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Discussion Starter #1
What are the thoughts of the fine gentlemen and ladies here on universal sockets... say, one that goes 7-19mm?

Seems like it would work in theory.

I have no experience w/ them, so I'd be worried about it marring the bolt head.
 

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My definition of universal "anything that fits nothing well"
I would have to agree with Peter, if this is the type of universal socket that you are referring to:

Universal Socket.jpg
I inherited one of these "As Seen on TV" specials from my late father-in-law and have never actually used it. I played around with it enough to see that there was enough slop in those pins that they would most likely twist enough to slip off the points on bolt heads, possibly rounding them off. Most small fasteners on the TW (think right and left side covers) would not be accessible with one of these. The only fasteners that I can think of that would be readily accessible might be the oil drain plug and the fork leg caps and I personally would not trust one of these tools in either of those applications. It might work for the front/rear axles, but then you would probably need two of them.

Just my opinion . . . . .
 

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I would have to agree with Peter, if this is the type of universal socket that you are referring to:

View attachment 123593
I inherited one of these "As Seen on TV" specials from my late father-in-law and have never actually used it. I played around with it enough to see that there was enough slop in those pins that they would most likely twist enough to slip off the points on bolt heads, possibly rounding them off. Most small fasteners on the TW (think right and left side covers) would not be accessible with one of these. The only fasteners that I can think of that would be readily accessible might be the oil drain plug and the fork leg caps and I personally would not trust one of these tools in either of those applications. It might work for the front/rear axles, but then you would probably need two of them.

Just my opinion . . . . .
I could not agree more, Brian nailed my thought perfectly.

Personally I would bring an 8mm and 10mm socket and do the rest with box end wrenches.
 

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I bought one of those universals as a last resort to remove a damaged O2 sensor. I was disappointed and tool has since been gathering dust. I could not imagine many places for using it on the TW.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wanted to revisit this...

I recently went to change the oil and discovered to my horror, like many, that despite not cranking down the drain plug on last change it seemed to have welded to the bike. Multiple socketss and wrenches (including the stock one!) did nothing but deform the flats. I even sacrificed a spare 19mm with some JB Weld. Waited 7 days (crazy work schedule last few weeks) and when I went to remove the plug (thinking JB Weld would, well, ...weld), I simply twisted the socket off to reveal a very hard and set bit of JB Weld in the socket.

Thinking I was going to have to go the chisel route, I dug through my tools to find the universal socket asked about in the OP. Stuck it on, and voila! Instantly got the old plug off. Replaced with new plug using anti-seize on the threads and tightened to 29ft/lbs (2 under the manual's 31).

So thank you, "Useless gimmicky piece of crap", you saved me from accidentally slipping a chisel into my crank case. $5 well spent.

Now if I could just get the universal POS off the old plug (it's stuck on now for whatever inexplicable reason).

So the lesson learned: Just because a tool is not renowned as good for anything, it can be good for something -- even a sacrificial last resort.
 

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I wanted to revisit this...

I recently went to change the oil and discovered to my horror, like many, that despite not cranking down the drain plug on last change it seemed to have welded to the bike. Multiple socketss and wrenches (including the stock one!) did nothing but deform the flats. I even sacrificed a spare 19mm with some JB Weld. Waited 7 days (crazy work schedule last few weeks) and when I went to remove the plug (thinking JB Weld would, well, ...weld), I simply twisted the socket off to reveal a very hard and set bit of JB Weld in the socket.

Thinking I was going to have to go the chisel route, I dug through my tools to find the universal socket asked about in the OP. Stuck it on, and voila! Instantly got the old plug off. Replaced with new plug using anti-seize on the threads and tightened to 29ft/lbs (2 under the manual's 31).

So thank you, "Useless gimmicky piece of crap", you saved me from accidentally slipping a chisel into my crank case. $5 well spent.

Now if I could just get the universal POS off the old plug (it's stuck on now for whatever inexplicable reason).

So the lesson learned: Just because a tool is not renowned as good for anything, it can be good for something -- even a sacrificial last resort.

Way back when, I stripped the oil plug on my 2005 TW. 19 mm and 3/4 inch just made it a more rounded but not quite rounded oil plug. I know many on here would be surprised by this but I hammered on an 18 mm and was able to remove and install the oil plug after the oil change.

Now I had the same problem as you with the 18 mm now stuck on. What I did, and this may not work for you, I re-inserted the 5" socket extension I was using and hit it again with a hammer on each side rocking the socket to and fro. Eventually, the socket dislodged itself. From that point on until the death of my 2005 TW engine, I was able to use the 18 mm without hammering it on nor having to complete the original rocking hammer trick to get it off.

Modern update on my 2015 and stuck oil plug dilemma. So, my 2015 oil plug got stuck like yours as well. Instead of stripping like I did on my 2005, I used a 1/2 inch drive 19 mm socket, 5" inch socket extension, with a long swivel handle and I tapped the swivel at the socket connection while applying counter-clockwise pressure. This acted like an impact screwdriver and my plug came off relatively easy with stripping the oil plug nut.

My wonderful believable story may not help you in what you seek but it surely has to be close right? :p
 

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Way back when, I stripped the oil plug on my 2005 TW. 19 mm and 3/4 inch just made it a more rounded but not quite rounded oil plug. I know many on here would be surprised by this but I hammered on an 18 mm and was able to remove and install the oil plug after the oil change.

Now I had the same problem as you with the 18 mm now stuck on. What I did, and this may not work for you, I re-inserted the 5" socket extension I was using and hit it again with a hammer on each side rocking the socket to and fro. Eventually, the socket dislodged itself. From that point on until the death of my 2005 TW engine, I was able to use the 18 mm without hammering it on nor having to complete the original rocking hammer trick to get it off.

Modern update on my 2015 and stuck oil plug dilemma. So, my 2015 oil plug got stuck like yours as well. Instead of stripping like I did on my 2005, I used a 1/2 inch drive 19 mm socket, 5" inch socket extension, with a long swivel handle and I tapped the swivel at the socket connection while applying counter-clockwise pressure. This acted like an impact screwdriver and my plug came off relatively easy with stripping the oil plug nut.

My wonderful believable story may not help you in what you seek but it surely has to be close right? :p
And the moral of Admiral's story is: "Every job is done better when you use a hammer!"
 

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For several years I have applied neverseize on the flat shoulder of the aluminum drain plugs. The constant heating and cooling of the engine causes a nominal amount of oxidation between the crankcase and plug, thus kind of locking the plug into place. I haven't stripped a plug head in years.
Mel
 
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