Front Tow Socket, Removal of Stripped

Front Tow Socket, Removal of Stripped

After stripping the Allen socket in the plug the dealer tried to chisel it out, but gave up. This made it difficult to drill in the center for an easy-out attempt. The largest one I had was a #5, which broke off and had to be loosened with an air chisel. I should have looked for a larger easy-out at a plumbing supply house. Instead I opted to drill the hole out to 5/8". The thread on the tow-eye is a non-standard 20mmX3mm and I could not locate a tap in that size. The thread profile also appears to be non-standard. I ended up having to hacksaw a V-shaped groove in the tow-eye to make it like a self-starting metal screw and then just kept working the aluminum out of the threads a quarter turn at a time. I recommend that the car be jacked up to reduce back pain from bending over for several hours.

The best approach would be to soak the plug with Liquid Wrench over a period of several days, trying to loosen it with the Allen wrench. If that fails then get a big Easy-Out, drill a suitable hole and have at it. If that fails then drill it out to 5/8", notch your tow-eye and be prepared to spend several hours working the eye into the threads. It's important to use the Allen socket as a pilot hole to ensure that you drill through the center of the plug.

Good luck,

Don Burrows
87 S4 A/T

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