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@#&$! help foreign object down trans dipstick hole >_<

  #1  
Old 10-18-2018, 03:58 PM
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Default @#&$! help foreign object down trans dipstick hole >_<

2003 Accord V6 EX - the one ive been working on. The one that was starting to have transmission misshifting so I started doing a transmission fluid change.

I was filling down the dipstick tube because I couldn't find a 24mm socket for the normal fill hole and wasn't even 100% sure where it was. People said the trans dipstick fill tube was slower but still worked so I said okay.

First change went fine, then my funnel got accidentally damaged and this was the only car to drive in. So I had to improvise another funnel to work - taping on a small 3 inch or so length of PVC tubing that would fit down the hole. It SEEMED firm. Added fluid fine. Then all the sudden... the 3 inch length of tube is no longer attached to the end of my funnel. >_< There's a small possibility that the tube fell off while I was probing around (it kept pulling out of the hole while I was holding it, because it was real windy, so I was moving the fill funnel around a bit and it'd come out, i'd put it back in, and it'd come out while I moved slightly etc) - but I CANT FIND IT ANYWHERE so i'm fearing and assuming the worst.


Called the stealership they say yeah if it's not right inside the dipstick tube it's at least $1500 to tear into a transmission. So I probably just f___ed myself royally.

Nothing anybody says can possibly make me feel any worse than I do right now already so please don't ridicule. I want to break down crying. I can't even make it to school now tomorrow or next week because I have no working car, because trying to improve my half working car it became a nonworking car. I can't even fix that other car that needs the timing belt because it's 250 miles away.

Can somebody walk me through the process of what to disassemble under the hood if needed, to detach the trans dipstick filling tube, to see whether my PVC pipe segment is still in there. Or if it's at the bottom having fallen into the transmission, but hopefully somehow retrievable.

The problem is I already shined a light down the tube and tried to see with a coat hanger (with the tip bent sideways hoping to poke down the middle, catch the side and yank it up) and I dont think it's inside the dipstick tube anymore. It went wherever it would go at the bottom of the dipstick tube. And I dont know if that's even a retrievable place any longer. If there's any chance it would be on top of something, or having slid down enxt to something, or having become completely unreachable instantly past the bottom of the dipstick tube.

FWIW the car hasn't moved or been budged - the moment it went down, I started calling professionals only to find out how screwed I am.
 
  #2  
Old 10-19-2018, 09:43 AM
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PVC density is heavier than ATF so it will descend to bottom of ATF pan, I don't see it causing problems w/ ATF inlet screen. I would drive it.

good luck
 
  #3  
Old 10-20-2018, 12:48 PM
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But what is directly under the dipstick fill tube? Does the fill tube go directly to the bottom (no risk of it ending up between gears or something)? If I use a borescope is there a chance I could poke it either down the dipstick tube hole (after removing the dipstick) or the starter hole, see it at the bottom of the pan and ****** it?

I would much rather have a foreign object removed from these ultra sensitive automatics clearly otherwise i'm never going to trust driving the car again. (and probably shouldn't, even if I might limp it through a bit longer and it's destined for a trans swap in a few years anyways)<br /><br />

I have several nightmares about just leaving it in - 1 the plastic somehow ending up in the gears causing direct damage (it's thicker walled PVC tubing, not the ultrathin stuff, as that's what I had.. it's about the beefiest thing that could fit down a trans dipstick hole actually), 2 that it gets ground up in the gears not causing damage to gears but turning into particles that now circulate the fluid jamming up hydraulic passages, or 3 it melts/degrades into the fluid and since this honda was already starting to show malfunctioning shifts I can't see that ending well either - gums up or ruins something eventually one way or another.<br /><br /><br />

Anyone that wants to comment on the likelihood of the above 3 i'm all ears for. Meanwhile is there a hidden bolt on the battery tray?? :-P I removed those visible on top and it still wont budge... i'm trying to get to the starter and dipstick filler tube and I have a borescope arriving sunday to start peering. Yes this is a dumb sounding question but everything on this car is a bit more hidden due to rust and grime in bad places..
 

Last edited by fixinmyself; 10-20-2018 at 12:56 PM. Reason: argh, it posted as a single block of text
  #4  
Old 10-21-2018, 04:54 PM
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here's the only update so far, some borehole videos down the dipstick tube:


First one going down verified there was absolutely nothing in the dipstick tube - it would have had to fall all the way through.

Verifies there are NO gears or anything immediately there.

But since i'm looking INSIDE the transmission afterwards, i'm not seeing something on the bottom. This is confusing me. I can't see how it could have gone much of anywhere else.

I was wondering whether I was seeing the top of dirty but reflective fluid so tried the thing with the coathanger to verify and show yes I was poking the bottom of the internal pan, it wasn't the surface of fluid reflecting back the light - it's the slick pan surface.

I was considering trying to pull the starter next but i'm confused not being able to see the PVC tube inside where it should have dropped straight down. I would need to pull the starter to remove the oil dipstick by the look of it, I can't really angle the borehole viewer in any direction it sorta only goes up and down it's not steerable down the hole. I'm also not sure if pulling the starter will actually give me any better access - either to pull something out, or reach somewhere with the camera that is useful.
 
  #5  
Old 10-22-2018, 03:51 AM
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Might try inserting your inspection camera through the ATF drain hole to look around for the piece of tubing. Retrieval would be another issue.
 
  #6  
Old 10-22-2018, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by dkwilfert View Post
Might try inserting your inspection camera through the ATF drain hole to look around for the piece of tubing. Retrieval would be another issue.
I tried that too although I didn't post a video, and moved around in any direction convenient and still didn't see any tubing.

I'm very confused... I can't see how it could have done anything but fall straight down into that tray, but since I can't steer the light and camera inside the long hole I can't tell very well.

I'm hoping to remove the starter today which should also let me remove the dipstick holder and hopefully have a little more freedom of direction where to aim the camera and light.
 
  #7  
Old 10-22-2018, 02:06 PM
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Have you tried using your borescope to search around on the splash pan, or laying on top of the transmission hidden from view, or laying on top of the subframe? Any other possibilities where it might land OUTSIDE of the transmission? I would be extensively searching outside as well as inside the trans.
 
  #8  
Old 11-01-2018, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by JimBlake View Post
Have you tried using your borescope to search around on the splash pan, or laying on top of the transmission hidden from view, or laying on top of the subframe? Any other possibilities where it might land OUTSIDE of the transmission? I would be extensively searching outside as well as inside the trans.
I finally got it out. It was inside the pan just outside of visibility with the borescope light, I had to remove the trans dipstick guide, after which I could aim the borescope around more, and it was laying just off to the side (with the fluid out). Recovering it was not easy as it was barely small enough to fit in the hole, but it basically involved first using the borescope and a extending-claw grabber thing to ****** the side of it, then putting down my straightened clotheshanger (with a small L-shaped bend at the tip, just smaller than the inside diameter of the PVC tubing), and then on video I was able to EVENTUALLY thread the clotheshanger through/into the PVC pipe and turn/tug so that the L-shaped tip caught the back of it. Then I withdrew the borescope first, the claw grabber second, and the PVC pipe segment was sitting neatly on the clotheshanger, once I got the first inch out I could grab it with fingers and pull it the rest of the way out as it fell back in at first few times.

So this nightmare is finally over weeks later. I refilled with transmission fluid, resumed my 2nd and 3rd drain/refill cycles, and the car is driving seemingly happily. I still dont know how long that transmission will last, but it's at least had it's 10k overdue trans drain and refill to factory change standards (since they apparently dont change the filter, or even know there is a filter), although i'm still going to be planning around a future trans swap to a BAYA since I don't expect whats in here to last forever. (and possibly not that long at all, if for some reason the 70k old trans fluid was not causing those 6 confused shifts I observed... it's gone hundreds of miles since then without a hiccup so far though)
 
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