17mm Allen key


jonc

New member
To check my 4 speed transmission fluid the plugs require a 17mm Allen key or hex head socket ... the last two places I went to use the lift did not have them.. They regularly do oil changes but I guess do not check the tranny fluid on Westy's... this time I brought the proper key and have made a home for it in the camper for use by oil guys on while traveling.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Ah! The cheap and easy 17mm allen wrench trick! I Use an old lug screw from a golf or jetta, and a pair of vice-grips.

Scott
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Smaller, & easier to carry, would be a 17mm hex socket. MAC makes a 3/8" drive stubby one-piece P/N SC80 that can't be more than 3/4" long. Unlike the normal ones that are ½" drive and 2-3 inches long. Snap-On does make some stubbies and you can always cut one down so only about ½" sticks out. Any shop should have rachet wrenches, even if they don't have the socket.
 
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solarlady53

New member
Hello,

Thought you'd like to know that Snap-on makes a cool tool for Volksies. It has a 17mm allen on one end and a 21mm wrench on the other for turning the motor over etc.

[Moderator Note: Snap-on P/N5902, Jan '08 price $73.50]
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
That's a copy of the original VW tool. It was included in VW's accessory tool kits. The original manufacturer is the German Hazet.
 

Shandor

New member
I purchased my 90 Westy used and the previous owner showed me the tool he had made for removing the 17 mm allen screw on the transmission. He took a 17 mm bolt and screwed 2 nuts onto it locking then together. (A little loc-tite would be helpful also) Insert the bolt's head into the allen screw and put your wrench on one of the nuts. Works like a charm. I can't take credit for it, but I'll pass on the knowledge.

Mango
 

Chuck (CA)

New member
Sears...has them in their tool dept...$9.00...

[Moderator Note: NLA per 2008-2009 catalog.]
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
Northern Tool has a 12-piece jumbo combination SET for only $19 with metric sizes 8 - 19 mm and US sizes 3/8" - 3/4". The nut & bolt thing is for emergencies -- get the right tool if you're going to do your own servicing. It's no fun to try to drill out a stripped socket head plug.

Or go to a flea market -- I've accumulated a half-dozen 17mm hex wrenches or sockets without even trying. I think I actually bought two -- a MAC stubby socket because the regular wouldn't clear my wife's rear axle filler, and a knurled one from SP that had a longer reach I thought would clear my 4WD VW's differential lock. The rest accumulated with sets, tool kits and freebies from friends garage clean-outs.
 
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SteveS

New member
I got a 17 mm allen key from Sears but couldn't get enough on it to break loose the fill plug on my '85. After searching everywhere for a hex socket, I finally cut about 3/4" from the long end of the allen key and put it in a 17 mm socket. This got the fill plug off, but with the rachet it was too long to get on the drain plug because the exhaust pipe is in the way. I put the 3/4" piece of allen key in the plug and turned it with a 17 mm box end -- this turns the plug into a bolt, which is what is should have been in the first place! In VW's defense, though, if this plug were a bolt it would be too easy to confuse with an oil drain plug with possibly disastrous results.
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
17mm drain plug tools

The attached photo shows several drain plug tools to service the 17mm drain plugs in the VW transmissions.

#1. Far left is the special tool mentioned in posts #4 & 5 with the drain plug hex on one end and pulley nut wrench on the other. The one pictured is an original VW by Hazet.

#2. Bottom, on a blister card, is a 3/8"-drive, one-piece long 17mm hex socket. The part number indicates it's a VW specialty tool from an aftermarket distributor I used to do business with.

#3. Directly above is a 3/8"-drive, Mac Tools P/N SC80 short 17mm hex socket mentioned in post #3. This is the one I use the most. On Vanagons I can put a long rachet extension on it and reach from the wheel well over the suspension arm. Its short length plus breaker bar will often fit where a full-size rachet head won't.

#4. Next to the Mac is a ½"-drive, Snap-On P/N SAM17E 17mm hex socket. Standard finish is chrome; industrial finish pictured NLA. It's bulky and awkward but strong and can also be used with an extension.

#5. Next to last on right, standard hex allen key wrench. This one is a Craftsman P/N 46666.

#6. Far right is a special allen key wrench specifically for VW's from Schley Tools (SP) mentioned in post #8. It has a shorter 90º arm so needs less clearance and the longer arm gives more leverage or reach when turned the other way. The knurled shaft gives better grip with greasy hands than the smooth Craftsman.

I haven't needed one for the Westy, but I used SteveS's trick in post #9 on my wife's old 5-speed 190D M/T. It used a 14mm plug so I just bought a spare insert for my 14mm hex socket and cut it off at about ¾" -- long enough to fit into the drain plug and leave enough sticking out for a 14mm box-end wrench. I could use a racheting box-end wrench where a rachet & socket wouldn't fit. However, before you start thinking jury-rig, ask yourself what the cost would be if you strip out the plug. A correct fitting socket or allen wrench may be a bargain.
 

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