Torque Converter Drain Plug Removal + other cheap tricks


After reading the forum and with some trepidation, I was ready to do a 60k mi. transmission fluid change on my 2008, 2500, V6 diesel, 144" wheel base, Sprinter/Freightliner/Mercedes Benz. Yes, it has these three tags. Trans fluid spilled on my head from the pan, so I guess I was anointed. The photos tell most of the story, but here are some notes:

1. I warmed everything up by running around the block a few times. Then I used a 27mm deep socket and a 10" pipe wrench to turn the engine clockwise, as viewed from the front of the van. When I found the torque converter plug, I marked the pulley with White-Out for future reference.

2. To be able to remove the trans pan and make access easier to the torque converter, I raised the rear tans support about 1" using 4 bolts about 4" long.

3. Using well chewed, sticky, chewing gum, I attached a 4mm hex wrench to the trans drain plug. Then with the end of a hammer pushing the wrench it came loose suddenly. It was very tight. I thought at first the wrench had slipped.

4. A 1/4 inch ratchet wrench from sears, $8.00, was used with a 4mm hex bit to loosen it further. But when it would no longer ratchet, I used gum again to attach the bit alone and remove the plug with my fingers. I installed the plug the same way, reversing the procedure finally tightened it with the hex wrench and the end of hammer to push. I used a piece of plastic draped over frame to drain the torque converter. It worked well.

5. The pan plug was very tight, but with a good, new 5mm hex bit and a 1/2" ratchet wrench it came loose. After draining thru the plug there is still about 1/2" left in the pan. Some spilled on my head, ugh. The pan was easy to remove.

6. The fluid was relatively clean, amber looking, not red like new fluid. The round pan magnet had about 1/16" coating of black, gummy metal particles. The pan had a little film on the bottom. I opened the filter using a chisel and found a few small metal particles. In general it looked good. Note, the new filter has clips at the far end so it does not fall like the old one that had only a peg in the same location.

7. I did not replace the torque converter or pan drain plug gaskets. They were copper and looked good. Nothing leaked when finished. I did replace the pan gasket because I had it. But because it is rubber and the way it is tightened it cannot be over tightened I bet I could have reused it too.

8. I filled the trans with 7 1/2 quarts, drove it to get hot, and filled it a cup at a time to get the right level using an aftermarket dip stick. Each time I added a little I had to drive it again for the fluid to clear the tube so the dip stick would be clean going up and down the tube.



Yes, bolt threads are metric. Size?? I just took one of the original bolts to the hardware store and said I wanted the same thread but about 4" long rather than the original which is about 1" long.


2005/2006 leisure travel
What kind of gum do you recommend?
Great writeup
Thank you


Use any kind of chewing gum. Just chew it a long time until it looses all it flavor and becomes real sticky. Make sure what ever you want to stick has no oil on it.


'14 170 4cyl Crew
You are to be commended for your fantastic write-up.... clear and concise!! AND, thanks for taking the time to get some good pics of the process... Helps alot!!


2008 View J (2007 NCV3 3500)
This is the drain plug tool that I made up. I cut a 1.5" section of 4mm Allen key and secured it into a 1/4" drive, 4mm socket using JB Weld epoxy. This allows you to use a small 1/4" drive ratchet which makes things a bit easier. Both the 4mm Allen key and socket are available locally anywhere.

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excellent write up. I followed your advice for the TC plug removal process and it worked well.
Thanks for sharing.
Peter S


Well-known member
Is the 4 mm hex a sung fit in the tc drain plug?

I've noticed quite a bit of play before the tool engages the plug.

I use a T-25 torx socket. It's a firm fit.


2004 LTV Free Spirit T1N
There seems to be more than one torque converter bolt/head style, so what someone else has may not be what you have.


Well-known member
As far as I'm aware, there are two tc plugs. Most T1N's use a larger plug that requires a 5mm hex. The NCV3's have a smaller plug. I have the smaller plug. I've changed the torque converter fluid twice. I don't like the 20 degrees of play when using the 4 mm hex. The T-25 fits perfectly.


Thank you for the write-up! I have some questions! Does anyone know what everything supposed to be re-torqued down to? Has anyone tried Royal Purple Max ATF? Is there anything wrong with using the old magnet in the pan? If so where do I get a new one? I am going to get 8 quarts of ATF should I have more on hand? Are ATP Filters any good or should I stick with WIX? Here is my parts list is there anything I am missing or should have on hand?

One Dipstick for a 722.6 Transmission
One Dipstick Filler Cap (just in case the one I have should break)
Five Transmission Filler Lock pins
One Transmission kit with filter and gasket
8 Quarts of ATF Fluid?


2007 Frghtlnr Sprinter
Thanks Deancm I'm going to be doing my trans flush soon. It great to be able to learn about the procedure before hand rather than during the project . I fell very confident now. Tim
2007 freightliner 2500 170 workhorse
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
There seems to be more than one torque converter bolt/head style, so what someone else has may not be what you have.
I agree.

I know this is the NCV3 section.

My 2004 T1N has 5 mm Allen on pan and TC. My 2006 has 5 mm Allen on the pan. 4 mm on the TC.

So maybe the NCV3's have varied combinations also.



Not my illegitimate president
I did the fluid change on my 2010 with a PITA! :wtf:

Doing it on my T1Ns was simple, on the NCV3 to converter plug is hard to access and makes a mess on the frame, the pan is hard to get out without lifting the transmission.

I did have the 4MM bit tip, chewing gum, and the offset ratchet like the OP had so that worked out well, I knew I could get the converter plug out, but my biggest concern was getting it back in, thanks to his write up, it all went well.

As far as jacking the transmission, I just took out the 4 bolts and used a long pry bar, and put a small piece of 2x4 as a shim, and it keeps the jack out of your way. :cheers:

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