may also be good, but to get them to work right you often have to tighten pretty hard, something I am loath to do on pan plugs. Somebody mentioned composite washers, likely to be a good bet.

The one good thing about teflon tape in this application is that the bolt comes out easy and the chances of separating the threads from the pan seem reduced. I've screwed out engine and tranny plugs before and had some of the threads come out with the plug, not good. Maybe from over tightening, maybe just soft metal. That has never happened to me since I started using teflon tape, RTV is likely to work in much the same way as kind of an anti seize.

Another good thing about teflon tape is you don't have to wait (a long time) for the drip to stop so you can clean the threads up enough for the RTV to stick, most RTV won't adhere very well to oil, teflon tape doesn't seem to care much if it is oil coated or not.

I'm not going to recommend one over the other, both will likely get the job done and both should be used judiciously so the remnants don't end up anyplace they shouldn't.
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  #12  
Old June 15th, 2013, 21:15
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markaboo929 markaboo929 is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

OLD thread but I was searching...copper brake hose washer works great!!!
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  #13  
Old June 15th, 2013, 22:00
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cruiser54 cruiser54 is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

I get the correct washer at the local tranny shop or the dealer.
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  #14  
Old June 16th, 2013, 07:51
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Sidewinder CC Sidewinder CC is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

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Originally Posted by cruiser54 View Post
I get the correct washer at the local tranny shop or the dealer.
Me too.

part number 83504040
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  #15  
Old June 16th, 2013, 07:58
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cruiser54 cruiser54 is offline
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Re: AW4 Drain Plug Washer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidewinder CC View Post
Me too.

part number 83504040
Flat on one side, bit conical on the side toward the pan. Cruch type.

I always have a spare plug around, too.

What's really cool about the AW4 is that the plug is soft and the pan is not. So, if anything strips due to many uses it's the easy to replace plug.
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