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DIY Project 3

How to make a socket for the brass drain plug on a series "A" Laycock overdrive

by E.A. Driver, Saskatoon Saskatchewan

Many Healey owners have difficulty in removing the drain plug of the overdrive as there is no convenient tool that may be inserted into the slots of the drain plug. Many owners resort to using either a dull chisel or screwdriver while tapping with a mallet to undo and to tighten this plug. Thus the slots are damaged over time. The socket described below was build after reviewing and considering comments made by Mike Salter, Precision Sportscar, on the Healey List some ten or eleven years ago.

Tools required: tape measure, chop cut off wheel, plasma cutter, flat file, air driven die-cutter, small cut off discs, bench grinder,
hacksaw, Mig welder, bench mounted vise, piece of craft paper, and a HB pencil.

Material: 3 inch OD black pipe, 0.25 inch steel plate, 5/8" socket for 1/2" drive, and black Tremclad paint

Follow these steps to make the socket:

1 - Cut the craft paper to a 3 inch diameter. Hold the paper against the drain plug and press the paper gently into the slots of the plug. Mark out the slot edges on the paper and cut these out to complete the template.

2 - Cut a 1.5 inch length of 3 inch OD black pipe (see Photo #1). Mark out three of the slots on one exposed end of the pipe. These marked locations will form a triangle (see Photo #2 ). Draw a line around the circumference of the pipe 0.25 inches below the marked end of the pipe. With a hacksaw cut along the outside edge of each scribed lines on the exposed end of the pipe to a depth of 0.25 inches.

3 - With a die cutter and small cut off wheel carefully remove the material from between the tits or teeth marked out by the hacksaw cuts.(note the first two photos)

4 - To make the top on the socket cut a 3 inch diameter piece from the 0.25 inch steel plate using a plasma cutter (Photo#3) and file the cut edge smooth. I took this top and the 5/8" socket for a 1/2" drive (purchased at Princess Auto) to a machine shop to have the appropriate size hole into which the 5/8" socket could be inserted.

5 - Weld the 5/8" socket the top and then weld the top to the 3inch OD pipe. Once the welds are cool, mask off the 5/8" socket and paint the drainplug socket.

I have found this drainplug socket to be somewhat heavy but friends for whom I made sockets have not. I suggest that 0.75 length of black pipe would be adequate to construct the body of the socket.

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