The good news: half way there!

After getting that set of flex head wrenches that I thought would give me the clearance and leverage on the bolts holding the overdrive solenoid, I climbed back under the car to try again. I was eager to get moving on this seemingly simple task of removing two bolts. Just two bolts? How hard could that be? Sure I learned last time that the bolts were in a location that was a bit awkward to access from below, and that the bolts themselves were very greasy and perhaps a little rounded off already. But I was ready for the challenge.

My efforts were initially promising. I got a wrench onto the rearmost bolt, positioned the handle in a way that cleared the transmission housing while still giving me some leverage, cranked on it, and… success! The bolt started moving and was soon removable with just my fingers. Five minuted in and I was already halfway done. Things were looking up! And, of course, that’s when the bottom always falls out.

Moving to the other bolt, I saw that my job was already going to be harder than the first. Inspecting the head I could see that it was not in good shape. Available workspace also continued to be a problem. The wire lead to the solenoid itself stuck out on this side and made getting a socket or wrench in there more challenging. To help clear things out of the way I detached the intermediate lever from the gear selector cam so I could push it and the linkage rod out of the way. This gave me a little more room.

More of a problem than space, however, was the fact that the bolt head was rounded off just enough that a 12mm wrench couldn’t get the required amount of purchase to start it turning, but it wasn’t rounded enough that using a smaller wrench would help. I must have spent a good two hours trying every wrench and technique I could think of to get the bolt moving, but in the end it was no good. Disappointed, I gathered up the sea of tools that had accumulated around me and called it for the day.

So in the end I’ve got one bolt off and another being stubborn. I need a tool or technique that will give me just enough of a grip on the bolt head to start it coming out. I know it can be done, but I’m going to have to think about the proper way to proceed that won’t make the problem even worse. The last thing I want to do is mess up the bolt in such a way that would require me to lower the transmission to get to the bolt. But no worries… I have some ideas.